I heard Salsa Soul Productions was hosting a free salsa lesson at the waterfront so I asked my date if he wanted to come along. I had spotted him dancing at an event before and he didn’t seem like the shy type. I can’t really dance, but thought it would be a fun ice breaker for a steamy summer evening. I had been thinking of something different to do since he asked me out a couple of days before…
The lesson started at 7:00 but we both arrived at Williams Fresh Cafe straight from work around 6:00. We chatted a bit about our day and ordered a coffee and a snack. Crowds started to gather for the lesson, and everyone from young ladies dressed to the nines to older couples who have danced before to awkward groups of friends created a fun atmosphere for all skill levels. It was clear you didn’t have to be experienced to join in. When the lesson finally started, I was excited…but my feelings were short lived.
We participated for a whole two minutes until the guys and girls were asked to split up and face each other on opposite sides of the Pier 4 roller rink. That was the end of my anticipated salsa dancing. After pleading, Rob explained he gets anxious dancing in public since he didn’t know how. Well that’s what we were there for…
I wondered why he didn’t speak up before we planned this. If he’s not confident enough to at least try and look silly together, he could have suggested a different activity. Part of me wanted to thank him for trying but the other part was annoyed. I had seen him dance with other girls in the past. I was faced with two options: Dance without my date, potentially attracting another dance partner or understand not everyone is willing to try new things.
After accepting the date wasn’t going to go as planned, we watched a bit from the sidelines and I suggested we walk instead. I should have known what a “walk” at Hamilton’s waterfront would entail – and no, it’s not a make-out session. He pulled out his phone and started playing Pokemon Go. He just got it that morning and was uber excited. I understand Pokemon Go is the craze these days and see how it could be a great first date idea. It’s a conversation starter, sure, but make sure your date is actually interested in the game before making it the focus.
After the first five minutes of me not expressing interest, the conversation should have turned to something else. But the Pokemon catching continued. I tried to be a good sport and even caught one of my own with his phone when he asked me to. The next hour was spent running around the bay to find…Pokestops? Gyms? Whatever they’re called. It was a race to the end of the date for me. I said I really didn’t care for the game, and to be fair, I gave it an hour of good fun and walking. While some would call me boring, I’d say mature. He wasn’t getting the signals.
It got a little better from there. He suggested we get drinks on Locke Street (but I really think he just wanted more Pokemon since he was still playing). To prove I was the only human being not cool enough to play, he even asked the waiter at Brux House if she heard about the game or seen people using it. (She had no idea, by the way.) As we sat on the patio, we people-watched and guessed who on the street was playing, as everyone was buried in their phones. He assumed everyone was — and got excited when someone walked by, face in phone.
The wine pleased me, the Pokemon talk didn’t. As the evening got darker, people faded from the streets, giving us a window for new conversation and a brighter picture. I read that Pokemon dates are starting a trend, and the game is even better than Tinder for finding hook-ups. I do think it’s a good activity to break the awkwardness, only if both parties knew a Pokemon date is occurring. Unfortunately, dancing doesn’t have the same effect. When he dropped me back off at my car by the pier, the dance party was just ending, close to midnight. I thought I’d be catching the rhythm, but instead my soul was void of salsa and filled with Snorlax and Squirtle.
Verdict: In the race to be the very best, make sure your interests align. Not everyone wants to catch them all. I’m interested in dating someone who spends their time chasing things more sustainable than Pikachu.
Submit your own version of The Dating Diaries here. We’re also looking for Pokemon Go stories — good or bad!