You’re probably surprised to see another dating story given that a couple of months ago I posted this scathing rant about the women on match.com. I pretty much considered myself done with online dating when I wrote that, and shortly after tested out some of my theories about the shallow women of Match by Photoshopping my profile picture to see if I got more views and messages.
Sadly, I did. Many many more. Just from a few subtle tweaks. See if you can spot them…
Magic away the signs of ageing and alcoholism…
Nothing too drastic, so firstly the bags under my eyes had to go. In my defence, I had taken that selfie on a Friday night, but on the other hand I don’t drink so there’s no excuse for me looking like I’d been basecamping at the bottom of the vodka luge all night. Next I subtly tidied up my beard. I could have easily done this in real life with, you know, my razor, but I clearly decided that simply Photoshopping my beard in every photo taken of me from now on was less hassle than actually shaving. Next I did the wrinkles on my forehead, worry lines from back in May when I spent a whole day fretting that Bonnie Tyler was going to piss herself onstage at the Eurovision Song Contest and cause national embarrassment.
Some smoothing of the cheeks and nose, and then I was ready for the main task. Reverting my eye colour back to their natural blue hue and away from the pre-exorcism vomit green that they had become. I have always had blue eyes, and I blame this colour shift on extremely localised jaundice which mixed the natural blue with yellow to create mucus green; highly plausible as jaundice is a symptom of over-zealous drinking. See, even my vanity is backed by science.
After this subtle fakery I was inundated with attention from honeys. When I say “inundated” and “honeys” I mean those terms relatively of course. I had gone from 2 views of my profile per week by overweight undereducated elderly divorcees to as many as 20 views, and sometimes even “winks” and messages from average to above-average women close to my age. This was a revelation, but of course, I could never meet any of these and it was pointless even talking to them because not only had I Photoshopped my photo (and women had struggled in the past to mask their disappointment when I turned up in real life even after they’d seen real photos of me) but I’d also recently ranted about Match, about women, and about my unusual taste on my blog; there would be no dating once these two things were discovered.
I resigned myself to a simple life of being single, and tutting loudly everytime my faked photo got attention on Match.com. And then someone piqued my curiosity in an e-mail and I decided to respond. I was just putting the finishing touches to this parody video about the stormy weather back in October, and mentioned it to her. For the purposes of McCannonymity I will call her Alice. I have run out of Ashley Judd film characters for my cloaked identities and so am now using Milla Jovovich screen roles in order of how hot she was in the film (Alice, Resident Evil, 2002).
I sent her the video and she still seemed interested in me. This was unusual since my actual unaltered face was used throughout the video. But as we continued to chat I noticed a spike in traffic on my blog, and this time not just from people Googling for nude beach erotica. There was a clear pattern, someone was rifling through all my dating and relationship posts. There could only be one explanation; having been given just one of my YouTube links, Alice had followed the trail through to my YouTube channel, my Twitter, Facebook and onto McCannecdotes. She was by now thoroughly internet-stalking me, and within hours she had read everything about me that would be incriminating and off-putting to a potential date.
But bizarrely she was still interested in meeting me – which in itself was an indicator to me that there must be something deeply psychologically wrong with Alice. I should surely have completely put off any normal woman by now, and yet she seemed perfectly normal. I was reminded of a comment my old friend Dave had made about girls running away when they read my blog, how I should consider it a test, and that if a girl likes it and accepts my occasionally-volatile internet outpourings then maybe she is a keeper. I even told her about the Photoshopped picture; she said the original pic was better. I had to be careful with this one, Alice was obviously a convincing liar. Confused and intrigued I set about arranging our first date, which I did by way of a special video.
This was originally just for her but she said it was OK to share, all you have to know is she likes Star Trek (which gave me the wonderful pun for the title) and her real name (which isn’t Alice) is a struggle for the layman to pronounce.
We met in a bar in Covent Garden, I was late, on account of the fact I got lost on the way there, despite it being about ten minutes from work. I turned up flustered and wearing a shirt so creased it looked like I had sewn it together by hand out of a thousand strips of polyester. I got myself a drink, sat down and got busy wooing.
All was going very well, although I was at a serious disadvantage given that she already knew everything about me from this blog; on top of that I was also under serious pressure to constantly provide new material during the evening, this was not like some of my other dates where I’ve been able to whip out a tried and tested McCannecdote if circumstances required it. It became apparent she had pretty much read everything I’ve posted on here, which is impressive given how much I’ve written over the past year, but somehow she hadn’t quite made it as far back as my infamous Polish story. This gave me a great opportunity to perform this classic live and in person, for the first time in many years. I got us some new drinks and began, “So I had this t-shirt….”
About half way through there was a hell of a commotion of shouting at the other end of the packed bar, I assumed a fight had broken out and was just about to rush off to the toilets to hide when I realised it was one of the staff trying to get everyone’s attention. He was standing in the middle of the bar with a giant beer keg. Me and Alice, along with everyone else, turned to listen to his booming cries, my curiosity taking away from the annoyance of “anecdotus interruptus”.
He explained they had this one keg of a new Czech beer, and once opened it had to be drunk tonight, so they were giving out free pint samples to anyone who wanted one. He did a pretty extensive sales pitch on this stuff and invited everyone to come up and form a disorderly queue to try some. He did warn that the first batch of pints might not be perfect as with a new keg, “there’s a lot of head early on.”
I turned to Alice and said “Sounds like a perfect first date to me…”
That went down well…
As did that…
I finished the Polish story and then Alice drilled me about past relationships and dates based on what she’d read on here (including of course Claire from the YouTube videos). All in all great fun was had and I thought it went really well. As well as these things can go when I put so much information about humiliating stories and embarrassing quirks on the internet for my dates to study beforehand. We left at closing time and I walked her to the Tube station, after a small incident outside the pub where Alice got letched on by some drunk old men.
We kissed goodbye and we both told each other we had a great time, and then Alice said “I’d really like to see you again, but maybe not in a dating way.”
My internal reaction was like *THIS*.
My vocal reaction was “It’s OK, I get this all the time…” I spent the whole trip home wondering what was wrong, and why this always happens, Alice clearly had a really good time with me, and at some points we certainly seemed to have chemistry, and the drunk old letches outside the pub had surely offered up a flattering vision of what the alternative to dating me could be. When I got home Alice had texted me, saying she was free again tomorrow to meet up.
Whaaaaaaaaaaat? Now usually, a girl saying she’d like to see me again as friends or something like that means “You were nice enough but I don’t want to see you again. I like the idea of you in principal which is why in theory we should be friends. We’re certainly not enemies, but as for being seen with you in public again, nah no thanks, I mean what if people saw us and got the wrong idea and thought I was dating you?” I know because I have experienced this MANY times. It’s never resulted in me actually ever seeing the person again as “friends”, and I’ve never heard of someone being so keen to see a guy again in a platonic way that she wanted to meet up less than 24 hours later…
I decided to sleep on it and ask her about it in the morning. By sleep I mean I decided to stay awake tossing and turning all night crying to myself “Why why why!” The next day I texted her “Sooooo… um, just to check, based on what you said last night, we’re meeting up just as mates right?”
She replied “What are you talking about?”
“You know, when we parted you said…”
“No I didn’t, why would I say that, I had a great time with you!”
And so began our first major argument. Alice refused to accept that she had said this, whether intentionally or accidentally, and it was after about half an hour of arguing that I discovered the greatest benefit there is to being tee-total. “Look,” I said, “You’d had a few glasses of wine, I was completely sober, if we’re having an argument about who remembers right who said what at the end of last night, I win every time.”
Of course, that should have ended the debate, but of course, it did not, on account of the fact that Alice is what is known as a WOMAN and refused to back down in the face of undeniable facts. Despite this – essentially us fighting over whether she wanted to date me again – we managed to make up and agreed to see each other again.
You can read more about our next date, and what Alice does for a living in my next post, The Date With The Drug Dealer…