I’ll admit we have a pretty formulaic party line here at StuCu which is basically: “Men. They’re the worst.” While our man-hate and complaining may be a little excessive at times (a certain reader recently called us whiny COUGHMrsSCOUGH), we’re not about to stop it anytime soon. However, today is a brief respite from the usual “they’re the worst,” theme so I can tell you that sometimes, I’m actually, kinda, the Worst.
I was at my worst most recently with an unsuspecting
victim date who we shall call The Kid. The Kid was a 26 year old bro who shares a name with a famous criminal, and also with another guy I “dated” in high school who was a few years younger than me. What can I say? The youths think I’m hip.
The Kid was attractive, and we shared the very unique interests of: traveling, basketball (sort of), and going out with friends. (This is the stuff love connections are made of, folks). Perhaps it was our uninspiring list of shared interests, or his boring, bro-y messages, but, sadly for The Kid, he brought out the worst in me. Behold….
I’m the Worst Exhibit A: Prolonged messaging
How many times on this blog have I declared that I hate prolonged messaging? And that I love to just cut to the chase and go out dates? Because, after all, I hate to waste people’s time. Well, the Kid literally started messaging me in June, and asked me about after about three messages. However, I I stalled on going on a date with him until mid July. This was partially due to the unfortunate timing of vacations and work travel, but also partially due to the fact that I had met GPU around the same time, and was determined to follow my New Year’s Resolution to date one guy at a time (especially because I was convinced he was the Elton John to my Kiki Dee. In a purely musical sense of course).
BEST. DUET. EVER.
I digress. (But what is more digression-worthy than these two British chums, belting out what would become one of the defining karaoke duets of the 21st century? Nothing.) The point was, I took my sweet ass time getting back to this guy’s messages, until I decided to
stop being such an asshole bite the bullet and grant The Kid a date. (Oh yeah, and by this time, GPU had come down with a fictional summer cold that rivaled the Ebola virus.) Oh, is it TOO SOON for Ebola jokes? Sorry, I’m the Worst, remember?
I’m the Worst Exhibit B: Downgrading date location
The Kid was very excited our date was finally happening and immediately suggested dinner. Now, if you are a devout reader of this blog, you will remember that very early in my dating “career,” I set a “no meals on a first date” rule. After a few bouts of drunkeness/dizziness/starvation, I’ve relaxed this rule considerably, and, if after 1-2 drinks I’m having a decent time, I will certainly agree to dinner or some apps if suggested. But unless the guy is a unicorn, or taking me somewhere amazing where I can literally sip chocolate and inhale cheese, I like to start off in a bar-like atmosphere. So, I gently redirected The Kid to a dive bar near my office. And yes, in retrospect, I realize that I just traded a nice meal for a few pints of Yuengling and some wings. But I’m not sorry. That’s just how I roll.
I’m the Worst Exhibit C: Persistently talking about how old I was
Anyway, as the date neared, I have to tell you, I was less than excited. I was still stinging from the GPU fadeaway, bummed that the Balkan vacay was over, and just in an all around man-hating mood (yes, more than usual).
So when I arrived at our date (to which the Kid was 15 minutes early, and texting me enthusiastically to fill the minutes until I arrived), this was kinda me:
Did that temper the Kid’s enthusiasm at all? NOPE. I mean, today’s youth have lots of energy! And gumption! They cannot be discouraged! He immediately jumped out of his seat, gave me a big hug, and started asking me lots of nice polite questions. The Kid was outgoing. The Kid was as tall as he claimed to be on OKC (6’2). The kid was blond haired and blue-eyed. I decided to let his youthful optimism (and good looks) inspire me, and have a good time. Apparently, my version of a good time involved me talking about how old I was for a good 10 minutes without stopping.
Weirdly, this did not seem to be deterring The Kid. He kept saying, “We’ll, you’re as old as you feel.” To which I’d reply, “I mean, I feel really old. My knee can tell when it’s about to rain.”
I’m the Worst Exhibit D: Bringing up painful childhood memories
Me: “How many siblings do you have?”
The Kid: “None. I’m an only child. “
Me: “Ew. I hate only children. I have like, two friends who are only children but otherwise, I avoid them at all costs.” (Insert half hearted apology to only children friends here. Sorry, most of your peers are selfish weirdos.)
The Kid (nervously): “Hehe, why?”
Me: “I mean, they’re weird. They grew up playing checkers against THEMSELVES. Their toys were their best friends. And they tend to be selfish. They don’t understand the needs of others! I mean, why didn’t your parents have more kids??”
The Kid: “My father passed away.”
Me: (HUGE GULP. SLIGHT SILENCE.) “OH. GOD. I am SO SORRY.”
The Kid: “Nah, no worries, you didn’t know. But I bet you’ll think twice the next time you bash only children on your dates.”
I mean, you gotta give it to the kid. Laid back and a sense of humor. This exchange happened about five minutes into the date, BTW, and my rudeness, though accidental, certainly gave him cause to chug his drink and leave. But he didn’t. He stuck around. And was super friendly and nice to me. Even when I ate more than my share of wings. And basically all of our nachos.
As we finished our 4th drink, I told The Kid I had to get home. The truth was, I couldn’t stand myself much longer. The Kid however, due to some cruel twist of fate, seemed to be enjoying my worst-i-ness.
The Kid: “I had an amazing time. Can we get together this weekend?”
Me. “No, I’m busy.”
The Kid: “Aww, why not? You’re not free at all? Not even for breakfast?”
Me: “Wellll….my friend is having a house party on Saturday night in Dupont. So, if you are in the city, and you text me, and I’m by my phone mayyyybeeeee I can meet up.”
The Kid: “Great! I’ll plan on that!”
The Kid walked me to my bus stop, and went in for a first date kiss. Apparently, my lack of eye contact, one word responses, and literal insults hurled at his family were a complete turn on for him. Because I’m the Worst, I turned my head and the poor guy got a mouthful of face.
Date Rating: 6/10. The Kid was actually a good date. If he had been on the date with someone else, it is likely it would have scored a 8 or 9. But I’m the Worst, and all my insane behavior made it a bit more unpleasant than one would hope for a first date.
Epilogue: The Kid reached out to schedule another date, and I sent him a gentle rejection text. I’m not proud of the way I acted that night, but I figured I could salvage some karma by politely and directly letting homeboy know I was not in a place to date right now, rather than subject him to another round of theatrics.
The moral of this story is this: nobody is perfect. We all have our bad days, even those of us who are self proclaimed dating gurus. The funny thing is, life is so unpredictable and strange, someone just might find you charming anyway.
(You’re welcome for that gratitous clip of an angsty Jake Gyllenhaal.) It’s a mad world, readers. If you figure it out, let me know.