Despite my sister insisting that going out for coffee isn’t a real date, I had plans to meet a friend of a friend who was supposedly “perfect” for me at a local coffee shop. I had a few reservations about this, but decided that there was no harm in trying to prove my sister wrong while having a good time on this minimum wage challenge.
We decided to meet at a coffee shop in the general area where she lived. I arrived about 15 minutes early (I have always been one of those on time type of people), ordered a cup of iced tea ($2.25) and found a table to sit at. I didn’t bring my computer since I figured that wouldn’t make the best impression, so I just people watched for those fifteen minutes. As the meeting time approached, I started to make eye contact with every woman who entered the door with a smile (which really sounds kind of creepy as I write this, but it wasn’t meant that way) in case it was her. The time of the date arrives, but she still hasn’t. Not a bit deal since a lot of people run late.
Half an hour after the time we are supposed to meet arrives and still no sign of her. I start second guessing myself. “Did I go to the right coffee shop? Did I have the time right?” An hour passes with still no sign, and I begin to wonder if something bad has happened to her on the way here — a car accident? I don’t have my computer (and I don’t own a phone) so there is no way to check. Do I stay in case she still makes it, or do I go back to get my computer to try to find out what has happened? I decide to give it a little more time.
Two hours pass and still nobody. I decide to get another drink (another $2.25) and give it one more hour. My reasoning (which isn’t always sound in situations like this) was that if I was super-late trying to get somewhere and I finally got there and the person had left, I would be disappointed (not surprised, but disappointed). I slowly sipped my drink and about 15 minutes before I had decided I’d leave, a woman walks up to me. She had been sitting for some time at a table across the room. She asks, “Are you waiting for someone? and when I nod, she says, “Honey, she isn’t going to show up” (it’s at this point I realize I probably waited to long).
So, I drive back and immediately get onto my computer to try to find out what happened. I’m surprised (and a little concerned) to see there are no email messages from her. I send an email explaining that I was sorry that I had missed her and that I hoped I hadn’t gone to the wrong place and that nothing terrible had happened. About a half hour later I received the following:
“I’m so sorry. I got invited to a 49ers party with some really good friends and I decided to go to that instead. I sent an email to you last night telling you. Didn’t you get it?”
I thought that maybe the email had gotten stuck in the spam folder, but did a search and there was never an email sent to me. What do you think? Did she think that she really sent me an email or was that just a polite excuse to let me know she had totally blown me off? I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when mistakes happen because I have made far more than my fair share of them, but I also try not to look like a complete sucker at the same time. I wrote back:
“I must have missed the email, but it’s not a problem. I’m just glad that it wasn’t something serious. I hope you had a wonderful time with your friends — it was a great game.”
And left it at that. I figure that if it really was a mistake and she wants to try to go out again, she’ll get back to me to set up a new time to meet. If not, then she has an easy way out without me asking and her having to make up an excuse why she can’t go.
The worst part was that I ended up wasting 4 hours of the day (when I include travel time) which I could have used to do some fun exploring outside, and I spent $4.50 that I really didn’t need to spend. I know it the scheme of things it really isn’t that costly, but under this challenge budget, it’s one day’s worth of food. Luckily, that was the only spending that I needed to do for the day.
For future reference if something like this happens again, how long is it appropriate to wait before it’s okay to leave when someone doesn’t show up? Let’s hope that this isn’t an indication of what dating on a budget is going to be like this year.
Next article: Day 21: Clicking Clutch and Ghost Redwoods
(Photo courtesy of TheeErin)