I don't usually make a point of it to go out with perfect strangers. In fact, I don't really like first dates at all. I always feel like I'm going on a job interview for a job I don't really want, but know I need to have to be a productive citizen. So I often subject myself to going out with seemingly normal people only to find out half-way through the date that they are indeed complete and total freaks.
This is one of those times.
When I first moved to San Francisco, I didn't know anyone but my roommate who I went to college with, Debbie. She already had a boyfriend and plenty of social activities. I, on the other hand, had to often be tricked out of the house in order to meet new people.
A girl I was becoming friends with at work invited me to go to a magazine party at some hipster Internet cafe. I agreed to go only if she promised not to abandon me with the hacker set. She agreed and I went.
There I met him. He was a cute boy wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. He introduced himself and started talking about his art and how he's a film student. Most of the time he talked about himself and all his artsy projects, but then he seemed interested in knowing about my Web site and cable TV show. We sorta hit it off and I was happy to be around someone new. He asked me out and I said yes. The normal part ends here.
The next Friday he decided he'd take me to a blues bar/restuarant to see his friends in a local band play. I was excited. That is until he arrived for the date.
Now I'm not an extremely shallow individual. I don't care if my dates wear Armani or lounge wear from the thrift store. I'm not that kind of girl. Except there are a few extremes that no one can ever prepare for.
My roommate answered the door as I was still getting ready. I heard the door open and Deb sorta laughed. She said, "Are you Bonnie's date?"
She walked into the bedroom and said, "Your date's here, but I should have closed the door on him."
"Why?" I asked.
"He's wearing a big black cape," she said.
I laughed. I thought she was joking. She wasn't.
I went into the living room where my date was lurking. Sure enough there he was in a black velvet cape, black velvet pants, and an airbrushed T-shirt with the design of the cartoon character Betty Boop dressed as a hooker. He looked like a cross between a Goth wannabe and a cheesy Las Vegas magician.
I think I blinked.
He explained that not only was he a famous artist and aspiring filmmaker, he was also a successful fashion designer. heh.
In his right hand he held a bottle of trendy Chilean wine. Which he explained was the hippest thing to drink in San Francisco. As we drank the wine, Deb and her boyfriend tried their best to make conversation with Cape Boy.
"That's an interesting cape you have on, where did you get it?" Deb asked.
"I made it myself," he explained. "It doubles as a blanket because you never know where you're gonna crash every night."
"Not here, buddy," I thought to myself.
Now my friends keep telling me that at this point I had every right to be a little mean and cancel the date. In fact, some say Deb should have just not let him in the door. But because I was raised to be polite to everyone, even the most disasterous dates, I couldn't tell this guy to take a hike. I had to follow through with the date. Maybe this was just a simple quirk and he was a really nice guy. I had to be mature and give him a chance.
So we left for our date at the blues bar. It's a joint called "Biscuits and Blues." It's a blues bar and a soul food restaurant. Good food and great music. Under different circumstances, I probably would have really enjoyed myself there.
On our walk downtown, after taking the J-church bus because he doesn't "believe in driving," he tried to bypass the bar to go to another bar for a pre-dinner drink. I didn't really want to go somewhere else. I said I'd be cool with just going to the blues bar. Instead of treating my response as no big deal, he freaked out. He said I needed to loosen up and not be such a control freak. Huh? For a first date, he sure was damn demanding. Not a good start.
As we walked in the place, we sat down and he ordered our drinks. He said this would be great because he painted something for the owner of the bar and she owed him free drinks and food. I had a feeling that my date wasn't carrying any money. Granted, I had my own money just in case this happened, but I wondered if my date ever paid for anything on a regular basis.
I let it go and tried not to pre-judge him. But then he started to act like he owned the place. He was rude to the wait staff for one. And then he kept waving at the band who was playing. He kept saying, "Those are my boys." The funny thing was the band kept looking over at us like Cape Boy was this annoying groupie. I got the impression that he wasn't pals with the band at all and this whole things was a major delusion on his part.
The discussion was even worse than his actions. He basically talked about himself the entire time and how famous he is. He talked about the airbrushed, low-rider style art he did for Chris Isaak and John Lee Hooker. He talked about how it's hard to have privacy when you're famous like he is. He acted like I was lucky to be there with him. I felt as lucky as a rabbit without a paw.
Then he went on and on about his dream home would be a pyramid because of its psychic energy. He then went on to tell me his theory about how he gives everyone a psychic number that explains their personality. He said he was a 4 because of his talent and sensitivity. Then he said I was an 8.
"What does the 8 mean?" I asked.
"It means you're a very sexual person. You like to have sex a lot. Mostly with strangers," he said.
It took every cell I had not to burst out laughing. I just looked at him. He was serious.
"Actually, I hate sex," I lied. "I can't stand it. I'm waiting for my wedding night. I'm an old-fashioned girl."
He seemed shocked. I guess he thought he had me all figured out. Guess not. The night was dragging on and I was getting progressively more drunk.
When midnight approached I said I should probably be getting home. He tried to get me to stay, saying that the best blues guys play at around 1am, but I was done with this date. I paid my dues and I was polite enough. I was tired, felt sick and wanted to forget this night ever happened.
As we got into the taxi, he yelled at the driver, saying he wasn't going to pay if the guy continued to take the long route. The driver, of course, knew exactly where he was going. Cape Boy was just being a dork.
When we got to my house, I wanted to lean over to the driver, hand him a $20 and ask him to run down Cape Boy after I got out - but I didn't. Instead, I politely said "Thanks for the date. That was a fun place" and got out of the cab. Cape Boy wanted a kiss, but was too drunk to chase after me, so I closed the taxi door. whew.
And that was the end of Cape Boy.
All contents copyright © 1996-2006 by Bonnie Burton.