*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
My date and the bartender were former flames.
I was on a blind date with a friend of a friend when it happened.
My date went home with the bartender.
A group of my friends gathered for dinner. After dinner, we went to a popular bar. There was loud music and dancing. I don't dance.
My blind date met us at the bar. When he tried to drag me onto the dance floor, I wriggled out of his grasp.
I didn't mean to be such a dud of a date, but I have no rhythm. The thought of dancing in front of other people sent me into a tailspin. I was fine with the idea of sharing a few drinks and some conversation, but I wanted to do it from atop a barstool.
My date reluctantly joined me at the bar. He stood, and I sat.
The bartender came over to take our drink orders, and I could tell something was amiss. They were far too friendly for a couple of strangers, even if one of them was working for tips.
As it turns out, they were well acquainted. How well acquainted were they? They used to be engaged. In fact, their engagement had ended earlier that calendar month.
Talk about awkward. Well, I was the only one who was awkward. My date and his former bartender fiancée were doing fine. Their conversation flowed like the wine that wasn't in my glass.
Both my date and his last love largely ignored me, other than the time she paused in her conversation to tell me I was fat. It wasn't helpful.
I moved to another corner of the bar alone. Someone briefly attempted to start a conversation, but I was in no mood to talk. Sitting and stewing in the corner was more my style. I had bought a new outfit for this?
At the end of the night, my date and the bartender exited the club together, bound for places unknown. He didn't even say goodbye.
I hitched a ride home with the friend who had introduced us in the first place. I can still remember the winter night air cooling my flushed face as we walked into the parking lot. It felt good after the burning heat of my embarrassment.
Who loses their date to the bartender? Apparently, the answer is me.
My friend didn't seem surprised or sorry at the way the night ended. Sometimes things simply are what they are.
I never saw my blind date or his bartender lady again. The last I heard, they got married. Then they got divorced. The entire process took less than a year. As far as I'm concerned, I think I dodged a bullet.
Other than the memory of my brief humiliation, I'm doing fine.
If their relationship had worked out, perhaps I could have taken some of the credit for getting them back together.