So I’ve had a bunch of dates lately. Honestly, more than I’ve ever had in my entire life. I blame the Spring. I may need a spreadsheet to keep track of it all (ok, ok, I HAVE a spreadsheet to keep track of it all).
I met one of the Match guys for drinks at Dos Caminos. Let’s call him George Costanza (not because of the way he looked, thankfully, but because his screen name had a Seinfeld flair to it). He was 39, grew up here in NYC, lives on the UES. Emory undergrad, MBA from NYU, and manages a hedge fund (when he's not busy being an architect or an importer/exporter). 6’1”. Had an ex-wife and hair (on his head), didn’t have kids or pets. And loved TV.
Are you noticing a few scary patterns here? I know, I am too…
Anyway, from the moment we said wassup, Georgie was a step (or two or three) ahead of me. You might say, he was putting the cart before the horse. He was the Kramer to my Jerry.
We’d had a few email exchanges -- brief ones mainly focused on our mutual love of television and the time/date/place of our first meeting. The only personal nugget he revealed to me that wasn’t in his profile was his first name. So when he arrived (9 minutes late), said, “Hey, you!” as though he’d forgotten MY name, and went in for the hug, he was met… with a handshake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! We barely knew eachother. There was no need for any more physical contact than you might have with a loan officer.
Strike one (half for the potential name-forgetting, and half for the huggy hello).
He led the way to one of the downstairs bars and he ordered our drinks. That was nice. A vodka martini for him, an Amstel for me. Right off the bat, he started talking about 24 (apparently he watched all of season 1 in BED with his ex-wife, "Susan"), and explained how we could learn a thing or two about torture from Jack Bauer. THAT is what is known as a Conversation Killer. It was a first date 1-2 punch of the ex-wife and the cheerful subject of torture. I had nothing to say. So I sipped my beer. Strike two.
We were seated pretty far from the bar, side by side on two stools, like we were waiting for the bus. It wasn’t long before he got up and stood in front of me, while I stayed put on the stool. In the time it took to drink a drink, he’d invited himself over my apartment TWICE (once to “see my DVD collection” and again, in an offer to hook my TV up to my laptop so I could download bootleg movies). I shrugged my shoulders uncomfortably. Strike three.
Costanza finished the last of his martini, leaving just 3 olives on a stick. He savored the 1st one like it was a chocolate éclair fresh from the trash, then chomped on the 2nd. He slid the 3rd one off the stick, swirled it around in his glass, and offered it to me. To me?? ICK!! Forget I don’t really like olives, but here was this stranger offering me the backwashiest one of the bunch. Gross. And, strike four.
He must’ve been sending secret hand signals to the bartender behind his back, because next thing I know, there’s another drink in my hand. Ugh. With a new drink, also came a new desire to sit down next to me. So he did. And he whipped out his Blackberry to show me pics of his nieces and nephews. A couple of pics, ok. But we must’ve looked at 150. And peppered between the photos of smiling children celebrating Festivus were weird things. Like a bacon-wrapped meatloaf. And a close-up of some woman’s cleavage. And a small white dog, wearing a motorcycle jacket while smoking a cigar. You can’t make this stuff up. Strike five.
Throughout the impromptu slideshow, he seized several opportunities to touch my shoulder, my arm, my knee. I kept slowly sliding further and further away until I only had 1/2 of 1 butt cheek still left on the stool. BIG strike six.
At that point we’d been there for over an hour -- and I was practically standing anyway, so I was ready to end the date. He really wasn’t such a bad guy, but he was just so forward that it put me off. So, I muttered something about having an early meeting (maybe I’M the guy here?), and put on my jacket. We went up a long flight of stairs where I’m 90% sure he was trailing behind to get a better look at my… behind (yes, ok, HE IS the guy). I’m feeling generous, so no strikes here.
When we got outside, I saw it started raining. Pouring, actually. So we both opened our umbrellas. And I turned to him to say thanks for the drinks, goodnight, and goodbye. He asked me to share a cab, and I politely declined, saying something stupid about loving to walk in the rain (PS: I don't). So that was it. The final moment. The end of the date. And he goes in for… the kiss (um, really?!?).
So, what did Georgie get? A face-full of my hair, which was growing denser by the minute in the extreme humidity. Striiiike seven.
Now, I’m not a baseball fanatic or anything, but I’m fairly certain you only get THREE strikes. And I think Captain Observant finally got the message too, because I haven’t heard from him. Except for the time he showed up on my doorstep with some bootleg DVDs.
So what do YOU think? Do I need to loosen up? Or does being an uptight sourpuss suit me?