I bit the bullet. Again. Why oh why do I do it? Haven't I learned my lesson? Going out with men I meet online never ends well and yet I keep doing it. Why? Well because every time I tell someone about my dating disasters they tell me that either they or someone they know met their spouse online. I swear I must be on the wrong Internet because none of these men I have gone out with could be my next spouse. But these success stories are what keep me going. And so once again I find myself sitting at a bar waiting for a man I have only conversed with online.
His screen name is The Love Doctor which does not bode well. But he is Jewish and a doctor so my mother would be happy. He is also semi-funny in his emails which is also enticing. He was married, has kids and seems to be employed. My standards have dropped but he fills the minimum requirements. I agree to meet him at a local watering hole on a Friday evening. He works late, so it is after 9pm when we meet. I am already tired which is not a good start.
In arrives the Love Doctor. And I only call him that because he actually calls himself that. He refers to himself in the third person as The Love Doctor. Oh dear God, this is already so very awful. He is not an M.D. but a Ph.D., which is fine except he is actually a couples therapist. He is a couples therapist who is going through a divorce. He does not seem to see the irony when I bring it up. Sigh. Dr. Love sits down at the bar with me and immediately orders a plate of hot wings. Are you kidding me?
There are several kinds of foods you should not eat on a first date. Soup is no good because of the slurping. Caesar salad has too much garlic. Spaghetti with red sauce can get sloppy. And chicken wings. Hot, spicy chicken wings are a huge no no for a first date or a second date and possibly a third date. The sauce gets everywhere, there is no graceful way to eat them, and the effect they leave on your breath does not entice a first kiss. But clearly Dr. Love does not know these rules.
While he regales me with desperately awful stories of marriage counseling, Dr. Love consumes his wings. I can't tear my eyes away. He doesn't nibble or even munch. No, Dr. Love shoves the entire wing in his mouth, slurps, sucks and grunts as he rips the meat from the wing and then with a sickening sucking noise, he pulls the cleaned off bone out of his mouth. I nearly vomit. Is this his form of seduction? I have no idea what he is saying at this point because all I can hear is the gnashing and snarling as he devours the wings. I can only see the sauce dripping down his chin. I can't turn away. It is horrifying and at the same time fascinating. Thankfully there are only a dozen wings because any more and I might lose my beer that I just sucked down. He prattles on about his tough life as a single parent. Yeah, babe, been there, doing that. I need to leave. I make it clear I am very, very done and Dr. Love pays.
We walk out of the bar. I can smell his steamy, spicy chicken wing breath as we walk toward the parking lot. Oh good, our cars are parked next to each other. He leers at me. I can see bits of spicy sauce on his teeth. I smile and tell him that it was very nice to meet me. He asks if I live nearby. Oh no, Dr. Love, we are not going there. I deflect, lean in and hug him. He hugs me too and says sadly, 'Oh, just a hug?' Yes Dr. Love, I don't need your medical attention. I climb in my car and speed off.
Dr. Love wasn't a bad man. He was an incredibly dull man who mentioned that he doesn't have time to date. Then what the hell was he doing out with me? Did he really think he would seduce me with his wing eating skills and then have sex with me in my car? I think he actually did. That was never going to happen, with or without the wings. Poor Dr. Love, I think I will send him a note about his first date etiquette. Or not. I think I will instill a no food policy on first dates. It may save me and my potential suitor a lot of heartache. Because I will go out again. And I will not allow food. After all I am 43 and single.