Submitted by Catherine:
This date is the one that taught me to always listen to the red flags, no matter how small.
Will contacted me on a dating profile site. He seemed actually intelligent and had more to say than asking me what my cup size was or if I would give no-attachment oral (no and no, incidentally).
He was a teacher and the youngest of five boys. He seemed really interested in my graduate work and in me. We had great, long phone conversations, and I found myself thinking about him more and more.
One thing seemed weird, though. When I would ask him about growing up with his brothers, or just about anything family-related, he would say, "Sorry, off limits." it seemed a weird thing to be silent about, but I assumed that he had a good reason. Still, his tone of voice, when he told me the few details he did, was scary. I dropped the subject, but it raised a tiny red flag.
He invited me out to dinner one night after work. His school was near the restaurant, but I lived a bit out of town, so I had to drive in.
I figured that most rush hour traffic would be heading in the opposite direction, but I was wrong. There was an accident and plenty of rubberneckers, so there was no way I'd make it on time.
I called to let him know, and he sounded really upset. "I made reservations and everything!" he said.
I replied, "I'm sorry, but I can't control the traffic. I'll get there as soon as I can."
"Get here as soon as you can," he said, and hung up.
He was upset; so was I. It didn't have to ruin the evening.
When I finally did show (fifteen minutes late), he threw down his napkin and stormed over to me from the seat. He was dressed handsomely, but his face was frowning.
He hotly whispered, "They've been giving me dirty looks for the past hour! Why couldn't you leave earlier?"
I said, "Did you not hear what I told you about the traffic?"
"Don't you dare take that tone with me–"
I was seriously taken aback. What the hell was this guy playing at? I was FIFTEEN MINUTES late! Was that really worth all of this anger?
I stepped back, implicitly volunteering to be the bigger person. I said, "Okay, okay. I'm sorry I'm late. Can we have dinner now?"
He turned a shade or two whiter, raised his voice, and said, "I wasn't finished! Now you're interrupting me?"
It was my ace in the hole. Screw it. I had to say it: "I'm trying to make peace here, and you're shooting me down like you do each time I ask you about your family!"
He shuddered, and I thought for a moment that he was going to hit me, but I stood my ground. He shouldered past me, left the restaurant, and I never heard from him again.
Feeling bad for the restaurant folks, I ordered a chicken parm to go.
Submitted by Catherine: