I was starting to wonder if the Lawyer was that happy about me. Between us, I was the only one organising fun dates. I called him and said I was finding him a bit too lastminute.com. Perhaps he was forgetting that my social diary gets full quickly (he’d mentioned not being happy with his social life). Instead of reassurance I got a stutter. What I first thought was romantic – he had a habit of stopping mid-story to say how pretty I am – I now realised was merely procrastination. However, the stutter was preferable to what he eventually coughed up; ‘We’re very different. Your exes are rich and you’re a foodie’.
‘My track record is better than yours and I do think food is important. It’s what bonds friends, but I’m not a food snob,’ I countered. The conversation got worse. Did he even fancy me? I was becoming hot-tempered; he remained cool and calm. ‘I’m not going to jump through hoops for you,’ he said before the final slap in the face; ‘I’m just not sure there’s enough natural chemistry between us.’
‘I’m going to hang up and delete your number now,’ was all I could muster. An apologetic text came through a few minutes later. He hadn’t meant what he said. Of course there was chemistry, but he was still trying to work out if we had enough common ground which is what I’d picked up on. No need to worry about that now.
Livid, I called Kate with the news. ‘What if all the decent guys have been snapped up and only damaged goods are left,’ I said.
‘No more shopping in Selfridges Food Hall; Lidl is our only option left,’ she said, before adding more optimistically, ‘Let’s consider February the new January.’
‘You should ask him what he meant by not having enough common ground,’ Mark said when I called him for a male perspective. So I did. The Lawyer said he liked camping; I didn’t.
‘I think you’re out of your comfort zone,’ I replied.
‘Well I haven’t been out with anyone as beautiful as you before,’ he said. Ewww.
‘Camping! It’s February for god’s sake,’ Liz exclaimed when we caught up over the phone. ‘You should send him some tarpaulin.’
In the evening I went to Monique’s, a bottle of Chablis Premier Cru in hand. She already had two G&Ts prepared. There’s nothing like a drink and good food with a great friend to help you see the lighter side of things. I told her that I had noticed the Lawyer’s face looking slightly blotchy. He’d been using antibacterial hand wash on his face. I bought him a bottle of Vichy face wash and asked why none of his exes had pointed him in the right direction in the past, ‘Probably because they don’t use face wash either,’ he had replied without irony. That evening he washed his face with Carex instead of Vichy. I guess some people stick to what they know, even if it means continuing discomfort. And sometimes there’s nothing soothing a friend can say when a man says there’s no natural chemistry. The best thing to do is to take it at face value.