Lucy has bagged herself a date with a tall, dark, and handsome man.
To read how this miracle happened, click here.
The TDH man in question is called Jules. He’s 40, and from London. He’s also intelligent, runs his own business, owns a flat in trendy Shoreditch, and is 6 foot 3. In other words, on paper, he sounds perfect.
But there’s a catch.
Of course, thinks Lucy, there’s always a fucking catch.
Jules has long hair. And Lucy hates long hair on men almost as much as she hates beards. In other words, a fuck of a lot.
Normally Lucy would run a mile from the sort of wanker who would still choose to have his hair long after the age of about twelve. What does this say about him? Is he some kind of Peter Pan clinging onto his youth? An anarchist rebel who doesn’t want to conform to the codes of accepted dress imposed on him by an oppressive and unimaginative society? A twat? Lucy isn’t sure, but she isn’t getting any younger, and tall, dark and handsome men of about the right age seem to be harder and harder to find. So she’s decided to give him a chance. Maybe he’ll be so gorgeous and funny she won’t mind his long hair. Maybe he’ll be so taken with her he’ll offer to cut it all off.
Lucy wonders how soon into a relationship she can start dropping hints. Is ten minutes too soon?
They meet on a Sunday afternoon in a pub near Victoria station. Lucy is on her way back to Brighton for the working week and has her suitcase in tow. Jules has arrived before her, and is sitting in a brown leather wingbacked chair by an empty fireplace.
He stands up to greet her. He is as tall as promised, and slim, and looks just like his photos. He’s wearing a green Superdry t-shirt and jeans.
A t-shirt? On a first date? Lucy, who is wearing a dress, thinks perhaps Jules could have made a teensy bit more of an effort. But far worse than that is that the t-shirt is tucked in. Who does that?!
Still, he has a friendly smile and a nice face, and although Lucy isn’t immediately attracted to him, she’s not instantly repelled either. Which is, you know, a good start.
Except there’s the small matter of the hair. If it seemed scary in the photos online it’s positively horrifying in real life. At least two feet long, dark and shiny but also thin and a little straggly, it’s hair that wouldn’t look out of place on a 14-year-old Goth girl or a member of a Iron Maiden tribute act.
“Hi,” he says, and gives her a peck on the cheek. “Would you like a drink?”
While he’s at the bar, Lucy checks him out. He’s clearly very proud of the hair, constantly touching and stroking it, smoothing it all over one shoulder and then flicking it back behind him again.
This is clearly a man whose hair is his proudest possession. In that moment Lucy realises she has zero chance of ever persuading him to cut it. Might as well leave now then.
On second thoughts, he’s bought her a drink, so she’d better stay.
“So,” she says as he returns. “You’re in a band? What sort of band?”
“We play techno and drum&bass,” he reveals.
She frowns, thrown by the response. When he said ‘band’, and she saw the hair, she imagined he’d be in a folk or rock band. Now she doesn’t know where to go from here.
Lucy’s not entirely sure what constitutes techno as opposed to drum&bass, but she was under the impression you don’t need a band to play that stuff, just a computer. Isn’t that right?
“Oh, um…” she says. That’s, um… cool…? I guess you might be pretty good if you play at festivals?”
“We’re pretty small,” Jules says. “But yes, we’ve played at Glastonbury a few times. And Bestival. I DJ sometimes too. The last time I was at Glastonbury, they asked me if I could DJ. I’d never done it before, but I said yes, and then spent a week learning how. I was supposed to just do a short set but it went so well I ended up playing all night, and they liked it so much they asked me to come back. But I said no because it’s not what I want to do really.”
“Oh,” says Lucy.
She’s beginning to get just the smallest impression that Jules might be a little bit full of himself. Just a hint, mind. She could be wrong.
He produces an elastic band, strokes his hair a few times, and then ties it back in a low ponytail.
“I’ve not really been to a festival since I was about 20,” Lucy confesses. Though I did go to the Hay Festival last year, but I guess that’s not quite the same.” She laughs uncomfortably.
Jules, it turns out, is so trendy he’s not heard of the Hay Literary Festival. Lucy wonders if she should tell him what it is, or just leave him thinking she’s so down with the kids that she goes to secret music festivals he’s never heard of.
Jules removes the hairband, shakes out his ponytail, and runs his fingers through his hair a couple of times before flicking it over his shoulders.
Lucy feels like she should probably comment at this stage. Clearly he’d like the attention.
“So do you have long hair because you’re in a band, or did you join a band because you have long hair?”
Jules laughs. “I’ve always had long hair.”
“You know we could never live together,” Lucy warns. “What with my long hair, and yours, our drains would be forever getting blocked!”
Jules manages a small smile. Come on mate, that was quite funny.
“How do girls on dating sites react?” she asks. “Do they like it?”
“Actually I do quite badly on dating sites,” Jules confesses.
“Really?” Lucy feigns surprise. “Though you know, it might be because not that many girls like guys with long hair.”
“Yeah, I know,” Jules sighs.
“So maybe you should cut it then?”
“I don’t want to date someone so narrow minded,” says Jules. “They should like me for who I am and not care about superficial things.”
He makes a fair point, thinks Lucy. She wonders if it makes her narrow-minded that she finds his constant hair twiddling infuriating and weird.
Lucy’s train isn’t for another hour, and she needs to kill the time somehow, so she offers to get a second round in. When she comes back, Jules is keen to tell her about all the different businesses he runs.
“I run a software company. It’s really successful. Loads of big corporations use our software. I also run a company that puts on gigs. And for a while I organised speed dating events.”
“Oh,” says Lucy.
“Do you know,” Jules continues, “there’s always one guy at any speed dating event that all the women want to see again. Can you guess which one?”
“Tall, good-looking,” says Lucy, “slim, good hair, well-dressed…”
“And white,” concludes Jules. “All the girls want to date that guy, but those guys are dicks and will mess you around. Because they can.”
Lucy knows this, and tells him so.
Jules continues, “Those guys always want to date much younger women, and they can. I’m not like that, I’m not ageist. The last woman I dated was 47.”
Lucy admits to being a little surprised by this information. “How come it didn’t work out,” she enquires.
“She announced she was getting married. To someone else.”
Lucy thinks this sounds like it might have been a slightly dysfunctional relationship.
“I’m sure it’s fine to date much older women,” she says, “but what if you want kids?”
“Oh, I don’t want kids,” Jules says. “The world is going to shit. Why would you want to leave that to your kids?”
Lucy is bowled over by Jules’ sunny disposition and positive outlook on life. Dating him would be so much fun.
“Of course,” Jules continues, “if you don’t have kids, you don’t need to worry so much about destroying the planet.”
“Well you sort of do,” Lucy points out. “What about everyone else’s kids?”
“It won’t really make a difference anyway. By trying not to destroy the planet all we are really trying to do is prevent suffering. We don’t want our kids to suffer. But people are suffering all over the world right now anyway, so what’s the difference?”
Wow. Intense. Lucy needs a break from this line of conversation, so she pretends to need a wee and runs to the loo.
When she gets back, Jules asks her how she’s been finding the dating world. Lucy knows that when a guy asks this question, it means he’s all out of chat and she won’t be hearing from him again. Which is fine.
“Oh, you know…” she says. Doesn’t want to sound moany and negative. Someone’s got to keep the energy up.
Jules has no such qualms. “Yeah, it’s really hard,” he says. “It’s really difficult to find a woman who is my equal, you know, intellectually, financially. So many of them are gold diggers and want you to pay for everything.”
“Not all women, though,” says Lucy. “There are plenty of women with good jobs and their own flats who don’t need a man to support them.”
“I know, you’re right,” says Jules. “But still, its hard. So last year I joined a Sugar Daddy website.”
“You know, a website where women are looking for rich older men.”
Lucy is confused. Didn’t he just say he was happy dating older women, and was fed up with women being gold diggers?
Yes, she’s pretty sure he did. Jules seems to be a bit mixed up.
“No, it makes sense, trust me!” Jules explains. “Yes of course, there were lots of gold diggers and prostitutes on there but I ignored them. But there are also lots of well-off girls on there too, girls who specifically want to find rich men who won’t just want them for their money. They go to the Sugar Daddy websites because that’s where they know they’ll find men who are their equals.”
Lucy thinks it might be time to leave now. The hair flipping was bad enough, but if Jules is looking for a girl who wants a Sugar Daddy, then he’s definitely not the right man for her.
“Gosh. Is that the time? My train is soon, I’d better run. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for the drink. Ok, see ya, bye!”
Yeah, this one won’t be continued.