Sunday, March 8, 2009

about last night

So this is something that I have been thinking about for a while and thought I might post about. As I was driving home from another ‘successful’ dinner last night I decided to air my thoughts about dating, or more appropriately getting into the dating zone.

Last night I went to one of those meet at dinner setups. That’s what they really are – a set up. There is nothing real about the whole situation. I have met a few nice blokes through this process and dated a few fellas from there but it is a rarity. Last night was one out of the bag – and I am now busily trying to shove it back in the bag.

I arrived about 5 minutes late and the other 5 were sitting, as requested male/female around the table. It was easy to spot our table through the male/female setting and the awkward smiles etc.

I sat down and realized I recognized one of the other women there from the social group I belong to. This has happened the last 3 dinners now so I am moving with it fairly easily. The last 3 dinners I have met 3 other women who I know and it makes me a little tense but relaxed at the same time.

I waited a few minutes, listening to the crickets conversation then finally decided I needed to find out all the names of the people at the table. After a few moments of discussing if we were getting our complimentary glass of champagne we read our menus. The awkwardness of the beginning of one of these nights is palpable.

The waitress was fabulous. Helpful, unobtrusive and very welcoming.

Suddenly there were side to side conversations taking place. Unfortunately I was sitting next to the worlds second most boring intense man. I found out that he is an accountant (nothing wrong with the industry) but really doesn’t do much else but seems to be really busy. We sort of discussed my day – house hunting – and he offered some interesting insights into offers and counter offers. He, and his family, own a large number of properties around Melbourne and Geelong. So he went up in my estimation – not for the property ownership, couldn’t care less about that, but for his insight into the real estate industry.

We realized that we had nothing much else to talk about so we dropped into someone else’s conversation. The woman I knew and the man opposite. He had moved to Australia from England 7 years ago. He has seen more of Australia than most of the others at the table. I had seen most of the parts he had been to so he and I discussed a few places and the sites there.

In amongst all of this the man to my other side (left) stated his opinion about anything that was mentioned. The thing about his opinion is the fact that he would never stop talking to see if anyone either agreed with him or disagreed with him. He never shut up!

We ordered dinner – I had grilled barramundi on a lentil and bean mix. Very yummy!

Left of me man decided to make comments about what was on the menu. Some of the comments were funny but most were not necessary.

Over the next 2 hours I found out about the man to my left’s occupation and how interesting it was. He is an accountant with an exploratory company for oil and gas fields. I found out his opinion of international politics, national politics, weather changes globally and the state of the world of sport. We also found out the difference between Australia and New Zealand (where he is originally from).

The man opposite me was very good at making conversation with Left man. Right of me man joined in and finally the woman I knew joined in. Her occupation came up often through out the night as a nice pun.

The other woman on the table sat and smiled and allowed her eyes to glaze over. Finally after the main meal was finished and the plates taken away and we were ordering dessert and coffees I asked her what she did for a living. I think by this stage she was shocked by the fact that she was allowed to speak. The tally of words from her lips was 100. Opposite man asked left man what he did and he was off again. (I thought we had discussed this earlier!)

I also think my eyes glazed over and I finally made eye contact with the waitress and got our bills brought over to us. 45 minutes later I left – it was the first opportunity within the conversation to leave. It was 11.30. I had thought of leaving at 9.30 but there was no break in the noise coming from left of me man and opposite man.

I hated last night. It was one of the WORST nights I have ever had. There was no saving grace to last night. The man to my left dominated the whole proceedings and was joined by opposite man. I think opposite man was trying to incorporate others on the table but left man would take control of the conversation.

I did input a few sentences here and there – I think in total I spoke 20 times for the night. More than the very quiet woman but extraordinarily quiet for me. I don’t need a great deal of encouragement to talk but last night I couldn’t be bothered as I was ignored most of the time. I got up and went to the toilet and I think that was the most interesting part of the night. That’s not saying much.

Now although this is quite trivial, no one from the table knows anything about me. It is one of the few nights when I wasn’t asked what I did for a living. I wasn’t asked about anything really much. I offered a few opinions but left of me man pretty much ignored any input from anyone apart from the males and the female sitting opposite him. I personally don’t care that I wasn’t asked anything directly but the idea of being ignored is frustrating. I will always make sure I incorporate all on the table. This fool of a man – shit head – was so arrogant that he only heard the sound of his own voice. Actually I don’t think he even heard his own voice. He was just speaking. The air in the restaurant became quite warm – but that was from the hot air coming from his mouth.

As I left the woman I know and I had a quick chat. Her opinion of the night was more positive than mine but she was just as scathing of the man to my left. I think she made a real connection with the man opposite me – which is great for her – and why her opinion was more positive. She also seemed to have a better night as she was the only female that left of me man would take any notice of.

Now I began this blog with the idea of telling you about my opinion of dating – that might have to wait as this blog became a reflection on the stupid dinner I went to last night.

I will tell you about dating and the strange people I have met. I might just calm down a little first so that I can let you know the funny side of my dates.

I will let the man who organizes these dinners know what I thought of last night. I paid for the set up so he needs to know that I, as a customer, was unimpressed.

Hopefully next time I blog I will be happier.

Happy International Women’s Day.


Anonymous said...

Well, sometimes you know exactly why a person's single. That guy sounds like a real jerk. I think you should have told him to shut his pie hole. That would have gotten you noticed :)

River said...

"....eyes glazed over..." Heh, that would be me too. I'm not good at conversation in real life. I can bluff my way through if people talk to me, but I'm not much good at starting a conversation and if I'm being ignored, well, then it's glazed eyes time.

Anonymous said...

Goodness, you were all very polite to him, more than I probably would have been ;)