M: The awkward third wheel

Context: I only talked with “Clueless” for a hot second on Tinder and he was the male version of a basic bitch (… a basic bastard?) i.e. likes to drink and play soccer with his roommates like every other fucking 22-year-old college grad in the DMV area. He was insistent that Happy Hour was God’s gift to man (eh, it might be) and INSISTED we go together. Despite his insistence, he didn’t seem to understand how these things work, and assumed that every bar has happy hour every day. Do you even happy hour, bro? With the glorious exception of La Tasca (happy hour 4-7 PM EVERY DAY, #merica -oh wait it’s Spanish), this is not the case. Once that point was settled it was quickly decided that we would meet on Saturday at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (because he was part Irish -you and every other white person in America dude). We didn’t choose a time, mostly because he didn’t ask, and I didn’t care.

Seriously, why I went on this date in the first place is beyond me?!? I suppose I took pity on this poor, basic, naïve 22-year-old, plus he was cute… at least, in his pictures… which on second thought were all from kind of far away. I need to hone my swiping game a bit more, or at least revisit that magical “unmatch” button.

I was out to boozy brunch with the girls when I got the confirmation text about our meeting time. He proposed meeting at 5 because that’s when happy hour starts and he has never heard the expression “fashionably late,” or maybe he came from a large family where food and booze is in short supply and you need to hop on it FAST. Wow, I just had flashbacks to trying to get a beer at my first frat party. I digress.

Boozy brunch was more realistically boozy really-late-lunch on this particular Saturday. I didn’t anticipate getting back to Clarendon until around 3:30 … okay 4; if the bartender was going to keep serving us even though our 2 hours were well over I wasn’t going anywhere. The ‘M’ in my name actually stands for mimosas (little known fact!). I needed a quick nap first so I proposed we meet at 7. He suggested that we compromise and go with 5:30. I suggested he didn’t know what compromising meant, but I assumed that he would buy me food, so I caved.

So 5:30 rolls around and J pokes her head into my room.
J: “Uhhh M aren’t you supposed to be on your date right now?”
M: “Uuuuugh”  (The only appropriate response after 3.5 hours of day drinking)

I rolled out of my amazingly comfortable bed, wiped the smeared mascara from under my eyes, and ran out the door. I’m really pulling all the stops out for this one. A trusted friend once told me if you’re not excited or nervous about going on a date you probably shouldn’t be going. I was neither, but FREE FOOD*. Seriously, though I had to prepare for the impending hangover of day drinking death.
*In a perfect world.

Luckily everything in Clarendon is really close together, so I wasn’t too late. The place was fairly empty (always a great sign!!!) and I didn’t see anyone seated alone waiting for a date, just four people at the bar with their backs to the door. I grabbed a high-top positioned strategically between the bar and the door so that I could spot him when he walked in. I blasted off my cordial “I’m here, strange man” text and sat there waiting for about 10 minutes (which is a reeeally long time to be fake reading something on your phone). Clueless finally checked his phone and realized I was right behind him. Turns out he was already at the bar talking to two young women who looked extremely relieved when he excused himself to join me at the high-top. They gave me a thumbs down and a “RUN” sign but I mentioned mimosas, right? I was not at peak reaction speed. Also, remember how I mentioned all of his pictures were from sort of far away? Yep. Dude did that on purpose.

The waiter, who had flat out ignored me while I sat waiting, now booked it over to the table like an Olympic power-walker (do they have those?) to hand us menus. He made 13 seconds of awkward conversation and then demanded our orders. Dude what!? You JUST handed us the menus. I ordered a cider because Clueless already had a drink in hand and told the waiter I needed more time. As the waiter walked away, Clueless informed me that he already knew what he wanted, some “good ol’ Irish corned beef, just like Mama used to make!” Issue: no corned beef on the menu. Oh no. Clueless was irate, off on a tangent about how a real Irish pub would have his CORNED BEEF. I tuned him out and scrutinized the menu, seeking something to assuage my budding hangover. The Irish aren’t exactly known for their food. I’m half Irish, and the most Irish thing I’ve ever had is maybe mashed potatoes and of course Guinness. Finally, I pointed out to Clueless that there was indeed corned beef on the menu under the section blatantly labeled “Irish Fare.”

I had barely had time to read the menu due to Clueless’ incessant complaining, but fortunately the waiter wanted to hang out and chat up my date anyway. Finally, I decided on a club sandwich, but when I tried to place my order I noticed that the waiter was standing shoulder to shoulder with my date, hand on his arm, fully engaged in a deep and romantic discussion about corned beef (I honestly don’t know how we’re still on this topic. I am so sorry, readers). But, wait, did I miss something!?!? Did the waiter know something I didn’t? He was so obviously hitting on my date; who was… wait for it… Clueless. Thinking I was doing my date a huge favor I interjected with my order and the waiter gave me a smirking, grudging look before heading off to put the order in.

The remainder of the meal went on as follows: waiter hovering, Clueless unaware that the only person in the bar who had any interest in him was our male waiter. I was becoming a third wheel on my own date! Honestly, though, the waiter could have him. I’ve never eaten anything that quickly before in my life. This meal needed to be over.

FINALLY, we asked for the check. Without even asking the always-dreaded “together or separate” question, the waiter brings two checks. Maybe the waiter was still holding out hopes that my date was gay and we weren’t on a date? Or maybe I just hadn’t put enough effort into appearing engaged making the whole fiasco look even less like a date? (Probably the latter). Naturally, Clueless remained clueless and didn’t even offer to pick up my tab …. Didn’t you say somewhere in your life story that you were a software engineer living out in Ballston (read: $$$$$)? I just spent the past hour and a half being completely miserable and I’m going to have to pay for it. Whatever, I wanted out of there as quickly as possible, so I dropped my credit card down and waved the folio wildly to make sure the waiter KNEW that I actually wanted him to come over and interject this time.

I should’ve gone with my gut and stayed in bed. Well you win some and you lose some. Now, I just need Clueless to realize that he lost this one and stop texting me for a second date. Not. Going. To. Happen.

<3, M

Posted in M

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