A first date: in true 'mum' style.

I left it quite some time after having Etienne before I decided to try dating again and let's just say: actively dating, for me, didn't last long.
In fact, in the space of 3 years I've been on just three dates. Obviously, none particularly life changing or successful as, you know, here I am!

I did actually have a pretty interesting date with one particular guy. And by interesting, I really mean it was quite the #epicfail but guess what? I gained a friend from it! And he even gave me permission to blog about our date! Winning!

So, here goes...

We actually met on the dreaded Tinder. Yeah, gross, I know.
BUT we realised we had mutual friends and a shared interest in the form of one of my favourite bands, so conversation was a hell of a lot more interesting than the majority of sleazy/ cringe-worthy chat other Tinder-lads had to offer.

We spoke for a while and eventually decided to go for a drink. PANIC.

I don't drink. Well, not anymore. I spent my teenage years drinking and partying and although those years have blessed me with some of the best memories, memories that I'll never forget - I still don't wish to go back to my party days. Far from it.

Anyway, going for a drink is the normal, casual thing to do on a first date I suppose, but it was something I hadn't done for a very long time.

Once I had managed to stop focusing on the thought of the dreaded hangover + toddler combo, I actually felt pretty excited about entering the world of 'first dates' again after years of being 'mum' and not a lot else.

Right, so, I needed to find a babysitter. This- for me, is by no means an easy task. Most of my family aren't local (can't really pop over from France to babysit for an evening, can you?)

So, it took effort to figure out who I trusted enough to look after my precious littlun for the evening. Not only did it need to be someone who I trusted, it also needed to be someone who Etienne would feel comfortable with if he was to wake up before I got home. This was fairly unlikely to happen, but kids love to whip out the 'unexpected' every now and then, don't they?

Imagine being a toddler, waking up all disorientated because you've misplaced your blankie, waddling into your familiar front room where mummy is normally sat scoffing maltesers and watching Made in Chelsea, only to find a total random you've never met before sat in mummy's spot.

Terrifying, right?!

Anyway, once I'd shortlisted a few potential sitters, I then needed to check if they were free that evening and if they were willing to help out, obvs.

Babysitter:CHECK .

Things seemed to be going swimmingly when I suddenly thought to myself WTF am I going to wear?!

I kid you not when I tell you that I own nothing other than T-shirts, jeans and converse (only, one shoe comes without laces since Etienne hid them somewhere. Brilliant.)

It's safe to say I probably couldn't have pulled off that 'look' on a first date so, a last minute trip to H&M it was.....

During said shopping trip, my internal thoughts went a little something like this:

"God, all this effort for one evening. Better bloody be worth it."
" Maybe I should wear black, I'll probably spill my drink all over myself or something anyway."
"Really need to make sure I steer clear of wearing anything that could be in any way perceived as 'mumsy', that'll put him right off" 
"Oh my god. Where's my debit card? Etienne better not have posted it down the back of the radiator again. Wait. No. Found it! My bad." 
"Awww, cute dinosaur print toddler pants, maybe I'll get some for Etienne...."

I mean, for God's sake.

 I devote every single last tiny fraction of my life to Etienne and you'd think that I'd be able to go shopping for myself and not catch myself looking at the cute kids autumn/spring range! Just once! Apparently not....

Anyway, I found myself something to wear. I got myself dolled up and I felt surprisingly good. I hadn't made that much effort in ages. I was actually starting to feel incredibly excited about this date and I was now really liking the idea of a nice cold glass of Pinot. What's the worst that could happen?!

On the way there, I was absolutely bricking it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous to the point where I wanted to ask the taxi driver to make a U-Turn so that I could get back into my pyjamas and hibernate at home for the evening instead.

But, I managed to get myself along to where we'd agreed to meet and Mr Date-Man was bang on time. He was also exactly who he'd said he was,which is always a good thing...Phew.

The evening started off well and luckily there wasn't any sign of an awkward vibe. I can't cope with awkward small talk, it makes me want to run a mile.

Suddenly, I found those nerves creeping back up on me and I had to remind myself to talk about things other than Etienne (there's only so much of that anyone can take, let alone when it's a first date with someone who has NEVER EVEN MET HIM.

Sure, he knew about Etienne, he knew the score from the start, but I'm fairly certain that he was more interested in getting to know 'Charlotte' rather than  'Etienne's mum.'


Yes, he's great and I'm proud of the mini person I created but, for a few hours of my life, I needed to stop talking about him.

Seriously though, WTF do adults even talk about these days?

When you spend 99.9% of your time with a toddler, I'm pretty sure you forget how to talk to other humans. Language attrition is a real thing you know.

I'd say I've forgotten at least 10% of the English language- easily.

To be honest, I find myself saying: "ARGH. what's the word?!?! You know, the thingy! That thing. The word is on the tip of my tongue...Oh yeah! Wait, no, it's gone again" most days...

(Don't get me wrong, since being a mum I've gained some really cool new vocab like "bot-bot" and "jim-jams" but my new lingo doesn't exactly shout "I'm an intelligent, independent woman" now, does it?)

Regardless of my inability to form sentences, we were having a great time and I had already survived way past my bed time (9pm, woah- mad one!)

I decided to drink at his pace (really bloody fast) partly due to nerves, and partly because I was FREE!!!

For the first time in what felt like forever, I was child-less! (Until roughly 5am the following morning when I was  unknowingly about to be woken by a splitting headache and a mega noisy toddler who was to have absolutely no sympathy for my inevitable hangover from hell.) So I wanted to make the "most" of it. This was a bad, bad move.

We ended up hopping along to about four different bars and I'd definitely exceeded my limit (twice over) but I was having a blast and apparently so was he, so we carried on!


......And then I woke up.

It was morning and I was at home, fully dressed in my clothes from the night before. Feeling more than just a bit queasy, unsure about how I was going to make it through the day.

"Am I dying?" was probably my first thought of the day, shortly followed by "oh god, I remember this feeling. I'm never drinking again. Ever." (She says!)

What's more is that I couldn't remember a thing. Uh oh. What did I do?!

I'll spare the details because I'm already blushing as it is, but it turns out that I had reached a whole new level of intoxication, managed to forget my own address and hence needed chaperoning to a taxi where I was then searched for my driving license so that at least someone knew which address I needed dropping at.

As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, I also needed to be personally hand-delivered to my front door- where my friend AKA: the babysitter, could take care of things from thereon. Good one.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why I don't drink. That is what happens when you stop drinking for years and suddenly think you can somehow keep up with a 20-something-year-old- man's drinking pace. NOT happening.

 My only saving grace was that it was a Friday on that horrendously hungover morning, which meant Etienne had nursery, so I was able to feel somewhat human again by the time 'mother duties' commenced later on that afternoon.

Question: Is drinking ever worth the hangover with a toddler the next day?
Answer: No, no and NO again.

That evening, I was in bed by 6pm- the same time as my two year old child. Really.

For the record, we did actually see each other again- miraculously! We've remained friends and we often laugh about that first date and my wine intolerance. Well, he laughs and I cringe. Not quite the same thing.

The moral of the story is that I should probably just stick to spending my evenings at home, in my PJ's, watching embarrassing first dates on Channel 4 instead of being the one embarrassing myself.

After that experience and as my life is right now, I'm not sure I have the time or energy for dating. God, I sound old! But when I'm not playing mum, (which is rare) I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.

I'm not sure I'm ready for someone to come along and disrupt that just yet.....

Maybe one day!

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