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Bondi's best day bed.

Bondi's best day bed.

A few months ago I was asked to write about what I would consider to be the "perfect date" and after at least 10 or 20 minutes' reflection, I realised it would be one that ended in sex.

Now, I don't say that because I'm wailing at the moon in desperation for ... ah ... congress; it's just that when you get a little older and you have a child, like I do, you get picky.

Actually, picky may not be the right word, it's more caution, informed by a couple of decades of dating experience that tell me very quickly whether the person in front of me is someone I'd actually like to talk to after climax.

So when I say "my perfect date would be one that ends in sex", that means my involvement in this most intimate of acts would indicate I had truly met someone special - because otherwise it wouldn't be worth the bother.

This is quite a new sentiment on my part because, in my 20s and 30s, it was always worth it. Short of discovering "she" was a "he", it was almost impossible to regret sex.

Nowadays, I recognise that, when you collide in the bedroom, you always bring another person - however briefly - into your world.  And at the centre of mine is my daughter.

Last year, I had a welcome epiphany about the "love of my life"; that the woman I'd waited 40 years to meet was not actually a woman, but my little girl.

Despite this, there's still room for romance, although I don't envisage a Brady Bunch fantasy in which I'd picnic with my little one and a single mum and her toddler, because it'd never play out that way.

I think most single parents are careful about introducing new partners to their children, and I've got an agreement with my ex to wait three months before either of us do so.

So, in terms of logistics, my "perfect date" would probably start in Darlinghurst, an inner-city suburb in Sydney, because it's central, and you can still find real people at pubs such as the Darlo Bar.

I'd ask her what she drinks and she'd say "Scotch, neat" and, after I'd swooned appreciatively, I'd order us both a double Lagavulin and we'd chat about anything other than The Shire, property prices or our jobs.

I'd love it if she was well read and a family girl, but hell, if she was an orphan who read comic books, it'd be just as wonderful.

After the third drink, we'd both recognise what was happening and dinner would transform from a vague plan to an absolute certainty.

I'd probably suggest somewhere wanky, so as not to appear cheap, but she'd insist on divey Don Don where you can get the best noodles for 10 bucks.

The conversation would just be there, you know?  That feeling where you want to know everything about them and tell them everything about you and all of a sudden the restaurant's closing.

I'd suggest a cab back to my place, to share a rusty red and take in the view of the ocean from the outdoor day bed, which is wedged into the cliff face at the back of my apartment block. 

Somewhere around midnight, the waves churning below us, we'd kiss for the first time - slow, soft, both of us tasting of chilli.

By 2am, maybe 3, we'd be in my bed feeling the bubble form around us, the atmosphere of our new planet taking shape.

We'd hold each other, the two of us cleaved together like peach halves, murmuring our source codes into the other's ear, past the static of what we think the other wants to hear, what we've told those who've come before, past the banter with acquaintances and friends and even our parents.

"I've been trying to think of a word that sums you up," I'd whisper into her neck and she'd snort softly, in that way that she does, at the thought of being summarised so easily.

"It's been difficult," I'd say, "but I just keep coming back to 'magnificent'. You're absolutely magnificent."

And she'd be pleased.

Feel free to describe your perfect date ... keep it clean.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.

66 comments so far

  • Tell him he's dreamin!

    Date and time
    August 01, 2012, 5:45PM
    • "The conversation would just be there, you know? That feeling where you want to know everything about them and tell them everything about you and all of a sudden the restaurant's closing".

      Yes THAT. Feeling that perfect shocked bliss that a complete stranger (who's not a stranger anymore!) just KNOWS you and vice versa. The whole 'twin souls' thing.

      No, not even that. Just the connection of two beings. Nothing else exists. All is then right with the world.

      The perfect date would involve that. Doesn't matter where you are as long as you feel that.

      Date and time
      August 01, 2012, 6:12PM
      • I know what you mean. As the number of days I have lived meanders inerringly towards 20,000 I've had three days like that. Maybe another half dozen which I thought were like that, but turned out to be false alarms.

        Date and time
        August 02, 2012, 1:43AM
    • If anyone whispered into my neck I would be snortle laughing hysterically becauise that is the only place I am ticklish.
      But that is about me. It sounds like a lovely night and I hope you get it soon Sam.
      To discuss the idea or a perfect date seems to be setting a standard that some may never meet. I haven't one myself so it is really not something that I find necessary to discuss.

      Date and time
      August 01, 2012, 6:57PM
      • I went with a new man to a jazz festival in an old beach capital some months ago. It was early days so a whole long weekend away idea was stressful to imagine but in fact, it was perfect, for us. We wandered around the historic town, learning about the history from the architecture and chatting with local people, we found empty waterside bars when we needed shade and the leisure to focus pn each other, we took naps in the afternoon and were woken by the trumpet playing by the pool and then in the evenings we found funky little restaurants and bars and danced and people watched until daylight sent us home. We shared. His car broke down, we had bad luck with restaurants initially, the main stage music was iffy, a shop closed before we could collect something we had bought,,,but it was good. We worked out the hiccups between us and are now planning a longer holiday together in August.

        This was the perfect date for us at that time. A good foundation for what has come since, which relies on some combination of complicity and ease with each other...

        Far away
        New York city...
        Date and time
        August 01, 2012, 8:22PM
        • That sounds great, Far Away. Are you visiting NYC...actually the question is whether you're going to return to Africa.

          Date and time
          August 02, 2012, 3:03AM
        • Hi there. I was at a meeting in new York (exceptionally). Based in Africa still....the difference was fun, though!

          Far away
          Date and time
          August 07, 2012, 1:55AM
      • Oh dear...I found myself melting away while reading that. It might be that I haven't been on a date in more than five years (I have never answered to the name of Lucky - romance has always done its best to avoid me) but most likely is that I struggle to feel that sort of connection with anyone, even in friendships. Thank you, Sam, your article took me away from the dullness of my life for a couple of minutes.

        on my rocking chair
        Date and time
        August 01, 2012, 9:42PM
        • Sam, from a guy who has from the dim dark recesses of my faulty memory described his ideal as one who wore wayfarers and wore great shoes on two occasions I think your ideal has displayed a bit more maturity but i think you have a little way to go.
          The first date is important, but the few I remember seem to have gone wrong, some funny some really badly wrong to use a poor expression.
          The best date would be with someone you have gone out before, or known, so that initial awkwardness is gone. It might be to an old favourite place or something new. The place would not be loud so you can have a conversation. A conversation about anything and everything or even nothing if that is what the two people really want. Neither would be thinking, " I hope the time goes quick so I can get out of here and away from him/her."
          Both phones would be off. The service could be slow or fast and we would not mind, as such trivialities would pall alongside being with the other.
          The food/ drink could be good or bad, (not so bad to bring on food poisoning). the quality of the meal or drink too, would not matter that much. The wine could even be a bit wrong, but it did not matter.
          If we had not had sex yet then it would certainly be a bonus. A dream first date should not be dependent of having sex. A bit better if a first date didn't. Shows a bit more respect and a bit more self.
          Good luck with the searching and the goal.

          The Old Guy
          Date and time
          August 01, 2012, 11:46PM
          • I don't think I could top that description, sam, I really don't. I've given it about 20 minutes thought, and nothing comes to mind.

            Date and time
            August 02, 2012, 1:40AM

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