Chapter 61 – Tinder Date #14

This blog is a book. Maybe better to read from the beginning? 🙂

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Thursday, 18 February 2016.

 

Day 60

 

They are sitting at a nice table – her usual one – at the Nepalese restaurant in Jätkäsaari, Anna’s neighborhood. Aarne has a huge meal, and she?

She has the soup and an open mind.

It’s the third time she’s at this very restaurant on Tinder dates. With three different men in three weeks. The waiter is starting to look at her in a funny way.

Ops, he’ll think I’m an escort! Maybe time to change venues?

 

Aarne is tall and a little chubby, friendly and warm. His teeth look like a bunny’s, but he’s cute and nice enough. 54.

She doesn’t feel the chemistry, though. So, no flirting from her side. She just talks about her Ex, church and such things. Haha.

Not cool? Sorry!

She can’t help herself. What is she supposed to do if she’s just waiting for tomorrow to chat with Christian again?

3 days to meet him in person.

Sigh.

I shouldn’t be going out on these dates anymore before I meet Christian and figure out whether I’ll like him or not.

Eurgh. But there’s another one scheduled for tomorrow. Bad manners to cancel last minute…

Like Tino did to me! Humpf.

 

Meeting new people is exciting.

Yes.

 

This is Anna’s You’re-Free-Now-So-Find-Out-Who’s-Available-Out-There Project, remember?

And her PossiblyMake-Some-New-Friends Project.

The Have-Some-Fun-Live-A-Little and Don’t-Hide-In-Your-House-While-You-Heal and Dare-To-Believe-In-Love-Again Projects are also worth a mention. Don’t you think?

Ultimately, what this really, really is, is…

The Find-A-B♥️yfriend-To-Share-The-Good-Simple-Things-In-Life-With Project.

Happy sigh.

Pause.

 

But Anna, don’t you forget The Don’t-Put-All-Your-Eggs-In-One-Basket-Yet Project. You haven’t met Him yet.

 

The smirky waiter walks by their table and Aarne asks, “Can I have a coffee please? Long drive home soon.” and turning his gaze to Anna “What about you? Would you like a coffee cup, too?”

“Just another glass of water, please!”

 

Later that night, Aarne texts her.

Dear Anna, I’m now safely back home in Turku, thanks for your concern.

You are very nice, too. 🙂 Thank you for your pleasant company tonight. But, I have to be say that we are from different generations and I have never dated anyone as young as you.

Honestly? I must admit I don’t know exactly why – can’t put my finger on it just yet – but I didn’t really feel the chemistry.

Friends?

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. End of Day 60 of… The Above-All-What-You’re-Doing-Is-Rediscovering-Yourself Project.

Chapter 54 – Tinder Date #12

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016.

 

After Work / Day 58

 

Anna has her next date on her way home from work.

Tinder Date #12 / Tinder Clown #2 – not wasting any more of my time on writing about you.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 58, end soon!

 

 

Chapter 32 – Tinder Date #9

 

Thursday, 4 February, 2016.

 

Still Day 46

 

So, where were we?

Ah, yes.

It’s 6 p.m. that very same evening. An uneventful evening, it’s turned out to be.

Anna’s feeling pretty as she unlocks her door and enters her flat – soaring with stonewalled energy…

 🎵 I was going out tonight, but still feeling alright…🎶

What am I supposed to do?

 

She has a big glass of water and goes to her couch. The apartment is warm and nice. Tidy. No chores to do. She stretches her legs, placing her feet over the coffee table – an old rough chest she’s added wheels to.

Not tired in the slightest.

Ah, I can’t believe I’m here alone. Free on a Thursday evening!! Eu#r&gh&!!!

And feeling lonesome for a moment, just wanted to have a good time. And nothing?! Seriously?? Humft.

Don’t feel like watching TV.

Anna grabs her phone and starts swiping.

A minute later – literally – and there’s a match. He starts chatting. She checks his profile out.

Mm, good looking.

Such spirit in his eyes.

Oh, he claims to be a doctor. That means smart – and I like smart.

Hmm, foreign name?

Ah, I’ll just google him.

Yes, there’s a Ümit gynecological surgeon in Helsinki. Yep. His photo on google pictures. Let’s see, here’s his clinical practice…

Hmm, I wonder where he’s from?

 

…I’m from Turkey, btw.

Anna, come and have a drink with me? I’m here at Casa Largo. You know the restaurant? Just arrived. Are you busy? Let’s meet!

 

Oh, really? That fast? So different from Finnish guys.

 

Really? Sounds fun, but we’ve just chatted for two minutes.

Literally.

Come on. Are you near? If you have time, it would be nice to meet. Why not? Shall I send you a cab?

 

That’s crazy, but I do like his attitude. 

I don’t know. How about a phone call first?

 

He gives her his number. She thinks for a second.

Ah, what’s the danger? A drink with a surgeon in a central restaurant?

 

She calls him up.

His voice is nice, masculine, fun. There’s a beautiful foreign accent in his English. Kind of sexy.

You see, Anna’s an English teacher and she  a-d-o-r-e-s  foreign accents and World Englishes! Indian English, Nigerian English, Korean English. They’re all cool.

She even tells her pupils, “Speak with an accent – even a strong one. Rally English! But do speak. It gives you personality. It tells me a little of your history. And, hey, can you imagine if Antonio Banderas spoke American English without a Spanish accent? How boring would that be, huh? He would lose half his charm…”

But she could die for a boyfriend with British English.

Sigh, sigh. I’ve got Hugh Grant’ to blame for that.

 

Uh…Where were we again?

Ah, yes.

This Turkish doctor’s so lively. Warm.

Ops. I missed a thing or two he said – daydreaming here. He does sound very convincing, though, doesn’t he? Self-confident. Mm. I’m hypnotized.

“Ümit, I’ve never accepted a date like this before – before chatting a few times and getting to know the person a little better first…”

“Ah, come o…”

She interrupts him, “But, I happen to be ready – just came home – and I just happen to have time tonight.

“Maybe I’ll humor you, go with the flow. Will come by bike and… see you in half an hour?”

“OK, great! I’m very glad. Meet you at the bar, Anna.”

 

Now she’s sitting opposite him at his table. The place is crowded. Loud chatter, everybody well dressed.

Wow, I didn’t know this many people went out on Thursday evenings.

I guess they’re like me? Divorced? Teens quite raised? Time in their hands?

What is this?

 

Ümit is talking, smiling, looking deep into Anna’s eyes. Sweet. Already? Ha-ha.

 

🎵 The best thing about being a woman
Is the prerogative to have a little fun 🎶

He’s fun!

He’s wearing a casual blazer and a nice shirt. His hair is more grayish than in the pics. Ah, but that’s no surprise. Her previous eight dates looked older than in their photos, too. Most, much older.

I guess guys are just not into having their pictures taken, like us ladies. Not that into their looks – which is good.

Hmm, I wonder if I look older in person, too? Gotta find that out.

Probably.

 

Ümit is making her laugh, he’s so energetic. Very smart. She’s finally having some fun again.

Finally!

That’s what I’m talking about, baby.

It’s distracting. Comforting.

 

“Anna, what would you like to drink?”

“Oh, just water, please. I don’t really drin…”

His turn to interrupt her, “But tonight you’re drinking.  he says decisively  “What shall I order?”

“OK…” — maybe just a sip.

She tries to think of any drink names she can recall   “Maybe a caipirinha, then…?”

 

He goes to the bar and comes back with a caipiroska for her. Apparently, they don’t make caipirinhas in Finland. How would I know? I’ve never bought a drink before.

Hmm, it’s delicious.

“You have such beautiful eyes, Anna.”

Sweet-talker. She smiles. Cute.

Just a little flirty – like in South America. I like that.

 

And they’re sitting there smiling, animated. The chat is quick, witty. She’s entertained – and sure. He can feel it.

A couple approaches them and stands by their table. It takes a minute for Anna to realize they remain standing there, frozen. Just looking down at them.

Anna looks up to see a beautiful, foreign-looking, brunette young woman, accompanied by a smartly dressed young man, a bit fairer than her. They’re just staring at us because…?

Why aren’t they saying anything? Do they want extra chairs?

Anna looks at the doctor. He’s quiet. Calm. No stress. Everything’s good.

She looks up at the good-looking couple again. Oh, the woman looks so serious. Angry? The guy has a relaxed smile.

What’s going on?

The doctor finally chuckles saying, “Anna, this is my daughter Patricia and her fiancé Sabri.” and looking at them —  “Sit down, do sit down with us.”

Say what…? Family date? Was this planned??

Getting more fun by the minute.

 

“Nice meeting you, too.” Anna responds, trying to figure it all out — “Are you staying in this hotel? Do you live in Helsinki, too?”

“No,” Patricia says. “We live in Turkey. We’re just here for the Avant Premiere of my documentary tomorrow.”

“Really? Wow. Impressive. Congratulations!

“What is it about?” Anna wants to know.

“Ha-ha-ha-ha.” they all laugh “It’s about my complicated relationship with this difficult man here,” she waves her hand in his general direction “My father.”

Anna joins their hearty laughter. Way more entertained than I bargained for. And turning her gaze on him. The old devil’s looking very pleased.

I bet he likes the attention. The spotlights. Artistic like his daughter?

 

“…And if you come to Finnkino’s DocPoint Festival tomorrow – I’ve got tickets – you’ll learn the whooole truth.”

Ha-ha. Do I want to??

Yes.

Later, her curiosity will kill her cat.

 

“Ohhh, I just realized.” Anna exclaims “A friend of mine posted a recommendation of your documentary on her Facebook yesterday!”  and she quotes  “‘All of you who live in Helsinki, you’ve definitely gotta watch this. I can’t, but don’t miss it. Article below.'”

“Show me that FB post, will you,” Patricia asks me intrigued.

I open it and, “No way! Katja? You know Katja? She’s my best friend!” Patricia exclaims.

Small world.

What are the odds? Turns out the mutual friend Katja, who posted the article about the documentary, is Patricia’s best friend from high school and Anna’s best friend from university.

Small Finland – indeed.

 

“Wait, I’ve just gotta text Katja! Let’s take a selfie together. Here.” Smiles. Click.

Patricia sends Katja the selfie on WhatsApp with the message, “Check this out. You won’t believe who’s on a Tinder date with my father!”

No, she definitely won’t.

Ops.

Tinder and Anna??

Noooo.

You see, Katja knows her from the time Anna was working in church.

And married with the pastor.

They sang together in the gospel choir. Alto, both of them.

“No way. Impossible!” Katja replies ringing Anna up two days later to hear all the gory details about the cat’s death.

Ah, where are Sabri and Ümit?

Smoking outside? Hmm.


 

Patricia takes her leave. She’s going to a Directors’ Gala.

“Anna,” the surgeon says with a voice that carries a mix of affection and lively sensuality, “Are you hungry? Let’s have dinner, the three of us.

“I’ll treat you. Let’s go to the other side, to the restaurant.”

Anna’s still sipping her caipiroska. A little food would be good. She’s feeling a bit lightheaded.

 

Tinder, tinder. Unpredictable.


 

Anna sits on Ümit’s left, opposite his son-in-law, an artist. The sirloin steak tastes muy esquisito and a second caipiroska has just materialized.

They chat about careers, art, religion, South America, Turkey, politics.

Trips. The future. Finland.

But every ten minutes or so, Ümit stops whatever he’s doing – a bit dramatically.

He turns towards Anna, looks deep into her eyes and says, “Now let me swim in the green sea of your eyes for a little while.

“Ahhh. Sigh. That’s better.”

She just giggles. It’s nice to get some warm attention after such a long time.

“Tomorrow evening, Anna, you’re going to be my date in the Avant Premiere.

“Would you?

“You’re going to wear a dress, high heels and red lipstick. Loose hair.”

“Is that so? Says who?” Anna teases him.

“Please, I’m a bit nervous. Be nice to me. They’re going to expose my life for the whole world to see. Come and support me with your company…

“Please?” puppy face.

“Yes,” I promise. “But I’m bringing some people, too – your daughter gave me three tickets, so… behave!!”

He keeps diving into her eyes from time to time. Out for a nice swim.

Then he turns back and kisses her fully in the mouth.

Ohhhh! Great kisser. Hot stuff.

But what if someone I know sees me through this enormous window?

OMG, I’m in full display here. Workmates? Some church people?

 

Whatever. They’ll just have to be shocked and accept it. I’m a free woman.

Doing nothing wrong.

🎵 Oh, oh, oh, I wanna be free yeah, to feel the way I feel
Man! I feel like a woman! 🎶

What if Mr. Ex is walking the dog and sees me???

She kisses him back. A long delicious kiss.

Mmmm.

 

What? He’s very bossy with the waitress.

And then whispers some spicy words into Anna’s ears.

He’s quite bossy with me to, come to think of it. I’m amused.

 

“Gosh, a few minutes to midnight! I wake up at six.

“Gotta go. Thank you, Ümit, I had a great time, ” Early school morning tomorrow. “I’ve really gotta go.”

“Thank you again for the lovely dinner. Bye!

“See you tomorrow, dear.” hot kiss is his reply “Bye.”

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day Sorry, I’m a little tipsy.

 

 

Chapter 30 – Blind Date #8

 

Thursday, 4 February 2016.

 

Day 46

 

 

Gosh, I’m looking good.

Damn girl!

Feminine, young,

Oh, baby I’ve got it!

Attitude. Wit.

Make up just right, the perfect outfit.

 

Self-confidence, style, my smile.

Leather boots, joy,

“Well, moi!”

 

“Moi, Anna!”

Uhh, not bad. Score!

Blind Riku is a sight for eyes sore.

Short.

But yay a little chubby.

So cuddly!

New smart shirt, nice smart mind.

And kind.

 

He eats a huge plate, I just have a salad.

We talk non-stop.

But it’s slow. Slow fella.

It’s way too serious.

There’s no chemistry.

He’s just another Finn-mystery.

 

He asks why somebody like me is divorced.

“We just grew apart.

It’s sad.

Good guy, but a marriage turned bad.

He’s moved on, I will, too.

And what about you?”

 

“Out of a long relationship, me.

She was too active,

I just stay home.

Can’t do sports with my eye,

Nor drive.

Enjoying a quiet time.”

 

“I see.

Well, maybe you’re not for me,

Agree?”

 

 

“But company would be good.

Real love. Understood?

Maybe a few kids

To refill my home with bliss.”

 

“Kiss.”

 

“It’s early, but late for me.

Six.

To catch my train and sleep deep.

Here’s a nice hug and I’ll pay.

May I see you again, bae?”

 

“Well, in that case…

You’ll have to write more!

I know I just do

Require it to soar!”

 

Ten days go by, Riku sends a hi.

That’s way too odd!

“All the b💘st!”   I respond.

I just sigh.

I’d die. I cry, “By😘!”

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Day 46 after moving out. 

 

 

Prologue – Trump Him, Dump Him?

This is a book. Its prologue, the beginning. 🙂

 

Saturday, 28 January 2017.

 

Day 405

 

I’m a guest at Jasmine’s place for the celebration of the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rooster. “Also known as the Year of the Cock,” she adds, making us, the mixed crowd that is mingling in her living room, giggle mischievously.

Jasmine (32), is a Chinese expatriate with a PhD, and I find her quite cute, funny and smart.

Single, she tells me she’s never even had a boyfriend, but is currently looking for her husband-to-be/one-true-love, all in one package.

While he doesn’t come her way, she occupies her life with hard work, loads of international friends, dance courses and cooking.

I, on the other hand, have already enjoyed the bliss and all the sorrows of a longish-lived marriage to my teenage sweetheart. From the age of seventeen, when we started dating, until the Year of the Goat, when I turned forty.

Gosh! Twenty-three years with the same man. Is it selfish of me to want more while some of my friends haven’t had it at all, yet? 

Truth be told, I’m feeling afraid. Disturbingly terrified of ending up alone.

And worse.

Lonely.

After everything!

 

Helping myself at the buffet table, what a relief to bump into Tony, a handsome friend I’ve made in Kamppi through the MeetUp app, just as I have Jasmine.

“Long time… So great to see you here!”

“Oh, hi Anna! How are you doing?” he responds in his cool, typical Finnish style.

We start chatting, glad to have found an acquaintance to keep company at the party. Sitting side by side, we small-talk for a little while.

“My knee is much better now, btw, so I’m going to go back to the dating game again,” Tony updates me and, “How have your dates been?”

More about that, i.e. the knee, in a future chapter. As well as my thoughts on Jasmine not having had a bf yet at her age! What are these two thinking??

“Hmm, that’s good!” I comment. “I’m glad for your, uh, knee…” then answering his question “Me? Ah, you know me. Too many dates. But the last was the worst ever! Eurgh…”

“Really, how so?”

 

I’ve been terribly sad lately, but I don’t feel like ruining the evening, so I evoke a light, superficial mood for our conversation.

“Oh, this guy online has some good profile photos. Climbing, walking on a wire… So I figure, hmm. He sure is the confident type! And not bad looking, either.”

I’m recollecting the details. A German living in England, he claims he’s looking for people to go jogging with…

“Running in a competition with a huge smile and a Santa hat – his third pic is priceless.” I go on “He’s naked. In the snow! With nothing but a small red Xmas gift box tied with a golden bow around his private parts.

“Ha-ha!” storytelling fires me up “Impulsively, I send him a messge – thinking – Jogging? That’s innocent enough.”

Hi. Happy 2017, runner!

And if you ever visit Helsinki, maybe we could go jogging together?

Hey Anna, Happy New Year! I’m here in Helsinki on business.

 

“We agree to meet the next evening opposite Töölö Bay, a popular workout track in front of his hotel, and…” my voice relates with suspense.

 

An online dater himself, Tony’s into my story now. In fact, every time our group of friends meets, the subject will resurface as surely as the Finnish morning sun.

“Cool, Annita. Jogging on a date could potentially turn out to be an interesting first?”

“Exactly!” pleased he gets my point “However… I confess I’m just being friendly with the guy. Not interested. Just chatting, feeling like socializing and maybe even making a new friend, who knows.”

Alas, my heart’s just not ready! After all, I miss my Christian like hell. Feeling like a lost sheep. What’s going on with him??

Yet, I can’t tell Tony that. Always keep a happy, brave face, right? Dignity at all costs!!

 

Like most Latin Americans would, I’m waving with my hands now, blabbing excitedly “OK, listen to this, Friday evening comes and it’s way too easy to spot my date: it’s freezing outside, but the guy is wearing…”  drum rolls —  “…Shorts, a bright orange running jacket, and best of all, a flashlight on his forehead!”

Paralyzing. Huh?

Horrendous. For a date?! The bright side is Tony and I are rolling in the aisles.

 

“So there I am. Hmm. Sigh. Here we go again. My, my! Seriously?!”  — feeling disappointed. What else?

“Skit!!” — I swear in Swedish — “Bad start. Hahaha. But, in the spirit of not judging a child by its dirty face and running nose, let me give this guy a chance…

“Then, uh-oh. Oh no! He opens his mouth and his English sounds so natively…

“…American. Bollocks!”

 

“But Anna, you speak American English!”

“Yeah, but I love when guys speak British English!”

Classy, sexy, dreamy.

 

“Besides… I’m expecting a cute German accent. But OK, OK, whatever. Off we jog.

“We’re on our way, and I’m fighting to keep up with him – a frequent marathon runner – so I go ‘Could-you-please-do-most-of-the-talking-as-I-can’t-run-this-fast-and-chat-at-the- same-time?-puff-puff!’

“Detail, the guy is towering 30 cm above me – he’s got long, long strides.”

 

“And then?” Tony wants to cross the finishing line of my story.

“Can you believe it??? The one and only topic my gold-medal date talks about is Donald Trump??

“Run, trump, trump, jog, trump, trump, stomp, trump, trump, trump, trump.

“He doesn’t ask me one single thing about my life. He shares nothing about his. All I get is 4k of frumpy trumping! Haha.”

Tony laughs hard with me.

“And since I’m struggling to match his pace, panting like a pug, I can’t really find my breath to try and change the subject,” I giggle “Mentally reprimanding myself for not being in the habit of training harder!

“As we’re nearing the end of the track – between one trumpy second and the next – the tall American leans way down and steals a kiss. ‘Now let’s go up to my hotel room, shall we champ?’ he says confidently.”  I dramatize the memory to express my outrage “Just like that!”

“Haha. Seriously? I envy the guy’s foreplay skills!” Tony is enjoying himself “He thought Trump talk would have turned you on?! Hahaha. What a winner. Haha… Oh btw, was he for or against Trump?”

“He was against him,” I answer, noticing the girl sitting close to us staring at me with an amused expression.

We all introduce ourselves and I add, feeling self-conscious now, “Luckily, my dates have mostly been fine. People out there do seem to be pretty nice.”

Feeling vulnerable, all of a sudden – with a sweet feminine voice – and at a much slower pace, I remind Tony, “I did meet my boyfriend online last year, remember?” I sulk, not able or willing to refer to him as my ex.

No, no, no! Can’t be.

 

So, turning the focus of our attention to the new lady, I ask, “What about you? Are you single and possibly on the lookout?”

“Yeah, do you also go online dating?” Tony adds to my inquiry.

“Yes. Yeah. Not yet,” Niina quickly dismisses the chance to discuss her own love life with us “Your story is hilarious, Anna! Do tell us, how did you react when he invited you up like that?”

“I told him to go trump himself, of course!” admittedly, not exactly in those words.

 

“Come on, Anna, you’re so naive! The guy has a pic of his gift-wrapped private parts and you can’t guess what his present to you is gonna be?”

Keep laughing to keep from crying.

 

“Gosh!” I exclaim.

“OK… to be fair, turns out my flashlight date is half-American, so cut him some slack, will you? Our jogging takes place on Trump’s inauguration day, after all.” We’re all nodding with empathy now. Yeah, right. Tbh, we’re just laughing.

Hey, Anna, why don’t you write a book with all your online experiences? A separate chapter for every date,” Tony suggests, as many of my other friends have before.

“Hey, if you do, let me know. I’d want to read that!” Niina encourages me some more.

“No, seriously,” they keep at it, “That could a nice project for your Year of the Cock…”

 

So… here I am.

Now friends, without any further ado, let’s rewind the story to Xmas 2015, when this specific tale begins.

New beginnings.

Back to the real Anna. Not this silly temporarily lost case, but the real me. And maybe, just maybe you’ll understand.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 405 since moving out.