Sherbert on the shagpile

It’s taken me an awfully long time to get there but I’ve finally acknowledged that I don’t want to be on my own forever.  I like being in a relationship. But, acknowledging that and then doing something about it are two entirely separate things.

The last time I went on a date was over 25 years ago.  Shawaddywaddy weren’t quite in the charts but mobile phones had just been invented and shoulder pads were still all the rage.

I was never very good at dating and it has to be said I’ve had some pretty horrific first dates and been out with some ‘unusual’ characters.

Spin me baby yeah…

We arranged to meet at the local fair.  The dodgems were fine, the candy floss delicious, he looked handsome and I was excited about my very first ‘real’ date.

Trying not to look like a scaredy cat I agreed to go on the Waltzers with him.   Now I know those of you who are brave, windswept and interesting will consider this ride pretty tame but I’m no good at uppy downy round and round.  I knew that but put on a brave face.

Once the ride ended we walked off and as he helped me down the steps (what a gent) I promptly threw up all down the front of his trousers, splashing his brand new suede shoes.

Bless his heart he was awfully good about it and we dated for quite a while before I moved away.  Never took me to a fair again funnily enough.

Sherbert on the shag pile

My best friend set me up on a blind date with her boyfriends’ roommate. She told me he was handsome, rich and would show me a good time.

He messaged to say he was taking me to the most amazing restaurant and we’d be going on to see a spectacular sight.    Exciting so far right?

The date didn’t start terribly well, as my friend had told him I’d do anything for a sherbert dibdab, so the cheeky blighter gave me a six pack when he picked me up in his Ford Cortina with furry dice.

We drove for an hour before pulling up to a Bernie Inn, which served manky prawns with stale bread and then drove on to look at the lights of some energy plant outside Chester!  I’d worn my posh frock and everything!

Oh well, at least I ended up with some sweeties.  Every cloud and all that.  He went mental when I opened up one of the packets of sweets on the drive home and got sherbert on the shag pile carpet.

The wide mouth frog

Do you remember the book?  Do you remember the advert for Listerine with the chap with the flip top head?  That was my date.

I met him at a function where I was working behind the bar and he was one of the guests.  We chatted, it was dark, he seemed nice enough so I agreed to a date.

When he turned up he was not at all how I remembered.  I can only think he’d been sat on a bar stool and I hadn’t noticed as he’d bought a golfing umbrella with him which was taller than he was and he bore an uncanny resemblance to the wide mouth frog.

My friend and mother, who peeped their head round the door to see us off, burst into gales of laughter the minute they clapped eyes on the umbrella.  Poor chap!

Drop and give me twenty

I have mentioned before that I have a bit of a thing for a chap in a uniform.  It’s not all hormonal (well most of it is) but it’s because I admire what they stand for.  They’re more likely to be a team leader, someone you can rely on in a crisis.  In a disaster as everyone is running away they’re running in to help.  They’re fit, strong, reliable, obey rules and respect authority.  What’s not to like.

With that in mind, during the Iraq war, I became a bit of a penpal to a number of chaps in the military.  Doing my bit to cheer up the troops and all that.

The fact that I had a box under the bed with an envelope for each one is a minor matter.  The fact that each envelope featured their photograph, letters, vital statistics, a note of which service (and yes I covered all bases, I’m thorough like that, Army, Navy, RAF…).  I even had a rota for when they came home on leave to make sure nobody overlapped.  Awful aren’t I!

Anyway, one chap, can’t remember his name, told me he was in the Special Boat Service.  He sent home photos from the desert with tents and vehicles and him and all his friends in camo with their eyes blacked out.  I was thinking James Bond of course and got terribly excited when he came home on leave and asked me out on a date.

Well, he turned up in the shiniest shoes I’ve ever seen, a brand new shirt that hadn’t been pressed so still had all the crease lines where it had been folded in the packet and the highest waisted trousers imaginable.

At the time I lived in a very sleepy town.  As we walked to the restaurant he kept dropping to ground and rolling under cars.  When I asked him what on earth he was doing he told me it was to look for bombs and that I couldn’t be too careful.  Honestly, every five seconds I’d turn and he’d be gone, all I could see were the shiny shoes peeping out under Renault Meganes and manky old farmers Volvos.  He was like the old witch in Wizard of Oz.

Now he may well have been genuine, perhaps somebody slightly more naive would have been impressed, but I had dated a guy in the Paras for years and he never did anything as odd as that.  My dad was in the paras too and he certainly never felt the need to roll about the floor like a muppet.

I certainly seem to pick ’em!

So next on the agenda for ‘Project Me’ is getting me ready to dip a toe in the dating pool.  This could be interesting…


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