I have barely scratched the surface of the Bad Date Files, but in honor of the holiday of romance and my belief in equality I thought I would admit that I can make a pretty bad date as well. I have been accused (both in and out of the dating world) of being standoffish and slow to warm up, and when hearing these things multiple times it gets harder to deny. Part of the reason I like turning to online dating is that meeting so many new people forces me to face these issues of mine over and over again. Despite all my hard work on improving the initial image I present, I have miles to go. So let’s review the incredibly awkward beginning of my current relationship, shall we?
After a few rambly emails (seriously, I can carry on about nothing for paragraphs and oh, I did) and a couple of phone calls we decided to meet. It was clear from the start we were not on the same page when I casually suggested drinks and he suggested… a haunted house. Instead of acknowledging that one of us was clearly being more creative, I kind of flipped out and said that screaming my head off would make a horrible first date. We decided on a fish fry (Wisconsin rocks).
I got to the restaurant first and put my name in the wait list before heading to the bar to sit down and order a beer. He had texted that he was running a couple minutes late so I texted back that I was there waiting at the bar. I was engrossed in the basketball game when he entered and touched my shoulder. I was quite startled and due to his extreme height, my flailing elbow came mighty close to a delicate region. To save face let us just declare I hit him in the thigh because I really can’t bear the thought of the other option. When we were called for our table he let me walk first and did that nice touch on the back, which of course I accidentally recoiled and jerked away from. Smooth.
At the table we ordered second beers and as soon as I started on mine, my bladder decided to protest. So, first date with a stranger you met on the internet, sitting down at a restaurant, do you take your drink to the bathroom with you? I had no reason to suspect this kind, friendly person of any malicious acts, but having “protect your drink” drilled into you and the horror stories of internet predators are not easy to dismiss. Needless to say I most awkwardly got up to excuse myself, smiled and tried to lightheartedly joke I couldn’t leave my drink unattended and walked through the dining room with my beer to the bathroom.
By the time our meal came things were looking up, or so I thought. He was really easy to talk to, even though we don’t have a ton of shared interests (outside the few that got us to connect in the first place.) It was about halfway through dinner that my stomach started to protest. Not sure if it was the quick beers, the greasy food, or nerves, but the combination was not pleasant to my insides. I got up to excuse myself again (and took my drink with me, again.) I am positive I was in there far too long because by the time I got back he had finished his dinner and was reading stuff on his phone. I continued picking at my dinner, but there was no way I could finish.
I was feeling pretty terrible about myself blowing this date with a really nice guy, and wondering if maybe online dating was a mistake. Never-ending commentary on spinsterhood has to be less embarrassing than this. He paid the check and even laughed at my less than subtle look at his credit card in an effort to catch his last name so I could do more background research (why I didn’t just ask him is beyond me.) Then he wanted to know what was next and if we should go grab some ice cream. I didn’t know how I could manage to eat anything, but I wanted him to know I was interested and didn’t want to part like this, so I agreed. After declining his offer to drive over there with him (cue scary music in my head) we made our way over to Kopp’s. He got the raspberry flavor of the day and I got my standard chocolate. I made a joke about his choice and learned he is allergic to chocolate. (WHAAAAAA?) I should have known better than to get a cone. Between my protesting digestive tract and nervously talking my head off, I could not stay on top of the melting custard. It was dripping and getting everywhere and definitely not in a sexy way. I swear I went through more than a dozen napkins and I cannot imagine how crazy sloppy I seemed.
We walked back to our cars and he asked for a parting hug and wanted to get together again. I was fully expecting rejection and I was so happy I somehow had not completely turned him off. YES. I would get a chance to see him again and make a better impression next time! Well… maybe not. I was completely hungover for our second date. I still don’t understand how I was given a third try, but I am grateful that I was.