Hey guys, it’s Jess! Comin’ at ya fresh from what can only be described as one of the worst dates I’ve ever been on. We met on OkCupid, and exchanged a few very promising emails. After exchanging numbers, it got even better! This guy’s wit and sarcastic charm was off the charts; I had goddamn butterflies already, and that’s pretty rare for me. I was beyond excited to meet him and see where this might lead.
I should have immediately realized the dating gods were in a mischievous mood when he text me the night before our date and asked whether or not I am beard-friendly. Gasp! No! Say it isn’t so! Surely he isn’t one of those Men With Beards… I thought. Subsequently, I decided to ignore this first warning sign and show up at the pub we had selected. Only to find it closed for a Christmas party…in late January. Liv had just dropped me off (I didn’t want to drive myself in case I ended up having a few beverages. Stupid, Jess. STUPID), so I am stranded outside said pub, freezing my ass off and facing the horrifying realization that I am going to have to get into this man’s car if I want the date to continue. I quickly call Liv to update her and arrange for her to call in twenty minutes if she hasn’t gotten the “all clear” from me, and then I call my date and explain the situation. He is fine with it and says he’ll be there in a few minutes. Crisis averted! Right?
Wrong. So wrong! When he pulls into the parking lot, I prepare myself for that always awkward first hello. Is he going to get out of the car and come at me for a hug? Perhaps a stiff handshake? Maybe he’ll just roll his window down and introduce himself, while also inviting me to get out of the cold and into his warm car. Nah, he does none of this. But he does pull his car up beside me and stare. I hesitate, confused as to what is expected of me, and then slowly walk around to the passenger door. When he still hasn’t moved a muscle (other than the ones connected to his eyeballs, which are following every move I make) I finally open the door and climb in.
This is when I first realize how grossly he has misrepresented himself in the pictures on his profile. There is probably 50 pounds more to him than I am expecting, and I think to myself: “Ahhh! Shitttt! Okay. Well. Whatever…personality, Jess. Personality is more important!” only to quickly discover that this guy embodies not only the physical attributes of a blob but also the charm. He doesn’t say hello or even look me in the eye. No. He just smiles and stares. First in the general direction of my face, but then (with growing creepiness) just at my chest. Which I slowly try to cover with my scarf as I offer up different options on where to go next.
Fast forward to us sitting at a table in the new restaurant we had chosen. He orders two drinks immediately, both for himself (?!), and then starts to complain that he needs to spit his gum out and has nowhere to do it. I’m not sure if he’s actually waiting for me to offer some suggestions, but he finally removes it from his mouth and carefully places it on his coaster. For later, I’m guessing. He then produces a twoonie from his pocket and begins spinning it around the table. I don’t know if it’s because this task requires a great deal of his concentration, but every question I asked him results in a moment of silence as he tilts his head back and forth in a big display of contemplation while gazing up at the ceiling. Gone are the witty, sarcastic remarks that I had grown accustomed to in our online and textual conversations, and I am getting rather irritated.
See, Liv and I have often had this conversation. It’s not easy being sociable and outgoing! Sure, it may come to some a lot easier than it does to others, but for the rest of us it’s a skill that we have to work on. I have to bite the bullet all the time and force myself to do and say things that are outside of my comfort zone. So when I meet someone who is refusing to put forth the same level of painful effort and instead chooses to leave it all up to me, well, I end up getting a little frustrated.
Anyways, back to the date. I had just ducked into the bathroom to call Liv so I could relay this horror story of a date, and when I return I find that our food had arrived and he is already eating. “I tried to wait but I failed”, he explains as he spears his entire fried fish with his fork and begins to nibble off of it. He actually manages to do this in a dainty and delicate manner, which fascinates me. I watch with interest as the fish begins to disintegrate, sending pieces falling into his lap and bouncing around the table. I watch with even more interest as he picks up all of these pieces and pops them into his mouth. The level of class that this guy exudes is knocking the wind out of me.
After our plates are removed and my thoughts have turned to getting the check and getting the fuck out of there, he suddenly perks up and finally asks me a question. Well halleluiah! Maybe the poor guy is just hypoglycemic and unable to function in a socially appropriate manner until he feeds. As I answer his question (which was regarding my line of work) I notice that he is playing with the skewer that held the olives in his Caesar. It’s actually a little blue sword, you know the little plastic ones that come in drinks sometimes? I watch in equal parts fascination and horror as he starts to pick his teeth with it, eventually putting the entire thing in his mouth and chewing it up. By now I have fallen silent and am just staring as he masticates this plastic sword, when suddenly he begins to pull it out of his mouth, bit by bit. He methodically arranges each piece onto a napkin, forming the shape of a sword again. Then he presents me with “Narsil, the broken sword from The Lord Of The Rings“. Covered in his spit.
That’s about where the date ended. After I paid for my sweet potato fries and beer, I fled. I was disheartened, to say the least. This guy definitely didn’t exhibit any of the warning signs I have come to look for from previous Dudes We’ve Dated. (Haven’t read that yet? To read the post that began it all, click here), so where did I go wrong? As my friends were quick to point out, this would only happen to me, but I’m willing to wager that there are other stories out there that would at least give me a run for my money. Anyone out there brave enough to share their own dating disaster?