Dating Diaries: Nickel-and-dimed by Captain Awkward
Ellie is a 33-year-old product developer who lives in midtown. She says “I love brights and patterns, but it has to be comfortable.” Ellie describes herself as “Friendly, good-natured, smart, energetic and reliable.” Ellie likes “watching movies, going to new restaurants and trying different desserts.” Ellie wants to date someone “who is calm, kind, honest, patient, loyal, and helpful around the house.”
Maurice and I met on a dating app. His photos were what I would call average. He had a really impressive job, the kind you have to be really smart to have, and generally he looked good on paper.
He suggested we go out for coffee. Almost every guy wants to go out for coffee, and I was annoyed that I was being invited on yet another coffee date. Then, Maurice suggested we meet up at Starbucks. Again, I was annoyed because I’m tired of Starbucks. Most guys just pick Starbucks.
We lived in the same neighbourhood, but he said that he likes going out downtown. I was all the more annoyed that I would have to travel downtown to go to a Starbucks. Instead, I suggested a cute Italian coffee shop downtown, and he agreed.
I arrived first. I noticed Maurice arrive and I waved to him. As he approached me, I was glad to see that he was much cuter in person than in his pictures. Maurice waved back, but had an expressionless face. I found it weird that he didn’t even greet me with a smile. Also, as I do on every date, I hugged him. He gave me a stiff awkward church hug in return.
I asked where he wanted to sit and suggested a few spots, just to make conversation. I felt like I was initiating most of the conversation. We talked about school, work, hobbies and family. Only at one point did I notice him crack a smile.
When we had decided what we wanted, we went up to the cashier and placed our orders. The cashier put our orders on one bill. We both reached for our wallets, and I stood there awkwardly, trying to figure out how this paying thing was going to go. I turned to look at Maurice and saw him passing his credit card to the cashier. I didn’t want to be presumptuous that he would pay for my coffee, but my drink was cheap, and I do feel that the person who invites the other one out should pay!
I asked Maurice if he wanted help with the bill and he said yes. I was surprised because my bill was less than $5. I stood in front of the cashier, awkwardly looking for change to repay Maurice. It was taking too long, so I told him I would give him money at the table.
I asked Maurice if he had change for a five, and he said no. I took back the five, because I decided to be as petty as he was being, and not give him more than I owed him. I found a loonie, and then realized that everything else in my wallet was small change. I sat there counting out money while Maurice just looked at me.
I was increasingly annoyed that he accepted my offer to pay him back, to the point that we were both sitting there, at the beginning of a first date, while I counted out nickels and dimes. I kept thinking he would eventually say “Don’t worry about it” but he didn’t. He seemed oblivious or just didn’t care. Eventually, he said “I think it’s better if you give me the five.” I ended up passing it over to him. I was appalled.
I made the best of the rest of the date, and we left after another stiff hug. I knew I didn’t want to go out with him again, but I really wanted to him to message me after the date just so I could tell him how selfish his behaviour was. However, I figured it would be too mean to initiate a conversation just to tell him that, and he never messaged me, so I let it go.
Ellie rates her date (out of 10): 2
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