So not only do I not have time to date right now, but you know that scene in Where the Heart Is, where Natalie Portman has decided to teach herself to read after giving birth in a Wal-Mart? She explains that it’s absolutely exhausting because she has to look up every other word in the dictionary and then look up those words in the children’s dictionary. That’s me, but with dating, because I have no idea what the fuck I am doing.
A few months ago, I went on a date with Engineer. He was cute enough in his pictures, had a big boy job, and the conversation had gone alright online, so I met him at a fast food restaurant after work one evening. I had homework to do, but figured I could fit in a little bit of a social life (wrong). As I was driving away from our first meeting, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I just didn’t like him. Gail’s always telling me I don’t give guys enough of a chance, because she’ll go out with a guy whose shoes are made of wheat at least four times before she gets tired of hearing about how he’s going to make it big with his “art” one day, so the McJob is just temporary. So, after leaving Engineer, I thought of several reasons not to like him, but didn’t want to share any of them with Gail, because I was afraid she’d tell me I was going to die alone. I did, however, tell her when Engineer asked for a second date. I left out everything negative and she, naturally, encouraged me to continue getting to know him. A couple of days later, I sent Gail this text:
“I canceled my date with Engineer. I just really don’t like him and didn’t want you to tell me I’d die alone.”
At this point, I think Gail realized that she’d been making enough jokes about my dating habits to convince me I couldn’t confide in her and that’s how we both ended up married to lunatics that one time. So she called and was absolutely non-judgemental, but wanted to hear the whole story, because we tell each other everything.
First off, this guy hated THE UNIVERSE. He was one of those people who thought that disliking things made him superior. He immediately insulted Twilight and anyone who reads “that stupid vampire crap.” I’ve read five books about vampires this month and had a private True Blood marathon this week. I like Superman, but Batman is better. I hardly watch T.V., but he didn’t even own a T.V. and was super proud of that fact, despite watching the shows he likes on his computer. That’s still screen time! He didn’t read and had never been to the local library. He was oddly against drinking at all and clearly judged anyone who wasn’t. He thought religion was stupid and that football was a waste of time. He didn’t like any movies and told me he hates all music, because it’s all the same. For fucking realz, yo. On the way home, trying to pinpoint why I didn’t like him, I just kept thinking of how little we had in common… because he’d have nothing in common with anyone living. Then, venting to my best gal, the one person who is always on my side, I remembered… the rest.
Me: “I actually hurt my back really badly when I decided to take up running the same week I tried a P90X vid…”
Engineer: “Okay, no offense, but there’s no way you can do P90X.”
Me: “I was going to say it was just the ab exercise.”
He immediately told me he had ADHD and proved he loved to talk about it. He actually stopped speaking for a moment (but only a single moment in the whole fucking date) to tap the shiny lightbulb and comment on how it was shiny and he liked shiny things. It was like his dialogue was written by a 14-year-old who thinks that’s what people with ADHD say.
Me: “So if your ADHD is so bad, how’d you get through college with such trouble focusing?”
Engineer: “I slept. The professors knew that if they woke me up, I’d just correct all of their answers and embarrass them, so they just let me sleep.”
Engineer: “So I was working as a janitor at this plant, after college, and it just sucked, because I knew I was smarter than every single person there.”
I felt like the best case scenario would be dating for a couple of weeks before I lost my shit and shouted “OH MY GOSH! You hate everything but yourself! Why am I even here?!?!”
… because finally…
Me: talking about how my dad wants bragging rights from his kids “He loves to tell people that I have a master’s degree at 25, even though I’m not finished yet.”
Engineer: “Bet he doesn’t tell them what it’s in, though.”
Oh, go suck a bag of dicks! On your way, be sure to get distracted and suck a bag of super SHINY dicks!
So how does all of this make me stupid? It was a bad date that I tried to smooth over. Maybe I gave that unreasonable effort, but anyone can be the victim of a bad date. “Too stupid to date” is awfully harsh.
The thing is, for someone who shouted “HOLY FUCKING CUNT ROLLS!” the other day, I have it on good authority that I can be shockingly naive. I didn’t even think to tell Gail the following until the end of the story.
Me: “Well, he did say one thing that might have been kind of weird, but I think I was reading into it.”
Gail: “What did he say?”
Me: “Well… um… nevermind. It sounds worse than it is when I say it out loud.”
Gail: “What did he say?!?!”
Me: “Well, when I texted to ask what intersection we were meeting at, he responded with ‘the restaurant or my apartment?’, but I think he just misunderstood what I was asking.”
Gail: imitating my voice… poorly “Ell oh ell! You don’t know how words work!”
She thinks she’s the sweet one.
Me: “That can’t be what he meant! It was the first time we’d met! He did not want to have sex with me. He said he was looking for an actual relationship. People don’t do that.”
Gail: “Yes, Belle. They do. That is exactly what he meant. Also, he was lying.”
Me: “Oh, it is not. We’re too old for those games. If he wanted sex, he’d say so online. But… wait… maybe…”
Gail: “Maybe what?!? What else did he say?!?!”
Me: “Well, when he asked me to go on the second date, he asked what I was doing and said he was watching Arrow. I said I like that show and he asked if I wanted to watch it with him, but I’m sure he meant at some undetermined time in the future!” I spit the last part out before she could interrupt.
Gail: “Oh, he did not! He wanted you to come over right then so he could pretend his computer was broken and fuck.”
Me: “You’re making that up! He called me fat on the first date! No one does that! Ewwww.”
Gail: “Well, clearly he didn’t mind, because that’s what he meant.”
Me: “Maybe he wanted me to go over there, but that doesn’t mean he wanted to have sex. You’ve gone to men’s apartments several times when you’ve just met.”
Gail: “Yeah… and I knew what they wanted.”
Me: “Wait, then what did he mean when he said ‘if tomorrow night goes well’?”
Gail: “OH MY GOD! I am so glad you didn’t go to this man’s apartment! Do not apologize for canceling and do not talk to him again!”
It’s probably best for Gail’s nerves that I’ve put dating aside for a few months… especially since I never was completely sure of his intentions.