When it comes to dating, sometimes I think I’ve seen/heard/eye-rolled it all.
I’ve been at this single gal party for about four years now. I’ve written about unsolicited cock shots and texting douche-baggery and men who play, manipulate, abuse, ghost, lie, send me to strip clubs and jack off on the first date (true story, bro). Sometimes I’ve ended up in precarious situations because of my bad decisions; I take full responsibility for not always being the savviest chick in the room. But other times I’ve just been blindsided. Flabbergasted. Dumbfounded. Bamboozled. All of that, through no fault of my own. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Sometimes men utterly baffle me. Even when I haven’t caused said confusion.
Case in point: Mario, a hottie-hot-hot wine pourer at one of my favorite wineries in California’s Amador county.
It was our first stop on a weekend of wine tasting with friends. I was having a good hair/good clothes/good makeup day – a trifecta of sorts – which rarely if ever happens in my world. And it was good timing. Even before I’d chosen my flight of reds, I spotted him behind the counter. A tall, dark, handsome Italian with a freakishly charming smile.
“Are you Italian?” He was. I swear I can spot ’em a Roman mile away. Charming Italianos are my kryptonite.
He paid attention to all of us because, as luck would have it that day, he was our dedicated wine pourer. We chatted, I flirted, he poured, I sipped, he smiled, I drooled. I mean, sweet baby Jesus, this man was hot.
So it didn’t take more than about 30 seconds after we’d left the winery for me to say, “Wait! I have to go back. I can’t leave without inviting him to dinner tonight.”
“Go!” my friends said. “Invite him to barbecue with us tonight!”
Okay, Miss Sassy Pants, get your ass back in there, be like Nike and JUST DO IT. Invite the hot Italiano to dinner. What’ve you got to lose? Dignity? Self-esteem? Your lunch? Fuck it all–just grow a pair and ask the man out.
I’d like to say I did . . . but unfortunately I did not grow the necessary balls. My courage faltered. I did go back into the winery. But the only thing I asked my Italiano was, “Will you ring these chocolate bars up for me, please?” Oh, and “What’s your name?” I did get that–and thank God. Because that allowed me to message the winery on Facebook within five minutes after leaving the second time to say, “Hi! I love your wines! I also really dig your wine pourers, specifically Mario. Here’s my number: 123-456-7890. Please pass that along to him, I’m interested in continuing our conversation.”
The next day, after a solid weekend of wine, fun, food and laughter, my phone chimed on our way back home. It was a text notification: “Hi Sienna, it’s Mario . . . I got your message from the winery, and I would love to continue our conversation.”
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I could hear a choir of angels sing, right there in that moment because, hot damn, my sweet Italiano came through, and we were officially connected. The text game was on, and it was strong. Later that night, we struck up a conversation and texted late into the wee hours of the morning.
This continued for a week or so–lots of texts and lovely conversations about wine and Italy and food and traveling and pets and families and our jobs and careers. Things got a little flirty (“you’re so adorable, no you’re so adorable, I can’t wait to see you, I know, right?” etc.) and finally we made a date: He would come to my city in a few weeks and we’d spend the day together, then cap it off with dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. For my train-wreck-of-a-dating-life, things were going along just swimmingly. How odd.
Then, as per usual, shit got real.
“Hey, can we move our date up? Like to next Monday?” Mario texted me one day. “I can still come to you . . . but I’ll have my dogs. And I’ll need a place to stay.”
“Oh, and I should ask: Do you have sex on the first date? Because I’m definitely interested. You were pretty cute . . . and I can tell I would like what’s underneath. BTW, send me a sexy pic.” wink
Sex? First date? Underneath?
Then eventually, I got this precious invite:
“Hey! Do you wanna bang in a barn?!”
He did. He asked me that. He really went there. “Do you want to bang in a barn?”
What the fuck are you? A goat?
And that random text completely out of left field (apparently with a big old barn in it) left me with just one option:
Exit, stage left! My sweet Italiano was a player in sheep’s clothing. Or goat’s clothing. Or whatever. At the very least, he was just interested in one thing, and I was not interested in pickin’ up what he was puttin’ down. “No. I will not fuck you here or there, I will not fuck you anywhere.” I did not want to bang him in a barn. I mean, eventually I might have–if it was nice enough with plenty of hay for cushion, a soft blanket and no stench of horse shit. But really? He had to go there before we’d even shared a meal? I texted him back “no fucking way” in three different languages, and deleted his number. Damn.
That’s pretty anticlimactic, right? My apologies. I wish I could say we’re getting ready to elope to Venice, but my hot wine guy ended up being a douche nugget, and the only thing I got out of it is this story. Oh, and my bitmoji. I created her the evening I shut things down with goat-boy. She’s pretty great at helping me channel my emotions and thoughts when I’m too exhausted to do it myself. I think I’ll keep her.
When dating gets to be too big of a bitch, I’ll just crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and let her deal with the fallout and ensuing emotional upheaval. I like it.