05 November 2006

Just Perfect for Me

I went on a blind date Friday night. Missed seeing (to quote Scrivener) the fan-f*cking-tastic Mountain Goats for this night on the town. But a someone in my universe knew someone just perfect for me, and talked (well, bullied) me into going out with him. I’ve never had a problem with blind dates. I like meeting people and, at the very least, I might get a good story to tell while cocktailing. What I’ve often had a problem with is who someone thinks is just perfect for me. Makes me wonder if the yenta has ever met me.

I’m not particularly interested in adding new male types to my life right now. I’m enjoying a couple of wicked crushes on a couple of wicked men, and there are more important things that need my attention at the moment. But I’m working on a short story about a single woman reentering the dating world post-breakup, so I saw this as a good research opportunity.

The descriptions you are about to read are a personal dating preference. I embrace people of all political and musical beliefs, heights and hair coloring, but I have a checklist of specifics for those I want to embrace.

I get dolled up. Tame the wild curls. Slip on nice pair of pinstriped trousers with a not-too-snug turtleneck. Downplay the baubles and heels. Drive off to the agreed-upon meeting place, a restaurant a couple of miles from my place (newbies are not allowed near the Cup’s cupboard) where there’s a heated patio romantically overlooking a busy five-lane road.

I arrive on time — seven minutes after, because a lady should always be a few minutes late in order make an entrance. And, well, the radio was playing a countdown of R.E.M.’s ten coolest songs in honor of their nomination, and I had to hear which was number one (“Radio Free Europe,” of course).

But the grand entrance was denied and I was left waiting. I’m an impatient one. I hate waiting on people, especially dates. I grabbed a dirty martini and sat with that “yes, I’m waiting for someone” look, quickly losing the high of meeting a new guy and that great R.E.M. set. Finally, fifteen minutes after my grandly denied entrance, he (we’ll call him Skip) strolls in. Hopes further dashed. Second cocktail quickly ordered.

Skip is not my physical type. I haven’t circulated flyers listing what I like, so I can’t fault the fixer-upper. But my toes don’t curl. Don’t even twitch. He’s a little on the short side, by my standards, maybe 5’8”. (In my head, I think I’m 5’10”, so I like ‘em 6’0” to 6’4”.) Blond hair combed so perfectly I can see his comb’s teeth (I prefer wild, dark male hair … much like the men themselves). A bit bland, average, boring; Kevin Costner in a golf get-up — vanilla country club button-down, khakis, loafers, his BlackBerry holstered to his belt.

Back in the early 1980s, I had a friend who used to wear his garage door opener on his belt when he trolled Buckhead. He told the little chippies he was a doctor and the opener was his pager. It surprisingly worked about eighty percent of the time.

He says hello and shakes my hand. As if we’re about to review his taxes. No grip, a little clammy. I know it’s awkward when you’re meeting a blind date, but a handshake? He picks up my just-ordered martini and gets a light beer. Light beer? I can’t respect a man who drinks a light beer at first meeting; be a man and order a full-bodied British ale. Or scotch.

And then we sat. Uncomfortably. For far too many beats. He asked a question. I answer. He moved on to the next question. (What? None of my answers were worth a follow-up?) Standard job interview Q&A — occupation, hometown, where I currently reside, where I went to school, whether or not I’d been married, number of kids. The boring stuff. I got the same info from him: sales, Nashville, Alpharetta, Tennessee, divorced five years, no children, no pets. What does he like to do? Play golf. Go to Braves game. “Well, not this year,” Skip scoffed. “You know, they sucked this year, so I gave away most of my tickets.” I dislike fair-weather fans. He lives for SEC football. “You can’t get me on any Saturday in the fall. And Tennessee kicked Georgia’s ass this year,” Skip yelps as he punches me in the arm. Who does he think I am — Peppermint Patty?

Fifteen minutes and two strikes. Looks like he’ll be fanning the plate all night.

So I move on to music. A man can always come from behind if I approve of his CD collection. Well, he saw that awesome James Blunt concert this summer (huge yawn; respect now chopped at knees). I bemoaned the fact that I missed Beck’s secret show on Halloween; he’s crushed because he didn’t know Jeff Beck was touring these days. He loves Jimmy Buffett and his 1980s hair bands, especially Jon Bon Jovi (“ewww!” snarkily escaped between my lips). And then he mentions the name that makes my skin crawl: Toby Keith. I’m on a date with a Republican.

I don’t have a problem with friends who are Republicans. Our debates and discussions make me think, stay aware, help me to see the other side of the political coin. I do not, however, want to date a Republican.

He won’t stop sneaking non-subtle peeks at my not-on-display boobs. That brings out the catty Cup. I tell Skip I don’t listen to country music much these days since it’s really warmed-over adult contemporary pop sung by pretty people, that I prefer traditional country music, but I do have the new Dixie Chicks album, and I’m considering seeing them with Pete Yorn next month. That gets him started. The Dixie Chicks are un-American because they spoke out against Dubya and the war, and he’s glad our fine city’s country stations have banned playing their records. “But, Skip,” I ask innocently, “isn’t the foundation of this great republic the right to say what you believe?” Got a lot of Boortz-spewing on that one.

Must. Stop. The Boortzing. So I move on to books. Does he read a lot? A lot of political books, such as Zell Miller’s, and he g*ddamn loved The DaVinci Code. Didn’t I love it? No, I did not read it. He declares that I must not be a booklover after all. He declares moi a non-booklover, and he’s never read The Great Gatsby or The World According to Garp or In Cold Blood? I don’t even waste my breath asking about dear Tim Sandlin or beloved T.C. Boyle; this guy doesn’t deserve to know about them.

I’ve drained two martinis by this time, so Skip suggests that we “move the party” to a European-style dessert place. It’s a wonderful spot, especially if there’s a spark of romance flickering. Me? I’m just looking forward to chocolate.

We walk to our cars (I want to be sure of the quick getaway). He has a big-ass SUV. “Oh, I thought you said you don’t have children or dogs,” I bitchily cooed. I don’t think he caught the bitch tone, because he bragged about what a great behemoth it is.

Dessert was much of the same. Struggles for conversation, no hits on similar interests, some quibbling about local politics and TV shows and books. He’s sucking out all my energy; the black hole of my Friday night. I pull out the fake yawns … mentioning how rough my work week was … my brunch plans for early the next day … any possible excuse I can think of to get to the end of the evening. But the chocolate torte and cappuccino were scrumptious.

How can I make sure he doesn’t call? I start playing the psycho-girl card. I get faux-weepy over “the guy I just broke up with.” Pull out the reliable male-chiller and talk about my biological clock, how I need to settle down soon so that I can get pregnant in the next year. Tell him about my MoveOn.org and Drinking Liberally activities. Anything that will turn him off. I even giggle about how we have nothing in common and don’t understand how our mutual friend thought we’d be a match.

Of course, he called Saturday afternoon. I have yet to return his call.

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49 Comments:

At 11/05/2006 03:15:00 PM, Blogger Bubs said...

Oh God. That was some dreadful experience, well-described.

Better luck with the next date.

 
At 11/05/2006 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

He was a nice enough guy ... just not my type.

 
At 11/05/2006 04:56:00 PM, Blogger PinkFluffySlippers said...

I think it was all over the second he strapped the Blackberry to the belt. Ugh. Glad you got some good dessert and coffee at least.

 
At 11/05/2006 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

And don't forget the cocktails.

 
At 11/05/2006 06:23:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Henceforth, you shall be known as Carrie.

 
At 11/05/2006 06:59:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Good lord-- you said that the person that introduced you actually knew you?

I'd have thought that there would be plenty of little "trixies" out there for Mr. SUV to date. Better luck on the next date.

 
At 11/05/2006 08:17:00 PM, Anonymous Glassmeow said...

Oh dear. Here I was wondering how come you were so nice. I probably would have been outta there before the second cocktail. Then I saw Johnny's comment that someone who knew both of you set you up.

Guess they don't know you so well.

 
At 11/05/2006 08:19:00 PM, Blogger Old Lady said...

I have often wished that good meaning friends setting up blind dates would do it serripticiously (sp). Like through a party!!!!

 
At 11/05/2006 09:26:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

JEREMY: You're not following me around with a bucket of pig's blood, are you?

JOHNNY YEN: Yeah, I don't think she knows me all that well, does she? Until she started bugging me about her friend, I thought we were very casual acquaintances. Or maybe she doesn't like me and wanted to torture me. I'm sure Skip will be able to find a worthy Trixie.

GLASSMEOW: Sometimes I'm too nice, Meow. And he said we'd go to Cafe Intermezzo; I wanted chocolate.

OLD LADY: Exactly; I'm pretty good at parties. And attracting my type of beaux.

 
At 11/05/2006 11:18:00 PM, Blogger kfluff said...

Whoa. I think you need new vocabulary to describe this experience (and I don't think you have to worry about any of your readers taking your proclivities in the wrong way--we're all here because we agree with you!). I'd suggest the ever useful "gnar" which is an abbreviation of the short-lived Valley Girl word "gnarly." As in, "that date was gnar, and I haven't even begun to describe the guy..."

 
At 11/05/2006 11:36:00 PM, Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Oh my God. I was so pained by the description of the early part of the date that I panicked when I saw that you moved on to dessert with him.

I love Peppermint Patty, by the way.

 
At 11/06/2006 12:03:00 AM, Blogger mellowlee said...

I tried to comment earlier just after blogger was down for maintenance, but the comment function was still being bitchy :( Anyways...
OHMYGOD! UG what a waste of a friday night. I bet you would've rather been home with a good book or movie huh. At least you got a delicous cap and torte for your trouble. And we got to read a great post.

 
At 11/06/2006 12:59:00 AM, Blogger haahnster said...

Picky, picky.

Just kidding. Perhaps your mutual acquaintance was operating under the "opposites attract" theory.

In any event, the only thing I can even begin to give "Skip" a pass on is the boob-peeking. But, even there, he should've been smooth enough not to get caught.

I'd love to write more, but I'm off to find your boob photo in the Archives...

 
At 11/06/2006 02:22:00 AM, Blogger barista brat said...

oh, poor beth.

did it get to the point that you were downing your food super fast so the date would end sooner?

 
At 11/06/2006 03:33:00 AM, Blogger schmeckman said...

beth, now *you* get to set your friend up with someone. have wicked fun.

 
At 11/06/2006 06:24:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

KFLUFF: He didn't even rate a "gnar" ... just boring and very average. I thought he was bored, too, but he's left a couple of messages, so maybe he's a confused little boy.

COASTER PUNCHMAN: I should have ended it at cocktails and met Scrivener at the Mountain Goats show ... but the lure of chocolate is near impossible for a woman to ignore.

MELLOWLEE: Actually, I think I'm most frustrated because I missed a really good concert.

HAAHNSTER: We know y'all peek, but you need to be a little smoother about it. We have, after all, completed seventh grade. (And you haven't bookmarked that page yet?)

BRAT: No dinner; just cocktails and dessert. I try to keep first dates to two hours. But, boy, did I toss down those martinis. To be honest, I had three; the date was that lame.

SCHMECKMAN: Nah, I don't play that way. I'm quite good at fixing people up, and I want to keep my record clean.

 
At 11/06/2006 06:42:00 AM, Blogger lee said...

Beth you are so funny -tearing strips off this guy -love it :). Even if you were bored witless you made a enjoyable read out of it. I bet you wasted a lot of good sarcasm on him as well - oh to have been a fly on the wall! :).

 
At 11/06/2006 07:00:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Lee, I behaved myself and kept the sarcasm in check until he started with the wandering eye. The more obvious he was, the snarkier I got.

 
At 11/06/2006 08:00:00 AM, Anonymous DJ Cayenne said...

At least, as you say, you got a story out of it. Ouch.

How'd you pass on the Mountain Goats? Is Scrivener posting a review somewhere?

 
At 11/06/2006 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Dan said...

You did get a great story out of it, so it wasn't a complete bust. I'm sure you zinged him many times but very subtly - he probably didn't even notice. I wish I was a fly on the wall just for that!

I'm proud of you for sticking up to him, playing with his mind (in a fun way) and seeing the date through. You're a better woman than I am. Uh... you know what I mean.

 
At 11/06/2006 08:31:00 AM, Blogger gizmorox said...

This is precisely the reason I put a moratorium on blind dates years ago. They're torture. If he was so perfect for you, the friend could have invited him out in a group for drinks to introduce you.

Best of luck with the driving him off. Maybe you should just call and say you bought him a ticket to the Dixie Chicks show.

 
At 11/06/2006 08:53:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Well the being late thing should have let you know exactly how that was going to be.

You should call him back and tell him about your blog and let him read your description of the date.

That way, at least you could do something positive for the next woman he tries to woo.

 
At 11/06/2006 09:11:00 AM, Blogger sKincarver said...

Great retelling of your encounter.
You should read and/or watch American Psycho. It's pretty much a step by step on how to deal with guys like this, heh.

I can smell his cologne from here.

I have 3/4 tattoo sleeves on both arms. Not because of seem need to rebel or stand out, but because I like them and don't care what anyone else thinks. I work in a basically white collar job and guys like this see me, make a judgement call and write me off. Good for you for seeing past this fuck. He probably has a laptop full of kiddie porn.

 
At 11/06/2006 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DJ CAYENNE: Yeah, I'm a dumb a**; I forgot to put the Mountain Goats show on my calendar, and was booked with this lovely when Scrivener reminded me. Scrivener posted a review and a video clip from Friday's show. Did you go?

 
At 11/06/2006 09:36:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DAN: He was no Dan, that's for sure. You would have enjoyed my performance.

GIZMOROX: I can always use "I just got back with my ex" line; that's my standard chicken way out.

KEITH: Have you ever tried to remedy a frat boy? Not worth my time. You know, I could have overlooked his not-my-type looks if he'd had an entertaining, open-minded personality.

SKINCARVER: I love American Psycho; I find it quite funny. And I'd like to see those tattoos.

 
At 11/06/2006 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Beth- I can relate, even as a male. I've been on a few of these myself. The political stuff is an instant turn-off for me. I can still have a good time with a republican, but I know it'll never go anywhere.

 
At 11/06/2006 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Jamey said...

I am SO glad we are family and that I'm not trying to date you because I am Republican, I drive a Big SUV and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Toby Keith! Absolutely LOVE him! (Think we can still be friends?)

 
At 11/06/2006 12:00:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

CHRIS: I dated a Republican for a couple of years, and realized that I want to be with someone who shares my views. Just makes things simpler. Ain't the dating life grand?

JAMEY: As cute as you are, I'm also glad we're not dating. I have no problems with my loved ones voting red or listening to Toby Keith ... but I like to have something in common with my datables.

 
At 11/06/2006 12:23:00 PM, Blogger shewearsplaid said...

Are we the same person? Because everything you noted about him? I would have. Lite beer? :snicker: Comb's teeth in the hair? GOD!

 
At 11/06/2006 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

We're both simply brilliant, it appears.

 
At 11/06/2006 01:09:00 PM, Anonymous Jamey said...

Well, at least we'll always have that 'freckled lip' thing in common!

 
At 11/06/2006 02:15:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

can you give me his number?

 
At 11/06/2006 04:26:00 PM, Anonymous lawmom said...

Hey, I want to go to the Dixie Chicks and Pete Yorn.

 
At 11/06/2006 04:42:00 PM, Blogger lulu said...

Poor baby, he sounds vile. SUV? Blond? Short? Dear Lord.

At least you got chocolate and cocktails out of it.

 
At 11/06/2006 04:45:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

JAMEY: It's the Mark of the Cute.

M: I'll be glad to send it to you. You could go see your beloved Toby Keith with him!

LAWMOM: I'll check the dates; maybe we can go together!

LULU: I keep trying to make myself feel better since I got chocolate and cocktails ... but I missed a good show. I gotta get my priorities in check.

 
At 11/06/2006 06:24:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

I presume that it's easier said than done, but you should have just answered my call, told the guy it was an emergency, and met me at the Earl. I even had a free ticket to offer you! Sheesh.

 
At 11/06/2006 06:25:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

You're allowed to kick me in the pants next time you see me. I stupidly displayed good manners and had my phone on vibrate.

 
At 11/06/2006 08:06:00 PM, Blogger wonderturtle said...

My inner monologue as I read this:

No. NO. Oh NO!!

Great post and I feel your pain. I would have bailed after the drink, sacrificing even chocolate.

Ech.

 
At 11/06/2006 09:27:00 PM, Blogger lee said...

Sorry -I meant an enjoyable read -don't want you and your mates to think that I can't spellee ;).

 
At 11/06/2006 10:01:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

WONDERTURTLE: My tragic flaw: I'm too nice. But not too nice; I haven't returned his calls yet.

LEE: You're representing an entire continent. We appreciate your follow-up. Gawd, don't you hate going back to find you had a typo in your previous e-mail? And what are we going to do about Landru?

 
At 11/06/2006 10:27:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I promise to try harder on our second date if you'll give me another try Beth.

In my head you're 5'10" too.

 
At 11/06/2006 10:49:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I tried to disguise your identity, Dale. I should have left out the Toby Keith, huh?

 
At 11/07/2006 03:28:00 PM, Anonymous CD said...

Ewwwwwww... now I remember why I don't do dating. You better not go to PY w/o me!

 
At 11/07/2006 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous Glassmeow said...

Maybe "M" isn't who I think "M" is...

 
At 11/07/2006 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

CD: I'll let you know if we hit the Dixie Chicks/Pete Yorn show. And I'll always enjoy dating; you gotta kiss a lot of toads and all that ... and I got a good story out of it.

GLASSMEOW: I'm not sure who M is, other than a regular reader without a blog. But he/she/it is funny.

 
At 11/08/2006 06:52:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Like they say down on the corner, "Skippy's a punk."

 
At 11/09/2006 12:10:00 PM, Blogger Anomie-Atlanta said...

I always have to wonder what my friends think of me when they introduce me to bland bozos. Ick!

 
At 11/09/2006 01:36:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: And not the right kind o' punk.

ANOMIE-ATLANTA: I know; I was a bit offended. Luckily, this is more of an acquaintance than a friend ...

 
At 11/13/2006 08:56:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

how was the second date?




snort.

 

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