I waited a few days before posting this, because I've been so angry and I wanted to see if a few days to process the events would help. They haven't really, so here it is a week later, and I've backdated the date so it sits in the right place in my chronology of events.
Last night I was invited to join six other people, all aged between 30s and 40s, equal numbers of male and female to a Japanese Teppenyaki restaurant in the city. as it turned out, I only knew one person (from my Star Trek Meetup Group) but via the unfolding discussions there was another person with whom I shared several mutual friends. Also was going quite well, although it wasn't the best Teppenyaki I've been to - you know the idea behind Teppenyaki, where the chef is in close quarters and does an elaborate performance with the food and cooking implements as he goes? - and after the bill was settled, six of us retired to a nearby wine bar.
Now, the only early inkling that the evening was doomed to swirl into an oblivion of anger and frustration was when one woman mentioned her ex-husbands (plural), and then wanted to know if Star Trek Meetups was "where we picked up our women".
Anyway, at the wine bar, the host ordered a bottle of white wine, which a waitress efficiently divided across six glasses. the conversations began to flow again, and it seemed as if people were barely pausing for breath, let along sips of wine. John and I had just finished a conversation about the upcoming Star Trek movie (I think) and the aforementioned woman, who shall continue to remain nameless, leaned forward and said, "So, you guys have moths in your wallets?"
It took more than a few seconds for me to realise I'd actually heard her correctly. I looked down at the low table and realised that our host had ordered a second bottle of wine.
Now, the bill at the restaurant had been split evenly, as far as I knew - if the wine accompanying the meal was BYO that others had already paid for, I still have no idea. Nothing was said, apart from splitting the bill and everyone seemed happy. Perhaps due to the wine buzz that had already set in - after several reds at the restaurant, and now the glass of white at the bar - I still have no comprehension of where the woman's comment was coming from. I asked her, politely, I believe, if she thought I was planning to let our host foot the entire bill?
"The world is full of Givers and Takers," she proclaimed loudly. "Richard, here," indicating our host, "is one of the world's Givers. And you two are Takers."
I say again, "?????"
And so endeth all sensible conversation for the evening. I was eventually able to make sure Richard would accept my contribution towards the wine, which had now taken on quite a bitter taste. If the woman's intention was to make John and I decide it was way past our bedtimes, and time to head back out to the Western Suburbs (where she obviously felt we belonged), I guess it worked. John asked if I wanted a lift home, I accepted and we were out of there, and now she had the only other male in the group all to herself.
I can't say I'm in too much of a hurry to meet up with her again. How can people be so deliberately insulting to people they've only just met, and could quite possibly become people they will be seeing quite often in their social circle? I find myself wondering if she truly found my behaviour to be rude and miserly, or if it was just a ploy of some kind, to eliminate some competition, or test our mettles?
And I didn't realise the whole event would be treated by someone as some kind of blind date or game.