Dates from hell will leave a guy broke

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The place is News Cafe at Campus Square in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. I have a date.

Not anything serious, just one of those get-to-know-you meetings that start with small talk about work, friends, family and so on, while enjoying a drink and maybe a light meal.

But deep down, we both know we are exploring each other much more than we would have liked to acknowledge.

The place is teeming with young people, beautiful girls wearing sexy gear.

We choose our table and sit down to get into the business of why we are meeting.

First thing I ordered was my favourite drink, Amstel lager.

My date looked at me with an expression that seemed to suggest I was way behind time.

I decided to ignore her and waited with baited breath to see what she would order.

She ordered a cocktail with a colour so complex I can't even describe it.

Her confidence in sipping it reminded me of the new and happening women, the BEE brigade, whose problems are anything but money.

After some small talk and pretentious laughter and jokes, picked from the Internet, and smiles people engage in at dinner tables, it was time to order a second round of drinks.

I ordered another Amstel and guess what? She repeated her sophisticated cocktail.

Being kind of street smart about cheap money-grabbers, I smelt a rat and quickly went to the toilet. When I returned, I told her I was sorry, but a relative needed my attention and I had to go.

And guess what, when the bill came, the sophisticated hippy date picked it up, looked at it, smiled, put it down in front of me and said: "I love this cocktail. This is my favourite drink."

Her two cocktails cost R50, and guess what? My two drinks were half that.

You do not want to know who ended up footing the bill.

Interestingly, I bumped into the girl a few weeks later in a smoky Melville pub with a Black Label in hand.

This happened about six years ago, but the truth is, even today one has to tread very carefully in the dating game. Especially choosing the venue.

Especially if she suggests it.