After meeting through an online dating service, he had insisted on going to one of the most up-scale restaurants in town for their first date. She had been waiting for almost 20 minutes and was beginning to wonder if he would show up. This already irritated her because he had indicated in his profile that he was a very punctual person, not to mention she was drinking a $20 glass of red wine she had no intention of paying for. She would have been happy to have met at a local pub.
“Jesus, sorry I’m late, Mary”, he grunted as he sat down in front of her. “Had a last minute loose end come up just as I was leaving the office to meet you”.
“Well, I’m glad you made it”, she said warily. He looked a lot beefier and somewhat older than the pictures he had sent her. Also, she could swear she could smell alcohol on his breath.
“Good evening, Mr. White”, said the young waitress who had materialized, apparently out of nowhere, at their table. ‘Wow’, thought Mary, ‘It took 15 minutes before you served me. Hrrumph’.
“Hey there Caro! How goes it?”
“Very well, thank you, Mr. White. What can I get you to drink this evening”?
“Um, a double Martini… no wait, scratch that – had that at lunchtime. A double scotch on the rocks. Thanks babe”.
“Thank you, Mr. White”, she said, turning away from the table.
“And Caro, if you don’t start calling me Dick, I’m going to have to put you over my knee”.
“Yes, Mr. White”.
He sighed and turned to Mary. “So hard to train the young ones these days”.
“So, this is Richard White. Seems like you’re quite the big shot in this place”.
“Not really. I’ve just been coming here a long time. Please call me Dick”.
“You didn’t say in your profile that you’re a rich dick”, she laughed airily as she could see he was none too subtly sizing her up.
Inside Dick’s head: She’s a smart ass. I like that. Nice long brown hair. Solid body. Decent tits. Don’t know what’s up with that dress. Looks like a hand-me-down. Ah, who cares. Definitely fuckable material.
Inside Mary’s head: This guy already seems like a sexist asshole. I’ll give it a little longer. Nice suit though.
“I’m not stinking rich, but I do okay I guess”, he said, draining the glass that had just been put in front of him with one mighty swallow. “Thanks Caro, another one please and a couple of menus. Do you want another drink”?
“I’m fine thanks”.
“So what about you”? he asked, “Are you rich or are you looking for a Sugar Daddy”?
“I am NOT looking for a… a Sugar Daddy”! she exclaimed, taken aback. “That was pretty blunt of you, I must say”.
“I guess I forgot to put bluntness in my profile too, huh”?
“Yes, you did”, she laughed, genuinely amused, as Caro placed the menus in front of them as well as Richard’s drink.
“So what do you do Dick”?
“In a nutshell? Basically I search around for underperforming companies, buy them, break them up, fire the employees and redistribute their valuable assets to performing companies that can make good use of them”.
“I’ve read Barbarians at the Gate and I just… I mean, the greed, the arrogance. Wow, how do you guys live with yourselves”?
“Quite comfortably actually. We’re all unhappy and unsatisfied – but it’s a whole lot easier to feel that way with money than without. There is no worse stress than financial stress”!
“You mean like the stress you inflict on all those fired workers”?
“Bah, it gives them the wake-up call they need. If you languish in complacency at work – you get fired. Too bad. Most of them buck up, acquire some meaningful skills and get better jobs. I basically do them a favour. Anyway, what do you do”?
“I’m a special needs teacher”.
“Yes, I teach kids with learning disabilities”?
“Interesting”, he said indifferently. “Take a look at the menu. They have great rack of lamb here. Delicious Kobe beef steak, the oysters are a kick-ass starter, the-”
“I’m a vegetarian”.
“A what”? he gasped.
“I don’t eat meat. I think killing animals is wrong”.
“Well, jeez – ok. There’s plenty of seafood here. Let’s see-”
“Seafood is animals, Dick”!
“Oh, come on”!
“I’ll have the soup and salad. That’ll be just fine”.
“Guess I won’t be taking her up to my hunting lodge after dinner”, he muttered under his breath.
“Nothing. Caro!” he called over his shoulder, “Soup and salad for her and the usual for me”.
“The usual”? she said, raising an eyebrow.
“Steak Tartar”, he said, gruffly. “Sorry, I am not trying to provoke you”.
“Ugh, it’s okay”, she sighed, again somewhat amused. “Obviously if it’s ‘your usual’, you didn’t order it to provoke me”.
As she picked at her soup and salad and he devoured his Steak Tartar, she upbraided him for being the worst caricature of the alcoholic capitalist conservative while he mocked her navel-gazing, indecisive, hypocritical liberalism. They discovered that she likes cats and he likes dogs; she likes going to the theatre and he likes movies; she likes arts and literature and he likes golf on Sundays after fly fishing in the morning; and so on and so forth.
After they finished dinner and got the bill, he pushed an enormous wad of cash into Caro’s palm. “Buy yourself something nice sweetheart. Dinner was great, as always – thanks to you and the boys in back”.
“Thank you, Mr. White”!
“Dick, it’s Dick, damn you”! he cried, opening his palm and pretending to come after her to spank her as she scampered off.
Mary could not help but laugh. As appalled as she was with this man, she could not deny that there was a playfulness and mischievousness to him that was appealing.
Once out on the sidewalk they turned to each other to say goodbye.
“I’m sorry about this”, he said, “I don’t know how those idiots could have possibly paired us”.
“I know”, she laughed, “but, you know it wasn’t THAT bad having dinner with you. At least we talked”…
They next morning they lay naked in bed gazing up at the bedroom ceiling of his hunting lodge.
Inside Mary’s head: That was the roughest and best sex I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Inside Dick’s head: That was the tenderest and best love-making I’ve ever had in my entire life.
“Too bad we agreed that, on no uncertain terms, this was a one night stand”, he said.
“Yes, it is”, she whispered.