It’s a second date and it’s not going well.
Despite attempts to engage in conversation, My Date interrupts me, several times, to tell me how much he likes me and likes hearing the sound of my voice. Ironic. When he’s not doing that, he’s asking me questions that have already been asked and answered.
He calls me, baby. Then asks if that makes me uncomfortable. For the third time — twice on the phone, once in person — I say yes, it does. I take intentional terms of endearment seriously. They are earned and exchanged over time. We’re not there yet. He continues doing it as if to convince me we are something we are not. It’s the second date.
He makes declarative statements on what we will be doing together in the future. Is that excitement, perhaps hopeful expectation or an attempt to control? There’s a difference between, “I’d *like* to take you bowling” and “I’m *taking* you bowling.” I know. It’s subtle. But his passion does not overrule my agency and vice versa.
He says again, for the umpteenth time, that he would never stand between me and my artistic career. I am, again, perplexed. Such a thing has never occurred to me: that anyone, especially a man I just met, would have the audacity to think that this was even an option. And he said this as if he were offering me some significant concession that I should be honored and grateful to receive. It’s the second date.
As the conversation becomes more awkward he announces his belief that I am the woman who will be his wife.
I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I need to pee and figure out how to bring this ill-fated outing to a close and make a graceful exit.
When I get back to the table My Date is asleep. Knocked out cold. I try to wake him up to no avail. So, second date social etiquette question; Do you:
A. Assume he’s just had a very long day, sit back down and wait for him to wake up?
B. Wait for him to wake up and ask if he has narcolepsy?
C. Take this as your opportunity to leave and avoid the expectation of the end-of-date parting affection? Yes: The good night kiss versus the good night kiss-off.
I choose “C” but not before tipping out the waitress and bringing this to the attention of the owner. I learned earlier in the evening that he and My Date were friends and I think someone should be there when he wakes up, even if it’s not me. If I want someone to fall asleep on me, I can stay home with My Cat. That’s his wheelhouse.
The shame of it is I actually liked this guy. He made a good first impression. I wanted to get to know him better. And the good news is, I did; and by the second date.
Leighann Lord is a veteran stand-up comedian, author, and podcaster.