• Vanessa C Spence

Is It Worth The Free Meal?

Have you ever agreed to go to dinner with a guy you had no interest in whatsoever? Have you ever been subject to participating in redundant conversation or multiple attempt's at him 'subtly' hinting "let's go back to my place." Have you ever asked that guy to drop you off a couple of streets from your house to walk the rest of the way because walking a few more minutes in those heels was better than a few more seconds in his car and him knowing where you lived? Have you ever turned the key in your door and before taking off those heels or those new clothes or washing up for the night just plopped down on your bed and wondered, "was it worth it?"

As women who know what we want, in the times we are living in, we are subject to living through nights like that over and over and over again. We continue to take the bullsh*t from one track minded men because our hearts still believe that there is good in this world. But my mind is starting to believe that there is not enough pasta dishes, all-you-can-eat sushi, Cobb salads, steak and potatoes - and hell - bottles of wine, to convince me that there is a good man out there for me and me alone.

My last experience at one of those nights was a couple weeks ago. Over the phone everything was going great. We had similar interests and he was checking off all of my boxes. The conversation was going so well we had decided to make dinner plans for the next night. Fast forward to the next day, I arrived home from work, freshened up, popped the tags off of some new clothes I had been dying to wear and pushed my overworked feet into some pretty pumps. He was on time but the night went downhill from there. Before he even turns the corner from our meeting place he claims he needs to go home to grab his passport as well as to smoke some weed and have a beer. In my head I thought, "Is that not from whence you came? You could have done that before you picked me up. I could have sworn our plans were to have dinner. Plus this outfit is not one for the harbouring of weed smoke." I said, "Let's grab something to eat first and see where the nights takes us."

We get to the restaurant. He doesn't hold the door open for me, I have to speak to the greeter for the both of us, and it wasn't until then that I got a good look at his outfit. I just had to shake my head. Before we even took our seats I knew I was many flights over this date but I held it down. I continued to speak for the both of us, I ordered the most expensive sandwich on the menu (it would have been steak but I only like my steak medium rare and from The Keg) and I ordered two pints of my favourite imported beer all while talking to the top of his balding head because his eyes were glued to his phone trying to book a flight to Vegas. We ate holding minimal conversation. I leisurely finished my second pint while he paid for the meal. After that we left. I contemplated taking the bus home but I opted out because - the shoes. I asked him to take me to my main intersection, and on my walk home I decided never to speak to him again.

I asked those questions in the beginning of this piece because when I got home I was feeling all of the above. I wish I could say for the first time. I laid on my bed going through the night thinking, "nothing is worth what I am feeling at this very moment." My time was wasted and there isn't much that makes me feel crappier. I was dissatisfied by the lack of stimulation and that expensive but mediocre sandwich. I was glad I still had the buzz from my two pints although I was still hungry - but hungry for what? It wasn't for pasta, sushi, Cobb salad, steak and potatoes or wine (okay, maybe the wine.) What I was hungry for was a real man and a relationship filled with love, trust and care. And in my years of coming home after a dinner date and having to fill myself up with all of the above, I've learned one very valuable lesson - it is never worth the free meal.