Author’s note: This post includes an individual not myself using derogatory language towards members of the LGBTQ community and a lot of swearing. Consider yourself warned.
In fall of 2015 after a brief hiatus steering clear of the dating world as a whole, I ventured back into it via app-based online dating. I had previous experience with Plenty of Fish, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel but had yet to attempt OKCupid.
At the time, one of my good friends had found his lobster on OKCupid, so I figured I had nothing to lose.
After a couple of weeks on the app, I had connected with a few guys, gone through the standard run around, no big surprises there. There was an aspiring actor/writer/director who was a nice guy, but not the right fit. There were a couple of weirdos and freaks who (surprise, surprise) just wanted to bang.
And then, there was Alex.
Alex was in his early 40s, divorced, father of two. This was my first foray into the theoretical world of dating divorced fathers. It’s not the most simple of scenarios, but I will say if you’re not into the guy it’s a straightforward way to clear him from your roster.
When Alex and I matched up, I wasn’t overly keen but figured a date with him was at least going to get me out of the house. Also, you never know what you might find out when you meet someone in person. Sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise.
So Alex and I spent a couple of weeks texting, mostly because he went out of town with his kids for a vacation, and I went to Buffalo to be a bridesmaid in my friend Andrea’s wedding. While we were both away from home, we stayed in touch.
The first red flag on Alex, was the fact that he was openly sharing pictures of his kids with me, while they were on vacation. I don’t have a massive issue with people being open about the fact that they have kids, in fact, I celebrate the honest. However, if I haven’t even gone on a date with you, much less met your kids, I don’t know that this is appropriate.
I leave you, the reader, to be the judge of both me and of Alex. No, seriously, judge away. This is one post where I’m hoping to get some comments and some real discourse going.
So we both had returned to the OC from our respective trips, we made plans to meet up for dinner. I know, I know! I’m violating my own rules about no meals on the first date.
He suggested going to a spot called Playground. Which is an incredible restaurant, but is usually booked three-four weeks in advance – if you’re lucky. They also specialize in haute cuisine, which in this writer’s humble opinion may not be the best dining option for a first date.
I suggested we try something a little less formal for that very reason, and he said no problem.
The next suggestion took us from haute cuisine to a steakhouse, as he suggested Mastro’s. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Mastro’s, but it’s a place where I love to go for special occasions.
Once again, I offered my opinion that Mastro’s, as delicious as it is, may not be the best spot for a first date.
At that point, I felt like I was demanding. Logical, but demanding.
So, I politely suggested we meet at Javier’s – which was conveniently one of my two most favorite Mexican restaurants. There were two options for us location-wise, and I suggested the less-romantic of the two in Irvine. He agreed with my suggestion, in spite of the drive.
Alex was coming from a bit further than I was, but given that I wasn’t totally vibing on him, I didn’t care overly much. I was selfish, and I’m ok with that. I also didn’t want to give him any ideas if we were meeting closer to either of our respective homes.
We arranged to meet the following Monday at 7:00 pm, and that was that.
Monday rolls around, and as I was leaving the house to go meet him, and a text came in. It said that he had stayed late at the gym and was running behind. Could we meet at 7:30 instead?
I replied in the affirmative. Some of you may be shocked by this. But yes, I have moments where I’m a nice person who’s willing to accommodate.
With this change to the schedule, it really just meant that I was able to hang out at home a little while longer and continue the Law & Order rerun I had going while I got ready. I still managed to arrive on time — this was a rare occurrence, my friends can attest to my typically running 5-10 minutes behind — and walked into the restaurant.
There was no guy standing outside of the restaurant looking at his phone, no one inside at the host stand, nor was there any solo male sitting at the bar. Given that I hadn’t received any messages from him, I went forward with the assumption that he hadn’t arrived yet.
I stepped up to the bar and ordered a drink. For anyone living in the Orange County/Southern California area, if you haven’t been to Javier’s for a margarita, go. Go now. Just get in your car and go. They’re the best margaritas, in my humble opinion.
Fifteen minutes later, I was watching a crappy Monday Night Football game and nursing my margarita. Still alone. Alex was nowhere to be seen or heard. I held off on sending a “where are you?” message, because I wasn’t the one running late.
This was just a fantastic omen for how this date was going to go.
Ten more minutes go by, and it’s now 7:55 and 25 minutes after our scheduled meeting time, and I get a text message. (Poor grammar and typos are all from him)
“Sorry. Running late. Be there in tein [sic] min.”
So, to quickly recap, he’s 25 minutes late. And now he’s going to be another 10 minutes. 35 minutes late.
What the fuck? Didn’t he bother to look at the clock when it read 7:30 and think “Maybe I should send her a message and let her know I’m not running on time.”
I don’t think this was asking too much. But, I’m also the dumbass who didn’t decide to call off the date at that point in time. So, that’s on me.
However, Alex was officially not getting a second date.
I swallowed my pride however and texted back something along the lines of “Yeah, ok, drive safe.”
As I waited, I did what I usually do when at a bar alone. Made friends with the bartender and the one other person who sat down while I was there. We were enjoying talking about the terrible game that was on, as well as football in general, when I noticed a guy walking around the bar looking for someone. And he looked slightly familiar.
Yep, it was Alex. So I closed my tab with the bartender, and stood up. Said “Alex?”
He stops short and says, “Oh, hey. I didn’t even see you. I thought you were on a date with that guy.”
Even with almost three years between now and when this story took place, I’ve never really been able to determine if I should be insulted or flattered by that comment.
At the moment, I was insulted. I replied with something that was semi-snarky but also pointed. “No, I was just making friends at the bar while I waited for you to get here.”
Since you’re 40 fucking minutes late, asshole. Gah. I was so irritated already.
But just wait guys, it gets better.
I quickly learned, that not only was Alex a terrible communicator and someone who was impolite enough to not notify me when he was going to be 40 minutes late, but he was also someone who (like most of us do, let’s be honest) fibbed on his online profile.
He said he was 5’9”. He was maybe 5’6”. And I can say that for a fact because I’m 5’6” and I was taller than him in my flats.
So, after exchanging pleasantries and plenty of snark on my side, we walk to the hostess and ask for a table. He begins to escort us to our table, he stops at a table, and Alex says “Can we get a table outside instead?”
The host was very accommodating as the restaurant wasn’t too busy, so he walks us outside to the patio. He stops at another table. Alex says “Can you move us over there?”
The host walks us over to the third table of the night. Which Alex is satisfied with. This table is directly next to the server well, where there’s a pay station, drinks trays, and more. It’s also immediately next to a party of 12.
I’ve been on dates where it’s hard to get a table that’s conducive to romance or a budding relationship. But I’ve never been in a situation where we needed a third table to be happy. Or where the ideal table is adjacent to a server/kitchen area and a large party.
But maybe I’m just picky. Or he’s ridiculous. I think that’s really the truth here.
And now, for the telling of how our dinner went.
As a reminder, we’re at a Mexican restaurant. I don’t know about you, but typically when one opts to get dinner at a Mexican restaurant, one usually orders tacos, burritos, etc., with plenty of chips and salsa to keep hunger pangs at bay while waiting for your food.
Nope, not Alex. This guy. Dude. This guy.
He refuses chips and salsa (which in my world is an insult tantamount to calling me a whore), by saying he’s on a diet. Doesn’t check with me, just assumes I’m on the same page.
I made a point to ask for the waiter to bring some.
He then orders a skinny margarita. Again, claiming his diet.
I ordered a Cadillac margarita. Because I could.
The waiter departs, and Alex starts bitching about the noise from the table next to us.
As I was not in the mood to throw him any favors or sympathy, I looked at him and said “Well, you were the one who needed three tables to choose from. We would have been fine inside.”
I got a stunned “wow, that was rude” face from him, and about 15 seconds of silence. Just enough time for the waiter to arrive and deposit our margaritas on the table, and take our order. It apparently was also enough time for him to regain his overconfidence. Of which he had no shortage.
I’m sure at this point you’re reading this and wondering why I was still seated at the table. All I can say in my defense, is that I really love the food at Javier’s. There’s no other defense.
After the ordering of drinks and bitching about the table debacle, Alex starts talking. And talking. And talking.
It was all about himself (shocking, right?), and he didn’t stop to ask me questions or my opinion on the proclamations he would make, etc.
I learned from his soliloquy about himself that: his ex-wife is a selfish bitch (doubtful), he was an incredibly successful attorney who left his practice because he felt unfulfilled (ya, right), he loves his two kids (ok, I’ll give him that), and as he’s no longer an attorney he’s planning to open up legal weed stores.
As someone who’s smoked weed twice in her life, I’m somewhat of a neophyte when it comes to this topic. So I let him drone on. And on. And on. Talking about legalization processes, his investment partners, giving up his career for a cause he believes in.
The conversation took a weird turn towards politics at this point, because hey, it was going so badly why not cover all of the topics you’re never supposed to on a first date?
He made some self-aggrandizing claims about how he’s a Democrat because of the weed business. But he is also pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-reducing the size of the government.
In the interests of civility I said, “Well, it sounds like you’ve got a varied political belief system.”
He agreed with me, “Oh, definitely. But I always have a cause. In fact, I need a new one. Besides my work with weed, I need something new to support now that gay marriage has been legalized.”
I replied with, “Good for you. What do you have in mind?”
“I’m really not sure, I need to start doing some research,” he said. “Yeah, I’m super stoked about gay marriage. I’m really happy that the fags can fuck each other in the ass legally now.”
Wait. What? What the everloving fuck?!
It took my brain approximately 30-60 seconds to really figure out what he just said, and thought he could get away with saying.
I don’t know if it’s because he felt that I was a bitch, or if he was testing me, or what. But either way, once my brain fully processed the absolute and utter bile that he just spewed all over the dinner table – along with his steak and salad (AT A MEXICAN RESTAURANT!!!) he ordered – I held up a finger to pause the conversation.
“Excuse me, but I’m sorry. I’m going to have to stop you right there,” I said. “Gay marriage has nothing to do with anyone fucking anyone anywhere and everything to do with being seen as equals in the eyes of the law. No matter who you want to fuck, marry, or build a life with.”
I was getting more and more worked up as I continued, but somehow managed to keep my voice down. Because the party sitting next to us didn’t even really notice.
I continued, “And if that’s what you really think that gay marriage is about, then you need to do some serious education of yourself before you start supporting causes. Thank you for dinner, but it’s time for me to leave.”
With that, I grabbed my purse and my jacket and walked out. If this happened in a movie, this would be where the exit with a flourish, Barbara Streisand-esque strings/orchestral music playing in the background.
This was the first-ever time I walked out of a date. I left half my dinner on the plate and an unfinished margarita. Proof that even your favorite restaurant isn’t enough when the company makes you sick to your stomach.
I don’t know if Alex was trying to push my buttons. But that statement was despicable.
You can believe different things than I do, I’m all for civil discourse. But I’ll be damned if someone makes uninformed, homophobic, inappropriate, and 100% unacceptable comments like that in front of me.
I was in a state of shock by the time I got back to my car, a complete state of disbelief that this happened.
Not gonna lie though, once I calmed down, I was so incredibly proud of myself for walking away when I did. Because while all of his rudeness and behavior red flags were enough of a sign for me to bail, I tried to be nice and give him the benefit of the doubt.
But the reality was, Alex needed a reality check of his own. And if by walking out he got it, I did him a service.