Shakespeare would be disappointed
I’m actually laughing typing this sentence because this date makes me cringe THAT MUCH. You ever been on a date and wondered how on earth you managed to get yourself in that situation? (If so, send me that story, I wanna laugh at you with you.)
So, I met this guy on some app, who knows which one at this point honestly.
He’s a teacher, and it made me a little reluctant because I’m not the biggest kid person, and he obviously likes kids enough to want to work with them.
But this year I told myself I would say yes to more situations that I would normally say no to. So if I don’t get kidnapped in 2018 someone high five me.
Anyway, I matched this guy, and we started talking.
What I actually loved/the only thing I ended up loving about this guy is that he was less talk, more action. As in, we didn’t sit there and ask each other our favorite colors and what made us like tacos more than burritos before planning to see one another.
He told me when he wanted to see me, what time and where. The text literally read:
Friday, 7:30 at Alpin.
First of all, fucking thank you for having the fucking balls to do this. Guys don’t understand how attractive this is. I swear pleasing women is so simple, but I digress.
I was already pumped that he did that PLUS he suggested one of my favorite restaurants in town, so I was down.
I instantly thought to myself, “Wow, Paula do you see what happens when you go for older guys who know what they want?”
Shakespeare Jr. (Please keep reading to find out the horrible way he got the name.) was 31, had a job and didn’t seem like a serial killer. That’s already better than half the guys on Tinder.
Besides, later that evening was a coworker’s surprise party so if I really needed to rescue myself from a bad date, I could just tell him I had to go.
He asked if I wanted a ride, and I said no. Although I appreciate a good gentleman, I’ve been on enough dates to know what it’s like to be stuck with someone and absolutely hate it. How’s that for a foreshadow?
As I walk over, I was pretty excited to meet Shakespeare Jr. I never really get nervous for dates anymore, which is cool, so I was ready to just enjoy the evening.
I get to the location. He was tall and handsome.
He pulled out my chair for me and was an absolute gentleman.
We chat for a bit before our waitress shows up.
She mentions it was her very first day and we were her very first table, so she was still familiarizing herself with everything.
He starts looking at the wine list.
Let me tell you, there are few things I love more than wine.
I know wine.
I love wine.
I basically am wine.
But I also know how annoying it is to talk about wine like it’s your job and one and only love. It’s unnecessary. We get it, I drink wine.
So anyway, he starts going through the list and discussing wine like it was fine art in the Louvre. I kind of just sat there until he stopped and tried to make him take it down a notch. I figured he was just doing it to impress me.
“I think I’m going to order white wine tonight,” I said, thinking it was a normal thing to say.
He looked at me like I said I killed a baby seal for sport yesterday, and my shirt was made from its skin.
“I don’t like white,” he said with a hint of judgement. “I’m much more of a red guy. In fact, when I went to *Insert exotic location that I wasn’t listening to here* I drank…”
He then proceeded to tell me he’s been to over 70 countries.
It could’ve been so cool. I love traveling, and I live for hearing about everyone’s experiences. But with him every time I tried to relate, ask questions or make any comment, it felt like a weird pissing contest that I didn’t really want to be a part of?
The waitress finally interrupts us thank God to get our food order.
He asked if I wanted a cheese plate. Wine and cheese? That’s what 40 percent of my body is made up of, so yes.
It could’ve been so simple.
He starts describing this cheese plate he had a few months ago, asking the waitress 21 questions about the soft cheese, paired with some specific meat on a plate with walnuts, etc.
She looked at him obviously confused and trying to help while reminding him that we were her first table ever at this restaurant sooooooooooooo she obviously didn’t know what he was describing.
You’d think it would end there.
He kept going.
Describing this fucking cheese plate.
I’ve never resented a cheese plate more in my life. And I love cheese plates.
It got so uncomfortable as I looked at her with apologies in my eyes.
She finally said she’d get the owner or a different waiter to get his order right. I wanted to evaporate and disappear forever.
He turns to me with a smile and said (I will never forget this), “I’m basically illiterate when it comes to reading menus. I like to talk with the waiter to come up with the perfect combination of foods to match exactly my taste.”
While he sat there discussing the “perfect combination of soft cheeses” I could’ve eaten 17 tacos, but OK.
A waiter finally comes, and I hear a description of this mysterious cheese plate for the 18th time.
This is when my hero came to the rescue.
The waiter said (AND I QUOTE), “Well if you turn to page five, you’ll see the cheese plates we offer.”
And stood there staring at Shakespeare Jr.
And continued staring. Without blinking. It was poetic. Like a scene from The Office.
Long story short, he ordered a fucking cheese plate from the menu.
We talk more.
Wait. Scratch that.
He talks more as I get interrupted the entire time.
And our cheese plate arrives.
I’m pretty sure I just hated him at this point but every time he picked up a pickle to eat, I thought about my escape routes.
Do I ask a friend to call crying?
Do I get up and leave?
Do you think they’d let me take this wine to-go?
What about the cheese plate?
Taco Bell is down the road.
I finished my wine in 37 seconds, and the waitress asked if I wanted another glass. In any other situation I would’ve said absolutely. But, I glanced at his glass and thought to myself, ‘If I order another that could potentially mean he’d order another, and that means I’d be here longer.”
So I stayed sober on this awful date with this fucking cheese plate.
Finally the end of our date was nearing. And this is where his nickname was born.
As I found myself thanking God for this date being nearly done, he asked me what kind of writing I liked.
WOW A QUESTION ABOUT ME? NOT YOU? WOW.
I said I liked storytelling, where I can take a reader through the beginning, middle and end of a story and make it seem like they’re living it with me.
He then asked if I liked poetry.
I didn’t try to be polite as I said no.
He again looked at me like I murdered that seal and its mom at this point. Maybe even its baby seal brother too.
“You don’t like poetry?!?!?!?!?!”
And this is when my biggest fear came to life.
“Close your eyes.”
I sat there, stunned.
He reached his hands out and told me to close them again.
I uncomfortably and hesitantly closed them, hoping it would all end soon.
Once they were shut he said, “Don’t worry, I won’t touch you inappropriately.”
Ok. Cool. Now I’m peak-level uncomfortable.
He then proceeds to set the scene for this battle that took place in the Civil War. After literally five minutes of this, I thought we were done.
That’s when he whips out his inner Shakespeare and recites the world’s longest poem from some guy who had some part in the war.
It felt like it would never end.
I kept wondering if I’d ever have the balls to show up to my favorite restaurant ever again after this much secondhand embarrassment.
As I contemplated falling asleep, he told me to open my eyes.
He then said, “Now how do you feel about poetry?”
I almost died laughing. He actually thought that ALL of that would make me love poetry? The only thing I loved is that he actually kept his promise and didn’t touch me inappropriately.
After much internal pain, the date ended.
He walked me to my car after I asked him not to like three times. And shook my hand. (???) Better than a kiss so I’ll take it.
I sat in my car and took a nice deep breath. I survived one of the worst dates I have ever been on.
I think it’s safe to say I didn’t meet up with him ever again, although he did try.
Best part is that I returned to that restaurant almost a month later and had the same waitress. She remembered me, and I quickly apologized for his terrible behavior. She laughed and told me not to worry. She said she could tell I was embarrassed the whole time.
So how did I recover from all of this?
Well, I had to take a mini break from cheese plates. Every time I hear soft cheese my mind goes back to the hour-long debate about the perfect combination.
Now I’m just patiently waiting to awkwardly run into him again.
If you love me, pray for me.
The Girl with a Heart on Her Middle Finger