Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bore: someone who deprives you of solitude without offering companionship

A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without offering companionship. (Oscar Wilde)

Several years ago, I published an essay in the Houston Chronicle's Texas magazine, a vignette of my night in Langtry, Texas, on my cross-country bicycle trip. Several people wrote me as a result, and one, a Houston CPA, asked me to dinner when he visited my city on business.

We met for dinner—me coming directly from work, him from a client's office—we agreed upon an Asian restaurant near the university whose parking is all in a metered lot. I warned him to bring some change.

He arrived a little late, seemingly surprised and annoyed, he said "All I can find are metered spaces, and I don't have any change."

I offered him some quarters, saying "I thought I mentioned the metered spaces."

He said, "You probably did; I was not listening," and refused my offer. He also said he pretty much ignored the [detailed and accurate] directions I sent via e-mail.

He turned down my offer of change and instead left and let me sit in the restaurant alone for 20 minutes while he found an unmetered spot. I thought of leaving after 15 minutes, but instead tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.

So, both my e-mail and my friendly advice on the telephone call were both ignored, and he makes me wait alone in a restaurant for 20 minutes while he seeks out a free parking space?

And he "talks long." We did not exit the restaurant until 9:30 p.m., although we met right after work. Maybe he is lonely. Despite its long length, I felt the conversation never "took off," and certainly there was no chemistry. Then it turns out his big hobby is having his photo taken with celebrities. I thought this was a bit odd. He said he graduated to this as asking for autographs was too juvenile. Ahem!

Fast-forward to last week. He again announces, via e-mail, that he will be in town to audit the same clients, and invites me to dinner. And although I don't have many dates, yet another 2.5-hour dinner listening to this man is not in the cards.

No comments: