My high school experience wasn’t typical. I didn’t spend Friday nights at the football stadium or Saturday afternoons scheming how to siphon off my parents’ alcohol without them noticing. No. My 4 years were spend idealizing my Latin teacher. He was a goofy, immature 26 year old who was recently divorced and going through some sort of a quarter life crisis that involved tattoos, Star Wars costumes, and a secret affair with the Spanish teacher. He was my first deep crush and, in retrospect, entirely not my type. I tend to go for bros – finance or otherwise – but why? What purpose does having a “type” serve other than as an excuse to automatically rule out potential matches? Sometimes it is a little fun to go on a date with someone completely out of your comfort zone. Here’s to radical 2016 resolutions!
As I was mourning the fade from Mr. Darcy, I matched with Blake Anderson. Not THE Blake Anderson from Workaholics, but his hair twin. This gentleman had long, flowing locks of luscious dark curls. I was having brunch with my friend at Broder when I got the notification and immediately showed her. She was in love. She’s a very earthy lady who loves biking, hiking, and her awesome nose ring. He was exactly her type, but not mine. She’s in a relationship, so she insisted I go on “JUST ONE!” date with him so she could live vicariously through me. Maybe it was my heartbreak over Mr. Darcy or my realization that my current path was absolutely not working – but I agreed. After a mere 3 messages discussing our love for breakfast food, he asked me out to a brunch date for the following weekend at Tasty N Sons. He had a gift certificate. Frugalness is sexy.
The Bro Pros
Hair that could rival mine
His mouth genetics. Seriously, there’s a group of men with my ideal mouth. He’s one of them
We majored in the same rare and useless subject!
Most men love savory food, he described himself as a “sucker for sweet things”
Dressed to the nines in a lil vest, button down, chinos, and boat shoes. Rare in PDX
Here’s another millennial dating dilemma: in the good ol’ days, couples would set up dates using a landline and then simply show up. The silence built anticipation and a sense of mystery. Today, we can shoot off a “Sry, work came up 😦 nxt week?” text with ease as soon we we discover Netflix is releasing Season 2 of Master of None the same day. If we had to flake via a phone call, I’m sure no one would do it. I’m also used to relationships building excitement through conversation. I NEED to know what he had for lunch that day and how he feels about the recent events in Syria. Without this build up, I become apathetic. Why do I want to meet someone I know absolutely nothing about? There’s nothing motivating me to learn more. I hadn’t talked to Blake in a week… so I repeatedly texted my friend, begging me to let her to let me skip. She refused. Saturday morning rolled around and I reluctantly woke up SO EARLY (10:30) to make it to this sober day date with a stranger. So far, 2016 sucked.
Bar Restaurant Pros
Potatos Bravas. Best dish. Enough said
Tapas style. Sharing plates is proven to increase date satisfaction
Extensive day drink menu! Several bloodies!
Ample parking, unlike Tasty N Alder downtown where parking is savage
I decided to do an experiment. I usually inaugurate each date with a little pre-date pep sesh in my car. I drink some wine out of my owl water bottle and psych myself up in the mirror. “You’re gorgeous, you’re SO interesting, you’re witty as fuck – this dude should be thanking his ancestors for his existence so he can simply have the joy of being in your presence.” Yeah, it’s a bit much, but it makes me laugh and sets my mood (maybe this arrogance is why no one calls me?) But for this date, I wanted to go sans-wine. It was strange. It felt like I was going to meet my mom at Bed, Bath, and Beyond after church service.
As I was parking my car, he drove by… in a brand new Land Rover. Swoon. Better yet, he was much better looking than expected. I was ready for some Pacific Crest Trail hippie, but he was fresh off campus in his Brooks Brothers outfit. Damn.
I let him walk into the restaurant first so it didn’t seem like I was stalking him down the sidewalk. I approached him with a friendly “Hey! Nice to meet you!” and he turned around… and his face dropped. He looked so disappointed! I was thrown off guard and pretty offended. I tried to console myself by thinking, “maybe he just has resting bitch face?” He said “Hey! Yeah, thanks for coming.” I went in for the typical hello-hug that feels normal after several days of chatting on Tinder (or not, in our case), but he awkwardly went for a handshake. What?! Is this a business exchange?! Am I selling shares of my new company to a mysterious foreign investor? No, this is a date, and I just got served a handshake.
The restaurant was hella crowded. It was noon on a Saturday at a brunch restaurant in Portland… of course it was crowded. He didn’t expect this and seemed baffled that there were so many hungry people in a business that serves delicious food. The hostess told us it would be an hour. “AN HOUR?!” he exclaimed. I said, “No problem! Let’s go get coffee!” and he reluctantly added his name to the list. It had begun to pour rain as we were inside so I stopped by my car to get an umbrella (Portland fail). Umbrellas are such an easy prop on a date! Two cold souls huddled under the same 2 square feet of shelter, forced to breathe the same air and rely on each others body heat. Okay, maybe not, but they’re a great excuse to get close, but not with Blake Anderson. He chose to walk in the pouring rain, despite my effort to hold the umbrella high enough to cover his 6’2″ frame. So. Strange.
We easily found a cafe and ordered two black coffees. He paid, but I didn’t really offer, either. He sweetly let me pick the seat and we spent the next hour talking about our shared interests (GIS!) and geographical histories. We had a lot in common! As the conversation progressed, I began to catch his facial twitches… something that happens to me when I am incredibly nervous. I think the last time I felt it was in college when I had to go on stage in front of the entire university at commencement and read an excerpt of a short story I had written. Did Blake Anderson feel the same level of anxiety as I did on that day? Is that why he’s acting so stoic and cryptic? Is this what men mean when they call me “hard to read”?
Finally we got the call that our reservations were ready, so we made our way back to Tasty N Sons and were seated at the communal table. Not ideal, but okay. Then I realized our seats were on the SAME SIDE of the table. This arrangement presented two options: have a conversation with our faces 6 inches apart or have a conversation without any eye contact. Both are dismal. We were packed like sardines at that table, but Blake made no effort to facilitate a leg touch. To make matters worse, I was smushed against the wall, so I had to use my fork with a T-Rex arm. Cute.
Bar Restaurant Cons
Not enough room, seriously cramped
Unique menu items, but several are incredibly similar (5 types of stew?), so its limited
So expensive! We ordered 4 small plates and 2 drinks and it was $60!
Awkward lady sitting alone across the table from us in PJs listening to our conversation
We decided to go with the chocolate potato doughnut, rum cake, hangtown fry, and potatoes bravas. I loved the doughnut! It reminded me of those chocolate donut holes from Dunkin Donut, but with a homemade taste. The potatoes bravas never disappoint – something about the crispy potatoes with a soft, butter core that are drenched in a creamy tomato sauce and topped with egg yolk. Its a savory dream! Blake Anderson liked the fry. I found it pretty bland and the rum cake was dry and had little taste. In total, the restaurant wasn’t as great as I remembered, but as is life.
Conversation started to wane during our meal. Maybe it was our full bellies, but it became very clear we had very different personalities. (Is this were I say “I told you so!” about having a decent conversation before agreeing to meet up?!) He liked to “teach” aka “mansplain.” When we ordered the hangtown fry with oysters, he asked “Do you know the difference between oysters, clams, and mussels?” and proceeded to inform me for 10 minutes. He has extensive work in the restaurant industry, so the normal “Have you been to Dig a Pony?” conversation turned into an analysis of the composition of their cocktails. On dates, I prefer to have witty banter and a bit of teasing, but he was not up for that. I tried to tease him about a typo in his date-confirmation text and all he said was, “No, that was a typo.”
The Bro Cons
Absolutely no sense of humor
Either incredibly shy… or obviously disinterested
Likes to go on week long hikes alone without any communication. Uh…
Has a female roommate. As a woman, I know she wants to bone that
If the date ended there, it would have been average. Nothing special, but not bad. When the waiter brought the check and we saw that it was $60, the mood tensed. He pulled out his wallet, removed the gift card, and then put his wallet away. I could clearly see the $25 written on the gift card, so I was disingenuously asked, “How much is on the gift card?” He replied, “Twenty five,” without offering a solution for the remainder. I said, “Okay, well I can get my half,” and what did he say? “Okay, I’ll get the tip.” Admittedly, it did work out to be exactly half since he gave a $10 tip, but REALLY? You invite a lady out and then expect her to shell out $25? Especially when he picked the expensive restaurant?! I used to be independent and willing to buy my own alcohol, but this serial dating is getting expensive and everyone I consult says a lady should never have to pay. I’m curious what the consensus is among my readers. Leave me a comment!
He had previously said he had to sell his beloved ski equipment to make ends meet, so I felt a little bad about the idea of sticking him with the entire bill, plus I can afford it. No big deal. Nothing to get upset over…. but also a valid reason to never date this bum.
We left and he walked me to my car. He said, “This was really fun! Thanks for brunching with me. Next time you can pick the place! You have my number!” Oh, so now it is my responsibility to pursue you? Please. I’ve had enough of that game. I gave my polite goodbye and zoomed the fuck outta North Portland.
Update: He texted me a post-date “Thanks again!” a couple days later. Okay, maybe he was nervous and he actually is interested? I replied with a witty text referencing something we had discussed on the date and, thanks to read-receipts, I saw that he immediately viewed it. So why did it take him 3 days to reply? Whatever, maybe he went hiking. I quickly replied (who needs games?) and he immediately read it…. and then took 4 days to reply. Bye, Felipe.
The Bro: 4/10. Seems like a decent guy to be friends with, but there wasn’t any chemistry. Also bitter about the texting situation & paying situation considering he picked the expensive place!
The Restaurant: 9/10. Would have been perfect if we were seated at a private table and not stuffed in a crowded NYC subway train.