It’s 19:25 and you’re meeting at guy at 20:00 in a pub that’ll take no more than 15 mins to get to. Picture the scene – a bit of tan on the legs, the face is painted, hair is straightened (or curly, whatever floats your boat), outfit is picked and most likely on and you’re brushing your teeth for the final time. This will be followed by another check of the eyeliner, to make sure it’s as symmetrical as it can be (though it’s never 100%).
The clock strikes half past and you check your phone for the fifth time to make sure you’ve booked the cab for 19:45. You have. Deep sigh of relief. Are the shoes comfortable enough? Would the black wedges be better? A quick try of the black wedges and you are happy to revert to the original choice. You look in the mirror and try talk the nerves out of yourself. It’s all going to be fine, sure you know the guy and won’t it only be chats over a few drinks? Keep calm (although inside you are sick with nerves – as is always the case with dates). It’s 19:40, your phone beeps and you thank God for taxi drivers who appreciate punctuality.
Except it isn’t from your cab driver. It’s from your date. He’s running late. Very late. Wait for it… He’s playing a round of golf…. in Wicklow! You’re in Dublin knowing that his “I should be there in an hour” counts for nothing if he’s not even finished his round yet. You cancel your cab. Another text from ‘Tiger Woods’, he’s finishing up a round, could you make it for 21:30 instead? 21:45 to be on the safe side, quickly follows it.
At this point, there is a need to declare that if you are a sports fan who has played sports and been a fan all your life you will appreciate the next bit. Let’s say you’ve been lucky to have watched games and events in some of the most iconic grounds in the world, including the dearly beloved Croke Park. And let’s suppose you were only in Croke Park the weekend before, as it happens, to watch Dublin play a league game against Kerry. The game kicked off at 19:00 and was played under floodlights. The sky above the capital was black. At 19:00 in Ireland in February, it always is. Date night is no exception.
So date guy is playing golf in the dark at Druid’s Glen? What a super star! Not even Tiger could manage that. You turn off your phone and call him a prick several times. Pyjamas and a bottle of wine are a worthy substitute.
Until next time… A few months later, you’ve cooled down and decided to take him up on another offer of a date. A different bar is suggested at a different time. Sure what’s the worst that could happen? This time you don’t put as much effort in, and sure why would you? A dusting of make-up, jeans, nice shoes and a top will do. Cab is booked for 20:15. You text him at 20:00 to make sure he’s on track. He replies that he’s really sorry but he’s under a duvet with a cold, watching a match and won’t make it. He hopes you’ll understand.
So you’ll accept that there was no subsequent date set.
Until, a year and a half later, when he suggests meeting up. You’re down the country on a writer’s retreat and his home place is near where you’re staying. A time and a place is arranged. You joke over texts about the previous failures to meet up. You are cool as a breeze but looking forward to it. You don’t put any effort at all in, what you have on will do. Nice shoes are thrown on, but that’s about as far as the ‘renovations’ go.
He texts you to see if you’re still ok with the time. Yes, you reply. He texts you to say he’s looking forward to catching up. You are too, you say. It’s an hour before meeting time, and your phone beeps. My club is playing a hurling match and if I go I’ll get my game, can we push the time to 22:30 (from 19:00)? What a bloody joker!.
There have been no further stand ups.