Back in 2015, newly single and hoping to find the man I will eventually marry (still working on that), I was browsing dating websites like they were facebook, painstakingly reading countless profiles for anyone who vaguely suited my set of preferences. I was young and naive but thought I was ready for the bigger things in life. Silly 22 year old me.
Anyway, one day, a few weeks before Christmas, a dude messaged me. I browsed his profile, analysed all his photos and decided to give him a chance. The first 2 dates were OK but there wasn’t much chemistry between us. That became all the more clear on date number 3.
On the morning of our third date, I was getting ready for what I thought was going to be a nice walk around a local park with this guy and his dog. It sounded like a good bonding opportunity and something I desperately needed as I was becoming very aware of the lack of ‘spark’ between us.
During the drive to pick me up, this guy had had a sudden change of plan. He decided that we should go to his house and watch a movie instead. I was made aware of the plan change once he had already picked me up…
I wasn’t exactly thrilled nor am I the type of person to ‘Netflix and chill’ that quickly into knowing someone. My day got progressively worse from there.
The guy hadn’t told me that he was still living at home with his parents so once he opened his front door, both his mum and dad were there. His mum hugged me, offered me food, I politely declined before being abandoned in the hallway while everyone else went into the kitchen. It was the longest minute of my life and there was a distinct lack of photos or art work on the walls to provide me with at least a little entertainment.
Once the dude returned, we headed upstairs to his bedroom…
…I walked into a bedroom that could have equally belonged to a teenage boy, not someone a year older than me. Clothes had been thrown across the floor, a stack of plates were towering over his computer and the room just stank of stale boy. It was very obvious that this guy hadn’t thought about inviting me around until the moment he drove away from this pigsty. Being a little taken back, I sat on his bed while he flicked through the movies, pre-downloaded on his PS3.
That’s when I noticed it.
Right in the middle of his grey duvet cover was a huge, the size of a grapefruit huge, ketchup stain. Now call me high maintenance but if you invite a girl over to your house, you might want to change your bed sheets first!
He had picked The Hunger Games to watch. Great, two and a half hours of avoiding this stain. As the movie played on, the guy put his arm around me and invited me in for a cuddle. I was so rigid, not really wanting to be there and trying to avoid this stain which I had managed to curl my body around.
We stayed like that for a little bit until his mum strolled in and asked him if he wanted anything to eat, I quickly jumped up, which probably made me look more suspisious. He asked for some sausage rolls. No one asked me if I wanted anything, seemingly having learned from our previous encounter.
A short while later, his mum reappeared with a plate of about 6 sausage rolls and a bottle of ketchup. It became evident that this was a regular meal of his and the ‘sauce’ of the ketchup stain (I couldn’t resist making that joke).
So we were about halfway through the movie, he was nomming away on a pile of sausage rolls while I remained rigid, wondering if this was now my life when his older brother wondered into the room (does anybody knock anymore?!) carrying his baby son. He introduced himself and gave me a brief interrogation and thrust the baby into my dates arms.
So to recap, there is now me, my date, a baby and a ketchup stain. It is getting very crowded on this single bed. Now I think babies are great and the day I have my own excites me but I haven’t had much contact or experience with them so I just sort of ignored this poor kid. His uncle was doing most of the entertaining anyway.
Nothing else happened during the movie, but I was so overwhelmed by my experienced that I asked to go home and promptly (and gently) let him know that I didn’t think things were working out. He didn’t take it very well, called me manipulative but we had only met 3 times. I don’t even know if he’d had a girlfriend before, that’s what little I knew about him… But he clearly left a lasting impression. I will never look at ketchup the same again.