I sat in the shadows, under a big oak tree, the street light was highlighting the furrow lines between my eyebrows, as I chewed nervously on the inside of my cheek. My head was darting left and right as I wondered “is this guy going to be a big mammoth of a creature or a small sawed-in-half little man?” I still wasn’t sure if I was going to have the ‘cojones’ to actually get out of my car. I was most definitely waiting until I could see him first before I decided that I was, in fact, about to have my first date in years. All I had seen of him at that point was a Twitter picture (which I would never have done in the past, but I was at a stage where I needed a distraction and I needed one quickly) It had been 1 year since my separation. How carefree and demented was I? A blind date! He could have easily been a psycho, a convict, a villain, a chick with an Adams apple… or worse, the most unacceptable of all, a wine drinker that, wait for it… only drinks ‘white’. Gasp. No way Jose! “Not up in here, my friend. Not up in here”.
So right on time, he walked past my car. I often arrive early on a date and I sit and wait. Yup, I wait in my car like a creepy stalker to see what I’m in for as the guy enters the restaurant. He was tall, (they’re always tall) he was handsome, fashionable (perhaps a little bit too fashionable). I have a weird thing about guys looking too polished. I’ve always liked a guy that can dress well but I don’t care for him to be all fancy and groomed, like a poodle fresh out of the parlour. I do genuinely find guys in tracksuits and relaxed clothing far more appealing. Quite simply, I just dig relaxed men. I’m not really turned on by a man who is facially perfect either. I’ve only discovered this post divorce, because I’ve gone on dates with some of the most perfectly put together humans that I’ve ever seen but, meh… If he’s too pretty then I generally won’t be attracted to him in that way, but I will still quite enjoy looking at him. I guess I’m not very interested in playing second fiddle to ones own reflection. If ‘Handsome Harry’ has to be pried away from the mirror every time that I want some attention then “no,no toto, Kansas is not for me”. I’ve always gone for guys that had a little defect of some kind, big ears, a wonky eye, a skew nose, hairy forehead, wooden leg, 6 toes, cyclops. Ok, so that was a bit of an exaggeration (hehehe) I get carried away. You get the idea. You see I couldn’t handle a man who had a face that looked like it was sculpted by Donatello. I don’t know why, but… but nothing, inside, they make me feel nothing. He just doesn’t do it for me the way that a big hairy, unshaven, scruffy looking manly man does.
So back to my date. I decided to get out of my car and bite the bullet. I was nervous, but it was now or never. I was separated from my ex for almost a year at that stage and I knew that it was time. The guy was blatantly good looking, (praise Jesus for his accomplishments) but he was young, like, mid 20s young. I greeted him and thought to myself “not bad Morgan, not bad at all”. He was tall and confident. He was nice. In fairness to the guy, he helped me forget about my never ending, pain in the butt divorce, that was in full swing at the time.
So now listen, I’ve noticed something. What is going on with these guys that are in their 20s ? “What”, you ask? They’re walking around in their borrowed, grown man bodies, looking like they’re in their 40s. I’ve met plenty of these man-boys in the last 3 years. They’re so deceiving. When I ask them their age and they proceed to tell me, it always surprises me and it’s always a reality check, a chance to remind myself, that after doing the math “ I could be his mother.” It must be something in the food here in South Africa because all of the men are developing phsysically at a very deceptive pace.
The first hour of our date was standard. I had to go through the whole, “So, what happened to your marriage?”, mini series. In the beginning of that ‘reentering the dating stage’, it’s tough trying to convince a stranger that you’re “over” your old relationship, but that’s what you must do because you don’t want the guy to feel bad and wonder why the hell you agreed to go on a date with him when you still look as though you’re a little heartbroken over your ex. I did what I do best! Cartwheels. No wait, wrong story! Oh yes, now I have it. I kept ordering tequilas for us. I figured the best way forward would be to take him down, with a tactic that us Irish normally have mastered by the age of 7, manipulating everyone around us into getting drunk. Take ’em down with organ poisoning I say. I knew that I would eventually find his vulnerability if I took the direct route straight to his liver and then he wouldn’t make me feel so much like I was interviewing for a position as a bomb disposal officer, in North Korea. The pressure, oh Lord, the pressure. “Another tequila please garçon, and keep em coming “. It would put us on a level playing field.
Our first few dates were such good fun. I remember when we kissed, it was really good. I felt it. I had such high hopes. (Morgan take your high hopes darlin and lower them… girl, this ain’t no fairytale) I went back to his place for the first time and then it was as if someone had gotten a wet fish out of the river and slapped me silly across the back of the head with it. (Jaysus, what was that?) I was hit with the reality of guys in their 20s. Wonderful to look at, indeed. There he lay, sprawled across his bed and carved to perfection, youth in all its glory, like one of Michalangelo’s proudest creations, glistening in the heat of the summers night. Then he switched the lamp on and all of a sudden I had full vision. Oh crises… I could see everything. The room that we were in, looked nothing short of a correctional facility cell. This guy clearly didn’t have a ‘bean’ to his name and that’s normal for a guy in his 20s, but I had come from a very grown up relationship, with a man that really had his financial situation together (that was of course until we tried to settle the divorce, where then his financial situation became, all of a sudden, blurry and fuzzy and started disappearing and everyone was so confused and didn’t know where they were and they had to sit down and really think hard about where all the money could have mysteriously gone! and so on and so forth. Weird how that happens hey? mmmmmmm!) So, back to the room that myself and my date were in. In this room there was a bed, in fact the whole place was the size of this bed. The toilet was literally beside the front door which was beside the oven, which was beside the one seater sofa/ deckchair with a cushion placed nicely on top so that any visitors could clearly make out the smiling cannabis plant, printed on the front. I thought, “see there it is”, sure hot young guys are great to look at. Yes! Their mannequin-esque torsos are very pleasing to the eye and their fabulous tight buns are just asking to be pinched (You saucy little minx!) They may have thousands of social media followers and be the most popular guy on the block (you see? the fact that I even say things like “on the block” proves that I have no place dating guys in their 20s) and yes girls may swoon after these hotties but these guys are still only in their 20s and they generally haven’t even begun to start thinking of a grownup lifestyle yet.
Did you know that there’s a ‘guys in their 20s’, wanting to hook up with older women “thing” happening out there? Cougars are making a killing. All of these inquisitive younger guys are running around town, in droves, seeking out older women. They are the toy boys and they’re looking to give you short term, feel good company, if you so choose to accept.
So I had a few dates with the “Twitter Guy”. We’ll call him “Jason”. Jason was nice to look at but our thoughts and ideas were lightyears apart and oh, did I mention, between the sheets was a complete disaster. Yup, you heard me correctly. He had that big old grownup body, but he didn’t have a clue what to do with it. I had been celibate for a year and ladies, you know that’s a long time. What I experienced was very underwhelming. You know when you build something up to be amazing in your head and then it actually happens, and its even better than you could ever imagine? Yeah, well the exact opposite of that happened to me. I thought what an anticlimax. The only way that I can describe it is this, it was as if he (insert Spanish accent) “no speaky my love language”. I was going up and he was going down. I was doing the Cha Cha and he was doing The Macarena. I was fighting crime and he was fighting flu. It was just never in sync. I didn’t know whether to be disheartened or accept the challenge. Ugh, it was just awkward… meets effort… meets incompetency. A complete contradiction to the electricity filled kisses we had engaged in. He was a lovely guy, nice company, in fact I quite enjoyed his company. He was ‘light’ and innocent but we did not go well together like ‘that’. After a divorce you may already feel insecure in yourself, so if your first experience with a guy is a big fat fail, then it can leave you wondering, ” have I been out of the game for so long that I’ve lost my mojo?” I needed to find a horse to get back on and damn quick. As they say “if you fall off the horse, ditch that horse coz clearly he was the problem and go round up another”. Hell no! Stella was determined to get her groove back… and got her groove back she did… just not with this guy.
So my first experience back into the dating world was not a success so much as an experience. Jason was up there as my most awkward non starter relationship. A hottie of note, a flash in the pan. The depressing prospects of relationships filled with bad sex, in a one room apartment, lay out before me and I was seriously dreading what else the world of dating had in store. But fear not good citizens, I did not lose hope. The story doesn’t end here, my dating journey had only just begun. I remained optimistic and completely unaware that I was about to enter a very grey area, ‘The Dating Twilight Zone’.
“We’re gonna need some more tequilas here garçon….actually just bring the bottle”.