It’s always a letdown when a promising date turns out to be a total disappointment!
"Craig” was tall, cute, and listened to good music according to his OKCupid profile. He used to work at a juvenile detention center and was now getting his law degree. He initially messaged me with a charming line beginning with “Hey pretty lady!” and I instantly singled him out as the most elegible bachelor in my inbox.
The night we met, Craig was twenty minutes late. I was already depressed about the date because I had gotten soaked in the rain on the way over, and the bar was playing terrible music. After five minutes I texted him asking if he was close and he wrote back “a few blocks away.” Fifteen minutes later he came in muttering “sorry I’m late.” Before he had even situated himself onto the barstool, he began aggressively firing off questions that seemed like he had prepared them on the way over. I don’t think he was actually interested in my responses, because he barely made eye contact before rattling off the next question in an apathetic voice. He didn’t smile for the majority of the date, and I noticed he had a cold because he sounded congested and kept blowing his nose. The reality of how bad this date was hit me when Craig was emptying his nasal passages in perfect rhythm to the Coldplay song that was playing on one side of me, while two girls loudly feasted on multiple McChickens on my other side.
Craig was easily confused by much of what I was telling him. It took awhile for him to understand the trains I take between my apartment in Brooklyn and my job in Manhattan. I don’t know where the disconnect was, but after I explained to him several different ways that I take the G train to either the L or the A, he was still arguing “but the L and the A don’t connect with each other in Brooklyn!” I eventually had to show him using the subway app on his phone (he has lived in New York City his whole life, by the way). After I told him about going to grad school for musical theatre, he asked me which school I attended.
"Oh, you went to a conservatory. So what instrument did you play then?”
"…well, I majored in musical theatre.” Were we speaking two different languages? I could also tell he had a need to be right when we disagreed about something. At one point I said that I thought a song that was playing was off a certain album, and he dug through his backpack so he could get out his ipod and scroll through it for several minutes, just to prove me wrong. Lawyer thing? Only-child thing?
Aside from being a native New Yorker, I learned that he was an only child, which, I’m sorry to say is quickly becoming a deal breaker for me. Every single only-child I have dated has had major issues with communication. Often they are self-involved to the point where I wonder if it’s because they never grew up sharing their parents’ attention with another sibling.
Craig eventually did let down his guard a bit… but only after he ordered himself a large shot of Jack Daniels. We chatted somewhat less tensely about cooking, wine, and music. As the conversation came to a lull again, I took the opportunity to suggest we call it a night. He didn’t even offer to pay for my three dollar beers or walk me to the subway– which even the most offensive suitor always does. But that was ok, I was totally uninterested in spending any more time with Craig and I suspected the feeling was mutual.
So you can imagine my surprise when, the next night, I got a text from Craig asking what kind of cabernet sauvignon he should pair with his bowl of chili. He continued to text me while I was at a concert about what a nice time he had the night before and how we should get together again. I did not know how to respond A) because his actions the night before had not at ALL indicated that he wanted to go on another date, and B) who pairs a fine wine with a vat of chili?
People always joke that single women get excited about men who are doctors or lawyers. But in my experience, the guys who sound the best on paper are the worst when it comes to having an actual conversation.