I wrote about my experience like I was writing a novel, just trying my hand at writing...let me know what you think. Keep in mind it's only a rough draft~
Friday after work I drove to the Starbuck’s on Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. I got there early, in fact I got there much quicker than I ever thought I would. I had reservations about meeting this guy; red flags had already popped up all over the place. I had even hoped he would send me a text that morning with some lame excuse of why he couldn’t make it that night, but he hadn’t. I had entertained the thought of bailing myself, but it was too late now. I felt I needed to go through with this; if only to prove to myself I could do this. It wasn’t easy getting back into the dating world after all these years. It had been over ten years since I had agreed to meet anyone and it was time to get back out there.
I parked my car on the side and walked around front. I knew he wasn’t there yet, it was only 5:20 and we weren’t to meet until 6:00. I decided to sit outside to begin with; there was a nice covered patio with small tables and metal chairs. Not the most comfortable chairs to sit in and I soon realized it wasn’t a good idea, the sun was still bearing down and I became very warm, very quickly. Being nervous didn’t help either. So I moved inside, and found an upholstered chair in the corner, keeping in mind of a quiet place to talk when Dave got there. I got settled in, and sent Dave a quick text that I had arrived and I’d see him soon. He shot a text back that he had just gotten on I-285 and would be there soon. Atlanta's traffic was a bear most days, but Fridays were usually the worst. Hopefully he would make decent time to get there.
I felt I had dressed appropriate for a first meeting for coffee. I wore a white cotton Ralph Lauren blouse, crisply starched and ironed, dressy skinny jeans and Rockport Swede loafers. I had finished off the outfit with gold, fish scale dangle earrings, and a gold Michael Kors link watch. I had taken extra time with my hair and makeup and felt I looked nice. I was careful not to over-dress but not to under-dress either. I tried to read the book I brought, but was too nervous to really focus and found myself people watching. There was one guy with his back to me, sitting on the other side of the bench that was facing me, working on his computer, his briefcase nearby. I wondered why anyone would try and work in such a noisy place. To my right there was a group of preppy college age guys that were meeting there to go out for maybe a bachelor party, I wasn’t sure. As soon as one guy arrived he began explaining how he needed to give his wife a quick call first, before they headed out. I had to smile to myself and wondered how the wife-at-home felt knowing her sweet, young husband was going out on the town with his buddies. Was he feeling guilty for going out without her, maybe they had, had a little spat over it and he was trying to smooth things over with her so he could enjoy his evening? Then there was apparently a college boy, reading/studying at the table. I sat mostly un-noticed. I wondered if I looked like the very obvious “nervous woman there to meet a guy for the first time”. I was still warm from sitting outside and the thought of drinking hot coffee didn’t remotely sound appealing. And the sweet, frozen drinks contained way too many calories for me.
It was around 5:50 when Dave came through the door…he walked in like he was familiar with the place, as he walked in he removed his sunglasses and quickly glanced around…he found me and threw up his hand and a quick smile and continued on to the counter. I found his behavior odd and even rude. Why not at least walk over and speak to me, ask if I’d like something, but nothing. He placed his order and then continued to stand around the counter waiting on his specialty drink to be prepared. The first thing I noticed about him was he was dressed as if he was about to take a walk in his neighborhood. He was wearing a faded red polo shirt, old jeans and walking shoes. He sure didn’t bother to dress for a first impression that was apparent. The longer I sat there, taking in his rude behavior the more it rang true all the doubts and feelings I had towards this guy. I had already picked up on a feeling that he was either an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic, and had been at this dating thing a long time, due to his flippant attitude. After several minutes he received his frozen coffee drink and walked casually over to where I was seated.
If I recall correctly, one of the first things he said was, “Oh, this is where we’re sitting? Ok.” I wasn’t sure what to make of that comment, so I responded with, “I started out sitting outside, but found it still a little warm, so I moved inside to wait. We can sit outside if you’d prefer”. He shrugged and slid in on the bench facing me. I noticed right away I seemed to be sitting in a hole since the chair I was sitting in was lower and he was sitting up higher. So I slide forward and sat on the edge of my chair, resting my arms on the very wobbly Bristol table in front of me. The conversation was pleasant chit chat…how was your day, what ya reading, did you have trouble finding the place, etc. I didn’t get a warm fuzzy feeling from him; it was almost like a business meeting. I guess we sat inside for about 30-40 minutes, then after he finished his frozen coffee drink, said, “let’s sit outside, I’m chilled now that I’ve drank that drink.” Then he noticed I wasn’t drinking anything and said, “Oh do you want something? I could have gotten you something when I ordered mine.” But by then I knew this was going nowhere and now it was just staying long enough not to appear rude and then heading home. I told him I was fine, really. Then got up from my seat. He lead the way outside, never allowing me to walk ahead of him, another clue this was not to type of man that appeals to me. We sat at a table in the corner and continued our “forced conversation”. I kept trying to find some common ground for us to talk about. I asked him about his daughter and he quickly let me know they weren’t close, he guessed due to all his years of drinking. I asked him what he liked to do for fun. He shrugged and said not much, he was busy with church outings, he hung out with his recovery buddies and that was about it. I asked him if he liked any type of sports, again he shrugged and said he used to play golf but had given that up years ago. I asked him if he had pets, he said he gave up the neurotic cat with the house in his last divorce. That he didn’t need the hassle of having a pet. I asked him if he had any questions for me, he shrugged and said, “No”. Then he said he had pretty much figured out most women by their profiles. He said I don’t know how long you’ve been on these dating sites… (I thought to myself, if he had heard me when we talked on the phone that one time, I had told him I was new to dating again and that I hadn’t met anyone yet. Another clue this man was not into me or nor me into him) He went on that he could put most women into 4 catalogues, he said there were the woman that were teachers and everything had to be by the book, then there were the ones that their life revolved around their kids and/or grand kids, then there was the party girls just looking for a good time…. I stopped listening to his crap after several minutes and my mind wondered off, thinking how was I going to get out of this, so I wouldn’t waste my entire Friday evening… I knew I wasn’t going to have dinner with his asshole if he were to ask, but I knew deep down that he wasn’t going to offer and that was more than fine with me! So in the middle of his long analogy about women, I asked him, “So what’s your take on me? What category do you put me in?” He seemed taken back by my forward question and stumbled around on his words at first and then said, “Well, you seem like a nice enough lady. You don’t seem to have an obsession that I can tell”. I had to hold my tongue to keep from spouting off what I truly felt about him. He was a rude, self-absorbed, cheapskate, jerk that apparently thought he had everything and everyone figured out and he only set up these “coffee-meetings” to help him feel better about his “perfect self”. I noticed he kept glancing at his watch and I wanted to ask him if he had something already set up to do after our “coffee-meeting”. I couldn’t have been happier when he said, “Well, I’m about ready to head out…you?” I said I was, then he said, “You probably will do well to go out the way you came”, I guessed this was his way of letting me know our meeting was over. With relief I said, “That’s what I was thinking too”. We walked towards the parking lot and he asked where I had parked, I pointed towards my car in the side parking area and he pointed over to the parking lot next door and said he had parked over there. I offered my hand, shook his hand and told him it was a pleasure meeting him (only to be nice) and why in the world I said, “Well, you know how to reach me”, is beyond me, I knew in my heart of hearts I never wanted to see or talk to his man ever again. He smiled and we walked in opposite directions…me thinking to myself how rude for him not to even offer to walk me to me car, not a southern gentleman in any way shape or form! Then again, I thought, maybe this is the new protocol, not to make the woman feel threatened or that she can’t take care of herself. I wasn’t sure, all I knew I was so happy to be out of his presence, was safe in my car and happy to done with this whole thing. As I drove home I was proud of myself to have gone through with this, it wasn’t easy, but I held my ground and knew I had him figured out long before he walked through that door. Making a mental note to myself the next time I had the feelings and doubts that I had with this guy, I wasn’t going to waste my time or his. That was a promise!!