September 18, 2011

Date Night

Disclaimer: Let me first apologize for any wild generalizations I might make during the course of this story/rant. They are based on my experiences and every rule has an exception. Also, try not to think any less of me because of my handling of certain citations throughout the evening, hind sight is 20/20.

So, last week I’m doing my daily shopping, debating how quickly I can eat cottage cheese and how long it will last without refrigeration, when this guy walks up to me with a blue orchid. He starts asking me my opinion about plants for some housewarming he’s going to and I, being a nice person, play along (though it might be the sloppiest pick up line ever attempted). He seems like a nice enough guy, tall outgoing and all that. As if trying to give me as much background as possible, the guy starts telling me random bits of info, and then says the one thing that will make me turn tail and run: “I’m a chef.”

My mother was a waitress for eighteen years, I worked in every level of food service, from bartender and waitress to bar back and manager, for ten years. I have dated my fair share of chefs. I’ve also been the girl that hangs out on the loading dock listening to the married guys talk about the chick they met online last week or the waitress they’re playing on the side. I have not had good luck with chefs, which is why they top my “no list” (No chefs, no one shorter then me, and no drunks).

Eventually he asks for my number and I’m about to recite my standby (*big smile* “I don’t think my boyfriend would be ok with that”) but am stopped by two thoughts:
  1. Going on a date would get my little sister off my back. She thinks I'm romantically stunted
  2. And I could use this as research for The Tuckerbag
Maybe not the best reasons to date, but reasons none the less

Skip ahead to the date. We’re going to play a form of Where’s Waldo: I’m going to recount the evening and you’re going to look for where this guy went wrong. I'll help you out, just in case you have trouble.

He wants to take me to dinner so we meet in the park downtown. This made picking me up at my "front door" unnecessary. I assume that we’re going to a restaurant downtown but he suggests a place about ten minutes away, so we get in his car and start driving. We make smalltalk on the way and one of his first questions is “do you smoke weed.” Not a totally stupid question but is it really first date material? I tell him no, but I have no problem with it. After a few more minutes the guy says that he’s really not that hungry and why don’t we get some pizza instead. So now I know he's a tool because, having asked me out, he's made no concrete plans. Please keep in mind that this is not a real date for me, just a form of research, so I’m interested to see where this goes. We go to a pizza place, he walks up to the counter and orders two slices to go, then turns to me and says “do you want anything?” I’m a little confused as to why we aren’t eating there, plus their pizza looks gross, so I decline. Is this amateur night? We can't even sit down and chat? Isn't that what a date's for? 
We get in his car and he brings me to his place. Yeah, you heard me. He brings a first date to his basement studio apartment that he shares with three other guys who luckily were not there or I would have run like hell. So he sits down on his bed with his pizza, takes out his water bong, and he starts a movie (American Gangster). So I'm not getting food and we're not talking. What makes this a date? He offers me tequila, vodka, or (grudgingly) wine. I take the wine served in a frosty beer mug. I don't mind that the guy doesn't own wine glasses or that he served me a generic and over chilled charoney, but this is why you take a date OUT to eat. At this point I’m thinking WTF have I gotten myself into here. We watch some of the movie and eventually I make it clear that this is not my idea of a date. He suggests that we go to a bar downtown and have a few beers, which we do. It’s during this time that he starts getting handsy. I take the opportunity to tell him all about my vehicle dwelling situation. He answers with vaguely interested sounds and I’m honestly not sure he was listening at all. We get two beers and then he suggests we move on to somewhere else. Once in the car he decides he’d rather go home and watch the rest of the movie. I think we all know why he wanted to go back to his place, so I won’t go into that episode. Needless to say he didn’t get what he was looking for and brought me back to campus. I’d told him I had a meeting at 9pm to give myself an out should the evening go sour. Within thirty minutes of dropping me off I he was sending me lude photos and texts.

What happened to romance? What happened to taking her to dinner and awkwardly kissing her on the doorstep? Is it completely dead when a guy doesn't think he has to put in any effort at all?

Here are some quotes from my evening
  • “I knew this guy who played field hockey and he was really good, but he was playing against a bunch of girls so, you know, he should be”
  •  “I don’t read. I want to live my life, not read about someone else’s”
Tips for my date:
  1. Chef and Line cook are not synonymous and don't brag about being free on weekends, it means you can't be trusted with a real dinner service.
  2. I’m not 13, I don’t want to hang out in your basement
  3. Do not rub my back at bars, it’s disconcerting and awkward and I don't know where your hands have been
  4. If you’re going to ask me questions, try to sound slightly interested by the answers, even if you're not
  5. Don't start making plans for later in the week within the first 30 minutes of the date.
  6. Try to discreetly mention your name a few times throughout the evening just so I remember it because... I don't (maybe Chris? Nick? hmmm...)
  7. I do not date men who own Pomeranians. Get a real dog.
  8. Lady bits are pretty. Man bits are not. I don’t want photos of it.
  9. It's fine that all you want is to get laid, but put a little effort into the wooing because you're way more desperate than I am. 
  10. If you ask a girl if she smokes weed and she says no then try to restrain yourself from smoking, at least while your with her. Nothing is more annoying then talking to a stoned date when your not
So that's the story. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I will of course be adding a Dating While Vehicle Dwelling post, but it will be almost entirely through interviews and hands off research.


  1. That is fucking incredible. You know who would love that story? Julia x. Geeze man, what a dingus!

  2. WOW!!! I'm so sorry it went down like that Ash, but I seriously can't stop laughing. OMG ... I was never quite that young or awkward. Btw did you happen to notice if there was a white propane tank in his basement?

  3. I am sooooo glad I am married, but now extremely worried about my dating age daughter!

    ps-From a mom standpoint NEVER GO INTO THE BASEMENT APARTMENT

  4. So the way I see it is he's not good enough for u anyway i mean really grow up dude,

  5. OH GAWD, Ash!!! Where did the tool go wrong? Taking his first breath? I'm with you on the no chefs, although I have met a couple in my long long resturant career that were ok. They definitely weren't the majority.

    Someone should be paying you for this kind of research!


  6. This is so sad yet funny. Its everything wrong with dating all at once.

  7. wow, what a di*khead! good for research purposes though. hope the next date treats you better Ash :)

  8. I'm a generally clueless male. But even I wouldn't make 90% of those mistakes.

    I confess, I've gone on a date before without being sure of where we were going for dinner. But we did go out to eat and sit down. I've done the first date movie thing (actually with my current girlfriend even) but it's not my favorite because you really don't talk. That said, after the movie we spent a good hour just walking and talking by the lake near the theater.

    That's probably the worst first date I've heard of.

  9. What a tool! You are very lucky, though, that you didn't get raped, since that guy was hellbent on getting laid.

    I do have a piece of unsolicited advice. Be careful about telling random dates about your living situation. In the scenario above, it seemed like you told him after you had already determined he was a douchebag. What's to stop him from cruising around town looking for your car? Obviously, if you're planning on getting serious or even semi-serious with someone, you'll want them to know, and there is always the chance that they will not be able to deal with it and dump you. A lot of relationship experts advice people to lay all their cards on the table in the beginning to weed out the people who can't handle things. And I normally would agree, but in your case, your situation makes you more vulnerable, and you don't want crazy, scary assholes knowing your situation.

    Be safe. Love the blog. Keep writing!

  10. I kept hearing Cracker's "Mr. Wrong" playing in my head while reading this post...

  11. I am most definitely offended as a man who is both a cook and owns small dogs I never some girls feel that way. I will get rid of my dog and get a real job immediately, this guy sounds like he was 18 and had no real dating experience, its so sad that the art of chivalry is lost on people I may be just old fashioned but I like the awkward first kiss and traditionalism of a real date.

  12. So sorry it was such a horrible only date. It almost seems like your research should be in a quide of what not to do on a date!

  13. Steve, I did not see a white propane tank… There was a door to the boiler so he might have been hiding it in there. Should I be worried about men with propane tanks?

    Cindy, I kind of thought he would be paying me in dinner. I guess not.

    Kevin, It’s not even the not having solid plans, it’s the not having any idea. I would have killed for a real movie date (not a creeper apartment movie showing)

    Wollyprimate, Having tried the "cards on the table approach" I may opt for ambiguity and distraction next time.
    “Where do you live?”
    “oh, around… Look at that cloud!”

    David Drifter, From what I’ve read your positive qualities may outweigh both the small dog and cook status. Unless it’s a Mickey Rourke/Loki situation. Then we may need to stage an intervention.

  14. I was single for a long time, I never considered a grocery store pick up as being an option. You just don't know what your getting....
    I met my best dates by getting involved in activities I enjoyed and meeting new people who invariably knew least you have something in common to talk about if all else fails.
    I married a cook, but he's one in a Million!

  15. sounds like a real dead beat ,not all guys r like this jackazz ,good luck with the next one Ash

  16. This story was fabulous. Clearly, we need to find you some better men to date!

  17. You're doing it right, kiddo. (Affectionate term, really!) Don't worry about meeting guys - just enjoy being with YOU, enjoying life and the things you like. If you're having a great time, then other folks *who think you're onto a good thing and like what you're doing will want to be part of it.* Someone who meshes with what you like and you'll enjoy one another.

    Me? Awkward but still bright and physically good condition guy. Heck, let's be honest. Aspie. All that means is we can be kind of quirky and honest. Even after all of that, I still didn't make that many mistakes when single!

    I've been reading your blog here and on CRLforum. You're fantastic and he was a tool. It'll be a fun story to relate later, that's for sure!

    Paddle on, kiddo. ;-) Chin up, laugh it off and stay warm on those chilly mornings!

  18. Hi Ash,
    I could not agree with you more about the dating a chef thing. With your considerable years of service and restaurant observation, what do you think causes this behavior? Is it more prevelent that with say, lawyers or firemen?
    My personal favorite is when a *line cook* with two fellow employees, refers to himself as an *executive chef* ::))

    1. I'm not sure, this is a real chicken and egg question. Definitely worse in chefs than any other profession. Have you read Anthony Bourdain? Kitchen Confidential is like a case study in this phenomenon:)

    2. but what egg or chicken Ash? Why
      is this problem worse with chefs versus, say,in the general population,dry wall hangers,retired geologists, or western mass. university mall cops that patrol student parking lots? Anthony Boudrain,ahem, should only be considered a life coach, even a relationship coach,in only the most troubled,dire,and of utmost fun, relationships.


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