March Madness

Saturday, March 20, 2010
March Madness, a 2 ½ week period when 64 teams via for the NCAA basketball championship, is my favorite holiday. For years I’ve taken off work to watch the second day of the first round, spending the day with friends drinking beer, eating wings and watching basketball. This year was no exception, true to tradition I spent the day with B, a girlfriend, and she invited a new guy she’d been seeing to join us around lunch time. They’d only been on two dates, and she wasn’t really sure whether she was into him or not. She didn’t tell me much about him - she wanted to wait until after he’d left so I could form my own impressions.

I formed several, most notably that he was definitely into B. Although not a basketball fan, he doggedly attempted to follow along with our bracket analysis and participate in the upsets and overtimes, which I thought was admirable. He was very different from her, though. She’s outgoing, social, animated. He seemed more reserved, almost a little socially awkward. I thought he could be more interesting with practice.

During the break in the action between the afternoon and early evening games B communicated to me via looks across the table that she was ready for her date to leave. He had only planned to stay for lunch but had made no indication that he was getting ready to head out, even telling her he was thinking he’d skip his evening theatre plans. I silently communicated back that there was no good exit strategy when you’re sitting in a bar indefinitely.

B got up to use the ladies, and about a minute later her date got up and walked over to the bar to talk to our waitress. He then headed into the crowd and appeared to be leaving the bar entirely. When our waitress headed back to our table I asked her what he had talked to her about. She said he had paid our entire tab, our several hundred dollar beer and snacks tab we’d been accruing for around seven hours. He had indeed left the bar.

I relayed this to B when she came back from the ladies. She was dumbfounded, and left a voice mail for her date thanking him for his very generous (and very unnecessary) financial contribution but wondering why he left without saying anything. He responded via text that he was sorry he had left suddenly, that he’d paid the bill, and thanked her for having invited him out.

We were at a loss to explain his behavior. B shared her additional insights into this man to try and help, including that he’s very wealthy. We don’t know whether this man felt like the appropriate thing to do was to pay our entire bill (which it wasn’t) or whether he felt like he was invited so we didn’t have to pay (which is insulting), but I hope not. We are also left to wonder if this man thought that paying the bill made up for leaving without saying goodbye, which it most certainly did not. Under no circumstances is that behavior acceptable.

We do know that we were left with the cash that our other friends had left on our table for their portion of the bill. We gave our waitress a generous tip for our last few beers and split the rest between us.

I also know that I’ve finally gotten something back for having to live through the bizarreness that is dating (albeit indirectly through B). I spent 11 hours in a bar yesterday, eating and drinking, and walked away with enough cash to pay for my taxi ride home. March Madness… It really is the most wonderful time of the year.


Nicole said...

It could be as simple as, he likes B, he wanted to pay the bill because likes B (and he's nice), and he didn't want the fight that would ensue if he told you he was going to pay the bill. He wanted to just do it as a knight-in-shining armor gesture, leaving you with a nice surprise.

But, yeah, also a little weird to leave without saying goodbye. He could have just as easily stealthly arranged with the waitress to pay when the time came and said his goodbyes without you finding out. I worry that maybe he picked up on the "I want you to leave vibe."

Lifebeginsat30ty said...

How weird! If he is that wealthy, it could mean nothing to him to pay a bill that size. He wanted to make B happy, so he did.

Either he really is socially retarded or he picked up on the wanting him to leave vibe. Sounds interesting!

Dater at Large said...

Truthfully, I don't think there was a huge "leave" vibe. It felt the same as it had for most of the afternoon, we just also happened to be in a bball lag so the social awkwardness was more pronounced.

I can admit the paying is nice, but it doesn't improve his status with B. The real complaint with him is the leaving.

Jenny DB said...

Just a word of caution, i don't think people get more interesting with practice... i hoped so with my ex but alas, not so much

Anonymous said...

How can you discuss appropriate behavior when you seem to be proud of the fact that you profited off of your friends' early departure? Totally owe them their money back.

TQ said...

(Speaking of 'Totally uncool' actions: leaving an Anonymous comment = uncool)

The friends of DaL seem to have drank and paid accordingly in actions independent of the Daddy Warbucks.

I'd consider the 'profit' to be easily written-off as dividends earned from handling the social awkwardness of both Warbucks' extended stay and unacceptable departure...

Anonymous said...

TQ said: (Speaking of 'Totally uncool' actions: leaving an Anonymous comment = uncool)

You may not realize this, since you have a blog, but Blogger doesn't offer a lot of options, other than anonymity, for people who don't have a blog or gmail acocunt. My comment options are:
Google account log in
Open ID

If you don't have a Google account, blog or other URL, your two choices are to leave a random name or comment as anonymous. My name's Jen. Is that really any different than telling you my name's Anonymous?

Nicole said...

Fun! Fight, fight! Jen - you can create a google account for leaving blog comments with any email address, doesn't have to be a google email address. Takes a couple of seconds.

Hmmm, the what-to-do-with-the-extra-money does present an interesting question. Seems a little overboard to go chasing friends around to refund them their $10 or whatever because of the unexpected windfall - especially 'cause I'm guessing she doesn't have much idea about who put in what. I know if I had been there and she later came to me trying to give me some cash, I'd say "whatever, it's not like I didn't drink what I paid for." Maybe if B or DAL know that a particular person left money, they could offer a brew on them... but I don't think that's even necessary. Daddy Warbucks intended his gesture to be for B, not the previously departed guests.

Once when I was waitressing, a large party dispersed at different times, leaving their cash toward the bill. I heard the final two people gloating that they made out like bandits --- because they took home the portion that their cohorts intended to be my tip! Now THAT SUCKED!

Dater at Large said...

"Anonymous": I'd be more than happy to return the approx $10 each to the two people who had left money. I obviously couldn't it return it to them at the bar since they'd already left, though. Since this blog is about dating, that part didn't seem relevant (or interesting).

I enjoy the fact that I didn't have to pay for my day of fun, but as I hope I made clear in the post I think it was totally unnecessary for my bill to have been picked up by someone else.

It was picked up, though, so I'm going to enjoy it.