“Yaa, get dressed and be at my place in an hour. We’re going on a blind double date.”
My homegirl lived 45 minutes away, so I barely had enough time to get dolled up. I grabbed my red overnight suitcase in my closet, threw my cutest clothes in it, brushed my hair, grabbed a toothbrush, and some perfume and ran out the door.
I was getting dressed at her place when my homegirl updated me on our dates, “They’re about 27 and I think they work in accounting and IT. My date and your date are best friends. I met my date on a social networking website, so I haven’t officially met him yet.”
I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew that the evening would end up being a funny story. I climbed in my homegirl’s car and we drove to meet the guys at a restaurant about 5 minutes away. “Hurry, Yaa,” she said as we rushing out the door, “They’re already there.”
To our surprise, the guys did not leave when they said they were going to leave. In fact, we arrived first and had to wait 35 minutes for them to arrive. By the time they got there, we were already seated and from the looks on our faces, they had to try extra hard to impress us. We were no longer the giddy girls who dashed out of the apartment almost an hour ago.
“What happened?” she asked, as the guys approached the table.
“Well…” her date started. He trailed off and looked at his friend.
“I had stuff to do. You know,” said her date’s friend (my date) and grabbed a seat. “So, where’s my food?”
My girl friend and I exchanged glances and looked back him. I couldn’t hear what she was thinking, but I was sure her thoughts were identical to mine, He’s late for his date, did not offer an apology and now he’s asking for his food?! What a jerk.
Being the well-mannered ladies that we were, we did not fuss. My girl friend, giving the gentlemen another opportunity to redeem themselves, asked again, “So, what happened?”
My date offered an explanation, “I was working on my website, when I got a call saying that I should ready in 30 minutes….”
His explanation lingered for 3 minutes, but frankly, I was not interested. All I was asking for was an apology — a mere an acknowledgement that he made us think that he had already reached the restaurant when he was really home ironing his shirt — and he never offered it.
Our server arrived at the table a few minutes after our dates had been seated. My date asked, “So, are you going to take our orders or what?”
I was amazed at my date’s manners. Have you ever been so taken aback by something that it actually amused you? I was astonished at the fact that my date thought his behavior was appropriate.
“You were the one who was late,” my girl friend shot back.
Our server apologized for the inconvenience and offered to take drink orders.
As our server left the table, I turned to my date and said, “So tell me about your website.” Apparently, his website was his passion and since I love new projects and admire people who have the audacity to follow their dreams, I encouraged him to talk about it. Throughout our conversation, he’d sprinkle hints about how much money he made at his Fortune 500 company and how often he traveled to meet clients. To support his assertion that he was a frequent traveler, he showed pulled out his iPhone to show me his flight itinerary for the next 3 months.
This guy is a bit boastful, I thought to myself, but there was a subtle charm about him that intrigued me. He asked me about my career and background. I told him that I had been working in public health for the past five years, but was currently freelancing as I looked for full-time work. For a few moments, he appeared genuinely interested in what I had to say. I found him very attractive, in spite of his unpleasant manners.
Our night continued with my date bragging about his work accomplishments and the fact that he recently purchased an expensive watch. He made remarks about his brand new car that stayed parked in his trendy apartment complex, while he took lavish trips with his company’s credit card. At some point during our dinner conversations, my friend and I escaped to the restroom to discuss our thoughts on the guys. We both agreed that my date was a cuter than her date; but her date was nicer than my date. We also concurred that since my date had a lot of money, he would not mind splurging it that night. We agreed to make it a great night and laugh about it in the morning.
After dinner, we went to a lounge near downtown Atlanta. My date drove, so we piled in his car. For the average Georgia driver, the commute would have been about 20 minutes, but for my date, the commute was about half the time. He sped, honked excessively, made sharp turns, yelled at cars and pedestrians from his window. He even ran through a couple red lights. Then, he had the audacity to admit that when he was in a rental car, he drove even more recklessly. It was quite obvious that my friend and I were uncomfortable, but this fact did not stop him.
“Wow,” I said in a amusement, “You drive like you’re in Nigeria.”
To our relief, we reached our destination in one piece. My girl friend and I had a fabulous evening. The lounge played some upbeat music and the guys treated us to all the drinks and appetizers we wanted. We danced, laughed, and held some good conversations. We even ran into a few old friends. At the end of the night, my date and I exchanged phone numbers. When I reached my girl friend’s place, I could not sleep, so my date and I stayed up for almost 3 hours exchanging text messages. He called two days later.
On the phone, he sounded different from what I heard on our date. He sounded more sincere and humble. He asked for updates on my job search. I avoided the question initially, but he became sympathetic, telling me how difficult it must be to be on the job market for as long as I had. He even told me he was also on the job market for a long time before he accepted an offer to his current job. “Those two years,” he admitted, “were the toughest years in my life.”
And then he did something that I never thought the jerk I met a couple days ago would do. He encouraged me. “I know it’s difficult, but never lose faith. And use your free time wisely.” Typically, when people try to encourage me, it feels insincere, but his words were well received.
I should have stopped there, but I was stunned that the jerk from Friday night was showing a different side to him. I could not help myself and commented on his behavior, “Thanks, I usually don’t know how to answer people who ask me about my job hunt. People tend to say the wrong thing and most times, I do not want to hear whatever they have to say.”
He said, “Well allow people to be a jerk first. Open up and then you’ll see how they respond.”
A sensitive guy, I thought to myself, I knew he had a hidden charm. “You’re right, I said excitedly, “Cause I thought you’d say something a jerk would say. And you didn’t!”
“YOU THINK I’M A JERK?!?”
“Umm…. I paused for about 10 seconds, “So how about those Falcons!”