Shit Date Number 4: Wildly Inappropriate & Mr Mummy Issues

Some people have manners. Others do not. Some people can read social cues. Others are wildly oblivious. I think of this when I remember that one time I tried speed dating. The night promised a group of tall men (180cm and taller to be precise) aged between 25 and 35. This suited me as I was a) in my twenties and b) a tall girl myself.


It was at a pub on Sydney’s fringe. The girls were all huddled together on one side of the room, the men on the other. Were we back at a primary school dance? Would a brave soul venture across the threshold? Or were we just waiting some Dutch courage and instructions?


Various participants could have used some instructions. Or some kind of manual. That would have avoided the disaster that befell some of my dates. They only lasted ten minutes apiece, but a couple left a lasting impression to say the very least!


We women took our spots at various seats. This was like an adult version of musical chairs except the men were going to be on the move and it was a bell – not the absence of music – that signalled it was time to move on. In hindsight, music would have been preferable, say Blur’s Song 2 if things weren’t going well or an extended version of Stairway to Heaven if you wanted to keep the chatter going.


The night started off without a hitch. I met a pleasant-enough electrician. A nice-but-rather-boring Merchant Banker. The talk was quite friendly and jovial. Until along came Mr Cocky (I now know why Mr Cocky isn’t a character in those Mr Men books… this guy was quite unremarkable!) So rather than keep a respectable, gentlemanly distance across the table as every other bloke had, this charmer decided to sidle up right next to me. I thought, “Oh goody, a space hog,” as he sat virtually on top of me. He was a letch in no uncertain terms.


When he found out I lived with my parents he pushed me to tell him what religion I was. With a cagey, “Raised Catholic” he replied, “You’re a good Catholic school girl, alright!” Oh dear. There isn’t enough holy water in the world to wash this stain out!


The date ended soon enough and then I met Mr Croat. He was a proud Croatian boy with jet black hair, brown eyes and a kind face. We exchanged names and he replied excitedly, “Oh, that’s my mother’s name!” Why on earth he’d think I’d want to be compared to his Mum is beyond me.


He proceeded to tell me he was a “Good Mummy’s boy.” He too lived at home. All this talk of his Mum made me feel like she was there, chaperoning our date. I couldn’t kick the idea that I’d need a permission slip from Mamma Croat for whenever I needed to see Baby Croat. So I left it here.


Speed dating had proven an interesting, if fruitless experience. It did serve as a lesson though, that when you’re dating you really should leave your parents at home. We’re not nine years old (although mentally, it’s questionable) and really, it’s a rather odd look…


Mr Croat's Mum?
Mr Croat’s Mum?

Shit Date Number 1: A Roman Holiday

Travel can be interesting when you’re dating. At the time, Mr Shit Date and I had been going out for a year and we went and booked ourselves a six-week European vacation. If I’m fair, the planning itself was probably the equivalent of around ten shit dates. Our travel agent was a large, young guy named Blair. He was the sort of dude who was really helpful when you wanted to know the best restaurants in a town but he was not so great with organisation, follow-through and other tasks one would normally assume a travel agent was actually good at.

In the lead-up to the trip I (Miss Shit Date) decided it would be a good idea to get organised and make a list with all of our accommodation to give to our families at home. Mr Shit Date laughed his arse off at his girlfriend’s organisation… until she picked up that there were two nights missing smack bang in the middle of the holiday. Without action this meant we’d have rough it with the birds. Did Mr Shit Date apologise? No, he went about creating his own list in Excel that was impossible to read and colour-coded. Yes, colour-coded!

Rome is the only place I have ever been told that my pre-paid hotel was overbooked. “How can they over-book a hotel?” I asked Mr Shit Date and the useless concierge. I assumed the hotel charges you for the night’s accommodation even if you cancel within 24 hours of your arrival date. We hadn’t cancelled. This wasn’t some comedy film à la Steve Martin and John Candy’s Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Where was our room?

It turns out our room for the night wasn’t at the hotel near the Trevi Fountain but in one across town in their sister hotel (AKA the one that nobody likes) near the Colosseum. But weren’t we planning to go the Vatican tomorrow? *Arrggghhh rolls eyes* The useless concierge gave us some meal vouchers to compensate us and said that our booking at the Trevi hotel would be fine from tomorrow night. We would later have trouble redeeming those meal vouchers but that’s a story for another day.

When our Roman holiday was due to finish we prepared ourselves to fly to Istanbul the following day. We wanted the concierge – a different guy this time who was an older, amiable Italian gent in an expensive Armani suit and a laugh that filled the room – to confirm our transfer to the airport. His name was Guido and he asked us for the transfer slip but I said “No! Couldn’t you just take a copy of the information?”
Guido looked unimpressed but remained jovial. He gave out a huge throaty laugh and then said with his hands, “How about-a I send you to Rio?”
Mr Shit Date got in on the action and laughed too. The joke became an ongoing one for us… Mr Shit Date would often jokingly threaten to send me to Rio if I got on his nerves. It was funny… sometimes.

But I got my own back. One day I was surfing ASOS and there was a woman’s white t-shirt available for sale in my size. And on it was emblazoned in big, capital letters: “I’D RATHER BE IN RIO!”