Thomas’ eyes immediately lit up. “I’m not going to tell you. You’re gonna have to guess,” he said smugly.
“Okay, I’m gonna say either Missouri or Colorado.”
“Nope, try again” he said grinning.
I was clueless. After a string of dates with native New Yorkers, Thomas’ bland features and thick gray hair seemed very vanilla to me. He also looked much older than the 60 he purported.
“Okay, is it Pennsylvania?” I said, taking another stab.
“Nope,” he said, sounding more and more like a game show host egging on a contestant. “And I’ll tell you that it’s not California either, though everyone assumes that.”
He continued this stupid, childish game until I wanted to scream “Just tell me where in the f— you’re from for Chrissake!”
The age factor, coupled was the geography quiz, was a deal breaker. I was no longer interested, so relieved when the conversation moved on to neutral territory: our kids. It was then he opened up about the pain and heartache of raising a daughter who discovered drugs as a teen and subsequently dropped out of her elite Manhattan prep school and did repeated stints in rehab.
Bored, a bit drunk and not caring at this point, I tried to top him with stories of my daughter’s stints in Pediatric Intensive Care. Any other guy would have grabbed the check and bolted. However, a strange thing happened. He transformed from Game Show Host to Oprah, insisting he hold my hand while looking at me with these sad puppy dog eyes while. “I’m so sorry,” he said over and over again. I suspect it was part of his ploy to get laid because 30 minutes later I literally had to push him out of the cab and insist I’m capable of making it home on my own.
The night ended with me home – alone – and still clueless as to his home state.