Well, it wasn’t so much a “date” as a casual meet over lunch to continue a conversation we had started.
I was putting in some volunteer time at the local community theater helping repair a piece of scenery that had fallen over during the previous night’s production. An attractive woman who was also there doing the same thing began chatting with me about productions she had been involved with, and asking me about my own experiences with the theater, and various other interests, and she invited me to a local restaurant to continue with the conversation when we were done with the repair work.
I said that sounded very nice, but I was broke until my next paycheck, and had absolutely no cash on me. She said that would not be a problem, that this time would be her treat, and that I could pay “some other time”.
We went in her car to the restaurant (I had walked to the theater as I live only a couple blocks from it) and placed our orders and chatted until the waiter arrived with the food, at which time she jumped up and said “Oh, shit! I left my purse in the car…I’ll be right back.” I offered to get it for her, and she just said “no, sit…I’ll be back in a sec.” She then grabbed her jacket and ran out.
The waiter, still standing next to the table, and I, still sitting, watched in a kind of dumbfounded silence through the window as she ran out to her car, got in, and drove away. I looked at him, he looked at me, and we both said something like “Ummm….” at the same time. He looked a little panicked…I probably did too. I did have the presence of mind to suggest we go talk with the manager, because I knew if a customer ran without paying, the waiter was stuck with the bill, and the poor guy had done nothing wrong, so I didn’t want him stuck with it. I didn’t want to be stuck with it either, as far as that goes, but I hoped the manager would be willing to let us both off the hook, so to speak.
The manager turned out to be a decent sort, at that. I explained the situation, stressed that it was neither my fault nor the waiter’s, and she thought about it for a moment and then said something along the lines of “Aw, don’t worry about it…just go.”
I went… I walked three miles back home, fuming all the way, and remembered she had said she was going to be back at the theater that evening for the production, and that crew call was an hour before the show was due to start.
So, I went back to the theater an hour before showtime, noticed her car in the parking lot, and went backstage, and there she was. I went up to her and demanded to know what had happened at the restaurant.
She looked at me and her jaw dropped…she’d obviously forgotten she’d told me she was going to be back at the theater, or she hadn’t thought I would show up. She did say “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
One of the guys on the theater crew came up to her and said “What’s going on, sweetie? Who’s this guy?” She said, “I have no idea”. I asked him, “Are you her boyfriend?” He said, Yeah, what’s the problem?” I said, “No problem”….and I left, shooting her a look that made her shrivel a little on my way out the door.
I’m still fuming….no, not fuming…idly entertaining ideas about becoming a hermit….which, in all fairness, won’t happen either…but…sheesh.