“Bud Light, huh?” he said. “That’s kind of a white-trash choice, don’t you think?”
I laughed because he was trying to be funny and also because, it’s true. But still, this innocent comment did nothing to help ease my feelings of self-consciousness.
I was way out of my league at this place.
Although both Lux and Tara had told me before the date that I looked “pretty” in my nice top, jeans and heels, I knew instantly when I walked into the swanky lounge, that I was way underdressed. It was dimly lit by elegant chandeliers and exquisite candle-holders, with plush couches that when I sank into one, I actually exclaimed out loud, “Whoa there!” because it was so deep and luxurious.
I had gotten to the bar a bit early and had made the mistake of picking up the menu as I waited for him. Holy Crap. A glass of Prosecco here was twenty-three dollars. TWENTY-THREE DOLLARS. I quickly shut the menu. I wasn’t planning on getting that anyway. Bud Light always suits me just fine. And I figured I was being nice, not ordering something outrageously expensive.
But now I felt a little weird about it.
The waiter looked at my date. “And for you, sir?”
“I’ll just have a seltzer,” he said. He then turned to me. “I’m not drinking tonight. I’m on a cleanse.”
He was on a cleanse.
Seriously. You can’t make this shit up.
“I don’t need to drink to have a good time,” he continued with a smile.
I turned to the waiter. “You know what? I’ll have a seltzer too.”
“No, don’t do that,” my date said with a scowl. “That’s going to make it awkward.”
As I’ve mentioned, I have no problem not drinking on dates. What I do have a problem with, is being invited to a bar and then being the only one drinking. It’s just not comfortable.
Despite this rocky beginning, we actually had a really good conversation. He owned an advertising agency which has a sister office in L.A. and it turned out I’d worked with them a few times when I was a commercial actress. We knew a few of the same people in that industry. We talked about books and travel and New York vs. L.A, about movies and about his daughter.
He was easy to talk to, funny and had a lot of energy. I wasn’t sure if it was a love connection. But I definitely felt I would be willing to go out with him again.
So I was surprised to notice, he was drinking that seltzer really fast. Like super fast. After about forty-five minutes, he had signed the check and we were out on the sidewalk, and I was blinking in the sunlight wondering what the hell had happened. I’d barely had time to finish my beer.
“Well, it was nice meeting you,” he said and gave me a quick hug.
“Yes, thank you. I had a really good time,” I said sincerely. I glanced up at him.
And I knew in that moment, I would never hear from him again.
You know how I knew that?
Because he was giving me the same parting look I’d given Date Four.