Beggars Can’t Be Hooters: A Midtown Meal Gone Wrong


Let me start by admitting that I may be a little bit addicted to Tinder. It’s the app I use whenever I’m bored or don’t know what to do. It’s just fun: swiping left, swiping right and getting a match. I can’t stop.

But anyway, my love for swiping aside: Last week, I went on my very first Tinder date, and I have to say, it was not as horrible as I was expecting!

A first date in a Hooters? What could go wrong? (Isabel Frías/The Observer)
A first date in a Hooters? What could go wrong? (Isabel Frías/The Observer)

We’ll call the guy Cash.  (He paid for dinner in cash. I don’t know; I’m not very good with nicknames and that stuck with me.) I had been talking to him for about a week before we met in person, and he seemed really sweet. Cash was from India, texted me every day, and unlike just about every other guy, never once brought up sex. I liked his opening message too: “So you’re the girl I’ve been searching all around New York for.” I cringed and laughed at the same time. In retrospect, I realize that he probably said this to every girl, but I’m a sucker for cheesy lines.

The great news is that I wasn’t catfished, and he was not a psycho serial killer/murderer. Or at least he wasn’t on the first date. These were very real fears that I had, not because of anything he said, but because my mom has instilled it into me that there are crazy people everywhere. I told her that I would have to go on dates with random men for this column, and I don’t think she’s had a full night’s sleep since.

Cash and I met at the Time Warner Center, and he looked like his photo, 6 feet tall and pretty handsome. We walked all across Midtown because I couldn’t decide what to eat, and he didn’t mind. The conversation was fun, with me mostly poking fun at the fact that he did not know he had an accent and him making fun of me for getting us lost.

We ended up eating at Hooters because Cash had never been and I wanted to give him the real American experience. Plus I love their fried pickles. Once we were inside, Cash absolutely refused to make eye contact with our waitress. Scared of offending me, he would not look at any of the beautiful women walking by, and it was pretty hilarious. We talked about our respective future plans, traveling and everything was going well. 

 Then he said it: “I think you’d look a lot better if you put on some weight.” 

Ummm, excuse me?

“What? Don’t girls like that? I want you to gain weight,” Cash said.

This came after I had eaten my entire meal, most of the appetizer and told him I have a hard time gaining weight. I was honest and told him that I thought what he said was rude. He wouldn’t apologize, and eventually I had to move on. I mean, is it accepted in Indian culture to talk about a woman’s weight? Because here in America, that is not okay.

I did not kiss him goodnight, but it wasn’t because of that. We were standing at the entrance to the subway and he just stared at me, before I gave him a kiss on the cheek. Am I going to see him again?  I’m not sure. I didn’t feel any sparks. When I told him that he replied that sparks were made up by girls to put a guy in the friend zone, but he’s wrong. Sparks are real, and I’m waiting to experience them.