The Drop Off:
Awkward Item #3 –
Getting out of the car. I’ve gotten it down to this kind of science:
If he –
– Pulls over into a park spot, you continue the conversation until a natural lull, ignoring all the Touro students returning from their late-night classes.
– Pulls over to the side of the street so that cars can get past, you gradually bring the conversation to a conclusion and get out.
– Pulls over but only barely enough for cars to squeak past (or not at all), finish up immediately and leave.
I think I once insulted a guy by hopping out of the car almost as soon as he pulled up, when we were just getting into our first DMC. I think he failed to realize that he’d pulled halfway into the driveway, which left us essentially sitting on the sidewalk, while the late evening Canine Patrol sniffed around our tires and their owners looked on with bored indifference.
You can hold open all the doors you want, but we can tell the difference between training and true sensibility by where you choose to stop your car.
Of course, I thank him for the evening, add that I enjoyed it if I did, and don’t if I didn’t.
Awkward Item #4 –
Walk from the car.
Stay, stay, stay in the car. I mean, seriously. Why wouldn’t you? We’re not holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. We’re not kissing. We’re not even so obsessed with each other that we want to linger every last second possible – we’ve only been on a two-hour blind date! So why, why, why are you getting out of the car?
At which point am I supposed to turn to you for a final goodbye? Halfway up the walk? On the porch? I don’t know, so I’m going to overshoot you and then glance back at you lingering toward the street looking forlorn and then toss an awkward “Well, good night” across the void and wonder if I should watch you walk to the car or you’re going to watch me walk to the door…
Every time a guy has tried to pull this one off it has wound up being graceless and uncomfortable. I wish they wouldn’t try.
I’ve also been asked if want to be escorted to the door. My answer is always an emphatic “No,” which, come to think of it, can come across as unfriendly. So don’t ask. Just stay in your car please.
I always say yes to a second date unless there was something obviously objectionable. I’ve said enough dumb things myself that I know not to judge someone based on what I think they meant without verifying that they meant it.