When I was in university times were tough. Seriously. You know, really tough. Most students will tell you that and you will rightfully smash them somewhere in the groin for being really annoying, whilst they subsequently pay for chips and cheese with a bastard cheque.
I was no different.
If you’re reading this as a student, I apologise, but frankly, I found you annoying even then. At one stage of university living, I lived at the top of a HUMONGOUS road, followed by a HUMONGOUS hill. And sure, I was young. Sure, I was ahtletic and cool and had a music device to entertain me. But sometimes, sweet reader, I straight up couldn’t be fucked. I just could not be arsed. And I won’t lie – it was ONE stop.
For that reason, I would get the bus with my student day rider ticket, whilst being perfectly capable of walking the journey. This bus, given the areas it went to and the time of day I usually got it, was absolutely full of old people. They clearly weren’t in a hurry, but it would bother me that they would see a young man getting the bus for just one stop, then getting off. I imagined them glaring at me. Complaining about me over dinner. Thinking about me during their evening read. Having nightmares about me. Waking up in cold sweats over me. And generally muttering horrific words about me on their death bed.
To assuage their total hatred of me, I would get on the bus with a fake limp.
It seemed a reasonable means of getting what I wanted whilst also not making the coffin dodgers quite so…venomous. You may wonder why I bring this up. Why am I telling you about this when it clearly has no bearing on my online dating life which commenced some 7 years later? Tenuous, I’m sure you’ll agree, but date number 9 had a SERIOUS fucking limp. And I’m pretty certain it was real.
The limp had never been brought up prior to us meeting. Nor the various other things I’ll get around to mentioning in this. But as I approached the pub (yes, it was a Wetherspoons, God!) I saw her crossing the road, waddling over to the entrance, clearly struggling with just…general movement. A tiny flash – and it was only a flash I swear – saw me turning around and just going home. Running, even. But perhaps a flash even quicker than the first saw me imagining her leaving the Wetherspoons, head down, face saddened, struggling to comprehend why I’d not shown up. In my imagination, despite learning this information no more than 1 second ago, she was still bloody limping.
So onwards I walked.
Once entering the pub – the Wetherspoons – I got myself a drink and sought her out. I was more than likely a pint or few down already and that was fine. Desirable in fact, despite the fact it was a fucking Sunday.
I sat down with her, and the first thing that became apparent was the funny eye. She had a funny eye. And I don’t mean like Will Ferrell or an old man getting hit in the cock funny, I mean, it was pointing the other way. Upwards. North West. Like, she was secretly a pub lighting inspector. If they have those. I don’t know.
Now, I’m not sure how much dealing you’ve had with people with funny eyes, but I seem to have had my fair fucking share. For a start, my biology teacher had one and that meant all manner of confusion. Was she blaming me or William for the bad results? Was she looking at me or the diagram of the cervix? I think eventually the awkwardness of the whole situation mean she just looked up at the ceiling to avoid any further confusion. And you know, it worked. Inappropriate girl, as in date No.9, had no such privilege. Especially given that I’m an ‘in-eye’ looker. I’ll always look you in the eye. Even when you’re telling me how much you resented the fact that I called your mother a White Walker and shat on your carpet, I’ll still do it. It should be done. It must be. It’s part of my parcel.
And to be fair, she was cool with that. I’d established very early – looking her into her right eye was the way forward. It seemed more respectable to just ask straight up, because I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable all night. I basically just said, “Okay, there’s a funny eye thing going on here, tell me what to do” and she told me. You may cringe at the prospect of that being said. Well….you’re a moron. First date and all that, she was probably nervous anyway. She knew it, I knew it. Let’s work this out.
What possessed me to go on a date on a Sunday, I don’t know. I was working the next day. I’ve told you already – I don’t do dry dates.
We got on pretty well, truth be told. She had a dry sense of humour and an aura of calm that really worked for me. After the drama and emotional anguish that became the end of Jane, it was nice to sit in front of an internet-stranger and flirt with them. While drinking.
I remember it getting to about 10pm and when I returned from the toilet, she had moved over in her seat and prompted me to sit next to her. My initial thought was that this would be a great opportunity to give the eye a full-on inspection, and let her know my findings. Which, incidentally would have been something along the lines of “Aaaahhhh….right. Yes, now I see. Okay. Yes. You have funny-eye. Very common.”
My second thought was that I should sit next to her and kiss her. In a Wetherspoons. So I did.
We ended up back at my house – my new house – and slept together in my bed. We didn’t have sex, although there was fondling. Sufficient fondling for me to…you know…fall asleep afterwards.
When I awoke the next morning, despite not actually being that drunk the evening prior, I’d completely forgotten most of what I’d learnt the previous evening. When leaving my house, Inappropriate requested I assist her down my steep steps which, at the time, I put down to her being massively hungover as opposed to…well…disabled.
I’ve wracked my brains for juicy information on subsequent dates, and I genuinely have very little to report. She came to mine a few times, I went to hers…once. I think. There’s not too much to say. We were very much just ‘dating’ – we didn’t seem to be establishing any particular bond or commitment, or at least I wasn’t, which is why….