All Petered Out

by admin on July 10, 2012

This is a story about someone I went on a date with when I was 17. I know that the people on this site don’t look kindly on spinelessness, and I make no excuses for my actions. I think that at the time I was too anxious to say anything and didn’t want to look bad in front of others. Now I look back at it I think about what an idiot I was!

An acquaintance set me up on a blind date with a guy I will call “Peter.” I spoke to Peter a few times before we went on the date, and he was nice to me, but said a few things that made me uncomfortable. For instance, he said my interest in horror fiction was a waste of time and that women weren’t able to write good books. He seemed to have little social awareness, and told me that he became very nervous around girls. I thought he probably didn’t understand that he sometimes sounded rude.

Peter and I arranged to meet at a London Underground station. He said hello and called me “Lizzie”, but my name is Lucy. He had my email address, he had spoken to me before, and should have known what my name is. I corrected him and he apologized, but continued to call me Lizzie all through the evening. When I told him that this was beginning to upset me he said it shouldn’t matter as it was “not my real name”.  (I am Chinese, and Lucy is the name I use in English.) I was annoyed that he couldn’t even remember something basic about me, but it was not the worst thing that happened that evening.

We went to a coffee shop where there was a woman serving alone at the counter. As Peter ordered our drinks, he was obviously leering across the table at the waitress, and she was becoming uncomfortable. At that stage I was worried and not sure that I wanted to stay, but I was willing to give Peter another chance, and I knew I’d have nothing to do for the evening if I left now. During the course of drinks he spilt hot tea in my lap and began talking about very personal things relating to his mental health and social anxiety. So I tried to change the subject to more appropriate topics like family and hobbies. When I mentioned that my sister and I each have a different father, Peter said something like, “No offense but your mother must be kind of a slut!” I was shocked by this and decided there wasn’t going to be a second date.

Peter wanted to have dinner in Chinatown so we walked there and looked for a restaurant. The first restaurant we looked at wasn’t to his taste, and when someone came over to ask if we wanted a table, Peter said to the waiter’s face that the restaurant “looked too cheap.” While we were walking around the streets Peter went into an alleyway to answer his phone, apparently to his father. Peter was near enough for me to hear the conversation, and at one point he said I was not as pretty as he thought I’d be! We went to another restaurant that Peter preferred, and we finally sat down to order dinner. He expected me to be able to converse fluently with the waiters and was irritated to find out that not all Chinese people speak the same language; I speak Mandarin, the staff spoke (and the menu was written in) Cantonese. Peter’s antics were quickly making me lose my appetite, and when he noticed I wasn’t eating much, he began eating the food off my plate.

We left the restaurant and Peter got on his phone again to his friends or family. He was asking, while standing right next to me, what to do next on the date and whether he should try to kiss me. When the call ended I tried to tell him I was leaving now; but then his phone rang again. Peter answered it and then said that he was going into a nearby McDonald’s to use the toilet – I took that to mean that he didn’t want me to hear his conversation. As soon as his back was turned I ran and got on a bus to go home. Peter didn’t contact me again. I suppose it was just too much trouble for him to remember my name and not to insult me to others. 0625-12

OK, readers, I really do not want to see a plethora of comments suggesting that Peter has Asperger’s.   Enough of blaming Aspergers on every maladroit, socially awkward young suitor.

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Eccentric Lady July 10, 2012 at 5:14 am

I see non-autistic folks all the time using their phone like it’s a lifeline – they forget life should be lived with the majority of it not electronically connected! It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when I know someone I’m spending time with and they don’t get off the phone…so I just leave. The phone has an off switch that must feel neglected at times.

It’s one of the major reasons why I don’t have a cell phone; I don’t see the advantage of constantly having technology on my ear distracting me from here and now – also known as life.

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mharbourgirl July 10, 2012 at 5:49 am

Admin, don’t worry, speaking as an autistic person myself, ‘Peter’ wasn’t on the spectrum. He was just a clod. The poster can be forgiven for being 17 and inexperienced, for that was truly a terrible date. Chauvinistic, rude, ignorant jerks are unfortunately not uncommon, and I think we’ve all had a date or two we wish had never happened. Fortunately, we learn from our experiences and become more forthright in letting such dates know that their behaviour is unacceptable.

OP, I do hope that you’ve had better encounters in the time since your unpleasant date. People like Peter go through life wondering why they never get a second date, and never spend a moment of self-analysis to figure out that maybe it’s THEM, not their dates.

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Lychii July 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

Well, this guy did directly talk about his mental health issues and social anxiety, so we know he has them. Saying these issues had nothing to do with what happened isn’t helping matters.

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TylerBelle July 10, 2012 at 6:30 am

What I got from the story was simply a guy who was really full of himself, and used his alleged social unawareness, etc., to justify his rudeness.

OP, I wished you’d extricated yourself from the boor earlier (especially at the nasty comment about your mom), but I’m happy to see you didn’t let him think you’d be open to his advances to kiss you after how he behaved.

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Kry July 10, 2012 at 7:03 am

The words socially awkward, sexist, racist and idiot came to mind immediately. Yes, you may have been a bit spineless but at 17 I don’t see how you would have the social confidence to do anything but what you did.

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Lisa Marie July 10, 2012 at 7:09 am

I think Peter was a psycho and Lucy was lucky to not get raped or murdered.

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Michele K. July 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

I will not comment on any potential diagnosis for Peter, except to say that he is a crude, rude boor.

The evening appears to be an entire disaster from start to finish. I can understand a gentleman being socially awkward. Socially awkward might cover the way he handled the phone calls. It might, in some stretch of the imagination, cover the restaurant comments.

But awkward does not cover calling your date’s mother a “slut”. That is not acceptable among close family members (at least not in any one I know of). Not does it cover calling a woman “Lizzie” the entire date when her name is “Lucy” and she corrected the mistake at the beginning.

It sounds as if Peter is more absorbed in his own world than realizing how he affects those around him.

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AnyMouse July 10, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thank you admin! As someone who works regularly with the families of those with Autism and as someone who has a sibling with debilitating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I am sick and tired of everyone on the planet thinking everyone who does anything they deem strange as having a need for a diagnosis.
Some people are just awkward, some people are just anal retentive. They don’t have to have anything “wrong” with them to be that way.

Back to the story: OP, I wish you had run for that bus the first time he made you uncomfortable (perhaps the fourth or fifth “Lizzie”?). I understand how hard it is to leave a date at age 17, even when you’ve decided there won’t be a second one, but hopefully you learned your lesson for the next time.

It would have been better had you looked him in the eye and said “This date is not going well. There will not be a second. Do not contact me again” before you made a dash for the bus. However, as meek as you say you were, I don’t think you were exactly rude to run for the bus when he turned away, it was your survival skills kicking in!

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Powers July 10, 2012 at 7:42 am

I think you’d only see that, admin, when the symptoms match up well. There is no such correlation here, as this guy just sounds like a jerk.

On the other hand, he did openly discuss with your correspondent his “mental health and social anxiety” problems.

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Angela July 10, 2012 at 7:43 am

I think every young person should go on one date like this, so that you can appreciate the good but flawed people out there later. One date, no more.
Asperger’s is more about awkward. This guy sounds like a world-class jerk, who decided to excuse himself ahead of time by claiming a lack of social skills.

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Coralreef July 10, 2012 at 7:44 am

OP dodged a bullet there. I’ve known socially awkward boys/young men, but they were not rude to the point that Peter was. Shy and uncertain of what will interest the other, everybody is on a first date Tongue-tied and/or stuttering, been there, done that.

Leering at a waitress? Not remembering your date’s name? Asking over the phone what is the next step? Commenting on your date’s look (or percieved lack of) to someone esle? I don’t think so. Rude, boorish, inconsiderate and in need of growing up.

OP was not spineless so much as young and not knowing how to react to such behaviour. Spines tend to get stiffer as we get older.

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elle July 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

I’m with the Aspergers crowd. Sorry, Admin.

There are surely great dating boors out there, but this particular kid isn’t one of them. Doesn’t change the fact that the OP had a bad time. It just explains why the offending party acted the way he did.

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Shoegal July 10, 2012 at 7:55 am

If we can’t blame Asperberger’s then there is simply no excuse for Peter’s behavior. Obviously, he is a social moron and doesn’t have the faintest idea what he’s doing. He sounded very direct as if there was no filter in his brain before the words actually reached his mouthed. Peter was clearly rude at every turn and really, OP – I’ll give you pass this once but you should have left ages ago. I would have been hard pressed to hold my tongue and refrain from telling Peter what a jerk he is but I suppose telling him the date was OVER would have been enough. I think the fact I would have terminated our date once he couldn’t be bothered calling me the correct name.

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TheVapors July 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

Peter’s actually a prince in disguise from planet Boor! OK, it’s not actually a very good disguise. We can all see that he’s a Booron.

OP, you were young, and it looks like you learned a lot from that date. If someone doesn’t even think it’s important enough to get your -name- right after a correction, then they already think the rest of the world revolves around them. There’s nothing you could have done but get the heck out of there. And hopefully next time, (well, hopefully there is no next time), but if there is another Prince from the Planet Boor out there, run sooner.

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The Elf July 10, 2012 at 8:10 am

Spineless for sure, but you were 17! Goes with the territory. I’m so glad you didn’t go for a second date.

I’m seeing one horrible etiquette (and just plain mean) blunder after another. Did he do anything right?

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whatever July 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

a friend of mine has aspergers (not to the point of being unable to interact with people or being unable to function on his own. but it is very obvious that something is off once you talk to him for more than half an hour, which makes job-hunting and dating rather difficult for him).

he does sometimes come off as rude, has phone conversations right next to people, and is unable to pick up on the subtle clues that politeness often demands.

for example, before we told him what it meant, he wouldn’t leave a host when they said something like “i’m kinda tired” or “i have to get up early tomorrow” or even “i should go to bed now”. you had to plain and simple tell him “can you please go home now, i have to go to bed now”.

still, he makes an effort to learn how other people communicate, and he would never treat a date like this. so, either that person is just really rude, or maybe even does have aspergers or some other form of autism, but doesn’t give enough of a damn to try to adjust to how polite communication works, and there is no excuse for being a selfish prick, autism or not.

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Gena July 10, 2012 at 8:20 am

And the moral of this story is ALWAYS make sure you have a way to get home on your own. Imagine if this were the type of date where he had picked you up and you were dependent on him for transportation!

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Laura-x July 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

Maybe his BFF is Howard from the last dating disaster.

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ShinyFun July 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

Aspergers = affected ability to socialize and communicate.

Peter = racist, sexist asshole.

I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

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Cat July 10, 2012 at 9:08 am

He was just rude, crude, and socially unattractive.
Some men use words to put women down just as some use blows. My brother once told a girlfriend whose mother had died when her daughter was only twelve years old that she was “living in her mother’s tomb” when she mentioned that she wished she had been more supportive of her mother in her final illness. I thought she had done well for a twelve year -old girl dealing with the loss of her mother.
I have a reply that I use when someone makes an offensive remark like the one he made about your mother. Whatever the absent person is accused of being/doing, I immediately reply, “Oh, no, he’s/she’s not. I’m one and he/she never comes to our meetings!” That normally takes them aback enough that they have no reply.

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Lilac July 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

My son has mild Aspergers and it does make him come off as socially awkward sometimes. For example, he may go to a friend’s home and not greet the parents because he is so intent on greeting his friend. He gets something in his head and that is what he does. It makes him very focused. In this story it is the sexism and the racism that makes me think he does NOT have Aspergers. This is just anecdotal but from my experience. those with milder Aspergers (ie. they may seem just quirky until you get to know them or know how to spot the signs but otherwise function normally) don’t “lump” people. My son takes each person as an individual. It is really remarkable. I seriously don’t think he sees race and he is as respectful of girls’ capabilities as he is of his male friends. He is very, very smart and I often think of his brain like a computer–it’s like he’s done the calculations in his head for THAT particular person and made a decision about them. I am sure there are jerks out there with Aspergers but having Aspergers makes you awkward not cruel and bigoted. I could see someone with Aspergers saying, “I thought you would be prettier” because they often have no filter but not “women can’t write books.” That seems like a broad generalization for someone with Aspergers. My son would feel he could not come to that conclusion before reading every book with a female author and then all those written by men so he could compare :) Also, the fact that Peter said, “No offense” and then insulted her mother is a definite red flag. If he knew he was offending, he probably doesn’t have Aspergers.

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Mary-Sue July 10, 2012 at 9:26 am

Growing a spine is a learned skill, and this was the OP’s time to learn it. Too bad she didn’t dump the creep sooner.

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Justin July 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

If there is one lesson to really be learned here it is to trust one’s instincts. The OP mentioned she was uncomfortable with a few things said on the phone calls before the date even happened. If something feels off there is a good chance that it is, or that there is a missing piece that explains things which is being hidden.

From the story it sounds like ‘Peter’ managed to get someone, maybe even a medical professional to give him a diagnosis of social anxiety and then uses it as an excuse to engage in bad behaviour. The other possibility is that he may have some social anxiety issues and is overcompensating too far.

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squashedfrog July 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

“No offense but your mother must be kind of a slut!”

It always amazes me that people say the words ‘no offense’, before coming out with something jaw droppingly offensive.

Its right up there with “I’m not racist but..” a statement that in my experience usually ends with “send em all home I says..” or “The Daily Mail has the right idea…”

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Grey Ghost July 10, 2012 at 9:41 am

I’m probably with the Asperger’s crowd, but frankly, most Aspies can be taught social skills. Simply because we lack the ability to read others’ reactions and don’t necessary develop social skills naturally by observing others, doesn’t mean we’re not educable. I get tired of people using their Asperger’s as an excuse to remain assholes, and worse yet, parents and caregivers who give boorish behavior a pass because the poor child has a neurological disorder. Guess what? He’s bright. He can learn. And someday he’ll thank you for it; even if he spends his waking moments *acting* as if he understands how others think and act, he’ll get along a lot better than if he goes through life like a bull in a china shop.

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spartiechic July 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

I have to agree with other posters. Even IF he DID have Asperger’s, this goes above and beyond that disability. This is a person who may (or may not) have a disability which he uses to excuse his behavior so that he is not at fault (in his own mind) and can do whatever he wants with a “get out of jail free card.”

As a person with ADD (yes, it was diagnosed and, yes, it was before it was a common diagnosis), I sometimes have difficultly with attention. The people I care about know this and sometimes do cut me a little more slack than I deserve. However, I have learned through my 35 years, how to compensate for my disability to the point that most people don’t even know that I have ADD. It’s very hard for me, but I feel better when I am meeting social norms. I care about how I treat others. Even someone with Asperger’s wants to fit in and be accepted. Just because they aren’t always able to pick up on social cues does not mean they don’t have feelings.

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Xtina July 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

If Peter has any mental problem, it is probably social awkwardness compounded by a little bit of narcissism and diarrhea of the mouth. And a HUGE dose of monumentally bad manners. Someone would probably be doing him a favor to sit him down and tell him that he needs to stop doing this, this, and that if he wants to get second dates and win friends (not that he’d take it well). He was very rude to the OP. She stood for it longer than she should have and I am glad that she finally broke away. This guy is a bad, bad date no matter what the excuse.

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--Lia July 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

I want to know about the acquaintance who set you up on that date. When making introductions of that kind (or, come to think of it, almost any kind), isn’t there an implied responsibility to make at least minimal effort to see to it that the two people will be compatible? I’m not suggesting that the one making the introductions is at fault if two people don’t fall in love and marry. A certain amount has to be left to the people involved. But rudeness on that scale? The arranger had to have had an inkling of what Peter was like before she (he?) set it up with Lucy. I’d say the acquaintance gets a few demerits too.

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squashedfrog July 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

Sorry but there’s “social awkwardness” and then there’s calling someone’s mother a slut.

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justme July 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

It’s possible that the guy has some kind of mental issue, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. There is no mental illness that forces one to act like an asshole. I once dated a guy that blamed his bad behavior on mental issues and things that had happened in his childhood. I eventually gave up on that relationship (though not as soon as I should have) because if you’re able to recognize that your behavior is inappropriate, you are able to do something about it (or at least keep trying). It sounds like this guy was more self-centered than anything. Good for you for making a run for it, OP! At that age, I was much more spineless than you, and probably would have tried to make it to the end of the date (much to the detriment of my own mental health).

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Library Diva July 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

What Peter has begins with the letters A and S, all right. I’m sorry you had to suffer through that date, but look at it this way: you got an outstanding story to tell from it.

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girl_with_all_the_yarn July 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

Sorry, but Aspergers or not, this guy clearly doesn’t understand that it is nobody else’s job to deal with his mental health and social anxiety issues. If he has them, it is his job to try and learn as much about manners as possible so that it makes up for it.

Last year I went out with a guy who was an aspie. Yes, he was a little awkward, but he understood that he was and tried to make up for it by being as polite as possible. It was clear that he was trying as hard as he could to make it a nice date. He even picked out the perfect first date: dinner and a movie. It was a wonderful evening, even if the relationship didn’t work out. Social awkwardness can still work if they understand and try hard enough.

However, the OP’s date was clearly not so much socially awkward as he was a jerk.

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Gee July 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

My hubby has Aspergers and he would NEVER have acted like that.

And why do people think that saying “No offense” before they say something totally offensive makes it okay? It’s still rude. It was like when a man in a grocery store once snapped at my mom, “Get out of my way, please!” Saying please afterwards didn’t make it polite.

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DGS July 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

He could have a psychiatric diagnosis or not, but regardless, that does not excuse his behavior. He was sexist, racist, obnoxious and rude. Good for the OP for finally having the guts to stand up for herself! What a terrible boor.

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Michelle P July 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

Thank you Admin, for your statement. I am sick of people using Asperger’s or any other illness/condition as an excuse for anyone being rude/immature. The guy was a jerk, no excuses for it.

I’m opening a can of worms here, but I am very familiar with autism. As a nurse I have studied it and my cousin’s son has it. I believe most (not all), but most people saying they have Asperger’s is just an excuse to be rude. I have studied it along with my knowledge of autism and believe that social awkwardness can be overcome, but manners and tact have to be taught.

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Michelle P July 10, 2012 at 11:35 am

Spartichic, you sound awesome. Kudos to you for overcoming obstacles.

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whiskeytangofoxtrot July 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

Pretty sure I’d have ditched him too, but much earlier!

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David July 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

I am glad you ran away, OP.

In Peter’s talking about his social anxiety and mental health issues, was his talking about it focused on making sure that you felt as sympathetic as possible towards him? I ask because I have an acquaintance who swears by this technique – he gets the women he is talking with feeling all nurturing and caring towards the poor guy with the social anxiety and gets to act like a jerk all night at the same time, because, after all “mental health issues”. He sees absolutely nothing wrong with acting this way.

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RP July 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I agree with squashedfrog. “I’m not racist, but” is just the sound of a racist person taking a breath and the same goes for “no offense”.

I’m not going to rag on the OP for not leaving the date sooner. It’s not like she thought his behavior was acceptable, it’s just that she didn’t know how to make a graceful exit. If we have to consider that people who were awful in their teens can mature and get better with age we should do the same for people who weren’t comfortable with confrontation.

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June July 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Yikes, yikes, yikes!
If this is what he says on the first date, what is he saving up for future dates?

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2browneyes4 July 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

One thing that I have decided that I will not put up with, and that no one else should put up with, is your date or dinner companion talking on the phone during the date/dinner. That is just rude.

First of all, there are very few people that I would even answer my cell phone to if I were on a date or even having dinner with a friend. The main person being my then teenaged nephew, since he was active in sports and other activities and often needed a ride if for one reason or another, and his mom was running very late or his arranged ride didn’t come through, and I was always his back-up transportation. Other than a phone call being possibly some like emergency or worse, I would not even answer the phone. In the few cases I have answered the phone, I quickly determine that there is no emergency and I get off the phone immediately. There is no reason to leave a date or even a friend sitting there watching me talk on the phone.

I have a friend that has talked on the phone to other people while we are waiting for or having dinner and I have found it to be very rude. It makes me think that she would really rather be with the person she is talking to.

Just recently another friend treated me to dinner on a very special occasion. We had made arrangements to spend the day together after she spent time with her new boyfriend that morning. Well, she was over an hour late arriving at my house because the boyfriend suddenly wanted to get something to eat and didn’t want her to leave him just yet. So they went out for brunch. She told him she was spending the day with me and we would get dinner later and that she would call him later when she got home. He called her 2 hours later (before we got dinner) while she was with me. She texted him back that she would call him later. Then, while we were in a restaurant making conversation while waiting for our meal, he called her again. She took the call and asked him if everything was okay. He said yes but that he HAD to know RIGHT THEN if she was bringing folding chairs to a picnic they were having over a week from then because someone else was bringing chairs and he didn’t want there to be too many chairs. (??!!!??) She then talked to him for at least 10 minutes while I sat there and tried to look away (pretty hard to do since my seat was facing her and the restaurant wall). She had always been so sweet and I couldn’t believe she was being so rude. So when she got off the phone, I said “Wow, “Paul” must be in a bad situation to have to keep calling you although you told him you’d call him later.” She said “well, he just really wanted to know if I was bringing chairs.” I said “and THAT’S why he had to blow your phone up when you told me we were hanging out?” She laughed and said “yes, and he just wanted to talk.” I didn’t let it ruin my dinner, but I was definitely offended that she ignored the fact that I was sitting there waiting for her to finish her phone call.

In my recent situation, my friend drove to the restaurant and it was too difficult to excuse myself from the situation which is what I wanted to do. I guess it also would have been rude to try to leave since she was treating me to dinner. However, for future similar situations, and for the OP’s sake, what is the best way to excuse oneself when your date or dinner companion is more interested in the person on the phone than they are in talking with you?

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Missy July 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm

“No offense but your mother must be kind of a slut!”

I expect something offensive when someone says “no offense” but I think this is probably the worst follow-up I have ever heard!

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Lucie July 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Grey Ghost, agreed! I also agree with Admin here, even IF this person has Asperger’s, enough is enough blaming your lack of empathy and socially awkwardness on autism. I have studied autism, I have had several autistic students, I have family and friends with Asperger’s. Very recently I met someone who behaved exactly like the OP’s date, except, when I tried to cut things off, he began calling me (10 times a day), texting me, creating fake FB accounts and sending messages and requests for 3 consecutive months! I told him CLEARLY he was scaring me and he said he KNEW he was scaring me, ”but, BUT, BUT, it’s not my fault, you need to understand – I have Asperger’s.” This unnerved me! I have known so monay autistic adults who were respectful and took responsibility for their actions and when made aware of something they did that was ”wrong”, would appologize and not repeat the mistake! It scares me that people behave this way and pass it on anxiety, depression, autism, etc. It is NOT an excuse! Take responsibility for your actions!

OP, I feel bad for you!

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Miss Alex July 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Thank you, admin! I have Asperger’s, and I’m so tired of people using it as an excuse for inappropriate behavior. This guy was a socially inappropriate jerk, and I’m glad that OP left him.

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Kirsten July 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

For the record, mental health problems and social anxiety are not synonymous with Asperger disease or autism. It is possible to have a mental illness and social anxiety which are nothing to do with any kind of autism. I’m always surprised by the number of people who have no medical qualification who are able to diagnose autism over the internet, when it can take experienced professionals months or years to be certain someone has it.

That aside, I’d have refused to date the sexist boor after his remarks about women writers, and certainly now at my age I’d have left after he called me the wrong name more than a couple of times. But, 17 is young, confidence is often lacking at that age and I’m sure the OP wouldn’t put up with that kind of behaviour now.

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Nannerdoman July 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

In contrast to “I’m-socially-anxious” Peter, consider the Tin Woodman from [i]The Wizard of Oz[/i] (the book more than the movie). Knowing that he has no heart, the Woodman is particularly careful to avoid hurting other people because he worries that his lack of a heart will make him insensitive!

Peter? A major league etiquette fail. He assumed the date was all about him. It never seems to occur to him that Lucy was supposed to have a good time too.

One hopes his next date had a more developed spine and a handy clue-by-four to use on him.

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Susan July 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I concur with not blaming it on Aspergers. My nephew has it, and he can be blunt, but never cruel.

Poor OP! I’m glad you caught the bus home. At least, you always have a good story for parties! :)

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Sarah Jane July 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I hate the word “slut”, and let me point out that in my experience, I hear it used more by women than men.

He sounds like a first-class jerk. OP, what a valuable learning experience for you, and since you were only seventeen at the time, you probably developed a spine sooner than a lot of people!

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Drawberry July 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

At 17 I don’t think anyone can blame you for being awkward and not really knowing what to do. Most young women aren’t really taught at that age how to react to an unsavory man like that, much-less what to do to get themselves out of that situation. Being that this was a set-up date by someone you presumably trusted to some extent I am sure you where thinking that they wouldn’t send you off with someone so awful!

His complete lack of racial sensitivity is appalling.

As someone who has always been socially awkward, later in life finding out it’s due to social anxiety disorder (i didn’t speak until I was 3 and went through many school years where my teachers never heard me speak) I can say this much; He was using ‘socially awkward’ or ‘awkward around girls’ as an excuse for being misogynist (Ie: having a distrust of women, exampled by his lack of sensitivity to calling her by her chosen name and commenting about her mothers sexual history).

I’ve had some moments I cringe upon, but certainly nothing anywhere CLOSE to such awful behavior like this man did. He’s probably the kind of guy who people made the excuse for his whole life, “Boys will be boys!” or “He’s just awkward and shy!”. I don’t think anyone here could blame you for being ‘spineless’

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Angel July 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I would have left the moment he called my mom a slut. You made a run for it about 2 hours too late.

Shame on people who use autism or anything else on the autism spectrum as an excuse for bad behavior. Often bad behavior is just that–bad behavior. The more you try and explain it away, the longer the person is allowed to get away with it. I would be willing to bet that if the OP would have called the guy out on his behavior maybe he would think twice about the way he talked to someone else next time. Even people with Asbergers have parents and although they have to be reminded more than most typical kids, they can still be taught appropriate behavior. The guy on the date with the OP seemed to realize he was behaving badly, just didn’t seem to care.

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