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That Escalated Awkwardly

, , , , , , , | Romantic | March 7, 2022

This story goes back many years before I met my wife and I was still in the dating game, and it summarises what was probably the worst date of my life. I think the young lady probably didn’t do too well out of it, either, but I’m sure she at least got a story to tell.

I met a girl online. We seemed to share a lot of interests and chatted for a few hours on an almost daily basis for a few weeks, so I asked her out, but on the day of our date, it was almost like she had been possessed. I don’t know if it was nerves, anxiety, or disappointment even, but she hardly said a thing. The only way I could get any words out of her was by asking direct and open questions. 

Evidently, this annoyed her; at one point, she asked me why I was asking her so many questions. Now that I’m older and wiser, I would probably have made my excuses and left, but in my youthful days, I felt that I had to stick it out to the bitter end, which leads us to the part of the evening where a discovery gave her a bit of a fright.

We had gone to a pub that played the type of music she was into and, having given up on meaningful conversation, I asked her if she wanted to shoot some pool on one of their tables. The table was coin-operated and released the balls after a coin was inserted into a drawer which was then pushed into the table. At one point, I tried to insert a coin into the drawer, but it must have been at an angle because it popped out and fell down the side of the mechanism.

I got down on one knee to fish around for the coin, and as I was rooting around, I found a ring that someone must have left there! I looked at it in puzzlement and, without thinking about the optics, I swiveled around on my knee to face her and I lifted the ring up to show her. Yes, that’s right. On an absolute disaster of a first date, I just got down on one knee and presented her with a ring.

As you might expect, there was a look of absolute panic on her face. After a moment she stammered out, “Um, that looks nice.” Her reaction puzzled me for a moment because I was expecting something more in the vein of, “Huh, that’s weird. Where did you find that?”

Then, the reality of what I had just done sank in. I blurted out a very quick explanation to her about having just found it and that I was just showing it to her. I think she believed me, but I’m not sure because my going over to hand it to the barman was pretty much the end of that date.

It might be one of the very few instances of someone ending an absolutely terrible date by accidentally proposing, though!

She Ate Both Starters, Didn’t She?

, , , , | Romantic | February 21, 2022

I meet a woman at a restaurant for a second date. It’s early days and things are still nervous but exciting.

We talk for a bit and then order starters. They take a long time to come and then arrive just as I stand up to use the bathroom. I apologise and tell my date that I will be right back.

After a very short queue, I return to find the table being cleared of food.

Me: “What happened to the starters?”

Woman: “Oh, err, yes, I… I had mine, but yours looked terrible so I asked them to take it back.”

Me: “Err, okay.”

Woman: “Don’t worry; they said the mains wouldn’t be long.”

We talk some more until the mains arrive. Mine is delicious, but she doesn’t like hers. She pouts until I offer to share mine. She takes near half!

Still hungry, I order a dessert.

Woman: “Oh, that was lovely. What did you have again? Can I try it?”

Me: “Sorry, mine was so good that I finished it.”

I made sure of it.

Woman: *Abruptly* “Okay, shall we get the bill? I have work in the morning.”

Me: “Sure.”

She waits until the bill arrives.

Woman: “Thank you for treating me.”

Oh, I see.

Me: “Oh, it was a treat for me, too. Thanks for offering to pay half.”

Woman: “But I didn’t.”

Me: “We will split the bill, thanks.”

There was no third date. Thankfully.

This Is A Bigotry-Free Zone

, , , , , | Romantic | February 14, 2022

I happened to witness this exchange from a seat fairly close to the entrance of a restaurant. Several of the employees are wearing rainbow pins somewhere on their person, including an employee having a conversation at the front counter with a man in a suit.

A man and a woman step into the restaurant. The man sees the gay employee’s pin, looks around the restaurant, and then turns to the suited man, who speaks up before the newcomer can say a word.

Worker: “If you say a single word against my employees, I will bodily throw you from the restaurant.”

The newcomer stutters for a moment, turns around in a huff, and marches out of the restaurant. The woman looks between him and the man in a suit for a moment before approaching the counter.

Woman: “Well, that was the shortest first date I’ve ever been on. Table for one, please.”

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Bullet Dodged

, , , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2021

Back in 1989, I had just moved to a new area. I was working at a hotel, and after work, a friend and I would frequent a restaurant between work and home. Over the next few weeks, I ended up flirting with one of the workers back and forth. I was young and naive. Turns out, she was a recent new mother but the father was gone as they were separated.

I worked up the courage to ask her out.

Worker: “Okay, but I can’t commit to a time right now.”

I felt that was understandable. A few days later:

Worker: “I’m off tomorrow night if you’re free.”

Me: “Sure. Where would you like to meet, and when?”

Worker: “Wait until I’m off work.”

That had me waiting in the parking lot until closing. As I waited, they closed. There was another car in the parking lot picking up another coworker, but I thought nothing of it. That’s when the police showed up. The worker walked out with the assistant manager and pointed toward me. The police then came over to me.

Police Officer: “Why are you here?”

Me: “I’m supposed to be picking up [Worker] for a date.”

Police Officer: “Her husband is in that car over there to pick her up.”

A day or two later, I went back there with my friend there and saw her.

Me: “Why didn’t you just tell me you were married?”

She didn’t answer me. As we were eating, the assistant manager came out.

Assistant Manager: “You are harassing [Worker] and you need to leave.”

We did leave, and we didn’t go back to that location again.

Fast forward several months. We had moved, and we went to a different location of the same fast food chain. The new manager there was the assistant manager that had kicked us out at the other location. He was all apologetic, offered us some free food, and explained:

Assistant Manager: “She played that same game with a few other guys, it turns out. She was eventually fired for it.”

I am guessing she wanted to get her husband jealous to get attention or something. It was a learning experience for me, and I became a bit more untrusting of people’s motives after that.

Set That Red Flag On Fire

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: tamiraisredditing | November 21, 2021

We had a guy come in last night with his date. Throughout the evening, he was the picture of courtesy and good manners. He complimented me, thanked me every time I came to refresh waters or check on the table, made a point to be forgiving of a kitchen mistake, and was super extra nice. He was the dream customer, really.

I appreciated it but didn’t delude myself that I was the source and figured he was just in a good mood because the date was going well. They were chatting, laughing, having a great time, so I assumed I was an indirect beneficiary.

He was certainly in some kind of celebratory mood because he was sparing no expense. He asked for our highest quality wine, she got our most expensive entree, he ordered one of every appetizer for her to sample when she made a remark that she was having trouble deciding — it was a real feast.

The evening started wrapping up and I got their check.

Me: “Together or separate checks?”

The woman started to say, “Separate,” but he made a big deal of saying:

Man: “Oh, are you kidding? Together, definitely together. You never have to pay when you’re with me, babe.”

And so on and so forth. Then, he slid me a credit card. I got everything sorted and brought out the receipt. He filled it out and it came to $289.00 total. He didn’t even blink and made a big show of leaving a HUNDRED-DOLLAR TIP. He thanked me for my service and emphasized what a lovely night they’d had.

Of course, a tip that size is exceptional, so I thanked him profusely.

Man: “There’s no need to thank me! Waitstaff are so underappreciated. Just think of this as a stand-in for all the ingrates who don’t treat you right. Don’t plan to tip, don’t plan to eat out, you know?”

He was looking at the mesmerized girl the whole time and not giving me a glance. I couldn’t care less where he was looking; I was looking at the upcoming hundred bucks. I thanked him again and said I hoped to see them back soon, and that was that.

He helped her into her coat and off they went. Great night, I was riding high.

About ninety seconds later, he was back in the door, without her, going, “I think left my—” Then, when the door shut, he looked to make sure his date was out of earshot, and he turned to address me without the slightest shade of shame or embarrassment.

Man: “Mark the tip down to twenty bucks, hun. I was just playing it up for my date. You understand.”

And he turned to go.

Uh… I understood, but not how he hoped I would. But I couldn’t make a scene in the middle of work — that’s not my place — so I just repeated, in order to give his conscience a chance to sink in:

Me: “Okay, sir. You’d like to amend your tip from one hundred dollars to twenty dollars. Is that correct?”

And even though I didn’t show a hint of displeasure in my voice he shot back, extremely hostile:

Man: “Yes, and if I see a cent over the twenty on there, I’m going to dispute the whole meal with my credit vendor, so don’t try to pull anything.”

The most frustrating part of this for me was not even going from an over 30% tip to under 10%, but rather that this poor girl was being strung along with no idea of who the guy was behind her back. It was extremely manipulative of him, which is a major red flag.

I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships in the past and really wish someone had pulled the blinders off my eyes, so I desperately wanted to do something to alert this girl to the trick the guy had pulled, hoping it would be a catalyst to her questioning his other actions. But, again, I was at work and that just wasn’t my place. So, I altered the bill and that was that.

Then, just in time, something occurred to me, and I darted outside, hoping to catch them in the parking lot. I got lucky. They’d parked on the street, instead, and he was still dealing with the parking meter. I flagged him down and rushed across the street, nearly stumbling into traffic in my haste for a delicious moment.

His date was already in the car but rolled down her window, since no one expects the waitress to follow you out to your car waving her arms like a crazy person.

I made it across and said, more than loudly enough for her to hear:

Me: “Sir, we amended your tip from $100 down to $20 as you requested, but you’ll actually need to fill out a different receipt reflecting your new total for our records. Your old receipt still has your original tip of $100 written on it, but since you just came in and asked us to charge you $20, instead, we can’t have a discrepancy in our records. I hope you understand. This is just a bookkeeping regulation that goes way above me. It has nothing to do with your retroactively downgrading your tip from $20 to $100; we’re just glad you enjoyed your evening.”

His jaw was on the floor. He tried to pretend as though he didn’t know what I was talking about, trying to give me some line about:

Man: “I think you’re after someone else; I only came back because I forgot my keys.”

But I would not let it rest.

The more he played dumb the more I repeated versions of, “You wanted to change your tip from $100 down to $20, so you came back in,” and on and on.

So we went back and forth for a few more seconds until, finally, he said:

Man: “Okay, whatever. Uh, sorry for the miscommunication. If you need me to fill out a new receipt, I can.”

Me: *Totally even-keeled* “You only need to fill out a new receipt if you want to change your tip from $100 down to $20.”

And I’m guessing he didn’t have the money in his account because… he did it. He filled out the new receipt. His girlfriend was visibly shocked, and the man was staring daggers through me; I could feel the rage emanating off him.

It was vicariously quite satisfying in place of the other toxic men I never did get that confrontation with. And all the bad tippers — ironically, the exact kind he had made a righteous speech decrying just a few minutes beforehand.

And then off they drove, I’m sure never to patronize our restaurant again, but hopefully, never to go out together again, either, which would make it totally worth it.

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