I always thought nightclubs were good places for people with nothing interesting to say. I can only hope that won’t be the case with my date, but why did he choose to meet here?
On my profile, I wrote I like to have fun. So, maybe that’s why. I should probably have said my idea of fun is a quiet dinner or a trip to the theater, but that would make me sound… Well, not fun.
I always like to arrive early; make myself comfortable and think about what to do if the date doesn’t go well. Case the joint and look for escape routes, if you will. It’s important to have an exit plan. Over the years, I’ve refined my strategies. The trick is to make an excuse that sounds urgent (I have an early meeting won’t cut it), but not tragic (fake deaths or accidents are a step too far). My current favorite is: My sister has just gone into labor.
I don’t really have a sister. But I have at least seven imaginary nephews.
This type of excuse is a last resort, only used if the guy turns out to be an unbearable idiot, but I don’t get many of those nowadays. I’ve become pretty good at filtering out the questionable men. Shirtless mirror selfie, drinking from a funnel, wearing flip flops—instant swipe lefts. Then, there’s the one that really drives me crazy: The borrowed-baby picture. About seventy percent of straight men’s profiles feature a baby on loan from a sibling, best friend or stranger in the park. What’s the thinking behind this? That women of a certain age develop a Pavlovian response to small humans?
Guys with dogs are usually safe (even if the dog is borrowed). For more intellectual types, men sitting in front of bookshelves are good. However, if they listed the Oxford comma under their interests, probably best to move on.
A man comes through the door of the club. Average height, brown hair, nice jacket. I have to hold up my phone to compare him to the picture. It’s the fifth time I’ve done this since I arrived. Not him.
I decide to stop paying attention to the door. It’ll be easy enough for him to spot me when he arrives. I always make an effort to look like my profile picture as much as I can. It’s better that way. I’ve learned that even a different haircut can make the other person feel vaguely cat-fished.