Column: Conversations A La Carte


No longer looked upon as a desperate way of finding a mate, online dating has become a popular form of finding a suitable companion; young and old are participating in this manner; replacing matchmaking friends, blind dates and pick-up bars. I was told this story of just such a case by a single friend who confided in me.

It was an upscale restaurant catering to the A-list crowd. She stood up and took her departure after the main course was served, saying “excuse me, I need to powder my nose.” The truth was she wanted to decide on a course of action to dump the loser she was with. She walked to the other side of the room. She entered the restroom.

The decor in the bathroom was super modern. A water fountain dominated the center of the room. Water was cascading into the trough from spouts depicting open mouthed fish ringing the circular fixture. “How do you wash your hands?” she thought. “I guess this fancy thing is meant to make a statement.”

She was attempting to find the opening of the door to an empty stall. There was no apparent latch. She heard a voice coming from the next compartment. “Turn the green nob twice and press in.” She did as she was told. The door popped open.

She sat there contemplating how she could get out of this situation. Her date turned out to be a dud. He was nothing like his resume. She was bored stiff.

As she was planning her move, a voice came from the next stall once again. “Have you been here for dinner often?” She was bewildered. Who was this person intruding on her privacy? Hesitantly Melanie answered. “It’s a little pricy for my pocketbook. I’m here with a guy I’m trying to unload. I’ll stay here until he gets restless and leaves without me.” There was a little chuckle on the other side. “I’m in the same position,” the voice said. “I’m trying to figure out a way to end this dinner date without appearing rude.”

There was a pause. The voice said with a conspiratorial whisper “We can both succeed together in freeing ourselves from this unpleasant situation. There’s a side door in the back of the restaurant. We could just saunter out like friends.” Melanie thought this was a great solution. She would be saved from a disastrous evening.

She opened the door to the stall. The adjacent door opened. It was a man. He said “Hi, I’m Jack.” Melanie’s jaw dropped. What was he doing in the ladies room? He laughed. “This was the best place to hide,” he said. She looked him up and down. Nice looking. Tall and muscular.

The women in the room were startled. They were aghast at the intrusion. They thought maybe this was a one-gender-fits-all restroom.

Melanie took Jack’s arm to the amazement of the ladies and strode out of the room.What a great idea. It was a little unkind, but she would be saved from a disastrous evening. She hoped this would work out better than the last date. Lately she had been stuck with a lot of dull uninteresting guys. It never hurts to try again, she decided.

My friend ended up marrying her accidental arrangement. Dating from an online site can bear fruit sometimes.

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