So, my winter dating hiatus has ended and once again, I’ve gifted you with a
cliffhanger series chronicling why I’m about to just delete all of my profiles and buy a bucket of cats. A few weeks ago, I jumped right in with Engineer No. 94. He was nice. He wasn’t particularly attractive. He was successful. The conversation flowed. Then he ignored me all weekend and, after two weeks (a fortnight, y’all!) of regular texting, it came off as game playing. I tried to get back into the idea of him, but I couldn’t shake the thought that he’d had another date lined up and I was his second choice… or that he was following some lame three day rule. I want someone who’s interested in me and I’m past the game playing age. Also, he looked a little like Ward. I love Ward like the little brother I never wanted, but I think of him about as sexually as I do…
I am literally looking around my living room to find something that I think of with as little sexual interest as my good pal Ward… huh… apparently he’s the yardstick by which to measure all things asexual. Good to know.
So, from Engineer No. 94, we move on to my one half.
What the hell is a half date? Wait. Why does this one have a name?
If you’ve read any of my dating posts, or like, the introduction to this one, you’ve realized that I don’t give actual names to the men I date. Part of that is anonymity. Part of it is a refusal to acknowledge that they’re real people, wielding real rejection and/or disappointment. Part of it is that my ex-husband refused to work and I value employment that much. Mostly, it’s a lot easier to remember their professions, than their names, likely because of the previous reason. So, I call them by their job titles… and now there’s Andy.
Andy gets a name, because he’s not Auto Parts Manager. He’s Andy. I’ve known the guy my whole life and I mean that literally. There are many facets of growing up Catholic in the South; so many, actually, that I have a post I’ve yet to write, titled “Catholic in the South.” One of these is knowing every single Catholic kid in town… because there’s only the one church. So, Andy and I shared preschool, first communion, our 5th grade class, confirmation, and junior year Biology II together. He’s just… Andy.
So what earns him a whopping .5? Well, it wasn’t actually a date. Andy and I have been chatting on Facebook, for the past few months, about our faith, dating mishaps, Netflix recommendations, dogs… the works. Having grown up in the same church, we both eventually gravitated toward the parish in a neighboring town, because we didn’t like the priest at our childhood church. So, when said priest retired, Andy asked if I’d been to the new guy’s Mass yet. I said no and he asked if I’d like to go.
You know, to be fair, this isn’t really a thing people do, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t really a date. Andy and I didn’t hang out in high school. We got along. He was a band nerd and I was just a nerd. Our friends hung out, but not once did Andy and I ever spend time alone. So, he gets a .5, for this thing that’s not really a thing.
Why was it noteworthy, then? Well, we had a great time. I enjoyed hearing about Andy’s job, family, and what he’s been doing since high school. We found out we were both downtown for similarly crazy New Year’s Eves in 2011. He’s a mile tall and wasn’t bad to look at, with his scruff and church clothes. It was just… pleasant. It was also a reminder of what it’s supposed to be like, spending time with someone of the opposite sex. It wasn’t awkward, and no one yelled at me about The Walking Dead, or had furry hands, or told me I was a dumbass if I spent less than $2,000 on a bike… because it was with Andy. I don’t know if I’ll ever find quite the same connection and comfort on a first date, as I did with a man who attended all of those confirmation retreats with me, but that sort of camaraderie… it’s nice to occasionally have someone correct my aim. As I’ve said before, every date (or .5 date, as it may be) has served some purpose in my life. Andy, the reminder that fun could be had with a man, got me through my date with Civil Engineer.
I met Civil Engineer on Plenty of Fish and we progressed to texting fairly quickly. Too late, I realized he was a year younger than I, but Jane is always insisting I’m going to miss out on the man of my dreams, if I let something so superficial stop me. So, I persevered, telling myself that one year, does not a man make.
After texting for a bit, I realized that Civil Engineer was, indeed, just really… young. It was just the tone of his text messages and his only stated hobbies of TV and video games. I told myself, however, that unless a potential date actually did something to turn me away, like asking if I like to be rubbed (true story), I’d continue contact and see where it went.
Now, in the past I haven’t accepted dinner from men. I don’t know if we’re going to like each other. I don’t want to feel like he’s invested both time and funds, if it’s not going anywhere. Men, however, don’t seem to get that. Every single one of them wants to meet for dinner, so I’ve just stopped fighting it. If they want to spend $20 on a stranger they may never see again, whatevs. So, when Civil Engineer suggested dinner at one of the more expensive chain restaurants in the city, I just went with it. I dressed appropriately, in the same dress I’d worn to church with Andy, just a few hours earlier. I looked pretty danged cute, if I do say so myself. So, I gave myself the usual you will not die alone pep talk as I walked into the restaurant and gave the hostess Civil Engineer’s name.
Now, in addition to his emotional age, I had one other suspicion about Civil Engineer: that he was somewhat effeminate. The night I texted him while waiting for my dad to change my tire, he responded with…
Oh, that sucks girl.
Again, unless he clearly did something to turn me off, I was going to keep talking to the guy. Besides, my dad calls me “girl” sometimes… like he does Bea. The man has literally spoken the words “that bobcat come flyin’ out from underneath.” He’s as far from effeminate as they come. I told myself it was the same.
No, y’all. It was not the damned same. My daddy calls my stepsister and I “girl”, because we’re his girls. Civil Engineer called me “girl” because…
Oh. Em. Jingles. Remember that time I went out with the geologist, who looked like Gollum? I didn’t realize it, until I wrote the blog about our dates and posted a picture of Gollum? Zetus lapetus. I should’ve gotten an autograph.
I can say one thing in Civil Engineer’s defense. One fucking thing. He did not lie. He had the job he claimed to have and he looked like his photos. So, when I introduced myself and he gave me an oddly loud, “heeeeey”, I told myself to stop being such a superficial bitch and ignore the tenor of his voice. I sat down and he continued to talk very loudly. I am not a quiet person, y’all. My dad is mostly deaf in one ear. I’ve got a high tolerance for volume and I thought this dude was loud. Again, I decided to ignore the trivial first impression stuff. So we started talking… and it all went downhill from there.
Me: “I hate to drive. I don’t know why. It just stresses me out.”
CE: “Oh, I know what you’re sayin’. It’s bad news bears out there.”
It’s what now? Okay. I know. I just quoted Zenon: Girl of the Twenty-First Century, like a paragraph ago. I’m also a chick and I didn’t say it in the voice of Herbert the Pervert.
At this point, I still had both Jane and Gail in my head telling to be nice, so I said nothing each time the man exclaimed that something was “bad news bears.” However, I started to think about how I could never introduce this man to my family. My dad is Jed freaking Clampett. Even if I could bring myself to be attracted to someone so effeminate, I could not even picture sitting down and introducing my dad to him. The same goes for pretty much every other person in my family, as the man would be the butt of every joke.
When I’d arrived, CE already had a beer in front of him, which I took as an indicator of nerves. That’s fine. I’ve nothing against a little alcohol. As the date progressed, however, CE… appeared to have a problem. Our date lasted approximately an hour and a half. In that time, CE had five beers. I counted. Not only is that a ton of alcohol, but a lot of cash as well. This wasn’t a cheap restaurant. His stories didn’t make this sound like any less of a regular thing, either, as he shouted tale after tale of his grad school binge drinking. The man was practically performing the vitameatavegamin commercial by the time the check came.
Perhaps, that’s why he was such an ass.
CE: “Wait. What year did you graduate high school?”
CE: “Wooooooooow. You’re like a whole year older than me. How do you feel about that?” -winces-
He fucking winced. Now, after my date with this metrosexual frat boy, I won’t be dating anyone below the age of 28, ever again. That’s my personal preference. If, however, it was his personal preference to date someone younger, he should have done so. My age is no secret. It’s on my profile. You can search by age. If it’s an important enough issue to get drunk and insult me, you should probably do some better weeding, douche nugget.
Gail: “Wait. Go back. You forgot to tell me how you responded to that.”
Me: “Well, when’s your birthday?”
CE: “September 12th.”
Me: “Woooow. You’re a year and three days younger than I am.”
As most first meetings go, the conversation led to a brief discussion of our online dating history. I told CE that one of the problems I have, is that most men seem to want to leave my home state. I’m not game, because my whole family and career are here, so it’s hard to find common ground on this issue.
CE: “Yeah, I don’t want to leave the state. I mean, sometimes I do. Like, sometimes I think it would be great to just pick up and leave the country.”
I’d decided, at this point, that I was going to be polite, but I was never going to see this man again.
Me: “Well, now’s your chance. You’re single… no wife, no kids.”
CE: “Yeah. I’ve got friends with wives and kids and they’re just stuck. Like, they’re trapped. Forever. The old ball and chain.”
Dude, why are you here?!?!
After CE missed the fact that I was trying to get him to leave the country, we moved on to discuss TV shows.
Me: “Well, I like True Blood and-”
CE: “Oooooh, you’re a Twilight fan aren’t you? You watched all the movies and loved ’em.”
Me: “Well, I did read the books and I liked them well enough, but-”
CE: “Oh, don’t lie. You know you loved ’em. I’ll bet you went to all the midnight releases.”
Me: “Actually, I didn’t really care for-”
CE: “Oh, that’s what they all say. Every girl I dated was like ‘I don’t like them that much,’ but then when the movie came out, guess who had to sit through them.”
I’m sorry. Was that permission to speak?
CE: “So what’s in Shetland? Are your girlfriends there? Your gee effs?”
I shit you not. He phonetically pronounced GF’s, either stereotyping all women (I am so wet right now) or being über gay. I lean toward the former.
Me: “Well, um, my best friend lives there.”
CE: “Oh, yeah? What’s she do?”
Me: “She’s a mail carrier.”
CE: “Well… …. …. it’s a job.”
Listen, you drunken elitist asshole, not everyone wants to be an engineer, teacher, librarian, nurse, or scientist. Not everyone needs to go to college and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to find a career they love. Some people are lucky enough to find that without a degree and it’s pompous bags of dicks like you that are making those degrees redundant in our society anyway, by suggesting everyone needs one to be of value. Someone has to deliver your reminder postcard from AA and enjoying doing so does not make her any less intelligent, worthwhile, or pleasant. Asshat.
At this point, the date was pretty much over, though CE yammered on about how much more successful he was than anyone else in high school, after ordering dessert… because obviously the date was going so well. I had reached that point, where all I could think was…
I want to be home. I want to not be here. I don’t want to go through the awkwardness of leaving, when he’s clearly enjoying his own company (as everyone can hear), but I want to be gone.
So, I subtly… pssshhh. I can’t even type out the lie. I was subtle as a pipe bomb when I cut him off mid-sentence as he announced how badly he had to pee (again), because the beer was “flowing right through” him, to declare…
Me: “I actually have to go.”
CE: surprised “Oh. I’m sorry to keep you. I didn’t mean to make you stay longer than you wanted.”
Ooooh. Guilt tripping. Haaaawt.
Me: “It’s fine. I just have to work tomorrow. Thank you for dinner.”
He insisted on a hug and I turned my head away. I quickly walked to my car and realized that I’d just used the excuse “I have to work tomorrow” to leave a date at 7:30.
Jane: You didn’t! That’s as bad as flat out rejection!
Me: Psh. Whatev. I’m sure he was too drunk to notice.
Jane: Be nice.
Me: What can I say? It’s bad news bears out there.
Jane: Oh, that’s just really bad.
If I can get get Jane Give-Him-Another-Chance Williams to tell me it was a bad date…