I had a first date on Sunday. The guy initially seemed really great; supposedly successful career, amicable divorce, son in college, and he had a dog. I like dogs. Although I wasn’t physically attracted to him (bald, glasses, pasty white skin and a terrible dresser) he seemingly had so many good qualities that I was hoping his appearance would grow on me.
Our late morning date consisted of a walk in a local park and a single drink (even though everyone ese was having brunch) at a well-known restaurant. It may or may not be important to mention that I think he only had tap water – he went up to the bar and brought the drinks back to our table so it’s merely an eduated guess. I should have realized thing were about to go south…
My date offered to walk me home. Having enjoyed the park and our easy conversation, I agreed. We went back to his place for a second to pick up his dog, Becky. I very comfortably followed him inside the vestibule.
“You’re coming in?” He sounded surprised.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was just following you. I can wait here. I didn’t mean to be so intrusive.” Normally, I would never step foot into a man’s home unless I was prepared to have sex. This was different. It was a Sunday afternoon, I had only had a Perrier at the bar, I felt extremely comfortable, and I wasn’t feeling any sexual vibes whatsoever. I thought the dog would come running to the front door and we’d turn around and leave. That’s not what happened. My date invited me in.
There were no windows aside from the sliding door to the backyard. The room had plain, bright white walls. There were two pillow-less, worn couches, one blue and one cranberry, and a pair of non-matching distressed (from use not for style) cocktail tables. Everything seemed to be askew and didn’t coordinate in any such way. West Elm and Ikea were high-end compared to this stuff. Mind you, I have nothing against IKEA, I even have some pieces, but this apartment was so barren and boring and just plain weird. Yeah, I get that he’s a guy and most guys don’t have good taste but there were no books, no photos, nothing hanging on the walls. It was as though he just moved in – or a college student had just moved in. I found it weird that a 49-year-old who had resided somewhere for the last 17 years lived like this. Red flags were popping up all over. I wished they had been matching red throw pillows, a Rothko print, and a carpet instead of flags.
While my date got Becky’s leash I peered out the ancient, cracked, and broken sliding glass door to the saddest backyard I’ve ever seen. No trees, grass, plants or even a table or chair. It was a vacant lot for the dog to use as a toilet. I felt sorry for the dog.
My date and his trusty pooch walked me to my corner. I knew we’d never see each other again. All the while I thought about the sneakers and baseball cap he was wearing, no offer for a meal, that horrible backyard, and his home. I wondered if I was an awful snob, impossibly ridiculous on finding a mate, and that was why I was still single. And then in that moment I decided I would not beat myself up. We were just not a match and that was that. Back to the drawing board. And then he went in for a wet kiss right on my lips. Heal, boy, heal.