The Dating Game: No Second Act for The Actor


tygerlily is giving it 40 dates—or less, she hopes—to find Mr. Right. Join her on Date Number 3.

We met through a friend of a friend. My friend was hosting a staged reading of one of his works in progress and I went to go check it out on a school night. When The Actor first walked onstage I thought to myself “Damn he’s HAUTE!” If I was filling out his census form, I certainly would have checked “other” for his ethnicity. He was definitely ethnically ambiguous. Those exotic looks drew me in.

He was a little short for my liking; typically I prefer men 5’11” or taller. I’m five feet eleven, not Amazonian, but I do like to rock a nice heel when out with a gentleman caller. Anything less than 3 inches is uncivilized. The Actor was just under the cut off for height, but his face more than made up for it. He looked like a living-breathing Benneton ad. I found myself staring more times than I would have liked. Granted, he was onstage so it was to be expected that I stare, but…. I couldn’t even tell you what the play was about. After the reading, I walked over to my friend, the playwright, to congratulate him and grill him about where he found this poster child for ethnic diversity.

While we chatted, The Actor came over and introduced himself. His eyes were hard to escape. Not quite hazel, not quite grey, they were kind, and alluring, as were the dimples in his olive cheeks, as was his UHH-MAY-ZING smile. He seemed smart, or at least well read, and funny. We became so engrossed in conversation, I hadn’t even noticed that the playwright had disappeared. I turned to look for my friend. I had on a blouse that dipped in the back and made my back mural of a tattoo highly visible. When I turned back, The Actor licked his thumb, turned me slightly, told me “You’ve got a little something on your back there,” and like a Daddy, pretended to wipe my tattoo off. It was kind of gross and kind of funny and kind of intimate all at once. I wasn’t sure why, but I kinda liked it.

Blahblahblah. We exchanged contact information and communicated for the next few weeks via text. He’d craft urban versions of old English conversations and I’d reply in kind. It was cute. I felt like I was actually being wooed. I had a show I needed to go and review for Woman Around Town and figured that this would be the ideal date. He agreed and we set the date.

I showed up in my established uniform, a cute black top, skinny distressed grey jeans, and heels. Not the same heels I’d worn on the first date. Taking The Actor’s height into consideration, I opted for a slightly less high yet still super cute pair of heels. He looked me up and down as I walked up to him in front of the theater. He hugged me and lightly kissed me on the cheek to greet me. As I pulled out of the embrace, I felt him sizing me up again. His eyes rested on my feet. “Don’t you ever wear flats?” He almost spat this out. Apparently, though significantly lower than the original uniform pair, my heels were a problem. “Good evening The Actor. Nice to see you again. I wear flats often. I’m actually pretty happy in sneakers. I just wear heels when I’m trying to put my best foot forward. Parumpum.” Ordinarily, I would have just left him standing at the door of the theater and kept it moving to go get my writing assignment done. Old Tyger is slightly too ferocious to let anyone make such a sideways comment to me especially not so early on in our…whatever this was. I was trying to remember what my friend, Jasmine, said about opening myself up to life’s possibilities no matter what.

I guess he realized he sounded like a dick, so he made some weak, half funny, self-disparaging comment about his height. I could try and paraphrase it, but it really wasn’t as funny as I pretended it was to alleviate the awkwardness of the moment. Maybe he wasn’t as funny as I initially thought he was. I chuckled, smiled, and as we walked into the theater I thought to myself “Thank God he’s pretty.” Call me shallow if you want, but no one wants to hang out with an ugly, unfunny jerk.

I was a theater major and spent most of my undergrad career as a designer. When I go to the theater, I like to sit so that I can see the whole space. I also take notes on my phone while watching shows so that when it is time for me to do my write up, I can reference what I’ve written. The Actor insisted we sit RIGHT in the front of the theater. When I explained to him my reasons for wanting to sit elsewhere, he said something pretentious about getting the true feeling of theater. Then he followed up with something disapproving about technology and told me that I should take my notes on paper. The Actor thought it his place to tell me, the lifelong theater practitioner and writer, how I should write about theater. I felt caged in, like he was inhibiting my creativity and it was only our first date! Ok. I see how this is going to go….I hated saying it, but in my mind I said “Strike 2.”

The lights dimmed and the show began. A few minutes in, I was about to try and discreetly write something down. The Actor leaned over and asked, not in a whisper, though we were in the VERY FRONT ROW “What are you writing about?” My eyes popped open in shock and instinctively, I shushed him. He looked back at me equally as shocked. “What?” he said in a stage whisper. Apparently, actors make bad audience members much in the same way teachers make bad students. I turned back to the stage to try my best to pay attention but The Actor kept advising me what to jot down on and asking me what I was writing when I did manage to take notes even though we were RIGHT in the front. I was mortified and couldn’t concentrate.

The show ended, and we’d originally made plans to go for drinks or dinner, but after his behavior during the show, I was far from interested in doing much more than saying goodbye. I feigned fatigue and lied about some early morning meeting I had the next day and that I needed to write my review. He seemed to understand and we parted ways. Nothing more came of THE ACTOR though I heard from him SEVERAL more times that night with suggestions about what I should make sure to include in my piece. It may seem petty to some for me to cut someone off who seemingly was being helpful about my craft. Perhaps I misunderstood him. Perhaps he didn’t mean it the way I received it. At the end of the day, that first date is not the time for anyone to make excuses or try to decipher someone’s intentions. If you aren’t about wooing and trying to court, what’s the point? ‘til next time….

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