So it’s been a while. In fact the last official date I went on was with a guy who I met at a Hallowe’en party who had a pizza tied to his face. It was a struggle to recognise him when I met up with him again for sushi outside Covent Garden station.
That was 18 full months ago, and after getting distracted by the fit man on my bus, and then languishing in a ‘I just don’t know any men’ state of doom and despair, KM set me what I am now fondly calling the 666 challenge.
Being reasonably competitive I accepted the gauntlet laid down for me, and, after a few weeks of flapping about, I had my first date of the challenge.
Out of deference to the gentleman in question, I’m not going to blog the date. That’s hardly fair, and as MS pointed out yesterday, could be considered oversharing.
Instead, I’ll take the flak, with a rundown on the run-up to date o’clock last night…
07.09 – I have hit snooze on my alarm for the third time, but know full well I need to get out of my bed and begin the prep that will form the foundation of day-to-nightness. It’s a subtle art. The idea is to look dressed down enough for the office not to draw comment or observation, but to have the basis to vamp it up and look appropriately spectacular for the evening. I get out of bed and wash my scabby post-Greenbelt hair.
08.03 – I leave the house, armed with make up bag and high heels. I am prepared and invincible.
15.26 – I am not prepared or invincible. The majority of the day has passed unremarkably, but all of a sudden I’m hyperaware of the time, and therefore, the time remaining until date o’clock.
17.41 – I am fighting waves of nausea, competing with a sudden unwarranted burst of nervous wind. The sky looks like it might decide to be damp, which will undo all this morning’s careful hair styling work, so carefully preserved through the day.
18.11 – My work colleague suddenly notices my hair might look better than normal for a reason. He kicks himself for missing out on a whole day’s worth of ‘hilarious’ banter and then wishes me luck. ‘I hope his breath doesn’t smell.’
I am almost 32 years old and all of a sudden feel a little bit too old to throw myself into something with so much potential to be humiliating with great verve and enthusiasm. WHAT AM I DOING??
18.16 – Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound: I buy chewing gum.
18.37 – To save officewide speculation about my night, I have just applied full make up one handed on the bus using a mirror measuring less than 3×3 inches. I have no real idea of whether I look even vaguely decent.
18.50 – I am early. My mother told me always to be late. ‘Don’t apply lipstick so that you’re not quite ready,’ I remember she once advised. I have forgotten lipstick so I go in search of a Boots, where like a 16 year old, I will ‘try on a colour to see if it suits me’ AKA apply one of their lipsticks. For some inexplicable reason, I can hear Julie Andrews singing in my head.
18.53 – I have confidence in sunshine, I have confidence in rain, I have confidence that spring will come again…
19.00 – Lipstick applied and leaving Boots. From now on, any time I arrive is officially late. But how late must one be?