Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Han Solo

Once I completed the Arch challenge, it was pretty clear to me that I should start enforcing standards. People are always telling me that I'm single because I'm too picky. For those people, this blog is proof that I'm decidedly open-minded in terms of whom I'll grant a first date, and that having standards is categorically different from being picky. Decidedly and categorically. I'm simply not going to have meaningful conversations with someone who has fundamentally different interests. The Hungarian would not have been interested in hearing about the Radio Lab episode on inter-species emoting.

When I recovered enough from the Arch challenge to venture out for another OKCupid first date, I decided to go for someone radically different. Sick of all the impotent types I found myself on dates with, I thought it'd be fun to go on a date with an asshole; an honest-to-goodness asshole who put statements in his profile like, "You should message me if... You probably went/go to a good school. You're literate... you prefer modern art/architecture (Bauhaus = yes, Raphaelesque cherubim = not so much)...You should have your shit together most of the time..." At the very least, I was sure to get a good story out of it. To be clear on just how much of an asshole I expected this guy to be, here are other choice snippets from his profile:

"...sometimes I just sit back and go with the flow (and heckle the idiots who are in charge, when necessary)."

"...I read a lot, a few books a week. Too much to list here... any well-written textbook on any subject... Academic journals..."

"...Do you like picnics with Brillat Savarin and jamon? Foie gras burgers..."

His job category was listed as "Executive/Management." Clearly, I was dealing with a bona fide, egotistical Han Solo.

Outfitted in jeans and a nice top, the SF norm, I made my way to a popular cocktail bar to meet Han "grey pants/jacket + blue shirt" Solo. He was more goofball than asshole, making far too many quirky faces and kooky gestures. These certainly didn't make him effeminate, but they did make him androgynous. The closest he came to being an asshole was being too conversationally clueless to make me feel listened to. He didn't ask followup questions when he clearly should have. For example, when I told him I'd been spending all of my time reading and writing lately, Han "I read a lot, too much to list here" Solo didn't ask me what I'd been reading or writing.

The more I learned about Han Solo, the more it became obvious that he entirely misrepresented himself in his profile, sometimes ambiguously, other times outright. He states in his profile, under the section asking what he does on a typical Friday night, "I hate being a couch potato, so I do go out quite a bit, even just for casual dinner. Or sometimes I do go find some all-night party in a warehouse/forest and stagger home at sunrise... And that goes for all the other nights of the week as well. Either way, I don't sleep very much." When I asked how often he goes out, he responded, "Once or twice a week." He genuinely felt that this counted as "quite a bit." The closest Han "stagger home at sunrise" Solo came to an all-night rager in the past week was having dinner with his brother.

He displayed more conversational incompetence by creepily demonstrating a depth of knowledge about my identity that I never revealed to him. He admitted to Google stalking me, which would have been fine if he either hadn't mentioned it or if he had used the information as an ice breaker. However, throughout the date, Han "this is why you're" Solo would lean in, make a creepy face reminiscent of the witch offering Snow White a poison apple, and in a lowered voice, state some fact about me like, "You won a Hitachi Scholarship in high school."

Han Solo was so quick to pay the bill, that my offer to pay my share came awkwardly after the fact, and I was unable to insist in order to send him the signal that I wasn't interested. However, I give him huge props for taking care of the bill without second thought and for not making a big deal out of it.

Later that evening, in order to "level the playing field," Han Solo texted me with the URL to his website. The title of the website was, "The Lair of the Motherbrain." It was a "click to enter" style site, and the object one was supposed to click to enter was a throbbing brain. This was the first and last throbbing organ of Han Solo's I would ever choose to see.

Post-mortem for the boys:
  • Ask girls questions about themselves. Almost everyone loves to talk about themselves. Almost everyone loves it when other people show interest in them by asking them questions.
  • Show that you're listening and paying attention. One way of doing this is to try to make a reference or two to something meaningful that a girl said earlier on in the conversation.
  • When you hit the age of, say, 22, and you're serious about finding a girlfriend outside of a Star Wars convention, scrub your websites of nerdy, gamer, Star Trek/Wars/etc. language.
  • If you're doing online dating, make sure you're representing yourself honestly in your profile. Get a few of your friends together. Show them several other men's profiles side by side with your own. Don't tell them which one is yours, and see if they can pick it out.
  • It's not unusual for you to stalk the person you're about to go out on a date with. However, if you're going to do it, there are some rules.
  1. Consider stopping yourself short and not diving in too deep. The more you know, the harder it'll be for you to hide that you've stalked her.
  2. If you fess up to stalking her, be casual about it, and play down the extent to which you stalked her. "Oh, I just searched for you on facebook" is a great one. Admitting that you Googled the person is tougher because often, you'd need to figure out more facts about her before the Google results become meaningful.
  3. Only bring up one or two things you learned about her from the stalking. Any more than that, and you will appear creepy.
  4. If you bring up a thing or two that you learned while stalking her, make it conversational. "Hey, so facebook said you grew up in Southern California. Are you from LA? What was that like?" Just because you feel awkward about it doesn't mean that you should bring it up in an awkward fashion. And for that matter, if you feel so awkward about it, then it's probably a sign that you shouldn't bring it up at all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mister Homeless

Nobody would classify this story as a date. However, it did take place on a Friday night, and there was a very real and scary threat of a kiss.

A couple years ago, I had a long drive ahead of me and decided to stop in at work for a snack. It was around 11pm on a Friday night. The company I worked for took security very seriously, so I left all of my belongings in my car in a gated, underground garage. I ran upstairs, grabbed some nonfat cottage cheese and mixed in some honey. As expected, the office was deserted this late on a Friday. When I headed towards the stairs to leave, I was obliviously loving life, mind in the clouds, like the woman in the famous "Psycho" shower scene before Norman Bates rips back the shower curtain. A gruff voice behind me said, "Do you cook?" I whipped around to see a frightening homeless man approaching me.

The man was African-American with thick, nappy dreadlocks. His two eyes were different sizes, and both were severely bloodshot with a yellow tinge. His blotchy skin was reminiscent of mold.

Every time I retell this story, this is the part at which I curse myself for still not owning a Taser gun. At the time, I cursed myself for leaving my phone in the car. Unlike the woman in "Psycho," no sound escaped my throat. My initial thought was that, at least all of the hidden security cameras would catch exactly how I was murdered. My next thought was to stay calm, be friendly, and slowly inch my way out of this situation. Because I didn't respond to Mr. Homeless, he repeated his question, louder, "Do you cook?"

I stammered, "I'm sorry, what? Do I cook?"

"Do you cook?"

"Oh, no, I don't cook."

As though he didn't hear me, he pressed on, "What do you cook?" At this point I realized that he was clearly drunk or stoned or both. I thought that he must have sneaked into the building during our TGIF celebrations earlier, boozed up on my company's alcohol, and then kept well hidden.

"I really don't cook. At all. Sorry." During this time, he was slowly advancing towards me, and I was slowly walking backwards towards the stairs. I didn't think I could outrun him, and I wasn't going to risk it.

He kept asking if I cooked and what I cooked, and I kept steady with my answers. Eventually, the line of questioning changed to my favorite food. "Chocolate" wasn't passing muster with him. He insisted that I must love something ethnic from my motherland. I acquiesced to all of his questions like this in the hopes of keeping him mollified. My goal was to keep him calm, and beyond that, I didn't really have a plan.

My work badge with my name on it hung around my neck and fell over my breasts. He started looking at my breast area and asked me my name, at which point I immediately removed my badge and held it out to the side for him to look at. His eyes followed my badge, then he looked at me, gave a guilty giggle and continued to stare at my breasts. To deter him from spending more time doing this, I asked him his name. Mr. Homeless brushed aside his hair and showed me that he, too, had an employee badge pinned to his collar. I couldn't believe that he was an employee at this company, but I was also dying to see his name so that, should I get out of this situation alive, I could get a restraining order, or at least look him up to avoid him effectively. His last name turned out to be a synonym for the word, "Disgusting." Honestly, I cannot make this shit up. I just can't.

His last name caught me unawares such that he was able to take a few quick steps right up to me, put his fingers against my crown of frizzy hair, and say, "Girl, you got some Black in you!"

"Nope, like I said, I'm just Persian."

"Well I could put some in you."

Up until then, I'd tried a few times to say that I needed to leave, but was unable to successfully extract myself from the conversation in those instances. At this comment, I found the strength I needed to truly make my need to leave urgent, and he relented.

But not before pouncing on me with a hug. I seized up like someone getting devirginized in a prison shower. I held my breath and closed my eyes, broke free, and got the fuck out of there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Return of The Bone

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging my Arch dates consecutively. I've skipped dates #2 and #4. They were both good, solid dates, and therefore, far less entertaining. I'll focus this post on Arch date #2.

There were a few pleasant moments that made me accept a second date with the second date, whom I'll dub "The Bone," though as a whole, our first date was unremarkable. We had drinks, and he paid when it counted. For our second date, we escalated to dinner. Much like the first date, it was pleasant, a little more comfortable, a little less awkward, but still, unremarkable. The Bone paid for a first round of cocktails which was roughly $20, and we split the dinner bill, which I was fine with since it was a more expensive meal ($200 total bill). That said, given that he made aggressive advances towards me after dinner, I'm surprised that he didn't insist on paying. Don't men have some kind of mantra about picking up the tab if they want to get laid? Regardless, no laying was going to be had. I was fine with ending the date after dinner and would have considered a third date with The Bone. However, he insisted upon going somewhere else for drinks, which I declined multiple times, and then he brought up the fact that I lived nearby. He made some comments to try to seduce me that even I'm embarrassed to repeat. Somewhere in there, The Bone earned his nickname, which was my tangible "cue" to hop in that approaching cab and say goodbye to a third date.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Not Worth the Calories

The seventh and final Arch challenge date was another OKCupid find and took place on a Saturday afternoon at a cafe specializing in hot chocolate. Bitterbore was very attractive but surprisingly slow-speaking and mellow. After discussing what we were going to get, I said to the barista, "We're both going to get the salted caramel hot chocolate."

Bitterbore leaned over the counter towards the barista, stuck his arm out and said, "Separate." The barista rung us up separately, $4 each. Had I been Larry David, I would have leaned in with same gesture and said, "Together." From now on, whenever a guy does not pay for me on the first date, I'm going to make it a goal of mine to channel Larry David.

Bitterbore turned out to be unemployed. This isn't necessarily bad; it's simply noteworthy and important for me to understand the circumstances around it. Because he didn't pay for my $4 drink, I wondered whether it was because he couldn't afford it due to his situation.

Bitterbore's slow speaking style became painfully boring pretty quickly. He also didn't listen well. For example, he talked about the company archive.org, so I asked, "Did you meet Brewster? He's an interesting guy." Bitterbore said he hadn't met Brewster, the co-founder, but then he proceeded to explain to me what the company's product, the Wayback Machine, does. Obviously, if I know the co-founder, then I likely know what his company does.

Eventually Bitterbore realized that I have a computer science background, which he took as an invitation to tell me, in excruciating technical detail, about a side project he's working on, which lasted almost ten minutes. During this sob story--for I was bored to tears--he found out that I had coded in Scheme in the past. At that moment, the intense look he gave me was what I would call an "eye boner." He was falling for me hard, and I could see it, creepily, in his eyes.

Later in the date, he found out that I had worked for Google in the past, and this sealed the deal for him. He looked at me like I might just be The One. He asked if I was busy for the rest of the day, and when I said I absolutely was, he responded, "We should definitely hang out again. Soon."

When I got home, he had already gone on OKCupid and 1) favorited my profile 2) gave me an over the top OKCupid award 3) sent me an email asking me out and, when I accepted the award he gave me, 4) sent me another message about the award he gave me.

The award: "The Perfect Mix: [My username, redacted] is veritably attractive on all levels. Cute with gorgeous eyes, direct, curious, intelligent, comfortable, and with a great deal of depth to explore. I do hope I can find out more soon."

The email asking me to a second date: "I really enjoyed getting to know you a bit on Saturday, and I wondered if you'd like to see a movie Wednesday or Thursday..." He suggested a couple movies, and then said, "And by the way, you have gorgeous eyes. I meant to say that earlier, but maybe I was too hypnotized by them at the time."

I kindly turned him down thanking him for his compliments but saying that I "just didn't feel the connection," to which he responded, "Neither did I." Then he still tried convincing me to go out with him. I can't make this shit up.

Post-mortem for the boys:
  • Do not go into excruciating technical detail about things one must have specialized knowledge about in order to understand. This applies to at least the first three dates.
  • Is $4 the price of your balls? Pay the fucking bill on the first few dates. It becomes clearer to me after every guy I talk to that I should have a special post on this topic alone.
  • Don't put yourself in a position where the girl with whom you're on a date is wondering whether you can afford things like a $4 hot chocolate. This line of thinking is akin to questioning your manhood, e.g., "Would I have to support his ass down the line?"
  • If you can't afford to pay the bill somewhere, then don't choose to have the date there. There are plenty of date options that cost no money, like taking a hike or going to a park.
  • You may be wondering how I feel about all the flattery regarding my looks. Often, this early on into meeting someone, it disgusts me, and I know many women who feel the same (also see http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/2009/09/14/online-dating-advice-exactly-what-to-say-in-a-first-message/). However, in this particular case, I found it to be flattering, albeit way over the top. Tread lightly where physical compliments are concerned in the first few dates.
  • Don't act defensively if a girl turns you down. If you're done with her, then simply move on and don't reply. If you want to try harder to get the second date with her, there are better strategies, none of which involve making yourself look scorned and insecure, which is what he did by saying, "Neither did I."

Friday, March 5, 2010

SF: hard for the single ladies

Girl Game
A world-famous pickup artist tried to teach single women to attract decent guys in S.F. It was harder than he thought.
http://www.sfweekly.com/content/printVersion/1885368

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Ninja

I had tickets to a Mariah Carey concert on a Friday night. This fell on Arch date #6. I was planning to fulfill the date by having a quick drink with someone before the concert, but then my concert buddy had to bail, leaving me with a spare ticket. I thought it would be fun to find someone adventurous on OKCupid whom I felt comfortable taking with me. I knew most men wouldn't like Mariah Carey. I figured I'd pose it as a surprise concert where we'd get drunk and have a good time regardless of who was playing. So it was that I found the Ninja.

The Ninja was 25, decent looking, and had a clear love for exploring the new and different, which I could tell based on his profile and photos. He was the first person whom I proactively messaged. Our OKCupid messaging went smoothly so we started IMing and texting each other. He had a decent amount of dating experience and had in the past gone on several OKCupid dates. He worked in a similar field to me, and he acted like the kind of guy who would fit in with my friends. He had a sense of humor, on the goofy side. This upcoming date was looking up.

The plan was for him to show up to my apartment, have a few drinks there, then take BART to the concert. At one point, still in the dark on which artist we were seeing, he texted me, "Here's to not Mariah carrey."

On Friday night, he showed up to my apartment on time, looking like his photos, a decent looking guy, tall. However, the pictures would have been more accurate if he was slightly blurred because this guy was quaking in his boots from minute zero all the way to the crash and burn ending. He was nervous as all hell and had no idea how to hide it. This was my seventh date in eight days; I abandoned anything resembling nerves by date two. He giggled nervously, stumbled over his words, could barely get complete sentences out of his mouth. Every single time he tried to tell a story, he lost his train of thought and prematurely ended the telling by saying, "Nevermind, this story doesn't really have a point." He hunched, fidgeted, and didn't drink a drop of his beer. When I pointed out the fullness of his beer glass to him, he said, "Actually, I don't really like beer. It makes me sleepy." I had offered him the choice of two nice beers, and he chose this one, the Bruery's Saison Rue, which is a "Belgian/French-style farmhouse ale." Never did he mention a distaste for beer.

I asked him if I could get him something else to drink, but I only had wine and gin. He said that he really only drank shots of vodka and tequila, but that he would drink the beer I poured him for the sake of the adventure. Then he chugged my fancy beer.

He suggested we get some coffee on the way to the concert. There's a great coffeehouse near my apartment, Four Barrel Coffee, so we stopped by there. I ordered a latte, and he ordered an espresso. This somewhat made up for the chugging as it takes a coffee connoisseur to appreciate espresso enough to sip it. He threw back the espresso like an actual shot, though, while I sipped my latte. I had been trying to withhold final judgment on him until after seeing how he coped with Mariah Carey, but I could not turn a blind eye to this. I am a sipper, not a chugger, and I cannot envision myself on dates at my favorite haunts -- Philz Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee, Rye, Bourbon & Branch, Monk's Kettle -- with a chugger.

He exhibited a strange behavior whenever we walked anywhere. This may have been borne of nerves; I'm still not sure. He pretended to be a ninja, occasionally crouching low while walking, karate chopping the air, doing things of this nature. I couldn't wait to get to the concert and to its promise of alcohol in order to chug my way out of the reality of this date.

He was a trooper about the concert. He was determined to make it a fun night for me, refused to let me pay for anything until he ran out of cash, and gave me my space to enjoy the three songs I loved during the concert, which were, incidentally, Always Be My Baby, My All, and Heartbreaker. When Mariah started singing Heartbreaker, I told him that in high school, my best friend and I thought it would have been so cool to be the Heartbreaker. The proper reaction to this would have been, "Why?" A judgmental comment about how I must have been a sadistic, vengeful person would have been acceptable, too. He either didn't hear me or was simply trying too hard to impress me. Everything I said just made him smile fervently and nod eagerly with no response or dialogue. It's one thing to feign some enjoyment for the benefit of your date, as he should have done with the beer I had given him in my apartment; it's an entirely different, and rather annoying, thing to be an ass kissing puppy dog. I'm a cat person.

We walked around the venue a few times during the concert. I kept my hands in my pockets with my elbows locked firmly to my sides the whole time. He kept trying to put his arms around my shoulders and my waist, from which I'd wriggle away, and he kept pounding his fist into mine through my coat. The slicker his moves got, the more I avoided eye contact. At this point in the date, every time I did sneak a peak at his face, I felt a little pang of regret that my concert buddy couldn't make it or that I couldn't be there with "Shakira," a previous date who knew what it was to be a fun person.

Two margaritas and a shot of tequila -- which made me veritably drunk -- couldn't hide some of the shortcomings yet to come on this date. On the crowded post-concert BART platform, waiting for a train, he escalated his aggressiveness and somehow mauled me into a hug. My hands were still planted deep within my coat pockets, now held there by his embrace, so I couldn't push him away. I started twisting left and right to escape this most unwelcome advance, not just avoiding eye contact but fully ducking my head, facing downwards. It was no matter. Nothing could shake the Ninja. He was on a mission to kiss me, and I was threatened. When I sensed his face far closer than it ever should have been to mine, I yelled, "No! You can't kiss me on the first date!" Did I say "yelled?" I meant screamed. Only then did he let me go.

When we got back to my apartment, he kept trying to prolong the date, asking me if I wanted to stop into some of the bars we walked by, then pretending to be too drunk to drive home, then finally asking if he could come upstairs to use the bathroom. I let him use the bathroom, but he took around seven minutes in there. The toilet seat was up, and it didn't smell, so I couldn't help but wonder if he had been snooping. Regardless, when he walked out of the bathroom, I held my door open for him to leave. As he left, he asked me to a second date that upcoming week. I told him I had to check my calendar, to which he sneered, "You use a calendar? Seriously?"

Post-mortem for the boys:
  • Be genuine. No matter how badly you're into the girl, you shouldn't compromise your tastes and interests to be agreeable. You're allowed to like different things. Being too agreeable is off-putting.
  • In the case of the beer, if he disliked the beer so much that he didn't want to drink it, he should've been up front about that before I opened it. We could easily have made other drink arrangements. Once he chose the beer for me to pour for him, he should have just sucked it up and drank it. He didn't have to pretend to love it. The beer was in a nice bottle, and therefore, was clearly something I put some thought into choosing. Sipping a beer is rather trivial and would've been far less rude than to leave a full glass behind, and certainly less rude than treating it like it was a shitty drink and chugging it.
  • You are civilized human beings, not baboons brandishing limbs as wannabe ninjas and chugging every drink put in front of you like it might be taken away from you at any moment.
  • If a girl is avoiding eye contact on the first date, it's probably not wise to try and kiss her. Wait till the second, or sometimes third date.
  • If a girl is avoiding physical contact on the first date, it's probably not wise to try to force it. Wait till the second, or sometimes third date.
  • Not always, but as a general rule, don't ask a girl to the next date while still on the date. It has potential to read too eager. It also doesn't respect the girl's space to reflect upon the date and to decide whether she wants to go on another date. Thus, it encourages the girl to lie.
  • Don't judge how your date organizes her life on the first date. Yes, I seriously use a calendar. Dumbass.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Hungarian

Date #5 in the Arch challenge fell on my birthday. Since I had birthday dinner plans, I needed to find someone who was willing to go out a little later in the evening on a weeknight. So for this date, I cast a wider net and decided to arrange a date based mostly on how interested the guy seemed in me. I would not have otherwise gone on a date with a guy who said in his profile, "I'm not a reader." However, this whole challenge was meant to be a learning experience, and I needed a late night date. The Hungarian may not like to read, but he did like roasting pig fat over a fire, apparently the equivalent of roasting marshmallows among his people. Pig fat was just the silver lining I was looking for.

I had the Hungarian meet me at my favorite beer bar with the high end beer on tap. He was a day laborer who told me exactly what his hourly wage was. To him, this was a mark of pride. I found this behavior to be off-putting. He was interested in, albeit overwhelmed by the beer selection, and mentioned several times that he was only used to drinking "white trash beer." He made sure to make this comment to the bartender as well when asking him for help selecting a beer.

It became clear to me very quickly that the Hungarian was a good person, a hard worker who cared a lot about his family and watched out for the people in his life. I had nothing but respect for this. He was a pure-hearted guy who meant well. He very much embraced his role as a man in life, and to that end, he very adamantly paid for all of our drinks that night. However, the difference in our levels of education a barrier for me. When I talked about how many of the Hispanics in my childhood neighborhood did not attend school, I was about to postulate whether this was attributable to the prevalent underage labor in the Hispanic community due to poverty. Before I could, the Hungarian put his fingers to his mouth, sucked in air quickly, making the gesture of taking a hit, and said, "Because they were all off smoking pot." And then he laughed very hard.

In the end, a kiss was threatened and dodged. Aside from that, the date was pretty much a complete waste of my time, mingled with minor heartbreak. Our bartender that night was someone I'd never seen before, and he was quite charming and attractive. Whenever I ordered or spoke to him about the beer, the connection was immediately apparent, flirting was abundant, and in those few moments, I desperately wished that I had been alone so that I could focus my efforts on him. Alas, I still had two more dates to focus on.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1/7th of a glass condom bowl

The Captain was a professional roleplaying educator of children. He met me at a favorite bar of mine that serves high end beers on tap. One beer on tap that evening was a Kwak, which is served in a round-bottomed glass with a wooden stand. I ordered one of these, and the Captain asked for one of the same. I protested, being opposed to the idea of us both getting the same drink. With so many interesting beers on tap, I would have preferred to get different beers among the two of us and shared. However, he stuck by his decision. "No, I think I'll still get that." He didn't know anything about the beer, what it was, what it tasted like, but he knew he wanted it, apparently. One minute into the date, he was already a touch rude.

I have a super power, and in the moment, I decided to tell the Captain about it. Most people have at least one thing, be it a skill or talent or penchant or what have you, that they excel at uncommonly above and beyond the rest. I have a way with gay men. Most gay men I meet are drawn to me and I to them. We instantly form a bond in a way that usual friendships take over a year to develop. I also told the Captain that if I could change anything about myself, it would be to extend this power to all segments of the population. After taking a moment to think of what he would change about himself, he said, "I wish I had the ability to get better-paying jobs."

I met the Captain through OKCupid. He knew I had just joined a week previously and asked me how many dates I'd been on since I'd joined. The Captain was my fourth OKCupid date and my third consecutive Arch challenge date. Rather than awkwardly tell him I'd been on a date pretty much every day since I joined the online dating service, I decided to tell him about the Arch challenge. I wouldn't have ordinarily told him about the challenge, but given its relevance to his question and how cool I think the challenge and reward are, I decided to fill him in.

This was just the right story to unlock the Captain's insecurities. He was incredibly offended and acted like I had just said, "You are worth 1/7th of a glass condom bowl to me." After digesting my story, he said to me, "A word of advice, don't tell that story on your future dates." How many dates had the Captain been on, total, in over the past year? Four.

After he thought it prudent to give me dating advice, the date deteriorated pretty quickly. It was clear to me that we were not a good match, so I started suggesting to him other ways to meet women. He did not take so kindly to this as well. I realized the Captain had only drank half of his beer this far into the date, and it turned out he did not like it at all. This was a strike against him as well, I must say, since Kwak is a very tasty Belgian brew.

And then the Captain looked at the bill.

The Kwak was $15 per glass. The Captain threw a tantrum. "What? This beer was $15?! Jesus! Beer should not cost this much. If I had known..." I put down cash for my beer and headed for the door.