Entry #5—The Chemist, or, The Time I Accidentally Went on a Date with a Ponytailed Carnie
This was a few years back so the details are fuzzy. That and I blocked out the majority of what happened due to a) disinterest, b) horror, and c) I knew I would never date again should I have to relive this type of experience in my mind. I assure you, readers, his profile seemed normal. Tall and fit, short hair with a beard, a chemist. His e-mails must have been funny — witty, even– and would have lacked the classic first messages along the lines of “hey gurll,” “damn u fine” etc.
I must have thought to myself, looks and brains? My my, how did I get so lucky to snatch this one up? If you ever have that thought and you’re looking at an online dating profile, the answer unequivocally is this: you’re about to be deceived, girl. You’re about to be deceived.
We decided to meet for a drink at a bar near my apartment at the time. He was already sitting down when I got there but I almost didn’t recognize him. I wish it was because I needed glasses, or because it was super crowded, or because I was blinded by the gorgeous Adonis sitting before me, waiting to smile at me and ask me for my hand in marriage. But really, it was this: how does a tall, fit, bearded man transform before my eyes into an obese man of average height with a ponytail????
You read that right. Ponytail. I’d ilke to state for the record that I have not now, nor will I ever, date a sheman with a ponytail. Probably could have posted a photo taken within the last 6 years, sheman.
He proceeded to order a beer and then explain that, while he was a chemist, his real joy was working at the carnivals every weekend making fried dough. I’m sorry, what?! Please repeat. You’re a morbidly obese ponytailed carnie? Oh, he loved him a carnival. His friends were the carnies, and he liked smelling like fried dough. Carnie told me all about his life at the carnival, and his recently ended nine-year relationship to a woman who came with both depression and a child. And when I say he nursed that beer I’m telling you: he. nursed. that. beer. He took an hour and a half to finish a single beer and when he finally took that last sip of backwash I thought to myself I did it! The end is in sight! I can feel it, I can touch it, I can smell it! I excused myself to go to the bathroom and while I was in there made friends with a stranger.
I said “Girl, I’m on an absolutely horrible date, he’s seriously the worst.!”
And she gave me advice that I went on to cherish on many dates thereafter: “So say you have to go and just leave.”
Oh. You mean, I can do that? I can not be polite, and smile and nod, and feign a minimum of 18% interest while I try not to laugh as I’m writing haikus in my head of how bad this is going and how much you were not what I was expecting????
I went back to the table, looking for the waitress so I could surreptitiously ask her for the check or, even better, hoping he’d already asked for it so I could get the hell out of there, and run back to the safety of sweatpants, Grey’s Anatomy, and men who don’t have ponytails or work at carnivals on weekends. I’d just gotten back to the table when he said the ugliest words in the English language: “I just ordered another beer.”
I thought of the last hour and a half of my life, gone. I thought of his ponytail, and his ex-lady friend, the depressed mother. I thought of him touching any part of my body, even if clothed, and shuddered. And then I thought of my guardian angel, my new friend from the bathroom, and I mustered the courage to say: “Oh, sorry, I actually have to go!” I felt such joy at how refreshing it was to say these words, and refused a ride home. The next day I got an e-mail from him, saying how much he enjoyed our date, how he really felt like we had a strong connection, and he couldn’t wait to see me again. Sorry, ponytail, but you need to check back into the carnival. We’re all stocked up on fried dough here.
Friends! This post concludes our first-ever, “worst date ever” contest. We are so thankful to everyone who entered, especially because we got to take a break this week from coming up with hilarious content and let our readers do it for us instead! That’s an especially good thing, since I am in full on Debbie Downer mode after ending things with the first guy I’ve really liked in a long time. (Get ready for more life lessons, and hopefully more Blerta, readers!) My misery (and the fact that I binge drank like a college freshman last night to forget about it) is preventing me from creating a poll, and the framing that would come with it.
So while I continue to act like a sulky toddler, S, as always, has agreed to be a true pal. She’ll be getting the poll up tomorrow. Stay tuned!