G was energetic and enthusiastic even when messaging which meant one of two things:
- Either, he was going to be a massive disappointment in person; or
- He was going to be a bit of a nutter!
He’d asked me to meet him Saturday afternoon outside King’s College London on the Strand. Organised the date TICK
And had suggested we both wear ‘fancy-dress hats’. I did admit that I didn’t have a fancy-dress hat – obviously masks don’t count – but said I did have a hat I could wear.
It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day so I didn’t wear my more winter-inspired hat.
Along he came, not only with the shark-biting-his-head-hat but also a bright yellow cardigan and red shoes!
Confident, fun and outgoing TICK
(I have never taken a photo on a first date, but I had to sneak the one of him above just to prove it actually happened! See above ⇧)
The hat was a game – a point for every compliment from a passer-by – which I now had no chance of winning!
As soon as we walked into the courtyard at Somerset House people started pointing, laughing and commenting.
It was a great way to get people talking and laughing.
Naturally he was chatting back and explained more than a few times “we’re on a first date and we agreed to wear fancy-dress hats, but she didn’t wear hers.”
Needless to say I laughed a lot. But when it was my turn to wear the hat it didn’t quite have the same effect.
G had got us tickets to ‘Now Play This’, part of the London Games Festival. His aim was for us to play as many games as we could in the time that we had (he had to leave at 6pm).
There were a couple of games which caught our attention – one with lasers and hoola hoops (!) and another called The Heist. We had to wait for that one later in the afternoon.
In the mean time we went back out to the courtyard to play the laser and hoola hoop game which sounded promising.
In reality they took ages to set it up and we went to get a hot drink and red velvet cake and passed the time chatting and laughing whilst they seemed to be huddled in a group listening to someone explaining the rules of the game very badly.
We watched the game first from the most coveted seats in the house – the ground – and then (after managing to nab an elusive table and chairs) from a courtyard table and had no idea how it was supposed to work. We didn’t see any lasers and it was people randomly rolling hoola hoops with 70s inspired fabric squares in them.
We walked back around and found a hop-scotch game with instructions at various points to ‘hold hands’, ‘give each other a compliment’, ‘say hi to a passer-by’ and then ‘race’!
That was fun and gave a good excuse to touch each other and say something cheesy 😉
Meanwhile, I think he’s made it to something like 16 points to my 2.
So, time for the Heist game. We were a bit late so ended up on different teams. I won and flirted my way to 14 points so we were tied.
Then we found the best game. Do you remember the computer game ‘Snakes’?
It was a large-scale version projected onto the floor. One against the other.
You want to read that I won right?
No… damn it! I lost even when I should have won. I kept being red and yellow kept winning!
But, we had so much fun.
There weren’t many children around (you’d think there would be at a games festival right?!) but the three that were there basically hogged the snakes game. Rude!
We wondered down the hall and popped into different small rooms before we found the ‘nature’ room.
It had some kind of weird camp made out of sticks, cardboard and brown sacks. For some reason we went into that and sat there chatting with two German men who insisted on telling me there were spiders – just odd.
Then a greasy-haired guy came in too – I was beginning to get a bit freaked out at this point, you can understand that surely…?! – and we found out that he had created one of the games so off we went to play it.
It was set up on two computers facing away from each other. G and I sat on opposite sides of the table unable to see the other’s computer screen. We quickly worked out that we each controlled what was happening on the other’s screen.
Good communication was vital. Once I’d actually worked out where the arrow keys were (I was temporarily blinded…please don’t judge me) we were well on our way. But then we came up against a block: what worked previously didn’t work anymore.
Of course at that point he went into man mode and tried to work it out himself without communicating and was just trying lots of different stuff on his own.
Then I had the brainwave! “Why don’t we try pressing them at the same time?’ Ta dah! High five!
One more go on hop-scotch on our way out – in the rain this time (how romantic…ahh).
Me: “Isn’t it time for you to go”… it was definitely past 6…
G: “I know, but I don’t want to” (result, he’s having a good time)
Me: “That’s a good way to leave”
G: “oh, look there’s a bar”…starts walking in… stops…”no, I’d better go. Where’s your nearest tube? I’ll walk you there.”
I was one of those people smiling to myself on the tube as I went home replaying in my head the funny things that had happened, the smiles, the laughter, the compliments… Oh, and he dances salsa. Bonus!
What’s been your best ever first date? Tell me in the comments below!
Find out what happened here: Setting a Precedent