I am just not sure about N. On paper, he’s great. He wants me to be impressed by him. He wants me to be wowed by him. I am not, really. I mean, yes, he’s accomplished a lot. Yes, he’s done well.

Now, to his credit, he’s not a proud peacock, but he wants me to know that he’s done well as part of his pitch. In fact, he has invited me to a big charity event next month as his date and wants to take me to some events that are in my particular area of interest. I did not commit.

I am not easily impressed. More importantly, I am more impressed by deeds than by words, and that’s where he fell far, far short. Also, I am slightly spoiled by being wooed by interesting, successful men so impressing me takes significantly more than just being a random guy. N often failed at what even a random guy would do.
 His behavior was less than gracious.

There is a huge crazy thing happening in my neighborhood, so parking is difficult. I asked him to just call me when he arrived rather than meeting me upstairs. When I met him downstairs, he did not get out of the car. He leaned across and opened the door for me. In whose world does that make sense? If I were his girlfriend, the lean across the car move would be fine, but it sets the wrong tone on a first date. (Need I even say that almost every other man I would date would have parked, since he did find a space, and still come up. Barring that, he would have gotten out of the car!)

Second, he picked a (very good) Mexican restaurant and made reservations with zero consultation. The food was good, but picking a regional cuisine instead of a more general restaurant is exactly like taking a first date to a steakhouse or for sushi without consultation. I would have thought that he would have considered what I would eat rather than just where he wanted to go. The restaurant is fairly new and it was kind of empty and dead. In short, not the best date restaurant.

Third, he wanted to extend the date, but had put zero thought into it. That lead to a brief debate about where we should go. I suggested one place, he picked the other, which was fine, but I was surprised he hadn’t thought about it ahead of time.

Fourth, it never occurred to him to open a car door or any other door at any point in the evening. Now, I am not (completely) a princess, but shouldn’t you be on your best behavior? If that’s his best, what happens later on?

Fifth, he asked me out again while still on the date. That’s uncomfortable.

Sixth, and most deadly, he was too persistent and kissed me when I made it clear I did not want him to. He asked to walk me up and I agreed. I hugged him in front of my door, which is the universal sign for I AM NOT KISSING YOU. I broke the hug and he pulled me in and kissed me. Very, very uncool.

I spoke with W about it at length yesterday and W was completely disappointed by N’s lack of couth.

Also, if N were some 30 year old, I would have looked past some of the lack of grace and roughness around the edges.  But, when dating someone older, part of the charm is the higher level of sophistication.  All of that was missing.  

N would be the 4th man I have dated who is his age (or, thanks to BP, older) over the years.  The other older men I have dated viewed me as an interesting companion, I am sure, but I was also an object to further reflect their own glory. N was similar. Taking me to the after-dinner bar  — the most high-profile, high-dollar place in town — was all about showing me off and making him look like a bigger big shot. It’s not that I am some great beauty — I’m not — but I look attractive, sophisticated, and young enough to be noticeable, but not so young that it’s creepy.

It’s not as though I do not know the game. Obviously, I do and I am complicit in my own objectification. It’s part of the whole deal.  

I am a bit spoiled — thanks in large part to BP and my other friends.  It’s not like he doesn’t know I am spoiled.   No matter what I do, I come across that way. It’s not something of which I am proud, and I certainly tamped it down when I was with A, but I am accustomed to being treated a certain way.  (It’s something that makes my relative poverty so amusing.)

I behaved like a good sport on the date, but I did mention a few of the things throughout the evening so he could make adjustments.  He just did not pick up on any of it.  His cluelessness was truly astounding.

The best thing about the date is that it showed in stark relief for what I am looking and for what I would be willing to settle.  If I am dating a younger plaything, I can tolerate a level of cluelessness.  If I am dating an older playboy, then I expect him to have a level of sophistication and grace.  He may still take me to a hotdog stand, but we’ll be very aware of the fact that we’re both cool enough to be cool with going to a hotdog stand, instead of enjoying a meal at a great restaurant.  It’s a charming change, not a lifestyle choice.

A lot of this has to do with BP, though I hate to admit it.  BP has spoiled me over the last few months — long before I realized we were dating.  He is charming and sophisticated and gracious.  Whether we’re having lunch at the beautiful restaurant or after dinner drinks at an elegant bar, everything is always so effortless because he has actually thought about how he wants me to feel.  He mentioned a few weeks ago how convenient it is that things he enjoys are things that spoil me and make me feel special.

I told W that after the date ended, I was so excited to get home to watch the debate on the dvr.  I also spoke at length to BP.  It was after 1 am, and we were both tired, but that was the best part of my day.  W laughed that my favorite part of my date was talking to my secret boyfriend.  (W said, well, I was going to call him your boyfriend, but secret boyfriend works better.)

Tonight, W is taking me to a gala (non-black-tie), where I will have new opportunities to meet interesting new people.  I may go out with N one more time, just to see if it was a fluke, but I am completely unmotivated to do so.  He has already called me and emailed me, and I am just not interested in speaking to him.