This Valentine’s week at WVFC has featured both a soulful request for information about our sex lives from Our Bodies Ourselves and a glimpse of the Worst Date Ever contest from Here’s an anonymous contribution that neatly covers (and maybe skewers) both topics.  Happy Valentine’s Day! – Ed.

None of the dates were like this

I was in my 40s and unattached in New York City. A marriage of many years was coming apart and we were living apart. I had a great life with an extended family, an obsessive need to work, and lots of friends, and I never ever wanted to be married again.

Everyone knew someone whom I should meet and it appeared that the thing to do, for this brief period in my life, was to go on blind dates. I accepted these offers of introductions to “appropriate men” because it seemed ungrateful somehow not to.

I dated six men of a certain type before the very last one convinced me that “appropriate men” were not for me. These guys all had lots of money and were well known in their circles. They had cars with drivers and multiple homes and maybe a jet. But jeeze, each of them was so self-involved and boring.

I would be taken to each man’s table in his restaurant and seated by his maitre d’ with his friends watching this new act in his drama. Then the hard work began. I listened for an hour and half (on the average) to the story of his life and a description of his pedigree, schools, colleges, professional and social accomplishments.

Perhaps they were looking for Haut Monde Barbie.

Not one of the first five men asked more than a passing question about my interests, my opinions, or even why I had accepted this offer to be his dinner companion. I began to see that I was, in this situation, a caricature. I had a delightful female form with the requisite perky tits, lots of attractive hair, big eyes with lashes to use seductively, somewhat less-than-delicate (all right, Dumbo-ish) ears that would never miss a murmur from his mouth, and…and…I had no mouth.

It made it less painful to imagine that these six dates were field trips for my work as a social scientist. I went on the requisite three dates before the “bill” for the three dinners would be presented.  You know, a little sex.  Nah.  Never did that one.

The last date with one of these types was the worst of my life. We had been introduced by a woman who had dated this man years before and with whom he had remained friends. He did the phone thing really well. We had spoken for several hours before the night of the first date. He seemed interested in knowing me, which was a new experience in this stage of dating. By the time we met for dinner, he knew I liked golf and the opera and books. I knew that he was a lawyer, divorced, and a passionate golfer. A bit of phone flirting, but that was it.

He took me to “his club” for dinner. It was one of those places with a small dance floor and an anemic dance band. Dark. One could imagine Middle Eastern men dining in the alcoves with some member of their harem. His maitre d’ came over and took orders for drinks. I was on call, so I ordered something nonalcoholic. We delayed ordering and I was looking forward to conversation.

Then the worst date ever began. By now, I was used to these men’s discussions of their divorces and ex-wives.  So I didn’t mind that he wanted me to know that he had been married for twenty years and divorced for five.  I didn’t mind that he told me that the reason for the divorce was “we had grown apart.” Seemed civil enough. Then he decided, 30 minutes into the first date, to tell me that his ex-wife had been unwilling to engage in oral sex. You cannot make this up. First date, and he tells me his ex-wife would never give him a blow job. I thought I would die. And I suddenly felt very unsafe.

I stood up, leaned over the table and spoke very quietly. “I am leaving now. Do not make a scene in your club or you will regret it. Tell the maitre d’ that I am an important cardiologist and have been called to the hospital. Oh, and by the way, I suggest that you leave the details of your sex life with your ex-wife for at least the second date.” I left quietly, waving my pager at the maitre d’ on my way out with a little “Always on call,” and left.

The friend who had dated this cad got an earful the next morning. She found nothing unusual in the conversation and thought I had overreacted. But she had been in the New York dating scene for 20 years and never married. Maybe some things could be overlooked if you wanted to date “an appropriate man.”  But I gave up blind dates forever.

Flirting is fun. Getting to know someone in a special way is delightful. But blind dates with “an appropriate man” were clearly in a category of their own. For instance, “My Worst Date.”

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  • David May 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thank you! As one who is formerly married and dates women i at times wonder of the experiences of others as I do work hard to be myself yet a gentleman whose only interest at that moment is the date in front of me. I’m surrounded by wealth tech types whose conversations seem centered on money and cliches related to tech. Boring as hell and I’d imagine they carry on the same on dates. Thank you for the crisp description of your experience and humor (“bill” due – funny girl!) as I meet another. Oh and blind dates have rarely worked just as internet ones. I believe still in the randomness of chance meetings though often I miss the subtle clues she is interested until sometime later then it’s too late. I need to improve on that.