So, this happened. I’d kind of been in the pool of people they could pick from for a while but our schedules finally lined up and I said OK. At worst, it was a good story and free drinks.
My words that were printed are accurate. I kept telling Dana, the editor, that there was no chemistry but he was a nice guy who just wasn’t right for me. I didn’t want to be portrayed like this asshole. Luckily, I don’t think I was. (But totally tell me if I was!) And my side is only one side, but this is how the date went from my perspective:
I arrived at the restaurant and waited for a short while. He was about five minutes late – not awful. Like I said in the magazine, he seemed flustered and nervous. After he told the hostess who he was, I immediately introduced myself, we shook hands (or maybe we hugged? I don’t remember) and we were seated.
I could tell sort of immediately by the silence that followed our being seated that I was going to need to lead the conversation. I had no interest in sitting in silence with a stranger. I knew he wasn’t my type when he appeared in the doorway all flustered and nervous (come on, this is a harmless date) and he didn’t look like my type physically but I thought, “he could be a really awesome person if we have stuff in common, let me dig."
So, digging I went. I asked him what he did (publicist), where he lived (Astoria), what his favorites movies/TV shows/bands (Alkaline Trio was literally the only band he could name) were, I asked where he went to school, I asked him if he had pets, I asked what his hobbies outside of work were.
Unfortunately, we had nothing in common. And I mean nothing. I had really hoped to find some sort of commonality to build a connection off of with him even though he wasn’t really my type physically.
Awkward moments: There were more than one. (1) In the magazine I said he asked for a half-time report on how I thought the date was going (you’re 33, dude, if you have to ask, you know the answer isn’t good.), and when I answered honestly, he looked defeated. Sorry, dude, I’m not going to lie to you. (2) When we ordered drinks, I ordered some pink martini thing and he ordered a virgin bloody mary. I asked him if he was sober and told him that was totally cool if he was cool, but he just shook his head and said he wasn’t in the mood to drink. Well, whatever. I had two because conversation was pretty boring. (3) When he told me to stop asking questions and doing all the talking because he ”didn’t want a bad write up in the magazine.“ It became pretty apparently that he was worried about a bad write-up in the magazine more than actually getting to know the person sitting across from him. Also: when I stopped talking, he didn’t talk. So, I kept talking. (4) More than halfway through I realized I gave zero fucks about impressing this person because there was no chemistry. I may have been reading Kingdom Coming at the time so that’s possibly how we got on the topic of abortion and who should be deciding whether or not it’s legal. He thought the states should decide for themselves whether or not it’s legal. I told him that he was very entitled to his opinion but he was a dude, and has never and will never need to have an abortion, so I didn’t think he should have a say either way.
Now I’m not sure how someone who works as a publicist and has to talk to people for a living is so bad conversationally, but he was probably just super nervous. He also had no confidence. After he answered questions a couple of times, he’d circle back and ask, "did my answer sound too unambitious/bad/whatever?” Dude, just be yourself.
He asked me to “make a pact” at the end of the date to not say anything negative in the magazine. What?! Like I said, he was only concerned with his write up. I said OK.
Afterwards: After dinner he asked if I wanted to go to a bar (why, I thought, so you could not drink some more and we can continue this amazeballs conversation we’re having?!) and asked twice for my contact information. I declined all three of those requests as nicely as I could and went home, relieved it was over.
I’m not big into wasting my time with someone that I can’t hold a conversation with on a date anymore. I have no problem saying to someone, “you’re really nice, but we have nothing to talk about,” and it was no different in this situation.
This was really just a case of having no chemistry with someone. He’s not a bad person, just maybe slightly awkward. I’ve been told by a few dates/friends lately that I’m easy to talk to and that I have a “certain energy” abut me, so I’m not too worried about what this dude thought. He got rejected. I understand his hurt feelings.
I’ve had people tell me since the magazine has come out that, “Look at him. Someone like you would never go for someone like him,” which they mean as a complement, but I feel like it’s kind of insulting. My attraction to someone is based more on personality than looks. I, of course, have a type, but it’s more than that.
This was an interesting experience (I got what I thought I would: free drinks/appetizers and a good story!) that I’d never do again. Even though Time Out asks you a few questions about yourself, I don’t think they really work at trying to set people up who might be compatible.