Last fall I met a guy named Robert through a sports league. We connected almost immediately, he worked with small children (I am a huge sucker for men who work with kids), and we started hanging out quite a bit as friends. However, I was totally uncertain about whether he liked me or like-liked me — yep, people who are almost 30 still say that. It isn’t just for eight-year-olds.
But this isn’t a story about him.
In an effort to not get too attached to him in an emotional way, I hit OkCupid real hard. In general, I find OkCupid to be the least worthwhile of all dating sites that I’ve tried, but my last two exes had come from Tinder, and I hadn’t heard of Bumble yet. So OkCupid is where I met Hairy Robert. Most of my friends called original Robert “Beta” and second Robert “2.0,” but J and I have a very unique system of naming each other’s man-of-the-moment, and she dubbed the newcomer “Hairy Robert,” once I revealed that without his shirt he could easily be mistaken for a bear. Or a six foot three inch long cut of shag rug with the ability to walk.
HR and I had a nice first date. We went to a great tapas restaurant and I had a good time even after finding out he was voluntarily a vegetarian and gluten free, and involuntarily lactose intolerant. I still need to go back to that restaurant and share food with someone who can eat more than 1/4 of the menu. He had to take a phone call halfway through dinner because his nephew had surgery earlier in the morning and his sister called from Florida with an update on his status. He apologized for being impolite, but obviously I understood (I’m not a monster!), and found it super endearing how close he and his family were even though he lived out-of-state.
For our second date he asked if I wanted to come over for dinner. It was a nice gesture, but my general rule is at least two dates in public before going to a guy’s house — it doesn’t always happen, but a girl’s gotta have goals! This date came shortly after a friend of mine had a horrible encounter with a guy who did not take “No” for an answer, and so I expressed very frankly that I wasn’t comfortable being alone with him yet. He understood, which I appreciated, and wound up taking me out for one of my favorite things: breakfast for dinner! Afterwards he drove me to his favorite lactose-free ice cream parlor and set about trying to prove that dairy-free ice cream was just as good as dairy-full ice cream. After he asked for the zillionth time, I conceded that it was as good.
But it isn’t. It isn’t at all. I understand that that’s as close as he’ll ever get to being able to ingest something ice cream-like without having horrific diarrhea afterwards, and I’m glad there is an alternative that is close enough that it satisfies his desire for what he can’t actually have, but it isn’t the same. It’s good but different and I, being the super capable lactose processor that I am, do not acknowledge that coconut based shit as a suitable replacement. It’s like turkey bacon. Is it good? Sure! And if you say I’m being given turkey bacon, I’ll eat it and be fine. But don’t you dare say we’re having bacon for breakfast and then serve me turkey bacon. I will be livid.
Anyhow, by the time we had two successful dates, I was ready to hang out at HR’s house. The day of, I was leaving work and texted to make sure I should head over soon. It had been a wet and gloomy day, and I was looking forward to takeout for dinner and cuddling on the couch. He responds to my text saying we should reschedule our hangout.
Me: Ok. No worries, have something come up?
Him: No, but it is pretty rainy.
Huh?? We aren’t doing something outside. Are you the Wicked Witch of the West? Does water make you melt? Even if it does, not a problem, because I’m the one coming to you. You can literally sit at home and be dry the whole time. Buck up, soldier.
Me: It is quite gross outside, but I don’t mind driving in the rain.
Him: I think we should reschedule.
Ok. I say that’s fine, I’ll head to the gym instead — which, by the way, is the same distance from me as his house, so I’m driving that far regardless. Oh well, Robert #1 is at the gym, so no skin off my back, I’ll have fun anyhow. A couple hours later I check my phone on the way out of the gym and Hairy Robert (who I still don’t know is Hairy Robert) has texted saying that I can come shower at his place after the gym if I want. I roll my eyes real hard and say no thanks. If you’re going to tell me not to come over because it’s raining, then I’m sure as hell not coming over for the sole purpose of getting naked in your bathroom, and, presumably, fucking you afterward. Please.
Despite feeling a little annoyed, I do hang out with him later that week, and again a few days later. It’s late when I get over there, so by the time I should leave, he says it’s okay if I spend the night. I fall asleep thinking HR’s momentary glitch of oddness about being apprehensive to use vehicles during precipitation was just that — momentary.
Then I wake up and I’m in bed alone. I wait a few minutes assuming he’s in the bathroom. Nope. I listen closely for clanks in the kitchen, where he’s probably getting breakfast ready. Nope. No sounds. Just silence and me alone. At this point, my paranoid freak brain imagines him dead somewhere in the apartment (maybe on the toilet??) and I sigh thinking of how awkward that 911 call is going to be. Logically, I know that’s silly, so I settle on worrying about more likely causes for bed abandonment — either he didn’t actually want me to spend the night and he’s pissed that I did, or I farted in my sleep and he’s disgusted and wants me out of his house pronto.
Eventually I force myself to get up and open the door to the living room. He’s laying on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, sleepily watching the TV on mute. He asks how I slept and I respond, “well, you?” He says he slept okay and then asks — in a tone that he’s trying to make sound light and jokey, but that is actually super accusatory — “do you have RLS?”
Me: Excuse me?
Him: Restless leg syndrome.
Me: I know what RLS is, but why?
Him: Your legs were twitching in your sleep.
Me: Haha yeah, I mean most people twitch as they fall asleep. It’s called a hypnic jerk.
Him: No, this was you running a marathon. I waited an hour for it to stop and then came out here. I’m really surprised nobody has ever mentioned this to you before. It was really bad.
Me: I doubt it was an hour. Are you sure it wasn’t me moving and then you fell asleep and woke up an hour later to me moving — and just thought you’d been awake the whole time?
Him: No. I think you should get tested for RLS. I’m sure other people have been annoyed by this, too.
At this point, I’m mostly just incredulous at how apparently upset he is about this. You think I haven’t slept with people who it was no fun to sleep with for one reason or another? I’ve slept with people who liked to sleep way too cuddled up for my taste, who snore, who smack me in the face on accident multiple times during the night as they flail from side to side, and who hog the covers. If it’s that terrible, then what I do — as an adult — is I don’t see that person/sleep alongside that person again. What I haven’t ever done is whine about it like a little bitch the next morning and try to diagnose the person with octopus tentacle disease, a deviated septum, night-time domestic violence disorder, or blanket separation anxiety. And sure, it can be frustrating to get poor sleep, but he isn’t a surgeon who had to perform a complex operation the next morning. If he were, then by all means leave me alone in bed the very first time we sleep together in order to ensure you’re well-rested. But that isn’t the case.
It seems like he can sense my frustration as he proclaims he is,” just kidding.” Too late, buddy, I’m already texting two of my exes to ask if they ever had trouble sleeping next to me. They both say some version of, “No? Why?” and I mentioned that I’ve been told I’m probably a horrible sleeping companion because apparently while I hate running when upright, I’m a real pro while horizontal. Both say this dude is bonkers, and one even proclaims me, “the easiest person to sleep next to of all my exes.” I relay this to Hairy Robert, because yep, I’m texting exes from your couch and I do not care if you know, you assface.
In an effort to diffuse the situation, he says we should make breakfast and tells me his gluten free toast, “tastes just like real bread.” Doubt it, douche doughnut. But I choke it down along with a couple eggs because unlike him, I am able to tough out a situation for a little while in order to be polite.
I leave soon after breakfast, smile and say, “sure” when he says we should do this again sometime and then, get in my car, text my friend J that Hairy Robert is lame and proceed to execute the perfect slow fade over the next week or so. To date, HR is the last OkCupid date I’ve been on, and I have a feeling he was the final nail in that dating site coffin.
As always, be safe out there in dating land!
With love, B!