Bad Sportsmanship

I’ve only been single and dating since last summer since last summer, and I initially had a hard time being open-minded about meeting new people. Internet dating was scary, so I limited myself to guys that my friends knew. Since they know me well, they should be able to set me up with someone great, right?!

One day a recent acquaintance I had clicked with right away said she had to introduce me to this guy who she described as, “Super-hot, hilarious, and a total gentleman.” He was allegedly an “old-school” kind of guy- respectful and chivalrous- and all about treating a lady right. So I gave her my email address with great anticipation.

His name was AJ.  He emailed me on Saturday to ask me out, which I found endearing. In my experience, modern men seem to strive to make as little effort as possible. I swear, the next time a guy says, “You pick the place” I’m going to insist on Chuck E. Cheese. AJ, however, not only seemed confident and normal, but he came highly regarded, so I agreed to meet up with him on the following Tuesday.

On Monday I called to confirm and found that he might have overbooked himself. He mentioned he had a baseball game that day, and would have hurry to be ready by 8 PM. He then ended the conversation with, “Oh, the Knicks are playing.” Which was not at all related, but as he did not elaborate and I did not have time to question, I just assumed this was some form of sports Tourette’s and carried on with my night.

The following afternoon I ended up moving the date because, for starters, 8pm is late for me on a Tuesday night (I know, I know) and more importantly, I was legitimately concerned that he would end up running himself ragged trying to do everything in his BlackBerry (who still uses a BlackBerry?) calendar. I was being considerate.

He responded, in a thick Long Island accent, “Yea whateva. Usually I’d be really pissed off at something like this, but I’m like filthy right now from the game, and I don’t even have a plan anyway, so we can definitely move it.”

Oh?

Well I’m glad the circumstances worked out and you don’t hate me for moving a date that you just stated you would have a hard time attending.

We agreed to move it to Thursday. He chose Bounce (the Bounce located Uptown…he would later tell me that the downtown location, which is a sports bar, was “too bougie” for him) and said he would be there between 7:30 and 8. I got there at 8:00 and the place was packed with dudes, cheap cologne, and television sets that were loud as hell. The audio was flipping back and forth between extremely loud top-40 Rihanna jams and extremely loud sports announcements for one of the three different playoff games that were on each screen. I spotted AJ at the bar and ran over, apologizing profusely and blaming the easy scapegoat, the MTA.

“Hey! Ugh I am SO sorry! That goddamn 6 train-“

“Hi! It’s cool. I had three drinks already so I’m pretty buzzed.” He cut me off, already smelling like cheap vodka.

“They gave our table away since you weren’t here so we have to find another place to eat.”

So to reiterate, I am 30 minutes late, at a bar straight out of my own nightmares, and he is already inebriated. At least our table was gone so we couldn’t stay there. “I’m sorry about the table,” I lied, “do you have another place in mind?”

“Yeah,” he lied, “Someplace with a TV.”

Oh. Okay… It’s Manhattan, do you care to be a LITTLE more specific?

We left the bar and started walking up 2nd Ave when it becomes apparent that finding “someplace with a TV” was my job. “Well you know the city, so you know all the good spots, know what I mean?”

Yeah, I know what you mean. You want to be lazy, you want this to be easy, you want to put in minimal effort and yield maximum results. We continued our tour of the Upper East Side, which is already the worst, and I surveyed my options. Stumble Inn, Brother Jimmy’s, and Johnny Foxes – all awful spots – so we end up at the best of the worst, Doc Watson’s. Yes it’s a sports bar, but their food is half decent and it was pretty empty. The waitress sat us in the back, where of course there’s a TV the size of the entire wall. He took the seat with his back to it, we order food, and we start getting to know each other. Alright, not bad. Maybe things will turn around! I was somewhat hopeful.

He told me about his family, his job, what he does for fun; the usual first date stuff. He then turned the conversation to me, but when I opened my mouth to respond I found that I was talking to the back of his head. He had turned around to watch the game on the TV. Is this actually happening? When I pointed out how rude this was he just laughed it off, probably because he was already fucking drunk.

We continued the conversation and turned to the topic of food and I nearly died of embarrassment. He was that special kind of “old school.”  You know, the racist kind. He referred to ethnic cuisine by using the racist slur for the people that made it. Panicked that someone would hear him and assume I was just as ignorant, I excused myself to silently scream in the bathroom. Upon my return, I found him eating the other half of MY burger while he watched the game behind him. WHAT THE SHIT?!

“Hungry?” I asked, more shocked than annoyed.

He smiled and said, “Well you weren’t eating it and I’m buying so I might as well get my money’s worth!”

I’m a really slow eater. I don’t just shovel food in my mouth like some fucking animal while I’m on a date.

I sat down and began to prep my exit speech when the waitress arrived with shots of Tequila. AJ had this big smile on his face, so I knew this was a move that must have worked for him before. I guess I was supposed to be charmed. A well tequila shot? Just for me? Aw you shouldn’t have! Here, hold my panties while I find some limes.

At this point, I was so over the date that I took the shot and then had two more. Finally, after what seemed like forever, AJ paid the check and walked me out to grab a cab. I guess he thought it went well since he went in for the kiss, to which I gave an awkward side kiss back, jumped in the cab, and drunkenly texted my ex the entire way home.

It goes without saying that it didn’t work out. Is this what I have to look forward to? There is no reason sports should have come into play (see what I did there?) on a date! Perhaps if he and I shared a common trait in being diehard sports fans it would have been understandable, maybe even fun!

However I am not a sports fan. Fuck sports.

What’s a lady gotta do to get a glass of Jordan and a dish of Gramigna at a Michael White restaurant?

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