”Nope,” I mutter to myself as I swipe left on yet another extreme sport loving bogan. Ugh… They’re all merging into the same human being. A human being who can’t talk about anything but fishing or football or how fucked up they got in Bali. News flash mate, everyone gets fucked up in Bali. Nope, nope, nope, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, nope… No… Oh. Hang on a second. This young man is holding an instrument in his profile picture that is so very close to my heart. He was holding a Cello. Now, for those of you who have or continue to play a musical instrument that doesn’t usually form part of a rock band (I’m trying to find a less pretentious way of saying an orchestral instrument, but I guess it depends on the orchestra), you will know professional musicians can spend YEARS honing their craft. Years of their lives not in clubs getting wasted, having the best conversations of their lives with drunk randoms in the toilets of night clubs or playing sports where their team may digress over game results and rejoice together in victories. Years out of normal social circles. I have many musical friends who went on to have stellar careers and are all round top people so my roundabout way of saying some professional musicians are socially retarded is not aimed at you, but it needs to set the tone for this date.
Swipe right. I am my usual dazzling charming self in my tinder conversation and although I was pretty absent for most of the conversation because I was busy (#1 reason I’m still single #2 disproportionate expectations), he still followed up and asked me out on a date to which I obliged. The first part of the date was absolutely amazing. Because I didn’t meet him or get to speak to him. Allow me to explain. He invited me to a concert he was playing in. I turned up to this absolutely beautiful cathedral with all these fine people dressed in evening wear. I’m talking fur stoles, monocles, canes and a LOT of fake laughing. There’s a large collection of choral singers and an orchestra set up. Everyone claps as the conductor walks out and away they go. I won’t bore you with details. BUT… they did play the most moving piece of music I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s called Requiem for The Living by Dan Forrest. It was written about loss and contains five movements, each movement representing a certain stage of grief. There may have been a tear or two. It was so fucking good I could have died. When they finished playing, I was all like:
Anyway, riding this massive high I floated outside into the darkness, waiting for this man to come and meet me, who must be amazing because the concert was so amazing. He’s walking towards me. I greet him enthusiastically and attempt to give him a hug when he steps away from me, recoils in terror, if you like, no not really… He takes a step back. I stand there, the smile fading from my face as he silently rearranges the cello case on his back, the leather bag satchel thing he’s carrying and also the music stand he holds in one of his hands. At least 30 seconds of nothingness has passed. He tires of finding a right angle to hold the music stand and puts it down. He is now ready for his hug. “Hello.” He says, finally looking at my face as we awkwardly embrace.
He suggested a Whiskey bar about 300m from the church. “I’m not a huge whiskey fan but sure!” I proclaim. This displeased him and for the most part we walked in silence. Awks. At the Whiskey bar he orders a bottle of champagne saying not much to me. We take a seat. He takes another 45 seconds to adequately arrange his wares. There are two couches in an L shape. I sit close to the other couch. He sits as far away from me as possible. “Ok, so… Suzi…” he starts. Hands up who’s seen Die Hard? Course you have. Remember Ellis? The cocaine snorting jerk who Hans ends up shooting because he’s full of shit? This guy spoke like that.
For those who haven’t seen it, put a marble in your mouth and read this blog aloud without letting it fall out and you’ll get a good idea. Oh the pretentiousness. I thought I’d seen pretentiousness before. I used to date a Lawyer. This guy has reached the fucking stratosphere.
After two glasses of champagne he started to limber up a bit. I got a 45 minute cello-less lesson which was amazing… she said facetiously. To his credit he did realize he was boring me to death and let out a chortle as he placed his hand to his chest and uttered “enough about me!” I snapped out of my suicidal thoughts for a second to ask him about the other thing we had in common. Children. I have one. He teaches. My face is deadpan as I listen to his list of favourites. “How do you go about building rapport with new students?” I asked, scrambling for any content I can. “Last week I said to a new student how do you make a B flat? You step on it.” He lent forward in his chair and studied my face with a grin. Wait. What? I’m usually much quicker but because at that point we’d been together an hour and a half and he had not made ONE joke and not laughed at a single one of mine (wtf, right?), it totally caught me off guard. Eventually I was like… Oh… you made a joke, and then he could not be stopped. “What happens when you ride a piano down a mine shaft? A flat minor!” HAHA! Good one, Dad.
The nail in the coffin came when I asked him if he wanted a drink (as he bought the first one). “Oh gee, putting me on the spot now.” I didn’t ask you to marry me, mate. What fucking drink do you want… so much pretentiousness is having a reverse effect and I began to speak like a bogan. “I’ll have a (insert some fucking 60 year old whiskey). Apparently there’s a rare different bin version of it or whatever. $80 a shot. Him and the bartender discuss this for like 20 minutes. He looks at me cause I’m buying. I have this look.
He buys the $30 shot. “Does it irritate you they put it in a wine glass?” I asked, genuinely irritated I bought a shot for $30 in a wine glass. “Never been to a wiskey tasting have you?” Uh no, mate, remember when I said way back when I don’t like whiskey? He then lifted the glass to his face and began to nose it. Closing his eyes as he did. Holy fucking shit this guy really likes whiskey. “Because of the ethanol content if it’s served in a glass with a wider mouth it evaporates too quickly, loosing it’s woody undertones I’m a pretentious cunt and you wouldn’t understand you peasant.” Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. “I’m more of gin gal myself,” I say, more disgusted than that time some random threw up on me in a taxi line in the valley. “Well, I’ve a lovely little tipple at my place… just right for a dry gin martini. Fancy heading to my place?” He swaggers. “Uh no thank you, I have many things to do tomorrow, but thank you so much for inviting me to your concert.” He looked super fucking confused. “Uh, what is this then?” he motions between him and I. This is a musician tasting, and I prefer brass players. Goodnight.