"For it's one! Two! Three strikes you're out at the old...ball...game!" That famous line from the 7th inning stretch song is a staple at Wrigley Field, but when it comes to dating, I'm not entirely sure a man should get so many strikes. After my date last week with a man we will call "Foul Ball" (for many reasons), I have decided that, in my dating game, from now on you're only going to get one strike.
My mother is famous for trying to set me up with every eligible restaurant manager, bartender and owner she comes across. Off the top of my head, I can think of six without having to give it any thought. Most mothers try to fix their daughters up with doctors, lawyers, and millionaires, but not my mom; she obviously holds a soft spot in her heart for service industry professionals.
My mom was in Chicago visiting last weekend, and I took her to dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city. She immediately fell in love with the atmosphere, the food, and the bartender (Foul Ball). And why wouldn't she? The cannolis were to die for and after my second glass of wine, Foul Ball was looking rather appetizing as well.
I immediately turned up the flirting and flashed him one of my sexiest grins. To my surprise, he continued to relentlessly flirt with my mother! When he told my mother that she looked like she was 35, I thought to myself, "Oh, I get it. Boy, this kid must really need some cash." My mother got up to use the restroom, but not before she leaned over to me and said, "Gena, if you don't act on this one I will do it for you. Don't make me embarrass you. You know I'm good for it." Nice. Thanks mom. You're a gem.
The minute she left the bar, I immediately asked for a very strong martini and his phone number. How forward of me, I know, but nothing like a little liquid courage and a mother hurling threats of more potential awkward moments to get the job done. I waited the respectable three-day grace period and gave him a call.
He had Cubs tickets for Saturday's game and from my experience, Cubs games always make for fun first dates, so I took him up on his offer. This was my first game of the season and I could barely contain my excitement as I dusted off my Cubs shirt and got dressed with all the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning. There I was, dressed the part and ready to go, when Foul Ball shows up at my apartment. He was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. Not only was he committing a major crime of fashion by daring to wear flannel in any other form than pajamas, but did I also mention it was a beautiful and sunny 80 degrees outside? After consuming a few Miller Lites, coupled with the crowded bleachers and all of the excitement, it probably would feel like at least 90 degrees out there, and the man was wearing flannel. STRIKE ONE.
Wrigley is about 5 blocks away from my apartment, so we decided to walk there. It was definitely hotter than I thought outside, and I looked over at him and he was sweating bullets (that should have been strike two, but I thought I would give the man a break...he is wearing flannel in the heat for Christ's sake), so I suggested we grab a bottle of water at the 7-11 on the way. He agreed and then he made me pay. STRIKE TWO.
Once inside the game, we were swept up in the excitement and ended up having a pretty great time. We had bleacher seats, and the energy was completely electric! Throughout the game, he explained everything that was going on and all of the back-stories on the players, and I had my first baseball stadium hot dog--with mustard only, of course. I was really enjoying myself and totally forgot about the two previous strikes, so when he asked me if I wanted to go to Harry Caray's after the game, I was more than happy to continue the date.
We left the stadium and started heading toward the bar. He looked at me and said, "You look really cute in your Cubs shirt. I'm really glad you decided to call me." The minute I started to let my guard down and thought things could be turning around, he turned away from me and held one finger to his nose and blew. I do believe the term is called a "farmer's blow" (or more vulgar, a snot rocket). As if that isn't bad enough, he then tried to hold my hand with the same hand he used to wipe the snot from his nose! STRIKE THREE BUDDY!
I immediately sent my friend Colleen an SOS text, and she came and met me at the bar, and we made it look like an accidental "surprise" encounter. When he was in the bathroom, we slapped cash down on the table and ran out of there as fast as we could (which I'm sure doesn't help with my dating karma)! We ended up grabbing drinks with a group of guys we had met the night before on Southport (you know, men that have manners and know what a tissue is), so the day wasn't a total bust.
What pisses me off the most isn't that the man couldn't control his bodily fluids, although that was incredibly disgusting, or even that it turned out to be yet another crappy date. I'm starting to become accustomed to that. No, what I'm even more annoyed at is that now I have to find a new restaurant with equally amazing cannolis!