Coffee Dating

Written on 13th September 2011.  

Coffee Dating by Alyson Dunlop

2 o’clock.  Another coffee date.  I had imagined the Age of Aquarius to be somewhat more romantic.  Nowhere in my wildest dreams had I thought I would ever resort to internet dating.  It’s easy to be a sex symbol behind a computer screen. That’s the reality nowadays, for those of us who have become a little bit more set in our ways, a little bit less confident and a little bit more fat.  When I was younger I had no idea I’d still be kissing a lot of frogs at my age.  The idea of the Handsome Prince had faded some 5 or so years ago, and been replaced by the Reasonably Sane and Funny Bachelor (looks, unimportant), happy-if-you-just-turn-up.  The one glorious thing I had discovered about being a 39 year old woman still on the dating scene, was that I had become…a cougar!  How wonderful it is to be desired by gorgeous 20-something men!

2.30pm.  I realised I had been stood up.  How annoying.  I was fine with someone deciding we’d be better as friends, but not turning up was just plain rude.  I sat with my soya latte, reading a self-help book on relationships, looking out at the gale-force winds I had braved to be here.  Humiliated and rejected, I soon found myself wondering how people used to meet in the Good Old Days.  Remember?  Those days when you spied someone and your eyes met across a crowded room.  You’d smile.  He’d smile.  He’d come over.  The book I was reading said this actually still worked.  Without a computer?  Surely not.   Apparently, the book said, if you smile at a man it will lure him and he will come over, completely forgetting that it was you who made the first move!  It seemed too easy.

I cast my eye around the room.  Oh, there was someone I thought I knew.  Thingy.  A customer from work.  He glanced over.  I smiled and waved.  He looked bemused, but smiled back, tentatively waving.  He hesitated, but after a few moments, placed down his newspaper and rose.  He was coming over.  That was the point at which I realised, with horror, it wasn’t Thingy from work.  It was a complete stranger!  How embarrassing, I thought, my face turning 50 shades of scarlet. My eyes fell on the book.  Damn you!  I thought.  I hadn’t even got to the chapter about what to do once your prey had been ensnared.  I was on my own.

“Hi,” he said.

“Hi,” I said.

“May I buy you a coffee?” he offered.

“Yes.  Thanks,”  I blushed.

His eyes sparkled.  His smile was warm. “I just saw you sitting over here on your own, and thought you might like some company,” he explained.

Did you?  I thought, smiling wryly.  He didn’t even realise I’d made the first move.  Without a computer.

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