Ah love. Sweet, sweet elusive love. In a city of over two million people, four million if you count the surrounding area, it seems impossible to find that one lasting connection.
Who: D, an It’s Just Lunch match.
Occupation: Executive producer for a variety of television shows.
Attraction factor: The IJL women described D as very well-traveled, successful in his field (which happens to be my field), said he was interested in a variety of sports, cooking, and sat on a couple of charity boards. They said he had dark eyes, dark hair and I knew immediately from their detailed description that I already knew D from various industry functions. So, I have to confess to having misgivings before the date even began. If there was an ounce of attraction, I would have felt it already.
What we did: Per the usual IJL set up, D and I met for drinks at a bar in the city’s financial district. Reservations were arranged through IJL and I picked this spot because I was bored with the other go-to restuarant on their list.
I regretted that decision when I was fighting my way through traffic and hunting for a parking garage. I arrived fifteen minutes late with profuse apologies about my tardiness and bad form. D agreed it was bad form for me to be late.
We launched into conversation that I hoped would take the edge off my wrong-footed entrance. We chatted about how we’ve bumped into each other a few times at various events. He warmed up… and then started talking about how the IJL women have set him up with three writers. Well. Two wannabe writers, and me. I ordered a glass of viognier and he had another cranberry soda while telling me about his last date with a naturopathic doctor who is part of a writing team who *gasp* didn’t know well enough to take his advice. Apparently she is an aspiring writer who has had luck on her side and optioned a screenplay with her writing partner, but their agent represents actors and what she really needs is a literary agent which he told her… and blah blah blah blah blah…
My eyes glazed over.
The best way I can sum up this date is to say I showed up fifteen minutes late and paid for it by listening to D talk about himself for the next two and a half hours. I waited for him to ask me a question about myself, you know… to indicate the mildest interest or good manners. Questions were not forthcoming. It was all about him and once in a while I would interject my own stuff to make it seem like we were kinda sorta having a conversation.
Our dated ended with me grabbing the bill and insisting on paying to make up for my late arrival. D smiled, thought it was a nice gesture and accepted.
On the plus side: The date was only two and a half hours long. Fortunately we wrapped up by eight-thirty, so my night wasn’t completely ruined. I still had time to grab some take out, go home and watch a movie. Oh and I suppose the other plus is that we work in the same business so we were able to talk shop — albeit only talk about D’s experiences — and keep that industry connection alive.
I do love a juicy story and D told me one particularly horrific experience about working with a director, who I know through a mutual acquaintance. This director is a certified psychopath. No exaggeration. He is the biggest con artist, compulsive liar, charmer… in short, a psychopath. It was obvious that D went through the wringer with the director and will be shaking his head over the experience for years to come.
On the minus side: Where do I start? Aside from D’s looks, I found his attitude so off-putting. If his arrogance was to make up for insecurity, I don’t care.
D monopolized the conversation, talked about himself the whole time and lost me on two notable moments. The first when he was telling me about the doctor and how she should have realized what a golden opportunity it was to meet him, a man who could offer amazing advice with so much influence. *insert eye roll*
The other instance was when I asked him what he had been up to… He seemed baffled that I didn’t automatically know and with incredulity said, “Oh, I assumed you knew because my name is synonymous with XXX TV company.” I smiled and shrugged, telling him I work in drama… a totally different world (read: if you were a serious player, I would have heard of your company). The guy may have produced over two hundred episodes of TV in the last two years, which is a formidable amount of work, but it’s all been cable TV that no one watches.
Chances I’ll see him again: He gave me his business card, but outside of bumping into each other at future industry events, I have NO plans to see this man again – unless it’s for a business meeting. D is pleasant enough, and if this was a business meeting I could excuse him talking about himself at length. But for a date? No. I have zero interest in him romantically.
I realize I’m being over-critical and harsh with my assessment of D. I just didn’t like the guy romantically and, probably more importantly, I didn’t like that he didn’t respond to me with romantic interest.
Lesson learned: On a business note I learned that I will never work with one particular director based on D’s stories and the other things I know about him. D’s stories also brought home (again) the importance of thoroughly vetting anyone whom you’re going to allow control over a million dollar project.
On a person note, I don’t need to foot the bill to make up for being late. Like they say, sh*t happens. I thought it showed good form on my part, but maybe I emasculated D? In the end I don’t really care. I learned that my ego is firmly intact and I expect a date to want to know something about me just as I want to know something about him.
Am I wrong in thinking a conversation is supposed to be two-ways? Not just one person supporting what the other person is saying? I learned I am not cut out to play the “supporting” role to some guy’s “leading man”. No, no, no. Call me a diva, but in my life, I am the leading lady. I also decided I’m going to tell the IJL people to NOT set me up with men who work in my industry. It turns into a shop-talk date and if I wanted a business meeting, I’d schedule one on my own.
What I’d like is to meet a gentleman who sparks good conversation on a variety of subjects, shows an interest in who I am, what my opinions are and likewise, inspires me to lean across the table to ask him the same.
I’m sure there’s a man out there like that. Whether he’s one of the two million souls living in my city is up for hot debate.