For those who don't know/remember, the #3Dates3Mths challenge is something set up by Just Singles. They got together a group of bloggers and set us the challenge to go on... well, 3 dates in 3 months. One of the dates had to be found through their website, and the other two had to be found "in other ways." (If you want to read about how the other bloggers are getting on, you can follow the Just Singles blog here or follow the hashtag on Twitter)
When I first signed up for this challenge, I commented to a friend that I had no idea how I would procure myself two dates without the help of a website. His reaction was: "there's a lovely bloke at work who would be ideal for you; he mentioned just the other day that he was thinking of joining a dating website. I'll set you up with him!"
And so, that was that taken care of.
... Or so I thought.
What actually happened was that two weeks later, when I'd heard nothing, I sent a text to said friend asking whether he'd spoken to his colleague and arranged this blind date. He said no, but he would now. He told me the guys name, saying "he's on my Facebook friends; go and check him out and see what you think!" I was really feeling decidedly awkward about the whole situation, but knew I'd agreed to do this challenge so figured I should just stop being a big pansy and crack on. The friend told me he'd spoken to the man in question, and he seemed up for the idea, and that I should send him a Facebook message. Again, slight panic set in; I really don't enjoy doing things that could lead to rejection of any sort. But again, I knew I had to do this challenge. So I sent (what I thought was) a short, witty message saying hello and I hoped he wasn't too mortified by our mutual friend's Cilla shenanigans.
No response, nothing. At all. At any point. Clearly my message was not as witty as I had intended.
Bugger. Nobody likes rejection, but worse than that - I still needed to find a date for this challenge. (Actually I'm lying; the rejection was the worse of the two there)
After a few weeks of nursing my bruised ego, I bit the bullet and sent a text to a few friends asking if they had a single friend they would consider setting me up with for the purposes of this challenge.
I probably texted around 10 or so friends. Most replied saying that sorry, they'd been married for years and knew no single men. Fabulous. Where the hell are all the eligible bachelors hiding?!
My friend Sam did something very... "Sam" about it though. She put up a Facebook status: "my friend is doing a challenge and needs to go on a blind date; which of my single male friends would like to oblige?" She gave me a brief description of two volunteers, and told me which she thought would be best suited to me. I agreed, and she did the mobile number exchanging bit for us.
Enter Potential Blind Date #2.
We chat briefly via text. He asks if I'd like to go out this weekend. Bloody short notice, but I rush around bribing my sister with all sorts in order to get her to babysit for me and we agree on Saturday evening. It starts as meeting for a drink, and then he suggests dinner too. I panic about what the hell one should wear on such an occasion, and spend a mad Saturday morning trawling around the shops with my sister in tow for fashion advice (from an 18 year old biker chick? What was I thinking?), and of course the toddler, for added torture. (If you've never tried shopping for clothing for a date that night with a grumpy toddler in tow, I strongly advise you not to. Ever.)
After a rather fruitless morning in town, we come home. I put S down for a nap, and begin to wonder whether I should paint my nails. Are you supposed to paint your nails for a first date? Will I look a bit rubbish if I just have, ya know, normal nails? I decide I should at the very least ensure they are clean and not speckled with poster paint and whatever that mark is there.
At this point, about 5 hours before the date is supposed to happen, the man sends a text saying he feels rubbish but he's going to have to cancel because of some lame excuse he'd not thought of sooner. He makes no attempt to reschedule. I honestly have no idea why. We seemed to be getting on ok with the texting, and he seemed to be looking forward to the date. He had, after all, suggested we have dinner as well as a drink.
If I'm honest, there was a little bit of relief at the thought of not having to go and meet a complete stranger... but mostly it was just irritation at wasted time, effort and wondering over nail polish.
And so, in conclusion, blind dates are not what they seem to be from watching soaps and rom coms. When you get to my age and all of your friends are married, nobody knows any single men. And the ones they do know... well, it seems they are happily single, and not looking to be hooked up with a single mother who blogs.