Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Mystery of the Burp

I have a guy friend with whom I occasionally go out to dinner. And by occasionally I mean two or three times a year. We are just friends, and besides these dinners we rarely even talk. Partly because he travels a lot, and partly because our lives are different and our paths don't cross very often. But we do enjoy each other's company when we do get together and so make it a point to get together at least bi-annually.

One of these dinners was a few months ago and it had a somewhat confusing ending, so I thought I'd ask you for your insights.

The thing that set this dinner apart was that while this guy and I usually have a nice time together, it felt different on this occasion. The conversation was more lively than usual, and much more personal. We laughed, confided, and opened up more than we ever had before. After dinner, we lingered for quite awhile just talking and laughing. It was starting to feel like...a date.

So I started he thinking the same thing? Do I want this to be a date? Normally when he and I go out to eat, we split the bill evenly but I wondered what would happen this time. Some people say that if you're not sure if something is a date, see if he offers to pay. If he does, it's a date. I feel like that's a bit pathetic but I don't make the rules. I just rely desperately on them to define my love life.

But when the bill arrived, that's when things changed. Just as the bill was placed on the table by our server, the guy I was with let out the tiniest burp. He stifled it with his hand and I hardly noticed it. But after he burped, he reached for the bill and said, "Let me pay for this. I just burped and it was very rude."


So he paid because he burped? The burp was hardly audible! That changed everything! I was left completely baffled, totally unclear about his intentions. There's nothing in the dating rule books about burps. At least not the chapters I've read.

Anyway, he asked me if I'd like to do something after dinner, which I did. We had a lovely time and haven't talked since.

And people ask me why I'm still single.


Joel said...

Wow. I think he wanted a date but he's just too scared to call it that because he knows, like you know, that all the previous dinners were a friend basis and he didn't know how to go about trying to show it was more.

That said... the burp thing? Hmm, kind of a cop out I think. He got scared. He had made up his mind to pay the bill, but was running all sorts of lines through his head on how he'd 'explain why', and the burp came out and saved the day for him. According to him. Hmmm...

Katherine said...

I agree with Joel. A burp is a ridiculous reason to pay for a meal! If that is expected (to pay for a meal if you burp), then a lot of people owe me dinner! He probably felt embarrassed about it and used that as his excuse instead of any real reasons he had.

Pollz said...

I have no idea, but it was a funny story. I always enjoy your stories!

Kwo Ling said...

Well, it's not like he had much of a chance to be all knightly and all after burping. But, sounds like a date to me :) It's a date if it's a called a date at any point in time.

Sarah said...

I'd **totally** agree that the burp was an excuse! I bet he felt like it was a date, and wanted to proceed as such. My other thought is that while you now have an indication that he took it as a date, I bet he has NO idea if you felt it was a date, too. As women, we can get the hint that a guy thinks it's a date when he pays, but unless you are intentional about touching his arm or something else very overt, he has to rely on very subtle clues that YOU think it is a date. If he was unsure of your feelings, that might explain why he hasn't called...

Anonymous said...

It was a date. It sounds like his burp was his subconcious nervousness making itself heard. Truth can't hide. It can totally come out in a burp. Don't contact him though. If it was a date in his mind he'll contact you.

Kelly / Raquel said...

LOL. Well my first take is that is very funny and my second thought is that it's a social date not a "I'd like to date you, date". Some fella's pay for things for all sorts of reasons other than the I want to date you date reason. For example I had a guy buy my groceries once because I screwed up my new pin code, he was very cute but didn't want my number or anything (bummer then). Also have had good male friends buy my dinner.

My husband Eric's take: (I had to ask him questions after I read it to him)
Eric: She is very funny
Me: Yes but do you think he thought it was a date?
Eric: yes I think so
Me: Why?
Eric: Because he paid
Me: Really that's all?
Eric: Babe I don't know...

We both think the burp was funny and if he said all that with a straight face, I would "dinner" with him bi-monthly. That kind of funny you just have to see more often.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Ha, great insights! Truth is, I think he and I will probably always just be friends and I'm ok with that. But the burp story was just the perfect example of how being single can be incredibly confusing at times. lol

Natalie said...

I love how Katherine said "a lot of people owe me dinner!" that made me laugh a lot.

Mark Bowman said...

A while ago I was chatting with a friend. I said something she thought was particularly funny and she laughed very hard. So hard that something a little like a burp, but much less acceptable in polite company, came out.

She said "Oops" and we went on with the conversation. I was impressed that she acknowledged the faux pas and didn't turn it into an embarrassing moment for either of us.

I think you should ask your nephew about burps and dates. But first, have him drink a full glass of Vernors.