Task: Go on a blind date
Location: Kennebunkport, Maine
Stood on the Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge in the idyllic town of Kennebunkport, Maine, I had arrived before my date, Ben from dating app Bumble. The photo addict in me used the opportunity to take obligatory tourist shots whilst the singleton side felt marked that he wasn’t A) already there and B) armed with the keys to a famous lighthouse, clutching saltwater taffy and a Champagne/lobster banquet for two.
I don’t eat lobster.
Having waited 20 minutes for my date, I was dangerously close to what constitutes “mug territory”. I decided I’d wait another 10 minutes, all the while knowing that I am indeed the ultimate mug who would wait a further half an hour. Cringe.
If there’s one thing I do well it is cringe-worthiness. I once not only referred to myself as a “maniac” but proceeded to sing Michael Sembello’s “Maniac” song of Flashdance fame in a job interview, all of my own accord. Mortifying!
I didn’t get the job.
I also do lack of shame pretty well too, having been sick on a Chiltern Railways train in a bin the size of a thimble, while dressed as Wonder Woman with a stranger chanting “Chunder Woman” at me one Christmas.
On top of that, I excel at being mugged off too, with a selection of bad boyfriend decisions to show for it.
OK…that’s three things that I do insanely well, same-same.
9.15pm – Hollie Day to Ben from Bumble: I’m here at the bridge in Kennebunkport, are you on your way? (*no emoji)
(9.15-9.30pm *tumbleweed, lots of checking my phone, taking photos in square and photo mode, googling local traffic accidents and loitering with general awkwardness on a dark bridge)
9.40pm – Hollie Day to Ben from Bumble: Should I Ieave?
Of course I should have left! Why did I ask the guy that didn’t show up to confirm the fact that I’m the nutter stood on a bridge, alone at night, on my first evening in picture perfect Maine?
But then a group of boyband good looking guys walked past me and a B.E.A.Utiful specimen of a man walked purposefully towards me.
He looked younger than his 29 year old arty profile pics but it was pretty dark, and he was very, very pretty… despite the white sports socks which I was prepared to overlook as he was American. I made a mental note to buy him a pair of trainer socks for Christmas.
Obviously, rather than looking confident and breezy with my Beyoncé game face on, I pretended to look at my phone. Only to find that my Fisher-Price-style American mobile was stuck on an “ingrown hair vs genital wart” Google search as part of some self-diagnosis/research I’d embarked on when killing time loitering on the bridge.
When I finally made eye contact with him, albeit flustered and embarrassed, I high-fived myself in my head for my blind date candidate; cute, charming and with the added bonus of outrageously handsome friends.
I obviously lacked charm by squawking “are you Ben? Why are you so late?” before even introducing myself. After our fumbled intros we sat down overlooking the film-set like Kennebunk River.
He then presented two local beers from his pocket.
“How American” I gushed, expecting him to also produce red cups too, and inwardly cringing at my girlyness.
He explained he’d got caught up in a bar with the One Direction of Kennebunkport (my words not his) that had just walked passed me. I volunteered that I was perfectly happy for us to join his (hot) friends (I’m no fool) for drinks after we’d eaten.
He had already eaten.
Then alarm bells rang.
He’s not hungry!
Food had formed the large majority of my witty Bumble banter earlier in the day and we had said meet for dinner, I was VERY specific about that. The warning signs had obviously been on beauty-induced mute mode, as I failed to recognise that, whilst gorgeous, he did actually only look about 12, hadn’t alluded to anything we’d discussed in our messages and the very first thing he said on meeting me wasn’t “sorry for being late/so late/outrageously late/late beyond words/late to the point of being rude/ late but I bought you a unicorn to make amends”.
I’m quite clearly a fool.
So whilst I had arguably just had a blind date, it hadn’t been with Ben from Bumble. Evidently I’d need more practice before being able to weed out confident, post-grad Bumble impersonators.
I never did meet Ben from Bumble but fortunately the magnanimous side of Hollie Day saw it as a lesson learnt. Stranger danger – beware, it’s not just ugly people, the hot guys can be weirdos too.
*Ben from Bumble is alive and well and wasting people’s time with no shows approximately 1.4 miles away.
**He sent me messages saying he was there. Given that he wasn’t, as I was the only person stood on the bridge, means he is either a liar (obviously), noticed I don’t look anything like my profile pics without an inflatable swan and a heavy filter and drove off (more than likely), was on the wrong bridge (just bloody stupid).
*** Boyband good-looking Bumble date impersonator turned out to be a 21 year old freemason virgin genius. He’ll probably run for president or become a convict or both.
****It was an ingrown hair! Phew.