No cock block here


Task: Tag along to someone else’s date

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

I’m not one for befriending people in hostels, preferring to go out with locals rather than “sick all over himself” bunk bed companion Brad from Oz, “poor personal hygiene” Jan from Germany, or “borderline OCD” Lan from China. But on my third night in New Orleans I parted with tradition.

Ahead of his date with a local Tinderella, Euros, the Irish lad in my mixed dorm, and I decided to tackle Frenchmen Street head on.

A few chest warming vodkas and outrageously loud jazz bands in (all in the name of pre-first date prep), we ventured to the Spotted Cat. I was merely acting as the warm up pawn up to this point, filling in the hours in friendly fashion whilst his date got ready (girl code for stalking the hell out of him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and/or the electoral register), ahead of my own midnight feast (no sexual innuendo intended), a late night date with the entrepreneur from North Carolina after he’d finished work.

I leapt to life on meeting Euros’ Tinderella, entertaining her female friend who had tagged along to ensure that Euros wasn’t a catfish, pervert, murderer or, worse still, just old.

Watching a first date from the sidelines is weird yet intriguing. Overhearing the cringe-worthy depths of conversation we plummet to whilst fumbling around for a common hook to hang our sparky banter from is like karaoke: awesome if you are the performer, but excruciating for the spectator.

The strangest opening lines I’ve received on first meeting people stateside to date include:

  • “Do you like watercress? I hear everyone eats it in England”. I honestly can’t think of a more nondescript food to be asked about, let alone think of a single person that buys it.
  • “Hello”, said in a Dick Van Dyke accent. That’s my cue to turn and run.
  • “Are you English? You leaving the EU makes Americans feel better about our presidential candidates.” Errrrrr, well it shouldn’t.

The above all make my first holiday romance in Greece, aged 15, with Greek bar boy Nikos look promising. We paused for breath in between sweaty snogs for him to tell me that “France is a big and beautiful country”. We were in Greece. I am English. It was random. With no comprehension of Greek and his obvious lack of English, I did what anyone would do and replied in my best secondary school Spanish; “Mi llamo Hollie. Vivo en Inglaterra. Tengo tres hermanas y tengo quince anos.” Obviously we really hit it off. So much common ground, what with our textbook language skills and all…

What I really wanted to say was “stop trying to heavy pet me. I’ve massive period pants on and a bush that’s out of control. Please just go back to dry-humping my leg on the dance floor whilst we slowly sway to Celine Dion, followed by the DJ’s unexpected mix into a euro trash “classic” immediately after.

On first meeting Euros’ date I prematurely predicted disaster. Euros’ Peter Crouch posture, milky skin, clean cut look and spritely Irish charm didn’t strike me as a likely match for the Beth Ditto of New Orleans – curvaceous, diminutive height, a penchant for alternative tattoos and a septum piercing – but I was wrong. They spoke the same language. He left mid-drink (cheapest date of all time) and returned to our hostel the next morning with the “I’ve just been fucked” face of joy.

*Much of the first date banter I witnessed involved self-deprecating chat. A fabulous PR friend has given me the task of only saying positive things on a date. Stay tuned, I’ll give it a go.

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Hollie Day

Hollie by name, HollieDay by nature. Join me on my journey, husband hunting on my holidays.