Shouting “A homeless man is eating your tiramisu. I hope you’re happy now!” is a great way to end a date.
I should know, it’s happened to me. What made it all the more surprising was that I had good reason to believe that he was pretty decent guy.
The night I met him, as I was halfway through a story about the time I saw a group of ponies walk on a beach during a thunderstorm (seriously), he said, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but you’re bleeding profusely.”
I looked down at my arm. So I was.
Apparently, in my excitement of reliving my trip to Asaateaque Island, I had scratched open a mosquito bite, which was now leaving an impressive trail of blood from my bicep to my my wrist.
What I should have done was excuse myself and use the restroom to clean up. What I actually did was wrestle my way through the crowd at the bar, reach between two strangers and grab a cocktail napkin.
“Where was I?” I asked as I wiped the blood in one long swoop from the back of my palm to the middle of my arm.
He looked horrified, as anyone in his right mind should be when a lady talking about horses starts blotting her scabs in a place that serves food. But he asked me out anyway.
What can I say? I tell good stories.
Our first date… had potential. We went to a see a swing band. We met a burlesque dancer who – if she was to be believed – was one of the city’s best chiropractors. We ate at an overpriced restaurant that had an elaborate conveyor belt of records built into the wall.
It wasn’t the best time, but it also wasn’t the worst. And I decided I’d like to do it again.
The plan was simple: Dinner on Monday night at 8 p.m.
But that’s not what happened, of course. It was more like: Phone call at 8:30 to discuss numerous excuses that involved long meetings, planes and gym equipment.
I suggested we reschedule for another night – perhaps one not immediately following a two-week business trip and a busy Monday. But he was having none of it.
“I’ll pick you up in 30 minutes,” he said.
Since I had not yet adopted my “No waiting” rule, I agreed. And since I met him through a friend, I gave him my cross streets. And since he worked for a big tech company that has a couple of Os in its name, I figured he knew how to tell time.
30 minutes passed. Then 45. And 55.
At the hour mark, I called to let him know that the date was off. I might have liked him enough to go out again, but I didn’t like him enough to be wrapping up dinner around midnight on a Monday.
“I’m getting in a cab right now!” he insisted. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”
It is with a tremendous amount of shame that I admit that I waited those 10 minutes outside on my stoop.
Then, when they passed, I went inside and did what I should have done two hours before: I poured a glass of wine and drew a bath.
“Don’t come,” I texted him. “It’s too late.”
Done. Or so I thought.
Cue the cell phone avalanche. Calls. Texts. Voicemails. I ignored it all from the other room, until I became convinced, by the sheet volume of messages and alerts, that it was not him trying to reach me about a canceled date, but another person entirely, presumably someone who was bleeding profusely.
But there was no emergency. The calls were all from him. And as I stood there listening to one of his voicemails, which gave me a play by play of every building that he walked by on my block as he tried to figure out where I lived, he called again.
“I’m on the corner of 55th and 2nd,” he said. “Just come downstairs for two minutes. I want to give you something.”
I told him to go home and hung up. I didn’t answer any further calls or messages, but I did eventually check the rest of his voicemails, one of which, as you know by now, contained what I assumed would be the most spectacular end to a date I would ever know… until several years later when a guy I met on Tinder threw a lime wedge at me and attempted to slam the plastic door of a winter vestibule on his way out of a restaurant.
“A homeless man is eating your tiramisu. I hope you’re happy now!”
Like he could make up for his shit with a $7 dessert in a takeout bag. Please.
I don’t even like tiramisu.