When it comes to first dates, it’s safe to say the whole point is for two people to get to know each other. Which is why I remain baffled whenever I encounter someone who perceives it more as the chance to have an audience of one.
Over the years, I’ve had a handful of first dates during which the guy pretty much monopolized the entire conversation. There was the once engaged bachelor who, clearly still in heartbreak mode, opted to share chapter and verse about what precipitated the breakup. Or the chatty piano player who barely let me get a word in edgewise, later admitting via email that he tends to talk a lot when he’s nervous. Both completely understandable scenarios – unlike my outing with an OkCupid member the other night.
His profile was so well written and detailed that I didn’t think too much about its copious length. Especially since his introductory email managed to sound flattering yet sincere. When we spoke on the phone, he spent most of our 20-minute chat telling me about his extensive wine expertise. Though this was a major clue into how much he likes to hear his own voice, I opted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was nervous, I told myself. And, after all, aren’t we thirtysomething women often accused of not giving men a fair chance?
So I meet Mr. Wine Expert for drinks. Not surprisingly, he selects a perfect venue in Midtown — a unique hybrid of wine bar and sports bistro that was comfortably quiet on this particular night. I compliment him on being a connoisseur, to which he replies with an explanation of the word’s true origin and that it doesn’t always have a positive connotation. And then, for the next two hours, he did not stop talking. About the differences between grape varietals, what makes beer Belgian, why he speaks several languages and why he hates being asked what his favorite restaurant is.
I tried a few times to interject, but each time he made sure the conversation reverted squarely back to him. As I sat there, I couldn’t help wondering – would this monologue ever end? And, more importantly, how could I make a fast exit in time to get home and watch the SAG Awards?
The one redeeming part of the evening? I only missed the first 20 minutes of the awards.
| , , , ,