Friday, March 23, 2012

Date 2 with C: are younger men the way ahead?

...but with less smile (same hair and chins though)

To recap, C is the hot young banker that I insulted and kissed about a month ago and hadn't seen since, due to his acquisition of various illnesses (or excuses!). In the midst of the week from hell, by 9am on 'date day' I just wanted to be in my bed, alone, so I texted C warning I felt like Grotbags and was happy to reschedule if he would prefer better odds on me being good company. Sweet response: entirely up to me but he hoped he could put a smile on my face or at least offer wine and a friendly face to talk to (I think he meant ‘at’ there). Encouraged, I acquiesced.

Dinner was at a tapas bar in Canary Wharf. I had never been out in the area as I was harbouring the suspicion that it was a bit sterile and - well - full of bankers. The restaurant looked out over the river, and I sincerely tried to unseat the misgiving that I was an extra in a sanitised Disney banker-campus. The food was fantastic: cheese board, smoked beans, patatas bravas, artichoke stew, breads, chilli jam, aubergine and goats cheese crackers, pimentos, wine... C was attentive and kindly, summoning more interest in my week than he can possibly have felt (it was certainly more interest than I felt).

He had over-ordered, and we couldn't eat it all. C intimated that it had taken him a while, but he had learnt that it was ok to not eat everything on your plate. I nodded sagely, but really, is it ok to be over-indulgent, extravagant and wasteful as a policy, just because you have the money? Isn't it right to feel at least a small pang of guilt about sending a plate's worth of good food to the rubbish bin? Had I been alone I'd have eaten every last bit (without pleasure, of course!), asked to take it away (the sort of places I eat wouldn't mind) or would simply (and more probably) have ordered less.

We went outside and deliberated between going to another bar, or, he proposed, going back to his. Lured by the prospect of the boat ride, romantic and exotic, I agreed to the latter, but then - massive disappointment - he surreptitiously called a taxi. I'd have preferred to have taken the night bus, if not the boat (if I'm sans suitcases, I just don't like taxis), and besides, this invalidated the decision to go back to his at all. Not that I could tell him my decision was based on such a Lolita-esque motive! I suppose he'd seen me wavering and decided to mobilise me before I changed my mind.
Did I want to get off? Unsure.

His house was modern, nice, but rather a mess. Half a foot of receipts and chocolate wrappers covered most surfaces. Dust the others. He needs a clean up. Or - as he said - a cleaner. Considering he's so successful it had more than a whiff of a student flat (not in the literal sense of whiff though, thankfully). Hairgrips from a "friend" he is going on holiday with this week were on the table. For some reason I didn't mind though. He's too straightforward to seem at all shifty, like S. Too innocent to be manipulative. It all seemed simple, easy and extremely pleasant. The one thing it didn't seem though, was entirely natural. The evening was proceeding in a rather clunky manner, as if we were doing a first read-through on a script. He was doing/saying all the right things, but on reflection (and maybe only because he's not entirely slick, which is surely a good thing?) the whole evening seemed a little soulless.
Stolen from Ken Dodd

But that was an analysis for later in the week. At the time I was more concerned by the leather sofa (squeaky not comfy, why do people buy them?), and the rather too many loud stripy shirts in his wardrobe (presumably selected to clash with his loud stripy scarf). But of course, you can always get a man out of his clothes... And C had a very acceptable physique!

And here, dear reader, I shall draw a veil over proceedings. Except to say I woke up on his shoulder, having dreamt about icebergs on the Thames and running across London in only a towel (??), and had a large weeping blister on my foot...

In the morning, he warmed me a towel on his heated towel rail and lent me some clean clothes to wear home (thus sparing me the sweaty evening dress walk of shame, and indicating, I suppose, that he intended to see me again). Then he held my hand on the bus. Which was nice.

So how does C compare to S?  Well, the fact his biological clock isn't ticking means he is much more laid back, and he doesn't have an immature yet panic-ridden turbo-drive to find The One. Which frees up more energy for simply being pleasant, uncomplicated, affectionate company. And compared to P? I know he isn't going to make maudlin clutches at my feet if I don't reply to his texts quickly enough. This is also a bonus. At this rate I will need to seriously revise my policy about younger men. I think this is what my neighbour meant when she advocated getting a "Boy Toy". More enthusiasm + less baggage = happy date.

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