Diary of a Crap Lesbian

Not to put to fine a point on it, but this column is supposed to be about me. It is supposed to chronicle my attempts at a love/sex life and, hopefully, reassure you that you’re not as neurotic as me. Subscribers may have noticed that recently it hasn’t been. This is largely because I am actually quite dull. Bluntly – nothing worth talking about has actually happened to me for quite some time.

It’s time for things to change. Take a seat. Make yourself comfortable. Let’s talk about me.

I am perched on a barstool, taking occasional ladylike sips from a gin and tonic. James Brown assures me from the grave (or via the sound system at least) that ‘this is a man’s world’.  I grimace. The next piece of what can only begrudgingly be called ‘music’ begins and it is Avril Lavingne. She doesn’t like my girlfriend, apparently. She thinks I need a new one.

Neither of these tracks is designed to comfort a girl who is facing her first lesbian date in years. More than that – her first ‘first date’ ever.

If the choice of music puts me off, the venue does more so. I am sitting at the bar in a central London branch of TGI Friday’s, one of those burger bars which likes to pretend it’s a restaurant.  But my date tonight has a hankering for Americana, and I’m certainly not going to get in the way of that. So here I am, waiting for a lady whom I uncharacteristically asked out at a charity benefit a couple of weeks ago, and panicking.

The signs are, in all honesty, not good. Examine the evidence.
    My date is American, which, given my previous experiences means that she is almost certainly mad. I am inexplicably drawn to crazy American chicks.
    Upon first meeting our relationship went from ‘do you have a light’ to ‘take me home and do me’ in mere minutes, doubtless aided by the cheap gin on offer.
    She seems to be interested in me. This is serious cause for concern.

On the other hand
    We’ve exchanged emails, and none of them ended with, ‘be mine forever’ or ‘I’ve bought us adjacent cemetery plots’.
    She’s asked some very sensible questions about polyamory, what it means to me and how I practice it, and it hasn’t scared her off.

So here I am. Waiting. I have no idea what the etiquette is in these situations, and as the minutes tick by and Avirl Lavingne fades into something full of unnecessary harmonies I get nervous. Is she going to show at all? In these situations, how long does one wait? Fifteen minutes isn’t long enough to take into account the occasional chaos that is the public transport network. Conversely, should she show up half an hour late I don’t want to be here. My time is not precious, but that’s no reason to encourage poor behaviour. After a minutes pondering on this subject, terror hits me. What if she has turned up? What if she walked through the door, realised in the sober light of day that this has all been a terrible mistake, turned on her heels and left?

My fears are short lived. When she does arrive, she is brandishing neither a suitcase, nor a voucher good for one free IVF attempt. This is a good sign; it suggests that, despite what I have been told, playing at lesbianism may not be as bad as I thought.

I point half way through our meal that all I know of human mating rituals I learned from Saved by the Bell. This is an ill-advised move, but I can’t seem to stop myself from talking. It turns into a comparison of cross-Atlantic cultural differences when it comes to potential partnerships: across the water, are people really more forward; are we more manipulative in Blighty? Do the Brits really limit their awkward sexual advances only to pubs, clubs and bars, while pick-ups in the street, unthinkable to us, are par for the course in the US? We can’t seem to reach a conclusion, and after three G&T’s apiece (she’s a gin drinker!), neither of us care.

It occurs to me as a travel down the escalator to catch a tube home, that dating isn’t a game at all. Or, if it is, I’m the only one playing it. It’s people just bumbling along, being people. That’s a comfort.