Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The worst date ever.

Being a single woman in Bakersfield is no picnic. Most of the men my age are either married or there is a very good reason they never have been. I have spent most of my thirties going from one disastrous date to another, but I have to say, this past summer I had the worst date ever.

I met Rick at a going away party for another friend. He was nice enough, not too pushy but still interested. As my friend prepared to leave he asked for my phone number, so I gave it to him. I didn't think much about it after that, but Rick called me two days later. We talked for a long time on the phone and he was very nice. After that we talked several more times before agreeing to meet for dinner. I asked if it was okay for my best friend to come along just for a drink before dinner and he agreed. She and I often look for advice about men from each other, and she wanted to meet him.

We arrived about a half hour early for the date and sat down at the bar for a glass of wine. Rick came in 30 minutes later, right on time and joined us at the bar. I introduced him to my friend and she promised him she had no plans on staying. At first everything went well. He was funny and nice, but after a while it became clear there was something wrong. He would not shut up.

I don't know if he was nervous because my friend was there or what, but that dude would NOT stop talking. It was strange. If one of us tried to interject we were cut off. He even asked me a question but then did not allow me to answer it. In fact, with all the talking he was doing, none of it was directed at me. He didn't even look at me. He just talked to her. For 30 minutes, maybe more, he rambled. It was excruciating.

Her wine gone and her ear completely bent, my friend tried to excuse herself from our date. "No!" he insisted, "Stay! We can all have dinner together!" My friend politely refused and took her leave. I felt like going with her.

The minute she was out of earshot he looked at me and said, "What was that? She was awful!"

Then he went off on how horrible it was for me to bring my friend and how rude she was to him. I just sat there, dumbfounded. After listening to him rant for a few minutes about how much he disliked my best friend, I suggested that maybe we talk about something else.

By this time we were at a table and had ordered our meals. I ate my salad while he talked. He didn't touch his food. He wasn't going to let anything slow him down. He talked about his job, and his house, and his son, where he went to school, and what kind of music he liked. By the time our entrees arrived, I had his whole life story. It was the worst date I had ever been on.

I quickly consumed the steak I had ordered and pointed out to Rick that he had food too, maybe he should eat it. That shut him up a for a few minutes. After we had finished eating he began to try and woo me. He took my hands and told me how pretty they were, then he started rambling again. I couldn't take it anymore. I jerked my hands back and asked him, "What is wrong with you?" I pointed out that he had spent the entire evening talking, to the point where I was ready claw my eyes out just to get him to stop. You'd think that would have shut him up, at least a little. Nope.

He began to ramble again about how it was "my fault" because I insisted we meet at a restaurant and he doesn't like restaurants. "Where would you have liked to have gone?" I asked him.

"To the beach, or maybe to the mountains," he replied.

My head about hit the table when he said that. "I am not going out of town with you on a first date," I told him.

Then he said, "This isn't 1950." I think my head did hit the table that time.

Then he went on and on about how dumb it is to have dinner at a restaurant and how much he hated it. At one point during the tirade, I interrupted to ask him if he had a dog. I held up my left over steak to indicate he could take it in a doggie bag. He looked at me as if I was the stupidest person he had ever met and (hand to God) spat, "What kind of a question is THAT? Of course I have a dog!" I got up and went to the bathroom. A public toilet was more desirable at that point.

After I returned the waitress came up to us with our empty plates and glasses, and asked if would like anything else. "NO!" I told her desperately, "We're ready to go."

Then Rick said (and I'm not making this up) "No! We're going to stay right here. You're going to sit right there and listen to me."

That was it. I lost it. I shot him a look that froze him, stood up and said, "You do not talk TO ME like that!" Then I grabbed my coat and stormed out of the restaurant.

Later that evening I passed Rick on the street dressed as a woman. He didn't look half bad.