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Two days of surprises

10 June, 2017

So I was having lunch with a friend on Thursday, discussing the election campaign and our expectations of the outcome (among other things) and we arranged meeting up for a drink on Friday aswell. Go on then, I said, I’ll be really tired from the all-nighter watching the results but it should be fun. The conversation moved on, we talked about the choir she as joined recently and is enjoying being a part of. And she mentioned Kelly who also sings there. And apparently is single. Oh and by the way, she said, I’ve invited Kelly to the pub tomorrow aswell, you’ll really like her.

I smiled but internally I wasn’t best happy. I’m no fan of a blind date, or having my romantic life stage-managed by others, particularly when I am duped into it (yes I know how ungrateful this sounds). The only thing that I dread more is being stage-managed and watched at the same time. But having said I would go I couldn’t really back out.


Fast forward to Thursday night, 10 pm and surprise number one. The exit polls came in predicting a hung parliament – a result nobody was expecting, and after the inaccurate exit polls (or “way out polls” as some people now call them) from the 2015 general election, the Brexit vote and the Clinton/Trump election, I didn’t expect this to be the outcome, even though it was the best result I could realistically hope for. As the results came in from 11pm onwards it slowly became apparent that the exit poll was going to prove broadly accurate, and around 5.30am – surprise number two – it was official that no party had a majority. Cue hung parliament and coalitions.


A handful of hours sleep, a busy Friday, and by the evening I was in the pub, sat at the bar, Guinness in hand. It’s my habit to get to places early, my friend’s habit to get there late, so I was enjoying my pint, watching the world go by, and feeling very apprehensive of how this set up of a night was going to go.

Some way through my second pint, and fifteen minutes or so after our meeting time, surprise number three – a text from my friend saying something had come up, she couldn’t make it after all but Kelly would be there soon, have a good night winky face, kissy emoji hug kiss. Oh right. So it was even more of a set up then I had realised all along then. Well at least when I made myself look a fool with my poor wooing it wouldn’t be with an audience.

I finished off the second pint, watching the door – although to be fair I had no idea who I was watching for – but nobody came in looking around as though they didn’t know who they were looking for either. Third pint, drink, drink, watch, watch, nothing. By this time over an hour had gone by. Obviously Kelly wasn’t showing. Or she had but had seen me and changed her mind and exited stage left. Either way, the late night was catching up on me by then. Finish this pint, I thought, head home, get some chips on the way, turn in.


You OK? Said a female voice next to me. I looked up from my pint. Was this Kelly?

Ummm I managed to say.

It’s just that I saw you sitting here and you look a bit pissed off, she said, I wondered if you’re OK.

Ah, not Kelly then. Yeah, I’m OK, I said, just not having a great night. Thanks though. I was meant to be meeting someone but…

Been stood up?

I nodded. Yeah. Twice, sort of.

Ouch. That’s harsh.

I shrugged. That’s the way it goes.

Tell you what though, I said (surprise number four, TRG takes the initiative – maybe thanks to the three pints of Guinness), do you fancy a drink?

Um, she said, looked towards her group of friends, I’m…

I nodded, understanding. That’s OK, I said.

Actually, she said, I’d love to.

So drinks were bought.

I’m TRG by the way, I said, lovely to meet you.

I’m Fiona.


And so we got chatting. Kelly, her role as ice-breaker now complete, was forgotten. My friend, her role as match-maker a failure but also inadvertently a success, was forgotten. And my lack of sleep and thoughts of going home were forgotten too.

Now and again one of Fiona’s friends would come to the bar and ask if she wanted a drink but she refused, she was having a nice time, she said, Oh, meet TRG. And we chatted alone for a good while, getting along really well, finding we had quite a lot in common and – surprise number five – I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all. Eventually we did go and join her friends at their table towards the end of the night.

Closing time came round. They were going on to another bar, did I want to join them? As much as that sounded fun – I like the bar they were going to and, more importantly, I was enjoying my time with Fiona – I really was feeling the effect of less than four hours sleep by then as well as what I think was seven pints of Guinness. Home and bed were beckoning. But I did swap numbers with Fiona and we both were very keen to meet up again soon. We’ve spent most of today – Saturday – texting but she is already busy tonight so it will have to wait few days but – surprise number six – I’m going to go through with this and not bottle out.


The paranoia and the assumption this will all go to ratshit are loitering in the background, of course, but for now – surprise number seven – I am keeping it at bay. If it fucks up, I will deal with it then, along with the inevitable destructive dark phase that will follow.  But maybe surprise number eight will be that fact that it works out.

From → Blogging, My Head, Writing

  1. If this works out you will have to send your friend and Kelly a bunch of flowers each for not showing up 😀

    • Haha yes I think they will deserve some thanks!

      • Oh my God, I had forgotten how delicious the angst dripping off this page, from time to time, can be. I see nothing’s changed since I was here last… Good Luck with Fiona. And, if you ‘bottle up’ (whatever that is… thinking ‘chicken out’) you will not be forgiven. Just meet up with Fiona, be yourself and have fun.

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