In the midst of the O saga, when I was trying desperately to retain some distance and not put all the eggs in the world in one O shaped basket, I decided to go out on a first date with another Bumble match. Surely it could only be a good thing?
The Calgarian house painter, had only recently moved to Vancouver to work with his brother and was living in North Van. He seemed nice and had pretty good chat in our messaging. Although it took us a little while to get to him asking me out, when he eventually did he suggested we go for tacos, which is a plan I can always get behind.
He chose a pretty small, kind of hole in the wall taco place in downtown that I hadn’t been to before which I was pretty pleased about because I’m always keen to try new taco places and everyone knows some of the best tacos come from the smallest places.
On my walk to meet him there, I remembered that his pictures had been the type that could go either way. He could have totally downplayed his looks or those couple where he looked pretty good could have been total flukes. It had been hard to tell, there was no real consistency and so I was a little apprehensive.
Meeting him as planned at the taco place, I realised that the latter of those possibilities was true and I knew his personality would have to be sparkling for me to find him attractive. I was a little disappointed. But you should never judge a book by it’s cover so I forged ahead. Plus, tacos.
It didn’t start well though when on walking up to the counter to order he sort of hung back and essentially made it impossible for me not to go up and order alone. Once I’d placed my order for 3 tacos, I turned around and asked if he was ready to order. He said he wasn’t and to “just go ahead”. Ok, so I guess I’m buying my own tacos?
Now, they were $12 and it’s not about the money, but we’ve had this conversation many times here. Paying on a first date. I am happy to pay, but I’m happier if you at least offer. Especially, if dinner and the venue for dinner were your choice. That for me is kind of a rule I follow – if I suggest the date and/or I suggest where to go, then I will always plan to pay.
Thus I figured he’d suggested the hole in the wall cause at least it was cheap. But he didn’t even offer to pay! Don’t worry, bud, I got the $12 covered.
In the short space of time it took for me to wolf down my tacos – what can I say I don’t like them to get cold – I had done a great impression of an interviewer. That is to say, I asked all of the questions and he asked almost none. I know I can talk a lot so it’s something I’ve worked on to ensure I don’t always lead conversation on a date. Not least because I am looking for someone who can take the lead in a relationship at least half the time, so being the only one to drive the conversation isn’t generally a good sign.
Which begs the question, when he asked if I wanted to go for a drink after we ate, why on earth did I agree? If I’m honest, it was possibly because we’d probably only been on the date for less than 30 minutes at that point and he’d come all the way over to downtown from North Vancouver and I guess I would have felt bad if it had ended there. Although I realise writing that now, it actually wouldn’t have been my problem.
In hindsight, there’s something to be said for valuing your own time and not drawing out something that you already know isn’t going anywhere. Why was I too polite to say no? Why did I allow myself to follow him to the bar when I was already bored.
Add to this, the fact that when discussing where we were going to go for a drink, he suggested an Irish bar across the street because, looking pointedly at me, “it’s Irish!” Um, great, but I’m Scottish. The correction didn’t seem to land with him, whether he didn’t care or he thought Ireland and Scotland were one in the same, I couldn’t be sure…
So we get to the Irish bar, the home of not my people, and I can already tell it was a terrible idea to agree. There was no atmosphere and despite the few other patrons, the service was sloooooooow. My hope for a quick drink followed by a quick escape was dwindling.
And when he suggested he might want a second one, I made a comment about wanting an early night before a 5.30am workout tomorrow but again, the comment didn’t land. Or maybe he just chose to ignore it?
So he had another while I nursed my first cider, and when eventually he was finished and we agreed to leave, of course the server took forever to bring the bill. In the time we were waiting, I decided I’d already wasted enough time and rather than play out the whole “I’ll text you”, “let’s do this again” thing, I decided to just say then and there that it had been good to meet him but I didn’t feel he was that interested in finding out about me, aka “you’ve asked me next to nothing throughout the last hour and a half”.
He said it took him some time to warm up, and he wasn’t sure what he was looking for anyway, having not long moved to Vancouver. Both of those were valid points but would it have been too much to ask for him to have seemed at least semi-interested during our date?
When the bill finally arrived, I made the executive decision not to even offer to pay for my cider. My time was worth the $6.75. In fact, that was a bargain. I was just glad it was over. As I watched him pay the bill though I noticed he didn’t tip. Nothing. Zero. $0. Oh wow. I was mortified. If I’d had cash on me I would have done a Ross in Friends when he tipped on the dinner with Rachel and her Dad. I almost wanted to apologise to the server as we left. Or go back in later and give him a tip.
Now I was really glad it was over. We hugged goodbye, I hurriedly left and texted O. So much for spreading them eggs around.