The Time I Almost Got Shankraped by Online Dating

My dear blog has been and will be many things, including divorcée blog, grad student blog, librarian blog, humor blog, opinion blog, and dating blog. That last one has been recurring, and lately even prominent. I’ve shared tales of men who insulted my faith, my degree, my best friend… of men who lived with their mothers, stood me up, and who I wished had stood me up… and even of men who’ve been perfectly nice, but for some reason, it just wouldn’t have worked. Rarely, however, has it ever been my emphasis that I met a man online. I didn’t almost end up in Tupperware, because I met the first Engineer on Plenty of Fish. I just didn’t put two and two together and realize how sketchy it was that a man who claimed he didn’t own a TV would want to watch Arrow together at his place.

It’s not online dating’s fault. It’s dating’s fault. People be crazy (and others impossibly naive for 25), regardless of where you meet them. What can you do? The Peach Pit and Central Perk are closed and MacLaren’s was an inaccurate portrayal of the dating world for at least the last three seasons. Unless someone’s willing to take me for a joyride in their DeLorean at 88 miles per hour, this is where we are… ‘cept Wednesday. Wednesday, this is where I was.

It all started out innocently enough. I was at the gym, on the elliptical, reading some harmless vampire porn, when I heard something from behind me. I turned to see a man was talking to me.

Me: “I’m sorry?”
Stabby McStabberson: “Are you on OKCupid?”
Me: “Um… yeah.”
Stabby McStabberson: “I thought you looked familiar. I’m on there, too.”
Me: …
Stabby McStabberson: “Have you ever seen me on there?”
Me: “Um… no. I don’t think so.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Well, I’ve seen you.”
Me: “Okay. Sorry, I don’t think I remember you.”

Okay, first of all, I’m pretty open about the fact that I date online. I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of the stigma as long as my aunts are insisting they met their husbands at the cowboy bar. Even so, the first thought that went through my head when this guy shouted “OKCupid” over the noise of the fan was “SHHHHHH!” Second, what exactly was the purpose of this? Clearly he was interested, but “You date online, don’t you? I date online, too!” is not how you date in person. If you’re interested in someone you see online, you message them online. You don’t memorize their stats and accost them face to face! But… I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, I texted Gail about the exchange and returned to my vampire porn, refusing to let a little awkwardness interrupt my workout… until…

Stabby McStabberson: “So, can I introduce myself?”
Me: “What?”
Stabby McStabberson: “Can I introduce myself?”
Me: “Um… sure.”
– If you’re going to introduce yourself to a person, you just do it. You don’t ask permission. Furthermore, if they’re as bad at hiding their discomfort with you doing so as I am, you keep it brief. –
Stabby McStabberson: “Hi. I’m Matt.”
Me: “Hi.”
Stabby McStabberson: “What’s your name?”
Me: “Belle.”
– Why did I tell him my name? Am I exaggerating this? I am intensely uncomfortable. Is this unfounded? –
Stabby McStabberson: “Belle. That’s a pretty name. Do you come here often?”
– To the gym, which requires a membership? –
Me: “Yeah. I have a membership.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Yeah, me too. I pay monthly. I’ve seen you here, before.”
– Oh, that… doesn’t make this better. –
Me: “… oh.”
Stabby McStabberson: “So, have you met anyone on OKCupid?”
– Does he mean am I available? Should I tell him I have a boyfriend? No. I’m overreacting. I am not going to fake a boyfriend. –
Me: “Yeah. I’ve met a few people.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Oh. Your screen name is UniversityLibrarian, isn’t it?”
– Oh, this just got so much worse. That hasn’t been my screen name for months and he remembers it. I should’ve left. –
Me: “Um… something like that.”
Stabby McStabberson: “You have a master’s degree.”
– AND YOU HAVE A HUMAN HEAD IN YOUR TRUNK! This is the worst thing. I’m going to be on the news, a cautionary tale for all young women who date online. –
Me: “Um… yeah. I do.”
Stabby McStabberson: “I’m getting my associate’s. I wanna be a youth pastor or a helper or something.”
– Wait. A “helper”? That takes an associate’s degree? Why hasn’t he figured out what he’s doing for a living? He’s at least 30… NOT THE FUCKING POINT, BELLE! –
Stabby McStabberson: “So are you still active on there?”
– How does he not see that I am visibly afraid of him? I am not even trying to hide it. –
Me: “Nope. Not lately.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Oh. Did you meet someone?”
– Fuck, yes. I most definitely met someone. –
Me: “Yup. I’ve been talking to someone for awhile, now.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Oh. Okay. Well, good luck.”

04-23-15 1

Gail: “Next time: ‘Are you on OKCupid?’ ‘No.'”