Tuesday 24 April 2018

Would you want dating advice from me?

Katy Harrington

My morning begins with an email from my friend. She wants to meet someone but lacks the necessary proactivity. She seems to believe that I hold some esoteric knowledge, that I am a secret mastermind of dating in London, when really asking me for dating advice is a bit like putting Lindsay Lohan in charge of your kids' school run.

She wants to know how long you should message someone for, what sites to use, what first-date protocol to observe. Because she doesn't drink, I send back some strongly worded advice to the effect of: Do not feel under any obligation to commit to dinner or drinks with someone who will likely get drunk and bore you to tears with tales of their travels to Lima. Keep it short and snappy, I say, this is a numbers game, sounding like a Z-list life coach. A few hours later, I find myself spitting on the grave of my own advice. I'm going on a blind date, set up through a mutual friend who actually had a fling with this guy some time back herself, which is probably the worst set-up for a date imaginable, second to a night at Charles Manson's. He's taking me to an 'immersive' Star Wars cinema experience. The 'experience' begins with 30 or so of us being shouted at by overenthusiastic amateur actors. We are told to "keep low and move fast" before having our phones confiscated and being locked in a steel cargo crate, which I feel may be oddly familiar to anyone who has flown with some budget airlines.

While we are standing in the queue to enter the dangerous desert planet of Tatooine, a woman dressed as an Imperial trooper pulls me out of the line and puts a small rock in my hand. "Your mission is find the rebel Ajax and tell him this is a piece of his home planet. Do you understand me?"

"I think so," I say, trying not to cry, "but what if I'm too stupid?"

"All humans are stupid," she barks, "now complete your mission". Now that's good advice.

Sunday Independent

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