Vancouver Dating Blog: A First Date with The Mess
January was all about finalizing grad school applications and trying to shake off the disastrous effects of dating CryBabyRomeo. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it but on that first date of ours, he had told me about how he'd "dated" one girl from Vancouver already. They'd gone out, had a nice time and chastely parted ways. However, the next morning she was sexting dirty messages and asking when he'd be over. He, of course, went to her place later that night, they boned and that was that. He said she called him two weeks later, just to say that she couldn't see him again because she didn't want him to think she was that kind of girl. At the time, I joined in his laughter, ha ha ha fucking crazy chicks ha ha ha. Because with the way he told it, that was how it sounded, but after my own experience of awful sex with him, followed by him texting a joke about how you're not going to never talk to me again are you?, and I began to see what had really happened with them.
They had clearly had sex, awful sex like we'd had awful sex, and then she'd ceased contact. Eventually, when he reached out with a phone call, she was so flustered that instead of beating down his manhood with a quick and to the point um...you suck at sex, also you're boring, she simply hit him with something that would scare any boy off: crazy talk.
And here's why I'm so certain that's what happened. Because we had sex, and it was awful, and so I ceased contact and lo and behold two weeks later, I get a text that says: what's up Houdini? To which I promptly informed him I wasn't interested. I hadn't felt compelled to inform him earlier since to be honest, he hadn't contacted me until then. Obviously, he had one playbook and wasn't about to stray in order to throw a hail mary. Sadly, it's too bad he didn't have a better coach working with him on some plays. So that was that, I spent January trying to forget January.
February was slow as shit in the dating department (in so much as there was absolutely none).
March was the final push for grad applications and school (terms papers and class presentations and filling out forms, etc.). Because I was so busy with school, at the beginning of March, I deleted my plenty of fish account (but not before messaging two men who seemed promising amongst another 40 who absolutely were not). Sure, I wasn't super excited for them. Sure, we'd barely messaged. But both men were clearly interested and had relatively good profiles so why not, right?! (famous last words). I dropped my email in their inboxes and hoped for the best.
April came and Guy #1 emailed. It was eloquent. It was adorable. He was going back to London. Fuck. We decided to keep in touch anyway because with his job moving him around and my academic adventures on the horizon, who's to say we wouldn't one day rendezvous in Paris or Boston.
A few weeks later, Guy #2 emailed. Apparently it had been very difficult to find my email in the message that I had sent him, which seemed a rather weak and unnecessary excuse but it was heavily offset by the fact that he seemed to think I was fantastic and definitely wanted to take me out. Unfortunately for him I was still wrapping up exams and schoolwork so, as is often the case, this boy would have to wait. He seemed okay with that. We exchanged phone numbers. We texted back and forth and it was fine (not great, not terrible, just meh). Until he texted:
Ok text me with a heads up when you are ready to giv'er! Lol.
Now I'm not saying this is the kiss of death or anything but do you ever have those moments where you look back and you're like this right here, this is why I knew we wouldn't be a good fit? Yeah. Well. This. Giv'er?!?! Giv'er is fine...er...it's acceptable...if you're camping or surfing or anything involving beer and a high school reunion or a trip to Whistler. But when you should be trying to impress a lady? When you're a 38 year old man? Giv'er is not good. Not sexy, honey, not sexy.
But I let it go (as I've foolishly been known to do) because I have this eternal optimism that people are better than they present themselves. Sadly, I'm wrong more often than I am right, but I digress. Soon after this, we were finally able to make plans to meet, but not before he asked me to meet IN THE MORNING before he had to fly to Portland. Was this guy fucking serious?!?! A first meeting in the morning?!?! To which I promptly responded that asking a writer/student to hang out on a Saturday morning would never fly with me, not even if you were Bon Jovi.
Instead, we made plans to meet Monday night and on Sunday he texted to remind me, which I found kind of cute. He picked a place on Commercial at 7pm. And at 7pm I arrived at the bar and read a text from him that said:
Going to be about 15 or 20 minutes late. CUSoon.
Ugh. To be honest I was more disturbed by the teenage texting skills than the lateness. Shit happens. I've been late for a date once before, and the fact that he let me know boded well with me. Plus this way I could get all situated, order up a nice diet soda, watch the game on the big screens and get my relax on. Earlier in the day we had texted a reminder pic of ourselves to the other, since it had been weeks since I'd had a dating profile up on POF (though I didn't really need one of him, obvs I saved his profile as a favorite to keep my memory fresh). And then 20 minutes later I felt a hand spread across my back...I turned to look...and there he was...a new "Something".
Have you ever gotten a present, like say for a birthday or Christmas, which you then opened only to find that there were more and more presents inside? Like, you had thought yourself lucky enough to get the first edition book you wanted, but then hidden beneath that was also that diamond necklace you'd been mooning over for months and beside that a round-trip ticket to Paris?
Yeah, well this date was absolutely nothing like that. In fact, it was the total opposite of that. Instead of presents upon presents it was like I had just walked into a mine-field of disappointment and loser bombs were exploding all around me. Every word he spoke was another bomb exploding in my face.
I lied about being a non-smoker KABOOM!
I lied about my age KABOOM!
I'm going to eat all your yam fries and then make you pay for them KABOOM!
But I digress. I'm getting ahead of myself here. I mean come on, if I had to live through the whole disappointing experience I'm certainly going to make you share in the misery too. That's only fair, right?
Sidebar: I feel the need to preface this date with two thoughts.
One, that while I may be a judgmental person, I'm also a very understanding person. While the rest of the world seems up in arms over a few spelling mistakes in a dating profile, I'm more likely to let them slide. However, if you couple those errors with tedious conversation, a general lack of ambition, a disheveled appearance, etc. suddenly it's death by paper-cuts and I'm throwing baby out with the bathwater. So I guess I'm asking...don't judge me for the bombs exploding on this date but offer sympathy as they murdered me.
Two, somehow when I go over this date story in my head, it doesn't seem quite as disastrous as it felt at the time, which is why I'm certain I'm not doing it justice. I want it known that any inability to convey the absolute ickiness of this whole date is due to a inferior ability to put into words the sheer awfulness of the experience. So I guess I'm asking...multiply everything by two and then push it off a bridge into icy waters...yes...it was that bad.
So there I was...casually sitting at the bar, with my diet coke, a nervous disposition and the optimism of a fool, just hoping for a fun night when suddenly there was a palm on my back, I turned to the left and there he was. In all his lavender colored jacket wearing glory. KABOOM!
And then he spoke, and without evoking too many I'm-a-total-jackass-it's-not-his-fault-that-nature-gave-him-this-but-it's-also-not-my-fault-that-it's-not-a-turn-on-sexist-stereotypes, he had a seriously feminine voice. KABOOM!
But then again, haven't I always lamented feeling like my voice was too husky? So the date carries on, because this is just superficial bullshit, right...and for all I know his personality is amazing. And speaking of superficial bullshit, that's when he takes off his jacket to reveal himself quite the little potbelly. And I know what you're thinking aren't you a plus-sized chubby chick? And indeed I am, and I make no effort to hide it, in fact I do my best to make sure it's as visible as possible. Of course, I make an effort to look my best in photos, the same way I do for dates (I'm not showing up in jogging pants and a ponytail here right...I mean I've done my hair, I've all gussied up in pretty smoky-eyed makeup), but I don't like to pull any punches because can you imagine showing up to a date and having someone be like ugh...you're way fatter than I thought...I'm out of here.
But I digress. And like I said, maybe his personality would be stellar. Maybe he'd knock my socks off with his interesting questions or the kind way he listened to me talk about writing or traveling. Maybe we would laugh over witty repartee and cry over the loss of the Canucks and talk about the other teams still in the playoffs. Maybe. maybe. maybe...
But that's not quite how it went.
Once he was settled and had ordered a beer, I started with one of the most simple questions known to man.
How was your day?
Good he replied I bought a bunch of packets *inaudible ramble* to quit smoking *inaudible ramble*
Wait what!?! He's a smoker?!?! Uh...that's not what his profile says. And cut the bullshit, if you can't actually say you've quit smoking (past tense), you're still a smoker. The irony is that I'd date a smoker, but like why lie about it. KABOOM!
And the worst part of the whole thing, it's not like he was even apologetic. No, I'm so sorry I fudged the truth but I hope you'll forgive me. No, I get that it's a really shitty thing to do, lying on dating profile, but blah blah blah. None of that. The dude acted like it was no big thing. And while perhaps I should not have, I too acted like it was no big thing, I mean, we were less than 5 minutes into the date. I don't even know how you bail this early. So I smiled and he carried on.
Which was the mobile vaporizer he had just purchased, for $300. At first I thought he had asthma. Then realized it was for smoking weed, which is fine in theory (and readers, please remember this was back in 2012 when things were different) but here's where social protocol comes in. This is a first date. Keep that shit to yourself, son. And then he explained further, indicating the shape of the device with his hands kind of like a stout penis or a small vibrator he said *insert gross creepy laughter, encroaching on my personal space and attempting to touch my hand*. Oh, and of course my awkward laughter. KABOOM!
Luckily, he changed gears and asked me one of the only two questions he laid on me all night. What are you studying at UBC? I told him English Literature. Usually when I tell people this the conversation goes one of three ways. Nowhere, they're not interested in this and we move on to other subjects like dating or politics. They ask who my favorite author is, which is fine, I usually just say Dickens or Defoe because there's a fairly good chance they'll know who I'm talking about or I'll just mention anything that falls under the heading of Eighteenth Century Whore Biography. The third option makes me the most uncomfortable. It's kind of like that Pros vs. Joes TV show where regular Joes try to beat Pro athletes at their sport. It's where the person lists off their own favorite authors, books, etc. (without me actually asking them) and then grills me about all sorts of obscure authors I've never even heard of, and act shocked that I might not know about number 13 on the current New York Times Best Sellers list for hardcover fiction. Like, are you serious?!?! There are Billions of books...yes yes, please go ahead and try to feel a sense of superiority because you know a few books that an English Literature major has never heard of. Congratulations, you're a genius. And that's exactly what happened. We spent the next 5-10 minutes in an awkward tango of him attempting to outdo me, and me being fine with that. super. KABOOM!
Maybe he sensed how uncomfortable I was or maybe he had just exhausted himself. For whatever reason though, I was given a reprieve when he asked about Grad Schools. Which ones had I applied to and did I know any results yet. I listed off the schools I'd applied to and told him that both Georgia State and North Carolina State had accepted me but I was still waiting to hear about the rest. Somehow this lead to a discussion about water, and I informed him that Georgia does, in fact, have water access. Now perhaps I'm at fault for what happened next as my finger-on-bar-top drawing skills may be a bit sub par but when I drew the state of Georgia and where it touched the ocean, his response was It's like a nipple *insert gross touching of my imaginary drawing* KABOOM!
You'd think with all the bombs exploded already that this date had been going on for quite a while but it was only 8pm at this point (and remember that he'd been late as well). I had spent the first half hour waiting for him and the second half deflecting inappropriate comments and trying not to be horribly disappointed with the mess of a man that plenty of fish had served up to me. Not to mention thinking this has to be as bad as it gets, right? RIGHT?!?! Wrong.
The waitress came over to see if we wanted to get something to eat. I didn't really but he wanted to share something little Yam fries? Sure. So he ordered some yam fries to share and another beer. The waitress brought the beer, instead of slowly drinking the half a beer he had left, he chugged it. Then the fries came and I ate about 10. Honestly I hadn't been that hungry and since every time he said something creepy or awkward or uncomfortable I would sip down some diet coke, you can imagine I was getting damn full on that. Plus, to be totally honest, watching a guy who is completely oblivious to the world in general and to social protocol specifically, eat yam fries dipped heavily in mayo after pounding back a few beers has got to be one of the grossest things ever. Not to mention his conversation never lagged so I wouldn't be surprised if at some point I had yam bits spattered across my face and arms. KABOOM!
And then came the dating experience chatter. They say you shouldn't talk your past on first dates, but I think your past says a lot about you as a person, and, in my date's case, it said way way too much. First he told me about some dates in the recent past: only 12 or so since January. I assume, of course, these were all first dates. He tells me about the chick who freaked out on him because of the fact that he was a smoker (obviously she is my idol). And then there were a lot of dates that had the same three factors: wine, him getting laid, ceasing contact. It's like these ladies had never heard of masturbation or standards because honestly there wouldn't be enough beer in the world for me to have sex with my date. boom. And then he mentioned his upcoming date with another lady two days later. boom. And then finally he mentioned "we're clearly not getting married" boom. He meant it as if to say that he and I could have some real fun together before I potentially went away to school but even so. KABOOM!
Now something I haven't mentioned thus far but spanned the entire duration of our date was The Mess's overall demeanor. The best way I can think of is by comparison, which allows me to tell you that he basically acted like a tweaker. There was a lot of movement in every gesture. The topics were scattered and uncomfortable. And more than once was there an invasion of my personal space. What can I say, I'm not really into guys who hold up their finger to your face (repeatedly) because they want you to stop speaking so they can chime in. And I haven't even gotten to the good part yet. You see, well he was getting shitfaced, I was stone cold sober (and perhaps even more alert than normal given my chugging of diet coke to avoid awkward moments). And that's when he hit me with it. Blah blah blah stupid story blah blah blah I'm 41 blah blah blah HOLD UP! What's that? 41? That's not what your profile says. KABOOM! KABOOM! KABOOM!
His profile said he was 38 (the irony of this lie is again, I wouldn't have cared). 41 or 38 isn't a huge difference but someone who lies on their dating profile? Now, that's a big ass red flag. And since I knew there was no way this date was EVER going anywhere not in a million freaking years I felt it was my duty to women everywhere to educate this douchebag on just why exactly it was so awful to lie on a dating profile.
His logic, by the way, was that if a person really liked him it wouldn't matter what age he was. And so I explained to him that the problem isn't the age, it's the lying. I went on to explain that by lying on his dating profile, he had taken the decision away from me as to whether or not I would want to meet the real him. This was dating fraud of the first degree. To be honest, he couldn't or didn't want to understand. He just keep jamming mayo covered yam fries in his mouth and saying that at least he wasn't trying to hide it now.
But the truth is. All this. All these lengthy lengthy paragraphs detailing the endless torture that was my date with The Mess pale in comparison to the piece de resistance. At some point I went to the washroom and when I returned to my bar stool, I had just about had it with this date. I had held off as long as I could, and since I couldn't bring myself to white lie about having to get up early or having to pack or having to hold the hand of a dying relative...I knew that my parking would be my out. You see, I'd paid for 2 hours. And I wasn't going to get a ticket on account of this dick. So at about 8:50 we got the bill. Which the waitress had surprisingly split up. Now I don't know about you guys but I have never NEVER had a waitress split a bill when out with a fella without asking first, which leads me to believe that during my trip to the ladies room my Prince Charming, this true Mess of a man, asked for our bill to be split. That's right, even after torturing me for two hours and gorging himself on the fries...I had to pay for my own diet coke and "half basket of fries" KABOOM!!!!!!!!!
I. Was. Livid.
Perhaps the most bizarre is that I don't think he did it to be a dick. I think he just is a clueless one, by pure accident. Because after we had paid, and I was ready to high tail it out of there, he asked if he could walk me to my car. Was this dude for real?! I said Sure over my shoulder and then I practically jogged to my car. Upon which he exclaimed how can you afford that *insert weak complaints about his shitty 20 year old truck*. Yeah, because nothing makes a girl hotter than exclaiming about your poverty when you're a grown up with a government job who supposedly only has his thesis to finish to complete his MSc at SFU. So I just told him I'm independently wealthy. Kaboom!!
He mentioned a lovely coffee shop up the street and I could tell, sitting there, on the tip of his tongue, was going to be an invite to join him. And while I haven't perfected my break-away-during-the-date-dash, I damn sure have my already-getting-in-my-car-adios-kid stride on lock. I hit him with a quick, well it was nice meeting you and pretty much ran around the car to the front door, jumped in, slammed the door, hit the gas, and drove to chronic tacos...a reward for the torture I'd just endured, scarred for life, by a Mess in a lavender leather jacket.