How to Make Sure That It’s a Good Date

Usually I’m used to just having slurry conversations with boys in bars that eventually lead to some kind of supine bedroom pseudo fornication, which is the most common way that I get my fuck, so finding myself sitting on one side of this table, with its white tablecloth and carefully laid out silverware and the wine glass full of respectable wine (what the fuck is a malbec??) and this – this, well, he’s not a boy, I guess he’s a man. He’s a man who had the decency to go through the rigmarole of asking me what my name is, remembering my name, having several pleasant conversations with me, asking me for my phone number, texting me a few days later and making plans to hang out with me. He pulled one of those, “I know this great little spot in [some microneighborhood] that serves [some kind of] food [in a fine dining setting], and I’d love to take you there” lines, which, I’ll be honest, it had been a while since someone talked to me like I was a decent human being worthy of spending money on (because even the shitheads at the bar were hardpressed to buy me a drink. Like, come guys, it’s $5. You don’t have $5? And you’re still trying to smash? Shame on you.).

So I sat there, watching him slowly masticate his cut up little pieces of pork tenderloin on a bed of red cabbage, potatoes and grilled onions, the way he artfully skewered a piece of meet while considerately pushing a little bit of onions and cabbage onto the fork with his knife. I, on the other hand, fiddled nervously with my bowl full of pasta, and as I struggled to shove it into my mouth – well, I thought, maybe I could just go full gutteratti on this one, throw the fork on the floor and start scooping handfuls of spaghetti in cream sauce into my mouth. I feel that would be an appropriate way to sabotage this date, and also wouldn’t that be funny when I run screaming back to Ruby Room or Night Light to tell my friends of about how severely I trainwrecked the date?

But, no, I don’t really want to trainwreck this date. Cuz look at him – with his hair neatly combed, a clean shirt that he probably didn’t find in some lost and found box. I bet he bought that shirt, and not even at a Goodwill, maybe at Mercy Vintage or even – gasp – he bought it new. Because against all odds, here I am, sitting at table with a guy who has a job. A job. A real fucking job, one that isn’t him standing listlessly behind an espresso machine while glaring at bright eyed morning cappuccino drinkers. A job he likes, and one that allows him to pay for things like a premium cable package. 

I’m supposed to want to want him. He is a glistening package full of little surprises like “I’m not fucking anybody else, are you?” Or, I mean, “sleeping with” not “fucking,” he doesn’t talk like that. He’s the type of guy that has the word “future” sitting on the back of his tongue, ready to come out at any second because that’s what he’s thinking about: the future. As we’re sitting here, still on a first helping of “getting to know you,” and I can already see it in his eyes, this weird Instagram filter of how he sees this date: through the future. And am I in the future for him? 

We’ll see, as I order another glass of wine, some dessert, and overly satiated I watch with glee as he unflinchingly puts his credit card down. YES. 

Which is why I gracefully excuse myself from the dinner table and hobble my too-full stomach into the bathroom, where I ravenously grab my phone out of my purse, check my text messages (two from my best friend checking in on the date status, another from some random person asking where the party is), look at Twitter, and with a sadistic form of glee I go to my contacts, I find his name, and surreptitiously huddled in the back stall I call him.

“What’s up?” he drones through what is most likely a cloud of marijuana smoke and half empty forties.

“Not much. What’s up with you? What’re you doing tonight?”

“I don’t know. Nothing. Night Light. Merchant’s. Why? What about you? You trying to meet up?”

“Yeah, wanna meet me at Night Light later?”

“Yeah, sounds good.”

“Cool, I’ll text you when I get there.”

“For sure. I’ll be over there in like an hour, I’ll see you then.”

No goodbyes, just hang up.

I clamor for the lipstick in my bag, reapply it and find my way back to the table with a new sort of glow. My date smiles at me with what I assume is some sort of lovingness in his eyes, and I smile back with the same sort of lovingness in my eyes, except that the lovingness isn’t for him, it’s for the scum bag douche bag piece of shit stoner dude I just phoned, who I know has a nice dick, and will fuck me just right as soon as I shake this guy off my trail. I convince my date to drop me off at home because of some excuse like work in the morning, and we demurely make out in the car for a bit before making intense eye contact and vaguely promising to hang out again. Wait in my house for twenty minutes before I hop on my bike, go Downtown, and find him and fuck him and feel no regret whatsoever.