I was about two blocks out from the restaurant, walking home from the worst date I’ve ever had when he texted me: “Do you want me to walk you home?”
A little late for that, bud.
I can’t say all dates I’ve gone on in the city have completely sucked. I dated one really fun guy all summer that was one of the best experiences.
But when you do land a date that’s as bad as this, it’s imperative that you let the world know. I secretly hope I’m helping someone else out there, who’s had an equally awful experience, realize they’re not alone in the hunger, I mean, dating games.
Dating is a little different in New York City than it is in Michigan as I previously mentioned.
You likely meet on a dating app or website, not through mutual friends because no one has those here. In this case, we met on the ever-so-famous Tinder.
He seemed all right — worked for a non-profit, had life goals, proper grammar, was cute-ish.
We made plans to meet at a coffee shop to grab sandwiches in the middle of the day in my neighborhood (crossed off all those check points on the safety list).
I walked in the door and there stood someone who looked very different from his profile photos (as did I because I recently dyed my hair blonde, but at least I gave fair warning). He was sweating … a lot. And had a nerdy twitch to him that looked like he just saw Bambi die, all wide-eyed and nervous. And to accompany the profuse perspiration, he was profusely apologizing for being late, when I got there AFTER him.
He was dressed nicely but offset it with his black backpack slung on one shoulder that he held like an elementary kid trying to look cool on his first day. I immediately knew this was going nowhere but I gave it a shot because “when in New York” and a girl’s got to eat.
“This place is cash only” he said in a panic. So I calmly offer to walk down the street until we see something different.
We popped into a vegan, gluten-free, organic, grass fed, epitome of Brooklyn type place and he immediately threw his bag to a table and said he had to go to the bathroom.
All right, looks like we’re staying here. I was vegan for an hour once.
Which brings me back to dating in Michigan versus the city. If you are going anywhere in New York, you most likely Yelp it first or make sure you like the menu before you commit. Things are too expensive to just “wing it at this point.”
After being served water, given menus and approached by the waiter, we both found ourselves staring at the menu, asking each other what we think this foreign, healthy language meant.
“Want to go somewhere else? We can leave,” he says.
Now I’m not entirely happy there either, but I expressed how it would be weird to just leave after settling in and how bad could it be? While he then expressed that “Right, you’re from the Midwest and are polite.”
No, dude, I’m just not an asshole.
The conversation continued into discussing all of his Tinder dates he’s gone on, in much detail, telling me about his date two nights before. He went on to describe how he broke up with his girlfriend in June and didn’t want to “dwindle” on it. That lingered in the air in silence for a while until he painfully realized (maybe not) that it was a really weird thing to say on a date.
I moved the conversation toward normal human, first date stuff as best I could but it eventually turned into a money talk about how expensive rent is and asking if I make enough at my job to be OK in the city.
Another side note — it’s an agreement among all people in New York that we’re poor as hell, but it’s also an agreement to not talk about it. Especially on a first date.
At this point, I thought maybe he didn’t like me so he was bringing up this stuff to scare me away.
But I’ve never been that lucky.
He went on to tell me how much he loves my new blonde hair, and how pretty I am, and how it looks good on me and how he’d love to go on another date soon.
I nervously laughed and politely nodded, slowly pulling my hair out of my head, making a mental appointment to dye it back brown.
When the almighty check finally came, a part of me lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree and the waiter handed the check to him. He looked at it wide-eyed so I offered to give him cash like the “polite Midwest girl” I am.
Naturally he didn’t even hesitate, took my $12 for the organic panini, shoved it into his wallet and put the meals on his card.
I’m not the biggest traditionalist when it comes to this stuff, but on a first date, the man pays … especially if he want to see the girl again.
We walked outside where I immediately pointed to the direction where he could get on the train and then he insisted he look it up on his phone “just to be sure.”
You’re going in the opposite direction of wherever the hell I’m going, pal.
And to top it all off? I got a nice sweaty, wet kiss on the cheek when we said goodbye. After almost barfing on his Adidas sneakers, I said goodbye, nice to meet you, (don’t ever call me again, yada, yada).
Back to the text about walking me home — I waited until I got into my house, checking consistently to make sure he wasn’t following me and I replied saying my phone was on silent but I’m now home.
Of course the second date text happened, which I, like a famous millennial, ignored and will pray for the best before bed tonight.
At the end of the day, I’d love to chalk it up to at least I got a free meal out of it. But, haha. Right.
Words of wisdom: Next time you don’t want to treat a lady like a lady or a human like a human on a first date, be sure she is not a writer.