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.
“He dumped me,” I softly and dramatically whispered into the phone to my mother.
“What? You were seeing someone? Please tell me it wasn’t the Tattoo Guy again.” My mother was more ecstatic about the fact that I might have been dating someone, than that I had been dumped.
“No!” I snapped, “that ship as sailed. I mean Attorney Guy — he stood me up tonight,” I explained.
“Attorney Guy? Who’s that?”
“Do you not read anything I write, mom? How are you supposed to keep up with my life if you’re not reading about it? I can’t fill you in on everything just because we talk every single day!”
There was a long pause.
“Being stood up doesn’t isn’t the same thing as being dumped, and you’re interrupting The Good Wife,” she said. “You’re so dramatic… just like your father.”
To my mother’s credit being stood up and being dumped truly are in completely different leagues of rejection, but I didn’t feel like being rational. I had never been stood up before, so I was going to milk it. I was going to throw myself on my bed, listen to Cat Power and swear off men completely. Then I was going to put on my best dress, buy myself a wedding cake and insist that everyone call me Miss Havisham for the rest of my days. Yes; that all seemed like appropriate behavior.
Or I was going to stay at the restaurant and have dinner alone, because I was hungry.
Attorney Guy who, if we recall, was an adult who wanted to know how many men I’ve banged, was given another chance by me. Because I’m all about giving people second chances these days, or maybe I’m just bored. Either way, I figured “what the hell,” he apologized for being pushy, so let’s try this again on my turf.
We agreed to meet at this French bistro, Lucien, around the corner from my apartment. I had been there once before a couple years ago, and sometimes, if I’m looking to sit at a bar and drink wine alone, I’ll pop in there. It helps me pretend I’m still in France. The plan was to meet at 830, and I got there a little bit before him. I was seated at a table for two near the window and ordered a glass of wine — as an adult on an adult date would do.
So 845 rolls around and I haven’t heard from him. I place a text asking if he’s running late. No reply. But I have my wine, so I’m pretty much content. I wait for him to text back, and still nothing comes. By the time it’s 9pm, I assume he’s dead. Why else would he not have called or texted? Isn’t that what people do when they’re running late? Are we not in a civilized society anymore? Are we now equal to rats in regards to our manners? I text again. No reply.
At this point I start feeling like an asshole. I’m fine to dine alone, but I’m not fine to be seated at a table for two waiting for the other person to show up while couples are piling in the door and could actually make proper use of the table I’m hoarding.
When the clock struck quarter past nine on my phone, I decided “fuck it.” I was hungry, I wanted some French cheese, more wine and to abandon the table without making a teary scene. Part of me wanted to cry, but the majority of me really wanted to laugh.
I asked the server if I could move to the bar, where I took a seat and had myself a fine time ALONE. I actually probably had a better time alone practicing my French with the bartender than if I had to listen to some attorney talk about his day for hours which, I might add, sound nothing like Law & Order. And to make matters worse, Attorney Guy didn’t even know who Jack McCoy is — it was clearly doomed from the start.
I got home a little after 10 and I finally received a text: “I’m sorry. Swamped with work, will call later.” No exclamation point to really drive home your sincerest apologies? No “very” in front of that “sorry?” No thanks.
When he did call later, I didn’t answer. I haven’t learned much in my life, at least not anything that has really stuck. But what I do know is: 1. Nobody puts Baby in the corner, and 2. You don’t leave Chatel waiting at a table for over an hour. It doesn’t matter how much red wine she’s had, she’s not going to forgive you — or even listen to your voicemail for that matter.
Photo: Cecil Beaton, 1945