| 12.9°C Dublin

My cautionary date tale for Sinead

"I wants a man," says Sinead O'Connor, in a plaintive if oddly-phrased plea to men everywhere. To paraphrase my mother: "Be careful of what you wants for." Particularly on a first date.

A recent Twitter appeal for the worst first dates in less than 140 characters shows all too clearly the grim reality of getting back into the relationship 'scene'.

One woman was invited back after a first date to a homeless hostel, another was asked repeatedly to guess the size of her date's penis and one woman returned from a trip to the bathroom to discover her new friend doing something unmentionable into her shoe.

Among the very worst of my own wretched catalogue of worst first-dates was in London as a poorly-paid cub reporter.


I asked a very aloof Cambridge graduate to the Golden Raj, a newly-opened Indian restaurant on the Holloway Road.

I contacted the establishment to arrange a free meal in return for a write-up in the paper. They seemed reluctant at first but eventually agreed.The Golden Raj, it turns out, was a takeaway Indian with just a counter and a big window facing on to the street.

Next to the counter the Golden Raj owner had graciously set up a small Formica-covered table with paper napkins and two cans of Fanta. There may have even been a candlestick. While we dine, people would be barrelling in to pick up curries. I will never forget the date's look. It said: "I wants to be elsewhere."

There was no second date.