This will probably be one of my shortest blogs. I must add that most of what I write about is true and matters to me or has had some significant impact upon me.
I try, I mean really try, to paint a picture of other peoples lives in the most understanding, reflective way that I can. I often surprise myself with the dawning insights I discover as I write about particular stories, how easy it is when you really take time to consider their circumstances.
I wouldn’t say I’m the most understanding person – I’m not. At times I’m impatient, bad tempered. Irritable. Grumpy.
But what I believe I am, is a good dad – I try sincerely to do the best I can for my family or friends. And not to waste my time regretting any decision I’ve made that may not have worked out as well as I had hoped, because I honestly believe I did the best I possibly could under what-ever the circumstances were at the time. I hope my children grow up with the same mentality. No regrets. You can only do the best you can at that moment in time.. I only hope I reach the end of my life and think, I did do the very best I could to my keep my family safe and on a happy path.
Blimey. Very dramatic.
What I am is interested. I like to know, understand, the circumstances of a persons situation that I write about..
There But For The Grace Of god..
I’m right on the brink of my silver wedding anniversary as I write this tale which, in a round about way made this blog significant.
I’m lucky to have gone through this life to have been blessed with a loving family and three fantastic kids. I don’t take lightly for a moment all the effort that has gone into creating this unit. I know first hand the ups and downs of what is actually a twenty seven year relationship how much has gone into making it as solid as it currently is.
We have three grown up children currently making their own way through the world. Callum is away in America on a four year football scholarship at collage, majoring in Computer Science. Holly is in her third year at University studying Veterinary Medicine while Emily is newly qualified and working as a Speech Therapist working with children who have severe issues. She’s teaching me sign language.
I can now fluently sign “Sit Down“, “Bullshit” and “Bell End“. Not necessarily in that order. Any time I disagree with someone now I don’t even have to speak… well, least said best mended I always believe.
My wife is my very best friend. She seen my up’s and my downs and supports them. She is without reservation, my strength. I don’t know what I would do without her.
Saying all that, When our eyes met in the Pie And Ale House all those years ago, all I think about now is her smile. It just hit me. but also lets be honest. She fell lucky. I was a catch after all. She did badger me as I phoned for a taxi to take her number. In my blind naivety I was chancing upon bumping into her the next time. She took matters into her own hands.
Really though, She was just lucky I had no pride and phoned her the very next day. The rest is three kids and history.
But that was way back then. You caught someone’s eye and gambled. It worked out or it didn’t.
The reason I mention all of this is due to conversations I have with my children and their out look on dating and relationships. That generation see it completely differently. In some ways it seems cosmopolitan how they view getting together with someone. The actual journey they take to forming relationships. The internet is the answer to everything it seems.
Tinder, fish.com, Match, Zoosk to name but a few. All looking for that silver lining in life.
The reason I raise this issue is due to a friend of my daughters dating experience.
She went down the Tinder path in the hope of a happy ending – I mean, the home page greets you with images of proposals, ideal mates – hell – The ultimate happy endings.
All, at the swipe of a mouse cursor. left, right – your choice.
And this is the route that Lucy went down.
With a swipe one particular way it led to a Friday night date.
In an effort to have a safe blind date, Lucy decided to keep in contact with my daughter Emily via text. The first message arrived from Lucy and read like this:
Being picked up at 8pm. I’ll send reg of car – he’s driving.
Ok, stay safe! Have a good night! Fingers crossed!!
Then there was the nail biting wait, hoping her friend was actually picked up and didn’t fall at the first hurdle.
He’s outside! His reg is @#4 ***. Hope its a good night! Bit nervous!! Going to *%^$ bar. Nothing ventured and all that!!
Good luck chick!! You’ll stun him!!
As you can imagine, it was a bit of a nerve wracking night for both of them. Lucy, having never been on a blind date – and trust me, she’s a stunning young woman, she shouldn’t need to – messaging Emily every step of the way. While Emily, spent an evening gnawing finger nails hoping her friend has the luck she deserves.
At the bar – he’s not drinking. Seems like a nice bloke! 🙂
Fingers crossed babe! Deserve a nice BF!!
So you can see how it was going. Both trying to reassure each other. Both on pins. One over her friends happiness and hoping the leap she had taken was rewarded with a nice relationship, and the other in the actual situation, out there, dealing with the front line realities of Blind Dating.
Off to another bar. having a good time(!) Seems like a keeper(!!)
Aww babe!! You so deserve a nice bloke!! Stay safe and play it cool!!
I don’t think I would have the confidence to go blind dating. In fact after being married for so long I wouldn’t know where to start these days. I mean, to take that chance – blind dating! – seriously. I’d be outside my comfort zone.
For example. I have a friend who is the same age as myself who regularly went on blind dates through various web sites. She admits herself it can be a mine field. She has been on dates where the actual profile of who ever she was meeting had no true reflection on the reality. One chap she met was in fact several inches shorter and minus a head of hair. Others were posting pictures of themselves from 20 years previously, or actually photo-shopping their images to trim off a couple of stone or disguising the hunchback and clubfoot in the extreme situations.
That’s what I would do. I’d defo take off the eye patch for the picture too.
I don’t think I could have gone through all the malarkey needed for a successful date. Its not that I think I’m an ugly bloke but the stresses and effort of dating these days, well, I would hate to have to start over.
I mean. How honest would you be with your profile? Seriously. Have a go. I’d be a right lying lothario. In fact I’d be verging on Brad Pitt in my description. Maybe a touch trimmer…
(If my wife is reading this : Don’t think I wouldn’t manage – Damn right I would! I wouldn’t have a problem being the good looking chap I am!! I’m just saying. It’s a lot of effort. Like changing the smoke alarm battery or dropping the toilet seat. Unnecessary effort.)
It’s just that everything seems so much more serious when you’re younger.
Anyway. Date night was actually going swimmingly:
Home safe! Good night. He’s a keeper! Defo like to see him again. Dropped me off with a peck on the cheek! He went for a full on smooch but left him wanting more!
Oh babe! Well done! Don’t put out! So happy for you! When you seeing him next?
Defo not!! Make him keen! Seeing him during the week. Wednesday! He’s very eager!!
Witwooooo!!! Hope you’re happy chick!
Ten minutes later came a more defining answer.
OMFG. Just looked out the window – he’s sat in the car outside the house having a wank!!!!!
Obviously this chap was really geared up for a more action packed ending to the evening. The unfulfilled promise of the night was too much for this fella. He just couldn’t drive another foot without letting off some steam. So he was sat where he had dropped Lucy and looked like he was frothing at the mouth while having a thrashing fit behind the steering wheel.
Like I say, I couldn’t go through the effort of this modern day blind dating. The nerve wracking gamble to be yourself or not be yourself as the case may be, and worry all evening if you’re impressing the person opposite. I’d spend the date watching the lady for positive indications the night was going well. I’d be crap. I just wouldn’t be up to speed with modern dating and read the signs well at all.
It’s been explained to me that people use these sites as a quick way to meet, using the interlude prior to date night as the flirting period. Sleeping with someone on a first date is therefore a distinct possibility.
But apparently, having a frantic, epileptic-like wank in the car is a bit of a no-no.
I find the modern day perceptions of dating a trifle contradictory. I mean, if Lucy’s relayed experience is anything to go by… I’d be in dire straights.
I wouldn’t be surprised to discover after a short period I’d more than likely have forearms like Popeye on steroids if I tried the dating game.
There’s something to be said for a secure, long term marriage after all..