My second date with Long Island bachelor and OkCupid member E began much like the first – at a fabulous nightspot in Chelsea.
We met for drinks at The Darby, an upscale jazz club and restaurant with rich, elegant décor and great music. As we clinked glasses, E said I looked pretty and we made easy small talk about the holidays and our plans for the evening.
For dinner, E chose Crispo, a first-class Italian bistro with a cozy main dining room featuring exposed brick, a waterfall and wrought iron chairs. The food was amazing – I had black truffle ricotta ravioli and we shared a sublime tiramisu for dessert. Along the way, E asked a lot of questions and listened intently as I told him about my travels to Australia over the years and what I learned during my U.S. Dating Blitz.
I found myself thinking maybe I had read too much into his gay-related observations on date #1 — until we got to Canal Room down in Soho.
As we waited for awesome 80’s tribute band Jessie’s Girl to take the stage, E quoted some advice a friend had shared with him–
“’If you like this girl, don’t tell her you like Neil Diamond.’”
While I’m processing why he’s telling me this, E reflects on how popular tight jeans were during the 80’s – and gestures toward the rear end of a guy in front of us who’s wearing them.
At this point, I can’t ignore the fact that my gay-dar vibe is sounding an alarm. I try putting that aside once the concert starts, doing by best to just enjoy Jessie’s Girl’s energetic set of 80’s classics. But when E leans over – twice – to comment on the band’s muscle-shirt clad male backup singer, my patience begins to wear thin. Nothing’s a bigger buzzkill than having your date make eyes at other men.
E and I shared an awkward cab ride back uptown.
“I’ll talk to you soon,” he called out as he shut the door and I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Because clearly, he has a few things to figure out when it comes to who exactly he wants to date.
Though I managed to eventually find the humor in this unexpected episode, it also served as a cautionary tale of what can happen when you rely too heavily on the Internet to find love. I’ve said it many times and it bears repeating: online dating is a lot like gambling. There are the lucky few who hit the jackpot and then there’s everybody else. I, for one, have had my fill of cyberspace-instigated dates. So I’m officially taking my online profile down and making a New Year’s resolution to get offline and back out there again.
The quest for love continues.