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His bad food etiquette sent me
How many food red flags can you count with this story?
If you are into love, you want a great love story; a beautiful story to tell family and friends about how you met the one. This is how I felt when I met Derrick. It was too good to be true, and yet, it was.
If you are Black in Washington DC, you know all about The Park at Fourteenth, better known as Park. It’s one of the few nightlife locations still thriving from the mid-2000s.
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Anywhoo, it was a typical Friday at Park for happy hour with my girls. I excused myself to use the restroom. All the bathrooms had the occupied sign except one, so I opened the door. Immediately I saw a guy standing over the toilet mid-stream. I did not see him handling his business, but I heard it.
“You should lock the door,” I said to him as I backed away from the door.
The other restrooms were still occupied, so I had to wait in the common area until someone exited. And, of course, the guy I walked in on came out first. Instead of going right into his stall, I hung back. I noticed he was rather attractive when exiting; I wanted to see if he would approach me. He did.
“Now, this is a good story to tell our kids about how we met,” he says.
I laughed because it was a cute pickup line. I ask if this is how he picks up women by leaving the restroom stall unlocked and crossing his fingers that someone attractive walks in on him.
After a little more small talk, my bladder reminded me that I had to use the restroom. I excused myself without knowing his name. When I exited, he was still standing right where I left him.
“You waited for me,” I asked.
He responded by saying he didn’t get my name. We move our conversation out of the restroom area and near the bar. After a few more minutes, I told him I needed to return to my girls. That’s when he asked for my number. I was hoping he would because I was interested.
He texted me immediately, and then we went our separate ways.
The following day, Saturday, he sends me a good morning message. He reached out right away, so he must be interested. Instead of engaging in small talk, he asked if I wanted to meet him on U Street tomorrow for brunch. I agreed. He picked the time and place, and our conversation ended there.
He got straight to the point. That's a +1 in my eyes.
I am always on time, if not early if you know me. So I arrived at the restaurant about 10 minutes before the time he told me to be there. If you are familiar with U Street, parking will always make you 15-20 minutes late, and I didn’t want to run into that.
I didn’t send him a text until a few minutes after our scheduled meet-up time to see if he would be on time. He wasn’t.
Instead, he responds with, “looking for parking.”
I know how this can be, so I give a little grace. Ten minutes turned into 20, which turned into 30. Thirty-five minutes later, he sent me another text saying, walking up.
By this point, I had already had a few mimosas AND almost finished my meal. I also got on Tinder to see who was in the area because I had already written off Derrick.
I only hung around because Alero's food is bomb, and I was hungry.
Forty minutes after our scheduled time, he walks in. 🚩
My face says it all, and he immediately notices. His apology tour begins.
I interrupt him, “So it took you 40 minutes to find parking?”
I know he wanted to lie again, but instead, he told the truth. He said he left his house late but didn’t want to tell me that because he said I seem like the type that wouldn’t wait around. He is correct.
I reply, “You are correct. I don’t wait around, but I was hungry. And now that you are here, you can take of the check.”
Without hesitation, he agrees but picks up that I was frfr going to head out and asks me to stay.
I don’t know why I agreed to hang around because typically if you late late like that, I am writing you off. But instead, I said, “You lucky you cute,” and ordered another drink.
We spent the next three hours talking. Derrick was 33 with no kids. Been working for the government for the past few years in some top secret unit that doesn’t allow cell phones. He lived by FedEx field, very close with his family, and enjoys weekend getaways. It was one of the best conversations I had had in a very long time.
While I didn’t want to leave, it was getting late in the day, and I wanted to get home to relax a little bit before calling it a night.
“Where did you park,” Derrick asked me.
He offered me a ride to my car. I told him I was a couple of blocks over. He lucked up and found a parking spot right around the corner from Alero, which is almost unheard of.
I accepted the nice gesture and followed him to his car.
There was an open spot in front of my car, so he pulled in. Instead of hopping right out and saying goodbye, we sat in the car and talked for another 30 minutes. This time the topic of conversation was traveling.
Somehow we got on cities in Florida that he had never been, and Tampa was high on his list. I had only visited once, but from what I remember, it was cool.
“We should go one weekend,” he says to me.
I respond, “You know I just got an email from Southwest for $49 fares this morning”.
“If I buy these airline tickets for us right now, you are not going to disappear on me, are you,” he asks.
My response was I won’t, but somehow I purchased both plane tickets. My memory is a little foggy around this. I didn’t include any additional details in my journal entries.
It was set. Derrick and I would spend a long weekend in Tampa in a month and a half. I had never agreed, let alone offer to pay (he sent me his half) to go on a trip with someone I had known less than 72 hours.
I figured I had the next month and a half to get to know him. Worst case scenario, Southwest is the BEST when canceling or changing flights.
Over the next few days, I learned how demanding Derrick’s job was. He had strict hours and could not use a cell phone in the building during his shift unless he left the restricted area. However, he was able to use a monitored google chat account to communicate with me throughout the day.
Because I realized he was tight on time during the week, I agreed to go to his house for our second date. He lured me in with, “I’ll make dinner.”
When I got to his house, it wasn’t super tidy but wasn’t messy. It looked like a single unorganized man lived there. My biggest issue was his bed was on the floor, with no frame or headboard. 🚩 🚩
When I asked him what was for dinner, he replied with Tacos.
But this fool did not have ANY of the supplies. It was already 7:30p. We had to go to the grocery store, then come back and cook. I showed up at his place 30 minutes away from hangry, and now I was computing time in my head. We wouldn’t be eating until at least 8:45p.
After we finished shopping at the grocery store, Derrick wanted to use the self-check-out. He asked if I could bag so we could get out of here quicker. I agreed. Anything that gets me to this meal faster.
A few items rolled down the conveyor belt. I began to hear “1 Dollar” come from the self-checkout register. So I started to pay attention.
The next thing that came rolling down the belt was ground beef. Right before he placed it on the belt, I heard “1 Dollar” again. Then I noticed him casually peeking over at the security guard posted up by the exit.
This fool was ringing every other item up as $1.
Ain’t no way this ground beef cost a dollar, even if it was on manager’s special.
While I am known to skim a little off the top when using the self-checkout, I never outright rang items in for $1. My trick was not placing the full weight of produce on the scale or selecting organic fruits and ringing them up as if they were regular. He was being blatant and right in front of the security guard. 🚩 🚩 🚩
When he was finished, the computer lady said his total was $15 and some change. Im-fucking-possible that everything we purchased cost less than $16.
When we get back to the car, I immediately say, “So you always ring stuff up for $1 when you grocery shop?”
He gave me some response that leaned into taking from the white man or something very militant. While I am all for getting reparations, this was a little too much for me.
In my head, I told myself this was my last date with Derrick.
The tacos and conversation were good. Dammit he pulled me back in, I thought as I drove back to VA.
The following weekend I had some girlfriends in town, and we decided to go to a day party in the city. When Derrick asked me about my weekend plans, I told him where and what we were doing. He mentioned that his cousin also wanted to get out over the weekend, so they might meet us.
I figured this was a good time to get my friend’s opinion on him early so I wouldn’t waste too much time. I had already seen a few red flags, but clearly, I wasn’t ready to call it quits just yet.
Saturday rolls around, and my girls and I are walking up to the day party. And who do I see the moment I walk in? Derrick and his cousin. It’s like he was hawking the front door waiting for me to walk in.
When I approached him to say hello, I felt something was off. He was already drunk.
After introducing drunk Derrick to my girlfriends, we went to the bar. I was annoyed and wanted to escape him, but he followed us. He was coming up behind me, grabbing me like he was trying to hold me or some shit. I was trying to shoo him away, but his drunk ass was not getting the hint.
I finally turned around and asked, “can I get a little space please.” Derrick was acting like a fucking gnat. 🚩🚩🚩🚩
He looked surprised and shook.
My girls noticed I was getting rather annoyed and asked me what was happening. I told them that he was acting like a completely different person while drinking.
I tried my best to avoid him the rest of the day, but it was nearly impossible because it seemed like he wanted every person in the bar to know I was with him.
I managed to have a good time with my girls still, and when it was finally time to head out, I casually said goodbye to Derrick, giving him a vibe that I wasn’t feeling him at the moment.
I think he picked up on it because he sent me a text a couple of hours later explaining that he hadn’t been out drinking like that in a long time, and he thinks he got carried away.
“At least he is acknowledging his behavior,” I said while reading his text.
He then asked me to meet him for dinner the following week.
We met at a barbecue restaurant near his house a few days later. He raved about how this was one of the best spots in Maryland, so I had to try it out.
The conversation and energy are good; he apologized again for his behavior last weekend. Once again, I appreciated the acknowledgment.
It’s time to order our food, and Derrick asks if the corn is on the cob because he cannot eat it on the cob because of his braces.
I tell him he can easily just cut the corn off the cob if he wants it that bad. He says cool and orders the corn.
Our food arrives, and what happens next is hilarious.
“So I just cut the corn off the cob,” Derrick says.
With a very perplexed look, I respond with “yea.”
You know this fool takes the corn and tries to cut it straight down the middle, like trying to cut it in half versus just shaving the kernels off.
“What are you doing,” I ask him.
“You said cut the cob,” he responds.
“I did not. I said cut the corn off the cob.”
“How do you do that?” 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
All I could do was laugh. “You don’t know how to cut corn off the cob?”
So guess who ended up cutting a grown-ass man’s corn off his cob at the table? ME!
This was his second food offense. First, he is ringing up shit at the grocery store for $1, and now he was trying to cut corn on the cob in half WITH A BUTTER KNIFE.
And the food offenses just kept coming. We are at five red flags; why am I still here?!
One Friday night, he took me to a Wizards game. We rode together from my house, and instead of driving home late, I offered my couch to him. He took it.
The next morning I made breakfast. Nothing major, just eggs, bacon, fruit, and English muffins, banana nut flavor. 😋
“Where did you get these from,” he says while eating the English muffin.
“They are good. It’s a limited edition flavor.”
“But where do you get these at?”
“They are in the bread aisle at the grocery store.” I am starting to get a little confused.
“I ain’t never had these before.”
“No, this type of bread.”
“You’ve never had an English muffin?”
“Nah. I’ve never even seen these before.”
Now I am just terribly confused. Is an English muffin a delicacy? Can’t be. You can get an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s for $1.
“So you’ve never had an Egg McMuffin?”
Now don’t judge me for giving this man his 6th red flag 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩. But I found it so odd that he didn’t even know what type of bread he was eating.
Call me a food snob or just overall snobby if you want. I think Derrick has a minimal palate and lacks dining etiquette.
Then it hit me. I am supposed to spend three days and two nights with this man who rings up food for $1, cuts corn in the cob in half, doesn’t know what an English muffin is, AND slurps his soup.
After the English muffin incident, I reluctantly agreed to go on another date.
We met at a cute Mexican restaurant in Arlington. One of their best sellers was this Mexican soup. We both ordered it for our appetizer.
I began enjoying this delicious soup when it arrived. I kept hearing this loud slurping noise. I look at Derrick; he is hovering over his soup like he is protecting it from being stolen and slurping LOUD AF with every scoop. 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
That’s it. I couldn’t handle it anymore.
I looked at my phone and made up some excuse that made me get my entree to go.
While I understand everyone has a different food palate, table etiquette is very big for me. Slurping, smacking, and cutting your food into tiny pieces before even eating it irritates me.
A few days later, I sent him a text saying I won’t be joining him in Tampa. That was it for us.
Looking back at this entire story, I should have called it quits after he buzzed around me like a drunken gnat at the day party. Or, if I am honest after he rang up an $8 pack of ground beef for $1.
Moral of this story, if very small things annoy you about a person, don’t wait it out to see if they will not annoy you in the future; you don’t like the person. Keep it pushing.
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