No, not casserole FOR dinner, dinner with "casserole." See yesterday's post if you're confused.
Anyway, I had dinner last night with Mr. "You Have Too Many Cats." We had stayed in pretty regular contact, trading pleasant, non-consequential messages back and forth, and had discussed that we might possibly have dinner together one night. So, last night was the night.
Some people should just be pen pals, I guess. Sigh.
He picked me up at my house--something I was actually looking forward to, as I wanted to knock down those stereotypical images of what he imagined a house being lived in by [number redacted] cats would be like. I had tried to convince him that my house a) doesn't generally smell and b) isn't swimming in knee-deep cat hair, but I don't think he ever really believed me. Until last night, when he was forced to admit that he never would have imagined I had animals. He only saw a couple of them, of course, since the shy ones scoot when strangers come, and he kept saying, "but I thought you said you had a lot of cats." I DO, dude. They're hiding. Would I seriously have inflated the number of cats I have, just for fun? 'Cause we all know guys dig chicks with LOTS of cats. Heh.
So, when I actually laid eyes on him, was I sorry to have been proactively defaulted to friend status? Ummm...NO. No physical attraction whatsoever.
Anyway, off we go. We discuss where to go, he suggests a popular bar/restaurant downtown, I say "ooh, they have the BEST beer menu," he enthusiastically agrees (remember this a little later) and we head that direction. As we approach the place, though, the incredible number of cars reminds me: oh, they have that Wednesday Night Burger Special. "Can't beat that, right?" he says. Well, I don't eat burgers, so it doesn't do anything for me. "You don't eat BURGERS?" he asks in a tone of disbelief. Well, I'm a vegetarian, remember? (We had discussed that before.) So, I eat veggie burgers, but that's not what's on special. "What's a veggie burger?"
Okay...this is 2009, right? How the hell can he never have heard of a veggie burger? I mean, I'm not expecting him to be conversant on the pros and cons of different brands or anything...but the concept itself is not that radical, is it? I explain that a veggie burger features a patty made of vegetable protein, and he says, over and over, somewhat disdainfully, "whatever, I guess, whatever."
Did I neglect to mention that, in person, he's really, really prone to some very annoying verbal tics?
Anyway, the restaurant is entirely too crowded, so I suggest we go to another restaurant a few blocks away, which I'm sure won't be too busy on a weeknight. We go there, it isn't, we sit down. The waiter comes up, asks if he can get us something to drink, iced tea or maybe a beer?
"I'll have a Bud," he says. This is where you're supposed to remember the part about the great beer menu at the first restaurant. Why the hell would it matter if all you're going to do is order a Bud? I ask the waiter, beer snob that I am, what do you have that's better? You'd have thought I kicked a puppy. "Better than BUD?!" (This from the casserole, not the waiter.) "It's the BEST." Oh, dear lord. I order a Newcastle. The drinks come, I take a sip, and say, in my best passive-aggressive manner (heh), now that's some good beer. "Why don't you like Bud?" Because it's a watered-down, tasteless swill full of chemicals. He is aghast: "Who told you that?" I told myself that, dude, after drinking plenty of it in my young, stupid days. It has no real taste and hurts my stomach. "Whatever, I guess, whatever."
We continue looking at the menu...speaking of verbal tics: every time his eyes move from one item to the next, he says in a monotone, "uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh." Dear lord, choose something soon.
We order, I do indeed order a veggie burger, and once it arrives he has to start in with the "that looks pretty good...if only it had some meat on it" jokes. 'Cause, in 14 years of vegetarianism, I've never heard THAT one before. Finally, I smile and suggest politely that if he won't mock my food choices, I won't mock his. He shuts up.
Anyway, we eat...I manage to steer the conversation onto topics we can agree on--the importance of music and environmentalism--and things are okay. He grabs the check, I don't even pretend to argue, and he takes me home. An awkward handshake and a "nice to meet you in person and thanks for dinner" and...we're done.
And the moral of the story? Don't EVER think you really know someone from conversing with them online, I guess. Online, they may be relatively charming, while in person, they might be a socially awkward dork (and not in a good way) with no ass and with enough verbal tics to...to...I don't know...to ANNOY you. (In cyberspace, nobody hears you tic. Hee.)
On the plus side...he didn't have stubby hands. Hee. I don't know if we can go back to being online pen pals now, though, sadly...I just can't get the constant "whatever, I guess, whatever" refrain out of my head.