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Dating begins with glamour. In the beginning it's all makeup and heels as you swing from cafe to restaurant, and to a wine bar. Sooner or later however, you are going to have to bring them back to your crappy old run down flat.
In my case, I was living in a tumbling down weatherboard house with an outside toilet. It was decorated in bright yellow sunflower wallpaper from the fifties which could be quite confrontational until you got used to it.
Decor aside, the part of my house I was most worried about my date seeing was my fridge. And this was because there was nothing in it, except a bottle of milk. Probably. The thing was, I lived round the corner from three fast food joints. McDonald's sold $2 toasted cheese sandwiches, so $14 bucks covered a week of hot dinners. If I wanted veggies I'd get a whopper from Hungry Jacks.
These are the sort of facts about your life that you don't necessarily want to share with a potential partner early on. I wanted my date to look in my fridge and think Nigella Lawson, and not Barney Gumble.
I dashed out to the shops, and on a budget assembled a small but fabulous fridge selection. I started with a healthy option: a bag of salad. I then introduced a colour contrast: a bottle of OJ. I grabbed some yoghurt; several tomatoes; a couple of apples; some eggs, and topped it off with Brie and olives. I positioned these strategically on the shelves to make my fridge look full. If I was doing it today, I would also include a bottle of mineral water - preferably European, and some ground coffee. I would leave a cafetiere causally on the bench top to complete the look. Back then I used a French stick.
I felt it was a success. I made an excuse to swing open the fridge in front of my date, and I like to think that he was impressed with what he saw.
Of course later it mostly got thrown out. The OJ got drunk, and I kept the eggs till well passed their used by date. I then discarded these too (what was I going to do? Whip up a soufflé?). As for my date however, the fridge prepping had been in vain. Over the next couple of weeks, our romance wilted like the forgotten bag of salad.