Written by: Samantha Karp
After my grandmother passed away, I was tasked with addressing the envelopes for the cards that my mother sent out to everyone who attended the funeral service or shiva, or who sent a note of condolence to our home. Since I am ever the stickler for the proper use of honorifics, I wanted to make sure that I addressed each envelope correctly (that is, referring to people by their specific titles or using their maiden name, if they kept it). So, upon coming across a few names I did not recognize, I asked my father if any of these people were doctors, so that I could properly place a “Dr.” before their name, rather than a “Mr.” or “Mrs.” (the ultimate faux pas). Each time I asked the question, “Is he a doctor?” (or she, as the case may have been), my father replied sarcastically, “Yeah, a doctor of bullshit.”
Not too long after this Sunday afternoon exchange between father and daughter, I went on a Hinge date with a 35 year old physician (my thinking: well, he was in medical school and then did his residency and fellowship, so he’s probably just finally getting around to having some time for a girlfriend) (note: my thinking was wrong). I was new to the online dating game, having previously insisted that it was beneath me, and had to swallow a whole lot of pride to get on these dating apps in the first place. This particular dating experience was horrific, but educational and entertaining nonetheless.
I will acknowledge that my first mistake was the venue. I did not choose it, since I like to let the man be the man and make this selection, if for no other reason than to see that they can make a decision and/or a reservation, and stick to it. He chose Toloache on Thompson Street, which admittedly I do like (good tacos, better margaritas). However, it is also the site of my first date with my most recent ex-boyfriend. I didn’t exactly want to lead with this, so I agreed to the location, regardless of its being haunted by the ghost of boyfriends past.
My horrific Hinge date, we’ll call him Dr. Dave for the sake of anonymity, showed up exactly on time. I appreciated this, since I have been punctual to a fault (and yes, it often is a fault, since I end up foolishly waiting around for other people very often) since the day I was born, which was precisely on my due date. The allure did not last much longer than that.
Upon sitting down next to me at the bar (I was early and with a novel, per usual), Dr. Dave proceeded to shoot off a bunch of facts about himself, in chronological order, as though we were on a speed date. Time is precious, especially for us young professionals in Manhattan, so I sort of understood his urgency. He would make dramatic pauses in between sentences, however, I very quickly realized that this was absolutely NOT my invitation to speak. During one such dramatic pause, when he was talking about his job, I asked where he worked, to which he held up his hand in my face and replied, “No, no, no, I’m not finished yet.” Um, okay. He continued on with his work story through a few more dramatic pauses and I finally asked, “So, you’re really not gonna tell me where you work?” His reply to this was, “Well, it’s a small medical insurance company, you wouldn’t know it.”
I must state here that I am actually rather well-versed in the medical field. My father, quoted above, is an extremely well-respected physician with a mild amount of celebrity, particularly on the North Shore of Long Island, where Dr. Dave is from. Seriously Dr. Dave, I have been hearing about the medical field since I was quite literally in utero, please do not underestimate me to my face. (Side note: people who answer questions with “you wouldn’t know it” rather than with actual answers irritate me to no end).
After this uncomfortable exchange, which I should more aptly call “Dr. Dave’s Monologue,” Dr. Dave proceeded to, finally, ask me a question about myself. The one he went with was, “How would you describe yourself?” I have been on many a job interview, though admittedly maybe not many a date, but I am almost certain that this falls into the category of job interviewquestions. I am not naïve enough to think that a date is not in essence a job interview, as we are interviewing each other for the role of, hopefully, life partner. But can we please make it only mildly less clinical? I felt like I should have brought along a writing sample.
After asking me how I would describe myself (I went with curious, outgoing, organized, and active), Dr. Dave asked me about some of my interests. I continued to answer honestly – I enjoy reading, exercising, spending time with my friends and family, and I’m interested in fashion (I understand this is all fairly common among 26 year old women). His next questions were about two of those interests – exercising and fashion. He asked me if I belonged to a gym (I do), and which one (Equinox). “Oh, so you’re a ‘Noxer, you go to the ‘Nox.” I’m sorry, I’m a what?
Moving on to the topic of fashion, we discussed the Americana, as it is close to where we both grew up. He had never been, which is fine, though he proceeded to denigrate the site, calling it an outlet strip mall, and declaring it to be in Roslyn. I corrected him and told him that it was actually in Manhasset (and most certainly not an outlet strip mall), but close enough, to which he replied, “Well, Manhasset and Roslyn have the same zip code.” No, Dr. Dave, they have the same area code, but correct me if I’m wrong, that’s not the same thing.
Dr. Dave then asked me if I had any siblings, to which I replied, “I do.” “How old is this gentleman?” “Well, I never said my sibling was a boy.” “Uh, uh, well, I had a 50/50 shot.” We all stalk each other on social media in this modern age, so I would assume that you know I have a brother, but then at least own up to it, or in the alternative, maybe be more careful before letting it slip that you stalked me enough to at least get a taste of the immediate family.
I then asked Dr. Dave if he had any plans for the summer, and he asked me the same. I told him that I would be going out to East Hampton. “Every weekend?” he asked. “Most weekends, I’ll try to.” “That seems a little excessive, I’d rather go to Spain.” That’s cool, Dr. Dave, Spain is nice.
Dr. Dave and I then moved onto the topic of education. I went to college at Colgate University, and he went to medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College (which, yes, is in the city). Although Dr. Dave admitted that he had never been to Colgate’s campus, he continued to insist to me for a solid three minutes that it was a half-hour drive from Cornell’s campus in Ithaca. I assured him that he was wrong and it was not that close, as I have done the drive. He was very passionate about this matter, so I resolved to drop it and leave him to check up on the timing on Google Maps later.
During each of these exchanges, I very much wanted to get up and leave. However, the sheer curiosity of what absurd thing this guy would say next kept me tethered to my chair. It was extremely clear that this man (though it is generous to call him a man) is not single because he has spent over a decade going through the process of becoming a physician. He is single because he is a confidently wrong ASSHOLE.
At about this time, the bartender asked us if we would like to order another round of drinks. I don’t think I have ever said no that quickly. I had gotten enough fascinating intel from our brief date, and it was time to call it a night. I headed to the subway in the pouring rain (no, I did not wait for it to ease up, despite being without an umbrella or a rain jacket), literally chuckling to myself at the absurdity of the whole encounter.
I am only grateful that Dr. Dave no longer actually practices medicine, as he revealed to me during his monologue (he actually did not end up even doing a fellowship), because his bedside manner certainly would leave much to be desired. This man was, undoubtedly, the true definition of a doctor of bullshit.