Date Zero with LanternJaw, Part the Second
LanternJaw and I met at–oh, would that I were making this up, my friends–an Indian restaurant called Tantra in Silverlake. I wore the signature Mid-to-Late-June-2004 DZ Outfit (pls cf. DZ with AllBusiness report for description thx), and thus was rocking a Sluttiness Factor of +2, which (thankfully) only registers as minor sluttiness.
LanternJaw is a short, stubby man, not horribly awful looking (I’d say he ranks somewhere in between NewAgeChildStar and LakerGuy, but he is not in the same class as AllBusiness or GrecoMorgan. Oh and by the way, neither AllBusiness or GrecoMorgan are model-caliber, mind you). Anyway, LanternJaw was wearing a suit because he came from work. He had the courtesy to inform me that he was “pissed off” he couldn’t make it home (all the way across town) before the date. Naturally, I was charmed by his refusal to bother with everyday conversational niceties.
Now, some of you may have deduced that I am borderline obsessed with investment bankers. My dating experience over the past few months has targeted them, and as a result I have learned a little something about the world of finance and the dumbass men that often inhabit it. LanternJaw is a bond trader, and he also does some consulting work. On our date he informed me that he was at one time employed by Lewie Ranieri, the real life mortgage bond trader who is discussed in the book Liar’s Poker. This is relevant only because in that book, traders are portrayed as white collar mafia guys. LanternJaw is too WASP to be a mafioso, but there is a gruffness to him that reminded me of the descriptions in that book. So the whole time we are sitting there I am trying to figure out where he fits into this world–is he more on the wussy corporate side of things like AllBusiness or GrecoMorgan, or is he in the trenches with MaryMagdalene and the Liar’s Poker types?
We ate Indian food. I managed to play the dumb bimbo part a few times since I know nothing about Indian Food. LanternJaw seemed to enjoy this, and as he described the dishes to me, his chest puffed out not a little bit. The food was excellent. LanternJaw drank red wine, I drank diet coke. At one point he said, “Do you drink alcohol?” and I said, “Noh.” He said, “Did you ever?” I said, “Uh, yeah, I have . . .” and looked at the pretty birdy (“pretty birdy” in this case=plasma tv screen playing Bollywood films in the middle of the restaurant) to try to change the subject. He did not pursue the topic further, which is strange, because LanternJaw is all about the questions:
LJ: So, Stanford, wow, that’s impressive, what was it like there?
A: Well, I liked it—-
LJ: Did you interview for any other jobs when you were done with college? Did you think about going into anything else other than academia?
A: Uh, not re—
LJ: Why do you hate lawyers so much?
And so on.
Lantern Jaw grilled me on anything and EVERYmotherfuckingthingunderthesun. He wanted to know who I had met (on match), how it had gone, whether I was “picky” or not (this came up several times), etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.
Luckily for me, LanternJaw can’t stay on one subject long enough for me to answer most of these questions. Overall, we had a decent dinner, given that I went into it with a vague sense of dread. So everything seemed OK. Until . . .
LanternJaw announced he would walk me to my car. OK. Then he said, “Let me know if you want to go out again.” I said, “OK! [internal dialogue=I will not be contacting this dude.]” He said, “What does that look mean?” I said, “What look?” He said, “You’re just like me, you analyze everything.” Hoookay. Then he went in for the kiss and there was no turning back, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe he would want a kiss. But he did, I didn’t turn away. Gahhhh! It was just a peck on the lips, nothing even remotely a big deal, but still I would have preferred to not have had that experience.
Oh, and OMG, I forgot the best part.
. . .for, after this, you all shall pity LanternJaw. He never had a chance. We’re in the midst of a discussion, somehow politics comes up.
LJ: Are you a liberal?
A: Uh, yes, I’d say so.
LJ: Did you vote for Bill Clinton?
A: Yes. Twice. Did you?
LJ: No way!
A: Well, let me ask you this, did you vote for Bush?
A: . . . and, knowing what you know now, would you again?
I’m telling you my dislike for men works poontang magik on them. Reciprocally, my affection for them is like spraying them with maggot slim and fleas. Or something like that. Onwards and upwards.
Epilogue: After the ill-advised kiss, LanternJaw did try to contact me two more times. I screened his calls and deleted the messages. I felt going out with him again would just be unnecessarily cruel. Mostly to me.