Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

April 6, 2007

Taking One For The Team

It’s probably not a very good sign when you are on a date and all you find yourself thinking is, “I wonder who I can set him up with?” That’s pretty much the taste that my first date left in my mouth.

Nice enough guy. Decent looking, solid Midwesterner who was “taking one for the team” by going on a blind date the same night of the college basketball playoffs. A fact I didn’t realize until about 10 minutes into our meeting. Once that came to my attention I asked him sympathetically, “Why the heck are you here then?” He responded, “Taking one for the team, I guess.” Yeah, that made me feel great.

It’s not like I actually enjoy the awkward first-date conversation over a glass of wine with a virtual stranger either. Of course I would prefer a good championship game of just about any sport over that. So I offered to relocate our date to a nearby dive bar instead to watch the game and hang out. I was disappointed when he declined that offer. Perhaps it didn’t fit into his Midwestern values of what you do on a first date with a “girl.” Instead we would have to suffer through “the date” while he counted the minutes until he was released to go watch the game on his couch or with a few buddies.

So we chatted. Or more accurately, I lead the conversation – posed questions, responded to his answers to my questions, tried to make a joke and lighten things up. But I was quickly getting exhausted. I already knew there would be no date #2 so why was I trying to force this one to have at least the illusion of a good time? Screw it.

After about 45 minutes, my wine glass was empty and there wasn’t much left to say. We’d covered the jobs, the “what brought you to San Diego?”, the list of activities we like to do on the weekends, and whatever else managed to organically emerge (lots of talk about tennis). Less than an hour had ticked by and I decided to let us both off the hook.

“Why don’t I let you go watch your game then?”

I felt like a schoolteacher ringing the bell for recess. He perked up with an enthusiastic “OK” (the first flicker of sincere energy I got from him all night). We made a quick beeline for the door, through the growing crowd of friends, couples and successful daters. On the sidewalk there was an insincere mention of a future tennis game, followed by a hug, and I was turning my back for the short stroll home.

I took that walk home very slowly, savoring each step in the outdoors before I closed myself in for the night to ponder yet another failed date not worth mentioning to my mom. She tried to ask earlier that day, “So who is the guy you’re going out with tonight?” My response was a terse, “Does it matter? He will probably end up being someone we’ll both forget about by the end of the week.” She sighed, “You’re right.” And I was.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I won’t go into too much detail about the ones I actually do like. Such as the Jewish Dr. who I did go out with a second time and have not heard from again. He was probably too good to be true anyway. Man, that exit survey would come in handy right about now.

I know I'm sounding a tad bitter at the moment. I don't mean to, nor do I want to. I think I'm just a bit war weary and perhaps slightly shell shocked. That's why I've decided to take a short leave to rest up for my next tour of duty. I have been working on a few stories from past battles that should keep you folks entertained in the meantime. And you never know when or if I may get ambushed in the here and now.


1 comment:

Loverville said...

I just discovered your blog -- well done! Oh man, we are totally in the same boat.

LOVE the exit survey -- brilliant! I'm so tempted to send it to dates that don't work out, just for the hell of it!

Really... I just might do that! Will keep you posted.

I must admit -- I'm guilty of not responding to initial e-mails of guys I'm not interested in. BUT, if I have a date with a guy and I'm not interested (but sense that he is) -- I will ALWAYS send the "you're a great guy, BUT... " letter.

I'm still shocked by the number of guys I've done on a 2nd, even 3rd date with who drop off the face of the earth -- no explanation. Rude.