Will the Designer wants to meet up for our second date, despite the fact we’ve already slept together. This is novel, so I agree.
We decide on a Wednesday evening, because it’s the only time we’re both free. By about 4 o’clock he hasn’t told me where to meet him, or what time he’s going to be free. This begins to aggravate me. Perhaps I’m not helping, by not being very decisive, but I want an assertive man. Dithering doesn’t turn me on.
He finally calls me at 7pm, just as I’m beginning to seethe. He’s sent me links. I’ve told him just to pick one, he doesn’t. I’ve agreed to several. He still doesn’t make a choice. I tell him despairingly to just make a choice. So he chooses barbecue food, and specifically to go to HotBox.
Venue – HotBox
Location – Commercial Street
Eating/Drinking – Barbecue food
Atmosphere – Fantastic food, difficult to eat on a date without looking like an absolute mess. Eat the beef short rib though. Even if you don’t get another date with the hottest boy/girl you’ve ever met, it will still of been worth it.
Service – Excellent
Top Tip – If you’re a vegan or a veggie, don’t even bother. This place has nothing for you.
I meet Will the Designer outside Moorgate tube station. He’s late again. He’s picked up on the fact that I’m annoyed by his behaviour and he keeps probing me to find out why I’m annoyed. This annoys me even more. I try to shake off the annoyance and enjoy the evening. He takes my hand and we walk through the city, talking more easily about what he’s been working on and discussing the things I’ve been doing at work that day. We arrive at HotBox, and we’re seated on the high stools by the door, which is better for a date because we sit with our backs to the rest of the patrons.
As the waitress takes our coat, Will the Designer takes things from bad to worse. He comments on how smartly dressed I am (of course I am, I work in the city), and says
“We don’t look like we belong together.” Which, if Will the Designer had a sense of humour, he could of just about pulled off. He has no sense of humour. I’m left feeling awkward and judged, and as though I’m not quite as cool as him because I didn’t go into advertising.
I don’t want to drink this evening. When I suggest that I might order a soft drink, Will the Designer is gracious at first but then complains about the cost of a soft drink. Like that’s going to be the most expensive thing this evening.
This feeling persists throughout our (delicious) meal. It is incredibly difficult to eat ribs daintily, which is an issue. As a feminist, I’m not going to say that women should make a point of ensuring that they are always looking at their Stepford-best at all times. I just think that all people, male and female, when on a date (particularly in the crucial early dating stage) should make an effort to look their best. If you’re not making an effort in the first few dates, there is a problem. So just don’t take me somewhere that either of us have to pick up and start gnawing on a rib, please.
We split the bill, and Will the Designer asks me, “Is that OK?” Uhm, yes. Although just to be clear, I definitely did not eat half of the meal.
The following day I recommended this restaurant to a colleague who was meeting a friend from school though. It’s perfect for that.
We leave the restaurant about nine thirty, I’m tired and sober. We walk hand in hand back to the station. Almost out of boredom, I invite Will the Designer to stay with me. He accepts, and we run to catch a train.
“You made me run so I wouldn’t have time to think about it, didn’t you?” he teases
He should consider himself lucky.
On the train back to my place, Will the Designer regales me with stories from Sperm Wars, whereby he concludes that all women are essentially looking for an alpha male to impregnate them, and then a beta man to trick into raising the other man’s child. I’m not a fucking cuckoo. To avoid smashing him through the carriage window, I laugh along with what he is suggesting. But it is essentially a flawed theory: when I challenge him, his answers are dissatisfactory. I also get the impression he doesn’t enjoy being challenged.
It is interesting how people reveal their true colours when they get a bit more comfortable. Throughout the course of our conversation, Will the Designer has revealed that I was married. He is now obsessed with finding out more about this, like a spaniel with a gravy bone ferreting around underneath the washing machine and unable to quite get at it. He’s beginning to piss me off, particularly when we are walking from the tube station and he keeps saying (in reference to Sperm Wars),
“Admit it, you just want a baby don’t you?”
“No, Will, why would I want that?”
“You just do, though, don’t you? You’d love a baby.”
“What, and ruin my career and get another being to look after? Why would I want that?”
“You just want a baby though, right?”
What the fuck is wrong with him? By the time I get to my front door, I’m having some doubts about the feasibility of this evening, but I err on the positive side. I’m reporting this negatively, but much of our conversation was positive… I think. I try to apply a positive mental attitude.
The positive mental attitude is almost immediately broken when, in the kitchen and largely unannounced, Will the Designer tries to push me to my knees to give him a blow job. I don’t point-blank refuse, but not far off. We have relatively cursory sex after that, and in the morning I don’t wake him before I leave for work.
He doesn’t text me, or let me know by carrier pigeon that he has vacated my flat. As the hours pass, my dislike for Will the Designer increases.
I go for lunch with a colleague and relay this story to her. She can’t believe that he would of woken in my flat, let himself out, and not contacted me to let me know that my property is secured correctly. She’s right to suggest that this is completely out of order. She suggests that I message him, so I do:
“Did you make it to work, or are you still in my bed?”
I muse that I’m unsure if this new radio-silence is related to him finding out about the divorce situation. Even if it is, this behaviour is shoddy.
He replies, many, many hours later. He says he is still working, and that he’s tired because I had to get up early. There’s just no excuse for such self-centred behaviour.
Goodbye, Will the Designer. goodbye.