The Where’s Wally Date

You know when you just have one of those days at work, when nothing seems to go right?  This was one of those days….

Recently dating had taken a bit of a back seat.  Since my mum being ill and the rather unsympathetic reactions of my dates at that time, I thought best to have some time out.  Spare time is so thin on the ground right now I barely have time to stop and eat a decent meal, all I think about is face planting on my bed at the end of a long day.


In the spare few milliseconds throughout the day I’d take the odd glance at the usual dating apps.  Ohh… and by the way Tinder randomly seemed to ban me from the app.  Maybe those lovely ladies that took a disliking to me prioritising my family had reported their dissatisfaction to Tinder?  Who knows, there certainly wasn’t any D$ck pic scenarios, not from me anyway.  Well at least it’s one less app to check, but to be honest it was one of my favourites as it cut through the churn that you usually have to go through on the websites.

Having checked out the profile of “S” we had quite a bit in common, so struck up a conversation and we got chatting.  Messages flowed and the odd chat on the phone, things were looking very positive.  We scheduled one date, she cancelled the day before due to work commitments.  “S” was very apologetic and said she didn’t want to give the wrong impression.  It was OK, I’d been having the same challenges with work so could sympathise.

So then came my working day from hell, train journeys out to head office, getting stuck in meetings longer than I’d thought, escalations, you know the kind of day?  I finally pull myself away from work and head to the station to get back to London.  Glancing up at the train times board, CANCELLED, DELAYED, CANCELLED.  I ask the station staff what’s going on.  “Oh one train hit a bird and the other… well it’s just broken down…”


I get straight on my phone and text “S” and apologise that I maybe late.  We hadn’t fixed a meeting place yet so I ask where would be a convenient location for her.  Victoria or London Bridge being the best options.  Well I’m stuffed if I have to go to London Bridge as that’s the other side of town from where my train comes in so I opt for Victoria and suggest a large bar I’d dated at before and it seemed OK.  The bar wasn’t grimy and was quite open plan with plenty of seating so you can get some privacy.  For a first date drink, perfect I thought.

I’m finally on the tube and get a text from “S”

This bar is really busy.  Meet me outside

Oh sh$t it’s Thursday night in the middle of Victoria, I hadn’t thought about this.  Everyone was out for post work drinks.

Arriving at the bar I don’t see her so walk straight in to see if I can find any seats, sure enough the bar is rammed with office workers.  Busy but not impossible I thought so text “S” to say I’ve arrived and I’m outside.

So am I

she replies.

OK this isn’t a great start.  I look around the doorway, hmm there’s a group of guys and a very small (below 5ft) lady stood there.  Christ, I hope that’s not her…. It would be like a replay of Twins with Arnie and Danny Devito.  I know I’ll try to call her, then if she picks up, I’ll know if its her or not.  No signal on my phone, the masses in Victoria seem to be too much for the network.  I just need a hug at this point, maybe the bouncer wouldn’t mind, probably not a good idea if I want to get into the venue.


The hunt continues, texting back and forth.  “I’m outside by the sign” “I’m inside by the door” etc etc.

We resort to taking photos of our location trying to match each other’s up.  FINALLY, she’s been at another entrance to me the whole time….

I greet her with the usual double cheek kiss and apologise for being late and the rather crazy search.

Impressive hunting skills

I joke.

Well a sports bar wasn’t the best of choices for a first date

She replies.

Oh… this isn’t a good start.  She’s clearly not happy with my venue choice, but I think nothing more of it and we find another wine bar just around the corner for the remainder of the date.

I’m pretty brain dead by this point, not at my usual best, struggling to flow the conversation.  Every time I send a signal to my brain for the next line of conversation it just draws a blank.  Commenting on the rather crazy day I’ve had but didn’t want to cancel, we have a few glasses of wine and head home.

Well…. Not the best day or date I think to myself.  I wonder if she thinks the same, hopefully she’ll take my crazy day into account and know I wasn’t at my best.

Turning to my Twitter community for advice, as at this stage, I really didn’t have the brain power to make the decision.  Should I contact her the next day and apologise for a rather poor first date and offer a re-run when I’m better prepared?

The general consensus was that I should be honest and just explain.  Then offer to be more on the ball on date two.  It wasn’t a car crash, I just wasn’t at my best.

I drop her a text promising a less crowded venue and a more awake James for date two as I did enjoy meeting her and well…. did really fancy her.

Her reply after quite a few hours having read the message.

Sorry I don’t want to go on another date.  A Sports Bar really isn’t a good choice of venue for a first date…

Maybe I should have just cancelled and run the risk that she may have not agreed to meet at all.  But who knows.  I don’t like to try and reason with people’s choices, as ultimately you will never work out why they make the decisions they do.


Have you ever had a mad day and gone straight into a date wishing you didn’t?  Leave me a comment below, i’d love to hear your stories.

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One Response to The Where’s Wally Date

  1. Angie Alison May 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm #

    Hey James, great article! I am sorry about your mum and the experience you had with some dates who were not too sympathetic to your family situation. This sounds ridiculous. But what the Tinder… well, the apps seem to be so popular nowadays. I personally find websites more fulfilling in terms of dating. Has it become too old-fashioned to want to read about someone, rather than just see a picture and swipe?

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