I believe in calling it as I see it and there’s no doubt I deserve this one.
After several conversations, I agreed to meet William for our first date. I have recently been exploring the option of dating men outside of Manhattan. I’ve not changed my online profile so the “Manhattan only, please” is still in place but if a guy reaches out from distant lands like Hoboken, Long Island or even Poughkeepsie, I’m willing to consider a passport stamp.
William is from Long Island.
I noticed the longer we talked the more frequently he referred to himself as “Billy,” he also began signing his email messages with the nickname.
I struggle to grasp why any person past the age of seventeen would continue to use the child’s version of their given name. That applies to either gender: Susan or Sue, fifty years old and still going by Suzy or the godawful Suzy-Q?
Grow up, already.
William let me know he had a successful business—many times. I shared that although I thought success was a nice thing, I wanted to know more about him from a personal perspective. When he asked me out he said, “Oh, and I’ll come your way.” Now, I know that seems like a simple statement but it didn’t sit well with me. It implied that he was doing me a favor. I wanted to say, “No shit, you’ll come my way. I don’t want to commute to date.” I held my tongue and chastised myself for being bitchy. During our conversation we talked about why certain people were online. William shared that he had been on several dates since joining the site three weeks ago. He said the common theme he’d heard from his dates was that the guys were idiots. I agreed and told him I’d had my share of those. I then told him of something my friend Chloe told me. She said a male friend of hers felt that the majority of men online “have no game.” If they did they’d be able to get a date. His theory was that with the amount of available women outnumbering men (in the tri-state area), if a guy is online he couldn’t cut it in the real world. I’ve often thought the same thing. William said with the information he’d gotten from other women, he agreed.
So when Billy suggested we go on a city bus tour—you know, those double-decker, bright red machines, I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. But with my new outlook I decided to roll with it.
Then he suggested we meet at 10 am so we could make it a daylong date since he was coming all that way into the city and he also said the it would be “his treat.”
Another No Shit Moment.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is be stuck anywhere with someone I’m not enjoying–a first date is always a crapshoot. The 10 am start time only made it worse.
Have I told you I’m not a morning person? I’m always up early but try to avoid talking until noon.
On the day before our date I got the following message from Billy:
I got game and I’m bringing it!
Here’s the attachment:
Now here’s where I go to Assholeville. I sent the following message to my older daughter:
Here’s my date for tomorrow. First, the name, Billy. He started out as William. Second, he’s taking me on a NYC bus tour that starts at 10 am. Next, he told me, “It’s my treat” like I didn’t know he’d be paying. AND then lastly, the latest message below. Can I cancel now?
I hit send, felt a little better after my mini-rant and knew my girl would feel my pain.
Thirty minutes later I’d heard nothing from my daughter but I did have another message from Billy.
God, please don’t let it be another cyber flower, I thought, as I opened it.
Nope, here’s what it said:
My date, we shall call her Melanie or more recently Pompous.
Firstly, the name either Billy or William. My dear friends call me Billy and that’s what I thought we were becoming – was I so very wrong:
Second, I floated several ideas and she was supposed to proffer several as well, but never did. Something about “packing hell”.
In this day of equality and clarity a mention of “my treat” is erroneously considered to be some type of social fau paux.
Third, she mentioned time and again how men on the web have no GAME. Seems she forgot to mention that she has no sense of humor.
And then LASTLY, a romantic gesture of a digital rose between online professionals is ridiculed.
She is of course free to exercise her lady’s prerogative and coldly cancel via Email.
Melanie, I do so love the banter and my compliments on your having played “the game” and naive me so very well.
Guess who mistakenly replied instead of forwarding?
Just call me Ms. Tech-Savvy.
He was right. He did ask for my ideas and I was in packing hell with my youngest daughter. She just moved to Vermont with her girlfriend. I certainly could’ve suggested something else, but I didn’t.
I considered deleting the message but instead I had to own it. I sent Billy a message apologizing in as many ways possible in one paragraph. I explained that wasn’t my way of canceling the date, rather I had accidentally sent him the message intended for my daughter (I’m certain that revelation made it so much better), I wrote that I had no justification for my awful behavior and I told him that I’m an asshole.
He called immediately.
I didn’t want to answer, but then I would have to add coward to my list of despicable personality traits.
I answered with another apology and explained that although I did feel those things, I would’ve told him much more delicately if we continued to see each other.
He asked if I still wanted to go on the date.
Who was this guy, Ghandi?
I would’ve given him the boot. He actually stated that he was impressed with my ballsy message.
I was duly shamed.
So, the next morning, bright and early I met Billy at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum on 42nd Street where the tour began. We climbed aboard the bus and headed out. Strange as it may sound, I actually enjoyed the tour. Here’s what I learned:
The Paris, a tavern in the Downtown district is said to be the place Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid planned their Bolivian escape.
The Fraunces Tavern, the place where General George Washington said goodbye to his officers at the end of the American Revolution and returned to his Mount Vernon home.
SoHo has the most cast-iron buildings in the world. If I’m completely honest, I never knew it had any.
When the tour ended we backtracked to the best pizza in NYC (according to our guide), John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street in the West Village.
We chatted over our food and Billy told me he doesn’t think he’ll be on the site much longer since he’s narrowed it down to two women.
I wasn’t one of them.
“Why am I here?” I asked, trying not to sound snotty since I’d already demonstrated proficiency in that area.
“Because I wanted to fulfill my obligation.”
The minute I hit “Send” and that doozy of a message went to Billy’s Inbox, his virtuous card should’ve expired. Depak Chopra would’ve called me a bitch.
“Out of all the women I’ve dated you look the most like your photos,” Billy said, so at least it wasn’t false advertising.
I offered to pay my share of the bill. He declined, I paid the tip then thanked Billy and wished him well.
During the cab ride home I decided my atonement would be two things: I would watch The Real Housewives episodes with a critical eye. With every catty, nasty, rotten thing they said or did I would tell myself, “See, that’s you.”
I also knew I must share my shame on the blog. Perhaps I should reconsider my lack of religion. Confessing to a priest would be far less humiliating.
“He took you on a bus tour? What’d he come in from Ohio?” My friend “Chloe”