Lose The Date, Take Home A Plate

, , , , , , | Romantic | July 25, 2019

(I go on a date with a guy I met on a dating app. Things have been great leading up to the date. We talk on the phone every night, text each other all day, Snapchat all day, etc. I am really excited for our first date. The date is going really well. We have great conversation with lots of laughs and smiles. It feels nice and I am having a good time. After finishing his food, the guy excuses himself to the bathroom. He told me ahead of time that he has IBS, so I am not worried when he takes a little longer than usual in the bathroom. But then, five minutes pass. And then ten. Finally, after fifteen minutes, our waiter brings over the bill.)

Waiter: “Here’s your bill. Just let me know if you need anything else.”

Me: “Actually, this is a really weird request, I know, but could you run over to the men’s room to check on my date for me? He’s been in there for 15 minutes and I just wanted to make sure he’s okay. He told me he has IBS, so I wanted to make sure the meal didn’t affect him poorly. I texted him, but he hasn’t responded.”

Waiter: “Not a problem! I was actually about to head over there myself, so I’ll be sure to check if he’s in there. What is his name?”

Me: “His name is [Date].”

Waiter: “Okay! I’ll go see if he’s doing okay.” 

Me: “Thank you so much.”

(The waiter leaves and heads to the bathroom. I check my phone to make sure my date hasn’t texted me back or anything, and then I play a game on my phone while I wait. A few minutes later, my waiter comes back, looking nervous.)

Me: “Did you find him?”

Waiter: “Um, I feel terrible to have to tell you this, but there was no one in the men’s room at all.” 

Me: “What? Are you sure he just wasn’t in a stall?” 

Waiter: “I checked the entire bathroom; there was no one in there. I even called his name to see if he was in there.” 

Me: *visibly upset and confused* “There must be some kind of mistake. Are you sure you didn’t go into the women’s room by mistake?”

Waiter: “Not unless y’all have urinals, too, in there.” 

Me: *fully understanding and on the verge of tears* “You all have a secondary exit over by the bathrooms, don’t you?”

Waiter: “Unfortunately, we do…” 

Me: “All right.” *trying to wipe tears away with my napkin* “Well, let me just try to settle our bill, then. You all shouldn’t have to be stiffed just because this date was a bust.” 

(I take a look at the menu, and it’s about $50. I didn’t budget for that kind of spending tonight. I budgeted for maybe $25 in case my date wanted to split the bill, which would have been fine. But I suck it up and give the waiter my card. He hesitantly takes my card and apologizes again for my unfortunate date. I’m doing my best to keep my crying under control. I text my date again to ask if something came up, maybe an emergency, something to explain why he would have left without saying anything. But when I go to send the message, it won’t go through with iMessage. We both have iPhones, so it should go through as an iMessage. I try calling him. It immediately goes to voicemail. Either his phone is off, or the more likely scenario is that he blocked my number after leaving me alone at the restaurant. I am no longer able to contain my tears. I’m humiliated. I have terrible social anxiety, so this is a horrible situation for me. At a huge, huge low, crying in public, with a bunch of strangers staring at me. Finally, my waiter returns to my table with my card.)

Waiter: “Well, I have a silver lining for you tonight. I’m not allowing you to pay for your meal tonight.” 

Me: “What do you mean? I’m sure there’s enough money on that card. Oh, I hope it wasn’t declined!”

Waiter: “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. You misunderstood me. The restaurant has decided to comp your meal tonight.” 

Me: “What? Oh, no, you can’t do that! This isn’t your fault at all! My meal was wonderful and your service was great. I don’t want you to be blamed or have to pay for this.”

Waiter: “We’ve all been there. My manager agreed that we can spare the expense of one meal tonight. You’ve been through enough. You shouldn’t also have to pay for the meal of that jerk who didn’t even have the decency to say something to your face instead of running out the back door like a coward. Not to mention I had several other customers come up to me offering to help you pay for your meal tonight after overhearing what happened. It’s on the house.”

Me: “Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate this. You’ve definitely helped make this terrible night a little better. Please at least let me tip you.” 

Waiter: “No, ma’am. You just make it home safely tonight. And I wish you better luck in your future.”

(I stood up and hugged the waiter before gathering my things and leaving. A few people gave me encouraging smiles and one older woman whispered to me as I passed to keep my head up.)

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