A year ago today, I begrudgingly went on a date with (what turned out to be) a very dapper, funny, charming, ridiculous Englishman.
Earlier that day, I whinged down the phone to Tori (best friend and life-wife) about how I just CBF going out with him but I felt bad because I’d cancelled on him once already. I was like “I’m just so over this shit; I need a break. Enough boys!” – for the first time in almost 18 months of empty Tindering.
Rewind a month before this event and I had received a match on Tinder with a strapping man who referred to himself as “an old-school gent looking for someone to share good conversation over nice wine” with an additional line at the bottom of his profile; “NB. Not emoji literate”. Well, this sounds fun. So I swiped right and was a little bit excited when we were an immediate match (that’s always a compliment).
He opened with “Hi Melanie, you look like trouble.. How’s your weekend going?”.
I responded in classic Melanie-style, “I’ve been called worse. *smug face emoji*” and from there we chatted about nothing in particular. And then (a day or so later, amid other conversations we were having) I received this:
Smooth AND funny. Ok.
And so I replied:
Me, arrogant? Never!
We continued our conversation about practically nothing and I was curious about him.. At this point, as far as I could tell, he was eloquent, highly intelligent, and had IMPECCABLE grammar. Suffice it to say I was excited about this one.
Amid our idle prattle we talked about meeting up; he’d mentioned being much better at the whole meeting in person situation vs “this text thing”, and kept referring to himself as an old man. Yet, no sooner had we touched on this point had he come back to me and said (and I’m paraprhrasing – he was a perfect gentleman about it) “I’m actually going to Bali for a month, so… Maybe I can hit you up when I return and we’ll go out…?”.
Oh, I see. Letting me down easy. I get it.
I replied “Yeah, sure. No worries. Enjoy your trip!” and accepted I’d never hear from him again. There goes another one, I thought, as I threw my phone across the couch and carried on (re)watching True Blood in my undies whilst shovelling triple-buttered popcorn into my mouth.
But a month later – almost to the motherfucking day – Tinder made noises at me and advised I’d received a message. Opening it up I was shocked, confused, and (just a little bit) happy that it was from Sir-Dapper-Englishman; advising he had returned from his mini-break and was ready to catch up.
Admittedly, I was a little surprised. I deadset thought he was blowing me off by telling me he was “going away”. I just assumed he was trying to be a gentleman (liar) about it and didn’t want to say “Yeah, this isn’t going to work for me…”
Anyway! We made loose plans for a “date” but I was very quickly losing interest in men at this point (the one before him was a cunt – wait til you hear THAT story) and I was ready to take a break from Tinder and men all together. So I made up some bullshit excuse and cancelled the date.
Surprisingly, this Sir-Dapper-Englishman came back to me via text (we’d since taken the next step in our situationship) a few days later and was like, “How about we reschedule?” and added something funny and smart (you know how I love funny and smart). I giggled to myself, rolled my eyes, and thought Why the fuck not?. And so plans were made and within a week I was going to meet this guy.
The afternoon leading up to the date I was on the phone to Tori, whining about not wanting to go to another pointless meeting with someone who’s probably a fucking psycho anyway but how I feel so bad about considering cancelling because he actually seems quite lovely (and I’d blown him off once already). And, you know, there’s always something… Tori enquired as to what I was going to do.
I said, “Look, I’ll go out with the cunt but I’ll be home by 10pm and I am NOT going to sleep with him.” Tori replied “Mhmm.. I’ll pick you up from his place in the morning.”
So I arrive at the Black Penny in Surry Hills – 30 minutes late, frazzled, and mildly sweaty due to my rush from where the Uber stopped vs how far/fast I had to run (walk quicker than usual) to get to this bar (it was like 10 metres). I straightened myself up, made sure my hair was in place, and walked in. He was hard to miss; sitting at the table right at the front and staring straight at the doorway, waiting. He stared straight at me with a slight smile on his face and a vodka-soda waiting on the table for me.
We sat for an hour at the bar and chatted more about who we are, what we do with our lives, and laughed about really stupid things. We then moved on to the pizza place next door, Nepoli Nel Cuore, where he had booked us a table for dinner.
By this point we were ever so slightly tipsy and arguing about who knew the most random and completely useless/trivial facts (obviously I won, which infuriated him). We ate amazing pizza, drank incredible Italian wine, and spent most of the night getting drunk and belligerent in a room full of romantic couples trying to have their ‘moments’.
For those of you who know me, you know how loud and outrageous I am. This guy is louder. His cackle is thunderous and his drunken “I-need-to-make-a-point” voice can shake the ground you walk on. Not to mention, he drinks more than I do!
After an hour and a half of eating, drinking, and laughing so hard we practically cried, we decided to leave the restaurant (holding a box of pizza; we’d ordered FAR too much food).
Being the gentleman he is, he paid the bill as I waited outside and smoked a cigarette whilst holding this pizza-box; pondering what we might do next. It was currently 10pm (LOL) and I was drunk and ready to party. As I stubbed out my cigarette, he walked out of the restaurant and headed straight over to me. I was about to suggest heading to another bar when he simply grabbed me by the back of my neck and pulled me into a kiss.
Once it was over he leaned back, smiled, and said “What shall we do next?”. Blinking back my utter surprise at what just happened, I stumbled through a very nervous “Uh….whatever…you…um… You just kissed me…”. “Yes.” he replied, and kissed me again. “Yep… Ok,” I stammered, “Shall we go to a bar…?” That smile flickered across his face again as he said “Sure! If you want to. Though, and this might be a bit presumptuous, I live just up the street. We can either go to a bar and drink more, or we can go back to my place and drink more.”
Oh, I see.
Needless to say, we ended up back in his apartment drinking wine and arguing over 90s R&B in between kisses. Needless to say I was glad I went on this date; it was the most fun I’d had in months. Needless to say I stayed the night and Tori had to pick me up the next morning.
That was 365 days ago today.
The days in between have been a whirlwind of adventure; explorations up and down the East Coast/across Australia; petty arguments about nothing; educated debates and “I’m fucking Googling it!” wars; stubborn set-backs, trials and tribulations; moments where my commitment phobia almost won me over AGAIN and he’d pull me through; huge changes for the both of us with him moving-in a few months ago; and, of course, love. Pure love.
This man has treated me like a queen since the day we met and completely changed my life. This man met a girl with severe commitment issues and decided she was worth the challenge/drama/nuisance/frustration. This man announces his undying love for me DAILY and often says “I just want to spend my life with you. That’s what I want to do with my life.” He supports me through every single thing I do (including this blog which, for obvious reasons, he refuses to read – yet he’ll happily advertise it to his girlfriends); accepts me for the crazy, erratic, hot-tempered, over-opinionated, can’t-ever-be-wrong, foul-mouthed, drunken mess than I am and makes me feel like the only female in the entire world.
This man is Gentleman Jack and I am so lucky to have him.
Tonight we’re heading back to where it all began; the Black Penny and Nepoli Nel Cuore. Tonight we’re going to celebrate how far we’ve come, how much we’ve grown, and how forcing me to be his girlfriend changed my life for the better.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I’m so proud to say I’m committed to him.
Yes, you read that right.
Peace, lovers! x