Is food poisoning better than a first date? If you’ve read any of my blog, you’ll probably agree that there are definitely times when heaving over a toilet bowl wondering if you will die from some mutant strain of lethal e.coli bacteria sounds like a delightful way to spend an evening.
I was contacted online by a man who seemed charming, gracious and kind – excellent qualities – and agreed to a phone call, during which I detected just a little of the “I think I’m funnier than I actually am” syndrome. Turn off. But, I hadn’t been on a date in a while and needed some material for my blog. What great lengths I go to for my readers! He offered to take me to Melisse, my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, where I could order whatever wines I wanted. He would arrange a car service to pick me up and drop me off, so I could get to and from dinner without a DUI. Nice!
It would be a big night for Brian, the sommelier who looks like he belongs in a Gerard Depardieu movie, because my date was into wine. I would start with a bottle of Pol Roger "Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill" Épernay, then perhaps a Grand Cru Burgundy - maybe Bâtard-Montrachet, Domaine Ramonet 2001 – followed, of course, by a little Château d'Yquem for dessert. This sounded so appealing, that I accepted before receiving his photo, which I promptly sent to my mother along side a picture of Shrek. “Separated at birth?” I asked. My mother insisted I cancel. Since when have I listened to her? She also told me not to eat ice cream too fast or I’d get a headache, not to go swimming right after eating or I’d get a tummy ache, and not to pursue a career in the arts. She was right on all counts.
As fate would have it, I got food poisoning the day of our date and had to cancel. Shrek suggested we meet for lunch the following day at The Belvedere restaurant in The Peninsula Hotel. While I didn’t anticipate being hungry, I texted him in the affirmative as I shivered, sweated and heaved. I must have been delirious when I accepted.
Shrek owned a resort in Arizona and didn’t date much, perhaps because he was painfully boring, going on and on about his sad, lonely life, like he had on the phone. He lamented over his messed up childhood and was prying me for similar stories, like we would somehow bond over group therapy and Cobb salads. I wasn’t sure if my stomach was starting to heave again from the preceding night’s puke fest or from listening to him drone on in his monotone voice. Agony, I tell you, sheer agony. Just kill me now! I pleaded to heaven that they hurry up my salad that was taking over 45 minutes to prepare and scanned the restaurant that was vacant of all service staff. Were the waiters evil, demented people who knew I was on a bad date and just want to make it worse? Note to self: no more dates at The Peninsula – that was shitty service twice in a row.
Thanks to the completely useless waitstaff, I endured a tedious, two-hour brunch with Shrek whose only saving grace was that he was not actually green. I think all dates should be limited to fifteen minutes, because you know if it’s right in the first five minutes. Why waste an entire afternoon? If you spend more time, you're either fooling yourself, way too polite, or trying to get laid. Next time I encounter a lame date, I’m going to be more vigilant than I was with Skip to the Lou. I’m going to excuse myself from the table and never return. I am done being nice. Right! Unfortunately, I’m Canadian. It’s in my blood to be courteous. F@#k! I’m doomed to go on endless disaster dates, because I can’t just say: listen you f@#kng f@#khead loser. You’re ugly, old and boring as shit, and I wouldn’t date you for all the tea in China – and being from a commonwealth country, that’s saying a lot! Thank God for food poisoning or I would have been stuck at a four-hour marathon dinner. Even the best food and wine couldn’t take the sting out of that.