This is what I wanted to say to the American chef after almost five fucking hours of an interminable first date. FIVE HOURS. I wasn’t physically attracted to him or his personality. At. All. And yet from the first moment of meeting, he went into monologue mode and I went into my default server/ polite listener/ interested face mode and we stayed in those positions for, did I mention, almost five HOURS? Wtf was wrong with me?? Why would I/ you/ anyone go for the dating equivalent of a root canal when a checkup was all that was required? WHY?
Okay, let’s give a bit of atmosphere here, set up the scenario so you understand where I was coming from to be so incredibly lame. It was still within the two month searing fallout of BMX; I was a newbie AND a fucking mess. I kept thinking someone would be able to distract me from myself so I kept going on first dates but looking back, I see I was ill equipped to be in any company whatsoever. My self esteem was in shreds and my social responses were inappropriate. I was like the fucking walking dead of the POF world. Not pretty. Zombies shouldn’t date, they should just stay home eating take out brains and letting their no longer beating hearts just be…dead. Sorry, dramatic much?
Cue the chef. Not only was he a one way talker, he was an all ways braggart. He thought of himself as all that AND a bag of supersize chips and I was given the tour of his life from college on thru his stellar culinary career CV. In detail. Seriously. In one way, it was quite relaxing. All I had to do was keep that “Wow, really?” face on and nod periodically while continuing to obsess about BMX within. Like Method acting. But not. In another way, it was like a bad dream where you keep thinking you’re awake but you’re paralyzed and he won’t stop talking and time is like taffy, stretching interminably…
The title refers to the story of how a patron of the club he was cheffing for lavishly praised him for his FRUIT PLATE. In fact, this was such a pivotal and essential part of his background that he told me TWICE. A fruit plate, not even a salad. At no point did he mention that he’d grown any of the fucking fruit of this miraculous dish so I’m not sure what the marvel of it was but marvelous it was, apparently. FIVE HOURS. !
And it gets worse before it gets better. I accepted a SECOND DATE! Was I on crack cocaine?? FM.
Finally finally just before the five hour mark, I came to my teeny tiny zombie senses and told him the truth ish: I was very sorry but I was too devastated from a recent dating fiasco to go out with anyone. I’d like to say he appreciated my honesty but in fact, he became a sullen teenager before my eyes and finally FINALLY the date was over. Well. Except for the very long walk back up a very long hill. Add the click of my heels and his disappointed silence beside me, segue into one last wounded puppy dog gaze aaannndd cut. Sigh. Zombies don’t plan exit strategies very well either. Shocker.
Do I blame the chef for being annoyed that I had taken five hours to tell him I was in fact not interested in his “fruit plate”? Not at all. I would have been annoyed at me had positions been reversed. Normally, a five hour date says: “I am sooo into you!” A five hour date says: " I think our fruit is destined to be on a plate together…hubba hubba…” As it should! But on that particular date, all those five hours said was: “ I’m a fucking zombie, dude, too fucking sad and too damn polite, even dead, to cut you off mid monologue.” I didn’t know how to extricate myself with as much kindness and as little fuss as possible, I just did not. Therefore, I just did not. Sigh.
So here’s my “do what I say”, girlfriends: DON’T ACT INTERESTED IF YOU’RE NOT. No matter how difficult it is for you, prolonging a date that will go nowhere is discourteous. If it’s obvious he’s into you and you don’t feel the same, one quick drink/ ONE HOUR is sufficient. One hour says thank you for your time and best of luck in your search. One hour says you’re not a fucking zombie. One hour is not five. Even a zombie with a working Timex can tell you that.
ps He messaged me like months+ later: “Hey, it’s ------- remember me?” Yeah. I do. And fyi, I can never get those fucking FIVE HOURS back, dude.
Would you go out as a love zombie or would you couch potato zombie it? And how are the take out brains and innards options in your area? As always, I'm without a clue. Please share.