Talk to MePosted: December 6, 2011
I was excited for take two with Brad and pumped to try out the hip Korean restaurant he picked for our date. For a southern man fresh in the big city, the guy knows how to pick a spot.
As I approached the trendy eatery I spotted him outside wearing the same fleece and hiking boots from our previous date. I looked down at my tiny dress, fur vest, and ridiculous heels. You should never judge a book by its cover, but if you did, you wouldn’t stock me and Brad anywhere near each other in the bookshop.
I went in for my standard hug, double-cheek kiss, hello handshake. (Note to self: To avoid awkwardness, commit to one form of greeting and abandon the rest.) We got seated and started looking over the menus. Brad mentioned that he had spent some time in Korea as he took the reins in ordering, a manly move that I appreciated.
When I asked him about his time there he said, “Yeah, it was cool.” When I pressed for more details he gave me the same distant gaze from our previous date and chose to elaborate by saying, “There was a lot to see. It was fun.”
Okay, I thought, back to me. I began telling him about my afternoon at the Russian baths in the neighborhood, where they have somewhat seedy but relaxing steam rooms, saunas, and gigantic Russian men who will whip you with eucalyptus leaves.
“I spent some time is Russia,” he began, “I actually became really good friends with the head of the Russian mafia in that area.” My eyes lit up. Yes, scandal! I was ready for the juice. “He had a sauna/steam room situation in his house where he’d have parties every Saturday night.”
I nodded encouragingly, awaiting gritty details about prostitutes, drug rings, and pet dragons. “What were the parties like? How crazy did they get?”
He shrugged, “It was pretty chill. We just hung out and steamed and talked.”
I have better Russian mafia stories from Coney Island then he had from the motherland. I chugged on throughout dinner trying to get him to open up. The dinner was delicious and spicy but the conversation was totally bland. He kept dropping bombs of potentially interesting stories but then couldn’t follow through with any real content or enthusiasm.
We paid up and walked out to the street to say our goodbyes. He leaned in, I thought he was going to kiss me, I wouldn’t have stopped him, but he didn’t. He just gave me a big ole bear hug and a pat on the back. I didn’t know if it was the southern gentleman in him or if the connection just wasn’t there, but after I got home he texted to tell me he had a great time and wanted to know when to get together next. More hot water? I think I need a heartier soup.