I am still a little in disbelief that this even happened, to be honest.
First, though, I have to set the stage: My brother had been invited to a sleepover, which made my sister incredibly jealous. I suggested that she find a friend to stay here with us instead, and the idea wasn’t met with her usual level of eye rolling. But she came home and said that the friend invited her to stay over at her house instead. It was like the stars aligned.
So, knowing that I didn’t have anybody to rush home to on Friday night, I did something I haven’t done in a while now: asked someone out. I thought I should capitalize on the free evening and all. The woman I asked out works with me but in a different department. We often take lunch breaks at the same time, and have had a few casual conversations. She even said yes!
We drove to a restaurant right after work – I mentioned that she could drive herself there if it was easier, trying to be a gentleman. There was plenty of room in my car but I didn’t want her to feel stuck with me. The place she chose was cozy and really good. We had some nice conversation while we waited for our food. In other words, things were going pretty well.
And then my phone rang. It was my brother, who had gotten into an argument with his friend and wanted to come home. I explained that I wasn’t at home, and that he should try and work things out with his friend. My date was making odd faces at me while this was going on, and honestly it was sort of rude of me to even answer a call (which I wouldn’t have done if it was anybody but either of my siblings). She looked at me strangely, and I thought maybe she was concerned that I was cheating on someone. So I explained that it was my brother, blah blah blah.
She asked if I was basically a parent to my brother and sister, and I explained the situation. Now, I wasn’t exactly expecting to have to go through the whole thing with her on our first date, and I was hoping that it would come out in a lighter moment (like maybe I could say, surprise, no potential in-laws to deal with!) but she brought it up. I didn’t see a reason to avoid the situation or lie about it.
I don’t know exactly what went on in her head while I was telling the story, but the conversation certainly dried up after that. When it came time for the check, she was adamant that she pay her half, even though I told her that I’d pay when I asked her out. I didn’t argue with her in front of our server, but I did mention it when we were getting our coats on and walking out the door.
And then she said she had a nice time, but she didn’t want this to be a date anymore. That I clearly had other responsibilities and couldn’t focus on a relationship, and that is what she was looking for! Then she headed for her car while I picked my jaw up off the ground. I got a text from my little brother as she drove away, telling me that everything was fine now.
Can you believe that?!?