I went out on a date. This isn’t that unusual for me. In an endless cycle of hope over experience, I do go on a lot of first dates.
This one was a bit unusual, because the man involved had a Very Important and Well Paid Job. I won’t reveal the details, but it’s the kind of job that pretty much defines a person. It made up a full 96% of his personality.
I had a feeling it was going to be a painful evening right from the start. In keeping with his Very Important and Well Paid Job, he had chosen an Iconic Sydney Location to meet at. Think sparkling water and expensive drinks and a kind of curvy pointy thing in the background. There you go.
“Nice place,” I smiled when I’d sat down and a cocktail had been summoned with a languid snap of his fingers to the bar staff.
“Yarrrrrssss,” he purred. “My first wedding was right here…” he flicked his wrist off towards a corner, “And my second was over there.” A different corner was indicated.
I kept my face carefully neutral. Maybe it’s entirely normal to get married to two different people in the same place.
“Do you get on well with your ex-wives?”
This is a standard dating-as-a-parent question. Generally, if the person goes red and snarly and describes all the ways he’d like to extract a cold and bloody revenge on his ex, it’s time to invoke the Uber app.
“The second one hardly counts,” he said, airily. “But the mother of my children, we have a good working relationship. She’s remarried now.”
“Oh, yes? How do you feel about her new partner?”
“The private detective’s report was interesting.”
I fell about laughing. Maybe there was a sense of humour in there after all. But after a few seconds, I realised he was serious.
“Of course I did. This man has access to my children. He may have a criminal record. Anyway, I gave my ex a LOT of money in the settlement. Though of course I can make it all back, given my (Very Important and Well Paid) job. Don’t worry, I kept the Ferrari.”
He leaned forward to give me a leery wink, while I tried to look like I gave a flying fuck about his Ferrari. There was so much wrong with what he was saying that I didn’t know where I should start.
“Umm. That’s now your wife’s money. And I feel like she would probably be across checking that her new partner isn’t a criminal mastermind.”
He looked vaguely offended. “I needed to know what was in his bank account, at least. If he divorces her and gets her assets my children could wind up HOMELESS.”
Oh, god. Tell me this is on candid camera.
“Well, I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t let that happen, right? I mean, you’re a Very Important and Well Paid Person.”
He was horrified. “I’m not giving her any MORE money, she’s had her settlement and that’s it.”
He poked his head forward to study me with beady interest. “You’re much more attractive than you look in your pictures.”
“Though you look a bit shaky.”
That was possibly the suppressed rage fighting a war with the helpless laughter.
“Here,” he whipped out his phone. “I’ve got an app to check that you don’t have Parkinsons. It measures your hand tremors.”
He jabbed about for a bit and realised he’d deleted it, so he reinstalled it on the spot. It was obviously very important to have my health status established before he invested in another cocktail. Together we stared at my hand for sixty seconds while the app did its thing.
“No, you’re fine,” he sighed in relief.
I smiled through gritted teeth.
“Would like to check my mouth as well? Then it would feel even more like you were buying a horse.”
He brightened up. “Ok then, since you’re offering.”
I left shortly after that. On the way home, I deleted Tinder. Again.