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You know things are bad when you're fantasizing about pizza

Oct 30, 2009

Swine flu kicked my butt this week, so I am lying in my deathbed on this Friday night bored out of my mind from watching cult horror flicks and re-runs of "Wife Swap." Therefore, as many of you dear, sweet readers have pointed out, I now have ample time to update my blog!

Oh, where to begin? I wanted to write a blog about a date I went on last month, but I still feel kinda bad for the guy. I think he was just trying too hard maybe? Go here for the truncated version. If I get enough requests I'll consider writing down all the gritty details.

I've been on another date since then, and I think the guy actually wanted to be mentioned here. This is cute -- another friend met him at a bar and the guy, who will be known as Wine Guy, was sitting at the bar alone looking sad. My friend, also a guy, asked him if he was okay, and Wine Guy explained he had just come off a bad date. And since I am always coming off bad dates, my friend immediately thought of me and set up a happy hour for the following week.

I showed up to the happy hour a little bit later than "happy hour," so I was starving. Unfortunately we were at a very hip place, which meant the music was too loud, the service was horrible, the drinks were overpriced, and the food was minuscule. My friend brought a girl along, and for a while I was hitting it off more with her than Wine Guy. I really did want to give Wine Guy a shot, so I wasn't opposed to my friend and his date's strategic exit. (My friend later explained, "We did that so y'all could be alone!" to which I replied, "Um, duh?!")

Wine Guy and I attempted shouting out a conversation for five minutes or so after they left, but it was obvious it wasn't working so he yelled, "ARE YOU STILL HUNGRY?" Not wanting to waste energy or my voice by being demure, I shouted back, "YES!" He motioned toward the door and we stepped outside into the peaceful quietness of Chinatown on a Friday night (the sirens, drunkard rants, and squealing bachelorettes were serene compared to what we'd been sitting in).

"Where to?" he asked. I was thrilled he let me choose. I could see the flames of Matchbox across the street, and if we were lucky there'd be no wait for just two people.

"Do you like pizza?" I asked.

"I'm not eating, I'll just get some wine or something, plus I don't know the area so you just choose."

Matchbox it was, and yes, they had a table for two available! (Oh gaaaw, this is making me so hungry. I had Saltines for dinner. Stupid swine flu!!!)

While I ordered their version of meatlover's pizza, Wine Guy perused the -- you got it -- wine list. (Do you see where this is going?)

"They have a fantastic selection of wines here," he said.

I was too busy envisioning pepperoni and Italian sausage to pay much attention.

"What do you prefer, red or white?" he asked.

"Ooh, red for sure," I said, taking a break from my pizza fantasy. "I really really love red zinfandel."

He laughed. Did I make a joke? I gave him a confused look. "Zinfandel is red. You refer to white zinfandel as 'white,' but not red. Red zinfandel is just zinfandel."

"Oh, never knew," I replied. "Everyone I know drinks white zinfandel. I thought I'd made a great discovery when I found red zinfandel. But, you know, good to know." He smiled condescendingly and stuck his nose back in the wine list. I went back to my pizza fantasy.

"Hmm," he went on, "they have an Australian Shiraz from [whatever Australian vineyard it was from, I really don't care]. But it's the 2007, and I only know the 2005. I'd better check to make sure this is good." Wine Guy pulled out his phone and called his Wine Guy friend to make sure. The consensus was: WHO THE HECK CARES? BRING MY PIZZA ALREADY!

The server came to check on us and Wine Guy ordered the Australian Shiraz, even though it was the 2007 (the horror!), and requested a decanter to aerate it.

"We don't have decanters here," the server said apologetically.

"Oh, well that's all right, I'll just do it myself," Wine Guy said.

"So are we going to have to swirl our glasses?" I joked, spinning my glass around on the table.

"Well, yes, it needs a few minutes to release the flavor," he said not smiling.

In his defense, this may have been interesting if I were all gussied up and in a fancy place on a real date. But I had merely thrown on heels and a cute top with jeans, we were in a pizza joint -- a bit upscale, but still, a pizza joint -- and this was the elongation of a happy hour. Wine dissertations just didn't seem appropriate.

The server brought my pizza and his wine at the same time. As Wine Guy tested the wine and gave his approval, I took a big, cheesy, meaty, greasy bite of delicious stone oven baked pizza and was transported to a pepperoni paradise, floating on mozzarella clouds and swimming in a sea of sausage fat with a warm, empty-calorie dough float.

"Try some!" Wine Guy interrupted. He had poured me a glass of the Shiraz. I swigged a little and smiled at him.

"Great! Very nice," I said and took another bite of pizza. I threw all care to the wind as I dug in deeper to my meal, which was too cheesy and greasy to eat daintily. A few minutes later, mouth full of pizza, I took another sip. He smiled at me expectantly.

"Well? How is it now?" he asked.


"No no, the flavor has released more now, so tell me, how does it taste?"

I had a mouthful of pepperoni and spicy Italian sausage. I wasn't particularly keen to the flavor release of the wine. "Oh yeah, great, wonderful, yum!"

So this wasn't the worst date I've ever had -- not the best, but actually pretty good considering what I've been through in the past couple of years. He paid, which was unexpected and very gentlemanly, and he didn't ask me for my phone number, which was unexpected seeing as he had just paid. In my experience, if they pay they want to go out again, and if they don't pay then you're off the hook. The guy not paying used to bother me, but now it just makes my life simpler. Oh my, how DC dating has screwed up my ideals!

One more thing worth mentioning about the date: I guess the friend who set us up thought it would be helpful for Wine Guy to know some info about me before we met, so he copied and pasted my Facebook profile into an e-mail. Well, my profile includes a link to this blog. And he read ALL OF IT. "There's not that much to read," he shrugged when my mouth dropped open and a pepperoni hit the table. "So am I gonna be in it?" he smiled, raising his eyebrows and leaning toward me hopefully.

You're welcome, Wine Guy. And thanks for the great pizza! The leftovers were the perfect cure for my 2007 Australian Shiraz hangover the next morning.


  1. For a guy who was quick to say there's "not much to read" about your blog, he was a little too excited to be included.

  2. High hopes dashed. Dre' and I had a fantastic time that night and I'm having lunch with wine guy Friday. Sorry it wasn't great for you.

  3. Awww Smallwerld, it was fun! What-ev, we closed the place down. I had a good time, there just weren't sparks. No big deal!

  4. Whatever happened to beer and pizza???

  5. Was the highlight of the evening the pizza? Yum! It must be in some wine code of ethics to pay for the woman even though there's no second date in mind. He kind of reminds me of Paul Giamatti in Sideways. At least Wine Guy was probably better looking than Giamatti. I'm liking your blog!

  6. Great post! Oh, wine guy. Sounds like he was in his own little world!
    Someone asks me what kind of wine I like? I just say, "red!" Doesn't matter much to me what kind, brand or year. ha!

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