The moment when she agreed to accompany me on a date was when the worrying began. A part of me wanted to exclaim ‘By Jove, I’ve done it!’ but I knew full well that it was this part of me that had regularly prevented me from getting any. I was also aware that this very part was considered by many people to be ‘my personality’. Subterfuge was the name of the game: hide ‘my personality’, Father said, and I’d do just fine.
Frankly, I’d asked her at the wrong time of the month. If I’d made my move earlier our autumnal date could have coincided with ‘harvest festival’ or ‘harvest time’ if you’re an Hindu. Had it been harvest festival, I could have boldly presented her with a sheath of wheat and dropped a humour bomb, the eventual fallout being us two gallivanting between the sheets, giggles abounding (because of the joke I’d made earlier).
Better still, the date would have landed on a totally non-descript day of the year like in the song ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’. I once spent three quarters of an hour trying to work out by elimination the exact day Stevie made that phone call to his concubine, but it was quite difficult and in the end I found myself saying ‘What are you doing with your life?’ over and over.
Instead, we’d agreed to go to a Halloween party together. This ruled out some real failproof outfits such as my whitewash denim dungarees that sagged due to the vast amount of badges I’d attached to it, otherwise known as the P-Magnet.
Costume was essential: if I went in a shit mask and regular gear it’d scream ‘scared of commitment’ whereas something too well wrought would reveal the uncomfortable truth that I’d never want her to be the bread winner. Not ever. Never.
I went as ‘The Gingerbread Man’, a decision that involved using a lot of my Nan’s fake tan without her permission.
I went to the party location as agreed. And there she was: the best looking corpse at the party, bar none. I told her that too.
“Hello Maisey.” God, harvest festival really would have been ideal.
“Oh Hi,” Funny how people rarely ever say other peoples’ names these days, “Do you know Dan?”
“Yes. You have amazing eyes.”
“I’m wearing novelty contact lenses.”
“Of course” I laughed, “That’s why your irises are redder than blood.”
Geddaroom, eh? Eh? Eh??
That was enough small talk. I decided to seal the deal by proving my prowess at apple bobbing; a dunk as old as time itself. Hands behind my back I was very efficient, if a little splashy, at getting fruit from the bowl of water I’d filled just 4 minutes prior.
But as I emerged from the water I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. By simultaneously having the apple in my mouth and smiling, whilst my hands were behind my back, Maisey must have presumed I loved bondage and nothing else. Like a bondage freak or something. When I realised this implication I spat out the apple immediately. It her on the small of her back (she was walking away in disgust). Unfortunately, by then it was too late to impress her with my fruity marksmanship.
Still, I remained very much on the pull. With applely water dripping from my bronzed face, for lots of ghoulish gals I was no doubt a trickley treat.