Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Another Guy

Last June, I met a guy named Tim at a party. He was tall, attractive and a couple of years younger than me. We talked a bit. He was pleasant and had a good sense of humor. He was a manager at a financial institution. When I was leaving the party, he came to me and asked for my number. He called me the next day and we decided to meet at a bar/restaurant in downtown after work one day.

I met Tim at 6:00 o’clock at the designated place. We sat at the bar. I had a glass of cranberry juice. The conversation was OK. I didn’t feel huge sparks, but he was nice and interesting enough. At 7:30 when I was really hungry, I decided that our initial meeting had been long enough, since we had decided to just meet for drinks. When I wanted to say goodbye, he asked me to go for a walk with him in downtown.

We walked for about 15 minutes and, then he asked me to go to some place else with him. We ended up at a restaurant, again, sitting at the bar. At that point, I was really hungry, since all I had had for lunch was a salad. The waiter brought two menus, one for drinks and one for food. Tim, quickly, put the menu for drinks in front of me. Since I don’t drink, something he knew, and didn’t want to order another cranberry juice, I just ordered a glass of water. After about 10 minutes, Tim said do you want to split an appetizer. After I said yes, he ordered an appetizer. We shared the appetizer, which wasn’t that much and I was still hungry. Of course, I could have ordered something for myself and have paid for it myself, but I wanted to know how cheap this guy was. Also, during our conversation, he told me how he kept all his receipts from his non-business outings and submitted them as work expenses, a practice that I consider stealing and can never be a part of. At 9:00 o’clock, he dropped me off at my car. We said goodbye and, with reservation, I agreed to see him again.

A few days later, we met for lunch at Chilis, and I got to order a meal all by myself. It was a pleasant date. Afterwards, he showed me his antique car that he had driven that day.

Tim called me a couple of days later and wanted to know if I wanted to get together with him Thursday night. I asked what time and where. He said “How about if we go for a walk in the park after work?” I said, “So, are we having dinner together?” He paused for a second and then said, “Sure, I can bring us a couple of Subway sandwiches.” I was taken aback a little. The last time that my date treated me to a Subway sandwich, I was in college. I was thinking that we would probably have dinner at a restaurant and then go for a walk. I said “OK”. Then, he said “Do you want to get us a couple of drinks?” At that point, I was shocked. I thought, you are going to Subway, you can get us a couple of drinks while you are there. Then, I thought he is really cheap. Usually, after I have dated someone a few times, I cook for them and make sure that they are not spending money every time we are together. In the past, when I have gone out with guys who weren’t in great financial situation, I have insisted on paying for myself. But this guy wasn’t poor, and we had only had two cheap dates. I, finally, said “I guess, I can stop at a grocery store on my way to the park and buy a couple of drinks.” I didn't really know what else to say at that point and didn't want to say something without sorting my thoughts. All I knew was that I was totally turned off by him.

The next day I had lunch with Charles, my friend, dating consultant and subject matter expert in the field of “Men”. I told him all about Tim. He said, “Now, you know he is a cheap guy. He is never going to change. You have to decide whether you want to date him or not.”

On Thursday, we had a lot of rain and Tim and I decided to cancel our date, since it wouldn’t have been much fun to go for a walk in the park. I was, actually, relieved. I was thinking about a way to get out of our date. I remember thinking, he is probably the sort of guy that keeps track of every penny he spends and will make sure that I’ll contribute equally. I just don’t like keeping score like that. Tim called me on Friday wanting to go out over the weekend. I told him I was busy all weekend. He said he would call me on Sunday. He called and left a couple of messages on my phone Sunday. Then he started texting me Sunday night wondering when we would get together. I sent him a text Sunday night and told him, I would call him the next day.

Monday night, I decided to make the dreaded phone call. Fortunately, I got Tim’s voice mail. I left a long message saying that he asking me to get the drinks rubbed me the wrong way, since he was already going to Subway. I said I thought he was a little cheap and I wasn’t comfortable with that. I mumbled and said, “At this stage of my life, having a third date where we eat Subway sandwiches, and I bring the drinks is not appealing to me.” I didn’t talk about the underlying feelings that I had. I said Goodbye, wished him luck and hung up. My niece, Ziba, was laughing uncontrollably as I was leaving the message. She said, “You should have just blown him off.” But I had to be clear. I make deliberate decisions, and I wanted him to know why. That’s just me.

Twenty minutes later, I got a text from Tim. It said, “Good luck 2U2. You’re gonna need it.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From Rags to Riches

I was reading an article today about the super rich people who went from rags to riches. All these people were CEOs of major companies with amazing life stories. All came from very modest beginnings and some were even brought up in the projects. One cannot help admire their genius, strength of character, focus and ambition. But of course, not all had the other characteristics that would make them great human beings, such as honesty, compassion and charity. A couple of them were CEOs of financial institutions that went rogue during their reign.

One of the people who stood out for me was Larry Ellison co-founder and CEO of Oracle, the giant software company, which is the world's leading supplier of software for information management. Larry Ellison is the fourth richest man in the world. He was a college dropout and yet he was able to achieve so much. There were a few things in the article about him that made me gasp and laugh. One example was, ‘Ellison is known for quoting Genghis Khan who said, "It’s not sufficient I succeed. Everyone else must fail."’ The article talks about his accomplishments as well as some of his character flaws.

Below is the link to the article: