Forgive me for my lack of original nickname for this particular doofus but I could not think of a better adjective to associate with him than TERRIBLE.
I met Mr. Terrible on Match.com (blonde, tall, self-employed*) and he suggested meeting for a drink in Venice at 8:00 on a Tuesday night. I arrived fashionably late at 8:05 and had a lovely conversation with the bouncer at the door of The Other Room about Black’s Beach in La Jolla. That was the only lovely conversation I had that evening.
Mr. Terrible was seated at a table with a beer in hand. We had the usual awkward meet-an-online-stranger hug then he said that there wasn’t a waitress so to go to the bar to get a drink. I think I stood there uncertainly for 10 seconds, then marched to the bar and ordered a glass of white wine and put it on my credit card.
I came back with my glass of Rueda (remember when I said I was a bit of a wine snob? Still holds true) and we delved into a sort of awkward but not entirely bad first date conversation. However, 15 minutes in, I knew the guy didn’t like me because he asked me how the weather was today in Santa Monica (it’s LA, dude, it’s 60 degrees and sunny every day in February).
30 minutes into the date (not even halfway through my glass), he took a phone call. In front of me. At the table.
I politely smiled through it and sipped my wine. I have to say, I was taught you never take phone calls at the table. You don’t even text at the table. If it’s really, really that urgent, you excuse yourself briefly. Not only was he yapping on his phone in front of me, I realized he was talking about his plans to meet up with someone else pretty much now. So Mr. Terrible was basically pulling a “Something bad happened” first date move/escaping the date on me.
He hung up and explained since he was on this side of town, he was meeting with a friend he doesn’t see often in Venice. I said, “that’s nice” and somehow made it through another 5 minutes of stunted conversation with him.
At about 8:40, before my wine was even done, he announced it was time for him to leave to meet his friend. I said, “Have fun. I guess I’ll go close my tab. You don’t have to wait for me if you have to get out of here.”
And he took off.
I had to do the walk of shame back to the bar alone and request to close out, even though I’m pretty sure the bartenders watched this pathetic interaction. I’m surprised they didn’t comp my wine out of sheer pity for me.
I exited The Other Room and the aforementioned bouncer called out to me, “Wait, the date is over ALREADY?” I had no words, so I simply shrugged and walked to my car alone (while constantly looking over my shoulder; it was Venice after all. Full of all sorts of crazies and apparently terrible doofuses).
* Self-employed in LA is a bad, bad sign. “Self-employed” means barely supporting one’s self doing bartending/waiting/barista-ing while you work on your screenplay(s). In Mr. Terrible’s case, he “consulted.”