The Blunder From Down Under

Neil and I connected on After reading 300 or so agonizing messages I received while away on vacation his was the only one somewhat worthy of a response.

Neil was fresh off the boat from Australia and touched down in the big city to head up the investor services branch of the Australian bank of which he was employed.

He suggested we meet at a trendy spot that recently opened in the West Village to check out the craft cocktails and farm-to-table bar bites while getting to know each other away from the computer screen.

Our meeting time was for 8 o’clock, and as I was rendering the doorman my identification at precisely 8:02, I received a a text from Neil informing me that he got caught up on a phone call at work and would be yet another 15 minutes.

Slightly perturbed with the timing of his message as I myself had rushed from the office to ensure my punctuality, I shook it off and took a seat at the bar to await his arrival.

Neil graced me with his presence 20 minutes after our agreed meeting time and offered up a half-assed apology for his tardiness.

Perhaps I would have been more miffed at the inconvenience but his Aussie accent was simply too charming to remain in such an aggravated state.

That paired with his precisely pressed Brooks Brothers suit and flawless complexion, I was desperately hoping this blunder wasn’t an ominous warning as to how the remainder of the evening would play out.

We ordered a couple of whiskey cocktails, some lamb sliders, a chickpea salad and some fried goat cheese.

Neil was halfway through the story about what prompted his decision to move across planet Earth when he glanced at his phone to check the time.

“Oh! I forgot to mention, I have to join in on a conference call at 9. It shouldn’t take too long though,” he assured.

“No problem,” I said, confused as to why he would plan a date on a night when he had business to conduct.

He excused himself to take the call leaving me in solitary with my whiskey sour.

Five minutes went by.

Then fifteen.

I would have left had it not been for my insatiable appetite and the thought of the sumptuous lamb sliders that were sure to arrive any minute.

The food finally arrived and I stared at it longingly while anxiously anticipating Neil’s return.

After another five minutes had passed I decided I had waited long enough. It was time to indulge.

Approximately 35 minutes later Neil reappeared and aloofly offered his condolences.

I had eaten all but one lamb slider, and wished him well.

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