I ran into a failed date
It’s a cold, grey and busy Thursday evening out. Business as usual in the place I insist to call home, well.. until they try to draft me into world war 3. And like routine I am in a bar celebrating the naked day of a colleague while simultaneously trying to encourage him to drown it out of his memory.
The bar is near work, so I tend to leave my sack of gym gear in the office, just in case the alcohol cons me into forgetting it in the bar, this has happened before.
And like routine I am in a bar celebrating the naked day of a colleague while simultaneously trying to encourage him to drown it out of his memory. The bar is near work, so I tend to leave my sack of gym gear in the office, just in case the alcohol cons me into forgetting it in the bar, this has happened before.
As the long arm of time strikes 11 I decide to get my stuff from the office, on the way back into the bar I spot a girl with a short, quirky but cool hair cut intently listening to a member of the opposite sex. I tell myself it’s probably her brother. For a moment the task at hand is inconsequential, I notice the shape of her profile as she takes a trained sip from her glass of wine, her gaze steadily focus towards this man. I’m starting to think he’s not her brother.
I join my entourage as they throw joy and merriment across a long table meant to look handmade,
a look quite common in areas of London where old furniture and incomplete plumbing is now considered trendy.
I examine the surface of the table while attempting to process the familiarity of the short haired woman, then it hits me, like a black glob of paint hits a pure white sheet. She was a failed date from about three years ago. We went on several dates before she dropped my ass into a well of confusion, disappointment and what ifs.
I remember she was one of my first major pitfalls when it came to failed dates. A time when the idea of dating was filled with positive thoughts and enthusiasm as well as the overthinking of messages, the anxious nerves and the oh so spiky rejection.
Although I didn’t feel a shred of fate or any sense of longing, I did wonder what it would be like to complicate her and my evening by saying hello. I tell one of my work colleagues like I’m looking for a catalyst, some external motivation to put myself in a precarious position, and I get it when my colleague utters the words “OMG go say hi”, I respond with a “Should I?!” like the idea of saying hi was never in my mind.
I get up and begin my mission, trying not to betray myself with thoughts of how awkward the whole thing could end up being.
I figure I’d start the conversation the British way, with an apology.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt you guys, but could I ask, is your name [Her Name]”
She looks at me for a moment, confusion weighing down on her forehead before her eyes light up like she just worked out the answer to a tricky math question.
“OMG [My Name]!!”
I’m completely taken aback that she even remembers my name while I had to refresh my memory of hers by examining old content from failed dates. Old content held on my phone from the Whatsapp graveyard called… The Archive section.
To add to my surprise she gets up and invites me to a hug with open arm gestures. I comply still surprised that my introduction is so well received. After a minute or three of niceties she introduces me to her table partner, who in fact turns out to actually be her “partner”. He hasn’t given me a funny look yet for being chummy with his girlfriend and I decide that I should probably move the conversation along to its conclusion before I test his patience. She mentions how nice it was for me to say hello and that it was really nice to see me, I disguise the need to ask why why and return a nod and similar statement.
I head back to my table and attempt to shove all the pent up adrenaline back into a bottle too small to contain it, almost like trying to keep a beach ball underwater. When my colleague asks how it all went down, I lift my shaking hand and say “pretty good!!”
But why even talk to a failed date?!?
You might be asking why I went and did something so unnecessary, I guess it’s because I hate the idea of not knowing, of letting opportunities pass by because I couldn’t bring myself to say or do something as simple as saying Hi.
It wasn’t like it ended on a terrible note, she wasn’t interested and I accepted her rejection and moved on…eventually. I guess I just felt like I wanted to know what would happen if I re-introduced myself.
I find it therapeutic to look back on situations that happened than wonder about situations that could have happened.
Life’s for living right, that and interrupting the private time of couples.