I’m intrigued that thus far I haven’t been on a date with any bonafide lebians. Tinder seems to be awash with the curious, the bewildered and the confused, the kind of women who use the ‘two girls’ emoji on their profile and then collapse into paroxysms of doubt when they get a message from an actual girl.
So the fact that the Blond, who I’ve been messaging for a few days, is game for drinks is a good sign. She’s picked the venue – cool, buzzy (tick, tick) – and I’m already perched at the bar when she hurries over.
“Sorry I’m late, the traffic was just beastly. I hope you don’t mind, I’ve already had a couple of reds. Dutch courage!”
“No no, not at all,” I say, scanning the wine menu and thinking: posh! Guess the house white’s out of the question.
We order our drinks and she plunges into a breathless stream of chatter, pausing only to take fortifying sips of her wine.
It becomes increasingly apparent that she’s both extremely nervous and slightly tipsy. I laugh at something she says, leaning forward slightly on my stool and as I do she swoops in to give me the briefest flutter of a kiss on the lips.
“Oh!” I pull back in surprise.
“Sorry, I thought you were leaning in to kiss me! I’m sorry I’m so nervous. You’re the first woman I’ve ever been on a date with and I was absolutely petrified. But you’re so lovely!”
She’s so sweetly skittish and bumbly that I can’t help but find her endearing.
“Well I’m pretty new to this whole thing too so go us!” We clink glasses and cheer.
She suggests heading on somewhere else and I quickly nip to the loos. By the time I’ve come back she’s already settled the bill and although I cluck disapprovingly I’m touched by her thoughtfulness.
“Right, next three rounds are on me,” I say sternly as she skins up a cigarette and leads me through a tangle of back streets to a tucked away wine bar. We linger over red wine until we’re turfed out into the street, the owner slamming the door shut behind us.
“So…would you like to come back to mine for a night cap?” she asks hopefully.
I peer blearily at her through my red wine fug and see a pair of eyes as big as saucers staring back at me.
“You know what, I’d love to but I’ve got a really early start tomorrow.”
I say goodnight and spend the next two and half hours getting night buses home. Fucked, as usual, by that most enduring and committed of lovers: Transport for London.