Having plucked up the courage, at my Godsons Christening, to ask Dorcas Fox-Martin out on a date and bolstered by her positive response I very foolishly neglected to cement the arrangement there and then and furthermore left the Christening party without securing either a firm date for the erm….. date or any contact details for her.
It wasn’t until I got home that the full extent of my stupidity dawned on me.
In my defense of course I was so taken aback by Dorcas’s reply and such was my elation that she had agreed to go out with me
Which is why I not only didn’t arrange anything but I had also left without any means of contacting her.
I had just reached the point where I was well and truly feeling sorry myself when the phone rang.
“Hello” I said forlornly
“Oh dear” Helen said unsympathetically “cheer up”
“Don’t joke” I said “I’ve done something really stupid”
“I know” she replied “you’re a plank”
“Oh don’t” I responded feebly
“Fortunately your wonderful sister has come to the rescue” Helen said “and I gave your number to Dorcas so she can call you”
“You’re the best sis” I said
“I know” she said immodestly “now don’t cock it up”
I had been so diverted by my foolishness that I hadn’t even given any due consideration to where I would take her.
Given that prior to that morning she had been a complete stranger to me I therefore had no idea what to suggest.
My normal first date experience, limited though that might have been, consisted of either a drink, a meal, the cinema or bowling.
Well a drink didn’t sound substantial enough for my liking and as I was somewhat nervous I imagined I would probably drink too much and make a complete dogs breakfast of it, so I ruled that out.
A meal on the other hand was fraught with dangers of its own, food preferences, allergies and intolerance’s.
It goes without saying that it was a given to rule out any food that required the wearing of a bib.
The cinema I had always found to be a difficult area date wise.
Sitting in the dark with a girl and spending most of the film weighing up the options of when it would be appropriate to move in for a cuddle or a kiss.
Not that that would be of concern with Dorcas, after all we were past the age of the back row groping.
No it was knowing her taste in film that was the issue there so I ruled out the cinema as well.
I also crossed off tenpin bowling but for no other reason than that I was crap at it.
After a couple of fruitless hours of deliberation I still had no idea where to suggest Dorcas and I should go on our first date and then the phone rang.
I took a deep breath and reluctantly picked up the receiver.
“Hello” I said timidly
“Ben?” a voice asked
“Speaking” I replied
“It’s Dorcas” she said
“Hi” I said weakly
“We didn’t make a date” Dorcas said hesitantly “At the Christening”
“No I..” I faltered
“Did you still… erm want to?” she asked
“Of course” I said firmly almost shouting
“Good” Dorcas said with a giggle
“I thought you might have changed your mind”
“No not at all” I stated “But...”
“But?” she said falteringly
“I don’t know where to suggest” I said
“Is that all?” she asked and laughed
She had had a similar struggle as I had to find a suitable venue/activity we had however reached totally different conclusion which I found out when she announced she had the perfect date in mind.
“A Tree Top Trail”
“What’s that?” I asked genuinely oblivious
“It’s a trail through the tree tops with Tarzan swings, rope bridges and Zip Wires” she said excitedly
“It sounds like great fun and I’ve always fancied a go”
Well I had no great expectation when I first asked Dorcas out and I thought she would soon tire of me after all I was one of life’s spectators while she was up there center stage.
But how wrong I was, she knew that we were cut from different cloth but she didn’t care that we were so different.
I had always been content to look on from the sidelines whereas Dorcas was in there participating with all her might, she was a “joiner in” while I was an applauder of other people’s efforts.
But no more, and despite the fact that the thought of walking through the tree tops 30 feet above the ground scared me to death I said.