OH yes he did!!
I went out the other night, dinner and drinks with a fabulous man - or so I thought! Marketing manager, talented, intelligent, interesting, funny, kind - or so I thought! Polite, gentlemanly? Not so much, but I assumed he was laid back and not trying too hard to be something he wasn't. I like classy men, men with great manners but I don't like men who force it just because they think its expected. So I accepted him the way he was, I didn't figure bad manners would surface on a first date - or so I thought!
We met in a small village, with just one restaurant, so we decided to grab a bite to eat while we had a drink. He walked in to the building ahead of me, and let the door go in my face. Thanks! I turned towards the bar only to see him make a bee-line for a table and sit down. He waited until I was as dry as a bedouins flip flop and then let me pay for the first drink, not a great start, but then again I'm not obsessed with who pays for what. I guess I'm used to men insisting they pay for drinks but I am absolutely fine paying my way. We sat down and chatted for a little while. The conversation was relatively easy, he was sitting close to me, he was tactile, his body language telling me he was very interested. We had a lot in common, we knew we would find plenty to talk about, and getting to know each other so far had been great fun. What a shame I didn't know what was to come.
Time was passing quickly, so we decided to order food. The menu was simple, some basic home cooked food, some pasta dishes, some slightly more adventurous but nothing that would gain a Michelin star. I asked for the the tagliatelle carbonara, one of my favourites, and he got up to order at the bar - classy place :) I didn't want a starter, I'd seen the size of the portions, good old North Yorkshire pub sizes, and that was more than enough for me :) We chatted some more, and moments later a large plate of garlic bread landed on the table. He pulled it towards himself and proceeded to almost inhale it, I've never seen anyone eat so fast in my life. It wasn't terribly attractive but who am I to judge, it was only fast eating, I could live with that. The garlic bread was a baguette, we all know the type, soft in the middle, with those evil hard ends that, if strategically placed on a track, could actually derail a speeding train! He had not spoken at all while he was eating, and only when he had demolished the centre of the baguette did he look up at me and push the plate towards me saying 'Oops sorry, did you want some?' The ends looked up at me, brown, hard, dry. I politely shook my head and said I didn't want to spoil my appetite for my main course! :) I was disappointed in his behaviour, but still, nothing too shocking for words, just not what I expected.
The plate was collected, and our main courses arrived. He'd ordered the steak and ale pie with chips, his portion was huge, more chips than I've ever seen, a huge portion of pie in a pie pot with a beautiful puff pastry lid, it looked very appetising. My pasta dish was put in front of me, my small pasta dish, my teeny tiny portion of tagliatelle carbonara, one of my favourites. A pixie would have been disappointed with the size of it. I'd seen main courses brought out to other diners and was actually worried I'd have to leave a lot. But no, my plate seemed to have eaten most of the dinner itself, or the chef had taken leave of his senses! I looked across at the next table, then back to my plate, looked at my dates portion and then back to my plate.
'Blimey that's a bit small' I commented, not wanting to sound ungrateful, but concerned and curious as to why I seemed to have been short measured.
'I ordered you the starter size rather than the main course' he offered as an explanation. I looked at him with a puzzled look on my face, needing him to qualify that statement.
'Well I figured you could do with losing a few pounds, so I was going for the 'portion control' method of helping you out!'
My mouth dropped open, I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing. As a healthy and curvy size 14 I didn't realise that I was so unbelievably obese that I needed a total stranger to help me with my dietary requirements!
I realised that I was starting to look odd with my mouth hanging open, so I composed myself, started to eat my dinner and thought 'Please get me out of here as soon as possible!'
I watched him demolish the plateful of food he had. He was shovelling the pastry and meat into his mouth, forcing in 3 or 4 chips at a time, not even swallowing before the next forkful was on its way towards the gaping hole. Moments later his chips were swimming in gravy, the meat had disappeared and there was no longer any evidence to say pastry had even made it onto his plate that night. At this point he put his fork down.
I was still picking my way through my dinner, my appetite lessening with every glance across the table. Watching him eat was like swallowing the biggest diet pill on the market. I thought he had finished, his fork was down, chips and gravy remained on his plate. I was about to put my fork down when the next exciting installment in this date from hell occurred. He picked up 3 chips with his fingers, mopped up his gravy and shovelled them into his mouth. He sucked his fingers clean, slurping and licking up every last drop, and repeated the process until all the chips had gone. But, horror of horrors, there was still gravy on the plate. I was clearly praying to 'The Deaf Dating God' that night. My god, the one who had saved me from many a scrape, and made the occasional bad mannered man redeem himself, was not listening to me. I prayed not to let me see what happened next, for the slurping gravy fingers to be the final nightmare, but no, he didn't hear my prayer, but he heard my silent screams inside as I watched my date, in slow motion, pick up the plate, tip it towards him and lick, yes lick, each and every drop of gravy from the plate.
His face finally reappeared from behind the plate several moments later, when in fact the plate could have been returned to the kitchen cupboard, it was THAT clean. But his face hadn't escaped unscathed. He had gravy on the end of his nose, he had a gravy outline around his mouth, and he had gravy on his chin. The features that, up until that very minute, I hadn't realised, protruded as much as they did. In my quest not to be shallow I hadn't taken his looks into consideration, he was attractive in so many other ways, but that relatively attractive, intelligent man had suddenly, before my very eyes, turned into the love child of Quasimodo and Neanderthal woman!
I opened my mouth to speak but words failed me. I wanted to tell him he had gravy on his face but I didn't get the chance. His right arm/sleeve beat me to it, as he swept it across his mouth like a 5 year old.
I shook my head and smiled.
I checked my watch and made my apologies and said I had to leave. I didn't, I had another 2 hours free to spend with the funny, intelligent man I had met online. The charmer, the 'manager', the football fan, the comedian - or so I thought! I got up and turned to get my coat. 'Hang on' he said, 'I'll come with you.' I assumed that meant he would be leaving too. I had no idea in his head he was meaning 'Hang on, I'll come and try my luck to finish a perfect night'.
He walked ahead of me and let the door go in my face, again! We got outside, and, because I've been brought up properly, I thanked him for dinner (hoping he had paid for it when he ordered it and we hadn't just done a runner), thanked him for coming to meet me, and headed towards my car. He followed.
I got as far as the drivers door and he pinned me against the side of the car. The smell of gravy on his breath was overpowering, I felt like I as being accosted by a walking, talking Oxo cube. 'So how about a snog and a grope?' he asked. My mouth, once again, fell open. I couldn't believe he could be so uncouth. I pushed him away and said 'Thanks, mate, but I really do need to go home, and I came to meet you, not to get felt up by you!'
I turned to get into my car and he grabbed my arm 'Well sod the snog, how about the grope?' I didn't know how many more signs I could give a man to say 'Thanks but no thanks' so I turned to him and said 'I would, but your fingers stink of gravy', hopped into my car and shut the door before he could respond. I left him stood in the car park, his mouth now doing the gaping, and drove off. I looked in my mirror just at the right time to see him bring his fingers to his nose and sniff them!
A lot of things are acceptable, most things I can tolerate, but some things, even fairly shallow, minor things, can be a complete deal breaker! Needless to say I won't be suffering another episode of that, even though 10 minutes after driving away I got a text message reading 'A pleasure meeting you babe, can't wait to see you again, I've had a great time'.
Men really are from Mars :)