Doomed Date Diaries by Bethany Quinn
I watched as the taxi pulled up outside. He was right on time. A face briefly appeared at the window. It was Gavin- I was sure of it. The door opened a crack. I quickly scooped all my junk off the table and into my bag, checking to make sure my glass of Mexican Tempranillo was looking presentable. By the time I looked back he had clearly thought better of getting out. There was a moment's discussion with the driver, then the taxi simply drove away again into the night.
Great. Another date so utterly doomed that it hadn't even started. Was it cold feet? Or a sudden, catastrophic and irreversible loss of interest? Or maybe he just couldn't get his wedding ring off? I guess I'll never know. I waited another fifteen minutes to be certain, then I finished my wine in a single gulp and ordered a pint.
As a rule I don't normally drink pints on a first date. I have a famously small and excitable bladder. Nipping off to the loo every few minutes does rather spoil the moment. It can also give the impression that I've got some kind of urinary tract infection, which isn't entirely helpful. That said, there have been a number of occasions when my date has been so nipple-twistingly awful that I've used the urgent need for the bathroom as a ruse to nip outside and have a good laugh. Mostly at myself for being there voluntarily.
I prefer drinking pints because bottled beer is three times more expensive. I also have this annoying habit of peeling the labels off in thin, unbroken strips- which makes me look a bit obsessive and weird.
I also draw the line at anything blue, or any of those premixed concoctions that look, smell and probably taste like something you unblock drains with.
Pint in hand and with the rest of the evening seemingly to myself, I decided to play the 'how drunk would I have to be' game. First I cast a critical eye over the men in the bar. Then I worked out how many glasses of wine I would have to consume before I thought it was a good idea to take each one home.
I've only ever met one man who I thought would take more than a crate. I ended up going out with him for two years.