Date Grade: C+
First Date: Mother of Pearl & Reggae Concert
Sexy is relative. For some, it’s as simple as smile or eyes, big muscles or a big bank account; for others charisma, an accent or tattoos. I’m about that 1950s sexy. The guy that tips well, gives up his seat for old ladies on the train, dances without attempting to, ahem, ‘bust’ a move grinding on my thigh. I guess at times I can be the cliché girl whining that I want a ‘nice guy’. So, when I finally matched with a quintessential ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ I was excited for a vacation from the creeps I’d been out with all winter.
After a bit of frankly forgettable messaging, Mr. Nice Guy insisted I pick “wherever I want” for our first date. Dangerous for many reasons, namely because I will absolutely filter my yelp searches to “$$$$” when given the opportunity. But, since he’d spent the last two years in the Peace Corps living in a remote Polynesian community, I mercifully chose the tropical themed Mother of Pearl.
He considerately set the day and time a full week in advance and without much follow-up…there I sat in the East Village surrounded by shark blood and coconuts on a 20-degree evening, wearing my standard LBT first date uniform.
In typical nice guy form, he arrived at the tiki table a full five minutes early. Slightly better looking than my least favorite of his photos, reeking of an 800+ credit score, his jaunty ‘Hello there!’ and hipsterish cardigan vaguely reminded me of a young Mister Rogers. In a restaurant full of exotic beauties (apparently a Hawaiian bar at the tail end of winter draws a certain Brazilian model clientele, leaving me feeling like a fish out of water) Mr. Nice Guy kept his attention on me, asked all the right questions and passed the first date “are you crazy” cocktail conversation test with flying colors. Still, somewhere between his tale of Tongan adventure and politely offering a second umbrella drink I realized I was half listening, half selecting a change of shoes for the reggae concert I had tickets to later. I graciously fluttered something to the effect of ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ followed by an insincere invitation to join me at the show. Well, Mr. Nice Guy accepted my just-being-nice offer with…
“This is your night, I’ll do whatever you want.” – Mr. Nice Guy
Yep, verbatim. That was his answer. How does one respond to this?
The couple to our left overheard his line and reacted with equally mixed emotions. She tilted her head in slight confusion then started undressing Mr. Nice Guy with her eyes, to which her date rolled his aggressively.
This “Tonight is your night” line pervaded through “my” entire night. Another round? “Tonight is your night” Want to dance? “Tonight is your night” Get some fresh air? “Tonight is your night” Pay off my student loans? I should have just asked. Anyway, herein lies what is wrong with ‘nice guys’, particularly this Mr. Nice Guy.
Too nice comes off creepy because men aren’t the only ones with the primal instinct to chase. The unnatural act of prey laying themselves at our beck and call breeds boredom, if not suspicion. Though we hypocritically cry out for a ‘nice guy/girl’ in the comfort of our own circle of cynical friends, the harsh reality is we love the taste of our own wounds and continue to beg arch douchebags to salt the rim. I’m not saying we don’t primarily want to be pursued. I love a good woo as much as the next gal, but if my milkshake brings him straight to the yard…I’m like uh, next window, please?
To his credit, we unexpectedly bumped into a senior co-worker from my firm at the concert and Mr. Nice Guy was the perfect gentleman. Introduced himself, engaged just enough and I was grateful to not be caught with one of the frigid FiDi types I’ve bothered with in the past.
Mr. Nice Guy is great for work galas and family functions, but in the words of the Jamaican people, I’d rather have a ‘Rude boy’.