She sits… waiting.
Glancing nervously at the clock on the wall of the affordable but just a little-bit-fancy Italian restaurant she is anticipating a great night but is always wary of how these things can sometimes turn out. She’s been here before. Nicely dressed and with some extra attention paid to her makeup, she’s wearing her favourite perfume. After all, first impressions count right?
The front door opens and a man with dark hair and a well tailored, expensive looking suit walks in. She sits up, and straightens the front of her blouse, wishing for the second time that night that she had worn that little black dress she loves so much. She brushes back her hair with her fingers and looks up again. The well dressed man raises his eyebrows in recognition and smiles at another equally well dressed man sitting alone a few tables away. The two men greet each other and sit down already deep in conversation as she pulls out her phone to check once again for missed calls or messages.
“Hey…” a loud male voice abruptly interrupts her. “You must be waiting for me. The name’s Brand, and here’s my address”.
His hand jutted out and presented her with a business card, and sure enough, there was his address, and his phone number, and what appeared to be a dot point list detailing his height, weight, age, and other things right down to his favourite food.
“Oh… um…hi”, she muttered and took the card as he sat down opposite her.
He continued talking. “You’ll see on that card really everything you need to know about me, so you know what you’re getting. I’m actually a really great guy you know, you’re gonna get a lot out of this I’m sure. Take a look, go on, turn the card over…”
She noticed a stain on the collar of his t-shirt as he leaned forward, he was obviously eager. She turned the card over to find what looked like three or four sentences printed in a very small font. One of them had been scribbled over with a pencil so was mostly unreadable.
She glanced back up.
“Testimonials!” he said. “See, I told you I’m good. That’s what other ladies have said about me… you can read it for yourself!”
Still somewhat lost for words she looked around awkwardly, “Yeah, you know I’m not sure that you’re who I’m looking for.”
He jumped in… “You’re here for a date right? Well, that’s what I do. I’ve been doing this a long time too you know, even won a couple of awards a few years back”. He flicked her a smile and revealed something green stuck between his left front teeth.
“Umm, you’ve got something stuck in your errr…” She indicated tentatively at his teeth. He continued smiling (or perhaps sneering) as he looked her up and down dismissing her comment with a shake of the head.
“Yeah, yeah… I’ve got my guy looking into that teeth thing, don’t worry about that.” He slapped his hand down on the table. “Now, are we going to do this or not?”
“Do what exactly?”
“You know…” he winked and continued knowingly, “…are you gonna… buy what I’m selling, if you get what I mean?”
She shuddered and wished there was an easy way to back out of this. After all, she really doesn’t handle confrontation very well.
She took a deep breath. “Look, Brand isn’t it?” He nodded. “I’m really just weighing my options right now, sorry about this but I’m just going to keep looking okay?” As she started gathering her things and looking towards the door, he jumped in.
“Wait, wait, hold on just a minute… let me see what I can do! How about I let you have one night with me for free? I’ll just need you to commit to at least five more nights following that, and sign this agreement here first. You won’t get a deal like that with anyone else trust me!”
She stood up, thanking him for his time and started walking away as she noticed him pulling out a little black book from his back pocket, and begin writing something on the bottom of a list.
She stopped and turned back. “Excuse me? What are you writing?”
“Just adding your address into my mailing list so I can send you my monthly letter and, you know, keep you updated about what I’m up to.”
She shook her head. “No thanks. I’m really not interested.”
“Oh right…” he now seemed quite disinterested “you can always just unsubscribe you know. Have a nice night!” He pulled out his mobile phone and began scrolling through a newsfeed.
As she walked away, shaking her head, she thought back to all the other Brand’s she’s met over the years. Many of them behaving just like this douchebag and expecting her to go out with them. Sure, some had convinced her to go a bit further. Some she’d actually taken home with her before realising the truth. She understood that for a lot of guys, this is just how they’ve always been. Of course it can be hard for them to change.
But she just knew that she deserved more. She needed to be treated better than this, in fact she’s come to expect it. She knew that if a ‘Brand’ wanted her, she needed to be listened to, to build a relationship, and for them to give something to her first (without expecting something in return). As she walked out to the street and opened her phone to request an Uber she thought… She just needed them to show that they understand her problems, so she can build trust in them over time.
Now that’s a Brand that’ll she’ll take home with her.
That’s a Brand that she’ll tell all her friends about.
That’s a Brand that’ll be getting ‘lucky’.