It’s raining, I’m potentially still hung over from two days ago, and you’ve all been patiently waiting for the story that an overwhelming majority of you voted for. So….without further adieu, here’s a story that should make you turn to your spouse/significant other/self in the mirror and thank your lucky stars that you weren’t out there dating this loser. Here we go….
For a while there a few years ago, I was told by various people: friends, family, strangers on the street, that I should “get back out there.” And every time someone would say this, I was never quite sure where “there” was. Did I not get the invite? Was there some secret code word I hadn’t figured out yet? Wherever “there” was, I certainly hadn’t arrived at it yet and my life of hanging out with couples and their kids while watching an all-day marathon of “16 and Pregnant” apparently wasn’t the “there” everyone else had in mind.
So, sometimes I would get set up by a “friend” – I put “friend” in quotes because, after you read this, you will understand that this person clearly hated me to my core and/or the universe was punishing me for some seriously bad shit I had done in a former life.
The Set-up: “He’s single. You’re single. It’ll be perfect!”
The Date: No joke, I don’t remember this guy’s name. I remember that he was a doctor. I don’t remember what kind. Let’s call him “Steve” for the sake of ease.
The Place: An unnamed bar/restaurant in Hoboken that will remain unnamed. Because for real, it’s not the bar’s fault. It was just sitting there being a bar until we walked in and ruined it for my soul for the rest of my life.
The Time: Happy Hour….for some involved on the date who are not telling this story and are named “Steve.”
It started off normal enough. I mean, up to this point I really hadn’t been on any dates that were good, so I probably wasn’t the best judge. But he didn’t put his hand in my face and hadn’t thrown out any prejudicial slurs during his greeting, so things were heading in the right direction. Until about 15 minute in when he excused himself to go to the bathroom. No problem, we’ve all been there. When nature calls…..
….and speaking of calls, I believe I made two during the time that he was in the bathroom. Yes, I made two normal-length phone calls during the period of time this guy was in the bathroom.
Me: “Um…I’m on a date, I think, but he’s been in the bathroom for a long time. Should I go see if he’s ok?”
Friend: “How long is a long time?”
Me: “Like…..15 minutes?”
Friend: “Fifteen minutes??”
Me: “Ok, right? I thought that was weird, too!”
Friend: “Is it going well otherwise?”
Me: “Um….he’s been in the bathroom for 15 minutes. I’ll give you one guess.”
Next phone call:
Me: “He’s still in the bathroom.”
Friend: “Beck, are you sure he didn’t leave?”
Me: “Oh God! Did he leave? Do you think he left? I didn’t even mention the Golden Girls!”
Friend: “I mean, I would maybe go check?”
Me: “Oh, here he comes! I’ll call you later.”
What, you wouldn’t have sat there for 25 minutes waiting for a stranger to maybe or maybe not come back to a date you didn’t want to be on in the first place? Weird.
So he comes back and pretends like nothing out of the ordinary just happened. And, because I’m from Michigan, I did the exact same thing. Until 15 minutes later when he got up. Again.
By this point, I started looking around for cameras. Was I on tv? Was John Quinones going to walk in and tell me that I’ve been on a horribly boring episode of “What Would You Do?”
But let’s fast forward since you’re starting to get the gist of what went on over the course of the next hour to hour and a half. I lost track of time, mainly because I stopped caring about my life and started hoping that I would be poisoned so I’d never have to date again and then people would stop telling me that I needed to get out there and do this crap every weekend.
Also, because I started texting anyone I’d ever met to take a poll on whether or not this guy had IBS or a cocaine problem.
Decision: Undeterminable. Could go either way.
He came back to the table, and in my mind he apologized for his rudeness (and I say “in my mind” because I honestly don’t even remember if this guy had a personality. Or spoke. Or had a face.). Then he waved the waitress over.
Steve: “Can we have two shots of tequila?”
Waitress: “Sure, coming right up.”
The waitress brought the shots over and put one in front of me, the other in front of “Steve.”
And then it happened.
Keep in mind that, when I tell this story and re-live it in my mind, it’s like it was happening in slow motion. He took the shot that was placed in front of me…..held both shot glasses in the air…..and said “Cheers!” while clinking the glasses together and downing both shots.
Take a minute. I’ll wait.
We good? Yeah, breathe it in. Let it sort of wash over your soul. Also, take a look back in the mirror/at your significant other/spouse/pet and say “Thank you for not being Steve.”
Now, I could wrap this story up and tell you what happened next. I could tell you that we had a delightfully pleasant time for the rest of the night, that we dated for a while, and all turned out ok. OR I could tell you that I don’t remember how the date ended, no idea where he is now, what he’s doing, or what his real name is. Also, when the conversation gets dull at the bar, my friends bring this story up and say “Tell the one about the guy with IBS who cheers’d himself!”
You’re welcome, America.