I am terrible at dating. Sometimes, if the situation is right, I might say yes in order to “practice social skills” but more often than not I just own the fact that I am slowly both getting older while simultaneously barreling toward being the weird lady that people only come knocking on Halloween because I decorate and “she’s rich or something and who cares that she’s weird she gives out great candy…” Okay the last bit is a nod to my dreams that still exist about being wildly successful. No wait, moderately successful. Let’s stick with Not a Failure and move on.
Saturday night was definitely not a date. For starters, there were three of us at dinner so the later confusion was kind of funny because possible flirting from The Dude aside (who happened to be the one to invite me to dinner) there were plenty of clear signs that this was not a date.
Sign number one: The age difference between The Dude and I made it hard for me to consider him a possible date. (Cue every lesson learned from dating Chef who was 13 years my senior.) The Dude is 43 going on 21 so in some instances was actually pretty fun in a frat party sort of way but I was purposely staying away from topics like marriage, divorce or children: topics that are generally feelers for “are you a potential sexual partner?”
Two: How I was introduced. Here is what he should have said to his dining companion: “Hey I invited a friend to join us at dinner, she’s into restaurants and stuff and it will be fun.” Or maybe even floated the idea by her first, like “Hey do you mind…” Some variety of that. Instead, what was offered was WAY weirder. I don’t actually know what he said but I know it was apparently confusing.
We were 20 minutes late thanks to homie wanting to have one more drink before dinner (we also passed the restaurant b/c I was navigating) and because our dining companion was at the bar prior to meeting us for dinner, she was drunk when we arrived. Well on her way to being a wasted and still throwing back drinks. She’s an attorney and they were friends who don’t see each other often so much of the conversation was reminiscing of old times past. Also being snide about my obvious youth at the age of thirty. (FYI I looked fierce because that is the only way to be.) Fine. The two of them were a sight to see for sure and many of the stories were actually pretty funny.
Anyway, on her third (that I saw) French 75, she goes “so what are you like the nanny?” (I don’t like children.)
“No,” I responded. I might have laughed. I might have glared across the table at The Dude. I was maintaining my first drink at dinner, thank you.
“OHhhh so you are (insert my best friend’s name). Sorry I only met you in a wig.”
“So wait (drink sloshes) why are you here?”
This was where I started having a slight crisis over WHY AM I HERE!!?? I have deadlines!
I am quitting my job so I probably had no business going out to dinner anyway. I should have waited for my best friend to come back from Europe rather than accepting an invite to dinner from “a friend of a friend” because that sucked and if I’d waited, we certainly wouldn’t share a bib lettuce salad and macaroni and cheese amid the obvious better choices at La Petit Grocery for God’s sake.
(Okay, the macaroni and cheese was delicious.) As was the rabbit, the fish, the ricotta dumplings and everything else that was put in front of me. I found it annoying that the waiter refused to just bring me the wine list and instead was asking me “what are you looking for?” He actually nailed the red, it was perfect but I still don’t see why it is so hard to just grab me a menu. Last time I just took a random suggestion my sister and I were at a hip bar in Austin and ended up ordering a $30 glass of wine when there were plenty of delicious glasses to choose from that were more reasonably priced for our budget.
Anyway, The Dude thought that this was a possible date but instead of saying anything, when the bill was dropped he kind of awkwardly threw down cash that was about 2/3 of the bill. Um, no. Not the way to buy me dinner. Very confusing. So, glancing at the cash, I made a show of pulling out my phone to find out what 1/3 of the bill was. (I was a little drunk at this point and I suck at math) This was partially because the lady that was with us was so drunk I needed to give the waiter exact directions as to how much to put on her card (and directed her that no, it did not include tip) and then paid my third (plus a generous tip in case old girl was a cheap lawyer) and made sure that the waiter got an extra generious tip from the remaining cash that The Dude had so thoughtfully thrown in.
The three of us decided to head to the bar but then the other lady didn’t show! I threw back her tequila shot and then mine before I having an angry spat with The Dude who was still hitting on me. (Trying to be nice, trying to keep things casual…jeesh.) Needless to say it was a bit of a messy goodbye, as in I said “fuck you” and left him at the bar and walked myself home. It wasn’t the prettiest sight but it was better than sticking around for more awkward bullshit.
I’m not 100% sure he remembers any of this. I did him a solid by deleting his voicemail (assuming that it was to the same tune of the 6 or 7 text messages he sent me that evening) without listening to it and told him where he left his car when he asked me via text the next morning. (I actually drove by to make sure to give him the precise cross street and direction.) Since we know my history with being drunk with a phone, I don’t mind letting that kind of stuff go and I actually don’t really care. We’ll never know what the message said. Sigh. I’ll probably see The Dude at my friend’s wedding? Let’s hope he picks something other than tequila on the rocks as his drink of the night. (He won’t. It’s his favorite.)