Man #22, The Suitor

11 10 2011

While pushing me out into the dating world has definitely been an effective cure for getting me out of my house, away from nights spent alone with high-carb snacks and red wine, I’m not sure it has been particularly effective in convincing me that there are many men out there with whom I would want to spend more than a few fleeting hours. After dating over 20 men, I’ve only met a few who I was interested in seeing again, and, ultimately, none of them were men who would make a good long-term partner for me.

My enthusiasm for dating has certainly dwindled as I’ve dealt with bad manners, sexual aggression, unresolved anger issues, and as of late, gum disease. The thought of a night spent alone, watching a movie while sharing a bowl of popcorn with my dog, Thor, ranks much higher than the thought of another night gambled on a date with a stranger. To be quite honest, if it weren’t for the fact that this blog has become a bit of a “project” I doubt that I would bother dating at all.

And yet, I try to keep an open mind and open heart.

So, in an effort to keep moving ahead with my dating prescription/project, last Friday, I finally responded to an email I had been neglecting in my inbox. Man #22 was a respondent to a Craigslist ad I had placed several weeks ago. We had sent a few emails back and forth, but I had lost my enthusiasm for the volley of emails that ensued.  As I’ve said before, I’m not good at texting or emailing excessively before being asked on a date.  Once you’ve exchanged pictures and an email or two I figure you pretty much know whether or not you would be interested in meeting someone. If a man doesn’t quickly move things to the next step and ask for a date, I’m already looking for other options.

Anyway, after letting his last email sit and marinate in my inbox for well over two weeks, I finally decided I might be ready for a date.  I emailed Man #22 and asked if he was still interested in going out.  Luckily, he responded right away, and said, “Yes! Thought I wasn’t going to hear from you. How about tonight? Dinner? Movie?”

I couldn’t believe my luck. Finally. Decisiveness.

I responded, “Yes, tonight would work.  Typically, I think movies make bad first dates because you can’t really talk, but I would really like to go see Moneyball. Maybe we could talk before or after.  Let me know what you think.”

This apparently scored points as Man #22 responded that he also wanted to see Moneyball, but had thought that he would have to go see it by himself.  I let him know that it was playing at Big Picture and he suggested that we see the show and then head to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

Again, decisive. I like that.

I agreed to meet him at Big Picture for the 6 p.m. showing. We exchanged cell phone numbers in case anything came up, and he sent me a text, “BTW, I’m 6′-3″ so feel free to wear heals if you want.”

A bit odd, but I responded, “I’ll take that under advisement. Thx.”

I wore flats. Since I knew I would be climbing the hill from The Spaghetti Factory up to Belltown, I decided I wanted to be comfortable.

I hate running late, and I was cutting it close as I drove to the movie theater.  Since I could not find parking on 1st Ave, I sped down Wall Street and turned north onto Western. As I rounded the corner, I spotted a space on the opposite side of the street, so I zipped acrossed three lanes of traffic to snag it before anyone else could sneak in and grab it. I pulled my trusty little Jetta into the space and manuevered into place. As I did, I looked up and saw my date standing on the sidewalk. He had been walking by when I zoomed in.

I rolled down the window and said, “You didn’t see that, did you?”

“I didn’t see a thing.”

“Good. I happen to be a great driver with a good insurance rate. I can’t have witnesses to the contrary.” (Apparently, at this point, I’ve become a bit nonchalant about first impressions.)

He smiled as I rolled the window back up and got out.  Suddenly, like a magician, he produced a huge pink carnation from inside his suit jacket.  It was lovely.

“I asked a woman I work with what kind of flower I should get for a first date, and she seemed to think it was a bad idea,” he said.

To which I responded, “You know, there are women who feel insulted if a man opens a door for them or offers them a seat on a crowded bus. I happen to NOT be one of those women. Thank you. This is beautiful.”

We started to walk toward the movie theater. At the stop light, The Suitor turned to me and said, “You really threw me off when you said you wanted to see this movie. It’s not exactly a chick flick. So, I have to ask. Do you want to see it because you like Brad Pitt, because you like baseball, or did you read the book?”

“None of the above. I’m getting my MBA and last spring my project team in statistics tried to determine what it would take for the Mariners to win the World Series.”

The Suitor looked a little confused, like when Thor perks up his ears and tilts his head to one side. Uh?

After a brief pause, he said, “Cool.”

“And if you really want to know the truth, I do like Brad Pitt. There’s no place I would rather be on a summer night than the ballpark with a hotdog and a beer, and, no, I didn’t read the book. But, for the most part, I’m interested because of the stats.”


We watched the movie, which I would rank a 3.5 out of 5. It was entertaining, but there wasn’t enough about the statistics in it for me. (I know. I’ve always been a bit of a geek.) Then, afterward, we walked to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

Now, the other night amid glasses of red wine, one of my friends was actually reading my blog to me. Don’t ask me why, but it’s an interesting experience to have your own work read back to you. She was reading the post about Man #21, and said I sounded like a snob.  (I find this interesting, considering that I don’t recall ever seeing her with a date who was missing his teeth.) At the risk of sounding like a snob again, however, I have to say I’m not a big fan of The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Despite the fact that I’m not a fan, I was not going to complain. I graciously accepted, and decided I would make do with whatever menu options faced me.  So, yes, maybe I’m a snob about this, but here’s the deal.  I lived in Italy for a short period of time, and while I was there, in addition to taking some language lessons, I took cooking classes. The result is that it has ruined me when it comes to most Italo-American dining.  The Olive Garden…The Spaghetti Factory…these sorry excuses for Italian cuisine usually just leave me feeling sort of disgusted. When I go out to eat, I tend to choose dishes that I typically cannot make for myself. This means I usually don’t order pasta, risotto, or salmon, just to name a few.

Of course, most of The Spaghetti Factory’s menu consists of pasta. I took my chances and ordered The Manager’s Favorite, which allowed me to order pasta with two different sauces. I ordered the meat sauce and the clam sauce. I knew I was taking a risk, but I didn’t let on to my date that I was having any anxiety about my choices. I also noticed that they had spaghetti squash with marinara on the menu.  I asked the waiter if I could substitute brown butter and mizithra cheese for the marinara, so we ordered the spaghetti squash to share.

There aren’t a lot of good things I can say about the meat sauce or the alfredo-like clam sauce that came on my pasta. It was food, and it was filling, but that was about it.  There is a very easy way to tell if a restaurant knows anything about Italian cuisine.  Italians do not put cheese on seafood. Therefore, an alfredo-like clam sauce is a kind of blasphemy you will typically not find in Italy.  The spaghetti squash with brown butter and mizithra was good though, and it’s pretty much impossible to fuck up the free spumoni ice cream that they serve at the end of every meal.

The Suitor was completely unaware of all of these thoughts that were swimming around in my head, as I concentrated on having a good conversation and being polite to both him and our waiter.  I do care enough about first impressions to resist the urge to sound like a picky bitch, and in the total scheme of life, there are a lot more important things to make a fuss about than fleeting alfredo-like clam sauce.

We had a great time and a good conversation. He wants to see me again, and I just might let him. He has all of his teeth. I might try to influence our next food experience though.

Photo here.




15 responses

11 10 2011

I’m glad you’re back in the saddle. It gives me inspiration.

11 10 2011

Thanks. The last woman who told me that went on three dates and quickly told me she was DONE with dating. What I lack in luck I try to make up for in endurance. 🙂

11 10 2011

* “Alfredo-like clam sauce”?? I’m having a hard time imagining what that would be, or why a cook would go there.
* Dated over 20 men and didn’t find any that you’d have a long-term relationship with? How likely would that have been when you started? Here’s a stat: Therapist – 1, You – 0.
* Yes, that’s a geeky reason to want to see a movie.

11 10 2011

RE: Randomness
Alfredo-like clam sauce – The actual components of the sauce in question are a mystery, but it was thick, with a sort of cheesy, gelatinous consistency. When a good clam sauce is so simple, I have no idea why someone would choose to mess it up.
Dated over 20 men…. – Touche, Elderbaud, touche.
As for geeky – I’ll trust you, because you, of all people, should know geeky. 🙂

12 10 2011
Kat Richter

Yay! I like the sound of this one and kudos to him for picking a carnation instead of a rose. (Rose screams “over the top” imho.) So his taste is restaurants isn’t exactly the greatest– it was only a first date– at least he has all of his teeth! (?)

12 10 2011

Yes, he seems like a really nice guy, and I liked the carnation too. I put in in a light green bud vase and put it in my bedroom, which is pinks, maroons, and greens. Plus, he has all his teeth…I shudder at the thought that this is a new threshold for me.

12 10 2011

Ah, a pink carnation…. 6’3″.. a conversation…. alrighty then!

Baby steps? One date at a time with this guy? and just see where it goes?

Anyway, glad to hear that you had a pretty nice experience… and carnations last longer than roses so…… I’ll be waiting to hear what happens next!

14 10 2011

I don’t know. He went and texted me the other morning at 6 a.m.. I don’t understand what would make someone think that after one date it would be ok to do that, but at least he didn’t tell me he was stroking his &%^$ like the Italian Sausage had. One thing that seems apparent with guys is their disrespect for women seems to show up pretty quickly.

12 10 2011

I’m excited that you’ve found someone you’d consider seeing again!!! 🙂

16 10 2011
Chicago-Style Girl

This is my first time reading your blog and I’m hooked. I think it’s lovely and I will be following from here until #100!

17 10 2011

Welcome, and thank you!

6 11 2011
What Happened to The Suitor? « My Dating Prescription

[…] don’t know if anyone has been wondering what happened to Man #22, The Suitor, or not, but I will fill you in on the latest and then ask you to weigh in on my perceptions of how […]

7 11 2011
Kathy D

I meant to comment on this one when you posted it, but my apartment search (now over, thank goodness) was totally consuming my life at the time. I LOVE The Old Spaghetti Factory, but it’s primarily a nostalgia thing. Whenever my family would make the drive into downtown to see something at the Coliseum (e.g., Ice Capades) we’d always have dinner at OSF. Sometimes I could even talk my parents into making the drive for my birthday (second only to Farrell’s). I’d always get the brown butter/mizithra (I still do) and I loved the free ice cream (I still do). In fact, the only thing different about going as an adult is now I drink wine instead of milk with my dinner. I appreciate real Italian cooking and am happy to pay for it on occasion, but for a place that brings me tons of happy memories for very few shekels, nothing beats OSF.

7 11 2011

Actually, the brown butter and mizithra is one of the best things they have going, which is why I asked them to sub it out for the marinara on the spaghetti squash. You’re also right on the price. Our total bill was under $30 for two of us.

26 05 2012

Thank you for touching my heart. I don’t know why God puts us tgrhuoh different emotions and circumstances. Perhaps, to teach us that we may love deeper and cherish moments and not take blessings for granted, or so we can encourage others and have true compassion for someone who has similar struggles, OR to bring us closer to Him without the distractions that were keeping us from seeking Him. I know when we live for God, He will bless us with the desires of our hearts. My dear, he has indeed blessed you.Thank you for your willingness to share your love story, thank you for touching my heart but most of all, thank you for being a beautiful child of God!Much Love,Cindy

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