First Date

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 Sometimes talk show radio offers diversion from real life. If the talk show theme is political, you can count me out.  The same is true if the theme is sports related. There is even a car repair talk show.  The caller explains what seems to be wrong with their vehicle and the host of the show attempts to diagnose the problem. I am not mechanically minded, so that show is out as well. I am not a political animal and I have absolutely no interest in sports, so neither topic is alluring to me. Add to that my lack of mechanical prowess and you’ll probably think I’m pretty selective about talk shows I am willing to hear.  However, I’m a sucker when it comes to topics concerning relationship dynamics, courtship and marriage issues, parent/child relationships, problem solving or relational challenges that seem not to fit in any particular assigned box. 

What about the challenges associated to on-line dating?  I have a friend who moved from widow to married at least twice and has nothing but praise for the process. Of course, the process she is praising is the electronic match that paired the couple together, not the subsequent illness or the untimely deaths that left her a widow two times removed.  

Yesterday morning the radio talk show host used the catch phrase: “You’ll never guess what he asked her to do when she turned him down for a second date.”  That seemed like a no-brainer to me.  Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something else surfaces and you shake you head in disbelief.  In the resources of my mind, I didn’t even venture to make a guess. Nothing about human nature surprises me unless of course it is so far outside the line that no one in his right mind would think it appropriate.

Listening to the caller that shared her story on the radio, I didn’t have a frame of reference regarding the woman’s age. I’m assuming that she is younger, but at what age does “younger” start and where does it end.  Based on reference to drinks, she had to be at least twenty-one to be served legally. I’m guessing she was in her late twenties or early thirties based on the venue for their first date.

They ate at a downtown restaurant in Austin.  I think of downtown restaurants as pricey, but I could be wrong. However, I’m betting that I’m not.  For starters who would want to go downtown on a date?  Already you’ve figured out that my age has to be a factor in my opinion.  I’ve never been a part of the 6th Street scene.  However, I think most 6th Street venues are focused on beverage trade rather than dining. Besides that, there are obstacles to going downtown. To begin with, where would you park?  Every time in the past couple of years that I’ve had an occasion to be downtown, I found parking a difficult issue to negotiate.   Bottom line, there are no parking spaces available.  At least, they are in limited supply.

According to the lady who telephoned the radio station to share her story and ask for advice, the evening wasn’t a total disaster.  He seemed like a nice man and the food was good, but when it came to really hitting it off, she didn’t perceive there was potential for this relationship to flourish. Pardon the pun, but her heart just wasn’t in it.

Several days later he sent a text message to her inviting her out for the second time. “Why waste her time and his?” was her first thought.   She kindly declined saying she’d really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and that she’d had a nice time, but she didn’t think the relationship was going to work.  After all, if you know it’s not meant to be or at least it is not what you want it to be, why bother?

On the positive side, you have to give the woman credit for being honest even if it may have felt brutal to the guy.  I doubt that many men would want to be turned down for a second date.  Somehow that seems more like rejection than simply opting out before the first date.

A few days later the guy sent her a second message.  His message was also shared in honesty.  “You were someone I really liked. Consequently, for our first date I wanted to take you to some place really nice.  I saved my money before I asked you out.  I asked you out hoping there would be a second date.  Since you have no interest, would you mind refunding me the $57 for your meal?”

As the woman shared her story and asked what she should do, a couple of things came to mind.  For starters, I thought about the expression: “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know”.  Secondly, although I’d never ask for a refund, I found myself feeling sorry for the guy.  I had the sense he spent more than he could comfortably afford going into this relationship and since it didn’t work, he respectfully asked for his money back.

I could never do that.  But by the same token, I would also never complain to a restaurant about the food they served me.  If I didn’t like it, I simply would leave it uneaten and never go back. I’ve been out in a group of people dining and one person in particular always complained about her meal and wanted something different because they didn’t get her order right.  After observing that about her on a couple of occasions, I never went to lunch with that group of people again.

Most of the callers who telephoned the radio station to express their opinion suggested the woman was under no obligation to pay for her meal.  She subsequently confessed that she’d already taken action and had sent the man a check for $57.  I applaud her for doing that; however, I think she could have proven herself a lady had she graciously sent him a check for $114.  Why not take the high road and cover the entire cost of his meal as well?

I’d be interested to know how you’d have handled a similar circumstance.  Would you have ignored a request for reimbursement, responded to the request or have gone the second mile and covered the entire expense?  Curious minds want to know.

All My Best!

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Don

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