When Is The Date Over?

I am sitting somewhere off Brownsboro Road, watching 10-year-olds swat at tennis balls like giant, yellow flies. My date from last night is still in progress. As much as I have enjoyed the evening, I start to wonder about the Escape Clause.

It started as a humid evening at Porcini’s. The Cougars were milling about, inappropriately dressed and extremely tan for this soon after Derby. I sipped white wine and tried to forget about the oppressive humidity, which was rank with the heavy aroma of the Ohio River in full bloom.

I was on my way to pick Hot Yoga Girl up for the Museum Night Mixer but got a text asking me for an extra 30 minutes, so I’d stopped inside to cool off.

Corporate Kitten had just ditched me in favor of her richer, handsomer boyfriend and I needed a distraction. My date and the Pinot Grigio were numbing the sting to my self-esteem.

Hot Yoga Girl showed up wearing an eclectic ensemble of orange motorcycle boots, a short, tight, sequined skirt and enough gold chains to choke a rap-star.  I suddenly realized that she was a Weird Dresser. Despite her clothing handicap, she had the body to pull off anything she wanted.  Maybe it was the Yoga. Her caboose looked like it came out of Boticelli’s schoolboy fantasies. I couldn’t complain about the drapery.

We ate dinner at the Mayan Cafe, then drove to the Speed Museum.  I drank heavily while she insisted I take pictures of her doing strange things with hand puppets in the children’s section. I had to face facts – the woman was a complete Kookadoodle. But she was a refreshing departure from the grim mix of divorce, desperation and drunkenness that was starting to fill up the room. Somebody spilled my drink, and a girl with a fauxhawk chastised me for picking up her guitar. The scene was getting ugly. We made our escape to friendlier pastures.

Zanzabar was a welcoming haven for an hour or so, but a Morrisey Tribute Band soon took the stage, and as they started a somnastic rendition of “Suedehead” I suggested we leave immediately. We grabbed a cab, where we got friendly in the back seat.

We didn’t get much sleep. When I woke, she was talking on the phone on the patio, wearing only my bathrobe. I started to wonder about the official “end” of the date.

It’s a myth that men like to have the date end as early as possible after the ultimate physical goal has been met. I don’t think we mind a little lingering. Breakfast in bed and some early morning cuddling are perfectly acceptable.

But why was I here, now, at 3 p.m., tired, hungover, and dehydrated? What was the purpose? Had I been suckered? A simple ride to pick up her nephew had turned into a tennis lesson and all-day outing. Not that I had anything better to do. But it was the principle that mattered.

If you click with a person, it’s very hard not to want to see them right away, but like anything else in this world a little perspective doesn’t hurt. Cutting things short at some point could have its benefits. Anticipation is an invaluable factor. One of the cardinal rules of dating for both parties is to keep it short and sweet. If you’re still hanging around the next afternoon, shirtless and cooking hamburgers you may have overstayed your welcome. That applies to both sexes.

There’s a moment when the date goes bad, like a carton of milk, and you need to part ways. Even the scent of a rose will sour after its time has passed. That was a reminder to myself to start checking the expiration date every once in awhile and cut things off at a respectable time. The Law of Diminishing Returns says that there are only so many minutes of actual enjoyment in most relationships.

So why use them all up at once?

Contact R. Chase at YourVoice@voice-tribune.com.