Goofy ass, I’m winded!

Restaurant Rating: 🐠🐠out of 5. I always say you have to go somewhere three times before you can say you don’t like something. Well on my second time at Pa’la I am STILL not feeling it. The service and decor is excellent, don’t get me wrong, but the food leaves much to be desired. It’s high quality but underwhelming to taste. Overall, A living, breathing catfish. Just throwing chunks of lobster on top of a pesto pasta was a choice. The sweet potato was cool though. I was so bummed when he offered this as our date night spot. I made sure to eat before.

Date Rating: 🔥 out of 5. At the inception of this blog, I’d go on a string of dates all the time. I was being wined and dined and making out all over Scottsdale. It was fun! At the very least, if it wasn’t fun, I was getting funny stories out of it. On my fourth date this week, it’s feeling a little pathetic and I don’t know if it’s because my tolerance for these men is extremely low or I’m a real adult now (kinda) and I’ve lived a little.

Umer was classically handsome to me. Like he’d work all day at the mines and dress up with suspenders, classic. A southern man with broad shoulders and nice arms and a warm smile. Last year he had been to over 30 concerts! We had a lot of overlapping music tastes, he recommended a really great book to me, and he could hold a text conversation pretty well. When he said “I would really like to take you out sooner rather than later, you’re fun to talk to. Are you free tomorrow?” I thought that was sweet and said yes. I’m a sucker for some initiative.

The first pink flag I should have noted was him suggesting coffee as a date. It’s been a pink flag of mine for a decade. If this was a walkable or public transit city like DC or New York, I could understand this but it’s not. I can’t fathom in what world I’m driving 30+ minutes for just coffee, that I don’t even drink! And before you go, “it’s a recession, people are on a budget!” The museum has free nights and the Whining Pig has a crazy happy hour. It’s about intention! He suggests Pa’La instead. A different me would have made a similar suggestion that I actually liked but it’s not that big of a deal now. I can be less rigid.

I try to get to all my dates at least 5 minutes early. I love how he’s already there, seated and waiting for me. Caring about time is so important to me! He pulls out my seat which I find so endearing and we look over the menu. I can tell he’s nervous, again sweet, so I crack a joke to try to put him at ease.

I knew the date was going to go left five minutes in.

Umer: I’m going to get the sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas.

HB: Oh! Are you vegan? I missed that.

Umer: No. Typically for dinner I just eat some fish and veggies as a side.

HB: Me too, quick and easy. (In my head I’m thinking he’s gonna get the wood fired fish of the day WITH the potatoes and peas)

I order a cocktail and pasta with lobster and I’m confused when he only gets the potatoes and water. Even the waiter is confused! He leaves a menu.

HB: Are you not hungry? Or do you not drink?

Umer: Oh I am and I do. (He leaves it at that)

I’ve seen this before.

Season 1 Episode 3 of Atlanta. My life is a comedy.

I’ve been on a date before where a man ordered nothing and watched me eat (S/o to Koby) but I never ever expected to go through that again. Our food arrived and I could tell he HATED the sweet potatoes because he took one bite and stared at me popping lobster in my mouth. I felt like I was a National Geographic special. Then he started commenting on how great my food looked. I have some sympathy. I grabbed his plate and split the meal into two. “This seems like a lot. I want you to enjoy your full meal. Please.” He says. Luckily I wasn’t excited about the pasta because my appetite was SHOT. Why would you pick a place you cannot afford? Why wouldn’t you check the prices on yelp?

“Nope, I really won’t finish a portion this big anyway. And I like to share, so please, eat. It’s really no problem!” I soothe.

Nothing to write home about

Unfortunately the line between “dang that sucks” and loser-ish is thin. The quickest way for a me to dub a man as a humongous loser is when he starts talking about money on a date. I don’t know where these men are getting their dating advice from but they need to burn it to pieces. Why as a man do you think it’s acceptable to ask a woman for career advice on the first date? I don’t even want men to be impressed with me. Admired, desired, fawned after, SURE but nothing good has ever come from a man wanting what I have. I am not your big bro.

I tell him what I do vaguely and he immediately goes into a spiel about how he regrets his education choice and now he’s behind and how he could have been in economics or finance if he just would have done it right the first time. How it’s so astonishing I’ve found some level of success in the field he initially majored in. How does he get to where I’m at? He doesn’t really like he current job. I am so turned off. I sip my drink and tell him that he needs to give himself grace. He was essentially a child when he started school and was expected to set his life up. It’s not fair and he did the best he could with what he had. It’s a blessing he knows what he wants to do now because he can work towards it and with that passion he’ll probably advance quicker. It’s his own race. His grin is as bright as sun break. I’ve fucked up.

He says he loves Phoenix which is rare for a transplant to say so I ask him why. “Phoenix just has incredible economic potential.” I ask him what that means and he mentions that the real estate bought in 2010 is worth like millions now and the people that paid attention are wealthy. He wishes he would have tapped into that. Never mind that he was in high school in 2010.

He remembers I love to read and says he just can’t get into it. “Well it can be fun. What do you read? Self help huh?” I tease.

“Yeah, how’d you know?” I internally roll my eyes because damn, why don’t you know how to ESCAPE! HAVE FUN! You don’t get any medals for suffering. I tell him reading can be as entertaining as watching TV, you just have to find topics you like and characters you relate to. He says that he’s been trying biographies of millionaires and inspirational people that he looks up to. I try not to gag. I tell him that it could be entertaining since famous people tend to live such tangled lives. It’s a start!

Umer: Could you see yourself reading any autobiographies?

HB: I’ll keep it honest with you, I do not have any role models. There’s no famous person and especially no millionaire that I look at and say I want their life or want to adopt their habits. Sure, the material things, yes but morally they’re probably not the best people. I’m sorry if that bursts your bubble.

Umer: No I get that. I read a book on networking, I like going to Scottsdale bars and just being around the millionaires. You don’t get that at home. Sometimes I’ll talk to them and hear what wisdom they have to give and hope I can apply that in my life. It’s inspiring.

At this point I am so sad my cocktail is empty because that’s so lame to me!

HB: I don’t know man. Sometimes I think about how a million is made and for me to be that rich, I most likely took something away from someone else. I don’t think your CEO is objectively working harder than you. And a lot of these people have charisma and luck. It’s not some failing if you never get there. As long as you have the basics and are comfortable, that’s an accomplishment to be thankful for too. (Because you’re not gonna be the next Jay Z or Steve Jobs my guy)

And now he’s looking at me like he’s stumbled upon El Dorado. He asks how I’m single if I’m so (enter a stream of compliments here) and I tell him I really just want to have fun and that I’m looking for someone specific to fill that. He tells me that his dates don’t really go past the first one. I also find out he found Pa’La by Googling “first night date spots in Phoenix”. Not a cross reference with Yelp or even a glance at a menu (it really also irks me how their menu isn’t online and they don’t update the specials on IG consistently. I am a planner!)

In true me fashion after the date, I am meme’ing and tweeting through my distress. My guy friends are all concerned. My favorite one at the moment, Hakeem, calls me and I recap the night, frustrated. He (rightfully so) pities my experience and is just at a loss of what to say to comfort me. I tell him I keep shortening my list to be realistic but all I want is someone to be ambitious, compassionate, intelligent, and romantic. And I’m willing to teach someone to be romantic. He explains that maybe less than 10% of guys have that right off the bat (even if he’s exaggerating, the quiet part here is loud). I’m probably going to have the build the man that I want and mold him into that. He quickly became my least favorite lol

I thought you said raise up a man!

I’m just vehemently against any of that. It’s not the first time a man has told me this. I’m not these men’s mother. Why am I encouraging you to read, to be tolerant of others, to be ruthless at work, to remember I love peonies? If I wanted to put in that effort, I think it would be easier to just have a kid? It’s already a losing battle to me to bank on someone’s “potential” because they may never become that. That’s not fair to either of us. I don’t really like the narrative that the men I encounter are at a fundamental deficit and in order for me to be happily partnered with them, I must invest in them or be alone.

There were a couple dates up in the air but now that I’m thoroughly traumatized, I may just cancel them altogether. My life’s purpose is to first be happy and have fun. If that’s not happening, I’m out! At my very core, I feel like I’m going through all this strife for some twisted reason and I’m going to get everything I want in the end. The best stories have the most shocking plots right?

I believe it!

Published by thehungrybachelorette

28 year old young professional dating and eating her way through Phoenix restaurants while learning a bit along the way

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