Yeah! A Dating Disaster story! Haven’t had one of those in a long time.
When I was in college, my romantic life was seriously lacking. It seemed all of my friends were female, and all of their friends were female, and my major was female-dominated, so meeting men was not always easy. I decided to sign up for a dating site. I corresponded with a number of men, but nonw of them led to a date, until I received a message from someone we’ll call Sam. Sam was, on paper, everything I was looking for. I’m a bibliophile, and he was working on his Master’s degree in English. He liked nerdy sci-fi media and RPG games as well as going for walks outside and picnics. We had similar tastes in music, movies, and books. His messages were always polite and warm. When he asked me out for coffee, I gladly accepted.
When I arrived at the cafe, I bought my coffee and found him sitting at a table in the back, grading papers. He was a teacher’s aide, so I figured he must have come in earlier to get some work done before our date. I know that I didn’t leave him waiting for me to show up, because I was right on time. Well, we shook hands, introduced ourselves properly, and I sat down at the table. I asked him a few questions about how his semester was going, what he was studying, how it was being a T.A., general small talk like that. He sat there, still grading his papers, and answering in short, terse, one- or two-word answers. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and kept thinking that surely he just had to finish the particular paper he was working on, and then he would join in the conversation. So I waited; he finished that paper….and started on another one! I tried engaging him in small talk again, and once in a while he would look up and make eye contact while answering, but his main focus was clearly grading papers. I figured he might be overwhelmed with a deadline and asked if this was a bad time, and he said that no, it was fine.
I found myself looking at the clock more than I was looking at my date, which was only fair as it was still more than he was looking at me. After what seemed like forever, but was really only about 20 minutes, he said he had to go to class, and he started gathering up his papers. I was relieved because I had been trying to figure out a graceful way to leave (I know now that I could have just told him that I could see he was busy and wished him a pleasant evening and been on my way). On our way out of the cafe, he smiled, told me to have a nice night, and ended with, “We should do this again sometime!” I didn’t believe for a second that he was sincere. I’m quite sure he was just trying to be polite and follow social mores (although I dislike that particular ritual of saying that we should get together again when it was clearly not what either intended). This was confirmed by the fact that I never heard from him again.
I went home and shared with my roommates about my disastrous date. Even though I was disappointed, I also got a good laugh out of the situation. 0606-12