On his Hinge profile, F wrote: ‘I’m convinced that Chicken Katsu Curry is the reason I will never be a vegetarian.” I wrote back, with the ever predictable, “The vegan and vegetarian katsus at Wagamama are pretty good though!” You know, like the typical (almost) vegan I am, pushing my vegan propaganda at people (but seriously, I’ve had all versions of the katsu and the vegan one tastes pretty much exactly the same as the chicken one).
“Thanks for the info! You may have just saved the lives of literally hundreds of chickens,” he replied.
“I live to serve my chicken people,” I said.
(Look, I like flirting but I never said I was good at it, alright?)
The conversation shifted from chickens to otters, like it has done on many occasions before. Seriously, had I known that otter facts were extremely popular amongst the dating app scene, I would have cracked them out much sooner. I would highly recommend digging out an otter fact for your dating profile, as it seems to be an excellent conversation starter.
“If you’re ever around central London,” F then said, “we could meet for a drink?”
I suggested the following day, but he was busy, and said he could do Saturday instead. I had already had a date booked in for Saturday evening, but I didn’t want to suggest a date further down the line and live in this awkward space where we were just chatting in-app for ages. We all know by now how I feel about creating false intimacy through text. So, I guess I was having a double bill of dates.
“Fancy trying a chicken-less katsu?” I asked him
The day of the date came, and I found myself feeling anxious. Though we had agreed on a time, F hadn’t gotten back to me on whether the location I suggested was okay. Luckily, just twenty minutes I was due to leave the house, he confirmed he would meet me at the suggested Waga’s.
Something that might also be perceived as odd is that we hadn’t swapped numbers. Not that I didn’t want to give him my number – it just hadn’t come up naturally in conversation yet, and I guess didn’t seem necessary? Usually before a date, the other person will offer their number to me as a ‘if you need to call me before the date’, or I’ll offer mine. But it didn’t happen on this occasion.
I got to the Wagamama. I was late, but luckily so was he, and I didn’t have to wait long before I spotted F turn a corner and hug me hello. At this point, I’ve given up on the cheek kiss unless my date initiates.
There was a bit of a queue at our Waga’s of choice, but luckily we got fast-tracked because a table for two had freed up and we were the only couple in the immediate vicinity. Going to the front of the line kind of felt like we were VIPs in a club – a food-based club.
After some polite chit chat, we ordered our meat-free katsus and they were delivered to our table promptly. The cutlery tray immediately next to us was out of forks, which didn’t seem to phase F, as he picked up the chopsticks with such ease and started using them like it was no big deal. I’m not the best at chopsticks, but it was busy and the waiters were zipping around all over the place. Not wanting to seem like a little bitch, I also picked up the chopsticks like they were no big deal. I did okay, I lost my grip a couple of times but I think managed to style it out pretty well.
We got on well, F and I. It turned out that we both grew up in Brighton and we discovered that for a time, we actually lived only a few streets away from each other. We reminisced about the old hang outs and shared resentment that our parents no longer lived there, meaning we aren’t able to visit as often. F also revealed that his dad now lived in Sheffield, another tie as I spent five and a half years living there. He then told me about his interesting job as an illustrator and clients he’s worked with.
The remainder of the conversation then steered towards the Fyre Festival. This was around the time the Netflix doc had dropped, and I was o b s e s s e d with all things Fyre. F had followed the festival disaster on social media as it was happening a couple of years ago, however had not seen the documentary. I delighted in telling him all about the background to the PR nightmare, including the infamous Evian scene (if you know, you know).
When it came to settling the bill, I made a reach for my purse before F waved me away and insisted that he get it. I didn’t make the reach for the sake of it; I am perfectly happy to go Dutch on dates. However, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel obliged to go halves, because the vibes I was getting from him were more friendly than romantic. I guess, in this particular context, my motive for offering to pay my half was to not burden him with having to pay for a date that was not likely to progress further.
But, if someone insists, I’m not going to stop them for footing the bill, if that’s what they want.
After walking out of the restaurant, we politely hugged goodbye and went our separate ways. Still feeling a bit unsure and up in the air about the situation, I sent him a message on Hinge later saying that I had a nice time. Because I did! F was an interesting guy and we didn’t run out of things to talk about, both in-app and in real life. I wouldn’t have been opposed to seeing him again, and sending him a message afterwards was, I guess, a way to gage how he felt about the situation and see if there was potential to go any further.
He replied to my message saying, “Yes, me too :)” and that was that. You win some, you lose some. And I had another date to go on imminently.
There may not have been any fireworks sparking from our date, however a nice afternoon was had, and you can’t fault that. It was also nice to talk to someone also from Brighton, about growing up in Brighton. Therefore, the soundtrack to this date is Hometown Glory by Adele.
Keep an eye out over the next few days to see how my second date of that day went!