Wait. First I have to tell you my game plan and how I tried to approach this whole thing. First, I wanted to have minimal email communication leading up to a face-to-face meeting. I feel like the longer you communicate with someone before meeting them, 1) the more awkward it is, 2) the more expectations you have, 3) the more the story you've made up about them in your head starts to take over. So, I tried to keep things to a general topic of conversation like the World Series or Thunder basketball. (Guys love it when you can speak in their native language: Sports.) Okay, so the plan was: keep convo general and be honest (as in, if you're not interested, say you're not interested).
Name: Gary (named changed to something that makes me laugh)
Info: 33, self-employed, likes Thunder basketball, traveling, his family and friends, has his Masters in business, is in the Air-Force Reserves, originally from Alaska.
Date: Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon
Background: We had emailed a few times (mostly talking about the Harden trade), texted mainly about where to meet and when.
Time elapsed from first contact to meeting up: 1 week
G=Gary C=Cara.... What follows is the play-by-play of our date. Important to note: we were supposed to meet at 2:30pm. Disclaimer: THIS IS ALL TRUE.
(2:25pm) - I am stuck in traffic, 1/2 mile from where we're meeting.
G: (text) Hey where are you?
C: (text) I'm at ______. Should be there in just a minute.
G: (text) Ok, call me when you get here.
C: (inner dialogue) Why?
(2:30pm) - I park and call as I'm walking up to the door.
G: (call) Hey I see you...*hangs up*
C: (inner dialogue) O..k.....
(2:31pm) - I walk in to Starbucks and come over to the table Gary's sitting at. He does not wave, get up, shake my hand, etc.
G: You're late. *Holds up iPhone to show a time of 2:31pm.*
C: (*Pauses; gives an "Are you serious?" face.) One minute? You're getting on me for 1 minute? Come on man.... (*Trying to break the ice and be jokey)
G: (*No facial affect. Turns and looks out the window. STILL SITTING DOWN.)
**This is the time where people say, "Do you think he was joking?" Answer: I HAVE NO CLUE.**
C: (*Awkwardly sits down at the table.)
G: I'm going to grab a drink. (*Stands up, walks over to the register to order.)
C: (*confused) (inner dialogue: I guess I should go stand in line too?) *I get back up (I HAD JUST SAT DOWN) and go stand behind Gary. He stands with his back to me. Does not talk to me.
G: *orders drink*, barista sees me, asks, "Will that be all?", Gary nods and pays. (HE HAS NOT OFFERED TO SPRING FOR MY $2.05 TEA I'M ABOUT TO ORDER.) Gary walks back to the table and sits down.
**This is where everyone (and I mean every single person who's heard this: all 4 of them) says: WHY DIDN'T YOU TURN AROUND AND WALK OUT? Answer: It did occur to me. I think I was so surprised at how it was going that I just felt like I had to play it out. And honestly, I was concerned with looking rude. (I know you're already telling me I'm not the rude one in this situation, but let's just move on...)**
C: (*To barista who is now feeling really uncomfortable on my behalf) Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I'm gonna buy my OWN drink! (insert Zooey Deschanel awkward arm swing and winky face) *walks back to table to sit down.
G: *Gets up, goes to pick up his drink. My name is called, I stand up, he turns around...
C: Would you mind getting my drink? (*points to bar where my drink is sitting) (*inner dialogue: SERIOUSLY?)
G: (sits back down at the table, looks out the window.)
C: Sooooooooooooo. You're from Alaska? Tell me about that.
G: I grew up there. My parents still live there. (still looking out the window.)
C: Nice. What area are you from?
G: *names some area about an hour outside Anchorage
C: Cool. I've always wanted to visit Alaska. It seems like a really beautiful place.
G: I hated it. I like it better here.
C: What brought you to Oklahoma?
G: I joined the Air Force and was stationed at Tinker. Then I went into the reserves and got my Masters at OU. It's nice. It's cheap to live here. I make a lot of money here.
C: I have a friend in the Marines who's stationed out in North Carolina. He's a JAG. What kind of work do you do for the Air Force?
G: I'm just in the reserves. I did stuff with computers. I only joined so they would pay for grad school.
C: Cool. (*head nodding...) (At this point I notice he's already finished his drink.)
C: So what kind of work do you do?
G: Where did you go to school?
**Did you catch that?**
C: *confused* I'm sorry?
G: Where did you go to college?
C: (I tell him)
G: So you didn't have fraternity or sororities?
C: *laugh* Nope.
G: Well I own my own business and we supply Greek products to frats and sororities around the country. We're the #2 retailer.
C: So like, sweatshirts? That kind of stuff?
G: Oh we have everything. (*lists off an ungodly amount of crap)
C: I gotcha.
G: Yea, I have 4 employees. I only work about 3 hours a day. But I'm constantly checking stock prices. It's all about making money, you know? (*record scratch)
C: Well, maybe for some people.
G: How much money do you make?
**Did you catch that?**
G: How much money do you make?
C: I'm not comfortable with that kind of question. I don't feel like that's any of your business.
G: What kind of car do you drive?
G: I drive a Range Rover.
C: *looks at Gary blankly*
G: Yea, I'm going to pick up my friend for the Thunder game tonight. I just got my car back from its 30,000 mile maintenance. I love my car. Did you know I have season tickets to the Thunder?
C: I think I saw that on your...
G: Yea, at club level. With the buffet. I go to every home game. It's awesome.
C: Sounds nice.
G: Yea one of my friends went to college with Kevin Durant. She lived 3 doors down from him his freshman year.
C: Well he was only at UT for one year, so it would've had to have been his freshman year.
G: It was.
C: Cool. So what do you do in your free time if you're working all the time? (*I'm annoyed. I don't know why I'm still talking to Gary at this point.)
G: I go to Vegas. I was actually just in Vegas last weekend and I'm going again this Friday. I hope in a year when I have a couple more employees that I can be in Vegas even more often. I love it there.
C: What do you do in Vegas?
G: Have you ever been there?
G: I gamble. I eat. They have the greatest buffets in the world. I go out.
C: Even better than the buffet at the Thunder games?
G: (*doesn't get it.) Um, yea, like, way better.
***Blah blah blah...I don't remember the rest. The "date" managed to last somewhere around 45 minutes. It shouldn't have gotten that much air time. I'm well aware. ***
C: Well, I've gotta get crackin' on some homework before the game tonight.
G: Yea, I've got to go get my friend so we can get there for the buffet.
C: You can go this early? The game isn't for another 3 1/2 hours.
G: Well you know, I have to go pick him up and then drive downtown and we'll probably go somewhere before the game.
G: (*Outside at this point) Where did you park?
C: I'm over that way
G: Alright. (*turns and walks to his beloved Range Rover.)
C: (*walks into a store next door and wait for Gary to leave....followed by laughter and lots of, "Did that just happen?" and a call to my safety pal to check-in and laugh more. )
Summary: Almost every single thing he listed on his profile as being true was the exact opposite in real-life. (You're probably rolling your eyes at that like I'm an idiot. Forgive me for trusting strangers to tell the truth about themselves!) He bashed his family and friends the entire time, he talked about himself (I literally didn't say anything other than what is listed above. I just nodded my head) and had minimal eye contact.
Dear Boys: If you don't stand up when you're meeting someone (ANYONE!), shake hands, look them in the eye...if you display that you're only concerned with yourself, your job, your car, your money...there's a very high probability that I think you're not a very noteworthy human being. I probably think you have something(s) to hide and I don't trust any word you say. And if you have the balls to call me out for being 1 MINUTE LATE and proceed to talk about your wealth while not at least offering to pay for my $2 beverage: call me on none-day.
I hope you're laughing at this nonsense. What's 45 minutes of torture when you can come out with a good story?
Part III: Second First Date
Part IV: Closing Thoughts