You know a date is going to be amazing when it starts with, “The salsa did not sit well with me.” I am now sitting at a booth in a bar (on dollar burger night no less) waiting for my date to return and wondering if he really just walked out. A 10-minute trip to the bathroom should be cause for concern.
Maybe he has food poisoning. Is it wrong to hope that this is the cause for the extended absence? How long does one wait until one just leaves? I suppose he would not send a text message from the bathroom. That might be considered poor text messaging etiquette, or maybe it is bad bathroom etiquette. But would he just walk out? We only spent two minutes together. There is no way that I can be so hideous that it would cause a man to just run away. I’m pretty. I know it. I did not have time to say something that stupid. I guess I’m not the first girl to be left in the first few minutes of a date. I believed that only happened on TV, but it seems I am mistaken.
We’ve all seen those episodes where a desperate man or woman climbs out the bathroom window in a frantic attempt to escape some crazy date. However, I know for a fact no window is present in that bathroom. It is now 7:22 p.m. and without the slightest bit of hyperbole I promise you that he has been in the bathroom for at least 10 minutes. Perhaps he feels such shame that he is afraid to face me. Admitting to explosive bowels on a first date can be a mood killer. However, I don’t judge. It happens to everyone sometimes. Who doesn’t have the story that begins, “So, I found this thing in my fridge and I was hungry, and I thought, ‘What the hell?’ ” Then a few hours later you realize you made a horrible mistake. You curse the Tupperware that preserved the unidentified object in your fridge as you find yourself confined to the bathroom praying that you don’t run out of toilet paper.
Loose Bowel wins the award for the most unique start to a date and perhaps finish to a date. I believe people are starting to stare. I am writing furiously with a red pen, and every few minutes I have to stop and dig through my purse to find another receipt. Damn me and my need to clean out my purse. The waitress wants to take my order, but I’m saying I’m waiting for someone. I sure she believes I have been stood up even if I'm not willing to admit it to myself. I want to say, “No, he’s here, he’s just in the bathroom.” But I’m debating my next move, so I continue to write and reflect on my life. After consulting a dear friend, I have come to the conclusion that I have been left at the restaurant, alone. However, I already have a nice seat and the burgers are only a dollar so I might as well eat.
I mean, sometimes a burger is better than a man. It is satisfying, tasty, cheesy and cooked just the way you like it. What man can promise you that? None. And a burger certainly never leaves you alone at a booth in a packed restaurant with no explanation.
So the waitress just came by and I attempted to explain why I was now willing to order without my date. I debated if I should say that my date abandoned me after our introduction or if I should lie and say he never showed. In the end, I told the truth. She seemed unphased. Maybe this happens all the time? But seriously, people. What makes a man believe that leaving is the best alternative to a date that did not meet his expectations?
When I met Two Ton Toby, who I learned cheated on his wife and had his Meth addicted sister living with him, I stayed long enough to eat. Of course, I was not paying. Perhaps that makes a difference. However, I will not make excuses for Loose Bowel. Even Freaky Rock Man, who only provided a picture from a significant distance and in person looked slightly mentally retarded, got two hours of my evening. I might have ignored his future calls, but I was nice on the date.
Oh well, lesson learned: Keep your eyes on the guy who goes to the bathroom at the start of the date. I do have a view of the bathroom. My friend suggested he might have crawled out. I can’t totally dismiss the fact that he could be slowly dying in the bathroom, but I’m not about to ask someone to go into the bathroom and look for a man with a red shirt and a cone-shaped stud in his chin. That would just be sad.
Instead I will eat my burger and enjoy it, hold my head high and be glad that I'm a winner. That's what pretty people do.
Julie Maman is a veteran of the local online dating scene.
Photo via Wiki Commons.