IF YOU’VE BEEN ROLLING AROUND THE WORLD WIDE WEB any time in the last 10 days, you can’t fail to have read about window date-gate; the kind of story that makes everyone, everywhere instantly feel better about their lives. There’s always someone worse off than you, isn’t there? Some poor sap whose misfortunes achieve nuclear Dr Pepper what’s-the-worst-that-could-happen levels of terrible, usually followed by the unbridled LOLcano that is the entire internet exploding at the same time. Twitter, incidentally, is so spicy during these occasions that it’s impossible to get any work done at all.
But anyway. Window date-gate – the sanitised name I’ve given it; you’re welcome – is the unlikely tale of a woman, her date, an unfortunately timed bodily function, an entire gaggle of dumbstruck Bristolian ﬁremen, and getting stuck upside-down between two toilet windows while trying to retrieve something she’d thrown out of one.
Her date’s response to what might have been the most mortifying thing to have ever happened to anyone in recorded history? “I’ve seen her since and who knows what the future may hold? She’s a really lovely girl and we got on very well – plus we’ve already got all the most difﬁcult stuff out of the way ﬁrst.”
Right. At this point, I feel that it is my duty to do a small, slightly-outraged-but-nonetheless-sisterly shoutout to all the women – and men, for that matter – who, despite being their lovely, chatty, charming, non-window-vaulting selves during a ﬁrst date, couldn’t even get a text back. I got you. I’d date you. I’ve been you. You’re great. But – and just by contrast – it needs to be reiterated that the upside-down woman still secured herself a follow-up rendezvous after managing to get trapped between two windows during the ﬁrst one. Either fairy tales really do exist or she had some pretty epic date chat at Nando’s earlier that evening.
It did get me thinking, Carrie Bradshaw-style, though. “Baby,” I asked my S.O., mouth full of popcorn during the cinema trailers this weekend. “If that had happened to me on our ﬁrst date, would it have been a dealbreaker?” Silence, interspersed with crunching. Side-eye. More – pensive – crunching. “Well… if I got the impression that it was something that you did all the time, then maybe, but otherwise… nah.” Shocking what some people deem acceptable, isn’t it?
Obviously, I probed further. “So what would be a dealbreaker, then?” I asked to a darkened room full of period-drama-viewing cinemagoers. “If it isn’t throwing something unmentionable out of a toilet window?” “Sycophantism,” he responded. “Right, then. Niche, but fair.” Nothing worse than a brown-nosing social climber, I suppose.
Apart from there is. For me, anyway. Sure, sycophants are insufferable, but my personal relationship dealbreakers – and what I know of the ones belonging to my girlfriends – run a far more weird and wide-reaching gamut. They are a tombola of hideous romantic judgement.
One of them won’t date anyone who isn’t from England’s home counties. Another is immediately spooked if a prospective partner has an Android smartphone. Meanwhile, I’ve been known to mentally disband from someone because he pronounced it tissue.I also take irrational umbrage at checked shirts, and less irrational umbrage at guys who don’t self-identify as feminists, who speak badly about their mums and who are rude to waiters.
I’ve since idly wondered if I would also call time on a relationship with a man who wrote lists of his dealbreakers and then had them published for all the world to see. Probably. I mean, I might well be pickier than I ﬁrst thought. To ﬁnd out, I did what any intrepid, Pulitzer-deserving journalist would do. I did a quiz on Buzzfeed.
Catchily titled, ‘This relationship dealbreaker test will determine the exact age you’ll get married,’ I answered questions pertaining to what are apparently the most common game-over traits – smoking, bad hygiene, laziness, lack of ambition and thoughts on children. I clicked ‘complete,’ waiting to see when it thought I would be wed. “You got: Never. Marriage isn’t for everyone and it’s certainly not for you.” Cheers, Buzzfeed, you judgy old goat. I’ll be less judgemental if you are. Deal? Or dealbreaker?