Lucy and Jamie

Blind-date-27-Dec-008

Lucy, a teacher, and Jamie, an assistant TV producer, have a comforting, familiar look, don’t they? They’re the kind of couple who always get picked to be on Blind Date. Young, but not young enough to be off-putting to older readers; aspirational, but still with a few rungs of the ladder to climb.

I predict jokey answers, an unwillingness to say anything of any depth and a table manners quirk or two. Read what happened on the date before I take a closer look.

Lucy and Jamie – first impressions

Told you. Ooh, a song lyric. Always good to give absolutely nothing away apart from the fact you’re too scared to say anything nice or mean. It’s a boring answer dressed up as an interesting answer. Even Taylor Swift herself wouldn’t bother. Anyway, great.

Jamie’s answer is another dull thud masquerading as a sharp zing. It would be funnier if it weren’t for the fact Lucy later mentions her “amazing hair” in another joke answer later on in the column. This suggests Jamie has been groomed to say that.

I have to take my hat off to Lucy here – and thus reveal my own amazing hair – because if I had the power to make people compliment my hair in national newspapers, I would use it on an hourly basis. It would certainly brighten up Ukip scandals and ‘love cheat’ tell-alls. However, I feel compelled to ask: what exactly is so amazing about her hair? I don’t get it. Is it sentient? Does it play piano. No idea. Just looks like your average long hair to me. But what do I know? I’m just a big gay. Onward.

Lucy and Jamie: Awkward moments and table manners

Good of Lucy to involve Papa Roach here so the Guardian could take the rather weird step of cross-linking to the Californian rock band’s official site. I have to admit, I clicked. Latest news: they’ve just performed in Sweden.

Anyway, admitting you like bands that aren’t Girls Aloud is pretty awkward, I agree, and Jamie only makes things worse by trying to cut a piece of bread with cutlery. Immediate questions:

– Was he cutting up a loaf? Or a baguette?
– If already sliced, how big was the slice?
– Did he butter it before or after – if at all?
– Does Jamie have a small mouth?
– Was he trying to impress Lucy with this act of sophistication?

We’ll never know, but Jamie has the good grace to mention it himself as an awkward moment.

But then any affection I have for Jamie melts away like a snowball against a blowtorch as he delivers a “Yes” for the table manners question. Every other answer simmering with awkward humour and double-meaning and “God I don’t know if we really like each other so let’s just say ‘stuff’ instead of actual words”, but here, I get nothing. “Yes.”

Lucy and Jamie: Best thing

Jamie is also a stand-up comedian, apparently (this is not a barb; Lucy goes on to say she’d like to see his routine), so Lucy’s answer is not unreasonable. It does, however, seem to support my theory that this date was a massive bants-gasm and nothing else.

Jamie’s answer almost cements it – I have never thought being described as not taking yourself too seriously was anything resembling a compliment, have you? It’s what Alfie Moon from EastEnders does. It’s annoying.

Sometimes when faced with someone who won’t take themselves too seriously, you want to kill a family member in front of them to bring them to a level where you can have a conversation with them without a comedy eye-roll or the use of a nearby baguette as a joke moustache.

They went on for a “cheeky” drink, didn’t snog, scored each other 7 and 8 respectively and said, in a roundabout way because God forbid they would actually give a straight answer about anything, that they might meet again. So that’s nice.

Let’s hope that when the laughs run out, there’s still something there.

It’s either gonna be for ever, or it’s gonna go down in flames.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Emma and Rich

Emma and Rich

Interesting fact about Rich: he called this very blog “cheap and witless” just a few weeks ago. *cracks fingers* Anyway.

This week’s contestants are in their early 40s. Generally, daters in this age bracket tend to be quite vanilla and rarely give anything away. It’s only the really young or old ones who have zero filter and let rip. However, despite this week’s photo screaming “beige”, I am willing to give them a go.

Read what happened on the date  before we get the microscope – and the claws – out. 20141220_table manners question

Emma’s an interior designer, but answers most of the questions about the date as she if she’s a teacher handing you back some homework that has disappointed her.

Spitting out food you don’t like is kind of what napkins are for, if you think about it, so I’m not sure why Emma feels Jane Eyre-levels of mortification.

She says Rich’s table manners were “not bad”, which isn’t exactly an “impeccable” so you have to wonder what he did to get this B-. Emma shall never tell. Never. I’m with her on duck spring rolls, though – they are not your friend. Yuk.

Rich mentions the napkin-spitting incident so at least the one thing they have in common is a bizarre hang up about ‘serviettes’.

Thankfully, elsewhere in the date, the answers get more interesting.

B5TL9E0IMAAZBYl

Here, Rich is using a blunt instrument to get the message across that Emma liked to talk about herself. I guess it’s important, when you’re going to appear in a magazine, to look funny or clever. It was a spirited effort. Some might say it’s a cheap shot. Not me, though, oh no. Let’s abandon the floaters to go deeper.

Emma:

20141220_emma make of you

“Normal.” I bet Rich’s heart is beating ten-to-the-dozen with this faint praise. “Boring” uses the same amount of letters and is more descriptive, but has less shade value. Emma almost certainly watches Drag Race.

As for the “demanding and bossy”, I assume this is linked to a request for more napkins. How demanding can you be on a first date? And why would you want to be?

Rich:

rich make of you

“Well-spoken” is a great compliment from one of your grandma’s friends or a drama teacher. Here, it means “boring”. At least she didn’t go for “witless”, eh Rich?

I am now absolutely dying to know what Emma did on this date. I’m enjoying Rich’s alliteration here, but need more details on whether this was just for effect or she really was a nightmare. Impatient, eh? “BRING ME MORE NAPKINS NOW.” It has to be.

This week the “If you could change one thing” question features zero whinging about it being a weeknight. Result!

Instead we get this cup of sick with glass at the bottom: emma change one thing

Swearing on a date probably isn’t ideal, but the line “It’s not the first thing I’d say to impress a lady” is one of the most hilarious things I have read in Blind Date for a while. I really hope that’s not a direct quote.

Both scored each other an 8, and while the entire date feels like it was carefully airbrushed in numerous phone calls between the two, and curated by the ghost of Mary Whitehouse, once you look a little deeper, it’s a seething mass of tension, awkwardness and, of course, napkins.

Who says people in their 40s are dull?

Shanine and Ankur

Blind-date-Shanine--Ankur-008

I’ve got to say, this is looking pretty scarce on LOLs so far.

I’ve always felt a bit funny if I’m wearing my glasses on a date and the other guy is too. I imagine other people gazing over at us saying: “Oh look at those two speccy-four-eyed geeks over there – at least they found each other, eh?” 😦

Anyway, read what happened on the date before we all put our horn-rimmed gigs on and take a closer look.

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 21.11.13

💯 for Shanine, there. I have always shied away from eating on a first date because I know for a fact there ain’t anybody out there ready to sit opposite me watching me tear a burger limb from limb.

20141213_tablemanners

Whoa. It’s happened. An “impeccable”.

Ankur, I am so disappointed in you. Get out.

Shanine’s answer (top) isn’t a particularly humorous or titillating answer, but at least it’s informative. And you can’t slate a bloke for keeping your glass full. Mind you, sharing a dessert should be a hanging offence.

This “impeccable” from Ankur is shade of the highest order. He’s saying he was bored. And given one of the topics of conversation was “coalition cuts”, I’m not surprised.

According to Shanine, the best thing about Ankur is his accent. His accent. The way he talks. It’s like rolling off someone just after sex and asking how it was for them, only to be told “You have lovely hair”.

Ankur, in return, praises Shanine’s personality. This is all very polite. I feel we should have china cups and battenburg and a chihuahua snoring by an open fire.

Both are at pains to point out they’d only meet up again as friends, even going so far as to quite clearly agree in advance their final marks and a parting comment.

20141213_marks out of 10

Also, this feels like the millionth date in a row that one of the pair uses the “If you could change one thing…” question to slate the organisers of the date for making them do it on a weeknight.

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 10.40.54

I don’t know who foots the bill for these dates, and I’m sure restaurant owners would rather get a few tables filled on a rainy Monday, but doesn’t anybody realise how absolutely incredible these dates could be if they were at the weekend?

Imagine if booze was flowing and nobody had to get up in the morning! Murky ‘nightspots’, furtive glances and Sambuca-induced snogging would replace all the dreary “Impeccables” and wittering about having to catch the last train home.

In short, we need a donk on it, otherwise we have another year of “Maybe as friends” to look forward to. And nobody wants that.

Photograph: James Drew Turner for the Guardian

Katie and Chris

Blind-date-Katie-and-Chri-008

Katie is a nurse and Chris sits on Twitter and Reddit all day (lol jk: he’s a social media editor). There’s a beard and a mustard top and they seem pretty nice, so let’s just see. Read what happened on the date before we go into detail.

Katie:
Katie's quote

I don’t understand this. What does she mean? That the beard wasn’t patchy? I think that’s what she means, but if it isn’t, do please send your answer on a postcard to “the usual address”.

There’s an early freakout by Chris about Katie being a vegan, but that aside, the good table manners questions were answered fairly drably: a “Yes” from Katie and a mention of no dribbling from Chris. By far more enlightening this week were the answers to these questions:

Katie's answers

Chris's answers

“Impressive wine consumption” – oh dear. I have sat far too many times on a date and tanked back the pints out of nervousness, boredom, awkwardness or playing plain old catch-up.

As these two seem to like each other, I’m guessing it was nervousness on Chris’s part. The fact that he references what Katie might have thought of his drinking prowess suggests it actually came up on the date and nobody likes a) being told they’re a drunk or b) telling somebody they drink too much.

The “What do you think he/she made of you?” question is a good one because it pretty much condenses how the date went. Katie’s answer explains the image she likes to present of herself and the lasting impression she expects Chris to take away.

Chris’s answer, however, says “I got pissed”. No more, no less. 😦

Anyway, it can’t have been that bad as they snogged and Katie says she’s “probably” see him again.

Milliners, get out your best fascinators – we’re on our way.

Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian