“Never go to an unmarried doctor,” my mom used to say. “Because if they are single, you don’t know what kind of crazy things they are doing at night.”
I always thought that was one of my mom’s silly sayings about men like how she used to say never marry a man who only drives a pick up truck (I think she may have had a personal experience.)
And then, this date happened.
When I was about 28, A few years after my mom died, my dad ran into an old friend of his from high school who had a single, Jewish Orthopedic Surgeon nephew, Jeff. They decided to set me up with him.
This was the heyday of my Blind date Queendom; before internet dating and before the internet in general, I was set up almost constantly. Mostly all of the guys I was set up with weren’t right for me. I was very particular and truthfully not really even looking for a relationship. After losing my mom so young, the idea of opening up my heart was not so appealing. Dating was just entertaining. I didn’t take it too seriously; it was fun and interesting and if I actually liked someone, it would be a surprise. And best yet, all my friends LOVED my bad date stories, so I actually preferred the bad ones…. With that attitude, I had very few second dates.
I spoke with Jeffrey on the phone. “I have a new Porsche,” he told me, “I thought I’d pick you up at 8 and we can drive to dinner on Sunset.”
It sounded fine. I wasn’t as impressed with his Porsche as he wanted me to be. I wasn’t excited about the date – my dad’s high school friend’s Jewish doctor surgeon nephew sounded dull. I only liked exciting, cool guys – musicians who couldn’t be bothered with me, mostly. I was an actress! And I was in a band!
Jeffrey picked me up and he was cute. He was tall, attractive and manly, but seemed up tight. He wasn’t hot though and he wasn’t very friendly. In fact, he seemed bored with me already and not impressed with my first impression.
We drove to the trendy restaurant making small chit chat in his Porsche convertible and I had to admit, I liked it the ride. Yeah, it was fun. We pulled up to the restaurant and were seated at a table. We ordered drinks. I ordered a glass of Chardonnay and he ordered a Vodka rocks.
“We don’t have a full bar,” the waitress said.
Jeffrey had a melt down. “What? Are you kidding me? You’ve got to be joking?” he yelled, aggressively.
I was turned off, but not alarmed. I assumed that he was just bratty rather than an alcoholic. He reluctantly ordered a white zinfandel. As we drank our drinks, he noticed we were in the wrong restaurant. He’d wanted to go to the one next door. He had another hissy fit and I suggested we pay for our drinks and move next door and he pouted and said, “no,” like a petulant child. I was surprised he didn’t cancel the whole date. He begrudgingly stayed and acted bored.
Over dinner, we talked about insurance, which I knew nothing about and his job of orthopedic surgery, which he said he didn’t want to talk about. But even though he didn’t want to talk about being a surgeon, he was elitist about it. He had the God complex thing; he was above it all and gracing me with his time.
And then we got on the topic of music.
“You are in a band? What kind of music?” He lit up and suddenly actually looked at me like a real person, not just a dumb woman.
“It’s original music,” I told him. “Mostly written by my friend Nancy. Some songs are pop and some are rock… it’s just eclectic.”
He looked at me with new eyes, like now I was a good date. It was fine. I was having a fine time and I was not into him. So when he asked if I wanted to get another drink and I said “sure,” I don’t know if it was just because this guy seemed like a good dating story to tell or if it was because I was giving him a chance or because I liked how I’d won him over with my limited music knowledge. The truth was, I didn’t know how to end a date and the guy had just bought me a really nice dinner…. so, I could give him a little more time.
We sped down Sunset as he put on a CD and grooved to it for a bit. “I love this group. It’s called Enigma. Have you heard of them?”
“What kind of music is this?” he asked me, which was odd since it was his CD.
“Um…” I listened to the weird song, “It’s like…. electronic house music with Gregorian chanting.” I said.
“YEAH!” he screamed at the top of his lungs as we sped though the curves of Sunset, “Make me feel stupid! I love it!”
He was serious.
He continued, “I don’t know anything about music! Make me feel stupid! Tell me more about music! I wanna feel stupid!”
I was still not alarmed. I was amused. What a strange guy. What a great story this would be for my friends. “Um… well, I’m a big fan of 60’s folk music and I listen to a lot of alternative rock.” (it was the late 90’s)
“Oh yeah!” He yelled, like his baseball team was winning. “I love it!”
We pulled into a dark restaurant near my house and went to the bar. I think I ordered a scotch (wow, the days when I could actually could mix wine and alcohol. Not too much, but one of each I’d be fine.) He got a vodka and downed it. Then another and another. He nursed his 4th and we chatted. He was loose now. He was smiling. “I thought you were conservative,” he said.
“Me?” I was shocked. “Um, no. I’m an artist.”
“Yeah, but we were set up by my aunt,” he said.
“Well, I’m very liberal,” I said, referring to my politics and my mind set. I still wasn’t feeling attracted to him. He was a snobby, rich, doctor surgeon type… except for the bizarre make me feel stupid thing.
We got back in the car. “Wanna stop by my parents place? I’m staying with them for a while,” he asked. “It’s not far down Sunset.”
It was about 11pm – early, by a young liberal actress’ clock. I was up for an interesting evening and more fodder for my date stories. In general, I let bad dates go on too long. Besides, as he said, we were set up by this guys nice old Jewish Aunt. He was a Jewish doctor! He was a nice guy.
Back in the Porsche, Jeffrey reached in to the little pocket on the side door and pulled out a tube of toothpaste. “Gotta lick some paste,” he said with an evil smile. Actually, he was trying to be seductive and he squeezed an enormous amount of white toothpaste on his coated tongue and spread it all through his mouth.
Oh god, I should have been alarmed. I was way too innocent and way too sheltered to understand that licking paste was probably a bad sign and a nightly event.
We sped through more winding turns, the wind in my hair, the Enigma blasting, and turned in to a garage of a very nice home in a very nice neighborhood. He went inside and fixed himself a vodka with a twist, from one of those magnum vodka bottles. “I’m going to get in something more comfortable,” he said and left the room.
“Where are your parents?” I asked.
“Oh, they’re out of town,” he called back.
I was shocked. I know, how could I have been? But I was a very naive liberal actress.
Seriously, I thought he thought it would be fun to go visit his parents. If he’d just said, let’s go back to my place I think I would have said no.
He came back into the room dressed in jeans and a bright orange polo shirt with the collar turned up with loafers and no socks – a dated outfit even in the late 90’s.
He got another vodka and sat on the couch.
I didn’t want to be there. “Hey, I think I should get back home now,” I said. “Can we go back?”
“We just got here,” Jeffrey said and I finally noticed he was drunk; his nose was red and he seemed lose. He inched closer to me.
I tried to pretend I wasn’t scared – his God complex thing made me nervous that he wouldn’t be understanding if I just flat out rejected him. I smiled sweetly and said, “I don’t think we should rush into this so… I should go home now,” I started to stand up, but he shifted his weight on top of me so he was pinning me down. He started kissing me with a hard thrusting, dry tongue. He writhed on top of me doing this creepy shivering grinding thing.
I was terrified but I decided to not fight him for a minute and let him do whatever he was doing, so I wouldn’t piss him off. After seeing how angry he got about not having a full bar at the restaurant, I had no idea what to expect; he was drunk. After a minute of letting him thrust his tongue and grind his hips I said, “Hey, this is great, but I think we should slow down. I mean, we don’t even know each other.”
That’s when his eyes bugged out crazy and his mouth sneered in an animal way and he pushed my shoulders down into the couch. He said with the intensity of a man possessed, “I KNOW you. I’ve KNOWN you forever.” He seemed crazy and angry and I was terrified. “We’ve KNOWN each other for a long long time.” He shoved his tongue back into my mouth and started grinding and moaning and shivering again.
His wild animal thrusting seemed so out of place in this nice, upper middle class Jewish living room – kind of like Gregorian Chants with techno house music.
I held back tears. Don’t piss him off, I thought. My instincts told me that whatever was going on with this guy, he was so full of himself that freaking out on him would be a bad idea. It was my strong instinct, so I went with that.
I thought about trying to escape. I didn’t really know where I was and it was before everyone had their own cell phones, so I couldn’t run and then call for help on the street… or I would have in a second.
He continued to writhe and grind and moan (fully clothed) for another what seemed like ages but was probably seconds before I said again, “Please, I really need to go home,”
He pushed me down harder.
I kept searching for things to say. Finally I said, “It’s probably very late. What time is it?”
This seemed to get his attention. He popped up and looked at the clock. “IT’S ONE AM!” he shrieked. “I have to be in surgery in six hours!” He stood up and regained his doctor like composure (though still drunk and wearing an orange shirt with the collar turned up.) “We have to go to bed now!” He ordered. “I have to be up in less than five hours.”
I was absolutely horrified. He was trying to make me stay over? I burst out crying.
“What’s wrong?” he shouted, angry.
“I have to go home,” I sobbed.
“No!” he said. “I’ll take you home in the morning.”
“No, I can’t” I cried hard. “Just let me call a cab.”
“No!” he said, “What would my aunt say if your dad told her I let you take a cab home?”
The fact that he was worrying about what his aunt thought was comforting to me later, but in the moment, it didn’t make a difference.
“I won’t tell and I’ll let you pay for it. You go to bed and I’ll just go home.” Tears were pouring down my face.
He groaned. “I’ll take you home,” he said reluctantly and grabbed a white cardigan sweater.
He sped down winding roads at top speed, still a little drunk, I’m sure, but I was so relieved to be getting out of there. He made casual chit chat and I tried to be pleasant.
When he dropped me off at my place I was so relieved I sobbed for a long time.
I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn’t asked what time it was. Maybe he wasn’t going to hurt me, but all I know was I was really scared.
He could have been fetishy or something. And I’m pretty sure that all the talk about me being conservative had something to do with how I’d handle his thrusty, shivery, grindy make out technique.
The person I felt worst for was whoever was having their shoulder operated on by Jeffrey at 7am that morning. Wow. My mom was right, in this case.
I do actually have a few single doctors, presently. I just try to schedule all my surgeries with them for mid afternoon.
About two years later, I was watching TV at Nancy’s house – she’d video taped some random movie for us to watch. She’d caught the end of some entertainment program like Inside Hollywood or whatever and they were doing a story on working out and how to avoid injuries and… there was Jeffrey, being interviewed as a Hollywood orthopedist expert. Just looking at his face on TV made me ill.