On a hungover Saturday morning, where most good stories start, I was on Twitter talking to boys I fancied. So far, so regular.
One chap, who I thought was particularly good looking and incredibly chirpy, in comparison to my delicate state, caught my attention: Darren. We’d met at a party a few weeks previously, where he clocked me from across the room as ‘that guy from that website.’ Massaging my ego is always a sure fire way to get my attention.
We got chatting and exchanged phone numbers, but so far to date hadn’t got past the awkward ‘How are you? Good week?’ phase of conversation. After a few jokey and flirtatious tweet, he enquired into my plans for the weekend. I told him all my housemates were busy (lie) but there was a film I was keen to see (lie) so was planning to go see it on my own a bit later on (lie).
My purposefully planted seed of a ‘damsel in distress’ hit the jackpot when he exclaimed he wanted to see the film too and wondered if I’d like to go with him? Bingo! Some boys are just too easy… We arranged to go for a coffee at the local cinema, midway between both our houses.
I ordered a vanilla latte (gay) with an extra shot (less gay) and he ordered a green tea (either he’s a vegetarian or a lesbian). We chatted away and flirted outrageously. I told anecdote after sexual innuendo after anecdote. I was on complete charm offensive.
Darren was about a year younger than me and in a more junior position in the same industry, so we shared work horror stories and advice. The sparkle in his deep brown eyes, admirable career ambition and perfectly trimmed facial hair was all incredible attractive and I was enjoying his company. I gulped down the last of my sweet caffeine and we headed over to the cinema. We flirted in the queue and agreed to share a box of popcorn (somehow, I paid) and we took to our seats. As the lights went down we continued talking like naughty school children, desperately hoping we wouldn’t get caught by other cinema goers. Then the bombshell dropped.
After a discussion about how very often friends with long term boyfriends rarely go out clubbing anymore, he dropped into conversation, ‘I just don’t get the whole “having a boyfriend thing”. I love being single, don’t you?’
There we have if folks, stupid Cupid’s arrow well and truly missed the mark on this one. In my slight shock and utter disappointment that this successful date was clearly not a ‘date,’ I very quickly mumbled something back. ‘Oh God yeah! I just LOVE being single. Being single’s great, yeah. I spent the rest of the film in silence, licking my wounds and kept it cool and breezy as I kissed him on the cheek goodbye.
If you took that single sentence out from the day, it was technically a date. There was coffee. There was flirting. There was even the bloody cinema. However, I somehow misread all the signals. Boys can be very confusing sometimes.