This is what NOT to do on a date. One of the worst dates that I ever had went as follows:
I parked my car at one of the MARTA stations here in Atlanta and headed up the escalator for the train headed downtown. For those of you outside of Georgia and not familiar with MARTA, it’s the main transit system here (bus & train). I hate driving into downtown, so I sometimes park and ride. Anyway, as I headed towards the escalator, my eyes met the gaze of a tall, very good looking young man who smiled at me. Well, I smiled right back at him and kept moving up the escalator. By the time I’d gotten to the top, I heard someone saying, “Excuse me miss, excuse me.” I turned around and I saw him running up the escalator behind me. Wow, ok, I thought, is he stalking me or what? But I can’t lie, his smile was incredible and besides, I had already spotted a MARTA police officer nearby – just in case! We talked, smiled and flirted with each other for about 30 minutes – no joke! I missed about 2 or maybe 3 trains. He told me that he was waiting for a buddy to pick him up because his car wasn’t working. Ok, I thought, so he doesn’t have a car right now – stuff happens! I’ve been without my car in the past for a period of time, too. No red flags…yet. He explained that he’d just left the gym and apologized about his sweaty clothes – he was dressed in a t-shirt and sweat pants and carried a back pack – understandable – still no red flags.
Finally I told him that I had to leave, but not before we exchanged phone numbers after he asked if we could see each other over coffee. He lived in my area and there was a Starbucks near us that we could meet at. So I agreed. I mean why wouldn’t I? He was not only handsome and single, he was articulate and seemed very educated. We’d just spent a half hour talking and it wasn’t hard to assess that from him. Later that evening he called me to confirm our coffee date for the next afternoon. He told me what time he got off from work and we agreed on a time. The red flags were about to start flapping in the winds, but I wouldn’t see them until the next day.
I arrived at Starbucks – dressed casually sexy – (ladies, you know how we do, right? – not “obviously” dressed up, but dressed up, nonetheless). I wore my best fitting jeans and a sexy, but not “obviously” sexy top and slipped into a pair to cute gold summer sandals. I put on a few spritzes of my favorite summer daytime perfume and rocked my fabulous fuchsia lipstick – I was ready!
I arrived at Starbucks and pulled into the parking lot. I saw him immediately waiting nearby. Looking back now, I should have put my car in reverse, backed out and punched the gas! But I admit that my masochistic need for an explanation overtook my sensibilities. He had some ‘splainin’ to do! He smiled broadly when he saw me pull up, but I barely returned the smile. Red Flag number one had just arrived. This brotha was wearing the exact same gym clothes that he’d worn the day before! Was he serious? He’d told me that he was going home after work to change and then meet me. He never said a thing about going to the gym. Did he change back into his gym clothes for our date?
Reluctantly, I got out of my car and managed a smile as I walked towards him. He gave me a hug and that is when I smelled red flag number two – he MUST have been at the gym because he smelled like a musty pair of socks! Are you kidding me? Here I was wearing my Victoria’s Secret Heavenly – the perfume, not the mist – and he was transferring his stale funky odor onto me – I don’t think so! I quickly backed out of that embrace and asked him if he’d been to the gym. He smiled and said no. He missed the clue. He said he’d just left home…**Blank Stare**. I didn’t respond. Instead I asked if he was ready to go inside. My disposition was quickly changing and I had a sinking feeling inside that this was not going to end well. As we headed towards the door, he walked a bit ahead of me. Naturally, I thought that he was going to open the door for me. Red flag number three had just shown up with bells on. Instead of holding the door open for me, he opened the door, went inside and held the door open for me by kicking his foot behind him so that I could come in! What the hell!? I was dumbfounded. But even before I could respond to his rude, unacceptable behavior, red flag number four was on the scene, or should I say on his pants.
Since he was rude enough to walk inside in front of me and hold the door with his foot, I was able to get a look at the back of him. What I saw next was nothing short of, well, let me describe it. He had a huge white faded spot on the back of his sweat pants, right in the center of his ass and a big hole at the bottom of his t-shirt. On the lower half of his right pant leg was what appeared to be several greasy oily stains. Although these were the same clothes he’d had on the day before, I never noticed these things because I never saw the back of him. Not even after I walked away to catch my train because when I looked back to see him, he was still standing there looking at me!
Okay, I was certain that this situation was going to end badly – for him – and it did. But not before red flag number five landed at the coffee counter. I had long made up my mind that I was going to have the quickest cup of coffee on record and get the hell out of there. I had already decided that he’d never see me again. So, I remained silent – for now – as we approached the counter to order our coffees. He was jabbering on about God knows what. I wasn’t listening because mentally I had already left the building. The cashier asked what we were having and I quickly gave him my order. My so called “date” took a moment longer and then finally ordered. The cashier rang up the order and the total was somewhere in the area of $12.00 for just the two coffees – it’s Starbucks! Then it happened. After the cashier rang us up, he looked towards my “date,” who was standing right behind me now. I stood there looking at the cashier for a moment. When I didn’t sense any sort of movement from behind me, I turned and looked up at my “date” expectantly. Where’s the money? He looked down at me, smiled and asked, “Oh, you want me to pay for this?” **Blank Loooonnnng Stare** Well I guess that must have jolted him because he pulled out his wallet and handed the cashier his card. I never said a word. I stood there looking at him as he asked me, “What’s wrong?”
amusement and disbelief had settled in and my sense of humor had arrived on the scene to save me from punching him in the nose. He looked confused. “What’s so funny?” he asked. “You are,” I said. And I calmly began to tick off the red flags to him, one by one. He sat there looking at me, and now it was his turn to be silent because he never said a word. I asked him why he was wearing the exact same clothing from the day before, why were they soiled and faded? Didn’t he know that he was supposed to open and hold the door for me and allow me to in FIRST? Where were his manners? I told him that surely he had to be kidding when he asked me if I expected him to pay the measly $12.00 for the coffee.
And finally, with no sign of remorse or embarrassment, he calmly told asked me why I was “tripping” on the fact that he didn’t open the door for me. “What’s the big deal?” he asked. He then explained that he wore the same clothes because, other than his work uniform, they were all he had clean at the time (did he say they were clean???). He said that he didn’t have much money because he was sleeping in the corner of his cousin’s living room floor because he was homeless. He then told me that he approached me because I pretty and tall and I smiled back at him. He then said – and this is where I thought I was going to punch his lights out. He had the audacity to tell me that he’s looking for a woman who looks like me and who might be lonely and need a good lover. He then leaned in with a big smile and said, “I’m great in bed and I do everything…I mean EVERYTHING. You won’t be sorry.”
No, I didn’t punch him out for wasting my time or for his rudeness. No, I didn’t even throw the coffee on him for being insulting and disrespectful towards me. Instead, I sat there speechless for a minutes while my brain processed what he’d just told me. And then, I calmly went into my purse, pulled out a $5.00 bill and slid it across the table. I stood up, took my coffee and told him that he had the wrong chick and to go to hell and to lose my number on the way there. And I left with my coffee, that I paid for, and got into my car and drove off. This time, I never looked back.
Moral of this date from hell: Don’t overestimate someone just because he’s articulate and seemingly educated – neither of those things guarantee that a person will have scruples, common sense or basic home training, i.e. manners. He was not only arrogant and unapologetic, this was a homeless hustler, a curbside Casanova, a parking lot pimp, looking for his next warm place to lay his head, both of them. Did the fact that I smiled back at him make me look desperate or needy?! Well you know what? If so, then too bad and so be it because I smile a lot, because that’s just who I am.
The homeless part was unfortunate and I did not judge him on that. (I worked for many years with the homeless community, so I know better.) However, he had no class and no manners – that was the biggest turn off of all. I laughed all the way home. Thank you, God, for giving me a sense of humor!
Photos: Courtesy of Stock Photos