Story Time: Getting Dined and Dashed On

To me dating is exhausting, cumbersome, and sometimes humiliating. Since I’ve moved to Denver, though, I can chock just about every single experience I’ve had with the opposite sex to a fail. It’s like men have no idea how to be gentlemen anymore and women have no idea how to make them wait until the 4th or 5th date before they’re on the hunt for what I like to call, ‘the buried treasure’.

We’ve become a society consumed by sex, sexuality, and how little time it takes you to get naked with your date before you’ve made anything official. A society I, quite frankly, don’t fit into very well. I’m traditional in most senses. I don’t believe in sleeping with him on the first date or, really, even inviting him up to my place on the first date. Especially if it’s the first encounter we’ve had.

I guess for some it really depends. Depends on how long you’ve known them (maybe you’ve been friends for a year and now you’re trying the dating thing – by those standards it would be probably okay to sleep with him/her on the first date). That’s never how it works for me, though. When a guy works himself into being my friend, oftentimes I won’t color outside of the lines of that friendship. Mostly because I just think it would be weird if it turned into more or because I don’t see them that way.

With that being said, though, it means I’ve been on my fair share of first dates (and usually only first dates). In the nearly two years in Denver, one of the best worst stories I have is about this guy who left me stranded at a restaurant to pay a $90+ bill and then pay for a $40 Lyft ride home because he picked me up. And he’s the one who drank about a twelve pack of beer while we were there all night.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened to anyone I know. I’m not sure anyone I know has ever even been stood up for a date let alone been left at the restaurant their date took them to. When I tell this story, though, I always feel kind of bad about myself. What are people thinking when I tell them this story? I can’t really tell you but I can tell you what they say to me most times:

“Are you serious? People do that?”

Yes. Yes they do. That’s the common reaction next to: “What an a**hole.”

You’re not wrong there, either.

Almost two years ago I thought I’d give this guy a chance. I met him at the library. He seemed really nice, normal, and collected. Seemed to have his life together. He was in his thirties. I did notice, however, before going on this date that he had a tan line on his left ring finger. While I didn’t think much of it to begin with, some of the things he’d say to me in the days before the date didn’t equate.

“Yeah I’m just in the toy section at Target looking for a gift for my niece.”
“No you can’t come over my roommates don’t like it when I have company over.”
“Oh we just picked up so new clothes for my niece.”

It was so weird and to most people those things don’t seem weird. But it was just the way he would talk about certain things and I’d think to myself, “This isn’t how I’m used to guys acting something weird is going on.”

About two weeks later we went on our date. He picked me up, we got to the restaurant and things seemed to be going rather smoothly. About twenty minutes in, I couldn’t help but to inquire about the tan line on his left ring finger. To my not surprised self he avoided the question. We got through appetizers, drinks, and even most of the meal before he got up from the table.

About twenty minutes go by and the waitress brings the check to the table and I think to myself, “Okay maybe he just got sick in the bathroom.” Looking at the $95.05 check (without a tip yet), I panicked. I didn’t want my anxiety to show in public so I politely (and quietly) sipped the remaining beer (now warm) in my pint glass, gave the waitress my credit card, and paid for the meal. I gave her a really good tip ($25) even though I couldn’t even afford the meal itself.

Mind you all of this was after I’d tried texting him and calling him only to find that he’d shut his phone off or blocked me right after walking out of the restaurant. The sad thing was, we were sitting outside and I was facing the door. I could have very easily spotted him walking away/out and toward the parking garage and wasn’t even paying attention.

The Lyft was about $50 now that I recall and I was appalled to pay the bill and leave a tip by the time I got home but pay it and leave a tip I did. Just because someone had shiftily left me somewhere didn’t mean that those around me had to suffer for it. It’s not okay to do that and I couldn’t very well tell a sob story to try and get out of paying for the Lyft or the dining bill. So I didn’t. I did what any other respectable (and responsible) human being would do. Life isn’t fair. The world doesn’t care. Society doesn’t owe you anything.

By the end of the night I think I’d cried all the tears I could. I kept thinking there was something wrong with me or a giant ‘screw me over’ sticker in the middle of my forehead. Even almost two years later I don’t see how someone can do that to another person. Even if he’d waited and paid and said, “This was nice but I’m married with a kid,” I probably would have been thrown off but I definitely would have handled it better than getting dined and dashed on.


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