Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Let me start by saying thanks again for letting me take a pass on posting TFTTT last week. I wish I could say I am coming back 'atcha with another side-splitting, hilarious post, but…well, all the same things going on from last week are still going on, so my thoughts and focus are sort of elsewhere. But I had started this draft the other day and wanted to finish and post it today. And in reading it back today, well...let's just say it takes a little roundabout path to get to the story. Sort of like one of those old Family Circus cartoons. So hopefully you will bear with me on this one :)

One thing Coach was big on when I was younger was telling lots of stories that started with, “You know, when I was growing up….” Most of those were to put my brother and me in check whenever we griped or complained about something that we probably shouldn’t have been griping or complaining about. I heard the same story maaaaannnnyyyy times over the years about Coach and his brothers having Rice Krispies for dinner because that was all the family could afford. I heard this story so very many times over the years, that there was no way I missed Coach’s lesson on understanding the value of a dollar. I also never took a shine to Rice Krispies either…coincidence?

In addition to Coach’s stories, I had that added benefit of having two teachers for parents, so we weren’t exactly living in the lap of luxury ourselves. I am not trying to claim I grew up barefoot in the Appalachian mountains or anything…but trust me I know what it is like to have money (or more accurately, the lack of it)be a real worry and concern. To not to have the newest and coolest “it” thing that all my friends had because we couldn’t afford it. To work three jobs the summer before my sophomore year in college to save up the money to be able to afford sorority dues. I learned from an early age what it is like to work hard for a paycheck and to try hard to not to be too wasteful.

So when I got an email that my paid-for-but-not-being-used match.com subscription was getting ready to expire, I thought I should suck it up, log into the account, and try to get something out of the stupid subscription I had forked over my hard-earned dollars for. I could probably write many, many posts on my experiences with match.com. Actually, if you read TFTTT regularly, you may know that some of these stories are born out of my dabblings in online dating. But if you get nothing else out of the online dating experience, these websites are a seemingly endless supply of entertainment. I could probably freelance my services as a “Dating Profile Consultant” after seeing so very many horrible ones. I can also say that after seeing so many bad ones, or seeing good ones and then having a first meeting with them and realizing they pulled a bait and switch on you, you learn to just set your expectations waaaaaayyyyyy low, and hope to come out of each meeting unscathed (and for my writing purposes, with at least one funny story to share.)

And as a side note - yes, I refer to those preliminary “Let’s meet for coffee/drinks” as just that - a meeting and not a date. A date to me implies some excitement or maybe the possibility for romance. I have had some job interviews that were more alluring and exciting that some of the first meetings I have been on, so I never ever refer to them as dates.

So that brings us to ICF. I can’t really say there was anything funny or particularly memorable about him. And I don't mean that to be harsh. It was probably the combo of trying to make use of that match.com membership and that I likely didn’t have anything better to do, so I agreed to meet him for drinks. The meeting was set for a Friday after work. This is always a first meeting time slot I am particularly fond of because if you hit it off, great! You can stay out a little later, maybe get dinner too, and no one has to worry about getting home early on a school night. If the meeting (more often than not) doesn’t go well, you can claim you have evening plans with friends. Or have to be up early on Saturday to head out of town for the weekend. Or maybe you are really devoted to your sunrise yoga class, it doesn’t really matter. You can at least get the hell out of there and try and salvage your evening.

While ICF was pleasant enough and didn’t have any huge glaring red flags about him….I just didn’t feel a “click.” For me, the click is actually the precursor to a “spark.” I don’t think sparks happen right away all too often, so I need to at least feel that click. ICF was nice and yes, we had some fun talking about the Phillies*…but there was absolutely no click.

We had stayed long enough to have a couple drinks each and share an appetizer. But it was getting later into the evening (and I wanted out) so I announced my plans with friends/early morning drive/sunrise yoga and we went about getting the check.

The waiter dropped it off and I of course get out my wallet. I always do. I know there is so much debate about this and different schools of thought. It’s just another reason why having a low key meeting over drinks or coffee is a better way to go...is anyone really going to get bent out of shape over buying me two happy-hour priced drinks? Hopefully not. An no one should then feel bad if there isn’t a click and the most that was spent on me was $10. Recently I heard something interesting that I thought summed it up nicely “As a woman always offer to pay on a first date. If he lets you, don’t make plans for a second.”

So anyway, ICF was squinting hard at the bill. I could almost hear the wheels turning in his head. I mean, math isn’t necessarily my strong suit either, but if you really aren’t planning to take care of the bill yourself, we’ll just tell them to split it down the middle and be done with it.

“Okay, so you had 2 of the chicken fingers, and I had the other 4 so….”

My jaw nearly hit the table, he was actually Itemizing the Chicken Fingers.

There is a huge difference between understanding the value of a dollar and just being ridiculous with your dollars and cents. I paid my part of the bill, left the server a better than 20% tip (cause who knows what kind of a tip ICF left) and just got the heck out of there.

* I have also recently realized that I don’t think I have ever dated a Phillies fan. Mets fan, Yankees fan...even two different Braves fans. But no Phillies fan yet. This might be reason number 1,653 that I need to just cut ties with DC and move up to Philly. So if you are reading this and either (a) have a job opportunity for me in Philly or (b) know a cute & single Phillies fan living down in DC, please get in touch with me ;)

I am also participating in a Follow Me Back Tuesday, so if you've read something I've written and laughed at all, I hope you will consider following me. Doesn't even have to be a laugh...I will take a smirk. Hell, I'll even consider a condescending eye roll at this point!
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Follow Me Back Tuesday is hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat & Boobies,BabiesAndABlog..


  1. Holy Moly I cannot believe he itemized the bill. There are some strange people in existence. I can't even say much for Philadelphia men these days, although I am lucky enough to have snagged a good one. A good friend of mine was just cheated on today and feels like it was her fault. ugh!

  2. I have many online dating stories myself, so I always get a (somewhat) morbid kick out of other people's stories. Maybe I can guest post for you sometime if you run of of Tuesday Trenches posts lol :)


  3. Deepali -- strange is not nearly as bad as unfaithful, so sorry for your friend! hopefully you can get her to realize that it is never the fault of the person who got cheated on.

    Kelly -- YES!!! That would be great!! I *just* remarked to a friend today that I don't want to go out on bad dates ON PURPOSE just for the sake of making sure I have enough writing material :) I mean I like blogging about this and all but I don't know if I can willingly fall on that sword, haha

  4. Awesome - give me some notice & I'm all over it :)

  5. Oh, good God- This is a guy who does NOT wanna make a good impression!

    I totally agree with the concept of coffee /drinks not counting as date, and had one girl I was with last month correct me when our first "date" was!

  6. Hello! I'm your newest follower from Follow Me Back Tuesday. I'd love for you to follow me back at one or all four of my blogs :)


    Thanks! Have a great week!

  7. OMG! I can't believe he was trying to figure out the cost of the appetizer by the number eaten. He needs to get a grip.

  8. Boy this story is so funny:) I mean i get splitting the bill, but counting chicken fingers?!? ha ha too funny! Oh and I am now following you from Follow Me Back Tuesday and it would be nice if you could share the love back on my blog:)
    Have a great day and feel free to check out our new easy blog tutorial going on today! Happy Wednesday!

  9. i think you should totalllly move back to philly! we could be in real life friends AND blog friends!!

  10. This may be my TFTTT post yet! You had me at Itemizing the Chicken Tenders. How much do you want to bet he's still single, and will be for a LONG............. time?

  11. OMFG. I cannot believe this atrocious story!!!!! I've had awkward paying moments on online dates (I have been on a total of five online dates or, as you call them, "meetings," and all of them were well over a year ago), but nothing this horrifying. I would have been tempted to be snarky and say something like, "If you feel the need to itemize the chicken fingers, I'll just be a big girl and take care of the whole bill." HOW RIDICULOUS! There is nothing worse than stinginess. Except maybe racism, haha!

  12. Oh wow, that's funny. New follower here from DSS. Looking forward to reading more from you! Happy Friday :-)