This weekend I decided to start dating again. I’ve been on Tinder for a while, but I’ve mostly just been swiping and not chatting to anyone, and I guess I had one date when a guy started talking to me on the street and we ended up going for a drink. But, this was a deliberate decision to start swiping right to people on Tinder and to start start chatting to them. It felt a bit sad, but I do need to start moving on – or at least trying to.
So, on Saturday I drank my way through a bottle of wine, swiped right on a load of guys and started chatting to a few of them. And by Sunday, I had a date arranged for today with a French banker.
The date started off badly with a fire alarm going off at work just after 5pm, meaning that I left in a hurry without my umbrella and without redoing my make-up. The bar was a 15-minute walk away and it was pouring it down. I awkwardly did my make-up under the awning outside work – of course my boss’s boss walked past just as I was curling my eyelashes. How very professional.
By the time I got to the bar, I was wet, grumpy and late. Monsieur le bancaire was waiting outside the bar and was polite about me being late – plus one for Frenchie.
That was his only plus. I’ve rarely had a more ridiculous date. I know I’m out of practice, but this so bad, it started being funny. This is what we talked about – or he talked about, I didn’t really get a chance to speak over his incessant rambling:
1. His job; in great (and tedious) detail. Apparently there were some lost millions blah… impacted the VaR blah….. capital standards…. blah blah…. IT problems zzzzz still talking.
2. His entire work history. Why, I have no idea. I certainly didn’t ask.
3. A massive drama with an ex-wife who’d moved to Australia with their two kids. There was a custody battle and the ex was crazy, and after all his money, and lied, and many other bad things. He hates her and wants to hit her, even kill her (oh not really haha). But she has made him hate all women a bit.
[I really should have left at this point.]
4. How rubbish the UK is in comparison to France. Brighton is small and boring with ugly beaches, the Cotswolds *vomit noises*, the Lake District would do for a weekend but is pretty dull and grey. Generally, the UK is too green.
[Short soliloquy about a trip to Mexico he’d gone on with his ex and kids and the value of guide books when choosing restaurants in foreign countries.]
5. A list of his six top world cuisines. 1. French obviously, 2. Italian (I said it wasn’t my favourite and got told that’s because I’m only thinking about pasta. I should try other Italian food), 3. Lebanese, 4. Japanese (there’s more than sushi, he was kind enough to inform me. Really the Japanese are quite good cooks). And so on.
[Pause while he checked his phone and I wondered if I should start listing my favourite cuisines, but no because he was done so the subject should be changed.]
6. The history of western Europe: where apparently the only real thing with any impact was the relationship between France and England; every other country is peripheral. Also, England stopped Europe uniting under Napoleon, which is what Europeans really wanted. We’re trying to do the same thing with Brexit.
7. Then he started to explain to me the history and politics of a place that I lived in for many years. At this point I was way past being offended and was just struggling to hold back the laughter. I did try to speak here though and tell him what I thought about this place, but he told me I was wrong and continued with his explanation.
As I’d finished my glass of wine, I decided to stop things here. So I interrupted and told him what mainsplaining was, apologised that I had no cash to leave for my wine, and walked out.
As I left, I could hear an indignant frenchman stuttering behind me about how crazy I was. And when I got home, I had a message on my phone telling me, ‘Tu es folle, ma pauvre.’ Patronising to the last.
Welcome back to online dating.