Monday, 24 August 2009

Episode 13: The one which is different from the rest

Well hasn't this one been a long time coming? There's been a couple of false starts though - a couple of guys in Thailand, a random guy from work, and a couple of lost exchanges through But nothing special. Most of you have been telling me to pull my finger out and look for men the traditional way. So SURPRISE! This one is about a guy I met in a pub.

I'm about 5 months into my new job and reaping the benefits of working in town. Yes the potential for dating is immense, there's cafes, bars and shops a plenty to try and attract the attention of a foxy guy on his lunchbreak. However it's not that easy to strike up an innocent conversation whilst waiting for the Philpotts lady to assemble your salad. You can’t really make any jokes about couscous and olives without looking a little strange. So I admit it is harder than I thought.

Nonetheless I relish any opportunity to go out on the town, so last Friday after getting my hair cut (Yes, a new month, a new hairstyle for George) I tottered of to the Elbow rooms for a couple of cocktails with my work colleagues. Time moved swiftly on as did we up the streets of Leeds. And then we stopped at what I believe is the worst place ever on lower Briggate. Well, second to Nandos. The Hogshead. Have any of you ever been there? Now there is nothing actually wrong with the place but everytime I have ever been past, I usually see some lout with blood dripping down his face, and a load of fat men in football shirts. Not the sort of place one would expect George to hang out in. I went in anyway, didn't want to look like a snob.

After about 20 minutes standing randomly at the bar, some guy happenend to start talking to Rachel and I. Something along the lines of 'Are you girls having a good night?' Innocent enough, nothing cheesy, just a simple question. And he just seemed a decent guy - good height, build, full head of hair, good set of teeth (albeit with expensive invisalign braces) and just generally nice. Until we started chatting a bit more, and I discovered that I perhaps am a little more snobby than I would care to admit..

I gingerly tried to ask why he was drinking in the Hogshead and he said that his friends had been barred from the Elbow Rooms. I looked at his friend and nearly had a heart attack. Imagine if you will, the chavviest person ever, in a tracksuit with a gold chain and missing teeth. His other friend was passable, but still looked a little chavvy. Yet this guy, Anthony, looked normal. I gave him the benefit of the doubt - thinking that they might have been loose work associates and carried on talking to him. And then after some gentle coaxing from Rachel, I let him take my number and we arranged to go for drinks the following Thursday.

I think it is good for me to date people from a wider circle than perhaps I am used to – you never know how it could turn out.
So here’s why Anthony passed:-
1. He's a plasterer. I've never dated a tradesman before or in fact anybody who doesn’t do 9 till 5.
2. He is only 24. This isn't so bad, but he texts like a 16 year old, and has the spelling age of a 14 year old. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't a dealbreaker, but I just don't understand why ppl feel da nd 2 tlk in txt spk.
3. He has black roots. Now people often ask me why I don't go out with black guys. This isn't a conscious decision - it just so happens that black guys rarely approach me. Actually that’s a lie. Sometimes when i'm wandering about my daily business and I happen to walk past a black guy, they do the look, and then the noise. Occasionally I get a 'Hey sista!'
I was sat in our little office garden a couple of weeks ago, and this black guy comes up to me and goes. 'Hey, how are you'. I responded appropriately and then he said ‘ Do you know where British Gas is?’. For those of you who have never been to my work, there are 3 buildings surrounding the little garden. Only one of them has a sign outside. This sign says British Gas.
I appreciate the fact that he tried to get conversation going, but black guys for me are terrible at starting conversation. Here’s another one I’ve had.
Him ‘Where you from’
Me ‘Ghana’
Him ‘ I’m from Nigeria. We’re next to each other on the map, so maybe we can be next to each other in bed!’
Me ‘ I think you’ll find that our countries are seperated by Togo AND Benin, so that keeps me safe really doesn’t it’
Anyway, so Anthony's father is mixed race/dual heritage whatever and originates from Africa. So genetically he's a bit black. So now you can all stop asking me about the black thing.

I digress.
I suggested we went for drinks in the Adelphi around 8. I turned up promptly at 8. At 8.02 I got a glass of wine, and sat in the litle side room. At 8.07 I started to panic. I held it together though, because I'm not a freak. He turned up at 8.15, but fortunately he was really apologetic and got me another drink. So I forgave him and we sat down and chatted and stuff. And I was really suprised at how lovely he was. I presumed that cos he a totally different upbringing, then he would automatically be a cretin. But he wasn't. Which was lovely. He has a right thick yorkshire accent though.
Time passed and conversation ranged from our preferred electricity providers, trips abroad, who really could swim faster out of a shark and a dog, and the fact that his little sister is best mates with the girl who does my waxing.
Time continued to pass and at about half past 12 it became obvious that the staff in the Adelphi wanted to go home. Unfortunately, Anthony didn't want to go home, and I didn't really as I was having quite a nice time. So we walked along the canal, got to the end, had a bit of a kiss, and then walked back to get taxis. And that was that.

Since then, the weekend has been and gone, he's text me a couple of times. I know I rang him during my lost hours in the V festival hidden garden, where I also lost my phone, my pride, half my lunch and the opportunity to watch the Ting Tings. Apparently this has only made me cooler in his eyes, although I've earned the nickname 'shandy pants' - I think it means lightweight.

But yeah he seems like a nice lad, so I we're going out again on Wednesday.

PS, I could go on, but I’m now on 1200 words, and you’ve probably all got work to do.