The Date Itself
March 14, 2012 § 133 Comments
This is going to sound so boastful, but earlier in the day two old (male, married) friends had been full of compliments and flattery and as I drove on a long journey home I thought, well if they get the point of me, I must be doing something right, and so with any luck Long Shot might get it too.
I swear my expectations were low, incredibly low, but even so I made an effort. As I said yesterday, I didn’t overdo things, but put on a simple dress, showed a bit of cleavage (not too much), wore heels, bit of make-up. I am well-versed about expectations. When they have almost never been fulfilled, you get to know the ropes. So it was my low expectations were no more than for a merry evening and for him to be perhaps a tad more engaged than his emails had suggested. For us to like each other enough to want to see each other again was too much to hope for but, I own, the thought was there in the back of my mind. First fucking date in twenty years – allowed, no? There again, foolish fancy. Eyes off the ball. I should never have allowed that thought to have even crossed my mind.
There weren’t any awkward moments because I don’t do awkward moments because I am not shy and can most of the time hold my own. I drank, but not to calm nerves and not to excess. He didn’t make me nervous but my (low) expectations did. I was auditioning for the part of being his friend.
Well, I failed.
Oh, we talked happily enough and I made him laugh, I think, a bit, but not as much as I had made the men earlier in the day laugh. They doubled up. Long Shot, not so much. But we chatted away easily. All about him and our mutual friends. He didn’t ask me one question, far as I remember. He was delightful and good company, no question, though as one girlfriend has since pointed out, quite firmly and rightly, it is not delightful or good company not to ask any questions. But he kind of got away with it at the time. I liked him. He had a certain quirky charm and unworldliness and eccentricity. He seemed to be enjoying himself and to enjoy our conversation and not to want to leave the restaurant. All good. But. The waiters were hassling us out (it was still so early – 10.15, for fuck’s sake!; I could have killed them: I’d been waiting for this date since September! You could even say, I’d been waiting for it from the day I separated from my husband, before I even met the man!) The fact was, he didn’t come back with me for another glass of wine (he had to drive and was already over the limit), and we parted on the street, and he did not suggest another meeting and I didn’t either; couldn’t. Nor did he respond when I sent him a text the next day to say thank you (because he had paid, though I very much offered).
I suppose what I had hoped for was the very basics of a “successful” date, not a full-blown pass, Heaven forbid that such a thing could have occurred or that I could even think it – too much! – but at the very least an indication that he wanted to meet up again. But no such indication was forthcoming. The writing was daubed in huge, blowsy red letters across the wall. Not Interested; play the bill; runfrit. Janey has said he is especially shy and I shouldn’t give up hope, but would I want to be with someone who was so unengaged, really?
Maybe not. Almost certainly not. It would be torture from start to finish. But there is something about him which is better than that, despite this gaping hole in him.
What’s shit is not even having a choice to reject him myself, or not as the case may be, because I myself obviously did not pass muster on an epic scale. That is utterly crushing. What little confidence I had, now ground into the pavement like a cigarette butt.
Not even worthy of a seven second text back saying, “A pleasure, it was good seeing you too.” Let alone an added, “Let’s do it again soon.”
Crawl into a fucking hole.