Sunday, December 05, 2004

I Had A Date Last Night

Yeah, it's true. I didn't really want to mention anything on here, because, I got a private life too. I met her via Yahoo! Personals, she responded to my email with a well-written reply and we've been corresponding for the past couple of weeks. She seemed nice, but we share very little in the way of interests. She is an aspiring musician, she plays classical guitar, practices music all the time, and works as a receptionist at some kind of internet company. She has next to no free time, as where I have plenty. So, last night I drove down to pick her up, for dinner and possible drinks somewhere. It was the first time I've had to calculate what kind of clothes to wear in a while, normally I just throw on the first things I see, but now I had to actually make an effort to be visually compelling. So I wore a nice collared shirt, a clean sweater, jeans and my loafers. I combed my hair and tried my best to look presentable. She didn't live that far and I drove down there and managed to find parking pretty easily. I huffed across the street feeling really self conscious. She lived in a building that had barely any indication of the address but I managed to find it. I buzzed her and she didn't pick up. By this time I was so nervous that I was contemplating taking off. I tried it one more time and she picked up and I stepped all her hellos, and are you outsides? With my own hi's, yeahs, and I'm outsides. She said she was coming down. I waited outside feeling shaky. What possible reason did I have to feel so jittery? She came down and she was all gussied up, I could smell her shampoo wafting outside from the minute she opened the door. She looked okay, she had obviously taken sometime to preen and I felt really horrible for her, this person that spent all the time to look good for someone she doesn't even know. We walked to the restaurant and I couldn't think of anything to talk about, we'd been emailing each other and had covered most aspects of casual conversation pretty thoroughly. She got animated talking about the restaurant. She eats there often. She is friends with the bartender. All the staff knows her. She loves the food. They've got the best Chinese at a reasonable price. At this point my modus operandi because occasionally nodding and offering agreement. It was like I was controlling myself with a joystick from fifty feet away. Everything felt detached and unwieldy. We sat down after the headwaiter, who had a handlebar mustache, said hello to her and she hugged him. As soon as we got to our tables (the place was packed, she had managed to make a reservation in advance) she had to get up to go to the bathroom. She was just in her fucking apartment five minutes ago, what's her problem? So I sat there in my seat looking at the menu and feeling self conscious like everyone was staring at me, people can tell I haven't been out on a date in years and can smell my fear and disgust at my own incompetence with the opposite sex. While I was sitting there some waiter, who had a ponytail and and a goatee came up along side me and said, "So, you're Julie's date?" clearly disapproving of me, in the same kind of tone where'd you'd say "You're the one that ruined the bathroom?". So I meekly nodded while he stared at me in his best Steven Segal impersonation and said "You'd better be nice to that girl, or you'll have to answer to me." I looked somewhere else, and he said "Look at me when I'm talking to you Motherfucker. You fuck with that girl and I'll kill you". Then he squeezed my arm really hard, digging his fingertips in my flesh and then he went off to help a table. By the time she got back I needed alcohol really badly. The wine dipshit arrived and gave his spiel about shellfish this, poultry that, dry this, and goes well with noodles that and I said, "We'll just have the [second cheapest bottle of red wine]", and he looked at me like I was a homeless person and left. Then she started talking about her favorite composers and how talented she was when she was a kid and how all her teachers recognized how intelligent she was when she was in school and how much time she spent practicing and all her hard work and her genuine passion for the music. I couldn't sit still and get comfortable and when I got the wine I had to do the sniff thing and was really self conscious about it (this wine dipshit is going to be able to tell the only way I drink wine is anything under $4.00 at home straight from the bottle, like a giant bottle of beer). I started drinking and she talked about this diet she was on that involved taking bizarre proportions of everything, so dining became a mathematical experience more then anything else. All I could do was try to be comfortable and try not to look stupid, despite feeling like it and nod politely and answer something if questioned directly. There was nothing wrong with her, she was reasonably intelligent, she wasn't bad looking, had a "vagina", and she was nice, but I felt no connection, no curiosity about her, and started wishing I was at home by myself on familiar territory without all the people around. So we ordered, I got some kind of beef and she got some kind of chicken. She started subtly lecturing me on my choice of entree, she had just read 'some article' about how Beef consumption is pretty much the worst thing to even befall the world, and rather then eating beef I should just stuff a stick of butter down my gullet, beat up someone in the third world, and burn down an acre of rainforest. Then she told an antidote revolving around people I've never met and do not care about, involving traits that you need to know the people intimately to recognize, with a punchline centered on a locations I've never been to. She laughed. I tried to laugh along but it doesn't look real when I do it. Eventually the food came with the ponytailed waiter (he didn't take our order) and he smiled at her and when her eyes went down to look at her steaming food he gave me a glare and gritted teeth. We dug in, I ate my beef and finished the wine, she pecked at some painstaking percentage of her chicken before eating the other proportions of all the other jazz on her plate. Conversation had petered out and we weren't really talking beyond noncommittal acknowledgments that the food was good. Then she started asking me if I had manage to read 'The DaVinci Code' and I told her that I hadn't. Then she started describing it and it sounded awful. The check finally came and I gave the waiter my credit card and she described various arcane aspects related to portions of the book that she had read about. I signed the check and gave a five percent tip, smiling when I handed the form to the protective ponytailed waiter. She had to finish her single glass of wine so I kept listening, feeling worse and worse until I excused myself to go to the bathroom. I walked up, past the men's room, and went though the kitchen. There were all sorts of guys in there chopping away and screaming at each other in the heat and fumes, I squeezed past a few guys who were too busy to really notice me and went out the back into the fresh air and parking lot. I gathered my breath, and then walked along the alley in the back, and out to the street to my car. Then I drove home, stopping for a case of beer on the way. She hasn't called or emailed since, so I don't think I have to worry about it anymore.

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