Submitted by Tony:
I was coming down from a busy few months at work (I'm an accountant) and finally had time to go out with people. My work life isn't too exciting, so I try to have fun hobbies. One of these hobbies is billiards. I've done well at some regional competitions, although I've never competed at the national level.
Carly was someone I met on the Internet, and as it turned out, she was also into pool. We talked about it for a while, but when it came time for a date, she asked that we not go to a pool hall, because she was afraid of looking like an idiot while playing against me.
I assured her that she wouldn't look like an idiot, but I respected her request. Dinner and play-it-by-ear was fine with me.
Dinner went well. We had a good conversation, but whatever initial excitement I had felt just wasn't there. We made small talk, but it seemed like we ran out of things to talk about. Maybe it was her, maybe it was me. Who knows? Who cares?
After dinner, we took a walk in a downtown area. We went by a boutique that had all kinds of really big women's hats, like Kentucky Derby hats. Carly plastered herself to the window.
"Oh my God..." she began. She was in awe of one of the hats, a white and green frilly thing. Then she turned to me and asked, "Isn't it beautiful?"
I joked, "It's not my style," but she wasn't listening. She was already inside, trying it on.
I followed her in. The hat cost close to $600. "It's so beautiful," she said, then glanced at me and said, "It's so beautiful."
"It is unique," I sort-of agreed.
"It's beautiful," she repeated, then did something strange. She started lightly rubbing my back with her fingertips.
Of course, I knew exactly what she was doing. She was going kamikaze on the date by implying that I should buy the hat for her. $600 on a first date? On a hat? Was she out of her mind?
Yep. She gazed at it longingly as the saleswoman put it back in the window. "It's so beautiful," she said again, as if me hearing how beautiful something was a hundred times would make me want to spend $600 on it.
Now, don't get me wrong. Some pool cues are $600. I don't take issue with someone's interests. Just if their interest extends to me buying it for them.
I thanked the saleswoman and made for the door. Carly didn't move. She gave me a look that I'm sure she meant to be seductive and asked, "Tony, would you like to see me in that hat again?"
I said, "If it'll make you happy."
She asked, "What will make you happy?"
I replied, "Leaving this store."
Carly stopped with the seductive look and said, "I think that I'm going to stay here and look around. You can go if you want to."
I stuck around for a few minutes to see if she'd tire of her game. When she didn't, I wished her a good night and hurriedly made my exit.
She called me not too long after to ask me why, if I was as good at pool as I was, why couldn't I afford to make a woman happy. I told her that if a $600 hat would make her happy, then a $600 pool cue would do the same for me. Would she buy it for me?
"That's not the same thing!" she said, but I was done. I brought the conversation to an end, and by now, she's probably found some sap to buy her a frilly hat.
Submitted by Tony: