Yesterday I did some blog jumping. And I found this blog and some entries about dating services. And that reminded me of when I first moved to the Bay Area in 2005. My best friend was working at a dating service and I was all alone in Palo Alto. So, naturally, she sent me out on dates – mostly when she couldn’t find anyone else. Some were pleasant, some were bearable, and some were just down right awkward.
Like the time the date showed up to the same restaurant in a different town and it looked like I got stood up.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The first date was shortly after I moved to Palo Alto. We met at Spago’s, which was walking distance from my apartment. The first date (if it can be called that) is just drinks so that if things are awkward there’s no staying for dinner.
I had fancied myself up a bit. Nothing over the top, but I was wearing heels and a nice top and nice jeans. He showed up in baggy jeans, sneakers and a warm up jacket. He was a teacher who did something in finance on the side. Or something along those lines. As we settled down with our wines we told our stories on how we ended up at the dating service. Mine was a little embellished in parts since I didn’t pay to go on the dates, but still grounded in truth: my best friend worked for one of the offices and convinced me to join the one near my home. His reason for joining? He got drunk and hit on one of the employees. She had a boyfriend but sold him on joining the dating service.
A great start, wouldn’t you say? Right after that he told me that he never pays for a first date and became clear why he had to pay a datign service to get dates.
After our wine was finished we grabbed a slice of pizza. At which point he started discussing this financial thing he did. They were having some sort of deal where you get a free cruise if you refinance your home. So, naturally, he asked me if my parents needed to do that. My parents. Who live in Idaho. He really wanted to get them on that cruise.
After pizza he offered to drive me home and I accepted because dame these heels were hurting. As he pulled up to my apartment we exchanged our pleasantries.
“It was nice meeting you,” I said as I unbuckled my seat belt.
“Yeah, it was nice meeting you too.”
“Have a nice evening.”
“You too.” Pause. “You know, I could stay the night if you wanted me to.”
Excuse me? Did he really just ask to come up stairs and spend the night with me? Yes, he absolutely did.
“I think I’ll pass,” I told him. And quickly got out of the car.
Unfortunately earlier in the night we had exchanged numbers because we were both running a race and, let’s face it, I could use some friends. I was really regretting that I’d done that and for the next three or four months I would ignore phone calls and text messages.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t really the worst dating I experienced in my first four months there.