Losing your car keys isn't an ideal start to a first date.
Friday night's Taranaki on a Date was with 24-year-old Troy Weston and it had the makings of a disaster date.
All was going to plan for Troy to get away early on Friday to prepare his vegetarian picnic but a hold up at work meant he was running late and turned up at Fitzroy a bit of a flustered mess.
After an apology, not that I'd been waiting that long, we headed down to the beach for a swim.
Being such a cracker of a Taranaki day the water was incredibly warm and we bobbed about in the sea and talked about how the dating idea had come about.
Troy had started to relax a bit by now and I was excited for the night ahead as the conversation flowed easily.
We headed back up to the car to grab the picnic when a look of panic swept across Troy's face.
He had left his car keys on the beach. We both headed back to the area we thought we had been earlier and kept our eyes peeled while we searched for a black set of keys in black sand - not an ideal situation.
After only five minutes Troy came up trumps and he nervously laughed about how awkward that could have been.
Next stop was the picnic and Troy attempted on our way there to give me a lesson in skateboarding.
It's fair to say balance isn't a strength of mine but Troy did a great job of hiding how entertained he was by the whole situation and even tried to tell me I almost had the hang of it. Bless the boy for being so nice.
Troy had bought vegetarian sushi and made pizza and an awesome salad using tomatoes from his own garden.
Pretty impressive as far as I was concerned.
We spent a bit of time talking about dating in New Plymouth and Troy admitted he hadn't really given it a go but not because he wasn't interested.
He said he thought it was hard to meet people as he wasn't into the pub scene but he took opportunities when they presented themselves - hence his interest in Taranaki on a Date.
Troy said he didn't have a perfect woman in mind but values honesty and figures having the same interests are quite important.
Troy is right into snowboarding and says there's nothing he enjoys more than being on the mountain with mates doing what he loves.
With passions in mind Troy picked up his guitar and played and sang a few songs he had written.
Troy nailed it and I'm not afraid to admit a guy that can sing and play guitar is pretty high up my list of sexy talents.
He was really good and I made sure he knew it.
As the sun started to set we headed back to the beach and went for a stroll.
This is one of my favourite times to be at the beach and as far as first dates go and showcasing Taranaki at its best the challenge was well and truly achieved.
Troy's date certainly had an entertainment factor, even if it wasn't intentional, and hiccups aside it was the most fun I'd had with a near-stranger in a long time.
The night ended with a kiss on the cheek and an offer of a second date some other time...I certainly haven't ruled it out.
Troy's score for the date - 10
Jo's score for the date - 9
- Taranaki Daily News