Dating Hijinks: The Guy Who Wanted To Go Toe To Toe On Our ‘Number’ (Good Thing I Didn’t Shave My Legs)

On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page.

Remember how yesterday I was asking whether or not people shave before a first date? At the time, I was debating whether I’d go because I haven’t been in the most social of moods and I have a pile of books with my name on them. But since he was a friend of one of my friend’s husband and an attorney (because that’s so important to this social climbing gold digger), I decided I’d go. I also decided that having shaved my legs three days ago I was yet in need of doing it again — besides it was dark and my skirt wasn’t that short anyway.

As much as I am pretty narrow-minded when it comes to people who are very opposite from me (ie. corporate types), I can respect them as long as they don’t fall into some sort of cliche category of what someone like me would think of them in the first place — or vice versa. When I suggested a new place on the Lower East Side he said he already had a “perfect” place chosen in his neighborhood (Tribeca): the Odeon — which is some Patrick Bateman type shit right there. I’ve been there many times before because it’s around the corner from my friend’s apartment (the one who’s husband set this attorney and I up), and although it has great French fries, it’s just pretentious and not even cool pretentious but nouveau riche meet old money pretentious, or at the very least a collection of people who are still hanging on to something although I don’t know what that something is. I’m sure some would regard it as a New York City staple for that particular crowd, but I guess it’s just not my scene.

I met Attorney Guy downtown at the agreed upon time and there he is dressed in something that I imagine the corporate world would consider “business casual.” He has arrived earlier than myself and is already on his second martini. I should point out that we planned to meet at 8pm, but he confessed he’d been there since 730. I guess some people aren’t keeping up with the Olympics and would rather drink alone at a joint that hit its peak in 1986.

Surprisingly, it was lovely at first. Lovely in that were laughing and getting along although we’re completely different people. I immediately invisioned showing up to his work events where he’s all decked up in a three piece Thom Browne suit and there I am in a black dress with my tattoos and yet it all seems to work perfectly. It was a pretty vision.

So we’re chatting and I’m grateful that I haven’t shaved because I just might like to see him again at the rate things are going and having sex would probably fuck that up. But then things went south really fast after a momentary silence. Instead of continuing our banter he asked me what my “number” was. I knew he wasn’t asking me for my phone number, because he had that and sometimes I’m actually able to read between the lines. He was asking how many people with whom I’ve slept; information I wasn’t about to give up on a first meeting.

“Come on,” he said trying to pursuade me to hand it over, “it’s not a big deal.”

“Then why do you care?” I asked.

“Because I’m just curious.”

“It’s somewhere between two and 300 — I can never keep track,” I responded.

This answer wasn’t good enough so he continued to probe. I’m not ashamed of my number nor am I proud, it’s just a fact and that’s the end of it. I can say it’s far higher than some of my friends, but also far lower than other friends. It’s also less than my age, but since I don’t have any bedposts on which to keep notches, I can’t say for sure and I don’t feel like counting.

It would have been one thing had the conversation began and ended within the space of five or even 10 minutes, but he kept pressing. He also kept dangling his “number” in front of me in exchange for mine. I tried to tell him that I didn’t care because this wasn’t a competition or “show and tell,” but he just didn’t get it; he absolutely didn’t hear me at all.

I took out my phone and told him I needed it because I was expecting a text from my editor, when the truth was I really wanted to keep an eye on the time. I wasn’t about to sit there all night and be harassed about something so insignificant when I could be home doing something really exciting like reorganizing my closet for the 15th time this calendar year.

When it was obvious that the topic was not going to be dropped, I faked it. I grabbed my phone and dramatically announced, “Oh my god! I have to go! They need me to cover something really important in the world of Olympics!” He said that he respected a woman so dedicated to her job, asked for the check, picked up the tab and out the door we went… where he tried one last time to get that number from me. Really?

I would love to see this person again. Yes, he’s completely opposite from me but since those who are similar to me don’t seem to be working out, maybe I need to try something different; maybe I need to accept a lifetime of Mount Eerie shows alone while he stays home listening to Gotye and shopping online for fancy corporate world work shoes. So I’m willing to give him another shot (I’ve already received a text that consisted of a weak apology for his persistance). As I said, I have zero qualms about the amount of people with whom I’ve slept, but I just don’t think a first date at the Odeon is exactly the setting for such a discussion. Besides, let’s be honest, no matter what that number is, I’m going to be judged so early in the game. I’ll either be the virgin or the whore — sadly, women rarely find themselves in any other category when it comes to their “number.” For now, my number is mine and I’m not handing it over to anyone.

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    • Al

      Ah, yeah, that’s weird. Maybe “Constructive criticism here: that is not a thing you’re supposed to bring up on the first date. It comes off as creepy, and we’re well past the era where you’re allowed to care about a person’s number anyway.”

    • Renee

      See I think you should have said some variation of “Besides, let’s be honest, no matter what that number is, I’m going to be judged so early in the game. I’ll either be the virgin or the whore — sadly, women rarely find themselves in any other category when it comes to their “number.” to him. That is an excellent explanation for refusing to divulge.

      Hope you don’t mind that I plan to steal that response when asked about my number. I will credit you!

      • Jenn

        I agree, saying something like “Well, the only reason you would care is because you’re planning on making some judgment based on that, so I’d rather get to know each other as people right now” might have clued him that this was making you uncomfortable and maybe he should stop if that’s not his intent.

    • Lindsay

      I tell no one. Even amongst my girlfriends, none of us know our exact number. The reasons behind that number are so subjective! Someone’s “high” isn’t the same for another person. I’ve been single for almost 4 years, so my number has gone up. I was in a relationship for 2 years prior, so it remained the same. The bottom line is get tested. That is all that really matters.

    • lucygoosey74

      Weird. I wonder why he was so obsessed? I’ve never asked anyone about their “number”, frankly, I don’t want to know. I’d feel creeped out if I knew how many women my husband was with before we met, and I don’t think he’d want to know that about me either. I don’t even know what my number is, not even a ballpark estimate.
      I’m not the town trollop or anything like that, but I spent 15 years of my life in the grip of addiction to a few substances and much of my past is all a sickening blur. I do know how many people I’ve been with since I got clean though, one. My husband, and that makes me happy.

    • Breezy

      How richly bizarre. I think the badgering is a huge red flag, I don’t care what the subject is. If he seems okay pressuring the shit out of you in the first ten minutes, how is he going to treat you once he gets omfortable? Note to future dates: when someone says no and you keep pushing, it reminds me of rapists, who also do not respect a woman’s no. Let it go man.

      Side note, I am strangely fascinated by peoples’ numbers. I think they are so interesting, though I obviously don’t harass people into sharing them. I almost did my thesis on this!

      • Amanda Chatel

        33.

        (He’ll never look here!)

    • holleeta

      You seem to attract pushy men. Well at least this douchebag and Tattoo Guy with the oysters incident. I think you should stay away. Which is also how I felt about Tat Guy.

      NEVER tell your number. Most men are too jealous to handle it. I stopped giving my boyfriends my number ten years ago. Ive kind of lost count. When I wrote out the names last year, I was one away from my age. But when I made the list this year, I was a few short of my age. So I guess I’ve just forgotten.