When it comes to dating, the stories of a single thirty-something girl living downtown Chicago are probably endless. These poor chaps are my first selections from stories of those who didn’t make it past a single date:
1) The Sexy Librarian Lover-Man (SLM)
A self-proclaimed “highly accomplished attorney” who carried on quite an entertaining and civil phone conversation, SLM and I arranged a date at a bar in the burbs of Chicago after work. He was seated at the counter when I walked in and proceeded, straight-away, to push a napkin and a pen at me. “We have these napkins, here,” he began to explain, “and on this napkin, I want you to write, on a scale from 1 to 10, how attractive you find me. I will do the same for you.”
I found this to be an intriguing idea, though I felt a bit “put on the spot”. I pretended to scribble on the napkin, and wrote a number “7”. Looking back, perhaps I should have been a bit more generous and falsely-flattering. But there’s nothing wrong with being a “7”, and my lack of generosity saved me a whole lot of time.
Flipping our napkins on the count of “3” revealed that he’d written a “9” on his napkin… and that he had quite a temper. “So you think you’re better looking than I am, huh?… Well, I normally date girls like the bartender. All my ex-girlfriends have been Playboy Centerfolds – Playboy’s a client, so I have the hook-up. I’m used to dating 10’s… I was thinking I’d have to date down.”
Before I knew it, the anger had turned to some sort of super-odd-arousal-speak. “I can see you as a librarian… a dirty librarian with f@#$%-me glasses on,” etc. etc. etc. The non-stop-rant only ended when I stood to leave, to which he reacted by grabbing my face and trying to kiss me. He had to be on something. And I was off – out of that bar faster than I’d ever moved.
2) The Slow-Talking Surprise
A successful marathon runner and avid cyclist, I agreed to meet him at an Irish restaurant near my apartment for a “light dinner”. We had met online, and I was quite pleased at my first glance of him, as he was incredibly handsome.
Then he opened his mouth. He talked……… like….. this… with EVERY…. word…. slowly and completely analyzed, over-emphazied and truly bizarre. This went on the whole dinner through. But there’s more to the story.
“What…. did YOU do…. with your 20’s?” he asked – a fair-enough, though slightly odd question.
I gave a quick summary of some travels, grad school and where I worked, sum total lasting about 60 seconds. In my head, I was participating in the first annual pub salad-eating contest, the prize being my freedom when I was able to scarf down all contents of the bowl in record time. I asked, “What about you?” and quickly was face down in my Cobb, again.
“WELL……… I spent…. my twenties………… as ………. a vegan anarchist.”
If romaine could come out ones’ nose, I would have achieved it. I glanced up to approve of his joke with eye contact and shared laughter. Then I glanced up even further, this time to the ceiling, anticipating the hidden cameras that must be above my head.
“Really?” I said, attempting to recover. “Tell me about this…”
“Yes. I took…… my political agendas…….. to Palestine….. where I……. babble babble babble….”. I think he may have switched languages at this point. Meanwhile, I got lost in the analysis of how one can be both vegan and an anarchist. And I asked for a Doggie Bag, politely ended the evening and went home.
3) The Almost-Inappropriate Gift
Might as well keep this first-entry-of–its-type consistent with internet dating experiences. This particular date was for drinks at the bar previously mentioned in the “kissed by Bono” blog (see Lesson #5). My date walked in toting a beautifully wrapped gift, and proceeded to tell me how he’d wanted to get me something he knew I’d appreciate. The debate of “is this sweet or over-the-top for the first time meeting?” was won by thoughts that it was sweet and different, and I undid the ribbon.
Inside were some guitar picks. And an aerosol can labeled “Finger-Ease Lubricant”.
Now, it proves that the “Finger Ease Lubricant” was for guitar strings, and was a perfectly innocent gift. But I can’t say I was sure of this, at first.
As the “Finger Ease Lubricant” sat between us on the bar, the waiter struggled so with what to say about the prop each time he came by. Finally… “I just have to ask…”, he mustered out.
Though I sensed a bit of social-awkwardness in my date straight away, I was willing to chalk this up to anxiety and try a date #2. But before this could even be scheduled, Finger-Lube guy sent me two photos of him babysitting his friend’s children, seemingly with the belief that I would find his interaction with kids endearing. In the first photo, he had a little girl who appeared at least 4 years old on his lap sleeping. Topless. “Where are her clothes!?”, I asked.
“She won’t keep them on!” he responded. I’m sure this was the case, as I’ve heard of plenty of children running a muck, a trail of clothes behind them. But, really? Does he not realize I don’t know him all that well, and this picture just looks creepy?
To ease my mind, he sent a 2nd photo. This showed a child’s feet sticking out from under a large pillow, the rest of the child smothered under the pillow. This was captioned, “Napping”.