Tuesday, November 30, 2010
It's probably a bad sign that his friends call him "The Creature."
Some of them also call him "The General" and I don't have the heart to ask why. Most likely, I should never know this information. It'll make the date more palatable.
I only agreed to go on this adventure as a favor to a friend. This guy had just gotten divorced and needed dating experience with someone kind to boost his confidence. Might I suggest that I am NOT that person???
He's someone I knew in high school but haven't seen since. We only socialized through mutual acquaintances thus losing connection after college. He had a radio show I remember hearing about and it was so funny (in a bad way) that I wrote a play based on his character - Dr Love. Sadly, my script never hit Broadway but I got a good giggle out of writing it!
It all begins when my friend (whom I may end up de-friending after this) "inadvertently mentioned" (read: totally did it on purpose) to the guy that I was going on one hundred dates this year. He "accidentally suggested" (read: intentionally planted the seed) that this guy be one of my dates. See: train wreck waiting to happen; see also: recipe for disaster.
Of course, within a day, I receive a facebook message (curse you modern technology) just dropping a line to say hello. Please note that when a person you haven't seen or spoken to in years writes to you, it is NEVER "just" to say hello.
We exchange a few hey, how are you, what's your life like, catching up messages and then he friends me. Great. Now how do I say no? Ugh...my mother always told me I was too nice and would get myself into trouble. I HATE it when she's right!
Yes, I accepted his friend request and before I knew it, I'd agreed to a date Wednesday evening. He did pick an Italian place I'm fond of so I figured at least the food would be good. I should tell you though that when I got dressed for the date, it was in jeans and a sweater with ballet flats and my hair in a braid!. For girls everywhere, this is the tell-tale sign that you are not interested in said boy. Normally, I'm in a cute top with skinny jeans or leggings and boots, hair blown out straight and long. In the summer, I'll make the effort to wear a sundress and sparkly flip flops. In this outfit, I certainly didn't look like I was hitting the gym, but it wasn't much of an upgrade from what I'd wear to the dentist.
Perfume for the evening was a heavy spritz of Eau d'Impending Doom...
We meet at the restaurant and he greets me at the door. Let me rephrase. A much heavier, shorter version of him meets me at the door. I did not recognize the poor guy and if he hadn't held the door open and said "Hi Kim," I would've walked right past him. Bad sign number one.
He launches into a tirade about his day at work, what he does for a living (something corporate and with computers - I still don't understand) and we haven't even ordered wine yet! I'm trying to concentrate on the menu but all I keep hearing him say is "meat platter" which I'm pretty sure will be a debacle (what with me not eating meat and all). I ask for the wine tasting (all white) and he does the same (all red). A compromise is made on eggplant parm as the appetizer. As I'm about to scoop a giant slice of tomato sauce and vegetable into my mouth he asks "So why'd your marriage end?"
Wow. Divorce as a topic of conversation in five minutes or less. GO!
I try to come up with a gracious answer because what he's actually saying is "Why did your husband leave after seven years? Were you really that terrible of a wife?" and there is NO good response to that question. I settle on the standard "He decided he didn't want children" which is completely true and doesn't slander either of us in either way. Fortunately, he re-directs to how much he's looking forward to being a father someday. Unfortunately, he uses it as a platform to launch into why his psycho bitch of an ex-wife cheated on him, left him, had him evicted from his own apartment and he met the guy she was messing around with on the street just last week.
Yeah, that's the story I wanted to wash down my appetizer with. Please continue regaling me with how she signed up for online dating while you were still married. No, really, I want to hear all about it. (Not.)
Back story: I did a little research after the fact to find out that while the bitchiness of his ex is indisputable, the "guy" was her best friend, there was never proof of anything illicit between them, and he got evicted cause he was such a dirty mess after they split that the landlord just couldn't take it anymore.
"All I want is someone to curl up with on Sunday mornings, eat bagels and read the newspaper."
Yes, I know that this sounds great. In theory, it's a fabulous idea. Except for a few minor details: 1) If I'm in bed on Sunday morning, there is a 98% chance that I'm still sleeping. 2) If I'm out of bed on Sunday morning, it means I made it to church on time. 3) One of us would have had to get out of bed in order to get the bagels in the first place. 4) I hate crumbs in my sheets. 5) Who actually reads the newspaper anymore? It's way too depressing.
Oh, and did I mention he was Jewish? So definitely not coming to church with me. Trying to get me to convert over an entree? Not gonna happen, buddy.
Then he ties it all neatly together. Jewish + children = he already has names picked out. How do I know this? Because he brought up his dead grandparents! I am all for honoring loved ones by naming the next generation with respect to those who came before us. Perhaps we should wait to do this til ... oh, I don't know... the thirty-second date???
Other topics of conversation include his estrangement from his father, why he drives a Subaru and not a Mercedes, how he doesn't see why strip clubs are a bad thing, and a computer animated movie from 1984 that he has the DVD of in his car and I absolutely MUST watch it. Um, no, but thanks anyway.
His nomination as king of the non-sequitor was sealed with the quote of the night: "I'm anti-celery." Really? Anti-gun? Sure. Anti-abortion? I get it. But anti-fibrous vegetable? I don't think that's a political platform anyone has run on.
He then asks me about my writing, specifically about the dates I've gone on and how bad they've been. He wants to know how this one compares. I tell him I'll hold off answering until the date is over. He wants to know if he "gets" a second date. Again, I tell him I'll reserve judgement until the end of the night (which cannot come soon enough). I then inquire as to why he'd even want to date me knowing that I'm writing about it and also knowing that I've dated his friend. I mean, I certainly wouldn't want to go out with anyone who went out with one of my friends. His response was "Anything he can do, I can do better."
Annie, Get Your Gun. And please PLEASE shoot me!