First date with the Good Message Unicorn

In case you are just joining us (in which case, welcome!/fasten your seat belt) this post is technically a Part 2. When we last left off, the Good Message Unicorn had apologized for his lame behavior and asked if I wanted to meet. And sweet baby Jesus, it was about time. In keeping with my Summer of YOLO affirmations, I decided to go for it. I gave GMU my phone number, sat back,  DudeWaiting …and waited for him to take the reigns, which he did. We made plans to meet for drinks, which in my mind was going to go one of two ways:

  1. We’d meet, hit it off immediately, and begin a hot mid-summer romance, thus validating the entire Summer of YOLO plan
  2. We’d meet and the date would be mediocre, in part because I set wildly unrealistic expectations of a complete stranger who sent me some half decent messages over a month ago

Hmmmm let’s see. Which of those options seems more likely in the world of LSD, and the world of online dating in general? fresh prince hmm The night of our date, I arrived at my old reliable (yes, he asked me where I wanted to meet and yes, I was annoyed about it). I didn’t see GMU at the bar, but he’d just texted me that he was there, so I headed up to the second floor and…. literally ran right into him on the stairs. Now, if you’ve ever online dated, you know that the first moment of a first date is almost always excruciatingly awkward because neither party knows how to appropriately greet the other person. Do you shake hands? Hug? Wait to see what your date does? Before I even had time to consider my greeting options, this happened:  GMU: Sorry, I don’t want to touch you because I’m really sick. Me (internally): wtf-mate-o Me: Oh. Sorry you’re sick. We could have rescheduled…? GMU: I know, but I was looking forward to meeting you, and I also felt like since I kind of disappeared for a bit, it would have seemed extra shady for me to cancel at the last minute. I didn’t want you to think I was blowing you off. Despite that fact that we were still having this awkward ass conversation ON THE STAIRS as waiters and customers brushed by us, GMU earned some points for that. Because he’s right: the fact that he fully disappeared once, coupled with the fact that more often than not, the ‘I’m sick” excuse turns out to be bullshit, (and maybe the fact that Stupid Cupid is the patron blog of pessimistic over thinkers) means that I probably wouldn’t have believed him. Well played, GMU… 10-points-to-gryffindor_gp_1622829 Source: memecdn.com …even though I was now at risk for contracting the “summer cold” he claimed to have come down with. Welp, that’s what they make Purell for, right? Finally we moved from our creepy perch and I got a chance to fully check my date out. He was:

  • shorter than he claimed to be, because duh, but still respectably tall
  • almost as cute as his pictures

All in all I was pleased. We sat down, ordered drinks, and GMU launched into telling me about his job. I don’t know why this seems to be a trend with me lately, but I’ve encountered some serious Chatty Cathys. Luckily GMU had a cool job that I was mildly interested in (small/independent film distributor–I’m sorry but no one can top Keith Mars in that department) so I peppered him with a lot of questions. Homeboy was smart and well spoken and unlike a previous Chatty Cathy, didn’t bore me to tears with tedious anecdotes that no one cares about but him. But, even though GMU was holding my interest, at the same time it all seemed very…official. And oddly business-like. We were chatting like two strangers exchanging platonic pleasantries, not two people on a date. Our messages had been filled with all the flirty, loquacious banter of some snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue, but that just wasn’t translating in person. This is actually pretty common, I think mostly because it’s easy to sit in front of a laptop and type and re-type a message until it’s the perfect blend of sassy, witty, and hilarious, but when you’re sitting in front of a complete stranger yeah, that shit’s a little harder. Men appear to especially have a hard time with this… I can’t tell you how many have been literally PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR over messaging and then come off like a wet blanket in person. Midway through the date I went to the bathroom and thought about how it was going. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Two things needed to happen for the night to tip the scales toward positive:

  1. We needed to stop talking to each other like two co-workers in a conference room at a Scottsdale Ramada and start flirting, ASAP.
  2. GMU needed to actually ask about me and my life, and then shut his mouth and let me speak. The talking thing seemed like a nervous habit, so I was trying not to take it personally, but at a certain point it’s hard not to feel like you could be replaced with a bag of rusty nails and your date might just keep going because he literally has zero interest in getting to know anything about you. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this article. More great news for single women!

I got back to the table, these thoughts still on my mind. As if on cue GMU said, “Where was I…? Oh yeah!” and immediately launched into ANOTHER STORY. And I just sat there with my mouth agape, thinking: not done My eyes started to glaze over. But then, as if he could read my mind (or possibly my facial expression), GMU stopped mid-sentence and said: “I’m sorry, I can hear myself talking your ear off. I’m talking too much, aren’t I?” Well. That took me by surprise. I appreciated the self awareness, though it took a lot of self control not to shout “YES, YES YOU ARE TALKING WAY TOO MUCH AND IT’S REALLY OBNOXIOUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” Instead I went with a much kinder: “Yup, maybe a little too much.” “I knew it. I’m sorry! I just want you to know it’s because I’m having a really nice time. Let me finish this thought and then I promise I will shut up and you can tell me more about you.” I had to physically bar myself from rolling my eyes at ‘it’s because I’m having a nice time’ because LOL, yeah. You’ve been listening to the sound of your own voice for the better part of an hour. I bet you’re having a nice time. narcissism To GMU’s credit, though, he did shut up and listen. Thank God. As the conversation became more of a back and forth, we started to banter a bit. GMU had obviously gotten more comfortable, and even managed to pull out some of the teasing and volleying he’d been so good at over messaging. Then it was revealed that he knew my alma mater, BU, very well because he dated a girl for three years who went there and visited frequently. The highlight of the entire date was when GMU started to talk shit on CGS, which is something that every BU student knows about. The College of General Studies is a school that freshmen are admitted into when they’re…not…ready?…for BU itself. CGS has an infamously bad rap at BU–it’s affectionately known as crayons, glue and scissors cgs So it totally tickled me that GMU knew about this and was in on the shit talking (PS, most of this shit talking stemmed from the fact that his college girlfriend cheated on him with a CGS student, which explains his surprising fervor on the subject). I know this all probably comes off as mean spirited and douchey, especially coming from a school that lives in the shadow of the capital of elitist doucheland. And yes, it kind of is, but it’s also a time honored BU tradition. Sidenote: I actually have a few friends who were in CGS (if you’re reading this, hi guys!/I’m sorry, I’m the worst xoxoxo), and who are smart, successful humans with good jobs, so clearly all this snide judgment is meaningless. Funny, but meaningless. ANYWAY, I was still LOLing from the BU/CGS tangent when my date surprised me again: GMU: I’m having a lot of fun. Would you like to do this again sometime? I mean, what single girl doesn’t like to hear that from a cute guy, even one who talks incessantly? I’ve just never heard literally it in the middle of the date in the middle of a conversation. A part of me was like, wait. Is he ending the night right now? Is GMU just going to get up and walk away after I answer him? Only one way to find out. Since the date had markedly improved during the second half of the evening, I decided the Good Message Unicorn was worth a second look. Me: I’m having fun, too. And sure, I’d love to. GMU: Awesome. Anyway, back to what we were talking about… So the date continued but started to wind down. 15 minutes later we got the check and left. We stood outside the bar, saying an awkward goodbye. GMU repeated that he’d love to see me again, and told me he’d be in touch soon. Then something…unprecedented happened. My date fist bumped me.

My date FIST. BUMPED. ME.

Yes, you’re thinking of the right fist bump. The GMU and I did this: fist bump 1 fist bump 2 fist bump 3 I have no words. And I had no words then. I think I actually blurted out, “wow, okay. That just happened. Well….goodnight!” and fled. So what happened next? A second date? A phone call? Some text flirting? Anything? Anything at all? Nothing. https://i2.wp.com/i.qkme.me/3rdom7.jpg After a months-long saga of messaging, taking a break from messaging, disappearing, YOLOing, reappearing, meeting, illnesses and hand moves made famous by bros, after all that, I never heard from the GMU again. That bastard had the gall to pull a fade away. the jerk store called I’m not even going to go into how maddening it is to be asked out again IN THE MIDDLE OF A DATE and then hear nothing from that person, because it’s well covered territory here at Stucu. Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is not an interesting or juicy ending to the GMU saga by any means, but it’s so incredibly true to life and to the dating world as I know it. A lot of BS, time and effort amounting to… this. I realize this post took a dark turn for a sunny Friday afternoon, but if you’ve been following our blog you should hardly be surprised. I do have two positive things to end on. 1. I’m still hella glad I YOLO’d, because at least now I know. I know that GMU is not the one that got away and that I didn’t let tired dating conventions and self consciousness get in the way of figuring that out. So…go me? I mean, still alone, of course, but alone and wiser. Yup, basically just alone. Positive thing #2… our wonderful co-blogger D celebrated a milestone birthday this week! Readers, join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday! D, you’re one of my favorite people in the world, even if you do have a ‘tude about Disney classics and our use of the term YOLO. Here’s a little belated Bday treat for you… Date rating: 6/10. The chemistry that I had with GMU over messaging never really materialized in person, and he talked my ear off, but the date did improve a fair amount towards the end. Until, of course, he FIST BUMPED ME and then pulled a fade away. Given the last two points, my grading might actually be too generous.

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The one about D’s date with a possible Norman Bates copycat

Let me tell you a tale dear readers. A tale of a match encounter that started out so well, and ended with a few hours of my life I would legitimately like back.

Match had mostly been a disappointment to me (shocker – S was right). But then, shortly before I moved out to the burbs, S came along. He, despite using the stupid winking feature, seemed promising. He messaged me, and we e-mailed back and forth a few times. In his fourth e-mail he asked me if I’d like to grab a drink, gave me his number, and suggested we check out a photography exhibit opening at an art gallery. This was so excellent for so many reasons. No extended e-mailing, no extended texting, initiative in planning the date, a date idea that went beyond standard drinks. Color me impressed. The date was 2 days later, and he sent me the details about the art gallery out in Winchester.

I got there a few minutes early, which was a serious accomplishment. I promptly patted myself on the back, and sent S a text that I was waiting outside. I knew who he was as soon as he came into view – his profile mentioned his height, and he was not lying. He really is very tall. He walked up and moved in to give me a hug. Now, I know this makes me a terrible person and all, but I’m barely a hug person with my loved ones and close friends. I’m most certainly not a hug person with strangers. Say what you will about whatever deeper issues this might indicate, but I don’t like to be touched. So, I sort of reacted like this:

hug into a handshake

I didn’t push his face away, but the rest is pretty spot on. I know, I know. I’m a cold-hearted, hug-hating asshole. I’m ok with who I am. He was clearly thrown by this, but we recovered quickly and went into the gallery, which was small but very nice. They had wine and some snacks out for the opening of the exhibit, and so we snacked a bit while looking at all the photos. We ended up sitting on a bench in the middle of the room. He was a photography major, and was a member of this particular gallery, which is what brought us there. We continued to chat, but it was kind of awkward there in the middle of this small gallery, so he suggested we go find a place to grab a drink.

This is the point where it all started to go downhill. Up until now, aside from the online winking and the attempted hug, it was a perfectly nice date. There was no immediate spark or anything, but he seemed nice, albeit awkward.

The gallery was just off the town common so we headed that way. Neither of us really had any clue where to go, since neither of us lived in Winchester. So we went into the first place we came across, which happened to be a nice wine bar and Italian restaurant. The first time the waitress came over to take our order, we weren’t ready yet, and he said “sorry, this is the first time we’re meeting in person.” Dude. We don’t need to hide the fact that we met online, but let’s not go shouting it to strangers either. When she walked away after some nervous laughter, he asked if I had eaten yet.

Sidenote: I always eat before a first date. I’m not a kind person when I’m hungry. So I make sure to eat at least enough to prevent a hunger induced meltdown (my most famous one involved green glitter and the streets of London on St. Patrick’s Day, with S by my side having a meltdown of her own). So I said yes and gave a modified (read: watered-down) explanation about why. He chuckled, and then said “well I’m going to order something anyway, I’m hungry.”

Ok. After that little sidenote above, I obviously get it. But at the same time, he chowed down at the snack table in the gallery. So I sort of expected him to just order an app, something small to tide him over. In actuality, he ordered a full-fledged meal and a beer. This made me feel awkward, because I didn’t really want to sit and watch him eat, so I ordered myself something small, and a glass of wine (I’m trying to be more of a wine person, but it’s not really working). Once we had ordered, we had our first real chance to talk. And oh my, you guys, it was … interesting. I know we complain about this all the time, but I did 90% of the work keeping the conversation going. That aside, some really unfortunate things transpired:

1) We got on the topic of traveling, and he said he likes to travel so I asked him what was his favorite place that he’s ever traveled to? I wish I could un-hear his answer, because he responded: “Vegas!”

Ummmmmmm.

Now, I’m lucky enough to have had the privilege to travel in Europe and all over the U.S., and I know that’s not something everyone is able to do. But Vegas? Las Vegas, Nevada is the best place you’ve ever visited? That is horrifying to me, and I’m going to judge you for that. Disappointed with his answer, I followed up by asking what his least favorite travel destination was. Maybe he just hadn’t traveled much, I thought? His least favorite place that he’s ever been is Nova Scotia. We were definitely not on the same page here. I would flip those answers right around.

2) It came up that I went to Boston University undergrad. This fact prompted him to tell me a story about a time that he rode the B line of the T and got stuck on a car with a bunch of “douchey BU guys.”

Again, ummmmmmmm?

I just told you that I went to BU and that I had a great time there. While I’m not offended, it’s true that BU has its share d-bags (not as many as BC (can’t pass up an opportunity to hate on BC, sorry/not sorry)), it’s an interesting followup to share with your date who went there.

3) His right knee was in a complex looking brace, so I asked about his knee injury. Which got us talking about how whenever you fall and hurt yourself, it’s never in a deserted area. There are always people around to witness your pain and humiliation. I fell and tore a couple ligaments in my ankle my freshman year of college in a crowded stairwell and ended up with a dozen people standing over me, one of whom unnecessarily called an ambulance for me (which I was all ready to turn away when it showed up because I knew a cab to the hospital would be significantly cheaper, but then the EMT walked in and he was so attractive that I couldn’t have turned him away even if he was Hannibal Lecter. He was so good-looking that I didn’t even care 3 months later when I had to start paying for physical therapy because I had exhausted my per-occurrence insurance limit and my parents refused to help me until I had paid out the cost of the ambulance. I can still picture his perfection. Best $400 I ever spent. And bonus – he wasn’t a felon). Anyway, I knew what he was talking about. Somehow, people witnessing your clumsiness just makes it that much worse. This led to a story about how he once slipped and fell in the winter on some ice, and not only hurt his knee, but also his arm. Because he couldn’t properly brace for the fall with his arms because he was holding an umbrella to protect him from the snow. He actually used the words “to protect me from the snow.” He said this so matter of factly. Like that’s a totally normal thing to do. Like he’d never heard of hats before. I’d be lying if I said that that story didn’t totally emasculate him in my eyes.

4) The 10% of conversation topics he initiated were … unusual. If felt less like friendly conversation, and more like a bizarre interrogation. Here are the questions that he asked me:

  • Have you ever been in a fight and punched a girl out? I’m sorry, what? First of all, what an odd question. Second of all, let’s just say, for kicks, that I have honed a wicked left hook over the years (hahaha). Why am I only fighting with girls? Why can’t I have punched a guy out? I was more offended by that assumption than anything else.
  • How long do you take in the shower? I was so thrown by this question, that I actually thought about it and answered him. And then it got even weirder when he reacted to my answer of about 10 minutes with a completely serious “wow – that long huh?” Is that an unusually long amount of time for showering? Also, why are we talking about my shower habits, Norman Bates? Stop being creepy.
  • And lastly, it came up that I’m a Yankees fan. Without having really said much else on the topic, he pointed to the tattoo on my forearm and asked why, if I’m such a big Yankees fan, one of my tattoos isn’t Derek Jeter’s autograph? The implications of that question are pretty much all insulting. Just because I’m a girl and I’m a Yankees fan, I must be head over heels in love with that dreamy Jeter right? He must be my favorite player. And what kind of person does he think I am if he thinks I would brand myself like that?

S and I had nothing in common, other than a propensity to injure ourselves in public, and there was definitely NO chemistry. I was over this date, so I was thrilled when the check came. He took a look at it, pulled $25 out of his wallet, looked at the check again, swapped the $5 for a $10, handed me the check and said “I’ll need a few bucks change.” I was vaguely annoyed that I had been bamboozled into ordering food, but no big deal. However, as I had not planned on dinner, I only had $20 on me. I figured I owed about $23, so I pulled out my debit card. He then proceeded to say “oh, if you’re going to use a card, we can just put it all on there and you can keep the cash.” AND THEN HE TOOK HIS $10 BILL BACK AND HANDED ME ONLY THE $20.

Hold.

Up.

Setting aside the fact that you just unilaterally decided to charge the entire bill to my debit card, which was obnoxious enough, you’re also going to short me your full share of the bill? 30 seconds ago you determined that you owed more than $25. But now that we’re charging my card, you suddenly only owe $20? Negative. That is not how this is going to go down. I am not going to subsidize your dinner tonight, you Psycho.

“You only owe $20?”

“Oh. Ok, I guess not.” He pulled the $5 bill out of his wallet and handed it to me.

Still not your full share, buddy, but fine. If it means this date can be over, fine. I signed the receipt, and we headed back to our cars. We got to my car first in the parking lot, so I beeped it open and said “this is me.”

“Oh, nice! Let’s just see how neat and clean you keep your car” he said as he walked up to my rear driver’s side door. I stood in the parking lot dumbfounded as he bent down, put his face to the window, and looked around inside my car. Is this seriously something that people do? Is this a dating norm that I’ve been blissfully unaware of until now, because WTF? Ultimately, he decided that my car was “not bad, not bad.” Uh, thanks?

He was now standing next to my driver’s door, so I told him it had been nice to meet him. Despite how poorly I thought the date had gone, he had other ideas and moved in for a kiss. I most definitely did not want to kiss him, but I had already used the handshake move, so I shifted my weight and made it a hug instead. He held on for a little too long, and then when he did release the hug, he kept his hands on the small of my back and pulled back just enough so that he could pucker up for a kiss. Before I realized what I was doing, I said “uh uh” and did this:

tumblr_mjofmzUPE11s5bhx0o1_400

You guys, I wagged my finger in his face. I don’t even know where it came from. He pulled all the way back and said “No?” I felt a little bad about the finger wagging, so I tried to lessen the blow and said “No, I don’t kiss on the first date.” Which is definitely not true, if I liked him I would have had no problem kissing him. But he didn’t know that, so I told a white lie, thanked him again, and said goodnight.

I never heard from S again. I guess my Dikembe Mutombo impersonation worked.

Date rating: 1 out of 10, and that’s only because I have a serious soft spot for New England’s quaint little town commons, and Winchester’s was no disappointment. New England is so adorable!