Great, it was 7:30pm and I only had half an hour until we were due to meet. My hair was still up in rollers and I was yet to glue on my eyelashes, not to mention I also had to choose an appropriate outfit for the evening, meaning emptying to contents of my wardrobe onto my bedroom floor and determine once again that yes, I had nothing to wear. The evening itself was to be a first date, I was a little nervous but excited nonetheless.
Gareth and I met after a mutual ‘swipe right’ on Tinder to determine that yes, we were both physically attracted to each other. The opening appeal was there, and that was what mattered. It was at that point that we began to swap several witty messages in an attempt to decode our dating suitability and things seemed to be going swimmingly. Gareth was handsome and had a good sense of humour, I certainly had nothing to complain about at this stage. Shortly after our initial interactions, we decided to exchange numbers – trusting that our intentions to get to know one another better were, in fact, genuine.
From then on , our texts became more frequent as we began to get to know more about each other’s passions, likes, dislikes and general personalities. We seemed to have a lot in common and in the world of online dating, this was a wonderful occurrence. The quest to find a potential partner is sometimes a pretty difficult task so when you do finally come across someone whose compatibility seems almost too good to be true, you don’t half get a smile on your face!
We continued our conversations from Monday to Thursday, and with each text, I grew fonder of him. I mean, granted, we had never met but there was something about his manner that made me feel good about the whole situation. On Thursday, Gareth dropped the bomb and suggested that we meet for drinks on Friday evening. I was already sold and had been waiting for the question to come to light, so needless to say I agreed, and I was excited.
So here I was. It was Friday night, and I was going to be late. First impressions were normally my strong point, yet punctuality continued to be a concept I simply couldn’t get my head around. After staring blankly into my slightly chaotic wardrobe, I selected my outfit for the evening. A little black dress. The classic choice. Discrete enough to show that I was a woman of class, but revealing enough to say “honey, I’ve got the goods!” The dress was on and the battle with the ‘fakery’ was about the commence. I let my hair out of my rollers to reveal a beautifully bouncy curl, and held my lashes in place to ensure that they’d stay glued to my eyelids for the remainder of the night. It was 7:50pm. I was really pushing it now.
After having conversed about nightlife preferences, Gareth had suggested we meet at a bar on Ashton Lane in the West End of Glasgow. I definitely hadn’t tried to hide the fact that I loved a cocktail or seven, and he had taken that into account. Thoughtful to say the very least. I grabbed a pair of heels from the mess on my floor, placed them on my freshly pedicured feet, and rushed out of the door. It was 7:55pm. I was meant to be there in 5 minutes. Disastrous timekeeping.
In a perfect world, I would have made my way to the subway and arrived fabulous and impossibly fresh looking with minutes to spare. However, this is no perfect world. Without haste, I called a local taxi firm and a cab appeared almost instantly. God bless living in the city. I fell into the back seat and directed the driver accordingly, who proceeded to ask me about my evening ahead. I explained, very inarticulately, that I was meeting a man for a first date and I’ll be honest, I found it hard to contain my excitement. After a few minutes in the car, we arrived, money exchanged hands and the taxi driver wished me well for the evening – a sentiment I was highly appreciative of.
It was 8:05pm. Wonderful. I had assumed I’d be much later than I was but thankfully, the car journey spared my embarrassment. I popped my head into the place we’d agree to meet, a small intimate location, so it was easy to assess the entire room of patrons with a swift glance around the bar. I couldn’t see Gareth. Odd, I thought. I was late. I made my way back outside and checked my phone. I hadn’t had a message but I waited. The bar was next door to the subway station, where a rather talented busker was playing romantic melodies on his guitar. At least I was being entertained in the interim.
20 minutes went by. No call, no text. Strange. I decided to call him. I scrolled down to G in my contacts, and pressed dial. It went straight to voicemail. My feelings of excitement quickly started to disappear and were instead replaced with a sickly sensation. I called again. It went straight to voicemail. It was now 8.30pm. He wasn’t coming, was he? I was stood outside the bar, starting to feel the cold, dolled up to the nines and pretty devastated that this had happened. I found it hard to cover the expression on my face – a look of disappointment.
The busker looked over at me and smiled. It was clear to see that he knew what had happened, and his sympathetic grin was almost comforting to me at this point. I smile back in attempt to thank him for feeling sympathetic. It was 8:40pm. He definitely wasn’t coming. I headed down to the subway and flipped a couple of pounds into the busker’s hat. Why did he stand me up? Why didn’t he just say he didn’t want to go out? Why did he ask to go out in the first place? Why had he changed his mind? A rather interesting episode of Question Time was plaguing my mind as I boarded the subway back to my apartment.
As I arrived home, I stepped through the door and perched on the edge of my bed, pushing my heels off one by one and peeling off my new eyelashes. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe this had happened. I looked at my phone, no calls, no texts. I was sad. Why was I sad? I had never even met this man and his actions had caused me to feel down. What fresh hell was this?
I never heard from Gareth again. Not a peep. I didn’t make any effort to get in touch with him, and in this instance, I think I made the right decision. I don’t believe in pursuing someone who obviously isn’t interested, I took it on the chin and I’m glad I did. By doing so, I prevented the seemingly inevitable emotional breakdown in bed later that night. I won’t lie though, being stood up is a horrible feeling but maybe he did me a favour. We obviously weren’t as compatible as it may have seemed, and his inability to make an appearance cemented that fact.
If you ever endure a situation where you find yourself stood up by another, don’t be too disheartened. Remember, shit happens, and it happens for a reason. Sure, it doesn’t feel great at the time but one man’s loss is another man’s gain, and boy, what a gain you are.