When Your Spider Senses Are Tingling…

Had a date last Sunday. It’s been a while so I was looking forward to it even though I’d been asked a couple of personal questions in an earlier conversation which had put me off. But after having to remind myself that people are entitled to a difference of opinion I decided to go ahead and meet “J”.
Initially it was for coffee but after a few conversations on the phone we decided to meet for drinks late Sunday afternoon.
As usual I had to take charge on where to go as none of these guys seem to go out anywhere past the end of their street so I chose the Northern Quarter and went to a bar I’d been in before with a different date. As we sat down J told me that he’d already googled me (I’d foolishly given him my second name when he’d asked) which knocked me back a bit.”Why on earth would you do that?” He looked a bit smug.”I always google my dates”. This wasn’t a good start but it was going to get worse. After half an hour of listening to his life story he then asked me to share some of mine but as  I started to speak he leaned closer,”How are you feeling?” I must have looked confused.”Are you relaxed? How do you think the date is going?” This was an effective way of shutting me up so I leaned back and let him waffle on. I now know every holiday he’s ever been on,what he was wearing and what he has for breakfast but every few minutes I was getting asked the same question.”How are you feeling?”
After a couple of drinks I decided I’d had enough and he looked disappointed when I refused the offer of another drink. He must have been feeling brave by then as the conversation turned to the two questions he’d asked me the week before.
This  guy has a very definite idea of what women should be/do and he’d asked me if I had any tattoos. The answer was “No I haven’t, but if I had they wouldn’t be visible.Would that be a problem?” The answer was yes it would be a problem as it was a bit of a deal breaker for him. Fair enough. The second question was had I had any work done? Again the answer was no, and this was also a bit of a deal breaker as it was something he hated and could spot a mile off. Cosmetic surgery is a personal thing and I have a couple of friends who have had a couple of minor procedures and they look great but no, he wasn’t having any of it. He then commented on my hair by saying it was clearly not my own natural colour and how was the diet going? I had nothing to lose by this point so I asked him a couple of questions of my own.”Tell me,did your ex wife work at all?” He looked surprised.”We had children so no, she didn’t.” “And is she a petite lady?” “Well yes she is actually.” I knew it.
Leaving the bar we made our way back to the tram stop which meant going through the back streets to Market Street and as soon as we got out of the bar he grabbed my hand in his which I shook off. Walking down the back streets he tried to push me up against the wall/shop window to try to kiss me. I firmly pushed him away and after the third time he shook his head.”A bit shy are we?”
I couldn’t get to that tram stop quick enough.
Two days later he contacted me and I made up some plausible story as to why I needed his second name, I then found him on Facebook and blocked him before he could find me.
And no, I definitely won’t be seeing him again.

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Ageism is alive and well in popular bars.

Today was my last day off from work before Christmas.Working in retail means that it’s our busiest time so as my next day off is actually Christmas day I planned to enjoy it.
After meeting a friend and having a catch up for an hour I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon doing a bit of last minute shopping before finally finding a nice bar and having a mulled wine (or two.) But there was a problem.I could either
(a) Try a bar I’ve not been in and risk getting ignored,
(b)Go back to a bar where I’ve had good service.
I chose (b). Purely because I was getting tired and wasn’t in the mood for what could have happened.It’s been a while since I ventured into a bar on my own, it’s something I usually do on a hot summer day,late afternoon and only for about an hour.Living in Manchester means I have lots to choose from and I can be as pretentious as anyone else, so  I do like to go to one of the so called “uber trendy”bars.This hasn’t always been a good idea.
This Summer I went on a speed dating event which was held at a well known restaurant.As I was dressed to impress I made my way to the bar and got there more or less the same time as a man.After he was served (with one drink so it was clear that we weren’t together) the young barman walked away.So I stood there.Two other bar staff were having a conversation between themselves right in front of me.There was no-one else waiting to be served,just a well dressed middle aged lady but I may as well have been invisible.Surely that can’t be it? But a couple of weeks earlier I’d been in another popular watering hole in Spinningfields and after having to tell the barman 3 times what I was drinking (because he was in the middle of a conversation with other customers) he never looked at me all the time he was serving and while he handed me my change he was actually talking to someone else.
So I asked a couple of friends if this has happened to them.They all agreed that it had.One friend had gone in (with another girlfriend) to a restaurant with the idea of booking it for a family party.As they were waiting for a while to get served they noticed that all the young gorgeous girls were getting served first and they were being made to wait.In the end they just turned around and walked out.Don’t get me wrong,I’ve also been in places where the service has been great and those are the places I’ve gone back to and highly recommended to other people.
But they’re doing it all wrong.As older people we’ve got more cash to splash.The kids have left home so we like to spoil ourselves and maybe eat out a couple of times a week.A few of us are still working but the house is paid off.We appreciate nice things and nice places and expect the same level of service as everyone else when we do turn up at the latest “in place”.And let’s not forget,we are all the parents of those gorgeous girls and boys that you encourage to come into your bars.
But worst of all,apart from the shockingly bad service when you do eventually get round to it is the fact that you don’t charge us any less for it.It’s time to up your game guys…..

You Don`t Need A Passport……

A lot of men`s profiles say that they are “Young at heart! Not ready for pipe and slippers yet!” and I believe them.Because Mother Nature has played a cruel cruel trick on us all….as we get older, in our mind we are still young. Alright we don`t all think we`re 18 (actually I can only speak for myself here) but we do think we`re in our twenties, even though the mirror tells us different. It`s a bit of a difficult combination to get right and although we think we`re still up for new experiences and learning new things, our body lets us down.But, this doesn`t excuse a certain group of men who message you and as they seem ok it`s not long before meeting up gets mentioned and that`s when the fun starts.
“C” messaged me and seemed up for a laugh until I asked would he be ok meeting in Manchester. “Oh I don`t do Manchester! You can come and meet me in my local if you want,there`s a comedian on this Saturday and you`ll get to meet all my mates”. Hmm, not exactly the first date I had in mind so I asked him what the problem was. “Just never ever go into Manchester”.Whoa just a minute C, let`s just have another look at your profile as I`m sure it said…..yep,here it is….”Would seriously consider re-locating if the right woman came along” and we can`t even get you to Manchester (from Bury) so I decided to do a little bit of research. The bomb went off in 1996 so I think it`s safe to say that the bombing is not the reason you stay away.  I`ve phoned Border Control and no, you don`t need a passport and there are no border checks from Bury so I reckon that god forbid is it because Manchester is too vibrant? Too modern? Too young?? We wouldn`t have to go where all the fun is, a nice sophisticated bar would have done just fine. But I guess we`ll never know, But he`s not on his own in thinking Manchester is another country,a lot of these older guys just don’t want to go past the second lamp post on their street which sometimes makes actually meeting up a little bit harder to do…