TFA had his own tech company and yep, picked me up in the company car. Complete with company flag hanging out of the passenger side – and worse – a fluorescent, digital sign streaming phone number and tagline on the rear window. You know those cars that have a streaming signs on the rear saying “1-800 blah blah blah?” Yep, this is what I was dealing with.
As if all this weren’t bad enough, TFA steps out of the car.
Whoever this was was NOT the man I had been chatting with. Sure, he may have been that man TWENTY YEARS AGO when he was also twenty pounds lighter, but no, sir. This guy who stepped out of the car was unattractive, had mysteriously grown not only a gut but facial hair, and was definitely older and shorter than advertised. Hence the name:
The False Advertiser.
I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to run for the hills, but being the nice girl I was back then (this was in my early online dating days – clearly before I knew better), I felt bad that he had driven all the way to pick me up from – then it occurred to me, I never asked where he lived! – so I got in the car. Two more rules broken:
Rule #3: Before you meet up with someone, always know where they live. Not only will this help you weed out undesirables if, like case above, they live outside of your dating zone (yes, I have a dating zone. yes, feel free to judge), but obviously, where a person lives (especially in the realm of New York City) says a lot about their character.
Rule #4: If you agree to a date with someone, and the person who shows up is not as advertised, guess what? You do NOT have to go through with it! And DON’T feel bad. It’s that person’s own fault for not being truthful online. Just because he or she is a scumbag liar and falsely advertised in their profile, doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Just politely tell them that this is not going to work out, and wish them the best. Then – flee the scene. Quickly.
Things didn’t get any better upon entering the car (aka the horrendous excuse for a vehicle I was trapped in). It REEKED of cheap cologne while what can only be described as cheesy bodega music was TFA’s version of setting the mood.
Meanwhile I racked my brain of ways to get out of this. Short of making up a completely implausible excuse, I came to the conclusion that there was no way out of this. I’d have to just get through the skating – then bolt.
Ten minutes of awkward conversation later, we arrived at Bryant Park – or so I thought. Turned out street parking wasn’t available until 7pm, and it was (tragically) only 6:30pm. So instead of putting the car in a garage, that’s right. We sat. In the car. For 30, painstaking, minutes. Looking back, I should have just fled. Why I had to go and be nice I still don’t understand to this day.
Finally, it’s 7pm. We get out of the car only to realize there is a GIANT line wrapped around Bryant Park to get to the ice rink. Brilliant! I think to myself. This is my way out. I’m just about to open my mouth to tell TFA I can’t wait in the line (as I have dinner later with the girlfriends, of course), when he beats me to it. Oh, don’t worry, we can just go to Central Park.
Back in the car we go, off to Central Park. More awkward conversation ensues. Brilliant.
When we finally get on the ice, I notice TFA has his watch on. FINALLY! My out. Oh great! I say. You have on a watch. Will you please tell me when it’s 8:30? (It’s now 8pm). I have to leave to meet some girlfriends for dinner at 9. Yeah, it was probably obvious. But at this point, I didn’t care.