First published in the Santa Barbara Sentinel under the pen name, Elizabeth Rose.
It was the morning after our first date.
I had plans to surf with a couple of girlfriends and I was eager to fill them in on the details from the night before.
As I made coffee, my phone rings.
It’s him! Whoa, that was quick.
I was excited he called but felt it was a bit early – I barely had time to travel down the is-he-going-to-call rabbit hole.
It all seemed a little too…easy.
He said he had a great time last night. (Sweet. I did, too) and wanted to hang out again that evening.
I’m reluctant to meet him so soon, but I agreed.
I hung up the phone and wondered why I was being such a weirdo.
You complain when they call too soon and you complain when they don’t call soon enough. They can’t win!
I brush it off, grab my wetsuit and board, and head to Miramar Beach.
Bad Advice From Good Friends
As my friends and I paddle out, I give them the details of the night before, explain we are meeting for dinner this evening, and how I was a bit wary to have plans right away.
My friends encourage me to “not play games” and to “be honest!”
They encourage me to express what I want out of a relationship.
“It’s only the second date. Isn’t it a bit much?” I question.
“It will make you feel better, and he will respect you for it!” one friend says.
“Go with the flow!” says the other.
“Yeah, the flow,” I mutter.
I’m not buying it, but for some reason, I take their advice and do it anyway.
After about an hour in the water, I head home and psyche myself up for a night I will soon want to forget.
Second and Last Date
I meet Mr. Second Date at Finch and Fork, ready to be open and honest and declare my wants and needs of life and love.
It would be great, and I’d feel like a stronger woman because of it.
I-am-woman-hear-me-roar and all that jazz.
I was pumped.
About 30 minutes into dinner, and a glass of wine later, he proposes a simple question that would launch the conversation into the stratosphere.
He asks, “What are you looking for in a relationship?”
I take a sip of wine, clear my throat, and muster up whatever courage I could find.
“Well,” I begin. “I, um, I…,”
Spit it out already!
“I want mutual respect. I want a man who opens doors. And for that matter, every woman should have doors opened for them. Also…”.
And, I’m off. It’s as if I climbed on a soapbox to stand up for womankind, unleashing the beast on this poor soul and there was nothing that could stop me.
At this point, it was as if I rose out of my body and floated up to the ceiling to observe this crazed lunatic rant on and on.
There were twists and turns and hand gestures.
Words such as “women’s rights” and “glass ceiling” were thrown about.
Please, God, make it stop!
But there was no holding back.
His eyes widened with each word until my 10 minutes of verbal upheave had finished.
The end of my speech was met with uncomfortable silence – not the standing ovation-like feeling I hoped for.
It was more of a confused and awkward slow clap.
Embarrassed and shocked at my parade of oratory, I made an excuse, left the scene, and never looked back.
I didn’t care what he thought.
I needed to get the hell out of there and fast.
Tail Between My Legs
I’m holding accountable for bad advice from good friends, but I can only blame them so much.
I am an adult, after all. Or at least trying to be.
I realize how terrible this was for a second date (or third, fourth, et cetera), but I had a point to prove and this guy was the target.
So ladies, not to fear.
Your voice has been heard (by at least one dude, anyway).
I laid out a red carpet of crazy, and there’s nothing I can do except laugh about it, forgive myself, and place the experience in the file of “Things to Never Do Again.”