So Married Man was 16 minutes late. I give people 20. This allows for delays with the metro and cutting some slack because he didn’t have my phone number to ring me. After to waiting ten minutes I was beginning to consider being stood up as a reprieve. I was already planning an alternative sunny Paris afternoon when he hurried up full of excuses and apologies.

And what a fascinating lunch it turned out to be! For a start I have to admit I did feel like something out of a French movie, meeting a married stranger for lunch in the Latin Quarter. But I quickly got over myself on that one and proceeded to grill him as to whether or not his wife knew he was meeting women for ‘friendship’ on the internet. That would be a no! It was, he said, his personal ‘secret garden’! It turns out he met his wife at 16 and married her at 24. He loves her very much and they have two wonderful kids. He is not looking for a mistress but for friendship, however, he admitted, his definition of friendship is quite flexible!

He described these little interludes as being like little ‘space time continuum bubbles’, in which he could escape briefly out of the responsibilities and normalcy his own life. Having essentially grown up with his partner, he admits to being somewhat unsure as to whom he is outside the relationship. In fact it seemed less about the women he is meeting then about encountering new aspects of himself as reflected by them. I think he got a little bit more then he bargained for being reflected by a writer who insisted on spending the two hours probing him about his motivations in detail, and not in a good way! And to be fair, he was very open and honest .…well with me, if not his wife

As we chatted I could envisage a whole row of my glowering married girl friends standing armed with long pins, gagging to burst his ‘space time continuum bubble’. Obviously it essentially does boil down to cheating. But I have to admit to a certain level of understanding. After all this whole Parisian experience feels slightly like some odd bubble of time outside of my normal life. And while I’m not going to meet Married Man again, our encounter did add an extra little bit of fizz to a Parisian afternoon.

Meanwhile I went on the date with the Divorced Canadian. And it was great! Great spark, great banter, great meal. As we parted at the Jardin du Luxemburg, he asked to meet again. The next day he followed up the request with an email. He even phoned. I think I made some flirty little jest about having to see how many other dates I had on, but of course I said yes.

I remember thinking to myself that one wouldn’t get such a good first date in a film because the laws of drama would requite far more initial conflict and obstacles. Of course I didn’t bargain for my story switching tone so sharply from romance to mystery. Because after showing so keen, Divorced Canadian then disappeared! Not a word, not a text, not an email!

Now I have read ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’. I’ve even seen the film. Hell if there was a t-shirt with a flattering neckline I would probably already have bought it. But I still think this was odd. However at least the book has taught me not to spend too much time mulling over it so I’ve narrowed his disappearance down to a few possibilities, either he was very actually very strange or very rude or got hit by a bus. All of which basically render him of no use to me and serve as a good warning to put these internet date guys on long trials. Actually make that guys in general.

Then another guy rolled up on a skate board! I suspect my face falling, before I yanked it back into pleasant mode, set the rather spark free tone for the afternoon and he sped off into my past after less then an hour.

So at the moment I have no meetings lined up. One chap has very kindly offered to come across from New York but that’s a lot of pressure for a first date so I’ve put him off. I might take a break for a week. God forbid but I might actually go to a museum or a cultural event. But in the meantime excuse me, I have to go off and check my male, I mean mail.

Advertisements