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Friday, March 14, 2008

The Non-Introducer

Today's blog specimen is one of those people who seems to know everybody. On our first date, she saw two people at the cafe we were at that she knew. She excused herself to go over to each of their tables to say hi. She was gone what seemed like a minute or so, so it was no big deal. I had the menu to keep me occupied, and by the time I looked up, she was back. As I walked her to her building, she ran into another person she knows. This time the exchange was longer than a minute or so. SEVEN minutes to be exact. I know because I kept fidgeting with my cell phone so I'd have something to do while the two of them discussed the details of a mutual friend's divorce.

It was 9:47 when their conversation started, and 9:54 when it ended. From a geological perspective, 7 minutes is less than nothing, but when you're the guy who has nothing to contribute to the conversation, other than a smile and a few head bobs, seven minutes is an eternity. I listened to the two of them utter phrases like, "That's horrible," "He's such an ass," and "I warned her," for 420 excruciating seconds. What troubled me the most was not that I had nothing to say (the gabbing of two yentas about some stranger's divorce doesn't interest me), or even that it lasted as long as it did, as I stood there in the cold night, shivering and bored. What bothered me most was the fact that she didn't introduce me. If I'm with a friend or a date, or anyone for that matter, I'll always introduce them to someone I've just engaged in conversation...whether it's another friend, an acquaintance, my doorman, or the guy whose job it is to power wash the bird shit off my building's communal terrace. It's just polite....especially if I'm gonna have a 7 minute long conversation with that other person. I'd never let the person I'm with stand there with his or her thumb up his or her ass for that long with nothing to do or say.

I was willing to overlook the non-introducing incident by asking her out again since the rest of the date was fine. Not great, but fine. She was agreeable, so we met for our second date last night, where she did it again. This time, it was in the lobby of her building. I waited patiently for her to come down. When she exited the elevator, she was already deeply engrossed in a conversation with two of her neighbors. She lifted her finger at me when she noticed me, as if motioning for me to hold on a second, and stay where I was. That second turned into fifteen minutes, as I sat on the sofa in her lobby watching her talk to these people across the room. Not only did I not get introduced this time, but I was forbidden from standing near her while she was talking to these people. She ended her conversation, came over to me, and said hi, as if nothing was wrong. She clearly sensed my displeasure with her behavior, and said, "I'm sorry about that. They're neighbors, and I don't like them knowing my personal business."

"I understand," I responded, even though I didn't. All I could think was, "You made me sit there like a total shithead for 15 fucking minutes, you ...."

"They're my neighbors. What am I supposed to do?," she continued, interrupting my train of thought before I could mentally insult her.

"Tell them you have plans, and you gotta go. How about that?," I said.

"What's with the attitude?," she asked in an accusatory tone.

"No attitude. You asked what you were supposed to do. I answered."

"I'm not liking this conversation at all," she scoffed.

"Really? You seem to love conversations. Like the one on our first date with your friend."

"What are you talking about?," she asked confused.

"You know, the one you spoke to for a while about someone's divorce."

"I hadn't seen her in forever, and I was just catching up. What's the big deal?"

"I have no problem with that, but you didn't introduce me, and it was a bit awkward for me. That's all," I explained.

"Why did you need to be introduced to her? What are you interested in her or something? You want her number?"

"No. I don't want her number," I said, knowing we probably weren't going to get out of her lobby. "It's just polite."

"So now I'm not polite?," she inquired.

I hesitated, not sure what to say. It didn't matter because she knew exactly what she wanted to tell me:

"Have a lovely evening....Is that polite enough for you?" Then she turned away, and headed back to the elevators.

The concierge in her building saw the whole thing. He nodded to me as I was leaving, as if to acknowledge that he knew I was in the right. It's unfortunate. The concierge and I could've been friends, but the bitch never introduced us.