One of the benefits of doing the online dating thing is that everybody involved knows why they are there.
Whether you both swiped right, or whether you were a perfect match on e-harmony, if the Modern Kiwi Man messages you and asks to meet IRL, you can safely assume his intentions (I am yet to hear about a man using Tinder to find himself a nice platonic female friend. If this has happened to you, tell me now because omg!).
Offline interaction with the Modern Kiwi Man is proving to be a little more complicated.
I met Tom at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner at Daikoku on Bryce Street last week. Despite the birthday girl being an old friend of mine, I didn’t know many people present.
To make matters worse, I was the last to arrive –meaning I had to take the only remaining seat at the teppanyaki table, locked in between one half of a loved-up couple who was clearly not interested in conversing with anyone but his girlfriend’s face -and Tom.
Tom was in an even less-desirable seat predicament, being sat between me and the wall. The arrangement could have been a total disaster if we hadn’t clicked almost instantly. We worked in the same industry and we shared similar interests, a similar sense of humour, and at the end –dessert.
He didn’t laugh too much when I nearly singed my nose on the chef’s pyrotechnics (brownie points) and he gave me a quick peck on the cheek when the night ended, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit smitten.
Gotta hand it to you, Hamilton men, you sure can bring your A-game when you want to!
Two Days Later
Fast-forward two days, and I get this alert in my inbox:
“Thomas — — — has viewed your profile on LinkedIn!”
This is quickly followed by:
“Thomas — — — has invited you to connect on LinkedIn!”
A friend once told me that you should always wait double the amount of time that he took to contact you, before you respond.
Waiting four days to accept a LinkedIn invitation seemed a little bit extreme, and too much of a test in delayed gratification. I rationalised: why go above and beyond and torture your patience for a guy you only just met?
I guess you should never underestimate the ability of a woman to logic her way into doing whatever she wants!
A four-hour wait seemed more reasonable. This quickly dwindled into four minutes, and by morning tea time, Tom and I were friends on LinkedIn.
Two hours later:
<Hey Kelsey, I had a really great time at dinner the other night. Would you be keen for a drink after work tomorrow?T>
Forgive me ladies, but I totally read this as a date. It had to be, right?
I responded, just minutes later:
<Hey Tom :) so nice to meet you too. Drink sounds great. When/where?Kelsey>
Three agonising hours later:
<5pm, Little George>
Three impatient minutes later:
<Love Little George. See you there!:)>
Radio silence. Gah.
It was a busy night at the Little George, and Tom was well over 45 minutes late. I was getting ready to call it a night when he arrived.
I had finished my house sav and was eyeing up the bar for a second, just as Tom arrived. He quickly spotted me sitting in the back booth, skirted through the crowds, dumped his bag on the bench next to me and weaved back to the bar.
Not so much as a hi, let alone a ‘can I get you another drink?’
I’d like to say that I’m a strong independent woman who need no man to buy her a drink on the first date. But really, it’s just manners right?
I want to say that that was where the weirdness ended, but unfortunately that was only the beginning.
Upon returning IPA in hand, I could barely recognise the man I’d met just three days earler. Tom was in a grump.
To top it off, he was kind of a douchebag. Much of the evening was spent listening to him talk about his possible-but-highly-likely-promotion, and how I needed to know the right people (presumably him?) if I wanted to get ahead.
This was starting to feel less and less like a date, and more like some kind of unwanted life coaching session.
When the chips arrived I was relieved: something else to focus on!
He promptly announced that his dinner had arrived and dug in deep, chasing each steak fry with a deft licking of his salty fingers (that last part didn’t actually happen, fyi. The thought just makes me giggle).
The height of weird wasn’t even when Tom’s friend Chris appeared. It wasn’t clear whether Tom had called for backup, or whether Chris just happened to be in the bar (he didn’t seem to be with another group).
Chris and Tom began somewhat of a bromance chat about the rugby, and an upcoming gig that Chris’s band would be playing at, at Static, after which Tom stood up, said goodnight and left.
The weirdest part of the entire night had to be the follow-up text from Tom that night:
<I had a great night Kels, are you free to hang out this Friday night?>
Seriously, Modern Kiwi Men –was this a date, or do you just want to be friends?