The difference between the idea and the reality

No. of times out and about today – 1
No. of passes made at me – 1
No. of times ‘checked out’ by some guy – 1 (on the train on the way back)

We meet.  If we meet in a city or area that I don’t know, he will ask me what I would like to do but will have some suggestions.  There had better be food in a nice restaurant on offer (I mean, we should go dutch, of course) as well as, maybe, a visit to some things he has picked out as being noteworthy (a museum, a gallery, even a park!).

OK, so if not at a mealtime, then, a suggestion to stop at a café, maybe grab a beer (or, in the case of Dennis, a coffee) and then do something, even go for a walk.

We talk.  He is interesting, interested in me and we have a lot in common or, at least, he makes me think we have a lot in common.  He indicates (I’m not sure how) that he finds me very attractive but doesn’t push it, both of us exploring the boundaries.  The time passes quickly.

He might suggest dinner at his place but there will be candles, good wine, the food will be expertly cooked but made to look as if it was easy, without effort.  He is accomplished at all things; he puts me at ease immediately.

I want to be wooed; I want to be wined and dined; I want to be seen to be loved; I want it to be romantic or, if we are to be friends then interesting; have something in common; chat easily and freely.

If we are to be more than friends, then, maybe, later, if we both feel the same it may lead to something more……

Then, of course, there are the other sort of dates.  Not ones I know but am aware of.  For those, let’s not waste any time.  He will, of course, be considerably younger than me and have a great body.  That is an absolute must otherwise what’s the point.  But the other type of date will be obvious before we’ve even met.  We will ‘know’ something about what the other wants/is looking for.  Here I still want to be wooed but in a different way; here it’s all about looks and superficiality and that’s fine.

Then, there is, what I can only politely describe as the mix up.  This is where it’s not clear to one side or the other and so, as a result, it makes it awkward and difficult.

Making it more difficult, of course, would be the fact that neither of you were able to speak the other’s language and then there’s that feeling that one of you is out of their depth a little (or a lot) and just wishing to go home.

I meant to take a notebook yesterday but forgot.  The train was not crowded.  About halfway through, Fred phoned.  Could I meet him at the station stop before the one planned (i.e. not in the centre (more or less) of the city?  I knew what this meant and so texted FfI to call me during the day.  Just in case.

I came out of the station and Dennis texted.  We had a text conversation as he was going back to Milan after a weekend away.  We texted about next week and a pizza and so on.  I walked to the car that was waiting – some sporty black little BMW number.  The problem is that cars really don’t impress me that much (although I can say all the right words to make the owner feel good – but a car is just a car, after all – it gets you from A to B in greater or lesser comfort).

I get in.  True, when FfI and I had looked at his profile (with new pictures) the previous night, I did think, wow, I’ve made a mistake here – he looks so much older than the original photos suggested and, as I may have mentioned before, it’s a younger person that I really want.  I know I’ve been spoiled by V but I want someone equally as good.  Now, he looks a little better – in the flesh.  He has no style but, hey, not everyone can be perfect.  I notice his elbows (he’s wearing a T-shirt) – they are the elbows of someone who is 60, not 44 (as he is supposed to be) – but then he looks older than me anyway.

I see we’re not driving to the city but to his town, just outside.  I’m disappointed.  I wanted to go back to the city.  It would have been nice to have the offer so this was not as it should be.

Several times he puts his hand on my leg.  For sure there is no electricity, no spark.  I want to get the next train back but, I made my bed and I should lie in it – actually what I’m thinking is that I need to make it clearer in future and that, anyway, being only my second ‘date’ I should use this as practice both for the date thing and for the Italian as he speaks no English.

We make conversation.  The drive is uneventful (apart from the touching).

We arrive at his flat.  It’s not that nice – OK but not so good.  The style of furniture looks as if it is rented even though he says it isn’t.  There are no books and a lot can be derived from the books on show.  It is a faceless flat; no character; not a home.

He offers me coffee.  We sit in the kitchen to have the coffee.  He gets up and take the cups away and then makes the pass.  I tell him no, that I am looking for friendship and, maybe, that special someone.

He does back off but I am ready for anything to ensure that nothing happens.

We talk.  I keep making the conversation, asking questions, making observations.  I didn’t think my Italian (although dreadful, especially in the conjugation of verbs and the grammar in general) was this good.  Well, I suppose, needs must.

We move back to the lounge.  We talk some more.  Or, rather, I ask more questions, make more observations.

He offers lunch – what we would call stew – with pollenta.  It’s OK.  I say it’s lovely, of course.  We talk about English, the English, the Italians, politics, hobbies, what he does in his spare time, etc.

He is boring.  I mean to say, his life is boring.  I don’t want to be partying all the time and like to put my feet up at home but…..

Again, I think how spoiled I have been spending 20 years with V.  We wanted the same things, both the stay-at-home bit AND the going out and having fun – although latterly, not clubbing for me.

I’m not looking for a V replacement, I know that much, but I want someone that is equally as fun; that will stretch me as much as I would stretch him. Fred is not this nor even close.  I dread to think I would end up with someone like this.

We have another coffee.  We had wine with the meal but he doesn’t know wine.  Nor do I but I want someone who, at least, tries to impress me, just a bit.  There is no effort being made here.  He just thought I would buy a train ticket and come all this way for sex.  He is much mistaken.  As I pointed out above, for this kind of date he would have to look 10 years younger than me (in his case 20 years younger).

I can see that we’re going to be sitting in the house forever.  I suggest we take a walk, by the canal.  He agrees but it’s soon obvious that he never does this.  I suppose that’s the beauty of having dogs – as you have to walk them you find the nicest places to do so.

The town we are in are having their end-of-summer festival.  It is the usual crap with the usual crap stalls and the usual crap local dancers, singers, etc.  I feign interest because that’s what you do.  He’s lived here all his life and never been!  Enough said.

We walk by the canal but he obviously doesn’t know a good route nor are we actually going anywhere.

We turn back and end up back at his house.  The conversation falters now, me exhausted by the lack of interest or interests that this guy has.

He takes me back to the train station – I will catch a much earlier train.  I am grateful to be going and still disappointed that I’m not seeing the beautiful city that is 10 minutes away by train but, at least, I will be back in Milan at a reasonable time.

I think of Dennis and, suddenly, Dennis seems so much nicer – he’s interesting and, more important, interested in me as a person, as a lover, as a friend and as a would-be partner.  I know he’s not right but he’s a million times better than what I have just experienced.

I arrive home and go online on the new site I’ve found.  This is the other type of site for, in the main, even if the people say otherwise, is for the other type of date.  I only put pictures up on Saturday.  I have decided that, after 20 years, I need the practice.  It’s been busy (people viewing my profile, etc. – I am wanted, apparently) but, through this I’ve ‘met’ Gordon. Gordon is about 10 years younger than I am with a great body and is quite beautiful.  We had arranged that we should ‘meet’ later this week.  We shall see; no rush.

Gordon has sent me messages and we spend the next couple of hours chatting.  He is sweet and is wooing me, not for a long-term relationship even if that is on his profile, but for short term satisfaction.  He knows this and I know this.  There is some flirting and that will, with any luck lead to sex and that is fine because we are working within the rules.

I send an email to Norman, who is sweet and is wooing me for either friendship or long-term.  He is going on holiday for this week.  I like him a lot although he is not so beautiful but, then, for a long-term relationship, that is not crucial – we have already both agreed that, when we meet there will either be the electricity between us (mutual) or we shall just be friends.  Either way we will be happy with that.

I go to sleep and dream of Gordon.