Sunlit Water

January 18, 2008

Now What?

Filed under: Dating,Food,Personal — by teofilo @ 11:18 am

I’ve been trying to keep from cluttering up Unfogged with my dating issues, so I’m putting this over here instead. Most of you are probably familiar with the backstory here from my comments there, but I’ll start from the beginning anyway.

So there’s this place near my office where I go to lunch a lot. One of the waitresses there has, over the past few couple months, been getting increasingly friendly and flirtatious toward me when I come in, to the extent that lately she’s been coming over to my table and chatting for a couple minutes before even taking my order. She cute and I like talking to her, so I’ve been eating there every Friday because I know she works then.

I had been considering asking her out for a long time, as her flirtatiousness got more and more obvious, so last Friday I did. When she gave me my check she asked if she would see me next week, and I said yeah, but if she wanted to get together some other time and place I would be interested. She expressed some interest in getting a drink or something, so I asked if that weekend would work. She said she worked on Saturday and wasn’t sure what she had to do on Sunday, so I said I would just write my number and e-mail address on the check and she could get back to me whenever. She liked that idea, so I wrote down my contact information on my copy of the check and left it on the table when I left.

Now it’s a week later, and I haven’t heard from her. I really can’t figure out why. It could be that she doesn’t actually want to go out with me and was just humoring me, but that seems unlikely judging both by her previous behavior and by the fact that she presumably expects me to show up today; if she didn’t want to, she could have easily said no, and avoided the inevitable awkwardness. She could also want to, but have been busy or something and be figuring that not calling isn’t that big a deal since she’ll see me today anyway. Or maybe she lost the number or something. There’s really no way to tell at this point.

So given all that, should I go there for lunch today? It’s the only way to know for sure what’s going on, but the potential for awkwardness and/or disappointment is pretty high. I’m pretty conflicted and am really not sure what I should do, so I appreciate any advice anyone can give me on this.

Update: I went, and it went okay, I guess.  She was her usual chatty self, not quite as much so as last time, but well within her usual range.  She didn’t say anything about last time, so neither did I.  When she brought me the check she hesitated for a moment, as if thinking about saying something (or expecting me to say something), but it was only a moment, and then she walked away.  So I’m not really sure what the deal is, but we’re definitely still on good terms.



  1. Teo, just ask yourself, “What would Jean-Paul Belmondo do?”

    The answer is, Jean-Paul Belmondo would not treat this like a big deal or worry about hurt feelings; he’d go in for lunch, not because she’s there, but because he likes lunch out on Fridays, and he’d sit down and smile at her. If she wants to talk about why she didn’t email or call, she will. But Jean-Paul Belmondo is there to eat lunch and take in the world.

    Comment by A White Bear — January 18, 2008 @ 11:30 am |Reply

  2. Yes, you should go to lunch. At least it will clear up any ambiguity. If you don’t go you are still going to be disappointed. It possible that she mislaid your information. I am not exactly the best person for dating advice, but I would go and act like you normally would and see what happens.

    Comment by CJB — January 18, 2008 @ 11:31 am |Reply

  3. Who’s Jean-Paul Belmondo?

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 11:31 am |Reply

  4. Go there for lunch, smile and flirt. You don’t know whether she’s rejected the idea of dating you yet, as opposed to just having gotten shy or procrastinating, and even if she has, there’s no reason to be unfriendly about it. (I sound cold. All I mean is, while it’s tough getting rejected, that doesn’t mean you can’t still maintain the relationship on the level of “Waitress I flirt with in a friendly way.” Being out in public flirting with women is one way to meet other women.)

    Comment by lizardb — January 18, 2008 @ 11:35 am |Reply

  5. Teo, I think your best option is to go there for lunch, and be friendly and flirty, like you were before last Friday, and pretend like Friday didn’t happen. Don’t ask her why she didn’t call. Maybe she’ll bring it up and give you a good reason, in which case you can assume she’s still interested and reinitiate active pursuit.

    If she doesn’t bring it up, don’t say anything about it. You can keep going back, and modulate your own friendliness depending upon her level of flirtiness, and eventually, if she still seems interested, ask her out again.

    Comment by jms — January 18, 2008 @ 11:37 am |Reply

  6. Go to lunch! And be, or at least seem, cheerful and confident, as though you haven’t even been thinking about whether and when she might call you.

    Comment by Jesus McQueen — January 18, 2008 @ 11:37 am |Reply

  7. If you don’t go, she’ll probably assume you’re mad about it and that it’s a huge deal to you. Whether that’s true or not, your choice depends on whether you want her to never talk to you again. Believe me; I usually deal with ambiguous situations with avoidance and it’s always a mistake, because the ignored party assumes I’m, like, apocalyptically mad when really I just don’t want to put forth the effort to disambiguate.

    Comment by A White Bear — January 18, 2008 @ 11:38 am |Reply

  8. Okay, thanks, guys. That’s basically what I was intending to do, but then I started to worry (as I do) that I was missing some really obvious way in which going there was a bad idea.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 11:39 am |Reply

  9. And seriously, whether or not she wants to go out with you, practice flirting with acquaintances is a huge deal. Honing your flirting skills is very important.

    Comment by lizardb — January 18, 2008 @ 11:39 am |Reply

  10. AWB speaks the truth.

    Alternatively, you can ask yourself what Peter O’Toole would do. Peter O’Toole would not worry about hurt feelings or awkwardness because he believes above all else in his ability to be cool and suave in any situation. He would go for lunch because he would know that that’s the best way to score with the waitress. He would be kind, pleasant, and dignified if she were there, smile at her, and flirt if the opportunity arose.

    Comment by Bave Dee — January 18, 2008 @ 11:39 am |Reply

  11. You’re right, Bave. Peter O’Toole seems like a much better role model for Teo than Jean-Paul Belmondo. I can’t pull off the PO’T thing, myself, but Teo could, and would fail miserably at J-PB.

    Comment by A White Bear — January 18, 2008 @ 11:43 am |Reply

  12. There was a spectacular episode of Letterman several years ago where he had O’Toole on as a guest. O’Toole entered riding a camel across the stage, but when he got to Letterman’s desk, everyone suddenly realized they hadn’t figured out how this frail old man was going to get down from the camel. A stagehand brought out a stepladder, but O’Toole waved him off and dismounted without any assistance. He fell down, of course, but just got up and dusted himself off and went on with the interview. Since then, I have tried to keep in mind the Peter O’Toole Principle.

    Comment by Bave Dee — January 18, 2008 @ 11:49 am |Reply

  13. Teo seems to be sober unfortunately often for a P O’T impersonator, no?

    Comment by lizardb — January 18, 2008 @ 11:49 am |Reply

  14. 13: No, I’m just good at typing while drunk.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 11:50 am |Reply

  15. Like PO’T, though, Teo is uncannily still and has a similarly interior sort of smile. And as Bave suggests, Teo would probably do well at handling embarrassment through stillness and poise.

    I do better with the J-PB model because I’m manic and I talk too much, and people like us manage embarrassing situations through excess and disappearance.

    Comment by A White Bear — January 18, 2008 @ 11:55 am |Reply

  16. I agree with the consensus: go to lunch there like you normally would, be friendly, and enjoy the flirty waitress. No need to avoid the place.

    Comment by Cala — January 18, 2008 @ 1:10 pm |Reply

  17. Okay, I’m going to go. I’ll report back on what happens.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 1:39 pm |Reply

  18. It’s good that you went. You certainly wouldn’t want to interrupt something that’s been good for you both. I say go the next few Fridays and see if something happens naturally.

    Comment by asl — January 18, 2008 @ 3:23 pm |Reply

  19. In re your update, if I were in your position I might go to lunch a time or two more (w/ same level of interaction and flirting as you’ve been doing), and then ask her again. What does everyone else think?

    I have a question of my own, if you don’t mind. There’s this girl that I’ve been kind of interested in; we had a class last semester, and we’ve been fairly friendly, though not close. I ran into her at the beginning of the week and asked her to coffee–she said that sounded good, but she wasn’t sure of her schedule this week. Later that day, I facebook-messaged her with my schedule. She hasn’t responded to me yet. I ran into her yesterday and asked if she’d seen my message; she said yes, and that she hadn’t had the chance to respond to it. All in all, it doesn’t look that promising, though she’s being friendly about it.

    So what should I do? I don’t plan to message her again, but should I ask her in person in a few days? I run into her pretty frequently, so asking her in person is doable.

    Good luck, Teo!

    Comment by the Other Paul — January 18, 2008 @ 3:23 pm |Reply

  20. 19: Oddly enough, your situation sounds pretty much exactly like mine with the waitress. I don’t have any particular advice, but I was just struck by the similarity.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 3:25 pm |Reply

  21. I see what you mean. Another reason I think she might not be interested was that I heard her scheduling something with a friend a few minutes after she said her schedule was up in the air, so that might’ve been polite evasiveness.

    One thought I had was that you might have lunch earlier in the week, if that’s possible and she’s on shift. That might make the logistical/scheduling stuff for a weekend date easier to do.

    Comment by the Other Paul — January 18, 2008 @ 3:30 pm |Reply

  22. Yeah, I’m beginning to think that polite evasiveness is a likely reason for the concern about scheduling in my case too. Particularly since she seemed quite relieved when I offered to just give her my number, which she may have interpreted as me seeing her discomfort and offering her a graceful way out. This would explain why she didn’t end up calling or mentioning it today.

    I’m not too sure about when she works (other than Friday afternoons). I know she doesn’t work Wednesday afternoons, but aside from that I don’t know; once I discovered that she was there every Friday afternoon I just kept going then.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 3:34 pm |Reply

  23. teo, you are going to beat yourself up overanalysing this stuff. If you aren’t sure what’s going on, just be very up front with her. People mostly like that. It doesn’t have to be a big deal either way. Next time you see her, tell her you still think it would be fun to go out some time, but if she’s not up for it that it really is fine. Mean this. Tell her you just want to ask straight up because you don’t want to second guess what happened before. If she’s receptive, suggest a time and place. Don’t be waffling about “well, call me later and we’ll set it up”. Have a time and a place.

    It’s just a date, teo. Don’t make it bigger than that.

    Comment by soup biscuit — January 18, 2008 @ 3:42 pm |Reply

  24. Yeah, I mean, I see that, and I even thought about saying something like that today, but somehow it didn’t seem quite right. I’m not ruling it out forever. I’ll definitely keep going to lunch there, and I’ll just see how she acts and go from there.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 3:58 pm |Reply

  25. 24 — sounds like a good plan.

    Comment by soup biscuit — January 18, 2008 @ 4:12 pm |Reply

  26. After seeing soup’s advice and thinking about it a bit, I think I’m just going to wait a bit and then just ask the girl what she’d like to do. It seems like the best way to clear things up, especially if I do it nonchalantly. (And yeah, I’ve been overthinking this too. I think that’s because there’s necessarily a lot of waiting involved, and I don’t feel terribly optimistic/secure about all of it, so I want to sort of plan it and get it just so. That’s probably something I should try to avoid doing, since it doesn’t seem to be that helpful and isn’t terribly fun.)

    Comment by the Other Paul — January 18, 2008 @ 4:25 pm |Reply

  27. I think that’s because there’s necessarily a lot of waiting involved, and I don’t feel terribly optimistic/secure about all of it, so I want to sort of plan it and get it just so. That’s probably something I should try to avoid doing, since it doesn’t seem to be that helpful and isn’t terribly fun.

    I hear you. This is exactly my problem too. Not just in this case, but generally.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 4:28 pm |Reply

  28. You’re a perfectionist, I take it? (I am.)

    Comment by the Other Paul — January 18, 2008 @ 4:41 pm |Reply

  29. At least in some ways, yeah.

    Comment by teofilo — January 18, 2008 @ 4:42 pm |Reply

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