True story. Not really, but kind of.
Take a seat for this one, because you’re about to read the most painfully modern-Cinderella story that ever was (but without the happy ever after, because no one likes those people).
So it was Halloween. I was suffering from onset psychosis after a bout of tonsillitis left me unable to date my regular quota of East Londoners, and I’d scheduled myself in for another Saturday night of self-esteem Tinder swiping on the sofa. That was the plan. But lured in by disco and a severe case of FOMO, I instead decided to show-face at Love Come Down in Bethnal Green.
With no dress for the ball – because there was no ball – I threw on my trusted leopard print coat, back-combed my hair to oblivion, stuck a fag in my mouth, swigged some vodka and told Instagram I was Patsy from Ab-Fab.
And this is where the fairy tale kicks in, if said princess was dressed like a prostitute from an 80s film set, intoxicated from double-dosing on gin and antibiotics and shouting at a bartender.
That bartender was Grandpa Rick from the cult cartoon Rick & Morty. Never heard of it? Nor had anyone else at the event, so it was hard for him ignore an inebriated girl flopped across a bar* beckoning, “RICKKKKK!!!”.
*Just in case you didn’t get that, I was the inebriated girl flopped across a bar.
Wearing a wig (I think – were you?) and dressed in a lab-coat, at the time I took little notice. Instead, I spent my night avoiding a man who kissed me and danced with a gay gentleman in a glitter leotard who called me beautiful, but stressed I was not his type.
I didn’t see Grandpa Rick again. Instead I did the old Irish exit and hobbled off into the moonlight. Before you ask, I wasn’t hobbling because I left a shoe behind, I was hobbling because of gin; I don’t think Cinderella would have approved of my thigh-high black boots anyway.
No surprise to my readers, I’m pretty public with my forays into dating and my blog is also linked to various dating profiles. Because of this, I’m no stranger to being contacted on social media with unsolicited advances from men I don’t know. They tell me we’d get on, that they know exactly how I feel and that we should date – sometimes they even tell me that they have a foot-fetish.
Anyway, three weeks ago I opened a message from someone I didn’t follow on Instagram. It read, “Hey. So this is probably going to be the weirdest question you get asked on a Friday, but were you Patsy at the Arch Gallery for Halloween?”.
IT WAS GRANDPA RICK.
Against my better judgement and with an unhealthy dose of intrigue, we started exchanging messages.
But how did he find me three weeks on? We didn’t exchange names and we certainly didn’t share social handles.
Well I must have looked like the kind of girl to hashtag (you know the type, anyone with a phone who’s under 35), because he found me by searching ‘Patsy’ on Instagram. Yep. He filtered through hundreds of photos of drunk girls in half-hearted Halloween costumes to find me.
I know what you’re thinking – Pippa, that’s really weird… But is it? Don’t pretend you’ve never looked up a Tinder match on Facebook, only to decide that he’s not ready to date because of that photo of him and a girl from March 2015. Or that you’ve never scrolled through an ex’s latest flame’s Instagram feed, and sent her photos to a group Whatsapp chat, asking, “do you think she’s hotter than me?” Probably, but no friend’s going to admit that.
Within hours the chat moved to texts, and a week later we were rendezvous-ing at my local pub. Turns out Rick is a shark-adoring Marine Biologist with an un-PC sense of humour and a morbid fascination in true-crime (swooooooon). Thankfully, we also learnt that Rick’s name was not Rick.
Okay, so we’re not married. But he did stalk me, and I did ask him to marry me after two glasses of wine. Perhaps we’ve only continued dating because of the absurdly recitable nature of this story, or perhaps we’re dating because this unconventional tale beats “we matched on Tinder”.
What I’m trying to say is give stalkers a chance. What’s the worse that could happen?
If you enjoyed that (or even if you didn’t), please vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. I need the validation.
Images via Giphy.