Friday, December 7, 2007
It was a low energy day yesterday. I would've preferred to stay home, but I stumbled in to work because there's so much to do. Just about everyone is coughing and sniffling (take care of yourselves!) due to the cold or the overdrink.
Last night I skipped a birthday dinner to rest at home. I was riveted to Top Chef
(Season Three Finale rerun, the Holiday Special) and Project Runway. All I want to do is cook, sew and write, except that there's no time. It's inspirational and lazy to watch so much effort and creativity from the comfort of the sofa.
Well, here's another installation of my blind date saga.
This is a several part series. For earlier installments, click here:
(Part One) (Part Two) (Part Three) (Part Four)
Sunday rolled around, and it was good I'd had a day off from being 'on'. This would be my third date in four days. I was starting to think of these dates as experiences to be survived, rather than enjoyed.
I'd seen Teacher Guy's photo on another internet dating site a couple years before, when I'd gone on a few non-dreadful, non-eventful dates. (There are stories from those dates, too). I remembered Teacher Guy's profile for the grainy photo and byline about academia.
So when I received an email with the same photo a couple years later on a different site, I was curious. Curious that this guy would have no other images of himself, curious that he was so persistent on the internet dating scene. Maybe he was picky, maybe he had very bad luck.
I met Teacher Guy at the bar of a great British pub on the West Side. Having a Sunday day date was perfect way to take the pressure off.
TG was sitting at the bar, which had flung its windows wide open to the approaching sunset. He was wearing a windbreaker, tee shirt and slacks. He looked like a non-grainy version of his photo, a little like Harrison Ford after being tumble dried. After TG shook my hand, I noticed that he didn't offer me a seat or a drink. Hm. As we started talking about the usual things (what we did, where we lived) I hailed the bartender for a beer.
The conversation drifted about, looking for common ground. He taught something like philosophy or cultural studies at a public college. With my working knowledge, I can do okay with such topics and soon the discussion became very, uh, cerebral. Some people might be flattered with such cerebral conversation, but I find it boring and impersonal.
As the conversation continued, I reached the bottom of my glass. I noticed that Teacher Guy did not offer me another drink. Hell, he didn't offer me the first drink. His eyes flicked to my glass and he just kept motoring on, talking about this or that.
This leads me to a corollary to my friend Lucy's Rule #3, about manners: when a guy asks you out, he asks you out, meaning you are his guest. As a female, you must not ask a guy out. You might think so-and-so's picture looks nice but you must not be the one to initiate contact. He has to do the asking (email you first, suggest a time and place) and therefore he should foot the bill.
The bartender swung around and TG did not order another drink. Following his lead, I did not order another drink. The conversation sputtered on, while dinner dishes started pouring out of the kitchen. People were being served beautiful pork chops with wilted greens, things with sauce, things with garlic mashed potatoes. I didn't expect dinner, but my stomach was growling.
The bartender swooped by again and asked to settle the bill. A line had started for seats. Here's the good part. There was a grand pause before Teacher Guy made the move to pay for my drink, a six dollar beer.
Okay, I can understand that he was on a teacher's salary. I can understand that he might have already spent hundreds of dollars for years of internet dates. I can understand that my expectations might have been outdated. Seeing that hesitation was not so nice. Maybe he was not so impressed with me, but the gentlemanly thing would be to pay up.
We parted ways somewhere near Battery Park. There was a handshake, thank you's and no promises. I'd survived blind three dates already. The week loomed ahead, and I had those mixed Sunday feelings in my throat - is it Monday again already, why does this week look so gapingly open (in a good and bad way), do I have to do this again, and what's next?
Little did I know I'd meet Mark the next day.
Upper photo by myself on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.
Lower photo by myself in Long Guy-land.