So this gentleman, Rick from California, I thought was a dead cert. After a few dates, I was elated, as he ticked all the boxes: smart, ambitious, energy, looks.
I ignored the signs in the beginning, I told myself I was judging too quickly, but the latest episode was where I must draw the line.
How can a man be so clever, well travelled, and well spoken, and yet somehow not know how to treat a lady?
Strike 1 - the briefcase
I meet Rick for dinner after work and I am carrying my large briefcase (one of the ones on wheels, because it’s so heavy). This was date two. We decide on a restaurant which is up one flight of stairs. I open the door, (note he did not hold it open for me) and go to grab my briefcase off the ground before I carry it up the flight of stairs. Yes, LA Rick watched little old Jacinta carry the briefcase up a flight of stairs.
Now, I know I am a big girl living in a big city and all that jazz and I yes, I am well able to carry my own briefcase. But hell, how can a man watch a 5-foot nothing woman juggle a sizeable bag up a flight of stairs and not flinch?
Strike 2- the tab
So, I pushed the briefcase episode to the back of my mind. Delighted with the progress our relationship is making, when the chance comes to meet some of Rick’s Cally buddies, I jump at it.
The evening was wonderful, the conversation was flowing as a couple of his friends and I discuss the merits of East Village versus West Village. Rick was catching up with the boys and I was playing a blinder with my new bff’s. Then the tab comes.
American’s LOVE to split the bill, no such thing as, ‘here, everyone throw a few quid in.’ I stall, because I remember I have bought Rick coffee the last two times we met (he had no cash!) and then, I can barely believe what unfolds before my eyes.
Mr. West Coast-turned-East Coast fumbles for his credit card, before his pal insists on paying our share of the bill. Scarlet, I don’t even know this lad and he is offering to pay for us. Rick, however, does not share my embarrassment and thanks his pal for the kind gesture. Later he justifies it to me by saying that his friend was just so happy to see us both there.
Strike 3 - the train
So Jacinta and Rick take a little weekend break together to his family house in upstate New York. Things are going well. Despite his past performance, there are a hell of a lot of great things about this man. And of course, I tell myself the age old thing that women have done for centuries - he will change.
Having a wonderful weekend, I hear my Blackberry ring and before long I am summoned to work and booking the next train ticket back to New York. Rick has to stay upstate, as his family arrive that evening.
In a hurry, I scramble to gather my things before Rick drops me to the nearest train station. With a bit of time to kill, we sit in the car chatting about the weekend. Then it dawns on me that he is not getting out of the car to help me with my bags (which, coincidentally I put in there myself). Stunned, I say ‘well, thanks,’ before I slowly exit the car in disbelief and fetch my bags from the back seat. Is this really happening? Not only has he not got out of the car to say goodbye, but he is now making me get my own bags.
Yes, I enjoy my independence and no, I do not expect a man to cater for my every need but surely there is a healthy balance. I was honestly in a trance as I sat on the train back to New York. I knew Rick and I would never work.
How could I expect a man to ever look after me, when he cannot even be bothered to get out of his car to say goodbye.