It’s easy to not care about dating during the summer. Or at least I find that to be the season when, if I’m not seeing someone, I’m least likely to go looking. There are so many activities and hobbies and trips to be play or participate in or go on. Also, nights are hot and sticky and my A/C unit barely keeps the room cool enough when I’m not pressed up against someone else all night.
However, once fall rolls around, it starts to get cooler and I start to think it might be nice if I had someone to put their arm around my shoulder, or go to apple orchards with, or to hold my hand while sitting around the fire-pit in my backyard. Fall-induced male companion syndrome is what led me to OkCupid when I met Wally.
I wouldn’t say I have a “type,” really, but Wally was definitely on the outer rim of the realm of qualities I usually go for. But whenever I think, “nahhh not my type,” I always hear this little voice in the back of my head that says, “B…clearly what you’ve gone for in the past has never worked out, so maybe what you think you need and what you really do need are different!” Fair point, Devil’s Advocate B, fair point.
So what wasn’t ” my type” about Wally? Well:
1) He was on OkCupid, which has never been a hotbed of potential (for me, anyhow).
2) All of his pictures looked pretty old. I know men don’t always have as many photos of themselves as women, but for dating site purposes, get a buddy to take a few recent shots. Thanks.
3) He was not making a move. I’m the type who likes to have several days of short back and forth convos before meeting someone off a dating site. I’ve even kept in text contact for 2-3 weeks before meeting if we’re both busy and scheduling is difficult. So I’m not expecting anyone to say “let’s meet” three sentences in, but Wally was sending me OkCupid messages that were 6-7 paragraphs long (full paragraphs with 3-4 sentences), and after several of these novellas, I was on team Let’s Meet Already. Why keep investing time if we may not even like one another?
I suggest we meet, and we settle on getting a drink at a local bar that coming Sunday. From the moment I walk to the bar, things are not going swimmingly.
Homeboy has a shaved head. Now I don’t care if someone has a shaved head — plenty of men look attractive that way — but all of his photos showed a full head of hair. I don’t know about you, but I feel that’s a noteworthy change that should be included in photos, or at least mentioned, if only for the fact that finding someone in a crowded bar is hard when you’re looking for someone who has hair and they in fact do not. It’s also hard to find someone when they don’t stand up when they see you. I’m not a huge hugger on first dates because I don’t always want to physically touch someone I don’t know, so I’m down to skip that part. However, I think it’s polite to stand up and greet the person instead of staying in your seat while you sit there already having your drink. He doesn’t offer to get me anything, so I go up to the bar alone to buy my beverage.
I come to the early conclusion that this will be a one-drink-then-leave kind of night. This plan hits a road-block when I realize my drink is 3/4 gone and Wally’s is barely 1/4 gone. Why? Because he’s babbling on and on, and apparently when he’s talking he isn’t drinking. What is he talking about? Oh, you know, he touches on a variety of things (musical interests, his hometown, how he works with kids). Once he hits on the working with kids angle, he veers off into story after story about them. This wouldn’t usually be a problem — I used to work with kids and found it to be highly enjoyable, and so very often, working with kids provides funny or cute anecdotes. But Wally works at a home for foster children and the story he is most invested in telling is one about a little boy who was brought in because his mom was a drug addict and his step-father was molesting him. While he begins delving into the deep and dark details of the molestation, I am certain that everything he is saying is a massive breach of confidentiality.
I am also longing to be rid of him. His drink is still 1/3 full. I come up with a brilliant plan: go to the bathroom! I do, immediately send “good lord help me,” texts to any friend who will listen, and take my sweet time so that Wally can guzzle that beer. Proud of my ingenuity in fast-fowarding this date, I practically skip back to our table, only to feel my stomach sink to the floor when I see a full beer in front of him. “I ordered another!” he announces happily.
I switched to water after my first drink in an attempt to convey, “I’m not having a great time.” Throughout the slow process of him drinking 3/4 of this next beer, I lay down more hints. I fake a yawn and ask what time it is. He says 9, and I say, “Ooooh it makes sense why I’m so tired, then, it’s almost time for me to get to bed. Early Monday morning!” I mention a couple other times how, “I can’t believe I’m so tired,” and I try to talk more so that he’ll stop flapping his lips and instead wrap them around the neck of that bottle and gulp gulp gulp. Around 1/4 to go, I need a mental break and excuse myself to the bathroom again. This time I don’t even go into the stall, I just stand in a corner texting and tapping my foot.
I bet you can guess what happens when I go back out. Yep, he has another new beer. FML. In hindsight, this is when I should’ve said I had a lovely evening but have to go. Nowhere in the first-date handbook does it say: and the date, whether going well or poorly, must last the length of three beers drank at a snail’s pace. Unfortunately, I’m too nice and felt it would be rude to leave him sitting there alone. I was past the point of being able to talk to try and make him drink more quickly. Instead I sat there and took my punishment. I did go to the bathroom 2-3 more times. I wondered if he thought I had a UTI or bladder infection, because who goes to the bathroom that many times, but I didn’t give a shit what he thought of me.
Eventually a small miracle occurs — I return from the bathroom and he says the waitress came to ask if he wanted another drink but he probably shouldn’t because he had an hour drive home. Yay! Freedom. I remind him that I paid at the bar upon arriving so my bill is all set and he says, “sounds good,” and stands up to put on his coat. We get nearly to the door when the flustered waitress comes running over and reminds him that he didn’t pay his bill. I’m not sure if he was planning to skip out on the check or if he legit forgot, but how do you forget to pay for your 3 drinks??
He hugs me and says he had a really great time. I mumble something similar because saying, “OMG YOU ARE THE MOST SOCIALLY UNAWARE, SLOW-DRINKING, AWKWARD CONVERSATIONALIST I HAVE EVER MET AND I HOPE ONE DAY I FORGET YOU EVEN EXIST,” doesn’t seem appropriate. Then he points in the direction of my house and says, “I’m parked a few blocks this way, where do you need to go?”
I don’t miss a beat before saying, “Oh, I’m the other way.” We head in opposite directions, I walk around the block before doubling back toward my house. On the way I stop at a 7-Eleven. It’s 10:30, meaning I was on that awful date for 3.5 hours. In order to compensate for my terrible evening, I allow myself to buy Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, and a pack of chocolate frosted Donettes. I lean against the side of 7-Eleven and one-by-one eat all three cellophane-wrapped treats, not even caring about how much saturated fat I’ve just consumed — I deserved it, dammit!
Then I walk home and promise myself that I’ll never sit through three drinks with someone that bad again. Aside from texting Wally to say I’m not interested in going out on a second date, I never had another interaction with that weirdo.