Thursday, February 26, 2009

Surprise from Mr. R... and date #124: WTF

A pleasant surprise... last time, I wrote that I had a feeling I wouldn't hear from Mr. Recurring again. It took him a few days, but he e-mailed, suggesting we go out again. A few fun, flirty e-mails later, and we have plans for next week. He was a fun date, and he gives good e-mail - I'm looking forward to seeing him again.

Earlier this week I had a first date with a guy I shall dub WTF for reasons that will soon become apparent. (he was my first date #124 since my last serious relationship ended four years ago)

WTF was a setup by some of my female friends -- they went to high school with him, and only became re-acquainted with him within the past few months. Through the magic of Facebook, of course. I was armed with the information that he's a lovely guy and really wants a serious relationship (and of course, I saw a number of pictures of him, and found him quite fetching).

This is an important fact -- HE chose the venue, a wine bar with small plates. We each had a few glasses of wine and shared some apps. It would have been considered a really good date if I didn't have the comparison of my great date with Mr. R just a few days earlier. Still, there was enough of an attraction that we were eventually smooching. (just a bit, not quite enough to disgust other bar patrons -- no private room needed)

When it came time to leave, he handed the bartender his credit card -- turns out it's a cash-only establishment. WTF had to pop out to the ATM, conveniently located right next door. When he came back, he eyed the check... and he plunked down an amount that did not cover the full bill.

Now -- this is always an awkward moment -- and the reason why I generally do NOT like to go out to eat on a first date. I always make a gesture to contribute towards the check - but I'll be honest, it's a test. If a guy takes me up on it, and allows me to split the bill with him? Not cool. I'm happy to take turns paying for things AFTER the first date -- but on that first date, really, it's up to the guy to pay. (ESPECIALLY when he has chosen the venue) This has been written about ad nauseum in dating columns, and 99.9% of the time, that's the consensus.

When I saw that WTF hadn't put down enough money to cover the check, I asked, "Can I contribute...?". His response: "well, with tip it comes to X amount, so that's Y amount each". What the hell can you say to that?

But wait, there's more! We walked to the subway together, but were taking the train in different directions. We started to say goodbye in a central, upstairs platform -- you could hear when a train was coming, but not see it. At one point, I thought I heard my train -- I dashed down the stairs, but it wasn't the correct train, so I came back up to where I'd left him. He was gone.

Turns out it was HIS train, and he had dashed down to get it without saying goodbye -- I mean, dude, it's not like this is the LIRR, where your next train isn't going to come for another hour! He called me a little while later to say that he'd heard his train and we didn't get to say a proper goodbye, as though this was perfectly normal behavior.

When I told our mutual friends about the date, they were appalled. I even asked Guy Friend what his opinion was of a guy who split the check with me -- his feeling was, he wasn't worth seeing again.

Before all this happened, when things appeared to be still going swimmingly, we made plans for this weekend. Now I'm on the fence whether or not to keep those plans. At this point, I feel like my opinion about him is colored in a negative light -- and yet, I wonder if I should give him another shot.



Lori said...

It's worth giving it another shot, but I'd feel the same annoyance about the bill. If that's the ONLY reason you wouldn't go out with him, try again. If there are other things and that's just the cherry on top, I wouldn't bother.

dv in the 51st state said...

sounds to me like he doesn't know any better - maybe he needs some learnin' in the ways of the dating world..?

Lost said...

I'd say only give it another shot if you think you might be really interested. Otherwise, except for amusment of what he might do next, why go to be annoyed or indisbelief of his next semi-rude behavior?

Go with your gut..usually it's right!

Laura said...

I agree, the bill thing is a bit strange...but maybe he is just awkward? I would give him another shot, if only because the rest of the date went well, and he is a friend of friends, not just a random internet guy!

I'm curious, though...when you heard a train arriving and dashed down the stairs to see if it was yours, if it was, wouldn't you have just hopped on without saying goodbye also? Or would you have run back upstairs, said goodbye, then dashed down the stairs and hoped it was still there to catch?

The splitting the bill awkwardly is bad, but the subway thing doesn't seem as much of a problem to one wants to wait on the platform for any longer than they have to!

Just my two cents, good luck!

bella said...

Yeah, he'd have to be pretty stunning in some special way for me to want to go out with him again.

Whenever I am faced with a date that begins with, "I'm going to give him one more chance," it's never fun. I spend the whole time hyper away of everything he does.

Dating Trooper said...

Hmmm...tough call. If I were thin on dates, I'd probably give him another (reluctant) shot. But you are hardly desperate for guys so perhaps hold off? That whole story just leaves an icky taste in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

The subway thing is not a problem at all. Of course someone would run for the train -- whether you or he, or whether you did or didn't know it was the right train. The end of the date was going to be either a proper goodbye or the arrival of some train, whichever came first. At night, if you miss the train, it could be a 20 minute wait. In fact, I think that anyone skipping a proper goodbye to catch the train is the right course of action.

But it's true that if you are going on a 2nd date to give him another shot, that always forebodes a big nothing.

However, I know a situation like this where they ended up married. The girl made a good salary and the guy was just starting out. He, awkwardly, had no idea his paying for her was a signal. He managed to win her over. Now he is a millionaire and they live in their own brownstone in Brooklyn with three kids who go to private school. With a live-in nanny. Too bad I didn't meet this guy till after he was married (but before he was successful) because I adore him.

So you either go out with this guy again or you don't.

mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

i don't like that behavior with the bill. you could go out again, sure, but he's not going to change. he's a cheapo, and not gentlemanly on any counts.

Tiny E said...

I'm only going to address the bill splitting because I'm with Laura on the subway thing. Maybe he thought you weren't coming back up . . . Still strange though.

But the bill thing is really odd. It would be one thing to get the check and say you owe $X (which is not acceptable on a first date where he did the asking) but to put down an insufficient amount and expect you to figure it out - it's just not normal.

Would I tell you to go out again? I don't know. Was that the only negative? Then why the hell not. Otherwise, onward.

Anonymous said...

Do not give him even another thought or another chance to be rude.

Anonymous said...

I'd be tempted to go out with him again just for the blog fodder! And I suppose that there's a chance that he might make up for his errors. It seems to me, though, that red flags once unfurled have a way of staying that way.

(However, we've all heard stories of couples who dated awkwardly only to fall madly in love. I suppose this is why we give our dates second chances!) --a&v

Marc said...

I never go on a date without at least $100 cash in my pocket - even if the date is at Starbucks. You never know. I also prefer not to use credit cards on dates because if it sucks, I don't need to be reminded of it weeks later when my Amex bill comes.

What I don't get is why he came back from the ATM with less than he needed. Either he's clueless, poor, cheap, or all of the above. But I agree with the others. If you have to convince yourself to go out with him again, it's not a good sign.

Loverville said...

See latest update... but Laura, to answer your question: I think I would have dashed up to let him know my train was there, even if it would risk my missing that train.

I think I was also more likely to give him another chance because he was a friend of a friend, and non an anonymous guy.