Stand-up Comedy

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When the surgeon stands me up, several thoughts go through my mind:

1. Have I really got to the grand old age of 29 without being able to spot the timewasters?

2. Maybe he’s been caught up in a really long surgery…

3. Really long surgeries are like kidnap, sudden death and being trapped under something heavy.

4. This time I’m going to block him using an app that doesn’t tell me when he’s tried calling.

The next day, I’m holed up in the office til late. As I approach the station, a busker strikes up a soulful rendition of Let It Be. I stop to listen, rooting around in my bag for my phone. The new all-singing, selectively-blocking messaging app came highly recommended by Which. I open it to see, in the corner of the screen, a shield symbol, and beside it a small number ‘2’. Disbelieving – and perhaps a little relieved – that yet another developer has misread the brief and interpreted ‘blocking’ as ‘putting the offending messages into a separate inbox so they’re impossible to miss’, I tap the symbol.

The first text expresses outrage at being blocked on WhatsApp.

The second informs me he’s just got out of a 14-hour operation.

I tell Beatrice.

‘That’s hot,’ she sends back, reading my mind.

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Feelin’ Good

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CC Image courtesy of fedfil on FlickrI’d decided not to tell Beatrice after what happened with the last few Tinder prospects. I would wait until it was a Thing, and in the meantime pigs would start flying.

‘I dunno,’ I say to her, over supper on Tuesday, ‘I – I’ve just got a good feeling about him.’

The good feeling continues into Wednesday, and Thursday, by which time we’ve taken things to the next level (WhatsApp) and fixed on Saturday for drinks.

Thursday afternoon, without thinking, I open up his dating profile. To be met with entirely new pictures and – I stare – a new tagline.

That evening I go dancing, because you can’t dance and check your phone at the same time.

(TO BE CONTINUED)
CC Image courtesy of Bellevue Fine Art Repro (Scott) on Flickr

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What Do I Know?

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CC Image courtesy of Diamond Hoo Ha Man on FlickrIf an alien landed in London and stole my phone (it’s a big ‘if’ – I’ve got a budget Motorola) it would probably think my surname was Tinder and that I was really good at keeping in touch with my immediate family. It might also wonder why all these conversations reached fever pitch before coming to an abrupt end. It might not know how to operate a mobile phone.

After five Tinder dates in as many weeks I’ve learnt a few things:

  1. Meet. Your chemistry might be electric over text/Whatsapp but if you – or they – fail the acid test in person, that’s that.
  1. Meet on a week night. It’s much easier to curtail a mid-week date if you’re not feeling it…
  1. … which you probably won’t be. Keep your expectations low.
  1. Don’t contact your ex – especially not the one you met on Tinder – immediately after an underwhelming date. Actually don’t contact your ex, period.
  1. Split the tab, unless he absolutely insists. But otherwise, go Dutch. He’ll respect you for it and you won’t feel any guilt when there’s no follow-up. Plus, well, it’s the 21st century – why should the guy pay?
  1. You’ll decide pretty early on if the stranger who just said hello to you outside the tube station is someone you could kiss or get naked with. Whatever the verdict there is no polite way to get out of the ensuing date (see #2).
  1. After a run of average dates you might start to question your ability to know when you really like someone.

The day after date #5 I go dancing and run into an old, newly single acquaintance. He’s wearing turquoise and a broad grin and greets me like an old friend. I spend all of the next day hungover with this big dopey smile on my face.

Trust me, you’ll know.

CC Image courtesy of Pulpolux !!! on Flickr

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