King of Swing

20130726-094258.jpg Last night’s date had such potential. It’s not very often that you run into a guy that, on a first date, offers to take you dancing. I love dancing, and I don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like, so I was thrilled! Sadly, it did not go as well as I’d hoped.

We decided to meet up at the Mercury Café in Denver. They host dance nights at least twice a week. I’ve been there once or twice for them, and they tend to be fun. They also have dance lessons for beginners starting at 6pm, and I definitely needed a refresher. It’s been a long time since I’ve done Lindy.

I left Boulder around 4:00, thinking that with traffic it would take me until at least 5:30 to get there. I was wrong! I actually arrived 20 minutes early. Normally I’m fine with that, but upon arrival I discovered that the Mercury actually doesn’t open until 5:30, I desperately needed a bathroom, and that every building for at least a block in all directions was boarded up and abandoned. It’s decidedly not the nicest of neighborhoods. I walked for a couple of blocks until I found a Firestone and popped in to use their facilities.

As I was freshening up, I received a text message saying he was going to be late. Kudos for letting me know, but points lost for being late to a first date. When he did finally arrive, it’s a good thing he recognized me. He looked almost nothing like his photos. My question is, did he used to dye his hair dark, or is he now dying his hair blond.

We missed the beginner’s lesson, but did get an appetizer downstairs instead. I suspect that because he was late, I was even more annoyed that he didn’t offer to pay. Given that it was just appetizers it wasn’t expensive. Well, we went upstairs just in time to see the last of the beginner’s lesson, and watch the beginning of the intermediate lesson. After 10 minutes of watching, I think both of us were convinced that we should not have missed the earlier class.

We decided to try and find some actual dinner and then come back for the dance later. He knew of a sushi place several blocks away, so we headed for that. (This was turning into a much more expensive date than I had anticipated, given that he wanted to go Dutch on everything. Guys – if you’re going to suggest expensive places to eat, you should be prepared to foot the bill.)

After walking several blocks through abandoned boarded up buildings and construction areas we arrived at a place called iFish sushi bar. They did have pretty good sushi, though my favorite is still Sakura in Longmont. We had a pleasant dinner; since we both work in the music industry I have to admit, we traded horror stories and talked a lot of shop. Trading horror stories is almost always entertaining, but doesn’t leave much room for flirting or other subject matter.

We did eventually make it back to Mercury Café, and they were indeed having a dance. The thing about swing is that it’s almost as fun to watch the other dancers as it is to actually dance yourself. While he was finding his dancing shoes I had a good time watching, and had 3 other guys come up and ask me to dance. (Always flattering) I thought it would be a better idea to wait for my date and dance with him. As it happens, neither of us Lindy particularly well, so we muddled along in a corner for a while, laughing and doing our best.

There was one other thing that happened a few times during the evening that just left a bad taste in my mouth. He was apparently a regular at the Mercury, so he knew several people there. Over the course of the evening, as he ran into people he knew, he would drop into conversations with them. Unfortunately he would do it in such a way as to physically exclude me nearly entirely.

A basic rule of thumb for polite dating: you don’t turn your back on your date, and you don’t flirt with other women when you’re on a first date.

On the whole, I was unimpressed with his social skills, and would rate the whole experience as a 4 out of 10. Hopefully I have better luck tonight!

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