In response to a friend’s shocked/appalled/aghast/bewildered reaction to the intense level of inactivity in my dating life, I vowed to liven it it up a bit. Two nights later, a tall Australian entered the scene. He had flown into NY that Thursday for his best mate’s birthday party, and was scheduled to depart on a business trip Saturday morning. His one free night was Friday and he would love to take me to dinner.
I ran through my mental checklist:
6’2” or above: Check.
Sense of humor: Check. (Though dangerously close to the cheesy side, not so near as to dismiss immediately.)
Broad-shouldered, athletic & attractive: Check, Check, & Check.
Easy conversationalist: Check.
Has a real job: Check.
Looks like I was saying yes.
My initial concerns:
1. He appeared to be slightly older than I am generally comfortable with dating. Perhaps he had over-indulged a touch in all that Australian fun-in-the-sun?
2. I was still worried about the cheese factor, due to a couple fleeting moments in conversation - and also due to his shirt, of which I was not particularly fond.
Early afternoon on Friday, he calls to say he has made 8pm dinner reservations, and perhaps we can meet at 7p to walk along the westside a bit first. I say fine. Around 4p, he texts to confirm 7p at his apartment in SoHo. I respond that this should be fine, as I am currently frolicking around the West Village with friends. He replies back that I can come around 6:30 instead, if I would like. I’m not entirely certain what it was about, “frolicking around the West Village with friends” that led him to believe I would want to meet up earlier; regardless, I choose to ignore the text.
I arrive in SoHo around 7:15. (West Village antics may have segued into vegan ice cream bars and margaritas with mylifeissonotironic. Oops.) We thankfully skip the previously planned hour and a half pre-dinner stroll due to my delayed appearance. I mean, it’s a first date. Let’s not kill all conversation topics before we even get to the restaurant.
We walk through SoHo and over to the Flatiron district to Pure Food & Wine. The walk was actually quite lovely and entertaining, and dinner proceeded to be both lively and delicious. I found myself remembering why I like dating. Fun, flirting, White Light Tinis…I really should do this more often.
As he handles the check, I reach to check the time on my BlackBerry. F. Dinner had spanned more than three hours. It was currently pushing midnight. So much for going home to change before meeting up with my friends. (Yes, I had post-date plans. And no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.)
I assumed we would do the whole hug-goodnight-I-get-in-a-cab-in-front-of-the-restaurant thing, and I’d be with my BFF’s in less than twenty.
This is where things began to unravel. As I’m trying to politely extricate myself from the situation, Aussie has turned his game on, angling to get laid. This is not a stellar combination.
He wants to walk. Curbside, of course, as his grandmother instructed him to do when walking with a lady. Ok, fine. I can saunter through the park with him and hail a taxi on the other side. I message my friends, giving them an ETA of 30 minutes. 30 minutes later, Man-From-Down-Under is still ignoring every semi-cordial attempt of mine to end the date. I’m making a concerted effort to not be rude slash abrupt, but my companion has made the full transition from amusing and charming to annoying and cheesy. I KNEW IT WAS IN THERE.
As our meandering path veers suddenly and suspiciously toward his flat, I am rescued by back to back phone calls from my besties. (Said phone calls may or may not have been precluded by SOS alerts.) Hi! Yes! I’m coming right now, I swear! Sorry! Literally getting in a cab right now!!
"Are you sure you have to go?"
Is he serious?
"Yep! Oh! There’s a cab! HadagreattimethankyoufordinnerBYE!"
"Oh man, you’re totally running. I wish you wanted to stay and chase the passion with me."
CHASE. THE. PASSION.
"Yeah, ok. I’m going to chase that cab."
This is why I don’t date.