Monday, October 30, 2006

Ron and the Theory of Lateness

Well. I had a busy, but not dirty, weekend.

On Friday night I had a date (courtesy of Craig’s List) with Ron. We had originally planned to meet on Saturday night, but on Friday morning I got an email from him asking what I was up to. I thought (erroneously) that he meant What are you up to tonight? I said I could probably meet up. After some back and forth, it was agreed we’d meet at 11:00, at a bar near Marc’s place in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a pub I used to go to all the time with Marc and his old roommate—very congenial, nice wait staff, comfortable chairs, etc. I checked in with Marc to see if I could crash at his. Luckily, he was fine with it.

A note on Ron. He’s 27, and from his emails I had decided he was sort of passive aggressive. Like, he asked where I wanted to meet, then said he liked dive bars. I, of course, prefer swanky, quiet lounges. I said a dive bar would be fine, as long as it wasn’t too loud. Did he know of one? No, he said, where would I like to go?

I said How about Bar X, on the West Side?

The West Side? He said, Eek. (I quote). But I guess it would be OK.

Well, I volleyed, is there any place you’d like to go?

No, no … Any dive bar would be good.

So suggest one,
I thought but did not say. Here, I said, I did a search on Citysearch, and both of these places came up under “dive”. He made no comment whatsoever on either of these places, neither of which were on the (eek!) West Side.

Eventually we agreed on Bar X.

Then, he texted me that evening: So, Bar X is a good place?

Me: Well, I like it. Unless there’s somewhere else you want to go. (That last part was not actually written in italics.)

Him: No, no, unless you want to come to Neighborhood Y.

NB: Neighborhood Y is in Brooklyn. I do not live in Brooklyn. Neighborhood Y is not, you know, just over the border in Brooklyn. It is a fair ways on the subway.

I was immediately irritated, and thought: how rude! Why would he suggest someplace so inconvenient? Unless, of course, he thinks I’m going to sleep with him tonight. How dare he?! Um, nevermind that I’ve made it clear I’m up for casual sex… It had occurred to me that I might want to sleep with him that night, but I’d found our whole email exchange so tedious I’d dismissed the thought and was hoping our in person meeting would make him a bit more attractive. But did he expect me to sleep with him? The nerve! Et cetera.
Listen, I thought, giving free reign to my bitch goddess alter ego, the one who lives entirely in my offended brain, If I want to sleep with you, I’ll let you know. I’m not going to Neighborhood Y on the off chance that I find you appealing enough to bed you tonight.

I didn’t say this, of course, just said Neighborhood Y was a bit inconvenient for me, and so at last Bar X was confirmed. Jesus!

I arrived at the bar at 11:00, only to see a text from Ron, saying he’d be here closer to 11:15. I took a seat and ordered a drink, feeling awkward. Like there was a sign on my forehead: STOOD UP.

By 11:20 I was very annoyed indeed. It’s funny, but before I started my whole casual sex campaign, I was never really bothered by lateness. In fact, I was often the late party. Here’s what I think it is: I think that because I’m presenting myself as not looking for a serious relationship, I am afraid boys won’t respect me. This, of course, begs the question: Why should I care if boys don’t respect me? This isn’t the tenth grade. It doesn’t matter. However, it stands: I am now very protective of my dignity. I figure that if I’m not going to behave within the accepted parameters of traditional courtship, I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it clear I expect the benefits of traditional courtship: that is, the appearance, if not the actual presence, of the deference usually accorded a woman on a date. In this case, that translates into me being really irked if a guy is late. I never used to care. But, for example, last week, when Daniel was over half an hour late, I was livid. It seemed to me that he wouldn’t have been late for someone he didn’t think was easy. This whole argument is silly on so many levels, yet I feel compelled to demand at least the appearance of respect that being on time would suggest.

At 11:30 I asked for the check. At last Ron showed up, and apologized. I said it was fine cause, really, if I didn't think it was fine, I could leave. I wasn't going anywhere at this point. When the check arrived, he apologized even more, betraying a flattering degree of alarm. As it turns out, Ron is a music promoter, and he’d actually been working that night. When he’d said earlier that he was going to a show, I didn’t realize it was part of his actual job. After that, I relented internally, and let it drop.

We chatted. He talked nineteen to the dozen, and took a call on his mobile in the midst of our conversation. Again, I thought this was pretty rude, but my indignation subsided when he explained that it was his mother, calling about the Cardinals’ World Series win (he’s from St. Louis). A call from one’s mother is acceptable, I feel.

Anyway, he was cute, but, eh. I wasn’t really interested. A bit effeminate, lots of self justifying talk. He was nice, but I just didn’t find him attractive. We bid farewell around 1:00 and I considered a polite way to blow him off.

1 comment:

greenlacewing said...

Yes, the lateness issue makes a lot of sense to me.