Date 10: The Setup

If you are wondering what happened with Marie after The Vegan, this is what happened:
The Vegan Part 2

Marie and I arranged a second Thursday date as we both had a lot on at the weekend. We planned to go for food at a tapas restaurant I’d never been to before. I was coming from the gym and ordered lots of delicious meat, as well as some bravas with various dips to share with Marie. Marie ordered bread sticks with humus and some vegetarian Paella (I know right, snooore).

The food was great and the conversation flowed. It was again mostly me doing the talking and cracking all of the jokes. Marie certainly laughed a lot. We went to a bar next door afterwards and had nohitos (boring mojitos). We discussed the whole vegan thing in more detail. It seemed her vegan beliefs were aimed at saving the planet. I argued that her driving to work probably did much more harm to the planet than my scrumptious chicken wings and chorizo. Marie got a bit salty and argued that she had no other way to travel to work. I pointed out the distance some of the guys cycle to get to my office when she said it was too far for her to cycle. I’m gonna claim the win on that front. 

I did ease up on the vegan bashing after a while (which was for entertainment purposes only). We chatted about some other forms of saving the planet and related documentaries. We came to the conclusion that besides giving blood I am a horrible human being and likely will cause the demise of the universe as we know it.

It got late and I dropped Marie home even though it was miles out of my way. I couldn’t help but thinking that we weren’t really on the same page at all. I’m not a massive drinker but I do enjoy a few quiet drinks most weekends and I also love food and trying new restaurants whenever possible. These are things I love to do with a girl I’m dating. If a girl doesn’t share either of those interests and we don’t have much else in common either, I don’t see it going very far. I left things open with Marie but texting quickly fizzled out thereafter.

Date 10: The Setup

I was having a drink with my friend Fiona at the weekend and she mentioned that her cousin was also out. Fiona suddenly had the idea that she should set me up with her cousin Gemma. She had never really mentioned Gemma before but apparently they were as close as sisters. I had actually bumped into the two of them on a night but paid no attention to Fiona’s cousin and couldn’t remember what she looked like.

I received a text from Fiona during the week asking if I wanted Gemma’s number. She had already cleared number swapping with Gemma. I didn’t know much about Gemma other than a few pictures which Fiona showed me. Fiona told me three things about her. She had a good job, gorgeous (great boobs) and was a good bit older than me (35) but I should meet her anyway.

I figured it was the usual case of a girl flattering her friend or cousin in this case. Girls always tell each other they look fabulous (your butt doesn’t look big in that, etc. etc.). If a girl wants to set you up with their super hot or “stunning” friend beware! I wasn’t wow’d by the pictures but I trusted Fiona enough to not set me up with a dud so I figured why not. It was unlikely I’d end up with a split personality or emotional wreck at the end of a date. I also doubted she’d be a herbivore or be leaving the country in two months!

The age gap did make me wonder. It was lager than normal but I always date slightly older girls. I don’t recall dating a younger girl since a girlfriend when I was 18, with the exception of one brief ‘relationship’. Older girls tend to have their act together and you don’t get messed around as much. They know what they want. People also tend to assume that I am older than I am. I’m guessing it is to do with maturity and how I carry myself because I don’t think I look much older than I am!

I sent the following text:
“Hi Gemma, (Mr Downright) here. As Fiona’s dating adviser and London’s most eligible bachelor she has requested I rescue a dire situation. While I am reliably informed you lack banter and general know-how with men, I am led to believe you have high ornamental values and could be brought up to speed in other departments with a few cooking lessons and the likes. I suppose I am willing to help a damsel in distress.” I didn’t know anything about Gemma’s cooking skills but thought it was a nice touch. She got back to me after a couple of hours and we quickly arranged a date for the coming Friday. She must have heard good things, of course!

We met at a central bar on Friday after work. I saw Gemma walking inside as I was approaching and followed her in (that makes me sound like a predator?). Predator Downright was greeted by a sophisticated looking Gemma. She had a pleasant smile with wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a green top with black trousers and heels. There was a mature look about Gemma. You’d know roughly what age she was, but she looked good, definitely the type of girl I would date. We both ordered a glass of wine and sat down for a quick chat before dinner. We made some polite conversation about work and chatted about Fiona and her love life. Being able to chat about Fiona diverted us away from some of the usual opening topics of conversation.

It was quickly time to move on to the tapas restaurant I had booked. Sophisticated Gemma moved on to red wine but I stayed on the white stuff. We ordered a fine selection of meat and fish related tapas (reaffirming my carnivorous ways in case you had forgotten). The food took forever to come out but we happily chatted away. Gemma worked in insurance and told me about how she came to her current role and what her job entailed. I did the same and explained how I ended up in my new-ish role. This involved reference to several pregnant women (not my doing) and allowed me to (sarcastically) roll my eyes at the mention of managers on maternity leave. My first attempt at winding Gemma up earning a solid smirk.

I mentioned that I worked near a big shopping center and we moved on to talking about spending habits. We talked about the amount of money women spend on makeup and their general appearance. Gemma made reference to the fact that you get what you pay for when it comes to most things. I agreed and voiced the assumption that she would look in bits if she bought her makeup in Boots, winning myself a more prominent smile. The food eventually came and in fairness it was delicious. We talked about a few tapas restaurants we had been to in the city and this one was definitely up there. 

We talked about online dating and apparently Gemma was a complete novice. She had signed up to one or two sites but didn’t stay on them for more than a day, it just wasn’t for her. I had no doubt that she’d get a lot of attention on nights out and would have no shortage of dates in any event. It sounded like we were on the same page in terms of what we were looking for. I guess that may have given her some comfort about the age gap, which I’m sure she had her reservations about. I was actually quite surprised that she had agreed to the date, although Fiona obviously gave me a fabulous recommendation. After all, they were very close and she wouldn’t put either of us up to the date if she didn’t think we would be a good fit.

I have to admit that the age gap did bother me a little. Gemma was about three years older than I’d of set my limit at. With that said, if the only issue I had with someone was their age then I think I’d be doing pretty well. When we finished our food neither of us fancied desert. This meant that the dinner was actually over quite quickly despite the food taking a long time to come out. We were both quite tired after a long week in work. Gemma lived quite a long way out from the city so we had agreed that we wouldn’t stay out too late. We decided to stay and have another drink or two before we parted ways.

We chatted about some of the travelling we had done and potential summer plans this year. I was surprised to hear a few holiday stories from Gemma which made her sound like quite the drinker. She definitely sounded like more of a party girl than the measured impression I had initially gotten. The drink quickly ran dry and we both agreed it was probably best to go home. At this stage we hit the often awkward stage in a date where you’re both relatively sober and neither party is quite sure how the other is feeling. There was definitely an attraction and some banter going back and forth but to say there was chemistry could be pushing it.

We walked towards a taxi rank and stood chatting for a while, ignoring the waiting taxis. I was quite surprised that Gemma actually went and kissed me before saying goodbye. Normally girls tell me that I can be very tough to read. In this instance I hadn’t been able to read Gemma very well either. I must have been doing something right anyway. It felt like it was a good date but there was no wow factor. I would definitely need another date to see how we got on.

What do you think about the age gap?

Mr Downright mature

  • Richard McNeill

    Age is just a number, it sounds like you’ve a similar outlook on life so why should her being 35 be a problem?

    • I agree Richard, like I said if all I have to worry about is her age then I don’t have too much to worry about it don’t think 🖒

  • Rachael Calvert

    I wouldn’t worry about the age gap, it’s just a number, its what you make it. The holiday stories were possibly her trying to sound younger.
    Good call on the vegan aswell, and points well made.

    • Thanks Rachel. Yeah I just don’t think I could last between that and not drinking it’s rough I wouldn’t know what to do 😅

  • Ashley Read

    She sounds like a great women. I love that she was confident enough to go in for the kiss first.

    • It was a welcome surprise Ashley no complaints there 👌

  • Nicky Gentle

    I agree with the others age is a number. If she was an old ugly hag like myself you would be able to question it haha. Go with your gut feeling.

    • Don’t be so harsh on yourself Nicky I heard you’re not too short of dates either 😉 I’ll go with the gut 🖒

      • Nicky Gentle

        Where ever did you hear that…

        • You told me!! 😝 Word on the street is your love a man in uniform 😝😝😅

        • You told me! Word on the street is you love a man in uniform 😝😝😅

          • Nicky Gentle

            Is this blog about you or me… ? Haha

          • Haha…it’s about my dates 😝