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Dating disasters: First date fibber

JO GILBERT
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2013

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I was in the fruit and vegetable department at a Vancouver supermarket when I saw this good looking, well-dressed man seemingly make a beeline for me.

I looked away and kept going about my task at hand. 

Then I heard a man say: "Excuse me, can you please tell me where the mushrooms are?"

I looked up. It was the good looking, well-dressed man. And he seemed to be speaking to me.

I had just collected a bag of mushrooms. He had obviously been watching me. I pointed and said: "Um, yeah... they're, ah, just... right... there."

Then he launched in to conversation. Being new in town and in need of friends, I chatted back. I was polite and friendly and so was he.

He asked for my number and said we should go for coffee some time.

He'd message me every few days and I would reply when the message required one. He kept this up and I eventually stopped replying.

Eventually I felt bad for ignoring him as he seemed genuinely nice. I needed friends and it had been a few weeks since we'd met.

We set up an afternoon coffee meeting and the day beforehand he shifted it to an evening drink due to "work". It was a date, my new work friend told me. It wasn't, I said, because I didn't class it as so.

I got ready for our meeting. I didn't put a great deal of effort in, after all, it wasn't a date.

As soon as I arrived at the dimly-lit bar and saw Joe, I realised it was a date. He kissed me on the cheek, we sat down, ordered drinks and it began.

He launched into the deep and meaningful questions. What made me truly happy? What did I want in life? What was I looking for? Where was I headed? What had brought me here? 

Through telling me about his diverse and wonderful United Nations rainbow of friends, he somehow painted himself as this amazing guy who could party all night, be a super-intelligent hotshot banker, give back to the community and be an wonderful, loving partner.

I wanted out after about five minutes. Especially after he grabbed my thigh and tried to pull me closer to him, declaring he couldn't hear me in the quiet, empty bar.

But I decided that at least an hour was polite. 

He continued laying it on. I thought it was time to drop a recent traumatising break-up into conversation - surely he'd run a mile after hearing about it, right? 

He didn't flinch. He compared it to a breakup of his. He understood me. He knew just how I was feeling.

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After a few minutes more, I called time. But I didn't just say that I needed to get going, thank him and leave it at that. Oh no. I said "I'm really sorry, but I have to get going now as I have to go clean."

My own words propelled me into a state of slight shock. Why hadn't I thought of my polite getaway line that didn't involve fibbing earlier? Too late now, it was out there, I had to run with it.

He laughed. He was flabbergasted. "Clean?!" he queried.

"Yes, sorry, when I was leaving my apartment my roommates were cleaning and I said I'd be back later to help as I've not really done anything since I moved in."

He insisted on walking me out and then asked me to go for a little wander down to the waterfront with him. Guilt over my terrible excuse made me agree to a short jaunt.

He repeatedly tried to hold my hand and I pushed his away and told him I didn't want to hold hands. Once down at the waterfront he tried to kiss me and, like a stroppy child, I turned my head away, pulled a face and told him I didn't want to kiss him. 

When we finally said our goodbyes, Joe said to me: "So, I know you've just gone through a breakup, but when do you think you'll be ready? I'd really like to be that guy for you."

I explained that it was something I couldn't really put a date or time on, but that I didn't think it'd be for a very, very, very long time. I thanked him for the drink and made my getaway.

When recounting the story to my work friend the next day, I said "Surely, if he has any shred of self-respect, he will not get in touch with me again?".

Within the hour, he'd sent me a text message. I ignored him.

He texted me again a couple of days later, so I sent him a polite, but honest message about how he had come on too strong.

It didn't go down well. His reply was angry and threw everything back on me.

Needless to say, I then avoided that supermarket for as long as I could.


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