I swear I did not have the slightest clue what I was getting myself into when I agreed to meet this guy. Let me warn you, that when you hear the phrase "coffee at 7 pm," there is a strong likelihood of things going a bit off kilter. So first off, this guy calls to say he is stuck in traffic from hell. It was fine since the coffeeshop was literally a hop, skip and jump from where I live so I told him to just call me as he was parking in the vicinity. In the meantime, I hung out at home. Sorted my holiday pictures. No call yet. Then I made a new itunes playlist. Still no call. Now he was running over an hour late and I was more pissed than a grizzly got her salmon picked up by some damn tourist. Finally, 80 minutes later than proposed time, the call comes. “Parking was a bitch, man,” he says. You don’t say. But I take a deep breath, walk over, and think perhaps all could be forgiven if he was Just. A. Nice. Lad.
He was nice enough – he held the door, he apologized profusely, and insisted why don’t we have dinner instead of coffee (it was late and besides "finding parking here made me hungry"). So on his insistance I ordered a glass of wine and salad while he settled for a beer and a steak tartare. When I came back from the rest room, he had already got the check. “Let me get the tip, at least,” I said. “No, no. It’s the least I can do for showing up so late,” he said. “Besides, we men gotta do this kind of stuff to impress the ladies.” OK then.
Cue 24 hours, several texts and a voice mail later. He had a great time, wanted to see me again, yadda, yadda, yadda. It was flattering, I admit. But I had thought a great deal about it and the whole experience – well, something did not feel right. I could not say what. I won’t say sparks because I believe you hit it off immediately with some folks and with others it takes a slow, natural course to get to a great place. I decided I didn’t want to see him again.
Since we met through a matrimonial website, and he had been honest about why he got divorced, I felt it would be fair to send him a polite, thanks but no thanks, note. "Thank you so much for the dinner. However, I don't think we're a good match for each other. I feel we have some differences in our upbringing and background. I wish you the very best." The following is his actual reply, word for word:
"I have noticed that you have no desire to be maintain a friendship. That is perfectly fine. If you were uncertain about things then why did you invite me to a restaurant for a meeting. You could have invited me to simple coffee shop. You are old enough and also smart to know that it is not wise to make other people spend money if you are not sure. Your portion of the bill was $28 including the tip. You can send me the check in the mail (address given). Let me know how you want to do or I can come by and collect it from your place."
The next day I sent him 28 one dollar bills in an unmarked envelope. There are 4 critical lessons here:
1. Rejection is always a bitch.
2. For every nice guy that you meet, there are 5 weirdos.
3. It’s a cliché, but your instinct is your best friend.
4. Always have coffee at 11 am or 3 pm i.e. whenever you actually *need* to have caffeine, so you don’t care if the guy is late/no show/boring.