Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Use the Term Date Loosely

My date with Olivier was a total joke. Not even a date, really.

In fact, I was so annoyed that I will reveal Olivier’s real name: Laurent. Jackass.

So I got to the bar just on time. He was about 10 minutes late. He was medium height, very dark, with a smashed in kind of face and a big nose. Sort of hairy. Not my type. I considered the idea of sleeping with him and was repulsed, but figured that by the end of the evening I might find him attractive. That’s the point of cocktails, after all. After about a minute of talking he excused himself to make a call. Then he returned, and we had not yet ordered drinks when his cell phone rang.

“Hello? You what? …. Well, I can be there in about an hour… Right now? Are you sure? … Well, all right. I’ll be right there.”

He hung up and looked at me. “I’m sorry, I have to go. I’ve been waiting for him to call me all day. He’s at the studio…”

He saw my face. “Don’t be mad,” he said. “Well, at least we got to meet," he said, feigning regret and shaking my hand. "Bye!” he called, and raced out. I sat there for a minute, staring at the screen above the bar, then I ordered a mojito.

I wasn’t mad, I was insulted. Did he think I was an idiot?! He goes to make a call, and then a minute later receives a call telling him he has to go! He clearly got a good look at me, then called a friend asking him to ring so he could get out of the date. The clincher was that he didn’t even say “We’ll reschedule,” – he was totally transparent! And I didn’t even get a chance to reject him first! I was really offended. Just how dumb did he think I was to fall for that studio mishap crap? Very, apparently.

I sipped my mojito gloomily, but then got to talking with the woman on the next barstool. She told me that she always pays for drinks because, as she says, “Nothing is free.” Also, she likes the way it flusters men when she buys them a drink. She said it gives her the upper hand.

I nodded, but I don’t agree. I let guys buy me drinks if we’re on a date. I’m really poor. Anyway, I think it’s part of the process. I mean, if a stranger I didn’t find attractive offered me a drink at a bar, I’d probably say no, but if I’m on a date, sure. I saw this long discussion about this online not too long ago, with people arguing that buying a girl (or a guy, though that never came up) a drink creates expectations and then you owe him, or he thinks you owe him. The other side argued that there’s no contract implied, you’re taking your chances. I buy the second theory. Surely a guy can’t think that cause he buys me dinner I’m obliged to sleep with him as a quid pro quo? That puts a fairly low value on my charms, frankly. It’s a date, a gamble on both of our parts to see if we’re compatible. Of course, he bears most of the financial risk since he’s paying, but then he doesn’t have to deal with other risks, like unwanted pregnancies and date rape. (Not that I think date rape is a common occurrence … oh, nevermind) Anyway, paying for the date is the prerogative of centuries of male domination, OK? Suck it up.

Anyway, I didn’t approve of her attitude. It’s a date, not Cold War diplomacy or one- upmanship. Surely the point of a date shouldn’t be to wrong foot the other person, but rather to have a nice time and get boozed up enough to relax one’s inhibitions and perhaps make out in a booth?

Anyway, an instructive though infuriating evening on many counts. I headed to Marc’s for the first installment of Smiley’s People, feeling damned sorry for myself and wondering if it was my nose that had caused Laurent to run screaming from my presence. I'm ugly, I thought, really getting myself into a state. Standing outside Marc’s apartment (“Hey,” he said when he turned up at around 8:00. He pointed to the sign pasted onto his front door: “It says no soliciting!” “Ha!” I grunted.) I tried not to cry (I’m definitely pre-menstral). Then Just My Type walked past me, hand in hand with a small, rather plain brunette (yes, I see the similarities). He was tall, skinny, dark haired and rather shaggy looking, with those black framed specs that never fail to make me look twice at a man. I want him! I thought. Why can’t someone like that fall for me? My brain was on Auto-whinge. This is a bad habit. I want to break it. Preferably by having Just My Type surprise me, and fall for me.

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