The Dating Experiment, Part 3

5 Jul

At about 2:00 PM a few months of  Saturday’s ago, I was at work and an email from a dating hopeful popped up. He had an extra ticket to that evenings sold out Andrew Bird concert.  I really like A. Bird so I said what the hell, can’t be that bad. A free ticket is worth a bad date, right?


We talk on the phone for a minute and agree to meet at a local bistro for a drink and snack before the show. While we were on the phone, he mentions that he has a car but doesn’t like to drive it. He says he could probably walk to the aforementioned bistro, but I can tell he is hinting for me to pick him up. Not going to happen. He takes the bus and texts that he is running late. Because he didn’t just drive and get there on time. Because he didn’t know what bus to take and he missed his stop, blah, blah, blah. I am the girl. I should be the one being picked up, for Christ’s sake.

During dinner, conversation goes OK. Nothing crazy, like we both love the color red AND blue, but just your typical first meeting chat. He suggests that we walk to the show downtown; after all–it is only 26 blocks.


No. I wore date shoes. We’ll drive.

We get in my car and I park in my secret place, where if you have a drink inside, which you probably would do somewhere anyway, you get free parking. We get out and I notice he still has his backpack with him, which he affectionately refers to as his “man-purse.” I think we are going to have the free-parking drink, but he gets a little nervous when I suggest this. “The show starts at 8:00 and it is 7:35. Don’t you think we should find our seats?” I have seen probably 1500 concerts in my life, and none have started on time. So, we skip the drink and head in.

Since I have seen so many shows, I know that the ushers are going to search our bags. He didn’t. When he opens his “man-purse,” he is told that he can’t bring it in. I look back and see that in this bag, there are no less than 10 prescription pill bottles and two bottles of booze. One of the pill bottles falls out and rolls towards the door. Seriously. He runs after it, like it is the Ring and he is Gollum. Now I know why he didn’t drive in the first place, because he isn’t allowed to operate heavy machinery with all the sedation. The usher looks at me with pity and we go back to my car to put it away. I don’t even want to know why he has all these pills, probably just his daily cocktail of normalizing elements. It did explain that far-away look in his eyes though.

We find our seats—still 15 minutes to go—and have nothing to talk about. He smells funny. Thankfully, for the first time, I was proven wrong about the start time. Saved by the opening act. During intermission, we try to get a drink but the bar doesn’t take plastic. What? Is everyone working against me having ANY fun?

I get in line for the bathroom and he says he is going to walk around for a while. I find this kind of strange, but then I figure he is going to try to break into my car to get a fix. I worry about this for a minute, but remember that I have insurance and could use a few extra bucks. I get out of the bathroom and my date is nowhere to be found, so I head back to our seats. I start talking to the lady next to me, who turns out to be Martin Dosh’s Country Day preschool teacher. Nice. We chat. I notice that Andrew Bird fans are very homogeneous. I feel like I should cover my tattoos. My date is gone for a long time.

I finally see him run up the stairs—in a full sweat. He tells me that he ran down the block and back to get cash. Literally ran.  We head back down to the bar.  By this time, the line for the bar is ridiculous and the show is starting again, so we give up. He smells even worse now, like wet Cornflakes and batteries. Gross. And, his eyes look a little more glazed over. I think he probably just popped into the Saloon to score. I know that he was just trying to be nice with this gesture, but really, calm down a little.

Midway through the second set I realize that if I want my free parking, I will have to sit through another drink with this dude. He is gleeful when he learns of this. We head to the bar—I order the happy hour cheap white wine. He hems and haws over the drink menu, and finally orders an appletini. (I know, it just keeps getting better.) The bartender looks at me like “What the Hell are You doing with this Douchbag?” I just shrug. He then knows I am just there for the parking voucher. The appletini, mixed with all the meds that this guy is on, makes him very drunk, very fast. He starts telling me all about how he has no friends, how his girlfriend dumped him and he needs to sell the engagement ring, how he doesn’t know what to do. Tears well up. He asks if I will buy him some fries, because eating makes him feel better. I agree, because I don’t want this guy to cry on me. He cries anyway. The fries come and he asks the bartender for a side of gravy through his tears. I order another glass of wine—and the bartender fills it to the top of the 10-ounce glass with a knowing look at me. Save me. Please. I am begging you.

For the first time ever, I use my Fake-a-Call app for my iPhone. Best app ever. “Oh No! My sister needs a ride from First Ave.! Can you find your way home?” He looks up with his teary eyes and gravy on his chin like—You Can’t Leave Me Here. I realize that his bag is in my car—so we pay the bill, rather, I pay the bill, and we leave. He begs me for a ride home, admitting that he doesn’t know how to take the bus. I figure that this guy would probably get killed waiting for the bus crying in downtown Minneapolis and covered in gravy, so I speed him home. I nearly push him out of the car—but he tries to kiss me anyway. No, no, no. Please go away. Let this be over.

He sends a text the next day. Really? After crying on a first date you’re going to text me to say you had a good time? Get real. I’m not sure that the free Andrew Bird ticket was worth it.  I did see A. Bird on the street corner after I got back downtown.  He was with HIS date.  I wonder if it went better than mine.

What did I learn from this?  Free is never really free. Next time I might know better.  (Who am I kidding?  I love adventures and probably would do it again. I might just have a better screening process next time.)


5 Responses to “The Dating Experiment, Part 3”

  1. Liz July 5, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    Wow. I remember after you had this date. I forgot how awful it sounded!

  2. Dylan July 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    These just keep getting better all the time. Of course you did very well describing the scenario, hehe.

  3. Lee October 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Sorry for the terrible date, but it makes for an AWESOME story. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. kuan May 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    He’s reading this right now. You’ve just shattered his manhood.

  5. Nicky May 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Haha! I am glad this hasn’t happened yet to me because I would let him die crying at the bus stop! Fake A Call app? Downloading that RIGHT NOW.

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