17 March 2007

The Mr. Wrong Series: The Guy From Marcella's Group Therapy Session (Pt. 2)

Okay, so where were we?

Ah yes... I had agreed to meet him and we decided to do the deed on a Saturday afternoon at Eureka Joe, a wonderful coffee shop that USED to be on 5th Avenue (around 20th), but is no longer there.

I arrived first, and since there was the chance he wouldn't show up, I ordered my coffee and planted myself on a comfy couch with a book. About ten minutes later he walked in. We hadn't really described ourselves, I guess I figured Marcella had taken care of that when she was trying to convince us to hook up. In any case, he strolled over to the sofa and introduced himself. The fact that we were the only two black folks there may have made it a bit easier. He was wearing a tasteful black leather jacket** and jeans and seemed to be a very nice guy. I relaxed a bit.

He sat down on the sofa across from me and started talking. Since I wasn't sure if he knew the coffee shop, I pointed out that he would have to get his coffee at the counter as they didn't have table service. He said he'd get it later, then added:

"Does it bother you that I haven't ordered anything?"

I assured him that it didn't, which of course was not entirely true, but I didn't want to seem to weird about it. For the record though, we were there for almost three hours and he never ordered anything, while I drank a gallon of coffee to make up for him. He noticed this and said:

"I have money, don't worry. I just don't want anything to drink."

It wasn't like they only had coffee, there was a wide variety of beverages and snacks to choose from. He just wanted to talk. And so he did. About his mom (no longer living), his relationship with his siblings (strained), his job (excellent), and me (intriguing). At some points during his three-hour long introduction of himself, he actually started crying. This happened whenever he talked about his mother. He would also get really agitated when he talked about his siblings, and I was starting to get an idea of why he was in therapy.

Finally, I said that I needed to head home and he offered to walk me to the subway station. Once we arrived he asked if I'd like to have lunch with him the following week, as his office was quite near my own. Yeah, I know, but I said yes anyway. Then as I was about to descend into the subway, he politely asked if he could kiss me, to which I (equally) politely responded:


On Monday he called me at work and asked if I was free for lunch on Tuesday. I was, so we agreed on a time and a place. On Tuesday morning he called to ask if we could push it back an hour, and I said okay. At the appointed time he called and said he couldn't make it, but could we try again on Wednesday.

And so it went....

Wednesday arrived with apologetic phone calls, but no lunch. Thursday, Friday, and on into the next week. Finally, I suggested that he was simply too busy to be able to schedule lunch dates, so perhaps we should just forget it. He agreed that his schedule was indeed a bit crazy (he was, after all, an advertising executive), but why didn't we try something different. As I was new to NY and never ventured past Park Slope in Brooklyn or the East and West Village in Manhattan, he suggested that on the upcoming Saturday, I come to Harlem and he would show me around. Brunch, shopping, and a tour of his four-story brownstone (with four fireplaces).

This seemed reasonable. He had actually kept our first Saturday date and a day in Harlem sounded very cool. I agreed.

The Friday night before the big Saturday date, I was hanging out with one of my girlfriends and she wanted to go to another bar and I wanted to go home because I needed to get up early in order to meet my date in Harlem at 10:00 for breakfast. To which she replied:

"The guy who's been standing you up the past two weeks?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Check your voicemail at home."

"Why should I check my voicemail?"

"Because you'll feel like an idiot once you get home and he's stood you up for tomorrow morning and you missed the chance to have a nice evening out."

So I checked, and found the following message:

"Hi Inez, I'm so sorry, but something has come up for tomorrow and I won't be able to see you. I'll call you on Sunday."

How on earth did she know? Why on earth hadn't I suspected?

In any case, I didn't answer the phone when he called on Sunday. When he called me at work on Monday, I told him I was no longer interested and asked that he stop calling me. So he called back in an hour. And the hour after that, and the hour after that. He called countless times daily, and finally I had to slip the receptionist $20 to block his calls. After a week of talking to him every twenty minutes, she gave the money back and said it was my problem.

The last time he was put through to me I told him that the next time he called I would call the police. That seemed to do the trick.

I never did figure out the making/breaking dates game. If somebody out there can explain it, drop me a line.

Oh, and Marcella's take on all of this:

"God, you're picky. No wonder you're single."


**When I lived in Austin I met a very beautiful man, who happened to be in uniform. He asked me out, but when he showed up at my house to pick me up, he was wearing a crazy orange Michael Jackson leather jacket with about a billion zippers. Everywhere we went that night I ran into people I knew, who later asked: "That guy was fine, but what was up with that jacket?" Since then jackets have been a big deal. Shallow, but true...