We had met the other night, briefly. It was late and I was walking past as he asked for directions. “I’m not sure,” I said, “I’m not from here.” He seemed nice enough, about my age, a seemingly sweet fellow. We chatted about twenty odd minutes. “Maybe we can go for drinks on Friday?” he asked. “Sure,” I said, “here is my number.” What do I have to lose, I thought. A Friday with the possibility of good conversation versus another night sitting at a bar by myself seemed like a no-brainer.
My friend joked that I would be like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday and I’d find my Jude Law. A charming thought… maybe it was pessimism or realism that made me doubt I’d live the dream of the female who goes abroad and falls madly, deeply in love with a complete stranger with a sexy accent. That is for the movies, although a charming sentiment.
I boarded the train and had a few moments of chick flick surrealism allowing myself to think maybe I could be a Cameron Diaz, real life version, meeting my Jude Law. I quickly laughed at the thought, realizing how stupid that really was.
I arrived at the meeting point about fifteen minutes early. He walked in promptly at 8 o’clock, the agreed upon time. I ordered a red wine and he, a beer. I typically go for taller gents as I’m slightly taller for a female. Height would never be a deal breaker for me, but when I stood up to the bar to order my drink, it became apparent how short he really was. I hadn’t noticed the other night because he had been sitting down. I was towering several inches above him. It didn’t help that I had chosen to wear heels. Whatever, I thought. Height is just a physical thing anyway.
I was slightly put-off by the fact he arrived in a t-shirt. I put forth the effort to get dressed up and I even wore heels, a very rare thing for me to do. And he, for a first date, a first impression, shows up in a t-shirt of all things. Laziness, I thought, sheer laziness and lack of effort. Whatever, so he is short and he chose to wear a t-shirt in a place where all the other men are dressed nicely in button-ups and sport coats. Maybe I’m being too critical, I thought.
The night began fine with casual conversation. He appeared to have a decent sense of humor, an important thing to me. By the time I had finished half a glass of wine, he had drank nearly four pints of beer. Okay… maybe he will slow down, maybe he was just nervous and the beer is a confidence booster. By the time I ordered my second glass, he must have been about ten pints deep and his personality drastically altered… drunk.
He tells me I am beautiful. “Thank you,” I said feeling slightly awkward. And then suddenly as if I have no real name, every sentence he begins with calling me beautiful. I have to be honest, that word is flattering at first in the right situation, but when it becomes the beginning of every sentence, it loses its appeal and quickly becomes annoying and insincere. I feel myself losing my patience and wanting to leave.
We leave the bar and begin walking toward the Christmas lights I’ve heard so much about in George Square. He tries to grab my hand and I promptly move it, avoiding the attempt at handholding. I am not a particularly large fan of public displays of affection as it is and although I’d have no problem holding hands with a boyfriend in public, I do have qualms about holding hands with a complete stranger. He makes another attempt and I so obviously once again avoid the handhold for a second time. Again, he tries and is denied. Are you not getting the hint here, I think.
Twenty minutes later I say I must catch the train back home. “Will I see you again?” he asks. I don’t respond at first and with hesitation I say, “We’ll see.” But we both know that is the last time we will be seeing one another. Another first and last date. I’m cold and annoyed and can’t walk away fast enough. Maybe I am a bad person, a shallow person, but as I walk to the train station I think to myself, “He was short anyway…”