YOU FIND YOURSELF ON A DUD DATE. THE GUY WHO'S JUST TURNED UP TO MEET YOU LOOKS LESS LIKE HIS VIRTUAL PHOTOS ON OK CUPID AND MORE LIKE NO THANKS, STUPID. YOU'RE CONTEMPLATING DRINKING MORE THAN YOU SHOULD IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO FIND HIM AS SPUNKY AS HE DAMN WELL SHOULD BE. HERE'S MY DARING SOLUTION TO GET OUT FAST.
During my visit to Paris last year, I enjoyed a date with a charming French man thanks to a dating site called OK Cupid. So I naturally assumed I'd meet an equally charming Swiss guy through the same site when I visited Zurich a couple of days later.
My girlfriend and I with whom I was travelling were in Zurich for one night only. Although we arrived late in the afternoon, she quickly organised a date with a very nice looking professional sportsman. I was totally surprised when I managed to also line up a date fast, with a man whose profile photos made him look like the Bradley Cooper of Switzerland.
An Italian living and working in Zurich for business, Giuseppe's very attractive photos of himself and eagerness to meet me that evening made me wonder how I got so lucky, so quickly.
To be worthy of the occasion, I dressed in the sexiest (and cleanest) dress I could find stashed in the bottom of my well travelled suitcase and 10cm stilettos, bringing my height to 188cm.
Um, how exactly are you planning on navigating the cobblestones of Zurich in those skyscrapers ...?
... I wondered briefly, but not really caring because I was too damn excited and besides, according to his profile, Guiseppe was 190cm tall.
Sexy Giuseppe offered to collect me from the restaurant where I would be eating dinner with my cousin and his wife. Waving goodbye to them after dinner, I stood nervously waiting at the restaurant entrance for him to arrive.
9.25pm, Zeughauskeller Restaurant, Zurich Old Town
A man who resembled my date emerged from the darkened cobblestoned lane and walked towards the lit restaurant entrance. Alas, he continued to walk straight past me to another woman inside without glancing my way. Clearly not Giuseppe. Drat, he was hot.
9.30pm, Enter the Gimp
Out of the same darkened lane, another man materialised. In the light of the restaurant entrance I made him out. Nothing like the previous spunk, he was a full head shorter than me and with the hunched posture, hooked nose and beady little eyes of a vulture.
He sized me up like a bird of prey who'd been starved for a month.
My heart skipped a beat for all the wrong reasons. I realised this distorted little man was, goddammit, my date.
"You are-a Barbara, no?"
My entire being shuddered. I wanted to say "Uh, no" and totter off as fast as my skyscraper stilettos would carry me.
What the hell had happened? Where was my Bradley Cooper lookalike?
I scanned him to find any kind of resemblance, but no, nothing. Zut, zero, zilch.
I quickly realised that not only had he posted photos of younger, better looking version of himself, but also lied about his height.
"Um, yeahhhhh ... I'm Barbara".
Alas, I was too polite to deny my identity. And with that admission, I was obliged to walk off into the night alongside Schleppy Giuseppe.
9.45pm, dark and disturbing back lane ways, Zurich Old Town
Lagging awkwardly behind him along the cobblestones thanks to my heels hindering my progress, I allowed him to scurry forward ahead of me down dimly lit laneways. For the second time, I seriously contemplated running off in the opposite direction before he could turn around and say whadda-da-fucka? Except that I had visions of him catching up to me and grabbing me with evil grasping claws.
9.50pm, unknown swanky hotel, Zurich Old Town
We arrived at a glamorous hotel for drinks. Phew. Bright lights and real human beings at last.
Perspiring, he removed his coat as soon as we sat down inside the piano bar and eyed me in mine, still buttoned up.
"Donn-a you wanna take off-a your coat-a?"
Lascivious eyes probed me in ways I so did not want, and in response I unconsciously tightened my coat around me for psychological protection against Sweaty Giuseppe.
10.05pm, Ditch the Gimp
I guzzled half a glass of the wine he ordered me within the first few minutes of our stilted dialogue, in order to avoid responding to compliments he peppered the conversation with.
"Sei bellissima ..."
You are beautiful/genetically blessed/I want to breed with you. Bleccch.
My mind was working overtime, devising some way to get the hell outta this date. I decided on the only way I could think of.
The lily-livered way.
And here's how you too can ditch a dud date, fast.
10.15pm, The Escape
Just 45 minutes after meeting each other, I excused myself to visit the ladies room. Without turning around to check if he was watching, I bypassed the ladies room entirely and sprinted for the hotel entrance, escaping breathless into the night.
Arriving eventually by taxi at our hotel, I discovered my girlfriend snugly tucked up in her bed with a coy, I-just-got-back-from-a-hot-date glow on her face.
The vast differences between her three-hour fun date and my 45-minute crappy one dawned on me.
She writhed around her bed in tears of laughter, imagining the poor guy still waiting for me to get back from the toilets, while advising me of other strategies I could have used such :
“I need to go feed my cat”
“I forgot my phone charger”
“It’s past my bedtime”
or the meanest of all :
“I’m late for my second date”
However I like my strategy for those bastards who don’t actually deserve even an imaginary excuse because they basically lied from the start about their real appearance and/or height. And because they are a total douchebag whose feelings don’t deserve to be spared.
And because I’d rather scroll through Instagram with a cup of hotel brand tea at 10.30pm on a Saturday night in my single bed than spend another minute in the company of Spaghetti Giuseppe.