Archive | December, 2011

The $28 Salad

17 Dec

While I was in grad school there were many restaurant follies and the following tale is no exception. I have pondered these incidences and have come up with reasonable explanations for most of them. This particular one just boils down to karma. I got what I deserved.

I had met this guy at a good friend’s wedding. He, as they usually do, came with at least one mildly positive recommendation (“He’s very tall with quite large feet”) from someone I didn’t know who was lucky enough to draw a seat directly adjacent to me and my plus zero. This +0 is unfortunately not a rare occasion in my life. Bringing a date to a wedding can be a semi-rigorous commitment. Sometimes you end up the babysitter (“I swear everyone was doing shots of tequila while you were taking bridal party pictures.”). Sometimes you end up the entertainer (“But I don’t know any of these people”), and sometimes you end up the chaperone (“Is that your date with his shirt off standing on the groom’s family’s table?”). In addition to the responsibility of a date for better or for worse there is the unfortunate rising costs and militant structure of the magnificent entity that is the stylish “to die for wedding” limits the likelihood that you will even have the option of date-age or even any free will associated with that  day/weekend. To quote a friend that recently got married, “How long have you been dating? 6 months? Look I am not going to pay for some guy to come and eat that I have never met.” Most of us have experienced this phenomenon in one way or another due to the rise of Bridezilla television. “It is my day and therefore you will wear canary yellow hoop skirts, puce eyeshadow, and ringlets, lots and lots of ringlets.” Maybe I will understand if I ever morph into the mythical creature that is “The Bride”.  Although I can’t imagine ever exclaiming “$100,000 for a few hours and a bunch of food I don’t have time to eat, sign me up,” if Justin Bieber can sell toothbrushes that sing, there isn’t much these days that is outside the realm of possibility.

Oddly enough, even though I was in my mid-20s at that time  and so were the bride and groom, the two of us were the only single people. I am from the south, so it makes a little more sense. At the end of the night this gentleman jumped in my cab bow tie and all (Note to any

readers that are male or give male fashion advice: If you are not wearing a tux, suffering from a particularly cruel Bridezilla attack, 80 years old or older, or in a barber shop quartet and you are wearing a bow tie you are downgrading any potential hotness you may possess by at least 300%). The cab ride was likely disappointing to him. He attempted to make a bow tie-type slobber kiss move and got a mouth full of hair that I had to wash immediately upon entering my hotel room due to the copious amounts of saliva he left me as a parting gift. At least he paid for the cab. I left somewhat relieved that I had escaped basically unscathed and may have even directly benefitted from the spit shower due to saliva’s multitude of nutrients and acid fighting ability.

Much to my dismay and despite his failed attempt at slobberfest 2006, he procured my digits from the Bride and groom when they returned from their honeymoon.  I was hesitant to go secondary to my lack of attraction to him when I had imbibed several glasses of champagne (if they are not attractive A. at a wedding when even Where’s Waldo might look kind of sexy or B. after multiple glasses of quickly swallowed bubbly… Warning bells that sound like a Tornado Alert or worse should be screaming.) combined with the unexpected super unappealing bath. As it turned out, he knew my schedule better than I did because he had discussed it at length with the groom, a classmate of mine. When he initially called I thought maybe I was wrong at the wedding and I should give him a chance, plus he was suggesting a pretty great date. Shouldn’t all people get a second chance? My intuition screams, “Negative Ghostrider!” Every friend I have that wants me to join the world of serious coupledom says “Of course.” Some of these misguided individuals even believe that every guy deserves a turn in the sack, this is after all the 21st century right?. So our first post wedding date we went to a nice place which was admittedly the final reason that I accepted. The date was bland. Vanilla to use a common description (although I really enjoy Vanilla from a gustatory perspective so I am not sure that this is fair to this magical taste). At the end of the date I was spineless at best, “Oh I had a good time (at the time omitting the word “really” was my code for boredom) but I am so busy for the next several months with school (playing the grad school card was usually my ace in the hole).” His response, “I am available whenever. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, I am game.” Arrggggghhhh!

So what did I do? I wish I could say I manned up and told him that I was not a worthy investment because I felt nothing and was just honest. I didn’t do that. I would guess most people out there do the same thing even though when it happens to us it is the worst feeling in the world. How many times have I just wished someone would just say what they mean and mean what they say?? “I don’t like you in

that way” surely wouldn’t hurt so bad if  all of us practiced this never before tried idea of honesty.  However, I should leave this imaginary land of sense and sensibility with open communication in relationships, stop talking nonsense, and continue with the story. The quick and dirty: I got talked into another date.

Now I had a choice. I could be honest on the second date or I could do anything and everything to get him to tell me that he didn’t think it was working out with me. The 13 year old girl that still occasionally hangs in the depths of my soul reared her ugly head and picked the latter. The first “end the attraction” tactic was maneuvering so I could choose the date location. So I got to pick because I was “busy”, and had to of course “study” so I could continue my purely selfless goal of saving the world.  My choice: A grocery store with a salad bar and limited fluorescent-lit seating.

We arrive at the store and it turns out that he thought I was joking, a valid idea. Who goes on a date in a grocery store? Point me. I smiled, acting as the gracious hostess, directed him to the salad bar, pointing out the sneeze guard and the dressings exclaiming, “I have an idea! Let’s go Dutch!”

I then proceeded to race through the bar serve myself very little food, sprint through the line, pay for my own and find us a table for four in the very center of the seating. To my credit, I did wait for him to start eating (if eating a few edamame doesn’t count, after all he was taking a quite a long time).  Eventually he appeared sans nourishment, explaining he had forgotten his credit card and he only had a 20 dollar bill. Since my salad had only cost $4 I was somewhat confused. I followed him back to the register with my wallet to see what the issue was and alas

his salad cost $28 (at 7 dollars a pound). Me: “You got a 28 dollar salad? Can you even lift it?” He: “Yea I don’t get it I only got a little bit of lettuce.”  Me: “The fact that it weighs 4 pounds emphatically argues against that.” He: “What is emphatically?”

I pay for the salad making sure I don’t use any more large vocabulary words in yet another caper of  a Walletless boy. Point him. After we are finally seated he takes one bite of the most expensive salad in the history of grocery stores that are not named “Whole Foods” and says, “Wow! I really don’t like salads.” Picks up his tray and dumps the whole thing in the garbage. 1000 points him.

The Player:  “28 dollar salad” guy.

Take home message:  Eating in a grocery store is about as unromantic as you can muster on the fly (unless there is a dirt bike race during the day time (stay tuned for more on that adventure). Use this mood killer wisely when you are too weak to refuse a date. Best case scenario you don’t even get to this point and you actually find your spine, stick to your guns, and very politely tell a guy how you really feel in a gracious unmalicious way.

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Ambush Dating with Financial Repercussions

9 Dec

One of my good friends went out on a suboptimal date this evening. She called me at its conclusion fuming. She, as she always does, had offered the to pay for her dinner at the end of their not overly exciting date and for the first time she had someone take her up on it. Before you jump to conclusions and think, “well it is about time someone called her bluff.”  That my friends is not why she was mad. When the waitress came he asked her to split the check, which resulted in her paying for triple the price of her dinner and drinks (i.e. a large percentage of his meal).  The ensuing discussion was one about manners and proper behavior (and could likely be had 20-600 times a second in any given metropolitan area).

This absurd date made me think of the last date where I ended up paying for both mine and my dates food. If you are rolling your eyes, “Why not pay for a date’s meal?” “Isn’t there a feminist movement?” I would like to submit to the jury that this is not about the money. More about the etiquette.

Disclaimer: The following tale unfortunately might not be overly memorable in the land that we currently date in. It probably happens all the time.

The guy in question had asked me to go to dinner with him via a phone call that it turned out he was making just outside my door. I consider myself a polite person with a few rare exceptions when under extreme duress. How does one say no to the guy outside your door who knows that you are home and that you don’t really have other plans? Probably pretty simply, “No!” unless of course you are a people pleaser (thanks mom), then that simple two letter word becomes a virtual impossibility (although the vision of me army crawling towards my bedroom while he peered in my kitchen window trying to find me would not be that far from the truth).

So in short I went out with him due to obligation, not out of love, like, or even lust. Dinner was a mixture of excellent flavors and mind-numbing, IQ lessening conversation (the whole reason, I had balked at the idea of going on another date with this dude in the first place). He insisted on trying a ton of things as he talked about himself ad nauseum. He even was so kind to take me through a play by play of his last 10 gym workouts, which he was pretty sure was giving him his ingrown back hairs that occasionally got infected. Would I maybe pop one of them later? Direct quote (of note dinner became less appealing at that moment and I didn’t eat very much more). To my credit I sat listened and smiled until I could take it no more.

Thinking back I am not sure which bit of rhetoric it was that became the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Maybe the one about how he was looking for someone else to sue so he could make a quick buck. Or maybe it was continuous quoting of Adam Sandler movies in a baby voice. However, I had my fill of both the food (especially post ingrown hair image) and his ridiculous chatter. So I decided to be honest and I told him that we weren’t really on the same page in life. He apparently translated that as I was even more into him (another problem completely).

I then told him I had to get home to prepare for work the next day. This he seemed to process as it was meant. We asked for the check and upon its arrival he informed me that he had realized on the drive over that he didn’t have his wallet, but it wasn’t it worth his company during this fine evening? At this point I was at Defcon 10, no eye contact with extreme focus on how to get out with all of my faculties. I paid and bolted, realizing in mid-bolt that I was actually headed towards his car. Crap!  (Enter awkward goodbye when I arrive at my house as I dash from his automobile while he tries to grope me).  This guy continued to call and ask me out for the next 3 months. I never went on another date with him and have also likely not regained the brain cells lost during the above evening.

The Player: Call Outside Your Door for a Date That Starts Right Now Guy

The lesson: Sometimes you have to pay out monetarily. This is OK. Dole out the cash. Anything you can do to get away from the nonsense and salvage your self respect is a worthy investment. Learn from the best. You should lie, say you are not home and army crawl to safety. 

The skinny on the skinny in New York City

7 Dec

I recently lost weight (intentionally, but also as a result of just getting my life back in order). This, however, has made me recall a particularly memorable dating experience from several years ago.

Looking back with that scathing 20/20 or maybe even 15/20 clarity that one always possess with the luxury of hindsight, I would now flee the scene and deem the boy undateable for his transgressions. Unfortunately then I was blinded by the promise of romance and boy-friend-age.

We all have skinny friends. The girls that can wear the most absurd runway fashions and make them look exactly as Valentino, the house of McQueen, Calvin Klein, or even the Gap/Old Navy intended. I have never been one of those girls, but like many of my compatriots have dreamed that maybe one day I would obtain such glory.

I almost even got there once with a nasty bout of extremely restricted eating.

Unfortunately I like things that aren’t on the Kate Moss “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” list (even though I think we could probably make a strong argument that at definite points in time Kate’s wispy frame could have been assisted by illicit drug use. This being said the super model size of skinny that somehow occasionally maintains double d breasts is about as obtainable as the truth behind Kim Kardashian’s recent nuptials.

I digress. Back to the incident at hand. This boy was a boy I had known for a long time. We had reconnected at a bar when I was in grad school and he was in town for the weekend on business. One thing had led to another, at the time I would have naively claimed that it was because I looked so stunning in my new trendy off the shoulder shirt and designer jeans further compounded by my witty repartee. Now I understand (as recently as today after reading a post about online dating), that all men are likely socialized to hit anything that moves. He had gone home with me that weekend to my townhouse. We (and by we I mean I) had refrained from crossing any major bases; there were of note some hands under some garments.

I like most sappy girls who loosely cling to the idea of the fairytale had imagined amazing things happening as a result of this new and fun “thing” that was likely happening to high schoolers simultaneously all over the world. And then… Wow! He actually called. This could be going some where right? when the out of towner calls post make out, heavy petting session?

Not too long after I was visiting his sister (for other reasons of course) and we arranged to meet up, get a drink, see where the night led us (he actually didn’t arrange for the last bit per se, but I did in my overly active imaginative brain, and if you believe the “Hit it if it

moves” theory about men he at least considered it). We ended up (after enough drinks to lose our inhibitions, approximately 2 for me and I think about the same for him (warning bells to that)), in a cab continuing our last meeting.

I should probably take a moment to apologize to all cab drivers out there, even though best case scenario is they are actually amused by such behavior as sucking face. This cabbie in particular didn’t seem to be concerned about our personal safety as we were knocked around like jumping beans sealed together via lips and various appendages. We eventually arrived at his place stumbling out of the cab, not due to inebriation, but more due to the treacherous conditions of the cab ride. We entered his building and in a moment which is likely as close to romance novel as I have gotten, he threw me on the stairs and jumped me with every intention of having his way. Music was swelling in my head, I saw fireworks (which could likely have been from the impact on the wood, but hey), and he whispered what I thought would be eluding to his unbelievable attraction and respect for me, “You are the biggest girl I have ever brought home.”

ummmmmmmmm…….. What?

And he repeated himself this time further explaining that he usually preferred a skinnier kind of gal.

And we have a swing and a miss.

Did I sleep with him?

No, thus avoiding definitive tragedy and an even larger hit to my already wilting self esteem.

Did we ever go out on a formal date?

No.

Will I ever understand what possessed him to utter such anti-sweet nothings?

I highly doubt it.

The Player: The Modelizer 

Take home message: The “modelizer” that is discussed in Sex and the City does exist, and that guy if he opens his

mouth can kill a mood faster than Lindsay Lohan can violate her probation (Kombucha tea anyone?).  Any guy should also have enough wherewithal to realize that no chick is actually going to want to shed clothing after such a misstep. The only problem is I still think about this incident any time things are about getting steamy. Is the new guy a skinny girl pedestalizer? Will he be disappointed once the outer layers are shed?

letmeshowyouapictureofmycats

and other awful dating dilemmas.

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