Mr. Old Fashioned

Feb 29, 2020

When Noah and I matched, I sent screen caps of our texts to no less than three friends. Noah is very handsome. He’s tall and has bright white teeth. He’s wearing suits in at least half of his photos. Not the same suit, different suits. The kind of guys I’ve dated in the past didn’t own one suit much less several. 

Noah works in the corporate world like me, so I thought it’d be a good match. When Noah asked me out, he told me that he’s “old fashioned” and he wanted to go on a proper date where he’d pick me up, drive us to a restaurant, pay for the meal, and then take me home. I normally wouldn’t tell a guy where I lived before we’d met, but I got swept up in the idea of the romantic date Noah described. Plus, I googled him and found his LinkedIn profile and work bio, so I felt safe. 

Before our date Noah texted, asking, “What color roses do you prefer?” I was floored. No one has brought me roses in my life. He showed up with two dozen roses. One dozen red, and one dozen pink. He drove a high-end Tesla, the kind that drives itself. Even though the doors can open on their own, he still walked around the car to open the door for me. The seats were already heated and toasty. 

Noah took us to a French restaurant. When we sat down, I reached for the wine menu—there was only but Noah yanked it away. I felt surprised, but his smile was so handsome as he said, “I’ll take care of that,” I decided to let it slide. 

Noah ordered a bottle of red burgundy. He said he always orders full bottles, even if he isn’t going to drink it all, because he’d rather have wine that has been freshly opened. 

When our server brought the food menus, Noah snatched them both and immediately handed one back, saying, “We only need one.” 

When the waiter left, he says, “The one who pays the bill picks out the food,” 

“So next time, I’ll pay and I’ll pick out the food?”

“Oh no,” he said, “Females don’t pay.” 

“Excuse me?”

I tried to lean over and look at the menu, but Noah held it up so I couldn’t see it. He snapped his fingers (who does an aggressive snap? Noah, that’s who) at the server, then placed an order without getting my input.

Noah ordered oysters for us to share as an appetizer, saying they increase romantic feelings. Old fashioned – he wasn’t lying. But, they were delicious. So was the lamb, and salad he picked out. On one hand, it was cool he was treating me to a dinner that was certainly higher end than what I usually eat. On the other hand, this guy is from another decade. 

What if I were allergic to shellfish? Why’d he feel comfortable ordering for me when he didn’t know my preferences or dietary restrictions?

As we ate, I was silent. I was going to enjoy myself anyway and wait until after I was home to tell Noah we weren’t a good fit. But that’s not how it played out. 

“Could you get used to this?” Noah asked. 

“It’s very good food,” I said. “Thank you.”  

“Not just the food,” he said. “This life. This could be your everyday life if you play your cards right.” 

“What would playing my cards right look like?”

“Keeping that face pretty and that waist small,” he said. “Is your mom in good shape? I’d want to see how she’s aging, but I understand that genetics aren’t everything. There are always personal trainers and Botox.” 

“Seriously?” I said, temporarily speechless.

“Well, it’s easy now, but it’ll be harder once you’ve had kids. And I’d like two kids,” he continued. “Some people say looking good is a full-time job, and thankfully, my wife won’t work.” 

 “Are you kidding?” Now I was worried that he knew where I lived, but the disdain in his face actually made me relax a bit. Noah set down his fork, picked up his cloth napkin, and wiped his face before speaking. “There is no way this is going to work.” I didn’t mean to laugh at him, but I did.

“You’re running out of time.” He says, as my jaw literally begins to fall off my face. “You might feel like you have a ton of options now, like every dumb young woman seems to believe, but if you don’t accept a good man when he’s right in front of you, you’re going to end up alone. Your eggs will dry up and you’ll die lonely.” 

I stood and excused myself. The Tesla was cool, but I wasn’t going to take it home. I walked a couple blocks away and ordered an Uber. Noah couldn’t buy my power, or my dignity.

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