It was my last week on a well-known dating website (I’ve moved to another) and I figured I would peruse the profiles one last time to see if there was anyone I wanted to reach out to.
I’d noticed Patrick before—handsome, athletic, well-written profile, a cardiologist and published author. He’d looked at my profile but never contacted me so it was now or never. I constructed a cleverly worded message letting him know of my limited time on the site. I explained that I don’t normally reach out to men, and if he was not interested I’d be OK, but it might take my ego some time to recover.
He responded and we exchanged our real email addresses. I have an old email address that doesn’t include my name and that’s the one I use with any men I meet online. Again, not to overstress this, the last thing I want them to do is use Google before we meet.
After several email exchanges we settled on a day and time to meet. Patrick asked me to come to his Park Avenue office and we’d get a drink. Our meeting time was 5:30 pm.
At 5:00, I received a text message:
Hi Melanie—I am just doing paperwork now so any time is fine. Thanks!
I sent a message back letting him know that I’d be there at the appointed time. I guess men don’t understand that most women plan the primping process to the minute. At least I do. I want my hair and make-up to be fresh.
I sent Patrick a text when I was a block away in a cab and arrived at his building a few minutes later. He wasn’t in the lobby and the men at the reception desk eyeballed me with suspicion.
It must’ve been my shady appearance.
I sent Patrick another text letting him know I was waiting. It was 5:25 pm.
And waited until it was 5:43. I wrote my next text that would be sent at 5:45:
I waited 15 minutes and then left. You must’ve had an emergency with a patient.
Fifteen minutes is my limit without some sort of communication.
Just as I was about to hit send, a harried and a bit disheveled Patrick came out of the elevator. He walked towards me apologizing for his lateness. He’d put his phone in silent mode and missed my texts. Hmmm. Why would he do that when he’d asked me to text him upon arrival?
I was a little miffed.
Patrick was a bit heavier than his profile photos, but not enough to bother me. He suggested we go to a place in the building for a drink and we walked to the establishment only to find it was closed.
Now I was getting annoyed.
Come on, Patrick. Get your shit together.
He suggested we find another bar in the neighborhood and told me he didn’t know of any and we should just walk around and find one. Love it when a guy shows me how important I am with a well-planned date.
Patrick was a fast walker and talker. He told me lots about himself while we trekked. I was wearing heels so I struggled to keep up but he didn’t seem to notice and although he didn’t know of a neighborhood bar, he walked as if on a mission.
“Do you mind if I run an errand before we get a drink?”
“Um, no, I guess not.”
Patrick led me into an Asian grocery store. “I need natto.”
I’d never heard of natto but Patrick explained –in great detail—his love of the smelly fermented soybeans. After discussing which brand was best with the grocer, he bought several containers.
At that point I was completely turned off.
Across the street was an Irish pub and he suggested we have our drink there. The place was loud and crowded and not ideal for talking. Patrick didn’t seem to mind.
One drink and I’m outta here.
“So you’re from the land of strippers and organized crime?” Patrick said with a wry smile, in reference to my Las Vegas roots.
“I’m not ashamed of my hometown if that’s what you’re implying.”
What a prick.
“No, it’s such an, um, interesting place to grow up, that’s all I’m saying.”
Sure, that’s all you’re saying.
I’ve seen that same pompous look cross many a born and raised Manhattanite’s face when I share my Sin City origins.
Patrick was not only a gifted conversationalist but also an eyebrow talker.
I know. Why I notice these things is a mystery to me. Patrick could move his eyebrows halfway up his forehead and he did it frequently. They looked like two caterpillars in a race to the finish at his hairline.
It was impressive. So skilled was he that I couldn’t ask my neighbor Mark, to demonstrate. He couldn’t get his half as high.
Patrick was a Brow Master.
He continued to talk, pausing briefly after stating that he was monopolizing the conversation, and then starting again. He shared his love of natto. “A Japanese delicacy,” he said. He did a lively impersonation of a Japanese friend who introduced him to the food. You should’ve seen those eyebrows jump when he did the accent.
He paused for a moment, looked at his phone, and read a message. “Work,” he said without looking up.
I started to reach for my handbag to grab my phone. He didn’t seem to like that.
“I want to read this and I’ll put it away,” he stated in a conciliatory tone, which was meant to keep mine tucked in my bag.
“Don’t be silly,” I said, “I’ll keep mine out too. That way if I get messages I can read them right away as you did.”
My petulance must’ve triggered a memory and he shared his experience with another Vegas woman he knew from many years ago. A wistful look crossed his face. The brows followed along. She was his Older Woman Experience. He was in his early twenties, she in her thirties and in New York to care for her ailing mother.
“She kept me in line,” said Patrick with a chuckle. “When she wasn’t happy with me she’d reach over and pull my chest hair through my shirt. Yank it out. Wow, did that hurt.”
Now here’s where it gets confusing.
I’m not sure how this happened and it’s probably because I was fixated on his forehead, but in an instant, Patrick’s hand was on the top of my chest as he demonstrated the pinch of his former lover. OK, it was the top but he was still pinching breast. Considering he’s a doctor I imagine he knew the starting point of Boobville.
It did give me a little comfort to know that he’s licensed by the State of New York to grope me.
I live in a full service building so I asked my doorman to pinch my breast for the photo below.
Kidding, that’s not the doorman’s hand. What kind of tenant do you take me for?
I asked my neighbor Karen (Mark’s wife), to demonstrate when I was at their home last night for Easter dinner. Look closely, that’s where Patrick pinched. You’ll have to decide if it was an innocent mistake.
I tend to think not.
I pushed his hand away and he said, “You’re such a good listener.”
I guess I was that night since he’d not asked me a single question and then I was speechless immediately following his grab.
The server approached and he told her we’d have another round.
Wasn’t happening and I shared that with him.
We exited, walked to the street and I hailed a cab. He said he’d had a great time. I did not respond.
I got a text from him this weekend. He asked for my email address. The problem was that he’d sent several messages to me already. I reminded him of that and thanked him (with over the top sincerity) for the lesson in Japanese delicacies.
Here’s his reply:
Gosh, I was not meaning to be didactic, sorry. And yes, you gave me the address, it just doesn’t sound like you. I forgot the connection. Happy Easter!
I never told Patrick about being a writer. He didn’t ask. I never shared with him that I have a blog. All the things I normally talk about on a first date–when I’m with someone who’s not performing a monologue. Sure, the breast pinch was appalling but maybe he didn’t mean to touch me there. It was his lack of consideration that began immediately when he left me waiting in the lobby and continued throughout the date that was most offensive.
Call me sensitive, but being didactic should be the least of his concerns.
“How do I work? I grope.” Albert Einstein
Please remember that I always change the names and certain details so these, um, gentlemen cannot be identified and for that they should be grateful.