Life has been hectic. I haven't meant to abandon you all so abruptly, and I'm apologizing from the bottom of my loins. I've been wanting to write, but between working three jobs now, commuting, seeing friends, and dating, my free time wherein I want to do more than absolutely nothing has been minimal. Sunday I had a "me party" day for the first time in I don't even know how long. I did very little, and it was amazing.
Did I say three jobs? Indeed I did. Now, in addition to the big girl commuting job and the winery,k I am the social media coordinator for Dirge Magazine and I love it. I hope to start writing some articles for them soon as well; just need to figure out what the hell to say! (Suggestions are welcome.) Also, if you want to help me get paid for that job and not just work for the love of actually using my English degree, you can support us on Patreon. Next goal is staff pay! HELP ME BE LESS POOR. You can also find us on the book of Face, Twitter, and Instagram.
Now that my Dirge plug is over, let's talk about mediocrity, baby! Let's talk about stupid boys and me! Let's talk about all the weird things and the bad things that can be!
I've discussed a lot of the really terrible dates I've had, and made reference to a lot of idiotic Tinder profiles. Today, though, we're gonna talk about mediocrity. About the ones who floundered. Not in a grand, spectacular way; more in a creepy, awkward, "I'm an idiot" kind of way.
Example one: Chester. Chester and I started talking on Tinder and he seemed very sweet and sincere. He recently quit his Silicon Valley engineering job, and was planning on going to Europe for a three month vacation. Upon his return, his plan is to move to Santa Cruz area, live with friends, start anew. Hey, I respect the hell out of that plan. Who gets to do that kind of thing? We met for fancy cocktails and pizza on one of my few free nights (a Tuesday) after work. That first date actually went very well, mostly. We talked about all sorts of random things and I had fancy drinks and got a little tipsy, sobered up with some pizza which he insisted that I take the leftovers home with me. I mentioned that I work at a winery in SC on Saturdays, which is when he's usually in town, and invited him to stop over with friends sometime. The conversation did turn slightly sexual towards the end of the date (which lasted almost three hours), but when we got to my car he merely hugged me and told me to have a good week and that we should get together again before he left. All in all, not terrible.
The next few days are super busy. By the time Saturday rolls around, I'm exhausted and cranky. He starts texting me, asking when I'll be at the winery and when we close. I say I'm there until at least 5, later if we are busy. But, I warned him, I am in a super pissy, exhausted mood and won't want to hang out afterwards. If he wants to stop by with friends, though, he's more than welcome to do so. A few hours go by. Nothing. He texts me around 430, saying he's nearby, eating, alone. I tell him it's busy and I'm cranky but sure, stop in. So he does. He sits at the counter and goes through a tasting. Meanwhile, I am running my ass off, pouring wine and being charming as fuck while wishing evil and destruction on every person there (in my mind). It's very busy in the winery, including a group of about a dozen people. One of the girls in the group starts hitting on him. I couldn't give a fuck. I'm exhausted, I'm cranky, I want to go home, this is the second time we have met and he is not beholden to me.
He tells me that when he gets back from Europe, he wants to be a bartender because it just seems so fun! Clearly he has never worked in the service industry, because romanticizing it in such a naive way in your mid-30s tells me you have no experience in the subject. And telling me how cute I am and how much fun it looks like I'm having as I tell him repeatedly how cranky I am doesn't seem to add up in his brain. What a fun job! All the time! Alcohol! Yay! Sir. Please don't be a bartender. You will not last long.
After he finishes his tasting (five wines at one ounce pours aka about one glass), he sits at the bar and drinks multiple glasses of water. No more wine. Just water. Finally, people start leaving. It's been about 45 minutes or so. I tell him I'm gonna start kicking everyone out. He laughed and said something like, "yeah kick everyone out!" Then he said, "I'm pretty drunk so you could ask me aaaanything you want to right now and I would tell you." Instead, I incredulously asked him if he was fucking serious because he had one glass of wine and a shitload of water. He said he had a beer with his food earlier. Still, two drinks over a couple hours with food and water? Either you're an incredible lightweight (which you weren't a few days prior, to my knowledge), or you think this is flirtatious and cute and I'll wanna ask you naughty things. Nope. I will admonish you for being a lightweight and kick your ass to the curb. Which is what I did. I told him I was kicking him out. He responded with some line of like okay I'll just wait outside for you. I said, no, you won't. And he said that he had "rolled something special" for me since I was having a bad day. I told him unless I could take it home and smoke it alone, I didn't want it. He didn't seem to believe me. I had to reiterate yet again how tired and cranky I was, and how I had already made perfectly clear that I was not interested in hanging out after work. He seemed shocked. The door didn't hit him in the ass on the way out, but maybe it should have.
He texted me the next day. I ignored him. And the next day. And the next. Finally, he sent a text asking if I was "jealous" because of that girl flirting with him. I texted him and laid the smack down, explaining he had steadfastly ignored my repeated "I don't want to hang out and you need to leave" proclamations, and that's not okay with me. I'm not lying or playing hard to get; I don't want to hang out with you. Respect that and listen to me the first time I say that. Also that I'm not going to do drugs with him on our second time meeting. He sort of apologized, and I haven't heard from him since. Presumably he's in Europe, having one glass of wine and getting trashed and awkwardly hitting on women.
Example two: Aaron. Aaron is a recent transplant to the area, also from the east coast, also with a busy schedule. We were talking for over a week on Tinder, and he seemed thoughtful and kind. Our conversation ranged all over the place, which was a nice change of pace. He asked me out to dinner (I think also on a Tuesday, maybe I shouldn't do Tuesday dates anymore?) at a ramen place in SC. I have a long commute from the big girl job back down to SC, and that day was especially hellacious as there was three accidents on my way home. I was in deadstop traffic for a long time. I started messaging him, apologizing, saying I am going to be very late. It was in this conversation that his tone slighty changed. He went from full, grammatically correct sentences to using "u" and other chat speak. I was shrugging it off, but it didn't go unnoticed. When I finally got to the restaurant, I actually got parking right out front on the other side of the street, a rare miracle. I sent him a message that I'm walking up. The restaurants facade was mostly windows, so I peered inside and didn't see him. There were benches out front but they were empty. So I sat down and send another message, asking if he was there. I look over and see the next building over (which isn't open) has a bench in front of it, and there's a guy sitting there, but he has his hood up and he's on his phone. He looks over at me, but doesn't move. Now, I'm not going to walk up to some random dude on a bench with his hood up and ask if he's my Tinder date. Even I am not that stupid. So I sit and wait. I mean, I am incredibly late; maybe he is too, and I can't judge for that. And about two minutes later, the guy on the bench gets up, comes over, and it's Aaron. I immediately call him about about lurking and being weird. He shrugs it off and says he was just waiting. Ok. Well. I'm in this now, too late. (I just think of that scene from Closer where Julia Roberts confronts Jude Law about stalking her and "lurking from a distance.")
We sit down and I notice how YOUNG he looks. He seriously looks like he could be 17, and I feel super freaked out for a minute. He's also incredibly tall and thin, and moves awkwardly, like he's not fully comfortable with himself. We ordered sake and he did get ID'd and apparently is at least 21
so that made me feel a tiny bit better. The conversation was fine; we talked about random things. The ramen was decent. It felt more friendly than anything resembling a date, at least on my end. He mentions over dinner that he's having housemate issues, and says one of them is his "former partner." I don't ask for any specifics, just acknowledge how tough that situation must be.
The check comes. He reaches for it, looks it over. It's pretty cheap (two bowls of ramen and one split hot sake). I do my customary reach-for-the-wallet gesture. Now, call me old-fashioned, but if a man asks me out on a date, particularly a first date, I assume he will be paying. I will, however, always at least offer to split. He sees me take out my wallet, and says, "yeah, I mean, we could split this, or I could just pay, I don't know." I told him it's his decision. He paid. As he's signing the check he looks at me and says, "So, tell me about this corset modeling you do." Now, I had mentioned in our chatting that one night I did, indeed, model a corset at my good friend's lingerie store opening. It was quite fun and I looked daaaaamn good. But it had been a brief mention (no pictures or dirty talk or any of that nonsense) though apparently seeing me in person sparked the intrigue. I gave a brief overview of the night and how I'm no corset expert but it was fun and I might do it again because why not? And he says, "Yeah, I have some corset and dress up experience; mostly for theater. I definitely couldn't model one, though." Oh. Okay. Listen, I'm not here to kink-shame you, sir, but really? On the first date? I just explained I am not a corset queen; I did a favor for a friend but enjoyed doing it. In my mind, though, I'm thinking about how I don't want to discuss putting this boy in drag over dessert. Unfortunately, he did ask if I wanted dessert and we were right next door to a gourmet ice cream place that I LOVE, so I acquiesced and immediately regretted that decision.
As we walk next door and wait in line, he stands behind and incredibly close to me. I kept trying to inch away, and he kept inching back up to me. Lord Uncle Jesse, have mercy, get this creep away from me. When it's my turn to order, I basically run up to the counter. The girl working was very sweet, but had apparently seen us standing so goddamn close together, so after scooping my ice cream, she didn't ring me up; rather, she called to Aaron and got his order too. Shit. He's gonna make me pay for this, isn't he? Sure enough, he orders, comes over to where I'm waiting to pay, stands uncomfortably close again, and the girl asks if the order is together. He takes his ice cream and starts to walk away. "Yes," I said, bitterly. I pay for our ice cream. He doesn't thank me, and instead asks if we want to go for a walk while we eat. I say no. We sit outside. Now, I am not the fastest eater of a lot of food, but I fucking inhale ice cream. Always have. It's my favorite. So I eat mine very quickly and he takes his goddamn time, eating tiny spoonfuls. He makes a comment on how I could be in an ice cream eating contest; I want to shove my spoon in his eyeball.
He starts talking about his job (an EMT) and working odd hours (overnight) and how it can mess with your sleep schedule and how he naps with his roommates cat during the day. I talk about my cat for a little bit, and he admits he has a leopard gecko (I think; is that a thing?) and how he likes to have it lie on his neck and he's brought it to his EMT shifts and I am just sooooooo ready to GTFO and say goodbye to lizard boy forever. I check my phone and there's a message from one of the Dirge editors (nothing important, actually), but I tell him I have work to do and need to go. (Less, I am eternally grateful for you for inadvertently giving me an escape route.) I say my car is just right over there; we start walking down the sidewalk together. He tells me how charming and fun I am. We awkwardly hug before I go to cross the street; I think he wanted to try and kiss me but I avoided that shit like the plague. Then, post-hug....he walks across the street with me. Urm, okay. He walks in front of my car, and after I have already sat down and closed the door, he runs back across, waving his phone. I look at him confusedly, open my door a crack and say, "What?" "Oh, can I have your phone number?" Shit. I gave it to him because I'm a weak-ass bitch. He walks away and I curse to myself, trying to rationalize. It wasn't THAT bad, right?
I go home and talk to my aunt and some friends. No, no it was bad. To quote my editor, "Don't fuck that guy." Don't worry. He ended up texting me the next morning; I ignored it. A few days later, he messaged me on Tinder. Apparently he never saw the messages I sent when I walked into the restaurant? "Where am I? What? Four days ago?" Yeah. Four days ago I sent you those messages asking if you were at the restaurant on our date, remember? When you were a creepy lurking fuck? I unmatched him. I haven't heard from him since.
Were these exceptionally bad/gross dudes? No. Are they men I have an interest in seeing again? Heeeeellllllllll no. Please, keep your weird lizard corset men and lightweight stoners away from me.