I have many many stories about my dating disasters – so many in fact that several friends have encouraged me to start a blog about the men of my past. I might have the guts to do it one day…. There are some shiners.. Being left alone at a pub on my birthday by my date and subsequently discovering he had also stolen from me when I tried to pay my cab fair. What a catch*. Let’s just say I haven’t had many reasons to continue believing there is a decent guy out there for me. Nevertheless, somehow I still manage it.
On this occasion, however, I will tell you a nicer story. About 5 years ago, just before I moved to Sydney, I was in Brisbane working for a catering company. One weekend I was sent out to work at a wedding at a home on the outskirts of the city. I had to drive a long way out through the sticks (yes, Brisbane has areas that qualify as being “the sticks”. It is basically a very big country town), but the house itself was beautiful and it was nice working in a home environment rather than a function room for a change. The night of work started by serving drinks and canapés in the front garden. I was doing round after round, sweating like a mad woman in my penguin-like catering suit during the Queensland Summer. Very attractive. There was one group, completely male, who kept demanding I return with more smoked salmon – they were quite jovial about it, making me laugh, so I complied. But there was another reason (isn’t there always?): one of them was a bit of a babe. Ok, a lot of a babe. I think mostly because he was the only one who never said anything except “thank you”, remaining quiet, looking at me with the tiniest of smiles at the corners of his eyes. But I was working, so I scolded myself to stop dawdling about this group of raucous men and get on with it.
About 25 minutes later, I was in the kitchen helping to prepare the main course when disaster struck: the oven short-circuited. I’m sure I don’t need to explain the level of panic that ensued. One of the groomsmen came to see what the fuss was about. “No worries,” he said. “There’s an electrician here.” Two minutes later in walked quietly attractive mystery man. I, of course being the klutz that I am, nearly dropped about 5 butter ramequins. He instantly began inspecting the oven set-up, all business, and afterward started explaining to us how to solve the problem. I’m glad someone else was there listening because for me all of his words went in one ear and out the other. He’s Irish, was all I seemed able to process. Another tick on the list of my preferences**. Damn. I was moving to Sydney; I could not get involved with anyone. Plus, I was working. In a penguin uniform. Sweating. Dropping butter – well, almost. As if anything would ever happen?
So, smouldering Irishman got the oven working again and all was right once more. The night continued on without any more run ins, and I consequently was able to hold on to the butter. Until I was sent out alone to tidy the garden. I went out the front door and there to my left, on a chair beside the driveway, was Irish, eating ice-cream. Also alone. I smiled, but then quickly bustled about clearing glasses and ran back inside. Not so much for the purpose of clearing the garden as for telling myself to get a grip. I went out for the second round and he was still there. So, I plucked up the courage to go and say hello. I mean, I was moving to Sydney, it couldn’t hurt to flirt a little before I jetted off to an exciting new future.
And what was the first thing I discovered after his name? He was from Sydney. Oh, sweet fate. He was also very polite, still very cute, and possibly a little drunk. Someone had sat in his chair, so instead of sitting in that persons chair, he had gone for a wander with his ice-cream to take a little time out from the noise. Umm, endearing. But again, I had to continue with work, so I said goodbye. After clearing the garden I was suddenly instructed that I was allowed to go home early. “Isn’t that great?!” My supervisor exclaimed. No. No, not really. It was too soon. I was hooked… I needed another hit of Irish conversation. But what could I do? I was too embarrassed to tell her that I had been silently flirting and then attempting to chat up a guest at the wedding. So I slumped into my car and drove off.
Half-way back along the tree lined road I pulled over. What the hell was I doing?! I hadn’t had a conversation that engaging and pleasant with a male in quite some time. It had made me so happy and it had only lasted about 5 minutes…… So I called my friend Ricky, who was also working at the wedding. I must have sounded desperate: “Ricky, you have to find the guy who fixed the oven. He’s Irish. He’s wearing a white shirt, and grey pants. Give him my number. This is imperative. Please do it.” Ten minutes later I had a message from Ricky confirming he had indeed given Irish my number. I felt exhilarated and scared shitless at the same time. What if he didn’t call? He might go on later in life, talking about this clueless waitress who had thought it would be okay to pass on her number to a perfect stranger while she was working….. Oh god.
Two hours later, at home, clean and pyjama-clad, lying in bed, my phone rang. Unknown number. The man on the other end greeted me with an Irish accent Totally worth it.
ENTER MY VALENTINES DAY GIVEAWAY!
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*I’ve sworn off dating artists ever since.
**Not just Irish, but foreign.. Usually english-as-first-language foreign, apart from French. I have been given a lot of grief in my years about the fact that I very rarely date Australians. And when I do, they’re super Occa.