I have been on some odd dates but a recent date with let’s call him “Pickles” (It will make sense later) left me a little gobsmacked.
We met through the wonders of Facebook and a mutual friend.
So we started chatting and decided to meet at this hipster bar in the inner west because we are just cool like that. We ordered some overpriced oddly named cocktails served in mason jars with ingredients like elder flower and bacon embellishments and started chatting. Well I did…
I’ve been on dates where I didn’t connect with the guy but even then, we have managed to keep the polite small talk going until the awkward end where we both say goodbye and then wait for the awkward “let’s just be friends” text which really means, I’ll add you on Facebook and like a few of your photos before pretending you never existed.
But I don’t think “Pickles” knew about this rule as there were several long silences. I’m not just talking about the odd few seconds or so, I’m talking about the let’s just sit here and stare at each other type of silence and not in a “I’m so lost in your eyes” kinda way, let’s just stare and be silent, literally…
Not surprisingly, I usually feel the need to fill awkward silences with inappropriate jokes and mindless chatter but after our second cocktail had kicked in and almost two hours of me doing all the heavy lifting with the polite conversation, I started to get a little pissed off.
We were both a little more relaxed with the cocktails, it’s past the awkward thank goodness you’re not a serial killer or 60 years old moment and he didn’t seem uninterested …. at least in himself, so what was his deal? The guy didn’t ask me one question about myself, even when I gave him the bait he didn’t take it “you have 3 sisters? Wow I only have 1 and I barely survived….” (hello! this is the part where you say “tell me about your sister…” but nope, instead he did something that I have never experienced before… he tried to feed me.
Yes you read that correctly, he put a fried pickle on his fork and then held it up to my mouth and smiled…
I froze, normally I would devour every pickle in site, especially when fried but this was just too weird. I thought I had seen all the weird first dates there were, the guy who asked to lick my foot, the guy who bought me a designer bag, the guy who asked me to return some DVDs (want me to pick up your dry cleaning too?) but I have never had a guy try to feed me before, especially when he didn’t seem the least bit interested in me.
I politely shook my head and laughed “oh no thanks, I’m full” oh great does this mean I can’t have any more pickles… while I was pondering that terrifying thought, I realised he will still waving the fork in my face, really? Yeah he was serious and he couldn’t take the hint. What followed was a good 3 minutes of him trying to feed me, he tried everything from zooming it in like he was doing the airplane baby feeding thing to basically shoving it to my lips. It was getting to the point where I realised he wasn’t going to give up, so I got up and went to the bathroom a few moments of agonising texts to friends who just thought this pickle I was in was hilarious (see what I did there). I considered making a run for it but given the fact that we have mutual friends and more to the fact that our table was in full view of the bathroom door, I realised I was going to have to talk myself into this.
“Don’t be so harsh Nadine, you can’t be so picky, you shaved your legs for this, how long since your last date?… calm down, loosen up and get out there and eat that damn pickle!” I walked out fully prepared to be fed like a small child but when I got back he seemed to have forgotten all about feeding me, even stranger was the fact that he didn’t seem awkward, he just continued on talking about himself…
The rest of the date was an odd blur, I was bored out of my mind and the only other words I muttered was when the bill came “shall I pay half?” I asked expecting the usual gentlemanly “no I got it” but he just shrugged his shoulders “I don’t mind”…. Um OK what do I do here? I’m a firm believe that the guy should pay for the first date, I also believe its polite for the girl to at least offer to pay her half. The only guy who has ever let me pay half clearly wasn’t interest in me so I assumed this must be the same deal, I wasn’t offended, until I pulled out the cash to cover half the bill and he pulled out enough for about half of one of his yuppie cocktails – really? OK I can see I’m going to have to blow my taxi money on this, OK, whatever, I’ll just make it rain so I can get out of here.
Again I don’t mind a guy that doesn’t have a car, especially in Sydney but I do think you should give a girl warning so she knows she has to rely on public transport to get home or at least wave down a taxi for her, heels aren’t comfortable boys!
In the romantic glow of florescent lighting and the soothing sounds of Newtown station as the casual drug users flee from the local pub that just got raided, we had a friendly hug followed by more awkward staring. Is he going to kiss me?……….. no, OK he’s just going to stare at me, I’m just going to smile, say goodnight and turn around then.
On the train ride home, I assumed I would never have to deal with “Pickles” again, I may have offended him by not accepting his feeding fetish, he let me pay for most of the date and there was no kiss goodnight, not even an attempt to.
Then I heard that dreaded whistle, yep he had just sent me a text “thanks for the lovely night, great company, would love to do it again”
Do what again? The pickles? Bore me to death or get a free meal?
Not my most encouraging step back into the dating world.