I know the point of this blog is to take advice from readers and apply it to my own dating attempts–but I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t impart on you this one piece of wisdom. Maybe this tiny grain of knowledge will save you the pain I had to suffer. Listen to me now: HALF-PRICED WINE NIGHT IS ALWAYS A BAD IDEA.
Let that one sink in. Half priced bottles of wine are just so tempting. The night before my date, it was half-priced wine night at a favorite local restaurant so some of my favorite coworkers and I went and imbibed. And imbibed. And imbibed. For someone who had to be at work at 7 a.m., you really, really couldn’t tell it as I became a karaoke rock star with a small following somewhere between midnight and 2 a.m.
Needless to say, the six o’clock alarm came way too early. So early, in fact, that I was still a little tipsy, but somehow made it to the office. The hangover didn’t hit me until about 8:30 or so, but it hit me hard. And around the time that I was making my 20th trip to the restroom, my phone beeped with a text. Bachelor Number 1 confirming our date.
The only thing that made my stomach hurt worse than the two bottles of wine I consumed was the thought of having to have another drink less than 12 hours later. But I felt obligated, and couldn’t cancel due to hang over. I texted back that I could meet at 6:15, after work, and that was that!
My coworkers all came by throughout the day to see if I had progressed to looking more alive (I had), to see if I was nervous (I wasn’t) and to ask if I’d text when I got home so they could make sure I wasn’t dead (I did.). Everyone seemed to have a lot of dating tips that they needed to share. “Don’t tell him you drank two bottles of wine and puked at work today, he’ll think you’re an alcoholic!” Good thinking. “Do you have an icebreaker?” Nope. “He’s an engineer? Be patient with him.” Oh crap.
Anyway, the last piece of advice I decided to actually use was “get there early and have a drink to calm yourself down and make sure you aren’t going to be sick again”. I took off about thirty minutes early and headed to the location, but Bachelor Number 1 texted me in the parking lot and said “Already been here an hour, just come on in when you’re here.”
It’s times like these when I wish I carried a flask. I parked my car and for the first time, I did get a little nervous. But I wasn’t nervous about meeting him, or if I had something in my teeth, or anything strange like that. I was nervous that my car wasn’t cool enough (I have no idea why..) and that my key chain made me look like a high school sophomore. I actually made a note of these facts in the notebook I carry for blogging, and decided to trudge on in. I was about 25 minutes early at this point, but figured if he was there, I might as well get this thing started.
This date with Bachelor Number 1 was my first date with someone I’ve never met in person. As I grabbed the door handle, I got a little nervous. What if he doesn’t look like his pictures, what if I can’t find him, what if he’s not here? I assume these are all normal fears that one goes through when meeting someone offline, but I couldn’t be sure. Anyway, I figured I’d cross that bridge when I got there, held my breath, and walked right into the door. And by walked right into the door, I mean it didn’t open and I literally smacked into the glass. Shit. I wish I made this stuff up, I really do.
Anyway, my fears were put to rest when I see that Bachelor Number 1 is the only person on the entire patio. I decide to go with a handshake and introduction. Which is probably the most awkward thing I could do. But, it’s what I did. We hurried to the bar to get a drink and I made yet an other fool of myself, thanks to the bartender. I couldn’t remember the name of the homebrew they do at the restaurant, so I asked him “Isn’t there some beer here with like…a white-lightening name or something like that?” The bartender immediately said no, and rolled his eyes at me. “That’s moonshine, honey.” If he was being funny, it totally slipped passed me, probably due to nerves. Turns out the beer is named Mountain Lightening. Okay. Bah! Back to the date itself.
Let me ask you something. Have you ever been in a college course where you had something to read, but you just didn’t feel like doing it, so you blow it off and you sit down for lecture and the professor targets you for a question…and you can’t answer it because, well, you didn’t read? Yeah? WELCOME TO MY DATE.
My fatal error in this entire thing was that I didn’t memorize every fact on his dating profile. My theory was “Why read all this information and know too much, when I can just get to know him in person?” Epic failure on my part–if I asked a question that was answered on his dating profile (i.e. where’d you get your Masters?) it was answered pretty bluntly and followed by a just like I wrote on my profile. I felt like an undergrad who didn’t read and was mocked in front of the class.
I think Bachelor Number 1 found me silly. And silly isn’t a bad thing, it’s just apparently not in his type. Which is cool. He asked if I had a Facebook account, and sort of seemed deflated when I said I did. Sorry that I’m one of 600 million people with an account. I made a reference to the movie The Social Network as it was the last movie I’d seen and he said “So you’re really obsessed with Facebook, aren’t you?” I just let it go.
I realize that I set myself up for this date poorly by feeling like shit, not reading his profile carefully enough, and meeting someone I wasn’t sure I had that much in common with to begin with. So when he asked if I was ready to leave, I agreed. I said I had a great time and meant it. The weather was great, the drinks were too, and I was glad I had come out even if it wasn’t a love connection. He said he was glad, and went to pay the tab while I gathered my things and said I’d pack up his library books for him. He returned with another drink for each of us. Ugh.
The more I think about it now, the angrier I feel that he asked for my input when he asked if I was ready to go home, and then totally ignored it by bringing another drink back. But I drank it slowly and he sort of loosened up once he realized an end was in sight. It was sort of weird. The conversation got more serious the closer to time to leave—he began discussing religion, his mother’s cancer battle. Things that could’ve filled the awkward silence prior to me deciding I wasn’t feeling it and wanted to leave. Oh well.
So. What did I learn? I learned that it’s not just about me. And by this I mean, it’s not just about whether they find me attractive, or whether they find me cute, or smart, or funny. I am not there to sell myself at all—I’m there to see if I’m interested in the goods too. *I* am making a choice. *I* am making a decision about whether or not a I like who I am dating, and whether I want to see them again. It’s not just for them to judge me. I’m there to judge as well.
Bachelor Number 1: Not a love connection. Probably won’t call back. On to the next one?