The Blind Date

The theme for my Writers Group this month was ‘Humour’. I’ve had a stab, but I’m not sure it’s my genre!!! Let me know what you think….!

Inelegantly heaving her 5 foot nothing self onto a highly fashionable, yet torturous bar stool, Chloe precariously perched her bottom in the cold, hard metal seat. She beckoned the waiter and ordered a double vodka tonic. It was much needed, she thought to herself as she silently cursed her friends. They had forced her to pour her curvy figure into a dress so tight it was clear the designer considered breathing a privilege. Closing her smokily made up eyes momentarily, she inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly and nervously through highly glossed, pursed lips.

This date had to go well. This was her last chance to have a date to take to her own 35th birthday party. Her mother, God love her (because often he was the only one), was well meaning, but her fervent desire for a grandchild was become less sweet and more of a demented obsession with each passing year. Chloe cringed inwardly as her mind betrayed her and replayed the memory of her mother’s champagne induced rant at Christmas. Completely bladdered and apparently unaware of being in the presence of well, anyone, she had regaled the last of the partygoers with a drunken monologue detailing just what her daughter was doing wrong in her (non) love-life. How she had put her career first, chased off every man who’d come near her and to round it all off she’d launched into her grand finale; discussing the health, or otherwise of her only daughter’s aging reproductive system. She had stood listening in frozen horror from the hallway absolutely and totally mortified. Thankfully the job lot had been just as pissed as her mother and so by morning, memory recall had been hazy at best. A repeat performance needed to be avoided at all costs. Her options were clear; either ban alcohol (dull), cancel the party (no fun) or take a date.

Option three had seemed the lesser of three evils at the time but Chloe actually liked her single life. She had a great job at a publishing firm in Central London where she was actually paid to read. She dealt with authors and attended swanky launch events and award dinners. Her flat, all hers, was a dream. Wonderful views of the Thames, close to the West End and within walking distance of the office which offered the enviable opportunity to avoid being pressed intimately into a stranger’s armpit during rush hour.

Her life was actually amazing.

Dating and Chloe did not go hand in hand. Her vivid imagination worked overtime as she fervently assessed the character of each date as they spoke (to her count she’d dated at least three sociopaths, an aspiring bigamist, two serial killers and a solicitor). Her last date, now over a year ago, had been the crème de la crème of dating crap. She’d met a man online, they’d chatted and he’d seemed somewhat normal and so they had arranged to meet. She’d been a teeny bit excited, and so she’d treated herself to the most gorgeous pair of heels. They were the most beautiful shoes she had ever owned. Black with shiny gold detail, insanely high and even more insanely expensive. Teamed with her favourite black dress, she’d looked stunning. She’d tottered as fast as her heels could carry her to the bar, sat herself down, ordered a drink and waited.

And waited some more.

30 minutes and two drinks later he finally made an appearance. He was probably handsome under the crinkled suit and red sweaty face, but it was hard to call. He ordered himself a drink (hello, where was her offer of a drink!?), failed to apologise and then started talking at her. He clearly loved himself and was apparently the ‘shizzle’ at everything. Finally, he looked at her and drew breath. He tipped his head to the side as if seeing her for the first time, and one side of his mouth drew up into a smile he clearly thought was seductive as he asked, quite disturbingly seriously, “So, what’s your favourite sexual position?”.

Chloe had been rendered speechless. Mortified, she had claimed a female emergency and had hastily made a strategic dash to the ladies. Standing up, she had collected her bag with all the poise she could muster, left her coat (the sacrifice was worth it to avoid raising suspicion of a date and dash) and had marched off to the toilets. Entering, she had counted to fifteen Mississippi’s before exiting swiftly, dashing around the edges of the room, using patrons as human shields, and crawling where necessary to avoid being spotted. He was clearly one for the sociopath list and confrontation must be avoided at all costs. Reaching the door, and with victory in sight, she had ran. Ran as fast as she could. Freedom was in sight.

Sadly however, four and a half inch heels, however fabulous and expensive, are of little assistance during a speedy escape attempt. She had only got as far as the end of the street when her heel had got lodged in a drain, sending her flying forwards. The guilty shoe remained left in the drain whilst its sister was flung into the road, very soon to be spectacularly squished by on oncoming double decker. Propelled by the speed of her escape and severely destabilised by the two double vodkas, she had stumbled and tripped forward, finally coming to a rest in an ungraceful and painful heap, skirts flowing above her head and knickers on show (thankfully, her best pair). Swarmed by onlookers who in fairness at least attempted to hide their amusement, she had been blue lighted to the nearest hospital where she’d experienced the worst pain of her life to date. Her right arm was declared broken and placed in plaster for 8 weeks. Her left arm, meanwhile was free to negotiate the required swipe to delete her dating profile for good.

She was perfectly content with her life and quite happy not to have a significant other. But no. Her mother, and it seemed her friends too, seemed to think that she needed a man in her life. And so here she was, dragging herself to the latest ‘cool’ bar in Soho; once again subjected to fashionable yet torturous seating awaiting the arrival of a blind date, whom her friend Milly had promised her was ‘absolutely perfect’.

She sighed and checked her watch. Late. What a great first impression.

What was the big deal about being in a relationship anyway? Suddenly you become part of a pair, joined at the hip and finding your sense of identity being smushed up and muddled with someone else. Her one foray into the whole boyfriend/girlfriend scene had left her with a messy flat and a bad case of thrush.

Then, suddenly the crowd parted and there, walking towards her was the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. Suave in an immaculately tailored suit which could only have come from Savile Row, he wore his hair short on the sides, but with the longer length on top oh so carefully combed and set to the side. He locked his eyes on hers and practically glided to her table, some sort of angelic apparition. Up close she could see his smooth, slightly tanned skin and his deep brown eyes boring down into her own.

‘Chloe?’ he asked smoothly, with a slight smile appearing on his perfect face.

She hesitated, just for a second before quickly knocking the rest of her drink back and standing to her full height.

‘No, sorry’. She said flashing her widest smile, before turning with all the sass she could muster. ‘My life, my way,’ she thought to herself, mentally pushing away the expectations of others once and for all as she sashayed out the door, headed home, alone.

10 thoughts on “The Blind Date

  1. I like it – well done! The most humorous bits are about her dating disasters but the whole tone is amusing. Many authors prefer not to use adverbs as ‘less is more’ when it comes to description, so I would suggest cutting some of these – your meaning will still be clear.

    Like

      1. I’m starting an MA in Creative Writing in a few weeks and I think it’s going to be a steep learning curve – but I am so excited! What genre is your novel? I’m sticking with short stories for a little while – a novel seems huge at this point!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I don’t know Emma – this might be your genre. I sniggered at several points during this! I especially like how you included a solicitor in beside the psychopaths 😂 Really enjoyed your short story!

    Like

  3. Hi.
    I read your piece and liked it so took the liberty of editing it for you.
    Heaving her 5-foot-nothing self onto a fashionable, yet torturous bar stool, resembling more of a bear trap, Chloe sat and waited.
    After a moment she beckoned the waiter over and ordered a double vodka and tonic.
    Much needed, she thought to herself, as she took a sip and raised a sarcastic toast to her friends. They’d insisted she pour her curvy figure into a dress so tight it was clear the designer considered breathing a privilege.
    Closing her smokily made-up eyes, she ordered herself to relax, taking slow and controlled breaths through glossy pursed lips.
    This date had to go well, that was the problem. She either found someone to accompany her to her own 35th birthday party next week, or face her mother.
    God love her (because often he was the only one who did), she was well meaning, but her fervent desire for a grandchild was becoming less sweet and more of a demented obsession with each passing year.
    Chloe cringed as her mind replayed the memory of the champagne induced rant at Christmas. Completely bladdered and unaware of being in the presence of well, anyone, her mother had regaled the last of the partygoers with a drunken monologue detailing just what her daughter was doing wrong in her (non-existent) love-life. How she had put her career first, chased off every man who’d come near her and to round off her slurred soliloquy, she’d dissected her only daughter’s aging reproductive system.
    From the hallway Chloe had stood listening in horror.
    Thankfully the job lot had been just as pissed as her mother and so, by morning, memory recall had been hazy at best.
    But at all costs a repeat performance at the birthday party had to be avoided.
    Her options were thus clear: ban alcohol (dull), cancel the party (no fun), or find a date.
    The third option had seemed the lesser of three evils at the time but Chloe hadn’t been involved in the dating scene for months. Her life was on an even keel and so why rock the boat?
    She had a great job at a publishing firm in Central London where she was actually paid to read. She dealt with authors and attended swanky launch events and award dinners. Her flat, all hers, was a dream with wonderful views of the Thames, just a stone’s throw from the West End, and within walking distance to her office so she could avoid rush hour and the commuter’s thrill of being bumped into a stranger’s armpits.
    Her life was actually amazing, when she came to think about it.
    And to be fair to herself she had tried to find a match. But at each bar, or restaurant and coffee shop, as she profiled each new arrival she’d concluded not one of them could be diagnosed as being sane let alone marriage material (to her count she’d met at least three sociopaths, an aspiring bigamist, two serial killers and a solicitor).
    But even these had not topped her last and final date.
    Just under a year ago she’d met someone online. They’d chatted and he’d seemed somewhat pleasant and normal and didn’t send her explicit pics of himself (always a good sign) and with no red flags she’d agreed to meet.
    She’d been a teeny bit over excited, and so she’d treat herself to a new pair of heels. They were the most beautiful shoes she had ever owned. Black with shiny gold detail they were insanely high and insanely expensive. Teamed with her favourite black dress, she’d looked stunning. She’d tottered as fast as her heels could carry her to the bar, sat herself down, ordered a drink and waited.
    And been kept waiting…
    45 minutes and two drinks later he finally made an appearance. He might have been handsome under the crinkled suit and red sweaty face, but it was hard to tell.
    He ordered just himself a drink, failed to apologise, and then started talking AT her. He clearly loved himself and was the ‘shizzle’-whatever that meant. Finally, he looked at her and drew breath. He tipped his head to the side as if seeing her for the first time, and one side of his mouth drew up into a smile he clearly thought seductive as he asked: “So, what’s your favourite sexual position?”.
    She’d been rendered speechless.
    Claiming a female emergency she’d grabbed her handbag and made a strategic dash to the ladies, leaving her coat behind but figuring the sacrifice was worth it to substantiate her narrative.
    Inside the Ladies she’d counted out fifteen Mississippi’s before daring to leave. She’d brushed past tables, used patrons as human shields, hid behind support posts and even crawled along the carpet when necessary to avoid being spotted.
    He was clearly going straight to the top of her Narcissistic list and confrontation had to be avoided at all costs. Reaching the restaurant door, and with victory in sight, she had ran. Ran as fast as she could. Freedom only moments away….
    Sadly however, four and a half inch heels, despite looking fabulous, are of little assistance during an escape attempt. She made it as far as the end of the street when her heel lodged in a drain, sending her sprawling across the pavement. The contents of her handbag exploded outwards like a party popper. The guilty shoe remained lodged in the drain whilst its sister spun into the road, bouncing off the tarmac before being squished by a red double decker.
    Meanwhile Chloe found her skirt had jammed over her waist, revealing to the amused passing public an unrestricted view of her legs and knickers (thankfully, her best pair but now sadly, completely shredded and ruined).
    So serious were her injuries she’d been blue lighted to the nearest hospital. More painful than losing the shoes, her right arm was declared broken and placed in plaster for 8 weeks. Fortunately her left arm was free to swipe and permanently delete her dating apps.
    So a single life seemed preordained. And easier. And cheaper. And less painful.
    But no.
    Her mother and her friends seemed to think she needed a man in her life. And so here she was, her bum turning numb in a ‘cool’ Soho bar, once again subjected to the torturous wait of a blind date, whom her friend Milly had promised was ‘absolutely perfect’.
    She sighed and checked her watch. She took another sip off Vodka. She needed to pee but didn’t want to abandon her post in case he arrived.
    She shook her head at how cringing this whole charade was. The fuss. The nuisance of it all. She could be home now in her jim jams with a book on her lap sipping hot chocolate. And what was the big deal about being in a relationship anyway?
    There you are an independent solo spirit, free to come and go as you please, when suddenly you become part of a pair, joined at the hip, your sense of identity smushed and mashed with someone else like two pieces of different coloured plasticine.
    Her one foray into the whole relationship scene nearly seven years ago now had left her with a messy flat and thrush.
    She was jolted out this last itchy thought by the crowd parting and walking towards her the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. He was wearing an immaculate tailored suit which could only have come from Savile Row. His hair was short on the sides, but with a longer length on top and oh so carefully combed and set to the side. He locked eyes with her and glided over, some sort of angelic apparition.
    ‘Chloe?’ he asked, his voice as smooth as Whisky, a smile of a challenge appearing on his perfect tanned face.
    She hesitated just long enough to knock back her drink and stand to her full height.
    “No, sorry,” she said, smiling and turning with all the sass she could muster.
    ‘My life, my way, mother,’ she muttered to herself, pushing out the bar door and heading home.
    ‘From now on it’s just me and my second best pair of knickers.’

    Like

    1. Thanks, that’s very kind. Some great ideas in there. Hopefully my writing has progressed a little as I wrote this before I started my MA. It’s such a learning curve!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s