January 28th, 2011
Dater Unknown: A First Date Sorbet
The first date after a break-up is the palette cleanser of dating. This date does to your mind what sorbet between courses does to your taste buds – it announces, “We’re moving on, folks. Get on the train because the previous course is finished. But here’s a fun treat so you don’t just stare at the table cloth.”
After a recent break-up, I decided I was ready for a palette-cleansing date. I was excited about my sorbet date. Good age, good job, knew how to write and speak like an adult, and pretty cute – a good start. Expectations before a first date can be precarious, but everything I knew about this guy had me thinking it couldn’t go anything but well.
Foreshadowing: I was incorrect.
7:00 – We meet for a drink at a laid-back restaurant/bar on Saturday night. My first reaction is he looks remarkably like an athletic version of Elijah Wood.
7:03 – He puts his blackberry on the table next to him and lights a Parliament. “I smoke when I drink. You can run now if you want.” I was more concerned about the blackberry on the table, but the smoking thing was annoying because he said he never smoked. I decide to roll with it and see how things play out.
7:10 – He finishes his first whiskey. He asks me to stand in line with him at the bar so we can keep talking. I do.
7:14 – He checks something on his blackberry. I think of saying I didn’t realize he was on call for the ER (no, he’s not a doctor), but decide to give him the benefit of the doubt.
7:20 – He asks me why I’m not married.
7:30 – He checks his phone again, and I ask if he is really checking his phone. He talks about work being crazy. Come on, guy. My brain begins to yawn and file its nails.
7:35 – His phone rings, and I say “Do you need to answer it?” He says, “It’s my buddy I’m meeting up with. He’s so drunk. Let me grab this.” He answers and tells him he will meet him in like 20 minutes. He is beginning to look more like a ‘roided version of Lord of the Rings hobbit Elijah Wood than he did 35 minutes ago. It’s funny how someone’s personality/demeanor can make them a lot more attractive or a lot less attractive.
7:38 – He asks me, “So what are your worst traits?” I answer honestly (I’m usually 5 minutes late and I tend to over-think things a lot). I say, “Why, what are yours?” He lists like 3, the only one of which I remember is being selfish. “Selfish how?” I ask for some reason. “Well, I don’t know. A lot of ex-girlfriends have told me I’m selfish.” Sweet.
7:42 – He swigs the rest of his drink and stands up, ready to go. I have half a drink left. I say just that and stay seated. He sits down again.
7:45 – We are speaking about something random, and out of nowhere he says, “Oh! I thought of another one. I’m pretty immature too.”
7:50 – He takes me to my car. He says, “Hanging out with you sounds more fun than hanging with my drunk friend.” A small awkward silence ensues, and I panic. I say “Well, you guys can come meet us if you want.” I instantly know this is a mistake.
8:15 – I get to my friend’s house and tell him about the night so far. The first of many eyebrow raises from said friend occurs.
9:30 – Sorbet date texts me that he’s at the bar my friends and I are going to and that he’s alone.
9:35 – I say hello to Sorbet and introduce him to my friends. Instead of shaking my friends’ hands like a normal person, he does some kind of street-4-step-handshake-thing. I get the raised eyebrows again from my friend.
9:45 – Sorbet date starts dancing in place. Alone. It’s like when you are in the car with someone and they start singing loudly in all seriousness. It’s uncomfortable.
10:15 – He tells me about being into drugs/jail when he was younger. Oh, goodie. Listen, everyone has a history of some kind, but on a first date? Me thinks these stories are more appropriate for later, no? Definitely not within the first 3+ hours of meeting.
10:20 – He asks when we are going to make-out.
10:45 – More dancing alone. Friends and I begin to discuss where we are going next. He wants to come meet us as well. Yearn for button to push where the floor opens up and I fall into it, a la Veruca in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
11:15 – I am outside with friends. I’m relaying to a friend a few of the verbal gems I’ve been privy to in the past hour, and she tells me to just leave. Realize this geniusness and so I do just that.
11:45 – Friends and I meet at another bar. I begin combing my memory for any red flags I missed before tonight. No, I didn’t see anything that would lend itself to thinking, “you know…the wheels will probably come off on this first date. Better not.”
12:00 – Friend shows up and says, “Uhh, your boyfriend?” I smile and say, “I know…” Then he tells me: “No, he got in a fight with a girl after you guys left. Something happened and he pushed her pretty aggressively. Then a guy stepped in between them. The girl was livid and punched him in the forehead. Then he left.” I wish I could buy that girl a drink. And a trophy. YIKES.
1: 00 – I finish the night with friends, hummus, queso and wine – life’s other versions of sorbet.
Epilogue: Sorbet texts me the next day something to the effect of: “Dang, you straight up ditched me and ruined my make out plans. I went home and cried.” Me too, guy. Me too.