The date…meeting an online acquaintance for a date is a little rough to say the least. It’s awkward and could potentially turn into a nightmare. When you haven’t dated in seven years and your last foray turned into the worst case scenario almost ruining you and your life with it, it all seems daunting and maybe a little stupid.
Here’s this dude who talked nonstop about himself for a total of 3 hours over 3 nights of phone calls and finally sent his picture. When I never called him back after the third one, he messaged to say, “Did you think I was ugly?” I found this to be delightfully insecure and for some reason it made me like him a bit more. I sent back no and we made the date. I arrived early and waited. He called and I had never seen him enter the restaurant but he was inside waiting. I had spent quite a bit of time readying myself but not trying too hard. Work attire, cute shoes a little extra on the hair but not much…he looked surprised when he said my name after I walked in. I’m not sure good, not sure bad.
We went to the table where he promptly asked for the largest steak they had… that’s how he asked for it…”What’s the biggest steak you have?” I thought this slightly obnoxious but again, chalked it up to nerves.
Then … the conversation turned to another hour about him. I’m not sure he could tell you anything about me if you asked him now except he knew I have two children. He did ask me a couple of questions that made me sort of want to kick him in the dick like,
“How come if you work around all those men you don’t have a date every weekend?” The implication I supposed being that they had glimpsed a vestigial arm I was hiding from him or something. He didn’t ask like Wow you’re so beautiful I can’t believe you’re not dating. It had a suspicious undertone.
He asked me what the hardest thing I’d ever done was and I hesitated wondering if I should actually share a real feeling with this person or not. I wondered which date you were supposed to spill your guts about the sociopath that almost ruined your life and then thought better of it and tried to think of something other than childbirth. Thankfully he interrupted my hesitation with more stories about himself. During the course of our meal he had asked if I liked the movies and would I like to go to one sometime with to which I replied in the affirmative but my internal dialogue was more like... Can you shut the fuck up long enough to sit through a movie?
He insisted on sending me home with two extra meals for my kids and then paid in cash and over tipped the waitress with whom he had flirted during the entire meal. When we got up from the booth, he turned and made me “feel this bulge in my pocket” as we were leaving then said, “Yeah, that’s my gun.” Then, lest I think it was a euphemism for anything other than a firearm, pointed to his ankle and said, “There’s another on my ankle.”
In any case when I left carrying my huge bag of steak and fish for my kids, he walked me to my truck. I hugged him, and then he said, “Well please feel free to call me if you want.” Like some sort of salesman closing the deal.
I turned to get in my truck and I thought about the fact that he’d left it up to me to contact him and I really hated that. No matter where you fall in the battle of the sexes and independence and yadda yadda, I need a little chauvinism in my life and the boy calls the girl, period. Then I thought…maybe he’s been working so much and so long that he was socially backward and just didn’t get it. Then I thought…maybe he’s just shy. Then I just stopped myself because if this man were into me, he’d make every effort to contact me, end of story. I left it at that. I didn’t hear from him for two days and after pressure from more than one person, I texted, innocuous enough and not too risky. He texted back that I should contact him anytime and if he were busy, he’d let me know but please feel free to talk to him anytime.
I read it.
I re-read it.
I agonized over what the hell it meant. Then it came to me in a flash of clarity…it shouldn’t be this hard. There should at least be a tiny bit of a flirty kind of something. I mean I didn’t expect him to whip it out in the parking lot of the restaurant… (Okay, I sort of did.) but I thought there should have been something. I left off and didn’t bother to call him again and he hasn’t bothered to call me either. I can’t say that it’s tortured me overmuch.
He was attractive but not an Adonis. He was 12 years older than me but I like older men. He was a bit eccentric but I like that. The sum of the parts did not however leave either of us breathing heavy for the other apparently. I spent many days intermittently wondering about the things he’d asked me and the way things had gone.
Then, on my regular visit to the same convenience store that I always go to for gas, smokes, Gatorade….whatever, it happened.
There is a younger man in there that is built, to coin a sullied phrase, like a murder tank and so adorable it should be illegal. He’s flirted every time I’ve gone in and I’ve always, always blown him off for several reasons. He’s too young, he’s working in a convenience store and he sees 1,000 people a day and he’s probably flirting with everyone, he thinks a lot of himself and he’s just a straight up horn dog. You know whatever I could say to discount the fact that he’s giving me free shit every other time I’m in there and undercharging me for stuff.
After all I’d gone in there dressed for work, I’d gone in after leaving my other job filthy, I’d gone in my pajamas, he’d seen me looking every way there was and he was still flirting with me. The Gurl Child was gone for 3 days with friends and I decided that on a Friday evening with nothing to do I was going for a mani/pedi. I grabbed the flip flops and went to the same said convenience store to get gas.
I went in to pay and the Murder Tank said, “What are you doing tonight? Working some more?”
“No, I’m headed for some pampering at the mall. Where’s your truck?”
He leaned towards me, “Someone wrecked into me in town. Why? You wanna come back and get me when I get off?”
There was the same little voice in the back of my head with the running litany… Um, we don’t do this. He’s bad news for sure, he’ll break your heart or your leg or something…you’re in no shape to be naked in front of this person. He must be at least 10 years your junior and he’s beautiful and why the hell is he hitting on you.
I slapped that bitch down and said, “Sure.”
He snapped his head up and looked me in the face and said, “Yeah??”
I said, “Yeah. I’ll be back by after my pedicure to make sure you’re still in.”
“Oh I’m in, it’s you I’m worried about backing out.”
“I’ll be here.” I grinned at him like a moron and walked out thinking, What the fuck did I just do?
I called all three of my girls and got the same answer from all of them. Go back there, pick him up and make sure he knows he’s been there when you’re done with him.
I hit the liquor store and went back by the store and got his number and we began saucily texting while I dashed back home and vacuumed, showered, shaved my legs, found a casual outfit that looked like I wasn’t trying too hard and began to drink.
I trekked back the four blocks and picked him up and it wasn’t awkward. I expected it to be strange but we talked and talked and drank and drank and talked and then we just, well you get the idea.
I don’t remember the last time I was kissed like that among other things and I didn’t have a clue if there’d be a repeat performance and I didn’t really care. It was fucking wonderful and I felt like a million dollars.
Turns out, there’s apparently nothing wrong with me. I have since second guessed my need for validation from a man in order to feel like I was worth something and I’m not sure if I’ll ever totally get over that but I also figured out though that I hadn’t put my entire being into making sure that Murder Tank was going to call me again. I mean, I still giggled like a dumbass girl when he did but I wouldn’t have cried if he hadn’t. I think I might be okay.