Dateline: "His profile only had three pictures, two of which were of his cars…"
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7:05 p.m. – I'm at my apartment getting ready for a date with IvyLeagueHunk, a guy from Match.com who introduced himself to me as a "lawyer with his own law firm." I'm having some misgivings about the date, as his profile only had three pictures, two of which were of his cars, and his voicemail message confirming our date sounded strangely robotic.
7:15 – I get on the bus to meet him at a place called Edgar's Café, a coffee shop in Edgar Allen Poe's old apartment building. He chose this place — I think — because I was an English major. It crosses my mind that this date could turn out really badly.
7:30 – I'm running just a few minutes late. I'm usually few minutes late for dates, on purpose, to give an element of suspense to my arrival, so I don't give this a second thought.
7:34 – I arrive at the café. He's not there and the place is completely empty, except for a lone worker with a mop and two men sitting at a dimly lit table in the corner, plotting like they stepped out of a Dostoevsky novel.
7:36 – I wait in front of the café, and text him saying that I'm there.
7:40 – No reply. I try calling. No answer. I consider that I might have gotten stood up. This has never happened to me before.
7:45 – I order myself a hot chocolate and leave.
7:55 – I'm on the bus again and halfway back to my apartment, when I get a string of texts and a call from a random 917 number. It's IvyLeagueHunk calling from a different phone line and he's apologizing profusely for missing me. He explains he was at the café right at 7:30 and left when I wasn't there. He urges me to stop wherever I am and he'll come meet me. His voice sounds strange, like he has some sort of accent I've never heard before.
8:05 – I get out at a street corner across from a small neighborhood pub. I'm waiting by myself, and I feel more nervous, as I'm now fully confident that he's weirder than I initially thought. I consider just walking away, but I've already done all my makeup.
8:09 – A friend of mine walks by with a friend of hers. They say hi and ask why I'm standing on the corner of a busy intersection by myself. I explain that I'm waiting for a date, but I try to hurry them along because I'm already embarrassed about what he probably looks like. I realize the fact that I'm so jumpy makes the situation seem even weirder than it already is.
8:10 – My friend tells me to text her once I'm finished to make sure I get back okay.
8:11 – Almost as soon as they leave, IvyLeagueHunk shows up in an unmarked Town Car. He gets out and tells the driver to wait across the street. He's on the shorter side, he's wearing a red button-up shirt and pinstriped pants, he has a huge pot belly, and I can best describe his features as elf-like. It's difficult to tell his age.
8:12 – He shakes my hand and suggests we go across the street to the nearby bar. I'm too uncomfortable to walk inside with him, so I suggest we sit at one of the tables outside.
8:13 – The waitress comes over and sort of smiles at us, like she can tell this is the first time we've met, ever.
8:14 – He orders chamomile tea. I think this is strange since we're at a place named Molly Pitcher's Ale House, but follow suit thinking it will somehow save the waitress time if we order the same thing, and thus the date will be shorter.
8:16 – His mannerisms make me uncomfortable. I keep my purse on my shoulder the entire time. He asks me where I went to school, what I do for work, etc. I tell him, then return the questions, but only get cryptic non-answers like, "I save where I went to school for the second date," and "I work for myself."
8:20 – In the spirit of my having gone to a women's college, he tells me he is cousins with Betty Friedan.
8:21 – "She wasn't that nice in real life," he explains. "Our family didn't really like her much."
8:22 – He tells me has a twin that looks exactly like him.
8:22 – I tell him I need to head home because it's getting pretty late. This date is officially over.
8:25 – He signs the check for our tea and walks toward the waiting Town Car. He suggests that, provided I own a cocktail dress, I could join him as his date at a party on Thursday. If not, he says, he has one I can probably borrow. I tell him I'll think about it.
8:30 – I head straight to my friend's place and dish to her and her friend about everything that happened, even though I don't know them well enough to really do this. But they totally empathize, telling me they would have canceled as soon as he mentioned the Edgar Allen Poe café.
8:37 – I think to myself that, had his username not been quite so alluring, I would have done the same.