Now that you all know the term “non-date”, let’s see if we can use it in a sentence. Last weekend I went on the worst non-date of all time. I was bowling. In the suburbs. In a shopping mall.
You might be asking yourself how this could have happened, how a self-proclaimed-city-snob-who-only-feels-slightly-guilty-about-said-snobbishness ended up in the basement of a mall on a Saturday night, on a non-date no less.
The condensed version is that I was hoping to catch up in person with an old friend of mine. A friend that I never dated, but did hold hands with for a brief period of time in high school. We were friends for years after that, and drifted apart as friends often do. I had been missing this friend’s friendship, which is why I got back in touch, and I had really been enjoying getting to know him again while reminiscing about old times.
During this primarily text messaging catch-up, I did think it was possible I still held something of a torch for this man. I couldn’t be sure whether it was my nostalgia for days past or whether my guard was way down because he’s seen me in all manner of teenage stupidity, but I thought maybe there was something there. But most importantly I was glad to have my friend back, and I hoped that whether we discovered a romantic connection or not that I would get to keep him.
When this friend told me that he was going to be in town and wanted to get together I was excited about seeing him in person. I was nervous, too, texting is certainly not the same as face to face interaction, but I figured it would probably be like old times.
His original suggestion was that just he and I get together, a non-date if you will. Then he expanded to a double non-date, in which he suggested we hang out with married friends of mine (he knows the husband). I thought this was a good option; it might make it more social, less “date”, and would probably be really fun. This is how we got to bowling in the suburbs, despite a tremendous lack of communication and/or interest in planning on his part. Day of he added a friend of his, and by this time his extreme delay in responding to anything and continued expansion of the guest list led me to believe he just wasn’t interested in spending time with me.
Nevertheless I geared up and found that the ridiculousness of the event made me much more positive about the whole thing. I mean, my friend was wearing sequins. It was all for naught, though, because the moment I arrived the casual chatting the group was doing stopped cold and we never really got it back.
It was… a disaster. I can count on two hands the number of words my friend and I spoke to each other. I don’t think he made eye contact with me the entire night. I made some efforts early on but it was so unexpected I had a hard time recovering from the embarrassment of the whole thing.
Or the anger that directly followed the embarrassment. In all the iterations I had run through of how the get together might go, never had I expected to be ignored. While surrounded by friends. After I had driven out to the goddamn suburbs to see him. Turns out you can be just as confused by a non-date as a date-date.