I love the opera. It’s both a fancy experience and fucking beautiful music – two things that are important to me. I bought two tickets to four operas this season, figuring I could just find people to come with me. The first one, however, all of my friends were busy. So I posted an ad on Craigslist for a date.

Of course, I got a lot of thoroughly illiterate messages and dick pics. But one guy was articulate and 6’1. I picked him.

We texted a little bit. He was kind of overeager, and told me that he really liked me and might try to hold my hand during the second act. I told him I didn’t like being touched by strangers. But, hey, I really just wanted a date to the damn opera, so I let it go.

The opera started at 7:30, so we agreed to meet at 7. He was late. At 7:17, I told him I was going to go inside and leave his ticket at the front door.

I waited for him in my seat, but, by curtain, he hadn’t shown up. I sat for the entire first act alone. We agreed to meet on the balcony at intermission. He told me that he had gotten there at 7:33, and they had ushered him into the HD viewing room. I told him that yeah, the Met was militant about being on time.

He mentioned that he had left his wallet at work, but told me that he had cash, so not to worry. He was socially awkward, but nice enough. And he didn’t try to hold my hand during the second act.

After the opera was over, he suggested we get drinks. I was tired, but I felt like I should be a little bit social. We found an Italian restaurant and ordered wine. We also decided to get something to eat, because I hadn’t had dinner.

He talked a lot about the six months he had spent in Florence. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when people fetishize their study abroad experiences. Duh, you had a great time playing around in Italy for a few months. When you didn’t have to get a job or actually do anything real. I know. Everyone fucking loves Europe and it’s perfect. They only work 20 hours a week and they drink good wine.

I got some overly-garlicked and expensive risotto. After one drink, I was absolutely exhausted, so I told him I had to go home. When the bill came, he looked sheepish.

“So, this is embarrassing, but I only have 20 bucks.”

Seriously, dude? I bought the tickets. Why would you suggest we get drinks and dinner and then assume I was paying for them?

“Sorry,” he said. “I’ll get you back sometime. We can go to the ballet.”

I wound up spending 40 bucks, on top of the cost of the tickets. I was pissed. And I got home after midnight.
Here’s the nice twist though. On my walk home, I found a wool coat with a mink collar on the side of the road. So, even though I only had 20 bucks to live on for the next two days, the universe repaid me in fur. I never heard from him again. But that was ok, because I was really, really sick of hearing about Italy. I’ll take the 40 dollar hit.