The pre date texts were unnerving. One after another. It was putting me off. I assumed he had been stood up before because the contact was too much. I toyed with standing him up.
But no. I am many things but a coward is not one.
He was visibly nervous- ah, bless him. We ordered drinks. He told me he wasn’t a drinker as he had had the beginnings of a problem in the past. TOO MUCH INFORMATION it was only a first date, but I kindly told him I understood. I also refrained from choosing an alcoholic drink myself…this night was going to drag.
We then looked to order food. “I don’t know what to have,” he told me and then confessed he had never had Greek food before. “WHY THEN HAVE YOU BOUGHT ME HERE?” Was all I wanted to shout, but instead I helped him choose.
The food arrived, I could tell he wasn’t a fan of his but he remained adamant as he slowly ate it, that he was.
Aside from the poor restaurant choice, the lack of alcohol and the nerves- he seemed like a nice guy. I certainly couldn’t fault his unwavering honesty.
But then he dropped a cracker of a line. “Do you feel like everyone is listening into our conversation? I get very paranoid about this time and time again. This is why I don’t like going out in public.”
His words were fast paced, panicky and said slightly under his breath in fear that we were being overheard. I was on a date with an actual crazy man.
I looked around the restaurant, there was a family of five behind us who were laughing at something that the youngest daughter had said. A couple sat in the far corner and they were completely and utterly engrossed in one another as their hands clasped across the table. Beside us was a father and his two children, both of whom were showing him how to work his Phone. The only other people in the restaurant were an elderly couple who were muttering things to one another and certainly didn’t have the ability to hear what we were saying even if they wanted to.
“I don’t think anybody is listening in.” I finally declared.
We finished our main courses. I refused desert as I was too full, he claimed the same- although he barely touched his meal. I suspect he went for a McDonald’s after the date.
We said our goodbyes. He pecked me on the cheek and rubbed his hand soothingly on my back, in a sort of grandmotherly way. “Thank you for allowing me to connect with you and for making me feel so comfortable.” I let his words linger in the air. No response was adequate. I wanted to run from this insane man but claimed he had done the same for me. He insisted we stayed in touch. I lied and said I would.
Maybe now is about the time to give up the dating game…