‘Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.’ – Joan Crawford
I want to share few examples of not very successful dates from the last century, but I think the lessons are still relevant. The mating seasons approaches and after tonight some of you will go on a blind date. It is important to remember about your safety.
Years ago my “friends” set me up on a date with a writer. He was a pretty boy with dark features, but a foot shorter than me and very, very pushy. All evening he was trying to kiss me. He moved in a bit closer. I moved away. He moved in closer.
‘I’m a writer, you know.’
I moved away. Until he got me cornered. In a situation like that you need a repellent. I lit up a cigarette and he gave me some breathing space. (by the way it works on mosquitoes as well). Finally it was time to go and I was in real hurry as he walked me home by the river. I moved fast, but he walked backwards in front of me and kept slowing down.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I’m protecting you from the wind.’ [Seriously? I thought as his head was below my shoulders]
‘Why are you stopping?’
‘I’m fixing up your scarf.’ [It was quite a stretch for him]
I was very lucky to get home safely. I was left with a question: How do you protect yourself?
Smoking doesn’t work in the wind and doctors don’t recommend it.
A wise man gave me a brilliant advice. Bring an umbrella. You can open and close it very fast to confuse and scare the attacker. You can accidentally swing it or worse come to worse do some real damage. Lesson number one ‘protect yourself’.
The second lesson comes from my grandma. She never learnt much English, and that was because her English teacher was in love with her. Instead of giving proper lessons he asked her to read out loud a story that contained romantic declarations and she read with teenager’s exaltation ‘I love you’ [poor man had no chance]. After the leaving cert, and obtaining parents permission he asked her out for coffee and ice cream. She took her friend. When they were laughing, my grandma-to-be was giving signals to her friend under the table. By accident she nudged your man’s knee, which got him even more excited. The girls excused themselves and jumped out of the toilet window.
Lesson number one ‘protect yourself’, lesson number two is ‘have an escape route’.
The last story is about my date with a young cadet from the officers’ school. Uniforms and handsome men make me anxious so I started to babble.
‘Sorry, if I talk to much. Stop me anytime.’
He straighten up. ‘My task as a future commander is to have good listening skills to understand my soldiers.’
The whole evening I was laughing at this poor, brainwashed boy, who every second or third sentence started with ‘My task as a future commander is…’.
The perfect officer material and a gentlemen walked me home and asked
‘Is there a pharmacy open near by?’
In my head I went ‘Whaaat?’ but out loud I was more polite. ‘No, nothing open for miles. Why?’
His face brighten up, blue eyes sparkled.
‘Tomorrow we have battle exercises and I need earplugs.’ He must be a general by now.
To sum up: lesson number one ‘protect yourself’, lesson number two ‘have an escape route’. The third and most important lesson is ‘You can get through almost anything, if you keep your sense of humour.’