There are certain activities that go from barely tolerable to fun in direct correlation to my alcohol intake. Sporting events, clubbing, waiting for the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade– to name a few examples. The newest edition to this list? Dating that guy I met on New Year’s Eve.
You were wondering how that date went, right?
In case you forgot, I spent NYE dancing with a man who was both fun and totally my physical type (read all about it in this post). I was absolutely sloshed when I met him (“New Year’s Eve parties”- also on the list), absolutely sloshed when I, uh, ran down the street at 3AM on New Year’s morning to give him my phone number. BUT I was absolutely sober when we texted the entire first weekend of the year, absolutely sober when I accepted his invitation for drinks and oysters. It was a date I was absolutely excited about.
I texted him that I was running 7-9 minutes late. As a chronically tardy person, I figure it’s a good idea to set this precedent on a first date. Fine, I didn’t plan on being late, I just truly am always late. Smile and call me fashionable, or roll your eyes and call me rude- I won’t disagree on either account.
When I arrive- eight minutes late exactly- he’s standing outside the restaurant waiting for me. Another woman might find this was sweet, oh he’s waiting for me so we can go in together! I find it weird. Is he crazy, standing outside in the January cold? Can he not handle sitting alone at a restaurant for ten minutes? He could’ve been productive in my time of tardiness and gotten a table, but no he just loitered outside. Yes fellas, I judge what you do while waiting for me. It’s just another piece of the first-date-compatibility puzzle.
Of course, if I actually liked the guy, I wouldn’t give a shit that he waited outside for my little late ass. But when we finally sit down in the crowded and loud West Village restaurant, it readily becomes clear our chemistry on the dance floor doesn’t translate to conversation. When last we met, he was the one picking me up and spinning me around, our energies matched. Now I’m the one picking up every lag in conversation, spinning out witty batter that he either doesn’t comprehend or care for.
I’m putting effort into staying engaged. At one point tells me he cooks packaged Ramen, that it’s really good if you add a can of tuna fish, that I should try it. He says this with total sincerity. “So you’ve maintained the same palate since undergrad?” I tease, “Is your diet exclusively Ramen, hot pockets, and pop tarts? Oh and oysters?”
“I dunno,” is his reply.
I dunno what to do with this conversation.
Well I don’t have to know what to do because our conversation is interrupted by loud, repetitious dings. A man behind us at the bar is holding out a bell to a little girl and dinging it over and over again. She doesn’t appear to be enjoying it, the kid actually looks embarrassed. The man doesn’t stop, he rings the bell about 40 times, laughing, acting like the kid’s crazy about it.
By ring 3 we realize the bell-ringer is wasted. By ring 10 my date and I finally discover something we have in common: We both hate this guy ringing the fucking bell. By ring 25 we learn that he’s the owner of the restaurant. Ohhhh so that’s why no one’s told him to STFU! Great.
Finally the bell-ringer stops, the little girl and her family leave the restaurant. The man sits down at the table next to us great. The next thing I know he’s making fun of how my date eats oysters. Don’t embarrass my date in front of me. It’s not okay.I HATE this guy. My date isn’t cool about it, he gets defensive. Oh fuck. No. Please just let it go. Please don’t embarrass yourself, and by proxy me.
The owner-bell-ringing-douche-bag responds by buying us drinks. Phew. Situation diffused. And that’s when I become inspired. I totally had fun with my date when I was drunk on New Years…maybe I should be more like the owner of this restaurant and just get sloshed on a Wednesday night.
That, my friends, is exactly what I did. A beer later I’m leaning over a table full of oyster shells to kiss him. He’s much better at kissing than talking. Another beer and I’m attempting to text a friend while my date is in the bathroom but actually text my date instead.
I didn’t drink enough to go home with him, but I did drink enough that shortly before midnight I’m making out like a teenager on Bleecker Street. Shortly after midnight I’m falling asleep on the subway and missing my stop.
My friends, I’m not proud. You’re welcome to judge me for all that the way I judge men for waiting for me outside restaurants.
But at least I learn my lesson. Two in fact:
Do not drink to make lousy dates tolerable.
Do not take inspiration from drunken-bell-ringing-douche-bags.