So here I sit. Waiting for “Mr X” to arrive.
When he does make an entrance he’ll breeze in, sit down and fire up the small talk without a hint of remorse.
And if I’m smart, I’ll say nothing.
I am not sure why I chose this place.
It’s littered with remote islands of crisp white linen, silverware, and fresh roses. Each one of them inhabited by couples drenched in candlelight and pheromones. It’s too intimate for this thing we’re doing. Especially since I don’t know what this is.The waiter is hovering.
Unhelpfully he refills my water glass every time I as much as look at it. I feel like an imposter as I help myself to more free bread. Sadly, I cannot turn to my mobile phone for comfort. There is a no bullshit sign showing a mobile phone with an angry red line drawn across it. I’m afraid that if I even glance at my phone the maître d’ in his men in black suit may usher me off to the guillotine.
I turn to the wine list. (When all else fails…)
To feel less imposterish I feign the haughty expression of the kind of pompous upstarts I hate. Men who’ll enter into a serious pissing contest about which vintage from Bordeaux was better. Like Le Douche, who is now more than twenty minutes late.
I peruse the intimidating and bankrupting selection. I think I’ll suggest an easy Merlot when Mr X arrives. (He may suggest we go dutch.)
Budgetary considerations aside – after enough (read: too many) years of drinking (insert: way too much) wine, I think my brain might have fermented. Despite investing in a book titled “I know nothing about wine” in my bullish twenties, it turns out I still know absolutely nothing about wine. Because not so long ago I found myself staring into a glass of grassy Sauvignon Blanc when I had meant to order the red stuff i.e.the Cabernet Sauvignon. (Or “Cab” – as my sophisticated WASPY friends call her.) I am way too self-conscious and uncool for that kind of familiarity. I’d rather massacre those nasal crushing french vowels.
But I do know that Merlot is usually a safe bet.
Merlot possesses the qualities I like in a red. Come to think of it, it also has the qualities I should demand in the men I date: Available. Approachable. Economical, but never cheap. Intense but not sweet. And not as narcissistic as the other red varietals, which while interesting and exotic require too much attention and time to mature.
Merlot also pairs well with any mood. I can chug it during my cringeworthy It’s raining men endurance marathons, or sip it while I’m having a pity party with Billie Holiday.
I also like Pink wine or Rose. Dry and chilled like the type of guys you won’t find on Tinder.
I think back to a recent lunch date with Mr X. (He was late then too.)
I remember how deeply his brow furrowed when I ordered a glass of Rose. At which point I was instructed that wine should either be red or white.
The following quote by New York Times wine columnist Frank J. Prial explains Mr X’s attitude about Rose:
“…a youthful indiscretion, conveniently forgotten.” and “rose is a stage that one grows out of, like eating junk food or riding a motorcycle.”
I beg to differ. As far as I’m concerned nothing beats a glass of chilled dry Rose. One sip and I am sitting under a cluster of Olive trees in starlit Tuscany minus the jet lag.
And Chardonnay and Co. can kiss my arse. I have a great disdain for prissy, uppity Chardonnay especially when paired with a La Coste shirt. Perhaps my relationship with white wine ended back in 1993? After all I did spend an unforgettable evening next to a porcelain bowl after I dived into a barrel of cheap white wine whilst on antibiotics.
I look at my watch.
Mr Red or White only has gone from being fashionable to being unforgivably late. And I’ve finished all the bread.
The only real concern I have about leaving is whether I’ll end up like Jean Valjean in this establishment which is a throwback to all things 1815?
Nothing is as sad or wasteful as terrible plonk or bad company. And given the choice I’d rather spend the evening with Two Buck Chuck. And so I flee to a joint with free wi-fi, where I can turn my own liver into Foie Gras by drinking cheap Rose while I update my Tinder profile.
This post was inspired by, and is dedicated to all the brave Tinder users I know.
Blog prompt: wine & online dating.