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You Get What You Pay For…?

I know y’all love to hear the tales of my failed dates, and as many of you have been letting me know – it’s been too long since I posted one.  So …here we go.  I think I’ve waited the requisite amount of time that (I hope) he won’t be reading this…, fingers crossed.

I met this guy (let’s call him Adam) online and we chatted a bit before deciding to meet up for a drink.gingerman - outside 2

My first mistake was this (and it’s taken me a while to figure this out):
I was his first date after his divorce.
Big no-no.
(Ironically, as I write this, I must admit I haven’t followed my own new rule and have gone out with two other recently divorced guys and each time it’s proved the rule… sigh.)  Anyway…

I realize that SOMEONE has to be the first date… but why ME?

My first date after my divorce ended up being with the man I fell deeply in love with… so, I guess I never really gave this issue much thought…, until being on the other side of things.
The dark side.

This is, I’m sure, not the case for everyone, but for several of the men I’ve been out with – if it’s their first foray back into the world of dating, and especially if they were in a LONG relationship/marriage, they’ve lost their dating “touch.”  And I basically have to hold their hand and guide them through the terrifying stormy waters of first-date-land.  I’m basically the e-harmony of the human realm.
Awww….I can hear you all now, “that’s so mean!  It sounds sweet to me that they’re innocent and don’t know how dating has changed… don’t BLAME them!”  And, I don’t.  Blame them, that is.  I just don’t want to be the guinea pig that has to endure a bad, boring, or awkward date because they’re getting back on the horse.

But back to the date.

Adam lives in Pearland (ugh….might as well be Siberia…(for those of you not in Houston, Pearland is a suburb.  So, yes, I’m exaggerating.  I’m an inner-loop snob.  It’s protocol.  It’s in the ILS handbook.))

Since he doesn’t live in the city AND he’s recently divorced, he didn’t have any ideas/suggestions as to where we should meet up.  (This is an example of losing the touch.  Women want a man who will at least show enough leadership to suggest a meeting place….Or, at the very least, master the fine art of “Yelp.”)

Gingerman - outsideSo, fine – I put out a few options.  One was a wine bar, one was a coffee shop, one was a beer house… and he chose beer.  Great!  We went to the Gingerman (it’s a super chill spot with about eleventyhundredteen beer choices.  Seriously…it’s a lot.)

I got there a few minutes early.  He got there late.  (strike 1)

While I was waiting, I ordered a beer and paid for it/closed the tab.  I like to do this on dates sometimes, so that the guy knows I’m not just trying to milk him for his cash-o-la.
When he finally arrived (he had a hard time finding the place… apparently he’s as adept with Google Maps as he is with the Yelp), he went to order a drink and asked me what I was drinking.  I told him, adding that I liked it but didn’t love it, and …
he proceeded to order the same beer.  Out of 14-bajillion beers, he just copied mine.

beer menu
Fine…perhaps he was nervous, so his imagination wasn’t at full speed.

We sat down on a bench in their back patio and started chatting.  Some about me, some about him.  Ok, mostly about him.  Ok, ALL about him.
At one point, I went to the restroom and texted a friend of mine that I was bored out of my mind having to keep up with his incessant self-agrandizing.  My friend wrote back, “oh…give him a chance.  He’s probably just nervous.”
Fine.
FINE!!

gingerman - back patio

So, I went back out and suggested we get a bite to eat and another beer.  We went in to the counter and I ordered the blah-blah-blah with brie (does the rest matter?  It had brie.)  He looked over the menu and decided he’d have the same sandwich.  Then, I perused the beer menu and ordered another (as in – not the same kind I had the first time) pint.  He ordered the same one as I did.

If you’re not keeping score, that’s THREE items for which he just copied my order.  I mean – I’m a good orderer, but c’mon…
(strike 2)

Then the bartender told us the total and asked how we wanted to pay.  Ugh…. I hate these moments.  On the one hand, I want to hand over my card to show that I’m perfectly fine paying and I’m not assuming the guy will.  On the other hand, I think there’s something really sweet about a guy taking care of the bill, so I want to hesitate.  But I don’t want to hesitate so long that it looks like I’m EXPECTING him to pay.  Gah… in this achingly long 5 seconds, this is all going through my mind, whilst I glance quickly at him to see if he’s reaching for HIS wallet.  Which he’s not.
So, I give her my card.  She asked if I wanted to close out or keep it open and I told her to keep it open.

As we’re walking back to our table, he says, “Why’d you do that?”  I say, “Do what?”  He says, “Pay!  I’m supposed to do that!”  I’m thinking…Right!  Well…why DIDN’T you?  I gave you an excruciatingly long 5 seconds?!?… but what I SAID was, “Well, the tab’s still open, so – we can figure that out when we leave!”  That’s a nice way of saying – if you want to pay, you can.  Later.

We sit down to more one-sided conversation (thank goodness there was brie…), and then he told me that his ex-wife reads my blog!  What???  (Ex-wife…if you still read this and you know I’m writing about your ex-husband… we should chat – hit me up).  What are the odds?  I don’t know this woman.  So, in my mind, I’m excited because a stranger is reading!  That’s fantastic!  But, I don’t think HE thinks so.  Anyway – that’s not really an integral part of the story…

He orders one more beer – on my tab.  ijs…

After an hour and a half, I decide I’ve used up enough of my time on a date that I know is going nowhere, so I politely ease into goodbye time, at which point the bartender sees us collecting our stuff and asks us both, “Do you want to close it out on the card we have already?

Ok, Adam… this is your chance.  This is the moment you were….WE’VE all been…waiting for…   So I waited… not 5, not 6, not 7, but TEN looooooooong seconds before answering her.  He said nothing, y’all.  Nada.  Just stood there and watched as I closed out the tab and paid $40 for our date.  He even had 1 more beer than I did… isn’t that bad form?  I’d never order 3 glasses of wine if my date only had one or two… but whatevs.  I pay… I tip… and I gallop towards the door.  He walks me outside and we realize we’re parked in opposite directions.  Did he ask to walk me to my car?  No.
(strike 3)

What he DID ask was far worse.  He made two horrifyingly awkward comments:

1.  Him:  “So… what are we gonna do?
Me:  “about what?”  (I can’t decide if this is about the not walking me to my car, the failed conversation, or the money thing…there really are so many options)
Him:  “the money!  You didn’t need to pay!”   (didn’t I?  I mean…SOMEONE did!)
Me:  so annoyed… “well, she was asking for a card and you didn’t give her yours, so I just took care of it…
Him:  “Well, how can I pay you back?
Me:  “I have a paypal account…write this down”   KIDDING!  (I wish I’d said that…)  what I really said:  “Um…well, I’m not sure, Adam.”  I mean…what was I supposed to do?  Walk with him to an ATM?  They guy didn’t even offer to walk to my car, let alone a banking kiosk.
(strike 4)

2.  Him:  “Can I take you out on a second date?
[note… I don’t think people should ask this question on a first date.  It’s one thing to imply that you’d LIKE a second date, but to point-blank ask the other person out on said second date…puts them on the spot.
Plus…read the room, dude!  This date was an act of social mercy…why would you think I’d want another?]
Me:   bumbling and looking nervous, I’m sure… “Um…. can I process things a little and let you know?”  Gah!  What kind of answer is THAT?  I might’as well have just said, “Nope.  You’re boring and cheap.”  He knew right away what ‘processing’ was code for…   poor guy.
(strike 5)

Whelp, …5 strikes and you’re out.  That’s how the saying goes, right?

 

In the end, I was out 1 1/2 hours, and $40.

But at least I have the tale to tell – for all of you… including his ex-wife.

Lucky me.

One Response

  1. Catie

    This is an amazing story. You handled it gracefully, graciously, and with your dignity intact. Shame that we single moms not only have to be the woman AND the man in the relationship, huh? But I hope you have more than a few men read this who take heed. 1. Wait at least a few months and a few therapy sessions before diving back in to the dating scene. 2. If you’re with a lady, treat her like one. 3. You are interesting, as a person. Let her figure it out over time, not all at once.
    Love your stuff, Ms. Sarah. Thank you for your glorious storytelling. When’s the book come out?

    December 4, 2014 at 2:30 am

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