I was stuck with a $250.00 bill. The worst part is how he went out of his way to humiliate and insult me.
By: Tom in Las Vegas
I’ve had some rotten thing happen to me but this one takes the cake.
After being encouraged by friends to put myself out there and start dating again, I decided to sign up for Tinder. I was skeptical at first because I had heard things about meeting guys through aps. Plus, it hadn’t been that long since getting out of a 2-year relationship with someone who I considered to be a raging alcoholic.
I’m a 41-years old with average looks. Blue eyes, dark features with some facial scruff that grows greyer with each passing day. I’ve been told that I resemble Dylan McDermott in the face to give you an idea.
So around 2-hours before the date, I received the following text from Alan, my Tinder date:
“Do you like white wine or red? I don’t really have a preference to be honest.”
His message was a little jarring because right off the bat, he was talking about alcohol. I became a little less enthusiastic about meeting him.
I had been on a few Tinder dates before (plus Grindr and Scruff dates if truth be told). I didn’t want to say anything judgmental to Alan away because it was entirely possible that I was projecting my own crap on to him, given the history with my ex.
I texted him back.
“I’m cool with whatever – I don’t have a preference either. We can figure it out when we get to the restaurant.”
Later, I arrived at the Aria hotel and was pointed towards the direction of Sage, a place that offers an eclectic mix of American foods with a hint of creativity. We had both agreed on the place after hearing good things about the place, including that Sage was gay friendly.
I walked up to the hostess podium and gave her my name. “Oh, your dinner companion is already here sir,” she said as she pointed towards the middle part of the restaurant.
There he was, sitting at a small table smiling at me. He raised his glass up as he motioned me to come towards his direction.
Alan is a handsome man so I won’t try to minimize that at all. If you have ever seen Don Diamont, the soap opera actor from Bold and Beautiful, you will get fairly good idea of Alan’s look.
As soon as I sat down, he asked me what I wanted to drink. When I told him that I was good for the time being, he acted like I said something offensive. He wondered out loud about what it said about my character that I passed up an “ice breaker” opportunity.
It was a little unsettling to have someone bring up my character when we had barely just met. I kept my cool and gave in, ordering a glass of red house wine so that at least we could move on to another topic.
I tried to make small talk and asked him about his work. With a disgusted face, he shook his head and told me that a first date wasn’t the time to start sizing up someone for their husband potential.
I think he could tell I was really pissed because I didn’t have a comment. Inside, I wanted to reach across the table and smash my wine glass up against his face.
Just then the waiter came to our table to deliver the menus. At this point I was in no mood to eat, let alone spend more time with this buffoon. Before I had a chance to say anything, Alan placed the order.
“I’ve already decided for us – I hope you don’t mind,” he said to me as he shut the menu closed.
I sat there stunned as he informed the waiter that he would be having the grilled Kobe skirt steak and I would be having the New York Strip steak.
What could I do – he had placed the order so fast that all I could do was watch. I suppose I could have made a fuss but decided to make the best of it. At least I would be eating a decent meal, right?
Alan started to talk about what he liked to get into with other guys sexually. I suspected at this point he might have been a little drunk, which seemed odd.
His commentary was really quite lewd. Yes, the man was attractive but was a first date really the time to be talking about whips and toys?
“You can learn a lot from someone based on what they are into. Tell me, what all do you like to do?” he asked, widening his eyes as he gulped down a glass of wine.
Moments later, the waiter was refilling his glass.
I desperately tried to steer that conversation somewhere else – anywhere else on the planet to be honest. Alan wouldn’t have it and pressed me to talk about the things that I was into sexually.
Apparently, the answer I gave him wasn’t to his liking. When I told him that I was open to new things but that I liked to get to know a person a bit before having those kinds of talks, he acted mortally wounded.
After a period of silence, he looked at me in an accusatory tone and said, “You have some real relationship issues there, don’t you!”
He then abruptly excused himself and made his way towards the men’s room. I was so relieved to have a few moments to myself. I thought about leaving but didn’t. Why, I don’t know.
I pulled out my phone and sent a quick text to my friend:
OMG the guy I am on a date with is such a dick!
After what seemed like forever, Alan finally returned to the table. The waiter had already served our food, which was just on the edge of turning cold.
“Doesn’t this look amazing?” he said, as he sat down and grabbed his napkin. “Go ahead – dive in and eat.”
As I watched him literally inhale his steak and potatoes while guzzling down more wine, I could only pick at my food. Eating was seriously the last thing on my mind.
Once he forked down the last piece of meat on his plate, he took his wine glass and swirled the red liquid inside as he held it up to the light.
He then said this to me:
“I’ll tell you what. There really isn’t much of a connection here. I am going to meet a couple of my friends over at the Four Seasons. I don’t want to lead you on. This just didn’t work out.”
I told him in a very polite but firm voice that I was sorry the night ended this way but that I agreed with his decision. There were people all around us and I didn’t want to make a scene.
“By the way, you should really update your picture on Tinder. To be honest, the one you are using looks like it was taken 5-10 years ago. You’ve aged.”
Enraged, I went to say something but it was too late. He had already gotten up and pushed his chair back in. I wasn’t about to shout anything like some kind of uncouth animal.
By the way, my Tinder photo was brand new, taken at the time I started the account six months earlier.
The waiter must have been watching from the corner because moments later, he walked up and asked if everything was OK. It was then that I realized Alan had stiffed me with the bill.
When we had planned for the date originally, Alan insisted that he wanted to take care of everything. “Let me take you out and worry about the bill. You can pick up the tab on our next date.”
This arrangement, however, wasn’t to be because Alan had ditched me at the most critical part of the night … meaning the time to pay.
I explained to the waiter that everything was fine and that my dinner companion had been called away on an emergency. He asked if I wanted anything else and I declined. “OK, I’ll be back in a moment.”
A minute later, he returned with the bill. My jaw dropped:
$251.48 total, excluding gratuity
Alan had apparently ordered some very expensive wine before I had arrived at Sage. I guess I hadn’t been keeping track of it because the waiter informed me that two bottles were consumed in total. One before dinner and one during.
When you throw in the two steak meals, plus my glass of wine, you get the total of a $250 plus dollar bill.
When I left the restaurant, I was almost in tears. Not only had I been repeatedly insulted throughout the meal, I was stuck with a bill that I honestly did not have the money to pay. I was already in heavy credit card debt and so that was the last thing I needed.
So what’s the moral of the story?
Listen to your inner voice. If you get creeped out by a guy just before a date, don’t go on it. In fact, cancel it and do it fast. Usually, that voice is always right.
I’ll tell you one thing. Being humiliated and shamed is a lot worse than being rejected or critiqued for “old pics”.
PS: Alan blocked me on Tinder.