In general, women are expected to preserve the packaging better then men.  It’s the reason we spend all our extra change injecting ourselves with Botox and Collagen. Not that I would ever resort to artificial beauty enhancement means.  Well, none that I’ll admit to…

And it’s bad enough I’m 174cm without heels, but there’s enough Scandinavian and Texan stock on my daddy’s side to pretty much ensure I almost qualify for an Amazon title.  What does that mean for me, a lot of laps.

To be able to compete with the tiny tiny petite beautiful women in this country, you’d better bet I’m going to be spending my free time in the pool. Literally working my butt off.  So if I’m going to invest my every free second counting strokes, you can bet your pulley and paddles, I expect my date to invest equally.

Enter the CFO.  On paper and FB perfect, well educated, well spoken (I assume), well traveled, handsome, I’m was even thinking this might be good.   We agreed to meet over chat.

Rule Number One: Always talk on the phone first.

As usual, I was late. So I walk into Old Leo Bloom’s looking for the same person that was on FB (see rule 3).  Now the lighting in there in the evenings is bad, but not that bad. There were five people in the place, and none of them looked like the CFO.  Great I’m thinking, drinking alone again, just perfect.

Suddenly somebody tapped me on the shoulder.  It was my grandfather, ok not really, but he could have been. More like a cross between Mr. Magoo and Porky Pig.

“OK Anna, just smile and say how nice it is to meet you”, was my only thought. I was really appreciative of all the drama classes my mama made me take.

Then when he started to talk, he sounded like Mickey Mouse, I almost burst out in hysterics. This was about to become the quickest drink ever.

Him: “Do you want to sit down”?

Me:  “OK sure”

Internal Dialog: “Please let my phone ring and please lord let it be something where I have to leave”.

Rule Number Two: First Date is Never an Eating Date.

Him: “Do you want something to eat”

Me: “No I’ll just stick with some wine”

Him: “If you don’t mind I’m going to eat”.

Me: “No problem, feel free”.

Internal Dialog: “Great this just went from a 20 minute meeting to an hour meeting”.

Forget a napkin in his lap, forget the correct cutlery. I’ve lived in Israel to long to expect the basics.  So the food arrives, and we proceed into what can only be described as the 14th or 15 level of hell.

He picked up the fish with his hands, and bit the head off. He then literally ripped it apart with his teeth, while, and I kid you not, talking to me.  Think giant pieces of fish spewing out of his mouth.  I wanted to vomit into my napkin, but he had already spat fish all over the table. By that point I’m sure on me as well (but I sure don’t want to know).

He was an animal feeding, to quote Erkine:

Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.” John Erskine, ‘The Complete Life’

His saving grace would have been if the conversation had been interesting. The topic he really wanted to talk about was how lucky Anna was to be on a date with the CFO.  And how women at my age should be grateful a man of his stature would go out with somebody over 35.

So yeah, maybe the 16th level.

Rule Number Three: Always Google and Alway Check on Linked In to ensure you’re dating who you think you are. But even when you Google them, there are no Table Manners references. Damn shame if you asked me.

I wound up smsing the babysitter to call me and get me out of there. I desperately needed a shower. Next time I’m drinking alone.