I got stood up

Last Saturday, I drove about an hour to meet a contact from one of the dating sites. That entire hour on the road was filled with nothing but obsessive and anxious thoughts. I considered turning back more than once because I felt that I was not ready for an actual encounter yet. I needed to work a little more on my appearance; in particular, my weight problem.

In all honesty, it’s really only an excuse to avoid the potential pain of rejection. There will always be something that isn’t quite right; some improvement that needs to be made. In other words, I can always find fault, and I can always talk myself out of meeting and dating women.

Driving up to the front of the coffee shop, I was a bundle of nerves. What would she think of me? I mean, what would she really think of me beyond the obligatory social niceties? I hoped that she would at least be honest and not put on a phony front just to get through the date. I hate social phoniness even more than being rejected. But I was getting carried away thinking of things that might, or might not, happen. I needed to focus and handle the situation as it unfolded.

I got out of the car and walked towards the front of the shop, mentally going through my list of conversation topics. There is nothing more uncomfortable than awkward silence on a first date.

Although I knew what she looked like from her photo on the dating site, she also mentioned that she would be wearing a blue plaid coat. I decided to meet her in front of the coffee house so that we could order together. I was a few minutes early so I sat outside and read a paper. Fortunately, it was unseasonably mild for this time of year.

I kept looking over the paper every few minutes so that I didn’t miss her. It was now 1:10pm and still no sign of anyone. Even though she was only 10 minutes late, I had a feeling that she might be a no-show. However, there was the very real possibility that she could be stuck in traffic.

Several cars had driven past me while I waited. The coffee place was part of an outdoor plaza, so the parking lot and front laneway were fairly busy. At one point, I could have sworn that I saw her drive by in a late model Jetta, but I couldn’t be sure.

After waiting another 45 minutes, I decided that this was just not going to happen. It was mild outside, but sitting on an outdoor patio for an hour in December is about all I could handle. She may have been caught in traffic or had a car breakdown, so the urge to stay a little longer was pretty strong. Imagine if she was stuck in traffic and finally arrived, only to find out that I had stood her up.

So, with that in mind, I went inside and ordered my second cup of coffee to stay. I managed to get a seat by the window and slowly sipped my drink – watching the front of the store.

With each passing minute, my mood deteriorated. At 3pm, my coffee was finished and so was I. The more I think about it, she was probably driving that Jetta after all. Doing a drive-by in a parking lot releases one from any sense of social responsibility. There is a certain detachment from the situation as one cruises by at 40km/hr. If she had parked and walked up to the shop, there would have been at least some obligation to acknowledge me and to possibly sit through an hour of boring conversation with someone who is so far out of her league, it’s laughable.

I spent most of the day on Sunday beating myself up and going over the whole situation in my head, analyzing every minute detail.

Contacting her is not an option. I want to keep a little self-respect. If she needs to get in touch, she has my email address.