I don't think I have ever been so annoyed with anyone so soon after meeting them as I have been tonight. Like, ever. And I thought the Edmontonian who couldn't seem to discuss anything other than hockey was annoying. Well. I was wrong.
To rewind, I met this guy online and we've been emailing back and forth for a bit. He seemed like a nice enough guy and based on our correspondence, he seemed like someone I would like to get to know better so I said yes when he asked me out to dinner and a movie. We finalized the details last night on the phone and it all seemed so promising!
Anyway, things were fine when he picked me up and as we drove down to the theatre, we chatted about work, which was fine, and then he asked me what I was looking for in a person. To which I answered that I don't really have an answer since I used to have a list of all the qualities that I would ideally want in a man* but I have since realized that the perfect man doesn't exist and I could have the perfect guy on paper but if there's no spark in person, it's pointless.
To which he replied, (and I'm obviously paraphrasing here): Well, I'm a direct person, and I think it's important to talk about these things since I'm not interested in just dating and fooling around.
Um. Excuse me, but I only just met you. Yes, it's important to talk about these things, but must it be the second question you ask on your list of top questions to ask on a first date? I barely know you and you want to know if I'm interested in dating you in the long term? And yes, according to him, it is the second question he likes to ask after "what do you do?"
Was I wrong in being annoyed? I've been thinking about it and talked to S about it in a date post-mortem, and she seemed to agree with me. I told him that he needed to RELAX; that discussions like that come up naturally in conversation and if you front-load a date with those kinds of questions right away, you're only going to put your date on guard.
It reminded me of the article that W sent to me a couple days ago about "establishing economic compatibility":
Andrea Barclay was thrilled when a handsome, dark-haired man named Michael sat down across from her at a speed-dating event. Until, that is, he asked about her retirement savings.
"I thought he was kidding," said the 30-year-old teacher from Orange County, Calif. "He said he was an investment banker and then he asked me if I had a Roth IRA account."
W wondered if I would ask this on a first date, and my answer was no, besides which, there is no guarantee that you'd get an honest answer anyway. Gail Vaz-Oxlade, host of the TV show Til Debt Do Us Part, put it far better than I though: "Who wants to have a conversation about how much they make with a person you haven't even slept with yet?" To which I will add, let alone kiss.
So, I told my date about this article tonight, and I likened his question to the savings question. It's fine to bring up eventually, but within 15 minutes of meeting? Definite no-no.
Perhaps I allowed this to colour the rest of the date: We went to see Once which opened yesterday to great reviews here and it truly was a little gem with great music and a quiet story that unfolds. We ended up discussing the movie and he made some comment about how, for a musical, the music wasn't really relevant. So I asked him if he listened to the lyrics. And he said no, he didn't really notice...and we proceeded to have a semi-heated discussion about the lyrics being central to a musical since they progress the plot and he disagreed and I kid you not, he said, "I'm right and you're wrong." And even after I said we should agree to disagree he wouldn't give, so I told him that we should stop talking about it because it would only annoy me. I feel bad for being so blunt, and "direct" but he started it, dammit. (yes, I'm still annoyed just thinking about it.)
The movie finished at 6:30 and our dinner reservations were for 8 but I knew I couldn't stand an extra 1.5 hours in addition to dinner with him so we went somewhere else instead.
Is it bad that in the back of my mind, I contemplated an early escape route and continued to think about it through dinner? I was so irked that the thought had crossed my mind to ditch him after the movie, but I thought that would have been rude since I had agreed to dinner too, so to dinner we went. I made sure though that we went to a restaurant along the subway line so that if he pissed me off further during dinner, I could just decline the ride back to my car and take the subway up a few stops in relative peace.
He was just as overbearing at dinner, although he had dialled it back slightly. We were able to have "normal" conversation and when he dropped me off at my car, I thanked him for dinner, advised him not to be so direct next time, and reminded him of the RRSP question - my in-direct way of saying good luck and have a nice life! UGH.
OK...maybe this isn't the worst.date.ever...it could have been worse...he could have gotten into a drunken fight with someone at the bar, which actually happened to a friend of mine, so it could have been worse...
At least the movie was perfect.
* This list was actually made on my (I think) 24th birthday - I was gathered with my friends and they asked and I answered and someone wrote it down and I still have that list here somewhere.