No mutual friends, apparently. I scroll through the photos. He looks nice, intelligent… why not? We match and start chatting, despite technology’s best efforts to lose my messages in the ether. I can’t know for sure that he’s not deleting them on receipt, but ever the optimist I apologize and send fresh replies.
He suggests drinks. I get flu. We reschedule. I’m forced to cancel once again, and the next day ring to apologize/reassure him I am a real (and female) person.
In the meantime, I’ve entered his first name into the search bar on Facebook, expecting to draw a blank. But there he is, top of the list, 1 mutual friend. Huh? And not a scary mutual friend either, but someone I added out of genuine Platonic – he’s gay – affection.
I click on my match’s name, and start reading. It’s one of those painstakingly detailed profiles, chockfull of likes and interests and groups and more likes. There’s nothing to dislike, it’s just a bit worrying how much I know about the guy. I’ll have to watch what I say.
The phone conversation goes without a hitch. He’s… great, but I don’t get too excited. He might be a dwarf to my 5’10, though the photos – and statistics – suggest this to be unlikely. More to the point, and this is irrespective of height, he might not pass the acid test.
Saturday arrives. Now that we’ve spoken, I’m less concerned about letting something slip, but still… And then there’s the blog. My track record on that front isn’t good.
I needn’t have worried. Occasionally I volunteer a comment or remark, or fragment of personal information, but for the most part I listen and nod and smile. I wouldn’t have minded (so much) had he looked like this:
Or if his chat had put
But he doesn’t, and it does not.
I pay my share – not bitter – and he walks me to the station. We say a hurried goodbye and I stride off in the direction of the ticket machines.
Through the crowd I see a familiar face, and my expression brightens. I run over and give my brother a gigantic hug.
‘This is a nice surprise!’ I say, giving his arm a squeeze. ‘I thought you were getting an earlier train!’ I rest my head on his shoulder. ‘I’m so happy to see you!’
And I don’t draw breath until we reach home.