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I didn't want to go in the first place. But my best friend, Sandra begged and pleaded until I felt I couldn't say no. Her boyfriend's best friend had split up with his long-term girlfriend. She wanted me to go on a double date to help cheer this friend up. I'd be doing them all a big favour. It would be fun. I'd enjoy it. He was such a nice guy. And so she went on, until in the end I gave in and agreed to go.
I didn't know my date or anything about him. He lived in the same nearby town as Sandra's boyfriend and had gone to a different school than us. There was no such thing as social media back then, so I asked around my school friends. Finally, I found someone who claimed to know this mystery man.
She told me that he smoked, and was very sporty and blonde. This did not bode well! I found smoking (and smokers) disgusting and, unlike Sandra, who had a thing for blondes, I had a very strong preference for dates with dark hair. As for sport, I skived PE lessons in the toilet block, perching on the toilet bowl whenever someone entered, to avoid being caught. I was always last in the cross country run (which I classed as what could have been a pleasant walk spoiled by having to run). I'd been dropped from the netball team and the hockey team. I'd even had to give up my place in a school performance because I couldn't co-ordinate my dancing! What's more, my date was apparently devastated about the very recent break-up with his ex. But I'd made a promise to my friend, and I couldn't back out.
I'd arranged to meet the three of them—my friend, her boyfriend and my date—outside a pub in the town where he lived. I was a bag of nerves as I got off the bus and walked down the street. Sandra was outside the pub waiting for me.
"There's a bit of a problem," she said.
"He hasn't turned up?" I tried to look disappointed, though secretly I was hoping I was right.
"Oh yes, he's here. It's just..."
I held my breath.
"... his er... his ex is here as well."
Sandra explained that my date's ex-girlfriend had found out about the double date. She realised she wanted him back so had come to the pub earlier to talk things out and... they were now a couple again.
So, Sandra, her boyfriend and I sat at the front of of the pub whilst my 'date' and his girlfriend sat at the back. I couldn’t help but keep looking over to check him out as I sipped my drink. He wasn’t my type in the least. His girlfriend clocked me looking him over. You've heard the expression... if looks could kill. Well!
You looking at me?
As we finished our drinks, I came up with a get-out plan which I shared with Sandra and her boyfriend. There was a disco at the other end of the town. I’d go to the disco (much more my scene than playing gooseberry in a smoky pub fending off bad vibes from a jealous ex). All our friends would be at the disco. I’d be fine to walk on my own, it was still early and light. Sandra and her boyfriend agreed and off I went.
I left the pub (and the lovebirds) to walk through the town to the disco. When I got there I laughed with my friends about my disastrous blind date then enjoyed dancing all night. By the end of the evening, I’d found a date of my own!