Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not What You Said But How You Said It

So I went on a date last weekend with this guy that I met the weekend before that.  My initial impression of him was pretty lukewarm, but I was feeling open-minded about the whole thing because the date itself sounded promising.  It was the first gorgeous spring day in New York, and the plan was to picnic in the park.  Unfortunately, the picnic was a Disaster with a capital D.  Had it been any other guy, I'm sure I would've just said, "Let's pretend this never happened and go on a second first date."

But with him, I didn't.  I couldn't quite put my finger on what I disliked about him initially.  My first thought was, well, he was nice...I guess.  And he was...I guess.  He was polite, good-natured, maybe a little boring, but there was nothing overtly offensive about him.  Which of course made me feel a smidge guilty for nixing him after the first date, especially since it wasn't really his fault that the date was a Disaster.  But thinking back, I now know what it was that I didn't like about him.  He was just like any other career-obsessed, full-of-himself guy in New York, except that he tried to hide it behind his I'm-just-a-nice-humble-boy-from-the-midwest facade.  And it was that facade that I found the most offensive.

The thing about living in New York is that everyone you meet tends to be young and successful.  Everyone has something to be proud of, whether it's the guy in the suit on his BlackBerry who just closed a multimillion dollar deal or the guy working the night shift in the copy center who also happens to be a back-up dancer in hit music videos.  Sometimes you can never tell what a person has achieved so far, while other times they wear it on their sleeves.  I have certainly met my fair share of arrogant douchebags, but not once in my last year of dating lawyers, bankers, hedge fund managers, architects and doctors did I have someone give me a full and very detailed run-down of his resume.  On a first date.  Which is what this guy did. 

It was as though he felt compelled to explain his success because maybe it wasn't immediately obvious from his job title.  Fair enough.  I had never heard of his company, so sure, it was enlightening to hear what he did.  But he didn't stop there.  He proceeded to tell me the full story of how he got his first job, why he decided to leave his first job, how he wound up getting his second job, why his second employer moved him to New York, and THEN, he went on to tell me how his dad's business was bought out by a major company, how his parents looked to buy their winter house in several tropical countries before settling on Florida, and how his 21-year-old brother had a wildly successful club-promoting career on par with the 40-year-olds in the industry.

And all of this in approximately an hour.

So okay, after writing it all down, he does sound pretty awful.  But really, that wasn't even the worst part!  Sure, it was partly what he said, but it definitely more how he said it.  How he pretended to be humble.  How he pretended like he was just telling me stories about his life when he was doing nothing more than spewing and gushing about how great he was.

Which is only mildly ironic considering the reason the date was a Disaster was that he had diarrhea.

No comments:

Post a Comment