Before I had any contact with Bill, I wasn’t enthused. At least on paper, he didn’t seem like my type at all. I like tall guys, but 6’3″ is much too tall. His head’s in another stratosphere and my head would hit right smack at his tummy. On his profile, he was described as a guy’s guy which I equated with frat boy. “He is definitely the type who has been able to succeed without formal graduate degrees.” Yikes! What no name college did he go to? But the matchmaker only had positive things to say about him. In retrospect, she had been lukewarm on Ari, but with Bill, her descriptions were glowing.
We played phone tag for a few days. When we finally connected, it confirmed my suspicions…total frat boy. I could tell he was out drinking and spoke loudly into the phone. We made plans to meetup that Wednesday night after his basketball game. “Is there some place you want to go?”
I rolled my eyes. One of the reasons I paid all this money for this service was so the guy could do all the first date legwork. “No,” I answered indifferently. “Wherever you want to go. I’m happy with anything.” I gritted my teeth. If my first match takes me to a mediocre restaurant, I’m going to have a fit.
“Ok, well, how ’bout I call you on Wednesday. I’ll figure something out, ok?”
“Sure, I’ll see you then. Just let me know.”
Wednesday rolled around and he called soon after work. “I’ve got a basketball game, but I was thinking we could go to Le Colonial. Do you like that place? They’ve got great food.”
“Sure.” I waited for him to continue.
“Ok, then Le Colonial it is.”
My mouth almost dropped while I continued to wait for him to ask about picking me up. He didn’t bring it up. Gulp. “Well, I guess I’ll just meet you there then.”
“Ok, can’t wait to meet you. I’m looking forward to it.”
I hung up the phone and growled. Mother fucker. They’re supposed to pick you up and take you out. I was getting gipped!
To make myself feel better, I made sure to have some fun prior to my date. I went to a charity event hosted by some friends in my neighborhood. Gulp, gulp, gulp. I chugged glass after glass of riesling and was having so much fun I didn’t want to leave.
I’ve got to go. I’m already late. I’m never late. I said good-bye to my friends and sped down Bush Street toward downtown. I circled for parking once, twice, three times. Ugh. Not a good sign.
I texted Bill. “So sorry. Ten minutes. Trying to find parking.”
As soon as I found a spot, right across from the restaurant, the car behind me started honking. Nuh-unh Mister. This is my spot! I parallel-parked quickly and jumped out of my car. The guy who had been honking, rolled down his window, “Please can you help. I’m trying to get to the Bay Bridge.”
“Oh! Of course, gosh, but you asked the wrong person. I’m such a scattered Asian driver. Ok, ummm, so, just keep heading down this street, then make a left on Market. Oh wait no. Probably not. Umm I guess left on Mission. No, the street after Mission. What’s that. I think it’s Howard. Gosh, yeah, just head in that direction make a left and you’ll see signs. I’m so sorry. I’m really bad with directions.” He looked at me puzzled.
This wasn’t looking like a good night. I was late and probably just made this poor man even more lost.
I ran up the stairs of Le Colonial. Bill had texted that he was at the bar having a drink. I ran up to him as he turned around and watched me arrive in a flurry. It was obvious it was him. Tall, big guy. I realized I had my name on a nametag stuck on my dress from the charity event. I ripped it off, placed it on his shirt, and gave him a big hug. “That’s for you. I just came from a charity event.” I was smiling and he was smiling. I felt better already.
“Do you want to go downstairs and check in?” I asked.
“Yeah, I was just waiting for you, but we should be all set.”
We walked down together to the host table. The host grinned. “Ok, table for two. Would you like smoking or non?”
“Whatever he wants, he’s paying the bill.”
The host smirked. “And if you’re good, maybe he’ll pay for you, too.”
I laughed out loud. The host led us to a table outside underneath a heat lamp. I’d forgotten how much I loved Le Colonial, particularly that part of the restaurant. Like you were in a greenhouse. Bill had made a good choice. This was perfect. Not too fancy…just exactly right…outdoor ambiance, superb food, excellent service. I felt cozy and relaxed.
I wish I could remember what we talked about. It wasn’t weird or awkward, almost like we were old friends. Old friends with amnesia. I enjoyed talking to him and he made me laugh–a lot. We were both having a good time. Several courses later, we were still drinking and laughing.
“Now what do you want to do? How ’bout we go to a bar? Yeah, let’s say we go to another bar.”
“Sure. I can do that.”
“My car’s here, though. Should we drive separately?”
“Nahhh, I’ll drive my car. It’s ok, I’ll take you back.”
“Ok, we definitely have to come back here, though. I have to drive my car back home.”
“Yeah, no problem.”
He had valeted his Porsche SUV. I literally had to climb into it, it was so high.
“I’m going to take you to my favorite bar. This is my favorite bar in all of the city.”
I was excited. It’s always exciting to hear what people’s favorites are. I couldn’t wait to figure it out. We drove to Nob Hill, passed Grace Cathedral, and parked right in front. “Here it is!” He called out.
I laughed and teased. “OmiGod. Le Club. Are you serious? I hate this bar! This is the snootiest, lamest bar in all of San Francisco. I came here when it opened and vowed to never come back. Friggin hilarious. This is your favorite bar. Are you serious?”
But I backed off after that, letting him take me inside. The valet guys chummed it up with him on a first-name basis. So did the bartender. I shook my head. I should have known. The richie frat guy was taking me to my least favorite place in the city. Of course. I am just a ghetto girl who happened to go to good schools. This wasn’t my life.
I watched him play a couple games of pool, then he agreed to take me back to my car. “Are you sure you want to go home?”
“Don’t you want to sit in my car and make out for a while?”
I smiled at him, then shook my head. As much fun as I had, I wasn’t attracted to him. He was a very good-looking guy, but just not my type. There was no chemistry. He was too much the all-american boy.
“I had fun. Thanks Bill. I should go.” I gave him a hug, then slowly let myself down from his car. I felt like I needed a stepstool.
I got into my car and sped home just like I had sped to the restaurant six hours earlier. What a great time. All first dates should be exactly like that.
My phone started ringing as I drove. “Hi Bill.”
“Are you going to be ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I really am. I don’t even feel buzzed. I’ll be fine. I can text you when I get home.”
“I had such a great time. I love you.”
I laughed. Poor guy. Poor, poor guy had fallen in love with me.