How to Tell if a Guy Isn’t Interested

1 – He has a car that he used to drive himself to a rented house on the shore, but makes you take a bus to him for the date.

2 – He takes you out to a restaurant… for coffee

3 – Where he sits sideways in his chair, facing away from you

4 – Possibly because he’s too holy to look at women, but more likely because this way he’s facing the waitress in her skinny jeans.

5 – Provides only distracted, monosyllabic answers to whatever you say

6 – Even after you stop saying anything.

 

Based on a true story. 

Friday Repost: Gaffe Contest

The good stuff usually gets said as the evening wanes and the conversation gets stilted and the daters desperate. When they’ve stirred the ice in their glass too many times, when they’ve already casually glanced at all the paintings, when they’ve covered everyone’s siblings and summer camp history, then the brain turns to slush and the tongue slips.

~ The Bulwer-Lytton Dating Contest

Best Date Ever

Bad dates get all the fame. They’re the most fun to retell, and hamming them up is the best way to compensate for having experienced them. But good dates happen too. Even amazing dates. So today I’m going to focus on really good dates.

Obviously, the best dates are the ones where the company is joy. However, since “He was just an amazing guy” is not much to talk about (especially when he’s the one who got away), I’m going to focus on the more shallow features of a date.

In Search of

Urban scavenger hunt – fun! Also something I’d always wanted to try.  The experience was somewhat marred by the fact that I had to call it quits early for fear of losing my toes (it was cold out) and the fact that I kept finding the landmarks before him. (In one case: “Do you think it refers to the mosaic map that you’re standing on?” “Oh. Cool! How’d you see that?”) To his credit, he wasn’t the faintest bit perturbed by my scavenging skills (I shall forever respect him for that), and nor did he hesitate to head indoors when I conveyed the distress signal from my furthest digits.

Mistaken Identity

This might have qualified as a bad date if it had happened a few years earlier. But I got such a kick out of it that it makes the bottom of this list.

A very nice OOT gentleman, unfamiliar with local mating rituals, took me out to a Boro Park ice-cream store that shall remain nameless. The very friendly man behind the counter saw two single people of opposite gender visible, together, in public, and jumped to the logical conclusion.

“Mazal tov! When did you become engaged?”

“Um… We’re not…”

“Soon?”

“Well, actually…”

“Well, maybe soon anyway. Do you want to sample something?”

Meanwhile, in the front of the store, Good4’s friends watched, snickered, and texted her.

“I hear you had a good time on your date,” she greeted me when I got home.

Glorious Food

I’ve only been on two dates to high-end restaurants. The company was fine in one and offensive in another, but the presentation was always fantastic. When your food looks like a piece of elegant sculpture, and eating it becomes an exercise in artistic deconstruction, you can forget that the guy opposite you just corrected your grammar or checked his watch. You’re too busy trying to figure out if the green stick thingy is garnish or food or both, and if it’s not edible, how  can you move it out of your way without using your fingers?

When I came home from one of these dates, my father met me in the kitchen. “So, how was it?” he asked. “So beautifully turned out,” I gushed. “Elegant but thoughtful, well arranged, and delicious too!”

“Delicious?” his eyebrows quizzled. “Are we talking about the same thing here?”

“Oh, you want to know about the guy? I’m thrilled that I’ll never have to see him again. But the food! Wow!”

At Sea

On a small boat plowing its way through the waves. Wind in my hair. Dolphins leaping alongside us. Everything is wonderful when you have wind in your hair and dolphins nearby. Well, everything except your hair. I was truly horrified when I caught a glance in a mirror afterwards.

Sea Meets Sand

My favorite habitat is in bed under a down blanket surrounded by books and a laptop. But after that, I’d be happy in anything sufficiently wet. (Yes, sometimes I go splashing in rainstorms.)  So a date that includes wading in the surf searching for fossils was just up my creek. (Pun intended.)

Play a Little

It was late and dark. The weather was that invigorating Autumn crispiness that makes you want to run through fallen leaves and yellowing grassy hills for sheer joy of existence. Except there weren’t any, because we were in the urban jungle surrounded by monochromatic metal flora.

So instead we went to a playground and ran over the play structures, sliding down poles, slinging ourselves onto slides, and finally, panting, flinging ourselves into the swings, where we chatted for another hour until I couldn’t conceal my shivering any more.

 

Extreme Dating

Longest date I’ve been on – Also the hottest date. It was the summer. I wore a white trenchcoat over my clothes because I don’t like walking out all dressed up without a jacket. It was also on the assumption that we would get into a car and go someplace where we would sit in an air-conditioned atmosphere while sipping  iced drinks in perspiring glasses.

Instead, as we hit the sidewalk, he said, “So, where do we go?”

I offered him a few options: some local restaurants, a coffee shop, or a walk around the park. He said, “Sounds good. Which do you want to do?” Unwilling to stick my hands in his pockets when I’d only known him for 247 seconds, I suggested the walk. Of course, first we had to walk to the park, then around the lake, and then back, at which point I was hot, tired, irritated, and no longer reluctant to lighten his wallet. I marched us to the restaurant. We proceeded to converse about programming for another two hours.

When the shadchan called, she first apologized in advance and then asked me if I wanted to go out again. I always wonder when shadchanim do that. Does that mean they knew they set you up with a dud? Whose side are they on anyway?

Shortest date I’ve been on – It was probably a bad sign. He drove up to my door, checked the clock, and said, apologetically, “It was only an hour and 20 minutes, is that okay?” The best answer was probably not the one I gave: “Only an hour and 20 minutes? I didn’t notice.”

Most horrifying date I’ve been on – Watching my date beat a horse. Okay, it was a digital horse. We were at an arcade and there was a horse-racing game, and he projected that if using the crop a little bit improved the horse’s time a little bit, then using it a lot would improve the horse’s speed a lot… I watched in horror and squealing protest as he beat the living daylights out of our horse. He will forever remain in my mind as the animal abuser. Near miss, there.

Most boring date I’ve been on – a mini-golf center that thinks mini-golf means using a putter to gently tap a ball across a small green. No windmills, no bridges, no loop-de-loops, no fun. Conversation with the guy wasn’t scintillating either. We swapped dating stories the entire time. If you need to discuss other people’s bad dates to liven up your own, what does that say about things?

Funniest date I’ve been on –  I like to let the guy lead on dates. So when he suggested ice cream in Borough Park, I didn’t murmur a word of protest. The affable (and loud) guy behind the counter of Sprinkles wished us a hearty mazal tov upon our recent engagement, and when we explained that there hadn’t been one, he wished us an equally hearty mazal tov upon our impending engagement. We both waited to laugh until we were out the door, ice cream in hand. We spent the rest of the date running around the playground across the street. When I got home my sister said that she heard I’d had a good time – from her pack of friends hanging out at the ice cream store.

Whose Side Are You On Anyway?

Most of the time, a shadchan is particularly invested in one of the parties being set up. They’re not actually setting up pants and skirts. They’re setting up a skirt with their favorite nephew. Or a pair of pants with the neighbor’s aging daughter, lo aleinu.

This manifests especially in the follow-up to the date. The shadchan will call their principal party anxious to hear that it went well. If the principal party is less than enthusiastic, the shadchan won’t push. (S)he’ll apologize instead, and hasten to break the news to the auxiliary party. If the principal party is interested, on the other hand, the shadchan may press a reluctant auxiliary party to try again.

Sometimes, like when a friend sets you up with her cousin, you are not sure into which party you fall. Other times, like when your uncle picks out the best bochur in the yeshiva for you, it’s rather more obvious.

And sometimes you wonder.

Like when your sister-in-law’s brother meets a guy at sheva brachos who he thinks you’d enjoy meeting. You have no reason to assume he’d have anything but the best of intentions and a discriminating eye. After all, you’re best friends with his sister and a sibling of his favorite brother-in-law.

Until you find yourself on the most tedious date of your life with a guy who keeps jerking around to peer over his shoulder (just in case something exciting is about to take place? Does he have insider information?) in between talking with his mouth full about how much he earns.

Was he different at sheva brachos?

Or maybe… maybe his connection to the sister-in-law’s brother is actually closer than you think. Maybe the sister-in-law’s brother is trying to marry this guy off, and for that reason is setting him up with everyone in sight.

Of course, you would never converse with a member of the opposite gender when not dating, so you never have the opportunity to shout “What were you thinking?” at the sister-in-law’s brother. Instead, you politely tell your sister-in-law that you don’t think the guy is for you, but to thank her brother for the thought—it was very considerate and much appreciated.

Yeah, there are dates like that.

The ones that leave you mentally asking the shadchan: Whose side are you on anyway?

Overheard: BBM and Dating

“You know BlackBerry Messenger? They have these groups now. It totally rocks. You can message a whole group of people at one time. So instead of having to answer your sister and brother and mother and father and sister-in-law when they each ask how your date went, you can just message them all “TAKE ME HOME” from the bathroom and never have to discuss it again. It’s great.”