It has been a week since I had my last date with the architect. I know that I am supposed to call him, if I want to go out again. I am not sure what to do. I don't like all the conversation about the ex and the kids. Argentines have this propensity to talk about the past. Men always want to know about my exes. I prefer not to talk about the past when you are trying to move forward.
My friends tell me that I should give him another chance. Nice looking, educated, career oriented, etc. OK, I send him a Whats App. He asks if he can call. Sure. "I thought that I would never hear from you again." he says. Well you almost didn't, I think to myself. After some light bantering, he invites me to dinner. He mentions Thursday. I ask him "You aren't allowed out on Saturdays?" "You want to go out with me on Saturday?" he asks. I tell him "Yes, and you pick the place." He tells me that he will call on Thursday to confirm.
Thursday comes and he confirms that he will pick me up at 8:30 and that we are going to a Russian restaurant. He gives me the name so I can check it out. I notice on their website that their menu is not really good for celiacs. I send him a message. He tells me that he called the restaurant and they said they have food for celiacs. Vamos a ver.
Saturday. Of course comes the call at 7:45 that he will be late. Obvio. At almost 9 he comes to get me. Small talk on the way to the restaurant. It is a cute place. Small but cute. The waiter is anything but small and cute. I notice nothing is marked for celiacs on the menu. He offers me 1 dish that is made with meat. I don't eat meat. The waiter then bellows that I am difficult. I am a celiac and I don't eat meat. He doesn't shut up. In my best Grandma Brown voice I tell him to lower his voice. That shuts him up. Nobody messes with Grandma Brown.
The architect stays out of it. Of course. Finally I choose borscht and some pickled fish. Food from my childhood. I am OK with it. The important thing is the company. This place is also known for its many flavors and brands of vodka. I don't really drink, but agree to have 1 shot.
During dinner there is more conversation about his work. It is up to me to change the conversation. I ask him about growing up here. He tells me several stories, all with him ending up as the victim. I see this as an emerging pattern. His cousins, his ex wife, his sons. Uff.
When dinner is over he asks about dessert. (Again apologizing for the lack of food for me.) I tell him I would prefer we go somewhere else. I recommend ice cream. I tell him Cremolatti, Daniel's, Terzo all have ice cream for celiacs. He asks about Volta. "They do," I tell him, but not that many flavors. Besides the ice cream is much better at the other places. He insists on Volta, because it is "pretty." Whatever.
We arrive at Volta, which is an hour from closing. I say nothing, because I know the other places stay open later. When we look at the menu, just as I said, they hardly have any flavors for celiacs, and they are out of most of the ones they do have. This leaves me with 3 choices. I don't want to be difficult so I select a flavor. We go to sit down.
Half way through the ice cream, he starts to talk about his grandson. He tells me that he hardly ever gets to see him. His daughter-in-law lets him come by when his son is not there. Hmm. He then whips out his cell phone to show me a message his son sent him. I am horrified. This message is terrible even if it was from a friend, let alone a son. This kind of anger doesn't happen overnight. I know. I come from a family where I speak with almost no one. Children who don't speak to their parents usually have reasons built up from more than just an incident or two. I cannot believe that he shared this message with me. This is not something you show someone on a third date. My immediate thought, was what did he do to deserve this kind of wrath? He saw it as a way to prove to me that he is the victim. I am sure.
Then starts another diatribe about the ex wife, and how it is her fault. I stop him. "How long have you been divorced?" I ask. "5 years," he tells me, but we were together 30 years. "5 years," I think to myself, "and you are still complaining about her?" His kids were not children when they divorced. They were adults. He goes on his diatribe for 5 minutes. Finally I stop him. "I don't want to talk about your ex wife or your sons anymore. I am tired of hearing about them. They have nothing to do with me."
He stops, and then he says "But it is my life. Don't you want to know about me?" "I want to have a relationship with a man, not a man and his ex wife." I tell him. "I want to be with someone who wants something new. " He doesn't get it. "Well what about your exes?" He asks. "Not important." I tell him. "At least not now. Besides I am friends with most of them." He still doesn't get it. I am not interested in playing therapist. I don't want to be trapped in his nightmare. I am exhausted. "Let's go," I say to him.
When we get to my apartment, he once again apologizes for both the restaurant and the ice cream. At this point I don't care. Seriously, if had not brought up his ex and family, the food would not have been an issue. I am used to having to make do. Sorry guy, 3 strikes, you are out.