Sunday, November 7, 2010

Date #19: The Setup Part 2

He asked me out through Facebook. It's not like he couldn't have asked our mutual friend for my number but he didn't. He found me on Facebook and proposed an evening out which I thought was kind of tacky but what the hell.

I headed to meet him at a bar in Williamsburg known for its overpriced Manhattan-esque cocktails. On my walk over I was thinking about another guy completely, but when I walked into the bar I figured the least I can do is give this guy the benefit of the doubt - at least this place he picked is nice.

I sit at the bar and flirt with the bartender until he shows up. He's not late but right on time. We take a look at the menu and I realize we're just in a bar, not a bar/restaurant, so at least it seems that there's no pressure for dinner.

I order my cocktail first but before I can finish getting the words out to the bartender, he's stopped me with:
"Hey, that's what I was going to order"
"So, you can order it too"
"Well, no I can't. On principal I can't order the same thing of someone else, ever."
"Well, I don't like to do the same as other people. And if we get the same thing, then we can't share."
"Who says I want to share my cocktail with you anyways? We just met."

He ends up ordering something different and requests the bartender to put 1/4 of the regular amount of alcohol in his drink. I think it's strange he'd order 1/4 the alcohol- I mean, I'm sitting here drinking the full amount, is he judging me for that? He admits he is, but then tastes his drink and finds its alcohol content suddenly too low then strangely asks the bar tender for only another 1/4 more alcohol.

I try not to think about it and our conversation takes a more interesting turn into architecture, bacon, concentration camps and books about human lampshades...

Somehow I past the test of drinks and he invites me to join him for dinner. We walk around a couple of blocks, a little out of our way so he can walk down a block he's never seen before, to check it off his bucket list. We decide on Thai and go into another too-swanky for Brooklyn, overpriced restaurant. We wait for a table at the bar and I insist on letting him order first so he can't base his order on mine. He doesn't ask the bartender to alter the ounce of alcohol like before, maybe he just needed to pace himself...

We sit at a table towards the back and start to review the 20-page menu. I mention my like of Pad Thai and he jumps saying that's what he was going to order, but of course he won't if I do. I tell him how stupid it is that he wouldn't order something he wants just because someone else wants the same thing... He confesses its because he wants to just try new foods and really wants to share. Share my food? To me it's a reflection of his inability to make decisions, or to stand his ground.

In the end, we decide to order some appetizers and one main dish to share, it turns out to be more than enough food. Our conversation takes a strange turn to discussing Ayn Rand, pheromones and the laws of attraction. We talked about some scientific theories a friend of mine shared with me about why and how men and women are attracted to one another. The subconscious desires we have for certain kinds of the opposite sex, the reasoning behind why women makes babies with one kind of man but then choose another raise those children with... It seems logical, make babies with Brad Pitt raise'em with Bill Gates or Brad Pitt too I guess. The whole Pro-creator versus Provider relationships...maybe not the best 1st date conversation but interesting and enjoyable none the less.

After 10 minutes on the subject of panna-cotta and me explaining why women liking chocolate has nothing to do with sex, we decided not to order desert. We continued to talk for the 15 minutes it took the waiter to return with the check. All the while, my date is looking stressed and annoyed that the waiter is taking so long with our check - as if I'm suddenly no longer interesting or he has some place else to be.

I do my duty as a good date and offer to split the check, he doesn't take me up on it but then thanks me a little too profusely for offering, as if he's never had a girl offer to pay her share. He explains to me that all girls just expect the guy to pay - as if we still live in some pre-feminism 1960s society. I told him point blank I didn't need him to pay and I wasn't look to marry him so he could relax. I thought he laughed.

Pretty quickly after he paid, we left the restaurant and he walked me to the train. He shook my hand and kissed my cheek and did the whole "nice to meet you, we'll do it again soon." But as I got into the train I had a feeling, somewhere along the evening, we both decided it wasn't going anywhere, subconsciously maybe.

At about 4:00am that night/morning, I awoke with food poisoning and figured that was a sign. Not sure if it's a sign that in Williamsburg on should stay away from too-fancy-for-Brooklyn places or that we just had bad chemistry. The next day the guy emailed me, said thank you again and pulled the "I'm really busy in the coming weeks but..." and "by the way, did you get food poisoning too?"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Date #19: The Setup, Part 1

A couple of weeks ago I attended a birthday party for a friend of mine. She had given me hints ahead of time about another friend of hers (an ex-friend who happens to be male) who would be also attending and, well, according to her I just had to meet him.

We met subtly at my friend's birthday dinner along with a bunch of other folks. On first glance, I'd say I judged him pretty thoroughly in his crisp leather jacket, overpriced jeans and patent leather shoes. I thought, this is a guy who tries too hard and is maybe a little too comfortable with himself and his metro-sexual-ness.

Somehow we ended up sitting next to each other at the end of the table and over hibachi and cocktails we filed through the typical first date questions. Fortunately, being as it wasn't a date, I could easily turn to my right and speak to someone else when I got bored.

It's not that our initial conversation at the dinner was boring, but even after a cocktail or so I kind of didn't care what he had to say - I was there to celebrate my friends birthday not flirt with her ex? Maybe that's what bugged me, knowing my friend dated this guy? He was charming enough but knowing her what was it that brought them together and what does this guy suddenly find so interesting about me?

We talked about his job, and how much more interesting mine is that his. We discussed favorite TV shows and movies and a mutual sexual attraction to Jon Hamm.

I'd say we enjoyed dinner, singing happy birthday and laughing at the precision with wish our hibachi chef threw shrimp into his hat.

On our walk outside as a group we all said goodbye, he hopped on his motorcycle and head back to his deep Brooklyn apartment. I had a feeling he'd ask me out, he was just too polite. But he didn't then and didn't ask for my phone number so the girls and I just walked to the train giggling as girls do...