Blind date

I mentioned earlier that I’ve become good friends with a senior State Department employee and his wife, and I was delighted and surprised when they called me up a couple of Sundays ago to have lunch with them. At lunch, they introduced me to a Western woman who is a prominent artist here, and we had so much to talk about (classical music is her specialty). It was great. She is older than I am, very worldy and very interesting.

So I was happy, albeit surpised, when a few days later she called and asked if I’d like to go to dinner with her. We met at a fancy fusion restaurant and, since I so rarely go to dinner with anyone but myself, I ordered a good bottle of wine. In retrospect, that was a mistake.

We were about halfway done with our over-priced dinner and wine, when she started to tell me why she finds me so attractive. Suddenly, I felt a sense of dread come over me, almost as if a rat had bitten me. I really panicked, although I kept my composure (I’m a PR man, calm in the face of horrific circumstances).

She kept talking, but at this point I couldn’t make out anything she was saying. It hit me — my State Department friends had set us up that morning. The whole things was an act of matchmaking on their part, and they thought they were doing both of us such a favor. Their intentions were totally good, but my God, what had they gotten me into?

I clasped my wine glass and swirled the wine around idiotically while I wondered, how the hell am I going to get out of this one? At this point, she was praising my necktie (or was it my cologne? I can’t remember, I was so frantic, and all that 2000 Wolf Blass Shiraz didn’t help me think more clearly). I looked up at her, sat up straight and gave her my most serious look. I think she was expecting me to propose.

“Listen,” I said. “Before you go any further, there’s something I have to tell you. To be honest, I thought you’d figured it out already. I’m….I’m….” I was hoping she would get it, so that I wouldn’t have to fill in the ellipse. I paused and waited for her, hopefully. But no. She looked at me with this inquisitive and innocent look, and I knew I was going to have to complete the sentence myself. It wasn’t easy, but I did.

Well, suffice it to say that it was all downhill from there. I really like and admire this woman and I want to be her good friend. But it was as though her balloon simply burst, and her facial expression just shouted out, “Oh shit.” She looked crestfallen, and I felt as though I’d committed a crime.

Her next line — “Oh, that’s okay, I’m glad you feel you can trust me with that” — was utterly unconvincing. All I did for the rest of the meal was apologize, and say, truthfully, that I had absolutely no idea she was thinking of us in a romantic light.

We got through it all, but I felt like sinking into the floor. I don’t like to disappoint people, but what could I do? I had to tell her, but it was so obvious that she just wasn’t ready. Afterwards, she didn’t say a word about how handsome I am.

I felt so bad for her. She had a clear expectation of what the night would be, and I pulled the plug on it.

Oh well, just one more of my many unusual experiences here in Asia. It sounds funny now, but I promise, it was anything but funny as I was going through it. She never called me again, though I wish she would; she loves Brahms and Wagner.

The Discussion: 12 Comments

You really should laugh.

December 16, 2003 @ 8:27 pm | Comment

The funny thing is that the opposite once happened to me, when friends who thought I was gay attempted to set me up with a classmate of theirs.

December 16, 2003 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

At least you had the guts to do the right thing and come out and tell her as soon as you realised what was going on. And now she can tell her all friends that its true that all the good looking single guys are gay, so you’ve helped kept that little myth alive for a while yet.

It’s also a bit underhand on your friends parts they didn’t let you in on their “set-up”. They could have saved all the embarassment and perhaps kindled a great friendship instead.

December 16, 2003 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

you heartbreaker, you!

December 16, 2003 @ 11:57 pm | Comment

you is the gay?

December 17, 2003 @ 1:34 am | Comment

hi, just came across your site from… you telling her you were gay from the beginning was the best thing to do before things got out of hand. anyway, you’ve got some interesting stuff posted here; i’m definitely stopping by again.

December 17, 2003 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Hey Richard,
It could have been worse. Try explaining that you’re not interested even if you’re straight. That’s a real no-win situation.

December 17, 2003 @ 10:23 am | Comment

Hihi, at least you should feel flattered :-). I’ve never seen you say it explicitly, but I got the sense from just reading your posts here and there… It’s your friend to blame with! 😛

December 17, 2003 @ 11:01 am | Comment

The way you expressed it is hilarious even if it was not meant to be. Sraight eye for the queer guy.

December 17, 2003 @ 3:14 pm | Comment

Brendan, you mean you’re not gay?!

December 17, 2003 @ 6:10 pm | Comment

Sorry to disappoint.

December 23, 2003 @ 1:12 am | Comment


April 23, 2005 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

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