By Simone Grant
People are always asking me about my “worst date ever.” Sure, I’ve had some spectacularly bad dates. But those stories aren’t my favorites. A great date story, in my eyes, has highs and lows. Like this one. I think of it as my worst great date ever. It was, in so many ways, the best first date I’ve had in years. It was also the worst date (first or otherwise) I’ve had in years.
For days, after, I was utterly confused and miserable. Because it was just so nice to spend time with a man who made me think, this is what I’ve been missing. It felt so goddamn amazing to just sit and talk with him. No, that’s not right. Those words aren’t strong enough. Because the thing was, I couldn’t actually remember the last time I felt that much for any guy. Well, that’s not true.
I did remember and it was a long time ago. And I’d really missed that feeling. That genuine joy to just be spending time with someone. We liked the same music, used to hang out at the same bars (back in the day), worshiped many of the same writers. And we even got into a heated argument about whether a specific book was a great work of art.
It was lovely, really, to be able to do that. To talk about something I cared about on a date. With a man I’m actually attracted to. Who’s a good kisser (yeah, there was pda at the bar). So I stayed a little longer than I should have. I had a tiny bit more to drink that I usually do (just a tiny bit) and he proceeded to get trashed. And at some point I realized that he was a very unpleasant drunk. I said something he didn’t like and he turned on me. And I do mean turned. It was like all of the charm and light just left the man I’d been talking to for the few hours prior and he became this angry stranger.
It’s a phenomena I have some experience with. The night ended bizarrely. I had to go. I had a birthday celebration to go to. He knew that starting off the night. But when I brought it up he went a little crazy and a lot mean and stormed out to smoke while I settled my tab (I was buying my own drinks, not that that matters one bit). And then, just as I was getting ready to hop off my barstool to put on my coat and leave I felt him hug me from behind. A big bear hug. He asked me to forget everything he’d just said earlier. That he was drunk and sorry.
I told him it was cool. That I knew he was drunk and that I didn’t take any of the things he said to heart (did I mention he was a mean drunk?). And then, the afternoon, he called. It was a quick call. He mentioned he was sick all night and blamed it on the bar food (I ordered us some food when I realized how much we were drinking). I told him I was fine and so that it probably wasn’t the food. I think I probably said it was nice to hear from him.
Honestly, I don’t remember what else was said. Two minutes in he said his train was coming and he had to go but would call later. And then he didn’t call later. And I spent the day wrestling with whether or not I should email. Because, of course, I should. Here’s a man who I actually get along well with. Who gets me, really. Who I could probably spend every second of a week with without once thinking – what a moron.
But, of course, I shouldn’t. Because I already know that he has a dark side to his personality and it lurks just under the surface. And that, just like so many of the men in my past, he’s used to getting his own way. And when he doesn’t he turns into someone I don’t want to know.
*BIG GIANT SIGH*