Dearest reader, have you ever found yourself at a fork in the road? Between a rock and a hard place? Found yourself literally teetering on the edge of making a really poor decision?
I found myself in one of these situations a few years ago. I was pretty fresh into the online dating world, a world in which I am pretty well versed in these days, and I had met five or so girls already to a mostly lukewarm reception. However I received a lovely message from a girl named April. April was lovely, we enjoyed wonderful conversations about everything, we had similar tastes, and we seemed like a pretty good fit. So naturally it was about the right time to attempt to ruin it all by meeting face-to-face.
We’d been talking for three weeks by the time we got around to meeting, I had a pretty big assessment due in week two of our chats, and she was busy mid-week, so we elected for a Sunday night dinner as our first date, I was thinking seafood, because as Olive Penderghast will attest:
So I gussy up like a Sim working hard on his political career, jump in my ride* and bounce out the door like any self respecting gentleman would do when he’s off to meet the future love of his life.
I pull up out the front, and hit her with the classic first date text, “Hi, I’m out the front.” I wait two minutes before I get a response inviting me inside as she’s not finished getting ready. I make my approach to the front door and hear someone stamping around inside. Knock knock. The door flings open and my date stands before me, “come in, I’m just finishing getting ready.” I took a step inside and I’m greeted by the largest dog I have ever seen. Think if Beethoven, from those movies you barely remember, became the scariest motherfucker on the block. However, evil Beethoven aside, I was greeted by something significantly smaller which terrified me more; a young blonde child sat in a booster seat in the middle of the lounge room floor. This is not the kind of Kinder Surprise I was familiar with, I was appropriately introduced by my date, “this is me daughter Hope,” who was far too young to understand what was going on, but I said hello regardless. Hope was the quietest child I had ever seen, yet April requested that we settle her down before we left. I’m not a parent, and I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t be equipped to be one yet, however I don’t think leaving a child home alone is ever a good option, so I agreed in the hope that she would have a babysitter or something coming around so we can abscond to our seafood dinner.
April then proceeds to stretch out on the lounge and turn on the TV, which already has Mamma Mia ready to go, with the play button highlighted. “This is Hope’s favorite, she goes to sleep really quickly.” I attempt to sit on the lounge, but foolish me, she won’t allow me to sit on the lounge as, “we will end up having sex if you sit up here with me, sit on the floor.” I’m not one to balk at the mention of sex, however, please lady if you think you can get into these jeans just by sitting on a lounge with me, you’re severely mistaken. I take my place between Evil Beethoven and Hope and prepare for a ten minute sojourn into the world of ABBA.
SOS is correct Pierce. The credits roll, and I am 3 escape strategies deep and I’m starting to fret. My seafood dinner is a distant memory, and I am tired and hungry. Not only did we watch the entirety of Sing-A-Long Mamma Mia, April was singing along to every single word, and saying every line as if this would heighten my enjoyment. It did not. After the entire credits roll, she springs up, flicks her daughter to wake her, bundles her up in a stroller, and says she’s going to the shops.
Perfect! An escape chance, I spring to my feet however she is already out the door with Evil Beethoven. I’m standing there with a toddler in a stroller in front of me, and despite my body telling me no, my mind was telling me yes.
I push the stroller out the door and catch up to her twenty metres down the road. It’s a ten minute walk to the closest service station where she proceeds to buy cigarettes and condoms. It’s at this point I’m wondering to myself if she smokes after sex, murder, or perhaps Smurder? We aren’t even talking, she is just walking her dog, texting and I’m pushing her child beside her. I finally drafted a great escape plan, wait until we get to the front yard, look at my watch and mention how late it is, dastardly, I know.
We get to the front yard, I mention how late it’s getting, and she walks off and leaves me with her child (see turtle above). I quickly follow in order to deposit the child in the lounge room and make a smooth and permanent exit. “I’ve really…”
“Shut the fuck up.” She pushes me towards her bedroom. “My parents just got home, lock the door and I’ll be in soon.” She went the attempted pash and I skillfully avoided it like the ninja I am, and locked the door behind me. The next three minutes are filled with the kind of dread I can only imagine victims in Scream feel as they are on the phone to Ghostface, killer not Killah, as her father is screaming at her for going in their room while they were out. Quiet as a church mouse I find myself finding a small door which leads to a tiny balcony. As my feet find the concrete I hear a pounding on the door. “Get your arse out here, nobody fucks anyone in my house!” I stare down at the drop below me, I’m on the second storey and only brick stands between freedom, or certain death at the hands of a father who produced the woman I had the displeasure of spending too long with one evening.
At that fork in the road I came to a realisation dear reader; online dating is weird and I should start a blog 8 years after this to retell this story. I take one deep breath and: