“So,” he said with a smirk, “What do you want to know about me?” I was completely taken aback. How do you answer a question like that? I wanted to say, “Nothing, thanks for the coffee, bye.”
I realized my mouth had been hanging open for nearly a minute. I had to think of something to say before he took my stunned silence as flattery.
“Oh,uh, I don’t know. Tell me something interesting about yourself,” I said.
He took a large breath as if he were about to recite a speech and replied,
“Well, I’m a writer.” A writer! Finally, a redeeming quality had shone through. Something creative that takes thought and occasional research, and proved that the man could think.
“Oh?” I said, a bit more at ease. “What do you write?”
“Well, I’m really into sci-fi and fantasy.” Okay, nerd culture, two points for Brad. He should have stopped there, but he didn’t. “But what I’m most into is,” he took an impossibly long sip of his coffee and looked me straight in the eyes, “romance.” He punctuated this remark with a wink.
Ugh. Negative points and another red flag, Brad. There’s just something unnerving about a guy who uses writing romance novels as a pick up line. The creepy stare just made it worse. I wanted to leave, and fast, but for some reason I tried to diffuse the bomb he had just dropped.
“That’s interesting.” Another awkward pause ensued and I figured if I was going to go through with this date, I might as well get it over with as quickly as possible. “So, where are we going for dinner?” I said, standing to indicate that I was ready to leave.
“Oh, I found this little joint that just opened up; I thought we could give it a try.”
Usually when one refers to a place as a “little joint” the image of some small but trendy dive bar or restaurant comes to mind. I’m always eager to find new places to try and cuisines to eat, so once again, I got my hopes up. We drove down the street about two blocks and pulled into the “little joint”, it was a large chain pizza bar. Now, for those of you who didn’t read part one, pizza and I have a history. I was employed at a pizza place for three years prior and had gotten sick of the smell, taste and sight of anything pizza related. (You’ll be glad to know, I’ve since gotten over this malady.) When we had set up the date I had told him, at his request, that I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Yet here we were, face to face with a six foot bar full of every type of pizza you could think of. I decided not to say anything, after all poor Brad was trying so hard and failing so miserably.
We were seated at a four person table, and to my surprise he had chosen to sit not in front of me as would be normal for a first date, but right next to me. This guy loved to amp up the awkward factor. So much so that as our meal progressed he began scooting closer and closer to me. I no longer had a personal bubble by the end of dinner, and it was incredibly uncomfortable. Brad leaned in and grabbed both of my hands.
“Have you ever felt an instant connection with someone? Like falling in love at first sight?”
I nearly choked on my soda. Was this guy serious? Not only were we on the worst date ever, but now he’s confessing his love to me? This had to end.
“Uh, nope. Can’t say that I have,” I said, trying to pulling my hands free of his love death-grip.
“Oh,” he continued as if he hadn’t listened at all. “Because I do, tonight, with you.”
O-kay. That was my cue, it was time to get out of there. The check had been paid, and I could not take it anymore.
“Um, it’s getting late and I have some stuff to do tonight. I should go home.” I stood up so quickly I almost knocked over my chair. “Thank you for dinner. It was very nice of you,” I said, walking out the door. I know it was rude to run out like that, but what would you have done? Seriously.
I had hoped that my sudden departure had finally clued Brad into the fact that I wasn’t interested. Yet, the following day at work I arrived to find a giant chocolate bar on my desk with a note attached to it. It read:
J- Had a great time last night. When can we do this again? Love, B.
That’s when I learned that most men do not get subtle hints, or obvious ones at that. Brad called me again a few days later, but this time I followed my gut and politely declined.