You know you’re on a Bad Date when you’re not exactly having fun. Conversation is strained, you are not quite connecting with this person. At best. At worst? You’re repulsed, offended, nauseous, questioning your sexual orientation. You know it’s bad.
Another way to know you’re on a Bad Date? You’re sitting at the bar and the woman seated near you is getting up to leave. As she puts on her coat she taps your shoulder.
“Is this yours?” she asks you, indicating the floor area between your chair and hers. You turn towards her, searching the ground. “I don’t see anything, where could it possibly be?” You ask yourself. Before you fully realize there is nothing fell, not even a napkin, the woman hisses in your ear. “Honey, it’s not going anywhere. Leave now. This guy is just going to bore you all night.” Making her way to the door, she gives you a knowing look. Her eyes speak the wisdom of the decade of experience she has on you. The subtext of that look could fill a hundred pages.
You stare at her with bewilderment and amazement. So this is what it feels like to be speech-less.
She leaves. And you? You continue the damn charade she started. Peering under the chair, hunting for the phantom scarf while thinking, “Aaaw fuck, did the guy hear that? Agh, this is Awkward, capital A.” You’re 90% sure he heard the whole thing. He even says, “What was that about? Was I boring her?” “Nah,” you say feigning ignorance, “She was just letting me know about my scarf!” You’re probably not convincing, but damn it if you didn’t try.
Instead of using this perfect exit line, “Yeah, actually she’s right, I’m gonna go”, it turns out you’re an actress who hates conflict more than she loves dramatic exits. Something you didn’t realize until this very second. So you end up staying for another half hour. So no one goes home with their self esteem in shreds. You’ve always been bad at ending things. You’ve always been too nice? Due to lack of wisdom and experience? Maybe, but you’re okay with it. Better Too Nice than Too Jaded. At 23 anyway.
Apparently some New Yorkers see it as their Civic Duty to inform you when you’re on a Bad Date.
My response in retrospect? 80% a genuine New York: “Who the fuck asked you?”
20%: “Thank You Phantom Scarf Lady”.