The last date I went on was a masterclass in awkward. I met him on Tinder, because I'm incapable of meeting anyone any other way. I do meet men when I go out, but I'm usually either too drunk to recognise when they are interested or too drunk to tell when they are not.
Anyway, this boy's name was Tom - Tinder Tom. He seemed polite, funny and capable of expressing his enthusiasm without using the slice of pizza or party hat emoticons. And so, despite my Tinder instincts telling me better, I go on a date with him (even though his profile has only one picture of his face taken from an unusual angle). Turns out, if he was a dress I could bring him back to the shop and get a refund on the basis he was 'not as described'. But Tom is not a dress, he's a man with a flair for creative photographic angles, and he deserves to be treated as such.
So we get a drink, but Tom is nervous. I do occasionally have a heart, so I try to calm Tom, adopting the slow steady voice you might use around a spooked horse, but to no avail. He gets increasingly worked up, talking non-stop, spewing anecdote after anecdote. I worry he'll have a seizure if he carries on. Then he loses his marbles altogether and starts plucking questions from the sky - how wide do you think that doorway is? Do you like coriander? What shoe size are you?
I knock my wine back like it is water and Tinder Tom and I make the death march to the Tube, walking side by side but being careful not to brush against each other. At the station, he braves his last question: 'would you like to do this again?' Like the cowardly creep I am I say sure, then never reply to his messages.
A few days ago, another guy (with several pictures taken from varying angles) asked me out on Tinder. We have a mutual friend so I email her to ask what he's like. She replies, describing him as 'from Dublin' and 'unfriendly' and so of course I say yes.