Thursday, 19 August 2010

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

I have been reminded that I promised an internet dating update.

First though, an anecdote ...

When I was a student there was a lad on our course called Ray. He came from Dudley. For those not of these shores, Dudley is on the edge of Birmingham, and has a particular sort of an accent. Ray sounded like he came from Dudley. Ray also lived in my hall of residence. Consequently, I saw a lot of Ray.

This was not a good thing. He was somehow distant and clingy at the same time. Quiet, but also probing. He was a bit creepy. Sometimes you'd be happily sitting there, having your dinner with your friends, and when you looked up you'd find him standing there at the end of the table watching you, without casting a shadow, and with no-one being aware just how long he'd been there. Similarly, in lectures, you'd sit down next to an empty seat, and at some point you'd notice he was sitting in it. But how long had be been there? It was impossible to say. He would arrive, stealth like, next to you. It was, to say the least, unsettling.

And then he'd kind of stick. He'd be there, just a little bit too close for comfort, and not saying anything, but looking like he wanted to, for long enough that you started trying to think of ways of saying, "did you want something?" without being rude. Sometimes we'd just say, "did you want something?" and to hell with sounding rude!

On one occasion my parents had brought me back to uni after the holidays and were helping me to unpack and get straight, which is no mean feat in a small room that you have to sleep, study, sometimes eat, and wash in, when there are three grown people, and lots of boxes around. Ray came to the door. He didn't say anything. Moving imperceptibly slowly, he glided into the room until he was sitting on the desk and we had to keep asking him to move. Still he said nothing. Everyone else, feeling slightly uncomfortable, also said nothing. In the end, I asked him to leave. I told him that there wasn't room for another body in the room, especially one that wasn't helping, and that I wanted to enjoy the last bit of time with my parents before they left. Mute, he slithered out of the room, and later told a mutual friend how he'd met and had a nice chat with my parents.

A couple of his mates were quite popular lads. You know the sort that can flirt outrageously with you and say borderline cheeky things, and get away with it? Well Ray would, on occasion, try to emulate this. He must have seen that the cheekiness won favour, and think he'd give it a go. But being the character that he was, he couldn't get away with it, and just ended up being rude.

All in all, not a popular boy. He was unceremoniously dropped after graduation, and, whilst he'd crop up from time to time for the first few years, he diappeared after a while, and no-one knows what he's up to now. Vanished into obscurity.

Why do I mention this now?

Well. On Tuesday I had a date with an internet boy. Because I'm optimistically thinking there'll be other dates, I'll call him Boy 1. We've been in touch for a couple of weeks, swapped a few of the ridiculous prescribed Q&A things that the website enforces and been emailing a bit. I had a hunch that he was a bit nerdy, but he asked me if I wanted to meet, and you know how it is. A girl's gotta eat!

We had a nice time. Couple of drinks, then a bit of dinner. And the conversation flowed all night about all sorts, so there were no awkward icy moments. He seemed ... y'know ... nice.

Why the reticence?

He reminded me of Ray. Nothing that I can quite put my finger on. Maybe hint of an accent? Maybe the shape of the specs? Maybe the colour of his hair? But something. There was definitely something of the Raymond about him. And it was the biggest turn off since Henry VIII said, "a daughter, you say?"

Boy 1 will not see Date 2. Irrational, but I just can't do it.

So let's see what Boy 2 has to offer!

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to so much of this post. You tell the story of what happened to you back at Uni and why you were reminded of your past really well.

    I shall keep my fingers crossed for you and date two.


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