I once arrived at a restaurant to meet a blind-date, and upon seeing him from behind, sitting at the bar, I turned and fled. Totally stood him up. I thought he had a hunchback.
He called my cell phone as I was driving home and recognizing the number I grew frantic, begging my friend on the other line to tell me what to do. Do not answer it, she said. I answered it.
I told him I’d been in a fender bender. In the Bronx.
He was so worried and sympathetic. He kept calling me “daahling”. Oh daahling, this is terrible and daahling are you quite alright? He was from England, and the “daahlings” just killed me. I agreed to meet him for a second date.
We had a nice enough time, but didn’t hit it off. He did not have a hunchback. Plus he totally knew I made up the whole fender bender thing. Awkward.
He surely walked away from that experience scratching his head, as we all often did, during the dating days. Wait….what?…..was a common refrain. The mysteries of mating rituals. I doled out several of my own to be sure, and was on the receiving end of a fine crop.
I’m not referring here to true heartbreak. This post is dedicated to those lovable fiascos, to the memorable enigmas, the ones that make you say…. remember that one guy…..while having cocktails with your friends years later.
I had a Hall-of-Famer, flew clear across the country, head scratching, What the flip?……encounter. It began initially on a trip I took to L.A. a few years after college. There, I met the friend of a high-school friend. He was pleasant, and handsome and we made some conversation. I was working for Tiffany and Co. and my friend suggested that I give…..we’ll call him David….. David my card. Apparently he did a lot of business with Tiffany. And so I did, and so he did- lots of business with Tiffany and me for the next three years.
Back in New York, David would call me at work several times a year to order gifts for his various clients. And every time he called, he would ask me when I was coming out to L.A. again. Now, nothing passed between us in California, nothing at all, still he was strangely insistent on my return. At first I thought nothing of it, and mostly we would jokingly argue about New York vs. Los Angeles and all that. By year three however, I was beginning to consider a return trip. I was single and had been for a disappointingly long time. But could he really still be interested in me? A chick he hadn’t seen in three years?
It seemed so. At the first mention that I might actually flirt with the idea of really coming out there, he was all over it. He offered to pay for my flight. Nope. Wasn’t going down that road. He offered to pick me up at the airport. That’s okay, I have a ride. He offered for me to stay at his beach house. Hell yeah.
But I brought a friend. Of course I brought a friend. I had no idea what to expect from this guy, this guy who seemed so keen on me, and yet barely knew me. I brought along a girlfriend whose sister lived in L.A. The plan was for us to stay with her sister for a couple of days then off to David’s house at the beach. I was a nervous wreck. I mean, I’d flown all the way from New York. So I kept reminding myself:
He was nice.
He was handsome.
He was rich.
Hey, I’m human.
He had a house on the beach.
The day we drove from the Hollywood Hills to Manhattan Beach, I was in a state. My stomach was in knots. What if we had no chemistry? What if he smelled bad? What if it was all wonderful? What would my life be like here in sunny California? Which china pattern would I register for?
Stuck in L.A. traffic, I called him to tell him we would be arriving a little late. No problem, said he, I’ll be here. I’m taking you to a restaurant nearby. I’ll turn the outside light on by the door.
We arrived and nervously approached the house. Knocking on the door, we got no answer, so we opened it and called in. Nothing. Down the hall, we peeked around a corner when suddenly a door flew open and out came………a girl.
Hi! I’m Sarah! You must be Heather and Molly! Oh, it’s so nice to meet you! David is just finishing up getting dressed. Here, put your stuff in this room right here. This is great! How was the drive?
David emerged behind her, hair still wet from a shower and within five minutes, the four of us were in his car, Molly and I in the back, stunned and unable to so much as give each other a perplexed glance, as we were peppered incessantly by questions from Sarah. Sarah, David’s girlfriend.
It’s important here to recall four paragraphs back wherein I quoted David as saying, I will be here and I am taking you…..also, it’s important to note that he always said, I will pick you up at the airport if you’d like and I would be happy to buy your ticket. I’ll show you around the city, I’m looking forward to seeing you……. He never mentioned a girlfriend. Never!
Molly and I found ourselves at dinner with David and Sarah and a few of their close friends. The conversation was lively, we had a nice time. As nice a time as you can have when you are near speechless with confusion.
After dinner, we arrived back home where David informed me that he had unforeseen business in Reno, Nevada that weekend and so he would be leaving at daybreak and we were to make ourselves at home in his house alone for the next three days.
We exchanged goodnights, so nice to meet you’s, hope to see you again soon’s, closed the door to our bedroom and finally, after four hours or more, looked at each other and immediately mouthed, in unison,
What. The. F*ck.?!!!!!!!
Then we laughed. We fell to the floor laughing. We writhed on the floor in laughter. We tried again and again to speak and couldn’t choke our words out for the hilarity of it all. We clutched our aching stomachs and laughed and laughed and laughed. Finally, Molly, struggling mightily, managed to slowly gasp out the following..
and I’m just so…..glad….
that I was here to see it!!
Yes, my life has been likened to a Seinfeld episode more than once.
For the remainder of our inexplicable stay at David’s terrific house, we talked endlessly about him, about the why and the what that had occurred. We came up with these possibilites:
- He is insane.
- He is a terrible womanizer who thought he could ditch his girlfriend for the weekend and then couldn’t pull it off.
- He is bizarrely unaware of the message that you send to a single girl when you repeatedly invite her to your home for a weekend and never mention that you are in a relationship.
- He just really loves sharing his house and his city with the people of the world.
We never did come to a satisfactory conclusion. And we had a rather excellent time in his pad. Molly says it was the occasion on which she laughed for the longest time in her life, so there’s that. He comes up, now and again, over cocktails, or just good girl conversation. Remember that one guy……