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Monday, December 3, 2007

Urban Couples, Part Three

(Part One) (Part Two)
So back to our comic-tragic story.

The second date (of the four blind dates in five days) was a doozy and a half. This was a date I was not looking forward to. He was way out of my age bracket, for one, a good 14 years older than me. He also sounded much too conservative for my taste.

I suggested meeting for a coffee or a drink, to keep things casual. This guy (I'll call him Max) offered dinner in the West Village. And not just dinner but tickets to a dance performance at the Joyce Theater.

And not only that, but he sent me poetry beforehand. Thankfully the poetry wasn't written with me in mind, someone he'd never set eyes on. This was poetry that he'd written at an earlier date. Oh boy. Way to make my heart sing.

I'm not a poetry person. I respect the art, but I don't even have the patience to skim through it. I can't say the poetry was a strike against Max, but it was not a positive thing. (Note - do NOT send poetry to someone you don't know. Like root beer or licorice or Marmite, it is an acquired taste).

The date with Max was on a Friday, the night after meeting Nameless Guy. I'd dreaded the date the whole week, but I told myself I was doing this for the good of humanity. No matter what, I could not back out.

I met Max outside the Joyce, on 8th Avenue. I was polite, dread-filled and dressed up for the occasion. To dress up for someone I had little interest in made me feel absolutely horrible inside.

I felt like a child bride in the 18th century, about to commit her life to scrubbing pots and shoveling coal. My thought bubble was filled with ampersands and exclamation points. Now imagine my despair when we bumped into a married couple whom Max knew, while waiting in line?! (Insert internal withering scream).

Max introduced me to the couple as his 'date' and they promptly exchanged surprised, smiling looks that said 'Oh my, Max, you're going to have to tell us all about your secret ladyfriend'. Oy! What I go through for the good of humanity!

Cut to dinner.

It turned out that Max was a fervent lover of dance. He was taking two different tango classes, sometimes dancing for hours on the weekend. He could not stop talking about tango. Tango, tango, tango. This was the conversation for most of the evening.

The enthusiasm was charming, I guess. I mean, it's better than no hobbies at all. However, there was not one question directed at me. Hm. I'm fine with chit chat and just kept asking questions about tango to pass time - the steps, the history, the other tango students.

Finally, as dinner came to a close, Max got around to asking about me. So what had I studied in school? What was I doing now? I told him simply that I'd started out as a serious musician. I'd fallen in love with architecture my freshman year. I was working on houses for extremely wealthy people.

After my two sentences, there was uncomfortable silence. I'd like to think that Max realized that he'd gone on about tango for half an hour and only then were we getting to me. I'm not sure what his thought bubble said.

I must have said something about how late it was getting. We parted ways under streetlights; Max hailed me a cab and I made the long trip up to the Upper West Side.

Along the ride, I felt wretched for a number of reasons - for possibly leading this poor man on, for enduring the evening, for another one in a string of dating disappointments. I did my best to tell myself that the summer was just beginning. It was June, and though I had nothing to go on, there were bound to be at least a few warm, happy days ahead.

Photo by myself in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.


Spandrel Studios said...

What a self-absorbed guy! To have tangoed the night away without asking you a thing about yourself until the check came? Yeesh!

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The Uneasy Supplicant said...

No need to feel wretched. From what I can I read you are truly a very nice person...take this point of view from an old man.

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha no need at all to have felt wretched but I think I would have felt the same way. It all felt horribly uncomfortable just reading about it. I do wonder if there is something about Tango though because we have a friend who does Tango and he can talk about nothing else!! You'd have thought the old adage, "it takes two to tango" might have rubbed off onto other aspects of their lives, like dating and talking but it seems not.

It was a lovely story though - beautifully told.

And yes, I will write something about academia for you some time soon.

I hope you had a happy Monday

Tammy said...

What we go through so that we are not alone is amazing. I used to wonder if it was worth it, but then I met my husband and realized it was way worth it.

kitty said...

I so agree, Tammy. It's funny what we put ourselves through. geesh.

That night was my own doing. If I hadn't decided to date anyone who asked, I wouldn't have been so uncomfortable.

I meant is as more of a funny story than anything.

more to come!

Ruvym said...

The guy has balls if he sends you a poem for someone else before meeting up with you. If you're telling me you don't really like poetry, or you never got into it, my response is that you just haven't read the right stuff. There's definitely something out there for you and once you find it, it'll just feel right. Interesting, that sentence can be applied to so many things in life. I actually just finished reading this three-book set called "145 Stories in a Small Box." It's supposed to be short stories, but a lot of them really read like poems. You might like it, depending on your style.

I write a bit of poetry, but going over some of my older stuff, oh God, it's pretty terrible. I've shown my stuff to people, but the only time I've ever used a poem to try to "impress" a girl was when I was a sophomore and wrote this poem for a girl I had a crush on. My friend pushed me to give it to her, that she would be impressed and fall madly in love with me. She thought I was a freak and, eventually, ended up the dating the guy who gave me the advice. Ironic?

What else did I wanna say? Oh yeah, I'm impressed that you feel comfortable writing about these people you go on dates with. Don't you think they'll read this about themselves? Granted, you don't reveal your real identity, but crazier things have happened. I try to be as cryptic as possible about those types of things, even while I would love to just be like "yeah, so this girl, let's call her 'Foxy' was so damn hot!" Although, I have to say, I haven't had that sentiment in quite a while.

One last thing, what's up with all these dates? Maybe I have to dig around more to figure out why you seem to be on this dating binge. I hate dating. How do I end up meeting people? I have no idea.

kitty said...

hi Ruvym
I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to read poetry. I will check out your recommendation.

I have been a little worried about people reading this, especially the Tango guy. I mean, how many Tango fiends are there in NY? (Reluctant Blogger lives in the UK, so her friend doesn't count).

I tried subsituting 'Salsa' for 'Tango' and it didn't have the same kick.

All this happened almost three years ago, so there's that.

Dating is horrible, yes, but if you don't take it too seriously, it's less horrible.

This is just a tale of how I met Mark, my boyfriend.

Ruvym said...

Oh man, now it's all making sense!