So the other night a friend of mine decided it was about time I got back on that horse and wet my feet again in the dating scene. I was reluctant at first, but figured, I could go out there and see how the water is. Thankfully, my friend had already set me up with someone so all the fear of rejection and the pain of looking was taken care of. All I knew about her was that her name was Elanor and she had dark hair and was rather fond of black and white photos. In fact, all of them were black and white. Must be an artist, I thought.
So the big day comes for our first date and we meet at this trendy bistro in Manhattan, just off of Broadway. As I walked from the subway station to the eatery I stopped an outdoor farmers market and bought a boquet of flowers that was reasonable for the situation. Nothing to expensive or gaudy. Just a simple boquet that gave off a pleasant fragrance.
I arrived at the bistro and proceeded to fix my tie and smooth out any crease I had in my Haggar khaki pants by running the heal of my palm down the fabric. I checked my watch and realized that I was a good ten minutes early. Something I planned for. I peer into the window of the establishment and enter the door and nod to the maitre d’ and check to see if the reservations I made had been recorded correctly. They were and I breathed a sigh of relief.
While there was still no sign of my date, the maitr d’ kindly escorted me to my table and provided me with the drink specials and the chef’s recommendations. Feeling funny about ordering food before my date arrives, I settle for a gin and tonic, which when it arrives helps calm my nerves.
I nervously start checking my watch realizing that my date is running late. I sit at the table and order another gin and tonic to pass the time.
After a few more gin and tonics, and with a flighty head. I get up and go to where the maitre d’ is. He’s standing at a podium occasionally taking calls and penciling in dinner dates in a big leather bound notebook. After he finishes putting a reservation for some fellow named Harvery Gustav he looks up at me and asks if anything is wrong. I explain to him that I was supposed to have had dinner with someone here and that they are running over an hour late. He has a look of empathy on his face, as if he can tell that while I’m not distraught, I am disappointed. He flips through the book and to where my reservation is recorded and asks what my guests name is. I tell him that her name is Elanor Stevenson. It surprised me that I recalled her last name, though I suppose it’s a simple enough name to remember.
The maitre d’ looks up at me from behind his thick rimmed glasses and informs me that about 10 minutes ago someone called on behalf of an Elanor Stevenson from Woodcrest Elder Care. Apparently Elanor, the lady my friend set me up with, was a patient at the nursing home that my friend worked at. She had been bed ridden for months now and died while trying to get herself out of bed for our date.
I nod my head confused and slightly annoyed that my friend would try to set me up with a geriatric patient. Not wanting to let these reservations go to waste I order another gin and tonic as well as the prime rib with red skinned potatoes and the herb stuffed chicken drizzled with some expensive wine I can’t pronounce.
My date may have died on me, but damn it if I’m not going to eat for two.