I should have known better than to meet handsome Dan at one of the seediest bars in Brooklyn, but looking into those baby blues that were a good four or five inches above mine, I couldn’t help but feel weak in the knees. He took my number and after a few texts we decided on getting drinks the following weekend.
I was two blocks away at 8:30, the time we had decided to meet. My phone rang. “Hey, where are you?” he asked. This being our first voice-on-voice interaction, I didn’t think anything was amiss. Maybe he was just a teensy bit nervous. “I’m right around the block,” I said. “I’ll be there in two minutes.”
Walking into the bar, it was like a scene out of a scary movie. One of my favorite neighborhood haunts, this night it was creepily empty save for one dude in the corner, the bartender, and my date. No music was playing. The TV was on mute. Handsome Dan was sitting at the bar. Things were about to get ugly.
“Heee-eyyyy,” he said, his head slumping to the side, eyes barely open.
Homeboy was piss-ass drunk.
Obviously, I was caught off guard. How does one politely handle a situation like this? “Hi!” I faked a smile. “How are you?”
“I’m great! I went on a booze cruise today!” Ah, the perfect precursor to a first date. Did I mention he was younger than me?
Yes, he was drunk, but he was extremely talkative. Apparently, he forgot he bought tickets for this boat ride, and once he realized he had double-booked, he tried to see if there was room so that he could bring me. There wasn’t, so he thought he could do both because he “really wanted” to see me. I figured I’d try to chat with him a bit while figuring out a way to end the date early. I ordered a drink.
Soon he suggested we go outside so that he could smoke a cigarette. I acquiesced, and that’s when he stopped responding. I was about to get rude, but he got up and excused himself. I thought he was going to the bathroom, but he came back with another beer. Seriously. He took a sip. It was now or never.
“So … would you mind if maybe we have a do-over?” He didn‘t understand what I was getting at. “It’s just that, well, you’re really drunk. And I’m really not.”
He nodded. “Yeah. You’re right. This was a bad idea. I just really, really wanted to see you.” Thus our “date” turned into a “hang.”
But then he started to inch his chair closer to me. Then his hand was on my knee. He leaned in, lips puckered up. “What are you doing!?” I practically screamed. “I said this wasn’t a date!”
He sat back, looking defeated. I suggested we leave. He agreed.
We walked together a bit until it was time to part ways. While saying our goodbyes, he leaned in again. I pushed him away. “I said this wasn’t a date. There will be no kissing.” He looked back at me with a puppy dog face. “Oh, come on, please? I won’t even slip you the tongue.”
“Oh, come on. Please? How about a kiss on the cheek?” It was clear he wasn’t going to give up, so I let him. He kissed both cheeks and gave me a big old bear hug. Trying to get away from him, I stumbled back, bumping into a chained-up bike that I had been standing in front of. I quickly recovered and headed down the street while he called out after me, “I think you’re the one who’s drunk!”