first date with…oh, who cares? first date!

BREAKING STUCU NEWS:

I WENT ON A DATE!!!!!!!!!!

November goal: met. Curse: reversed. Dry spell: over. Dignity: regained (sort of). God, am I relieved. Mostly because I publicly set an (admittedly unnecessary) goal for myself and then panicked when I realized I might not actually achieve that goal. While the rest of you clowns were busy growing facial hair, I’ve been feverishly pimping myself out on the Okc. So I am thrilled to report that I made it with a week and a half to spare!

What’s that? You want to hear about my actual date and not just endure me taking victory laps for this entire post? You guys are adorable, but sure, I’ll indulge you.

My date was with D, a nice, nerdy guy who messaged me about a week ago. His first message to me was actually great, albeit a bit overly enthusiastic, but when I clicked on his profile I was met with some insane shit. First of all it was way way WAY too long. Mama has a life and a lot of prime time TV to get to, so she doesn’t have time to plow through a personal memoir while searching for a date. Second, he actually mentioned that his ex-girlfriend helped him write said profile (!!!!!!!) (boys, do I really need to tell you that mentioning an ex in your ONLINE DATING PROFILE is considered poor form? Also, D, your ex did not do you any favors, I assure you). And third, his pictures were comically outdated–I believe the oldest time stamp was from 2003. To put this in perspective, in 2003 I was obsessing over my upcoming high school senior trip to Disney World and listening to this on repeat:

Who am I kidding? I STILL listen to that on repeat. Fantastic jam. The point is, call me crazy, but it seems like a picture taken when I was probably still in high school and viewed when I was two weeks away from attending my 10 year reunion might be considered slightly outdated.

Anyway, the long, insane profile normally would have been a deterrent, as would the vintage photos from a bygone era, but beggars can’t be choosers and more importantly, D’s message was actually really nice and normal. So I replied, and we had a brief back and forth. Impatient to meet my deadline, I asked him out for a drink and we made plans for the only time we were both free, which was early evening on Sunday (SO creepy). D suggested we meet at a trendy speakeasy that I had been meaning to try but hadn’t gotten around to. The place was so trendy that I had difficulty locating it (here were his directions):

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If that’s not the start of an episode of SVU, I don’t know what is. When I found it, D was standing outside with a sheepish look on his face. The place was inexplicably closed. Honestly I was just so excited that D appeared to be all six feet one inches that he claimed on his profile, and was actually cuter in person than in his wildly outdated photos, that I didn’t care.

We headed down the street to another bar and it wasn’t until we sat down, ordered drinks, and had an ominous moment of awkward silence that I considered this fact: I might be REALLY rusty at this whole first date thing. I mean, It’s been five months. Maybe everything I’d learned up until then had faded and this was going to be a spectacularly awkward evening of social failure. Luckily, before I could think about this any more, D piped up to ask me a question and I didn’t have time to worry about my romantic shortcomings again.

It was a nice date. D was smart, interesting, did not take himself too seriously, talked a lot but also listened with interest about what I had to say. We had some drinks, ordered some snacks, and had a reasonably nice time. I told D about the blog which he loved and wanted to know more about (I did refrain from telling him that he was single handedly responsible for breaking my dry spell). There were a few over shares on his part, mostly about his terrible relationship with his dad (yikesaroo), which surprised me given the fact that I felt like I already knew his life story from his anthology of a profile. 

At one point in the date, D asked me how to pronounce my last name. Without thinking anything of it, I told him (this is not an uncommon question) and then excused myself to go to the restroom. Walking back, it hit me: I never told this dude my last name. This is an established first date policy of mine. What. the. fuck?? Did I have a stalker on my hands, or just your run of the mill serial killer? Is that why he wanted to meet me in front of an unmarked metal gate? Does he know my social security number and blood type, too? Should I sneak out the bathroom window like in the movies? But wait, if he knows my last name he could probably find me anyway. GAH.

I pulled it together in the ladies room and decided I needed to confront this potential killer. Here is what transpired:

S: So, I just realized… I never told you my last name.

D: I was waiting for you to say that.

S: Oh God, you’re not going to kill me, are you?

D: Huh?

S: How did you find out my last name?

D: I mean, I work with computers for a living. You told me enough about your job and industry that when I searched those facts plus your first name, your LinkedIn profile came right up. I’m sorry, is that totally creepy?

S: Sort of, yes. But I also kind of respect it. My friends and I are semi-pro stalkers and we can usually find out some pretty incredible stuff about our dates with minimal clues to go off of. Usually this terrifies men, though. The tables have kind of turned.

D: You’ve met your stalking match. So what did you find out about me?

S: Actually, I didn’t even Google you. (I didn’t tell D that this was because there was literally no time/I had a deadline to meet.)

Not much else to report on this date, honestly. It was perfectly nice, and D was perfectly nice. Do we actually have chemistry/a ton in common? That remains to be seen. But I certainly think it’s worth another look. I am trying really hard not to compare him to H, who I had off the charts chemistry with from our very first date, because one, that’s not fair and two, obviously that off the charts chemistry didn’t really lead to anything good anyway.

D drove me home (no kiss, no attempted murder) and we agreed we’d like to go out again, but I know I don’t need to remind you all to take that agreement with a GIGANTIC grain of salt. An iceberg of salt, if you will. The probability that D fades away is incredibly high so for now, I’ll just be congratulating myself for achieving my November goal without having to literally pay an escort service.

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Date rating: 7/10. D was a nice, interesting, smart, TALL dude with great manners and a lot to say. Not sure if I feel anything for him beyond that, but it’s certainly worth revisiting to find out. The stalking was a little creepy, but I can’t really judge someone for doing something that is essentially a dating best practice here at StuCu.

 

Safety tips from S and D, or how to avoid being murdered while online dating

Good morning, class. Today’s lesson is sponsored by our mothers. Specifically, S’s mom, who requested that we write a post on how to “be safe” while we navigate the world of internet dating. My initial reaction was: Ugggghhhh mom. I’m 28. I’m a grown ass adult and I can take care of myself. Also, no one wants to read a stupid PSA about watching your back and carrying super sized pepper spray which your dad insisted on giving you and your roommate multiple cans of when you moved into the city. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided it’s actually not a stupid idea at all because let’s face it, the internet can be a terrifying place. There is some effed up sh*t out there, and the three of us are doing our best to avoid becoming the subject of a Lifetime movie. So this is actually a totally appropriate blog topic. You were right, mom, just like you were right about me plucking my eyebrows too thin in middle school. Damn it.

So without further delay, we present to you S and D’s safety tips on how to avoid being murdered while online dating:

  • Look for profile red flags. Pure common sense. Obviously the reason online dating is so scary is people can (and do) make up whatever they want about themselves and there’s no way to 100% know what’s true and what’s not. Even so, before you say yes to meeting someone, go over their profile with a critical eye. Have they posted clear pictures of themselves? Do they mention alarming details about dead animals or collecting medieval style weapons? Do they give troubling answers to okc questions?

safety post                                          If so, for God’s sake run, don’t walk, to the next profile.

  • Use the buddy system. That is, make sure at least one other reliable human being knows about your date. It can be a parent, a close friend, a roommate, whatever, just make sure that someone knows you’re meeting x at y location (always a public place, obviously) at z time. Tell them as much as you can about your date (okc username is a smart thing to include) so if your ass goes missing, Munch and Fin can start cracking skulls.                                                                                  Munch_Fin_Noncompliance
  • Google the shit out of your dates. Sorry, boys, we don’t care if this makes us sound like stalkers. Believe it or not, we’re not dying for a glimpse at your LinkedIn profile to see where you interned in 2006 (okay I lied, we want to know that too, but it’s of secondary importance). We mainly want to confirm that you are who you say you are and that you seem to have some sort of traceable identity/history that doesn’t include being on a list of registered sex offenders. Obviously this isn’t foolproof before a first date… #1, I often don’t have the guy’s last name yet since I refuse to give out mine (see D’s tip below) and #2, if he has a super common name, this could prove difficult without much else to go off of. But it’s always worth a try. You may even find out some fun shit about the person that you’ll then accidentally reveal that you know on your date. What? That’s never happened to me.
  • Never give a first date your full name or address. I may be able to google them, but they can’t google me. Even on the first date, I don’t supply my last name. Unless he manages to see it when I’m ID-ed ordering a drink, that shit stays secret until at least the third date. I have a very unique last name. If you google my full name, I’m the only person that comes up. Granted, most of it’s uninteresting, and some of it’s not even true (I did not graduate from Holy Cross School in Springfield, MA in 1985 – I was 1). But there’s also my parents’ home phone number and other identifying info that no date needs to have before I’ve even met him. And he’s most certainly not finding out where I live until date #5 at the earliest. If I’m being completely honest, that’s 60% related to safety, and 40% related to my piss-poor housekeeping abilities. If we make it to a 5th date, I’m invested enough to put some effort into tidying up and stop treating half my couch like it’s a dresser.
  • Accuse every guy you go out with (half jokingly) of being a murderer and/or rapist. This has become my schtick. At some point on a first date, I will casually drop a “Hahaha let’s hope you’re not a serial killer! J slash k! Not really!” into the conversation. I am 100% serious. I can’t even remember a date where I haven’t done that. It sounds silly, but here’s my thought process… I throw it out there, and if by some chance the guy is a rapist or serial killer, one of the following will happen:
  1. I’ll be able to tell by his reaction.
  2. He’ll be too worried about my superior crime solving skills to go through with his plan.
  3. He’ll be so impressed with my intelligence that he’ll spare my life.

This is foolproof, I tell you. Foolproof. It’s science.

  • Carry a Weapon. Seriously. In the storage compartment of my driver’s side door is a giant blue maglite that my father gave me when I first got a car. It’s come in handy for lots of flashlight related things over the years – finding something I dropped in the dark, checking out the damage after hitting a deer, etc. But my father was also not shy about instructing me to use it as a weapon, if needed. Maglites are heavy. And if you grip the flashlight head, it stays in your hand easier. Swing that fucker at someone’s temple and he’ll go DOWN. That maglite gets transferred into my purse for first and second dates. It’s a good thing I have large purses. And as I mentioned, my dad literally ordered me enough industrial grade pepper spray to bring down the fleet of Budweiser Clydesdales when I moved to the city, so I carry one in every bag.                                                                                            Maglitepepper spray

Now here’s the six million dollar question you may be asking yourself: have we ever broken our own rules?

Mom, before I answer this, it’s been real but it’s time for you to click away now. In fact, all moms everywhere: please go turn on OWN while your kids have a little chat. Love you guys!

…………………

Yes, I’ve ignored my own advice. I’ve accepted a ride home after a date. Twice. Usually I’ll walk to the date location, so if at the end of the date it’s cold or raining, and the guy seems legit, and I plan to see him again, and he offers me a ride home, he may get an extra “LOL as long as you’re not about to chop me into little pieces HAHAHA seriously please don’t do that”, but mama’s not about to turn that offer down. I do make them drop me at the corner and drive away so they can’t see exactly where I live (seriously). Also, not to sound like a ho fo sho, but the car is an ideal first kiss/make out locale for those times when you don’t want to risk life and limb and invite a stranger over to your apartment. Speaking of…

I’ve gone back to an okc date’s place after a first date. Once. Get your minds out of the gutter; we literally didn’t even kiss. But this move resulted in perhaps my most absurd first date story of all time which, while PG, I’ve been hesitant to tell you all about since as you now know, my mom reads this blog. In hindsight this was a stupid and careless decision but hey, I made it out alive and got a pretty fantastic story out of it (truth – it’s a really great story).

So, I’m probably going to come off as a prissy, uptight chick here, but I actually haven’t broken any of these rules (aaaand now I feel like an irresponsible floozy). I haven’t ever accepted a ride. This is really related to the fact that I hate the T and drive almost everywhere, so I’m never really in a position to need a ride. I will most likely break this rule if/when I leave my car at home and give the T a chance to get back in my good graces. I’ve also never gone back to a dude’s place after a first (or second) date, no matter how legit the guy seems or how into him I am. This is partially a product of cases I hear about from my best friend who is a DA, as well as my own experience interning at the public defender’s office here in Boston (an internship I loved and the kind of work I hope to do again, but still, there are some seriously sketchy people out there). It is also partially a product of my troubling pattern of being deeply attracted to actual, convicted felons (who’s the real floozy here? feeling less irresponsible now S??) (Yes! A little. Thanks, D)

For example, I encountered the most attractive man I have ever met, still to this day, in a prison back in 2006 while studying abroad. I interned with a criminal defense firm in London, and one day went with a solicitor to a prison out in Devon to visit a client. The Brits seriously love their tea, and one of the cushiest gigs an inmate can get while serving his sentence is to serve tea to solicitors visiting with their clients. I ordered at least a dozen cups of tea during the hour or so meeting I had with our awful client, just so that stunning specimen of a human being would keep coming back into the room. (Unbenownst to both of us until the train ride back, the solicitor I was with was doing the same thing for the same reason. That beautiful, beautiful man came into our meeting room more than 20 times. It was magical.) S can vouch for the fact that I got back to our flat that day swooning HARD (It’s true. F’d up, but true). I have no idea what he did to land himself in a prison in rural England, but I would have gone home with him in a heartbeat (you know, had he had the option of walking out of the building like I did, minor detail). I 4000% still would if I ever saw him again. Knowing that about myself, I think it’s best to abide strictly to the don’t-go-back-to-his-place-on-the-first-date rule. There’s a good chance he’s done hard time.

What do you single ladies out there do to ensure you don’t become a human lampshade on a first date? Any tips or suggestions that we missed? Do you possess the same level of paranoia that we do about online dating, or are you more relaxed? Leave us a comment and let us know.