Christmas Cheapskate

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On our first date we met in the park. It was a cool day but the sun was shining. We sat on a bench and easily connected. He thought I was so cool when a squirrel ran across my lap and I didn’t flinch. I found him funny with a tinge of quite shyness at times. We had so much fun that we stayed in the park and watched the sun go down. We never even left to grab a bite or a drink – his company was enough to fill me up!

We made plans to go to the movies later that week. When I got to the theater he had the tickets in his hand. I had planned to offer to pay but he beat me to it. He whisked me past the concessions stand so fast I never even had a chance to offer to buy him a snack or a drink. When I mentioned this he said, “I’m not hungry.” I found that slightly odd – who doesn’t like a drink or popcorn at the movies?

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When the lights dimmed and the movie began I could hear his hand rustling around in his jacket pocket. A few minutes later I heard him chewing something crunchy like nuts. I was convinced he had snacks and he wasn’t sharing! Now, if you’ve read my blog before you know I am VERY judgmental (I admit that) about my dates. I liked this guy, I really did. We connected intellectually and physically he was exactly my type. I told myself I must be crazy. When the movie was over we stood on the corner. He asked, “What are you going to do now?” Normally when a man invites me to the movies, they invite you to eat after. So I said, “Well, it’s dinner time so I guess I’ll pick something up to eat.” He hugged me goodnight.

A few days before Christmas, he mentioned he would be in my neighborhood on his bike ride. He called from his cell to say he would be there momentarily. I asked if he wanted to come up to my apartment but he said he was sweaty and knew I had to pack for my trip home. A little sad he wasn’t coming up, I grabbed the Christmas gift I had for him. (I like to give small gifts at the holidays especially if someone is a reader. One of my favorites is Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris and the other, Truman Capote’s classic A Christmas Memory.) As I turned the corner I saw him cycling up the block. We chatted on the corner for a few minutes. Before he left I handed him the beautifully wrapped book. “I have a gift for you at home. I’ll bring it the next time I see you!” he said. 757211a_origI thought, how sweet he got me a gift, too.

I met him the week after Christmas at his Ivy League club. “Ugh. I forgot your gift.” We hung out on the lobby sofa talking. Now I’ve been to his club many times in the past (I get around). I knew where the bar and the restaurant were located. He never asked if I wanted to go up for a drink. I was noticing a pattern here. Jimbo liked inexpensive and/or FREE dates AND he never even tried to kiss my lips. The more I got to know Jimbo the weirder he was.

I gave him one last chance when he invited me for dinner at an authentic Japanese noodle bar. After an obscene amount of time waiting for a table we ordered. “Would you like anything from the bar?”, asked the waiter. I was hot as hell from standing for nearly an hour in a warm and crowded restaurant vestibule in my coat. “I’d love a beer!” Jimbo said, “They’re really large here. We can share it.” Who shares a beer on date? I was beginning to really see what was happening here. This guy was a cheap skate!

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I was disgusted. I do not like cheap people. From my experiences I have found a correlation between cheap/tight people and their ability to love. This was definitely not the kind of person I wanted to hang around with. I didn’t even want him as a friend. We finished eating and he paid the bill in cash. It could not have cost more than $40.00. I put on my coat when the server whizzed past to speak to Jimbo. “Thank you for the VERY generous tip, Sir.” He smiled broadly. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for jumping to the wrong conclusion. Jimbo wasn’t a cheap skate, I was an idiot! Jim opened his mouth to speak. I expected him to say you’re welcome. Instead he said, “Oh, I was waiting for my change.” He was a cheap bastard! And by the way, he never brought my Christmas gift that time either.

Moral of the story: It’s Christmas, don’t be cheap. If you’re interested in someone let them know. You don’t have to buy anything pricey or organize anything elaborate. Keep it simple. Keep it classy. A gift is always a kind and thoughtful gesture – even a beautiful little book.

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Dating Peter Pan

Wendy_saved copyright Disney  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. images-5

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.