Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Poker guy

One of the guys I met at the BAARE event was Michael. He seemed okay at the time though Is was not impressed with him. We matched preferences and he e-mailed me immediately. I've learned over time that I'm not very good about communicating by e-mail so I encouraged us to meet sometime after work.

One key thing I've learned is that unless you're totally comfortable meeting someone, don't commit to more than a drink. Dinner means a minimum two hours where you better be able to talk to each other. On the other hand, a drink means maybe 45 minutes to assess the situation and either walk away or extend the evening. Going to cafes that close early or having a friend call at a predetermined time-point are great ways to force the end of the date.

The only thing I remembered about Michael from the speed dating was his recent experience trying to get into a poker tournament. It interested me since so many of my friends and I enjoy playing casual games of hold 'em. During the course of conversation with him, I learned that he thought it was odd that I was so interested in that. I was surprised because I was just using it for conversation.

He seemed very nervous throughout the date. I felt like I had to dig a bit to keep the conversation running. It was mostly me ask him questions. We talked a bit about real estate. He told me about the house he had bought and sold in Pleasanton. His newest investment was a condo in LAs Vegas associated with the MGM Grand. I learned a lot from him about how the condo is yours, but the hotel rents it out when you're not present and splits the income. It's an interesting concept.

The problem with the date was his nervousness. He made some comments that I didn't know how to deal with. He would laugh nervously and "compliment" me. At one point he commented that I'm very smart. Unfortunately he said it was a very uncomfortable laugh. I say "thank you" hesistantly. I didn't know what to say next. Clearly he was concerned about our ability to relate. As nice as he was, that behavior was the last straw for me. I never felt much of a connection to him and his insecurity highlighted my doubts.

I simply excused myself, saying it was late. As we headed out the door he expressed his satisfaction with the evening and inquired whether he could ask me out again. I panicked a bit at this point because I didn't have the nerve to say "no" to his face. In cowardly fashion, I lied and said, "yeah, but not this week because I'm going to be really busy." With that I shook his hand and said goodnight. I couldn't look at him as I walked away.

I'm relieved to say that he never did write. I think he knew that I was not very comfortable with the situation.

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