** This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as shared with me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
My friend Elaine was a single mom and starting to explore the world of dating when this happened to her. On her first date, using a dating app, things went wrong immediately. She shared her horror story with me. Elaine had been on a few different dating sites and had found someone she thought she really liked. The guy had invited her to dinner in an upscale local restaurant, and they had set a time to meet.
Since this was their first date, she had taken great care to prepare for her date. She was dressed nicely in a dress and heels and had done her hair nicely. She arrived about 10 minutes early, and he was waiting for her near the door to the restaurant. The man gave her a quick appropriate hug and told her it was very nice to meet her.
As the blind date escorted her to her seat, he mentioned that he had pre-ordered some food for his parents as he was living at home with them, and it was his night to cook. He said that he was going to grab it and run it home, and he would be back in about 10 minutes. He went on to tell her that he had already pre-ordered their dinner and he was looking forward to their date and getting to know her.
As Elaine was telling me what happened, a horrible feeling fell over me. I knew things weren’t going to end well for Elaine as she told me the story. She confirmed my fears when she told me that after half an hour, he hadn’t returned, and he wasn’t answering his phone.
The waiter stopped by and asked her if he could get her anything, and she told the waiter what had happened. The waiter listened carefully to what she had to say and said he’d be right back. When the waiter returned, he told her that not only had the man pre-ordered their dinner, but he had also not paid for the two dinners he had taken to go.
Elaine was horrified. Now, she was not only stuck with the bill for their dinners, she was also stuck with the bill for the two dinners he had picked up to take home. Elaine was angry by now, and the waiter felt sorry for her.
The waiter arranged to cancel the pre-ordered dinner; however, someone had to pay for the two dinners that the man had taken home. When the manager came over to talk to Elaine, she poured out her story and was even able to show the manager the trail of messages on the dating app and on her phone. The manager copied down all of the details and the numbers and told her he would call her back in a few days after he did some research.
When the manager called Elaine back, he told her that he had managed to secure the payment for the two dinners that the man had taken without paying. Thankfully for Elaine, the manager had managed to find a way to pay for the dinners that were taken; otherwise, Elaine would have had to pay for them herself. The manager also told Elaine that this guy has done this before, so he was in serious trouble with the restaurant and the police.
Elaine never heard from the blind date guy again and wondered how many other women he had ditched in this fashion. It would appear that the guy has a scam going to get free meals out of women. Today, if Elaine goes out to dinner, she always has a credit card stashed away to pay for things if she needs to. However, she’s decided that the best way to do things is to state that they are separate checks when she orders. What would you have done if you were Elaine? Would you have paid for dinner and eaten it yourself?
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