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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Not Another Drunk Date.

Hi again! It's the Nugget, and have I got a story for you. It all started with a few pleasant messages, which resulted in a date request. I happily accepted, and we made a date for that Sunday. He would be doing some work in the city next to mine, so offered to meet at a bar at 3pm in that city. 3pm didn't work for me, as I had some things to do that day, so I offered a later time, which he agreed to. As I was looking up directions, the website stated that the place he chose closed soon after our new meeting time. I brought this up, and suggested a place close by with lovely waterfront views and several other options nearby. He agreed.

When I arrived, we had a perfectly lovely conversation as he drank his second beer (he had gotten there before me). He was a little shy and awkward at first, but aren't we all? It was getting a little chilly as he was finishing his second drink, so I suggested a nearby restaurant/bar with a fire pit. We scored a seat around the fire, and he ordered another beer and a shot. I ordered a glass of wine.

Shortly after the shot, our conversation started to take a weird turn. He would bring up topics that were really inappropriate for a first date (example: talking extensively about poop, as he was a medic previously and dealt with it a lot). He would ask me questions, and then as I started to answer, immediately interrupt with other questions. When he started slurring his words, I started to get alarmed. I realized with horror that he had probably been at the previously mentioned bar since our original time of 3pm, and drinking for 4 hours.

Around this time, the waiter came to ask if we needed anything else. I ordered a second glass of wine, and asked for the bill. When the bill arrived, he grabbed it and gave his card. It was declined, so I paid. While the waiter was inside running my card, he spent the entire time checking his bank account and trying to prove to me that his card should not have been declined. I had no idea what to say, so I just smiled and nodded sympathetically. When the waiter returned, I signed my receipt, and he practically accosted the waiter, demanding his card be re-run. We both gently advised him that the bill had already been paid and it was unnecessary. He eventually quieted down.

I was trying to make small talk while finishing my glass of wine, and he kept interrupting, shouting in my face, "What is your name short for?!" and would throw out name options. Keep in mind that I had already shared this with him during our conversation earlier that day, and yet he shouted this at me no less than three times. I quickly finished my wine, wondering how to get out of this situation. He then looks at me (or, rather, lolls his head in my general direction), and says, "Let's get out of here and go to your place. I want to lay with you." I politely declined. He then says, "Well, that's BORING." I had had quite enough, so I said, "So is this situation," set down my glass, and walked out.

A couple of days later, I received a text from him along the lines of, "Hey, I had a great time, would you like to go out again?" I replied, "Do you even remember what happened?" He said, "Not really, but I think you may have left abruptly, did I say something stupid? I have a weird sense of humor." I reminded him that he called me boring when I refused to have sex with him. He said, "Oh, that was a joke." I said, "No, it most certainly was not, and even if it were, perhaps getting blackout drunk on a first date is a bad idea. Take care."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Salty Nuggets

You guys. The Nugget here, and I am back to dating, and I am salty about it. Like, real bad, and it's only been a few weeks. Let me give you just a taste of why.

I had been trading messages with this dude for a few days, and on Friday, he asks me my following week's schedule to see when we could meet up. I give it to him, and on Saturday he says, "Tuesday could probably work for me. I'll call you in a bit to coordinate."

Saturday, no call. Sunday, no call. Monday, no call, so I make other plans and forget he ever existed. Tuesday morning, I get a message: "Hey, I'm going to call you in a bit to coordinate."

I reply, "Actually, I hadn't heard from you in a few days, so I made other plans, sorry." His response, "What? We didn't have any plans. I was going to call to see if we could do tomorrow or Thursday."

I said, "Your last message said Tuesday, and you would be calling to coordinate. I'm not free tomorrow or Thursday." (which is true, I have dates both days).

He replied, "I know that I had mentioned Tuesday, but it didn't end up working for me, which is why I couldn't follow up to make a plan for today. When you have a free minute (lunchtime, after work, etc.), let's move our conversation to the phone, because it's not clear whether or not your messages on here have a pissy tone, and I'm hoping that they don't."

I said, "You should have followed up to let me know that Tuesday didn't work for you."

His response: "You're actually wrong (and surprisingly cocky in your wrongness). I had said that Tuesday MIGHT work, and we never made even a tentative plan. Anyway, it's now clear that my hunch was correct and that you're pissy. The last thing that someone needs from you (especially since you're a jaded, cocky, mid-30s, mediocre-looking, East Bay person who insists on discussing things via e-mail) is advice regarding dating, so please don't contact me again. (Since your passive-aggressive approach indicates that you'll probably try to continue this dialogue against my request, I've blocked your account, so any future messages from you will fortunately be redirected into cyberspace.) Good luck."

So, because I asked that I be reasonably kept in the loop when someone asked me to reserve a day to potentially meet up, I am now cocky, ugly, and a host of other things. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is just a sampling of why I'm feeling jaded.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A tale of two cities. Actually, one city and one really big jerk.

Last night's date was pretty much awesome, so in his honor, I, the Nugget, present to you last month's prize winning date:

We met online (SHOCKING) and exchanged numbers pretty quickly. Lots of texts were exchanged, and my asshole senses were certainly not tingling (though, as we have learned, my asshole senses may be broken well beyond repair). So, we made a date for a Monday night. I mention to him that I'd be having dinner beforehand (I'm doing a fitness challenge, so I was trying to make most of my meals). He said that was fine, and we'd meet for a drink.

Now, San Francisco is not a big city. In fact, it's 7 miles by 7 miles. I work in one of the super gritty neighborhoods. Mr. Traditionalist (this name will become relevant shortly) works approximately a 20 minute walk away from my office. His work neighborhood is usually filled with insufferable suits loudly bragging about cheating on their trophy wives while spilling their $14 cocktails, so we opt for my work neighborhood. I suggest a whiskey bar, warning, "It's kind of a dive." He says he's into it. I arrive, and he's standing out front, looking visible uncomfortable. We walk inside, and his discomfort increases tenfold. I say, "Hey, I told you it was a dive! We can go somewhere else if you'd like?" He says, "No, I'm good," and takes off his jacket, looking around as if any of the 5 patrons on a barstool were going to take his wallet at any moment. "Are you sure? You look uncomfortable." "What's making me uncomfortable is you asking me if I'm uncomfortable!" he bristles. Well, this is off to a great start. I sit down and start to take off my coat, and finally he says, "Yeah, maybe we should go somewhere else." I suggest an upscale beer bar (even though I'm not a big fan of beer) up the street, and he readily agrees. We walk there, and it's closed on Mondays. There's another dive next door, which I quickly suggest, hoping he won't veto this one, too. He doesn't.

Once inside, he says, "I don't usually drink, so I'll have what you're having." I order a Bulleit Rye and ginger ale, my usual, and his eyes widen. "You're a party girl!" Well, if I'm a party girl, so is most of the population of San Francisco. I force a laugh and go to pull out my wallet. "What do you think you're doing? Put that away when you're around me!" Okay, nice gesture, thanks, but there are more tactful ways to say, "I've got this one!" I sit and wait for him to order, and after he brings back the drinks, we begin a perfectly ordinary conversation...until he brings up our different cultures. "You realize I'm Turkish and you're Jewish, and Turks and Jews don't get along, right?" Well, yes, we've already both read and discussed both of our backgrounds, and you haven't done anything personally to me or mine or vice versa, so what's the problem? He tries to play it off, saying most Jewish girls only like Jewish men. I force a smile and continue with the ordinary small talk.

He then says, "I'm starving. You're not going to let me starve, are you?" I say that we can certainly go to get him something to eat, but that I'd already eaten as I'd advised him I would have done when we were making plans, and I wouldn't be joining him in eating. I joked that I would try not to stare at him creepily while he ate, and thought that was that. It wasn't. "You have to eat an appetizer with me. Promise? Promise?" I think I can commit to a salad or something, and pinky promise him. He then walks us over to the Turkish restaurant directly next door to the original bar we had met at, as if this was part of his plan all along.

He convinces me to order a glass of wine. "Come on! You're not driving! Anyway, girls are supposed to get drunk on dates. And you're a party girl!" Oh, really? I'd missed that memo. He then proceeds to order every item on the menu, guilting me into trying every single item (I'm very susceptible to food guilt!). We start chatting about my last weekend, and I mention a party with my favorite poly family. I joke that I'm always the weird one with most of my San Francisco friends, because I'm more monogamously minded, and they have to be like, "Oh yeah, there's Kat. She's monogamous." (Side note: they aren't actually judge-y and love me just the way I am!). We move on to talking about past relationships, and he assumes that my last long term relationship was with a man. I pause, wondering if it's worth the trouble, and then say, "Fuck it!" and blurt out, "Actually, it was with a woman." His eyes go wide, he pauses, and almost shouts, "You know that's unnatural, right?" I stare at him in stunned silence, and, seeing he done goofed, he tries to back that train wreck right up. "I MEAN you expecting a man to be with just one woman. Men are naturally inclined to be with more than one woman. It's just biology. Have more wine!" You know what, dude? I WILL have more wine, because the check isn't coming anytime soon and I'm trapped at a corner table with you.

He orders dessert, which I politely decline, and I'm feeling a little buzzed. It's now dark out, and we're still in the aforementioned gritty neighborhood with a good 20 minute walk to the train, and I'm in uncomfortable heels. I should have thought this through. He offers me a ride home, and we've had a good 10 minutes without any asshole remarks, so I accept. He's parked right out front. We ride mostly in silence until we're on the bridge, and he says, "You know what I think?" Please tell me, dude, because you've been so coy thus far. "You're desperate for a husband." Huh. Really. That's a new one. I briefly consider hurling myself out onto the highway, but instead grit my teeth for the next 15 minutes until he drops me off at home with a brief hug goodnight.

The next day, I'd gone out (coincidentally, on a date that you'll read about VERY soon), and was waiting for the train at 10:30pm. I check my phone as I wait, as one does. There are six text messages from Mr. Traditional.
6:53pm: "You are more stubborn than I am, aren't you?"
6:54pm: "Ok, I give up..."
6:59pm: "You're not talking to me now?"
8:01pm: "Ok, I'll go eat worms..."
8:42pm: "Can you at least tell me what I did wrong and I'll go away."
8:43pm: "Please..."

I can't imagine why I wouldn't answer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Aaaaaand scene.

Nugget here. I have lots to fill you in on, but while I'm under a work deadline, I'll leave you with a brief recap of last night's date:

Show up. Dude's in a green V-neck tshirt and grey blazer, looking blitz out of his mind. He's already downed a glass of straight whiskey in the 10 minute's he's been waiting. He orders a glass of wine, and when he's not taking about getting drunk and passing out naked in friends' pools, we're staring at each other in awkward silence. I finish my glass of wine in record time, and exactly 38 minutes from the moment I walked in the door, we're standing out on the sidewalk (not after he smarmily says to the bartender, "Oh. I guess I'll cover her glass, too." It's okay, I have cash, jerk). He says, "So...drinks at your place?" I make a show of yawning and say, "Gee, it's getting late...sorry!"

It was 9:30pm.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's here! It's here! It's here!

Okay, I, The Nugget, have been totally slacking off on posting, and I'm really sorry. Like, really, really sorry. But, just in time for Valentine's Day, I have the perfect gift (and like all Valentine's Day gifts, I may be slightly intoxicated while presenting it to you, and you will dutifully hide your disappointment when it wasn't exactly what you wanted. What am I, a mind reader? God, you're such a girl).
So, I put up an ad on that trash heap of internet existence called Craigslist, since I'm still on an OKCupid break. Don't blame me, I was bored, and since everyone on there is trolling or trying to send you pictures of their unmentionables, I figured I'd feel popular for a minute once I started getting a bunch of emails, and then spend the rest of the day getting to make fun of people. Win-win, right?
Imagine my surprise when Friday night, I get an email from a totally attractive, totally normal seeming, FULL CLOTHED man that was completely personable and indicated he read my (incredibly well-written and totally charming) ad. Hold on. Has the world ended? The sky falling down? Please wait while I check. Nope, still here. Good. Okay, so we trade a few emails, and late in the evening, he gives me his number. I waited until the next morning (because I'm a chick, and yes, we absolutely do that in case you were wondering). Silence. On Monday, however, he apologized for the delay, and asked if I wanted to get a drink. Sure. He asked if I was free that night. I'm usually not big on same day plans, but I truly didn't have any plans that night, and I was suffering from cabin fever from all the studying I'd been doing that weekend, so I went for it. Hesitantly.
I show up, and he's well dressed, well spoken, and looks just like his pictures. He pays for our drinks, makes friends with the bartender, and talks to me about progressive politics. He even asked if I'd like to go out again sometime later in the week before we went our separate ways. I was impressed.
Now, I'm a Jew, and we worry, so I sent him a text asking if he got home okay. 20 minutes later, I receive a text from another number stating, "Hi, sorry, this is my personal phone, my other phone that I primarily use for work is charging right now, so now you have both my numbers!" And we chat a little. Things get a little weird when he starts to ask for pictures. And then make little hints. I finally catch on and realize he's asking for nudes. I shut that down REAL quick. We haven't even held hands yet, dude! He definitely crossed a line, and I had no intention of ever speaking to him again, even though he quickly apologized.
The next day, he texts me as I'm getting off work. "Hi." That's it. When I get home from work, I text him back the same, curious about what he has to say for himself. Half an hour later, I'm making dinner and my phone rings. Let me tell you, I hate talking on the phone, especially when I have something important to do, so I let it go to voicemail. I had a feeling I knew who it was, anyway.
As I sit down to eat, I check my phone. Yep, it was him. No voicemail left. Well, if he had something to say, I guess he would have said it, right? I go on with my evening, and a little while later, he texts me this long text explaining that he was calling to apologize for his EX texting me last night, and that it was invasive and inappropriate and I had every right to be upset. Wait. Back the eff up. His EX was texting me from her phone, pretending to be him, trying to get me to send her nude pictures? This is a whole new brand of crazy.
I text back, "How did your ex get my number?" He says, "From my cell phone bill." Okay, listen. I've never worked for a cell phone company, but it doesn't take a rocket scientists to figure out how cell phones work. They charge you for the minutes/texts/data used, and in order to do that, they charge you after you've used it. So, when you get your cell phone bill, it's for the month preceding. SO, your cell phone bill, even if you got it that same day, would not have the number of someone that texted you that very day. I CALL SHENANIGANS! Obviously, she got my number from his phone. And obviously, if she's looking at his phone at 10:30pm on a Monday night, and knew he was not home right after work, she probably lives there. Either way, this is some drama I do NOT want to deal with, and I let him know in no uncertain terms. He, of course, responded saying it's "complicated" and he'd like to explain but he can't do so in text. Am I going to meet this guy to hear his sob story? Absolutely not. But, I am definitely thinking harder on honoring my friend Darcie's suggestion to make 2014 the Year of the Ladies. At least we're up front about our crazy.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The End Is Nigh.

Listen, it's the Nugget here, and I feel like I need to apologize. A few weeks ago, while having a going away party for Miss Adventures and the Mighty Musician (WHAT?! I know!), the subject of this very blog came up. One of Mighty Musician's friends, who'd never read the blog before, immediately pulled it up on his fancy smart phone. "June 28th was your last post?!" he asked incredulously. I stared at my shoes guiltily. "People are going to think you and Miss Adventures found partners and are living happily ever after." That's only half true, thank goodness for you, dear readers! Oh yes, things in my dating world have been just as peachy as ever, and I'm sure you're just dying to hear about it.
About two months ago, I had a terrible, terrible dating weekend. That Friday evening, I had a date with this adorable bald, punk, vegan dude. We had made plans about a week earlier, and he texted Thursday night to confirm. Perfect! I love it when dates confirm, because I'm one of those people that rechecks the time and date about a million times in my calendar (and even then, I've totally gotten it wrong). So, Friday evening, I'm looking cute as can be, and stroll into the bar that we agreed upon about 10 minutes early (to an encouraging wink from the long-haired metal dude working the door). I took a quick walk around the very spread out bar make sure he wasn't there...nope. Not a bald vegan in sight. So, I settled in on a bar stool, ordered a drink, and sent a text letting him know I'd arrived. And waited. And waited. And waited. 15 minutes in, I figured he was just running a little late, and wasn't able to text because he was riding his bike there. 20 minutes in, I was rechecking our confirmation conversation to make sure I had the right place, date and time. 25 minutes in, I circled the bar once more to make sure I hadn't somehow missed him (like I did the first time I met Miss Adventures). 30 minutes in found me having a conversation with the bartender about how I was pretty positive I was being stood up. 35 minutes in, I sent him a text saying, "So...I'm pretty sure I've been stood up and I'm going to take off. Have a lovely evening." 40 minutes in and still no response, I made good on that and headed home (with a nice wave from the metal dude at the door).
The next morning, I woke up pretty excited. I had a response to my ad! From a lady! That almost never happens, so after having a little celebration, I settled in to read her response and peruse her profile. The response was super sweet and attentive, littered with sincere compliments and references to things she enjoyed about my profile. It ended with her asking me on a date. Before I responded, I checked out her profile. Hm, that's odd...she looked vaguely familiar. Upon viewing more of her photos, I realized with horror: I knew this person. Not only that, I had gone on dates and been intimate with this person! About a year and a half to two years ago, I went to a women's party. This woman approached me at the bar and had a drink with me, soon asking for my phone number. We went on a few dates, the last one ending with me coming over to her place. The next morning, she texted me saying she thought I was too young for her, and that was the end of that. Now, here she was, in my dating inbox, having apparently lost all memory of the past two years. I gently reminded her by replying, "Hi. That sounds lovely! However, the last time we went through this, you decided that I was too young for you." She responded along the lines of, "I thought you maybe looked familiar! I apologize for that, I was going through a tough period in my life at the time, but I don't expect you to understand." Well, lovely.
The next day, I was still fuming about my previous days' encounters, but I had a DATE that night, and I was determined to make the best of things! We had plans to go to a local place that I had been meaning to check out, but when I visited their website, they were having some sort of medical marijuana fundraiser. That wasn't really my thing, so I texted my date for a back up plan. He suggested a Korean restaurant near his work. He got off at 6pm, and we agreed to meet at the restaurant at 7:30. As I was getting ready, a little cloud of pessimism started to form above my head. I shook it off, thinking it was just a product of the weekend's previous dating mishaps, put on some lip gloss, and headed over to the restaurant.
The place had two rows of inset booths, so that you couldn't see who was sitting in each one unless you were directly across from it. Thankfully, I found him in the first booth, already working on an impossibly large bottle of soju and an even larger bottle of beer. He was handsome, super tall, and a pretty witty guy, so my little cloud of pessimism started to lift. We chatted about politics, his childhood in Texas, and his job at the bar across the street.He then excused himself to go to the restroom, leaving me to stare at the posters decorating the booth and think of witty things to say. When he returned, there was a...shift. Suddenly, he was getting more aggressive with his words, and slurring his speech. I began to panic a little, as I'm sure I have a little PTSD from my mother's fairly recent death from alcoholism. I mentally tried to calm myself down, telling myself that everyone has a little too much sometimes, maybe he was just nervous, it wasn't that bad.
But he kept drinking. A few shots of soju and pints of beer later, he lost it. He went on a rant about how he should have warned me that he was a rampant alcoholic, and that he hated himself, and he moved all the way here to live the miserable life of a dishwasher, and what a fuck up he was. I nodded sympathetically, but inside my panic was growing and growing and growing until I tears started rolling down my cheeks and I just couldn't stop them. He noticed, and asked why I was so sad. I told him my mother was an alcoholic. He had another drink, and then started petting my face and trying to kiss my cheeks, telling me not to cry, that I was the most beautiful person he'd ever met and we were going to get married one day. I just sat there in silence, letting him apologize over and over, clinging to me, as I prayed for a waitress to come by.
Finally, I spotted one and flagged her down. She asked if we needed another drink, and I told her no, that we just needed the check. She disappeared, and I looked over to see my date putting a cigarette in his mouth, ready to light it. I took it and told him that he couldn't smoke in here, and once we got the check, we could go outside where he could have a smoke, and then I'd drive him home (as he was clearly in no state to be wandering around a questionable neighborhood in the dark). He hung his head, barely able to hold it up, and mumbled something incoherent. I reached for my purse to get my wallet, and he fumbled through his pockets for his. "No! Let me get it. It's the least I can do." He then realize the receipt would be a problem, since reading and writing were much too complex for him at this point. He just handed me his card with the instruction to "leave a big tip." Done.
I practically carried him out of the restaurant (no small feat, considering he was 6'2"), and stood nearby as he smoked his cigarette, once again going on with his self-deprecation. I waited for him to finish in silence. He finally made an attempt to ground out his cigarette (he missed), and I helped him to the car. "How do I get to your house?" After three or four tries, he was able to give me directions I could actually follow, and we were on our way. Thankfully, he lived pretty close, and we were only in the car long enough for him to get a very brief phone call (during which he cussed out the poor, unsuspecting caller and then clumsily hung up). I pulled up across the street from his house, and he struggled with the door. Fantastic. I was going to have to take this all the way. Okay. "Which house is yours?" He made a grand sweeping gesture that was, ultimately, not helpful. "What's your address?" He pondered a moment, and then gave it to me. I helped him across the street, and through the gate of his house. Luckily, his roommate was outside to direct me up the stairs, where I left him. "I'm never going to hear from you again," he mumbled, looking at the floor. "Don't worry," I replied. "You won't remember this in the morning." "Yes I will!" he shouted as I headed back to my car.
The next morning, he texted me, "Sorry I had too much to drink! I should have warned you." Apparently, he didn't remember anything. I reminded him of his bad behavior, and told him he seemed like a good dude, but I hoped he'd get help. I also decided that I'd had enough of bad dates for a while, and after the dates I'd already had planned for the coming week, I'd deactivate my dating profile.
Don't worry, kids! My knack for horrible dates didn't start with the Bay Area! I have plenty in the archives to regale you with while I'm in hiding.

Friday, June 28, 2013

In Honor of Pride Weekend...

You guys, something crazy happened! The Nugget, who's been awash in a sea of (terrible) dudes, went on a lady date! I know what you're thinking. "Freaking finally!" Am I right? I was thinking the same thing...but not for long.
I showed up, and there she was, pacing in front of the restaurant we'd agreed to meet at. She was wearing a perfectly pressed button down shirt, a perfect cashmere sweater, perfectly fitted jeans, and a perfect Tiffany's necklace, all topped off with a perfect blow out (really, Pauly D would be jealous). She flashed me a terse perfect smile (you know, the kind only years of expensive orthodontic work can produce) as she stopped pacing and stared at me, finally offering her hand. "Hi. I'm [High Maintenance Diva] and there's a 30-minute wait. If I would have known that, I would have made a reservation," she announced to me as soon as I accepted her hand, with barely a pause and a distinct accusatory stare. "Oh," I replied, a little flustered. "Would you rather go someplace else?" "No," she responded crossly. "I have to go home and get some work done tonight, so I guess I'll just see if I can wait it out. Besides, it's been a long day and I need a glass of wine. My grandmother died last night." "Oh," I replied, getting a little more flustered. "You could have cancelled. I would have completely understood." "No," she said with a huff, looking as if she were physically restraining herself from rolling her eyes. " I always keep my appointments," she explained impatiently, as if I clearly should have guessed this about her in the 45 seconds I'd spent in her presence. This was going to be a charming date.
"So, are you really in to wine?" she asked, after taking a moment to recover from my clear lack of judgement. "Oh, you know, I really like it, but I don't know much about it. I just know what tastes good." "What's your favorite?" she asked aggressively. This was clearly a test. "Red or white?" "I like both!" I replied. Her face again took on that air of superiority as she tried to muster up as much patience as she could to explain, "I abhor whites. They're absolutely terrible. I love biiiiig, bold reds..." She then started rattling off her favorite varietals, some of which I'd never heard of, throwing in big wine words at every opportunity. She must have noticed me looking a little lost, because she stopped waxing poetic and ended her monologue with (what I'm sure she hoped was) a humble, "...but I don't know much about wine, either." Right.
Thankfully, the hostess appeared behind her at that moment to say, "Good news! We have a table for you!" High Maintenance Diva turned around and affixed the hostess with an accusatory stare and said, in what I'm sure she intended to be a joking manner (she failed), "You lied to me." The hostess looked confused. "You said it would be 30 minutes." The hostess opened her mouth to reply, obviously unsure of what to say to this. Realizing, perhaps, that her joke didn't come off quite as she intended, she said bruskly, "This time I'm glad you did. This time," and motioned for her to lead the way to the table. I trailed behind silently.
Just after we were seated, she launched into the story about her grandmother, in vivid detail, showing absolutely no emotion on her face. She talked about how close her family was, and how her mother (whose mother it was that passed away), viewed High Maintenance Diva as "her rock" and how she had cancelled her last few clients of the evening the day prior to drive the two hours to her parents' house to be there for her mother. She explained how significant this was, as she had just been hired months before at a prestigious law firm (she was a lawyer, if you hadn't already guessed). This had me changing my mind about her, thinking that perhaps there was a soft, squishy interior to this woman, which I'd appreciate. Just as soon as I began to believe this, she said, "...and then my aunt and cousin showed up. They're just so dramatic and over the top and crying and stuff. I just can't deal with people like that so I said, 'Sorry, mom' and I drove the two hours back home last night." Wow. There definitely was NOT a soft, squishy interior to this woman.
Soon after she finished telling me her family saga, the waitress appeared to take our wine order. I had chosen a wine off the menu that sounded tasty, and gave my order to the waitress with a smile. Easy, right? High Maintenance Diva looked at the waitress hard and said, "If I were looking for a big read that's not a Pinot, what would you suggest?" The waitress pointed out two recommendations. High Maintenance Diva then said, "Mm-hmm. And if I were looking for something more tannic, what would you recommend?" The waitress then gave two more recommendations. And waited while High Maintenance Diva carefully studied the wine list. And studied some more. And threw out a few more wine words. And then said, "I just don't know. Can I try [x-wine] and [z-wine]?" "Sure!" The waitress said, and escaped to go gather said wines. The Diva looked at me and leaned forward, as if about to confess her deepest, darkest secret. "I just hate going someplace and ordering a glass of wine and not enjoying it."
She then looked at the menu, and back at me, and said, "So. Are you a sharer, or do you like to have your own food?" Now, we were at a place that served small plates. Usually, when I'm at a restaurant, I order what I want to order, and that's that, unless I'm with my best friend. However, I'd been to this place several times, and had always shared my order with my dining companion. So, I answered honestly. "Well, I usually order my own thing, but here I'm much more of a sharer." She looked at me and almost audibly sighed. "Oh. Well. It's clear that your preference is to have your own food, so we'll do that." "Oh no!" I said, "I'm more than happy to share, especially here." "No no," she replied, "Your food is your food. It's fine." It was clearly not fine. Luckily, her wine samples came just then, and she finally made her wine choice before she could sigh some more about my apparent selfishness when it came to dining.
After a bit of awkward conversation (most notably, discussing her dog that she apparently brings everywhere. "My ex-girlfriend wanted him. It was kind of her dog, and I never would have picked a little dog. If I had known how much energy the dog had, I wouldn't have gotten her. But, you know, when we broke up, I just had to take her."), the waitress arrived to take our food order. I was ready, and again placed my order with a smile. The Diva, of course, had questions. Lots of them. What was in this? Which do you prefer? What's this made of? How is this prepared? Finally, she looked at me, and then back at the waitress, and said in complete seriousness, "I just don't know what to get. I'm having a really hard time because she (referring to me) refuses to share. She's just making it really difficult for me." She paused and sighed, almost as if looking for sympathy from the waitress for her obvious plight, then then forged ahead. "But I guess I'll have [insert order here]."
As soon as the waitress left, she said to me, "You know, I really just prefer to share. You get to try so many more things on the menu, and I can't imagine going to a restaurant and not wanting to try as many things as possible. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to do that." I thought about attempting to explain that I actually offered to share initially, but then realized she wasn't trying to hear that. In fact, she wasn't trying to hear much of anything I was saying. So, I spent the rest of the evening listening to her list varietals of wines that I'd probably really enjoy, and where to get them, and talk about her farmer's market exploits and the culinary masterpieces she creates from them, and so on. I was momentarily grateful when the waitress came by offering the dessert menu.It was a trap.
"Oh, would you like dessert?" she asked me with a smile. "Oh, I think I'm full..." I started to say. " An immediate look of disapproval crossed her face. "Oh. Um. I guess I could share some?" She then turned to the waitress, and started grilling her on all of the three desserts on the menu. What was in this? How was this vegan? What was the replacement for this? What was the texture like in this? In the end, of course, she sighed and looked at the waitress, slowly handing back the dessert menu. "No. She doesn't want dessert, so I guess we'll pass. Just the check, please." I was never so excited to hear those words. Of course, the check didn't come without her wanting to itemize each and every thing to make sure we both paid only our fair share. "I ordered much more than you!" she declared. She did, but spending another 10 minutes with this person was the last thing I wanted to do. "Let's just split it," I insisted firmly. She gave one more half-hearted protest, and then agreed, and within minutes, we were out on the sidewalk, saying our awkward goodbyes, not a moment too soon.