At the movies with S

A few weeks ago I was home on a Friday night doing some hardcore crafting (who has two thumbs and is doing her part to fulfill every stereotype about single women out there? This gal! Just give it another month or so before I splurge on a subscription to Cat Fancy.) I was watching Comcast On Demand (The Newsroom is back, bitches. McKenzie McHale 4 life) when I realized all three of the movies they were promo-ing the hell out of were movies I had seen on dates. And uh, hello, I have a dating blog, so I think it’s high time I dished to you guys about them. Shall we?

Movie Date #1: Moonrise Kingdom

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This date was over a year ago, last June to be exact. It was a third date with J, who I’ve mentioned on the blog before (more on him later). We had dinner beforehand and had a really nice time… good conversation, playful banter, flirting etc. It bore more of a resemblance to those dreaded Match.com commercials than any date I’d had before. It was so fun that we totally lost track of time and basically had to run down the street to the theater to make the movie. The tiny theater was full so I grabbed us two seats in the back while J ran to the bathroom.

The previews had started and I was just catching my breath and getting settled when J appeared and asked me to switch sweats. Judging him immediately for being a seating prima donna, I thought, ‘Uggghhhh can this dude just sit down, Jesus’ and audibly sighed, gathering my popcorn, diet coke and purse dramatically. J looked really sheepish as he explained, in the quiet theater, ‘Yeahhh, sorry to be a pain, but I’m actually deaf in my left ear so… I won’t be able to hear you if we sit this way. That’s why I wanted to switch. ‘

Face palm. FACE. PALM.

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So let’s review. I threw my date some serious shade for making a simple request, and it turns out he was making that request to accommodate an actual disability. Liz, if I may call upon your wisdom once again:

liz lemon man

After that special little exchange, the date was (mercifully) uneventful. Fun, but uneventful. We switched seats, got settled, and enjoyed the movie. BONUS, J was able to hear me. It was actually a good date flick… fun, ridiculous, and sweetly romantic. J drove my home afterwards and we kissed in his car.

Date rating: 8/10. Good date, good conversation beforehand, good movie, good makeout session. Only one wildly awkward faux pas by yours truly. 

What happened with J? In case you don’t recall, J happens to be the dude I mentioned a few months ago who after casually dating for most of the summer broke it off with me in a crowded bar. He literally drove into the city during rush hour, found parking, and met me in a popular place for happy hour, just to tell me he didn’t want to see me anymore. Yeesh, that was rough. So actually I don’t know why I was still feeling bad about my theater behavior because it turns out, J deserved to feel a little embarrassment. 

Movie Date #2: This is 40

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for This Is 40

This was a second date back in January. The most comical thing about this outing was the fact that my date, A, was 39, by far the oldest guy I’ve ever gone out with. Naturally, our asses had barely hit our seats before I started a relentless barrage of jokes at A’s expense, featuring me pointing over at him repeating, ‘THIS is forty. This right here, people!” and LOLing obnoxiously to myself. That shtick carried us through the previews and well past the credits rolling at the end. Luckily A was a pretty good sport, all things considered. Incidentally the movie wasn’t great… mama loves me some Rudd and those Apatow nuggets couldn’t have been cuter, but it was essentially a movie about two people struggling with their long term relationship and the misery of middle age. Depressing date fodder, needless to say.

The movie ended, I continued to ham it up with the old age jokes as we walked out, and then we (drumroll please) made out in A’s car in the empty parking lot. Yup, I went out with a 40 year old and then made out with him in his parked vehicle like we were both 17. Or should I say, barely 17…

I’m sorry (I’m not sorry), but Meatloaf just makes everything better. You’re welcome. 

Date rating: 8/10. Despite the meh movie, the date was fun, non-awkward and basically stress free. And a little making out in an empty Loews parking lot on a weeknight never hurt anyone, AMIRITE?

What happened with A? We casually dated on and off for months, but homeboy claimed he didn’t want a serious relationship despite legitimately being over the hill. I honestly didn’t want to seriously date him either; he was a little wild for my taste and seemed to have a serious Peter Pan thing going on. After losing touch with him for a while I did discover (thank you, Internet. Judgers of my stalking can move right along, please) that he is now (another drumroll, por favor) seriously dating someone. And although his real life Mr. Big impression turned out to be bullshit, I honestly do wish him the best. It was fun, A, and I hope you do find true love before you’re old enough to score an AARP card. Because that’s seriously right around the corner.

Movie Date # 3: Admission

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This was also a second date with a guy named D who was fun but who I didn’t think I wanted to date seriously. Our shared obsession with Tina Fey prompted him to suggest this movie. It was one of the first things we discussed, probably because my Okcupid profile opens with an over the top anecdote about how my life’s dream is to become the third sidekick to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s dynamic duo. My girl crush on Tina knows no bounds, and the fact that she’s from Philly is just icing on the big lesbian cake I’ve baked in her honor.

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To quote Elizabeth Banks in Pitch Perfect: this girl could turn me.

Now, speaking of Philly, there’s something I need to explain about my city. And I say this with all the love in my heart of a parent talking about their least successful (but secret favorite) kid: Philly is lacking some…seemingly basic amenities that any outsider would ASSUME a major city would have. Such as a normal, large movie theater centrally located anywhere downtown. There are tiny Ritz theaters showing a bevy of independent flicks, and then there’s the dreaded UA Riverview. Please, if you have a moment, enjoy these stellar yelp reviews of the Riverview (or as I’ve heard it referred to, the Riverspew).*

*Disclaimer: Any insane, bigoted rants possibly seen on that yelp page are not the opinion of this blog.

Long story short: I hate the Riverview. It’s dirty, noisy, and someone makes a scene pretty much every time I go. Naturally, it was the site of my date with D. Luckily, the movie wasn’t exactly popular, and we went pretty early on a weeknight, so when we walked into the theater there were only two other people there. Phew, I thought. At least we can watch the movie without any wild disruptions. Or maybe make out if it’s bad? In the back of an empty theater that could be fun.

My date, however, had other ideas. There’s no delicate, PC way to share this fact, so I’m just going to throw it out there as it pertains to my story. For those of you who don’t know me personally (all three of you): I’m white. Painfully white. I mean, I did open this blog post with the phrase ‘hardcore crafting’ and then proceed to embed a Meatloaf music video, so this should not come as a shock to anyone at this juncture. My date, D, is black. So anyway, about a minute into the previews, D turned to me, chuckling sheepishly, and said:

D: I have to warn you about something before the movie starts.

S: Okay?

D: You know how a stereotype can be racist, but also true?

S: …I guess?

D: Well… I kind of talk at the movies. A lot. 

S: You do?

D: I know it’s the biggest cliche in the world, but when this gets going I guarantee I will end up commenting out loud and not even realize I’m doing it. Just let me know if I’m bugging the shit out of you, okay?

S: O…kay.

He said this entire thing in a jokey way, so I honestly had NO clue if he was pulling my leg. Any minute I thought he was going to turn to me and be like HAH! I got you good. Of course I don’t shout at the movies.

What actually happened was the movie started, and not 10 minutes in, D started shouting. Okay, maybe not shouting. But commenting VERY loudly, sometimes to me but sometimes just to the air/universe, about things that were happening in the movie. I was paralyzed, again not sure if I was being Punk’d, trying to figure out if I should laugh, roll my eyes, or tell him to shut the f*ck up. The theater was mostly empty, but this honestly made it even more awkward when the couple five rows in front of us turned around at the noise. Because who is it causing the disturbance? Oh hey just the ONLY OTHER PEOPLE IN THE THEATER. The other thing that made this behavior particularly ridiculous was the genre of movie… we weren’t watching like, an action or a horror movie where surprising or crazy things even happened. We were watching a dull, semi serious romantic comedy about APPLYING TO COLLEGE.

The thing is, D was actually really sweet. Case in point: he told me when we started messaging that he was trying his hand at baking for the first time, and I joked that he owed me cookies after revealing that fact. Well sure enough, he showed up to our first date with homemade cookies. And then at the movies, he smuggled a new, delicious, still warm batch into the theater for us to snack on. I mean, thoughtful, right? So I decided to laugh off this ridiculous turn of events. Actually by the end I was laughing harder at the spectacle my date was making than at the actual movie. I even made some loud commentary of my own towards the end, because ‘When in the Riverview’, right?

Date rating: 7/10. As always, Tina was a vision, but the movie itself was bad (what I could hear of it at least). And my date caused a bit of a scene. However, he also made me LOL more than once and fed me fresh homemade cookies. It was an unexpectedly fun night.

What happened with D?

Funny you should ask (I know, no one asked) but I actually saw D yesterday. We’re not exclusively dating–not even close. I hadn’t seen him in over a month before we met for happy hour last night. And I still don’t think I’ll ever seriously date him; I just don’t feel a crazy connection with him. But he’s a nice, fun, funny dude who lives in my ‘hood and we get along well. I’m dating other people, and I have no doubt that he is, too. But as a painfully single 28 year old, it’s always nice to have that one ace in the hole (that’s what she said) who you can keep around to have fun with without any complications or drama. Unless, of course, disrupting a mediocre romcom counts as drama.

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My first date, or the guy who couldn’t find his car

It was hot out, and I was stressed about breaking a sweat on my walk to the bar. I’d signed up for okcupid on a whim, without really telling anyone. At first I was just content to creep on the site and read the hilarious/awful/ridiculous profiles. The few messages I’d received up to that point consisted of 1. actual gibberish/incomplete sentences, 2. sexual propositions, and 3. single words like ‘Hey’ and ‘Sup’.

Finally someone sent me a normal message. A few replies back and forth later, he asked me out. I didn’t know much about him (mid-30s, worked with computers) but I figured I had to start somewhere. He seemed nice enough, and I was fairly confident he wasn’t a serial killer. So I agreed to go on my first okc date with G.

G was driving in from the suburbs, so I picked the bar. I was a little nervous, mostly because I had NO CLUE what to expect. This sounds pathetic but I, single girl in her late 20s, had never been on a real, legitimate date before that point. A pre-determined set up in a bar or restaurant was not something I’d ever, well, done. My only frames of reference came from Sex and the City, romantic comedies starring Kate Hudson, and the stories of friends and co-workers. I was flying completely blind.

Just as I arrived at the bar, G texted that traffic was awful and that he was running late. Fifteen minutes later he came BARRELING in, out of breath and sweating profusely. I only vaguely recognized him because he looked almost nothing like his picture: 10 years older, shorter, and 50% balder. G smiled nervously and introduced himself, apologizing like crazy for being late. I assured him it wasn’t a big deal; meanwhile, I had been having a mild panic attack sitting there alone for 15 minutes, convinced he was going to stand me up.

We ordered drinks and I waited for him to calm down and regain his composure. Problem # 1: he never did. In fact, he was so nervous that he visibly shook the entire time. I started to wonder if this was his first online date, too (it wasn’t) or if he had some sort of medical condition (still unclear, but my guess is yes). I’m a pretty friendly person so I like to think I can put someone at ease, but homeboy was a hot mess.

I tried to make small talk, realizing problem # 2 very quickly: we had almost nothing in common. He was nice enough, but we were grasping at straws for something to talk about within the first 10 minutes. “Oh, you write code? ….Cool!” While I overcompensated with chattiness and wracked my brain to think  of non-pathetic topics beyond the weather, G continued to sweat, shake, fidget, and stutter like he was under federal indictment. Poor guy. I couldn’t wait to put us both out of our misery.

After what felt like literally hours but was probably more like 45 minutes, we left, and he offered me a ride home. I declined, visions of Law and Order: SVU dancing in my head, and out of sheer politeness offered to walk him to his car instead.

okc stabler

“Which way are you parked?”, I asked, starting to cross the street.

He stopped, suddenly looking nauseous. “Oh, God. Oh God. I have no idea.” I stared at him, trying to understand. “I was so stressed about being late that I parked my car in the first space I could find and didn’t pay attention to what street I was on, and then I ran here and I don’t know the city so I’m all turned around and can’t remember which way I came from!” He said miserably, turning bright red.

“Okay,” I responded slowly, like I was speaking to a five year old. “It’s okay. It has to be close. We’ll find it.”

TWENTY MINUTES of wandering aimlessly around Old City later, we had yet to find that fucking car. G was becoming more mortified by the second, muttering apologies and stumbling along behind me as I strode down street after street, making him click his auto lock button in rapid succession. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. We had run out of things to talk about in the first two blocks and a horribly uncomfortable silence had fallen over our search party.

All I wanted was to peace out and put on my sweatpants, but what was the protocol for something like this? If I left G alone, I was fairly certain he’d either a. die on the streets, carless, or b. follow me home and beg to crash at my place. Also, as much of a mess as he was, he really was a nice guy. I couldn’t ditch him.

I tried to joke with him. “If I’d known I’d be taking you on a guided tour of Philly, I would have at least made you buy me dinner first! Haha.” Silence. Crickets. Tumbleweeds.

I tried again. “Umm…how much time did you put in the meter?”

“There was no meter”.

I stifled a laugh. “Yes there was.”

“No, there wasn’t.”

“Y–” WTF. Now I was irrationally arguing with a stranger like we were an old married couple. The silence resumed, and continued on for blocks. And blocks. And blocks.

Finally, as the level of awkwardness rose to a crescendo, just as the words “I have to go–my house is on fire” were about to burst from my lips, we turned onto a new block, he clicked his remote, and a gray Chevy chirped happily at us. “YES!” I cried, genuinely elated.

gray chevy yes

G carefully extracted the ticket from his windshield and sighed, hanging his head. “You were right”.

“Yup,” I said impatiently, not even caring. “Well it’s been nice but I have to get going. Great meeting you and thanks for the drinks. BYE!” I bolted down the street, scared I’d get sucked into another insane scenario or worse, that he’d ask me out again.

Which he did. Later that night via text. I politely declined and that’s the last I ever heard from G. But every time I walk down that fateful block of 4th Street, I think of his gray Chevy. And I hope he remembered to pay that ticket.

Date rating: 4/10 (terribly awkward, but he was nice and I got this story out of it)

Lesson learned: Do not worry about your date’s mode of transportation. Do not ask how he arrived/is getting home, unless you want to embark on an ill-advised ‘Where’s Waldo’ of mid-level sedans.