The other day I found myself being asked to recount a funny dating anecdote to a friend of a friend. I'm always good for one of those.
The next thing I knew I was recounting one from a while back which left me completely flummoxed
It all happened when in the pique of loneliness and rejection I responded to an ad...one sans photo, but with an intriguing enough profile.
There were flirty volleys back and forth, but never a photo from him. He had the advantage(?) of seeing mine, however.
Anyway, after a few phone calls we made plans to meet. I was (stupidly) excited. I'm not sure why.
He had planned for us to go to dinner, and asked if I'd drive. He had a fear of driving. I said, "sure."
He asked what I drank, and I, not knowing what to say (see, I really do need a "signature drink") said rum and coke, which is, after all, maybe my default drink.
I got to his lovely house, rang the bell. Despite the fact that I've been on all too many such dates, I found myself nervous.
The door opened and a reasonably attractive average man, near my age opened the door with a smile. He thrust a rum and coke into my hands suddenly...and the small talk commenced. He led me on a tour of his lovely house. He dropped names of celebrity clients, showed off his art.
He gave me an apple.
He'd teasingly asked me on the phone before we'd met if a student had ever given me an apple before. I'd said no.
We sat on his couch, he sat next to me, touching my leg, flattering me, making slight sexual innuendos. Suddenly his phone rang. He ignored it. We chatted more. It rang again and he answered.
"Hi, yes. Um, yes. No. Yes...........yes."
He folded the phone up and forced a fake smile.
"Where was I?" He resumed, patently fakely jovial.
"Is everything ok?" I asked.
"Oh, yeah. That was just my sister. My father's died."
"Oh my God...I'm so sorry..!" I exclaimed. "Are you all right...."
"Oh...sure." He forced a smile...and shifted the subject awkwardly back to the decor. He went on a while, and then asked earnestly, with a pat to my leg:
"You don't mind if we don't have dinner, do you? I have to make plans to get a flight out for the weekend."
Of course I understood. Who wouldn't?
I thanked him for the drink. I put it in the sink. He remarked on my "good manners."
"I'll call you Monday. I should be home by then after the funeral. We'll have dinner then."
"Sure," I said. I picked up my apple and he walked me to the door. He reaffirmed that we'd have dinner the next week when he got home, and gave me a friendly kiss.
I took my apple and walked back to my car, got in and drove off, confused.
Later that weekend I noticed that he had gone nowhere and was prowling match.com.
Of course he never contacted me again.
Clearly his dead father
This, I'm sure, is no surprise to anyone here, obvious from the start of the story.
One day I hope it'll be obvious to me before I begin the story too...but I doubt it.
Anyway, I put the apple in the refrigerator and forgot about it...and him.
A month or so later I found it, still quite fresh. I put it in a bag and walked out to the park and ceremoniously threw it in a pond.
The damned thing floated.
I walked away, dejectedly feeling like a fool.
Hopefully eventually it returned to the earth, and found itself doing something some good.