(1-775): At least he’s letting you know he will be late.
(If you haven’t ever heard of the website “Texts From Last Night” you need to go there..immediately. you’re welcome. http://textsfromlastnight.com)
My dad loves roller coasters. In my younger days, my family would go to an amusement park and my dad would make a beeline toward the nearest one with my sister and I in tow. My mom was happy enough to wait for us below on a bench that was securely bolted to the ground. She has this thing about heights. I loved roller coasters. The rush of wind past my face, the thrill of hearing excited shrieks and the drop in my stomach when we raced, impossibly fast, around curves and down steep hills. I loved roller coasters. That is, until my dad took me on the Scooby Doo ride at Kings Dominion. After that ride, everything changed. This wooden coaster was built in 1974 and despite being classified as a “family roller coaster” and one that was located in the children’s area of the park, this seemingly innocent coaster manages to snag a ride rating of a 4/5. I understand why, as I vividly remember being slammed almost violently back and forth against my seat. To say that the ride beat me up and scared the hell out of me would maybe even be a little bit of an understatement. I wouldn’t get on another roller coaster until almost 10 years later.
I tell you this, because it seems to me that dating is like riding a roller coaster. There is that initial excitement..nervous anticipation for what is to come. Then you strap yourself in and are taken on a ride that can either be like one of those old wooden coasters, the ones that jerk you around and leave you feeling bruised..or like one of the newer rides, made out of steel, that navigate smoothly through loops and curves. These coasters leave you feeling breathless and wanting more. I have experienced both in the adventure that is dating and I have to say, though I have had my share of jerks (haha get it? I know I know..nerdy English teacher pun) it only makes me appreciate the smooth rides more.
The next few dates I went on were a mix of supremely annoying, awkward and flat out uncomfortable. Just my luck that they happened back to back, making me seriously doubt the existance of any datable men here in Richmond.
Matt: Golf Course designer
Just moved to Richmond from Savannah, Georgia (oh hey cute southern accent)
Shaggy, thick blonde hair, blue eyes, freckles..preppy style..clearly didn’t eat enough Wheaties when he was younger though, because I’d venture a guess to say he was only about 5’8″. Dang.
I met up with Matt at the Starbucks down the street from my house. I was running a little late (shocker) and when I got there, he had already ordered his coffee and was seated at a little table by the window. I walked in and said hi, profusely apologized for being late and he stood up to give me a hug. Initial impression? Cute! Very cute..too bad about the height though. Anyway, here comes the first awkward part. He had already gotten his coffee so I told him I was going to go order and would be right back. I figured this opened things up so that he could offer to get my coffee for me if he wanted to.
If you’ll remember back to my date with Graham, you know..the brick wall?..I was slightly miffed about him not offering to pay for my drink. Maybe this sounds snotty or maybe even bitchy, but a guy asking me out for coffee is pretty much the cheapest date you could possibly go on. Call me old-fashioned, but I really believe that if a guy asks you out, he should be a gentleman and pay. Later on, if things move into relationship status..you can take turns, split things up, or maybe even treat your guy to a romantic date night. In the beginning however, I feel like if a guy asks you out and then expects you to pay, this could be a major red flag…Trust me on this one. I have experience with men who mooch. They are no bueno my friends..anyway, back to Matt..
So I left Matt a window to offer to grab my coffee for me..the result? cricket sounds as he sat back down and got on his phone..hm. Guess I’m buying my own coffee..no big deal. I grabbed my drink and sat back down with him and we spent the next hour or so chatting. He was easy to talk to, had done some traveling and seemed like an outgoing guy. I tried to shake off that initial twinge and tried to ignore the way all of his hand gestures seemed oddly feminine. All in all, I had a pretty good time. I wasn’t sure we were a great match though and while he was cute, I was really thrown each time he punctuated his statements with a super flamboyant hand movement. It gave me flashbacks to my very first date (remember winter white?) Definitely killed any spark I may have felt.
When Matt texted me a week later, asking if he could take me to dinner, my initial reaction was to say no. A few of my girlfriends had been scolding me lately when I would tell them that I didn’t feel a spark with a guy after a date. They urged me to give it more than one or two dates. Sometimes a spark takes a little time to develop. So, with their voices in my head, I texted Matt back. “Sure. That sounds fun.” We agreed to meet up at a really great Mexican restaurant called Nacho Mamas. While a little pricey for Mexican food, it has burritos the size of one of those tea-cup poodles and the most amazing margaritas. Dinner started off well, with Matt urging me to get the jumbo mango margarita and just like the tequila, the conversation was flowing smoothly. As the date went on however, I only became more and more convinced that I wasn’t seeing a romantic future with Matt. I had a nice time, but I was ready to head home and when the waitress came by the table to ask if we were ready for the check, we both said yes. She put it down next to his plate and started to walk away when Matt spoke up. “Uh I uh..You got this right?” He pointed to me and moved the check towards my end of the table. Simultaneously the waitress and I looked at him “What?!” My mouth dropped open and Matt gave an awkward shrug. Trying to keep my temper in check, I turned to the waitress who was still standing there with a “what the hell?” look on her face. “You can go ahead and split it up.” After she left, Matt tried to pick up the conversation, but I was having none of it. She dropped our checks and I already had my card ready. I have to say I’m getting a little tired of having waitresses/bartenders/random people within a 10 foot radius give me the “damn that sucks” look. It starts to get fairly humiliating after a while..although sometimes it results in free drinks so I guess I can’t complain too much.
Matt was surprised when I told him I was ready to leave. “Oh really? Come on, we should stay a little while longer and hang.” “No thanks,” I told him. “I’m tired.” And what I really meant was…I’m tired of clueless men who think that this kind of behavior is acceptable on a date. Matt gave me a hug goodbye and mentioned that we should get together again soon. I made some kind of non-committal noise and got out of there as fast as possible. In my mind, I had already wasted too much time on someone who definitely was not the kind of guy I wanted to date. Just remember ladies (and gentlemen)..trust your gut. If you aren’t feeling things right from the start, there is probably a good reason. No need to waste a perfectly good Friday night…cause seriously..ain’t nobody got time for that.