I was online on Saturday afternoon when the young French fella pitched up to the site and sent me a message.
The usual round of 'how are you what are you doing' followed, and I was beginning to find this tiresome. I made like I had to get ready to head out for the evening. I was going out -- but only over to some friends for a meal. He didn't have to know that.
"What are you up to tomorrow? We can meet perhaps."
I stared at the screen. Finally! Although this was as diffident a way to ask someone on a date as I could imagine.
Was I making too much of a meal of this, this dating thing? Was I watching too many Jane Austen movies? Far from begging the pleasure of my hand in the first set of country dances at the local assembly, this was more like a mumble in a dark corner at a teenage disco: wanna dance?
I'm sure I felt that this internet lark was so organised that it might mean it was formal as well. That, in contrast to the kind of mating call sent out at 3am in the pub, this would be more civilised.
What was I thinking? Clearly, I was watching too many costume dramas.
I replied: "I'm free in the late afternoon, around four. I'm out tonight, so."
I considered adding that I may need a lie in, just to convey that I had an active social life and wasn't some sort of freak lying about the sofa watching my Pride and Prejudice DVD (again). I thought better of it, as I didn't want to sound like a slapper.
We agreed to meet in town for a coffee. Here it was! My first date!
I immediately began to get nervous. Luckily I was seeing those friends.
I decided to keep it simple, leggings and boots and a flippy sort of top given a boost by a push-up bra. But not too much of a boost: still trying to avoid being a slapper.
That Sunday morning, I wandered around the flat in a state of nervous tension. I hadn't been out with anyone but the ex in many years. Many. What were we going to talk about? I hadn't spent nearly enough time emailing him to get a good idea of what he was like, I only knew that he was fit, fit, fit and had sexy, droopy eyes.
As I made my way into town, I felt my heart start beating like a drum. I gave myself a good talking to and had just about calmed down when my phone beeped. It was a text saying he'd had a work emergency and wasn't going to make it.
I had been stood up.