Let me preface this by saying that I had high expectations. Mistake number one. Instead of the usual, low investment meet-for-a-beer-on-a-Tuesday-night, the guy invited me to fancy brunch for our first date. I definitely freaked out a little, and asked at least five friends if a brunch date – in full daylight! – was weird or not. They all encouraged me to shut up about it and just let the guy take me for a nice meal.
At the table to my left was a girl I went to college with and her boyfriend, who works with my ex-boyfriend. That slight connection to my ex was enough to panic me (what if they talked?). To my right was a guy who is close with this other guy that my friend once tried to set me up with. He wasn’t interested in me and said so.
Out of respect to the faint possibility that my date could be waiting at a different restaurant or lost, I texted him. I also texted a friend, asking him to come rescue me. Then I hid behind the unread copy of Ethan Frome I keep in my purse because it’s small and tried really hard to not just stare at the open pages. Don’t worry, everyone in this restaurant wondering where my date is! I just really love literature! I show up to meals with friends a half hour early just so I have time to read!
I got a text from my friend, saying he would get dressed and head over immediately. (I repeat: friends are the best. When he arrived 45 minutes after I had occupied the table, I only looked like a 70% loser instead of a complete loser.) I also got a text from my no-show date, freaking out because his alarm hadn’t gone off. “Omggg!!” “I feel like such an a-hole. I was really looking forward to this, I hope you don’t think I just blew it off.” Then, “Will you give me a chance to make it up to you, or did I totally blow it?”
Him: “You have no idea how terrible I feel. I was super stoked, and I fucked up big time.”
Me: “How stoked?”
Him: “Like, I called my mom and told her I had a day date with a beautiful girl type of stoked.”
Red alert: playing the mom card. Okay, that compliment did sort of work on me. Now, I’ve developed a getting-ditched back up plan that involves having a friend call and pretend she has a medical emergency next time I’m stood up. I told the no-show that I’d have to think about things. What should I do? Try again? Or abandon ship?
Nikki Metzgar is a writer from Texas. She thinks the best first dates don’t include sit down dinners, but can’t help but be impressed by flowers. @nikkimetz