Sometimes it feels as though I am participating in the “Bad Decision Olympics,” where I am the reigning Gold Medalist. I’d like to share another moment in dating hell, with my most recent fail…Dan. (* Just a reminder, all names have been changed).
A while ago, I met Dan. We started talking on the phone and texting nearly every day and although I wasn’t really prepared for anything serious, it was obvious that he wasn’t going anywhere without a fight…which I kind of liked, as it’s been a while since anyone of substance has come along. He is educated, driven, seemed pretty compassionate and genuine, etc. It probably didn’t hurt his case that he has a beautiful upper body and pearly white teeth…just sayin’. After talking to him for a few days, the comments started getting a bit weird…er.
I understand that people are marrying early and we are feeling a bit of societal pressure at 26, (like we’re lepers for not settling down by this point) but I’m never one to just meet someone and say any of the following things:
1. “So, are you going to be my baby?”
2. “I just need you in my life, and I know that…without a doubt.”
3.“I just think you’re a good influence in my life, and you’d be positive to have around.”
Those all seem like very sweet, endearing things for people who’ve been dating a little more than not at all. How can you possibly know that those things will be true without a bit more investigation? Maybe I’ve been hiding a secret identity, and I’ll rip off a body suit to reveal I’m a 350lb lagoon creature.
MAYBE I’m serial killer who loves to kill afflicted men. OR…MAYBE…I’m a code five clinger, who loves to snort coke and likes to dress my cats in funny outfits and film them. My point is, that it’s off putting to hear things like that right off the bat.
Dan and I were going on a date to go see The A-Team. I understand that the movies are kind of a stupid date to choose to go on when you’re still getting to know one another. But I chose the movies for that reason. I felt pressured to see him, because he was SO pushy. After a day at work from 8-5 where people constantly talk your ears off, why would you want to go and have someone talk your ears off for another few hours?
Look, I’m sure if I was “really” interested, it wouldn’t matter. I’d welcome the chatter, getting to know each other and enjoying a flirtatious flutter of the eyes back and forth. Dan wanted to go bowling, go for dinner, go somewhere. “Movies are fine,” I tell him. “I’m bad at bowling, I’ve just had dinner and again..I’m a horrible bowler.” On the way there, I start getting this bad feeling. What’s funny is my friends will tell you that I’m rarely off base with these instincts. They usually manifest themselves through soreness deep in my gut, saying, “hey….hey dumbass…this? This right here…? This is going to end HORRIBLY.”
Clearly, I don’t listen, pulling into the theatre fifteen minutes before it starts. I can see Dan from the car, although he can’t see me. He’s pacing a bit and seems frustrated, but when he sees me a big smile flashes across his face. We hug and he tells me he’s bought the tickets. “He’s not so bad,” I think to myself as we walk towards the theatre.
As we enter, he turns back and says “Goodnight Sophie.” Ehm…? Wherever Sophie is, she’s clearly not responding. “GOODNIGHT SOPHIE,” he says louder and sort of pauses for effect. I look over to see this girl hanging out on the pillar. She seems less than enthralled that he’s speaking to her and has a mild look of discontent and panic. He starts to explain, “Oh! She was waiting on her boyfriend and I was waiting on you, so we kept each other company since it’s a bit sketchy out here.”
We go inside…time to pick the seats… I like to sit near the bar so I can put my feet up and there are no big heads obstructing my view. He doesn’t argue and just asks that we sit in the middle, where these two girls have their feet on the seats. “Don’t worry, they won’t have them there for long,” he replies. I sit down immediately already embarrassed and praying there will be no confrontation…the movie hasn’t even started. “Hey ladies,” he starts. “Now don’t go kicking our chairs during this movie, ya hear me?” The ladies are giggling. They think he’s joking. “Oh don’t worry,” one replies. “I think I broke my toe before we came in here.” “Oh really?” he says, and starts rummaging around in his wallet. He hands them his medical sales card and they coo. Right when I think we’re in the safe zone, I hear him start telling them… “We’re on a date. So please…don’t kick the chair.”
He sits down and says to me…
Dan: “Did you knock a couple back before you came?”
Me: “I’m sorry…what?” I’m staring at him blankly, like…did you really just ask that?
Dan: “Did you have a couple drinks? I mean hell, that’s what I would do…” (He’s unable to drink).
Me: “No, I didn’t…why, does it seem like I have?”
From there things got really ridiculous and if I sat here and did a full detailed recount, you’d be here for ten pages, guaranteed. I’ll highlight.
Dan: “Don’t take anything I say or do seriously tonight, ok?” Famous last words.
You know that point in the bad situation when you’re like… “uh oh.” While externally I said, “Ehm…okay…?” Internally I was saying, “HOLY SHIT, WAY TO STEP IN A PILE OF HOT MOLTON CRAZY. GREAT JOB!”
It appears the fact of the matter is, I never learn. Ever. Body language is important on a date. If my legs are crossed away from you, if my arms are folded, my hands are on my purse and I’m intently watching the movie, I have just given you the universal signs of “don’t touch me.” Had I of left my hand out for you to grab, placed my purse in the seat next to you, crossed my legs towards you and leaned over a bit…that means “GO.” The other way means “NO.”
Dan had evidently never heard of that general rule of thumb. I’m sure that the A-Team would’ve been a great movie, but I really didn’t get to spend a lot of time watching it, as I was more concerned that every time Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel kissed, I’d be attacked. I started dreading the love scenes. Every tacky move that could’ve been made was done. He picked up his cell phone, texted, talked to strangers, was loud and wanted to have a conversation throughout the movie.
BUT most offensive of all was THE BEST MOVE in the history of tacky moves:
“The Quest for Boobtown”
The 2 part quest:
1. He removes his watch methodically, then drops it down my shirt before attempting to FISH IT OUT.
2. He keeps trying to hold my hand but stretches his arm across me so I have to continuously keep moving his hand so he doesn’t rest it on my chest.
At one point he actually tried to lay his head on my chest….when I kept moving his hands and head, he finally turns to me and says, “ why are you so uptight?!”
“I’m not uptight,” I reply calmly, a little shaken up from the shock of his actions. I really can’t remember a time I’ve been more disrespected publicly. Although you say to yourself, “If something like that ever happened to me, I’d punch him in the face,” it changes when it happens to you and you’re in the moment. I thought that had answered the question sufficiently, but then right at a climactic point in the movie he turns to me and raises his voice… “OH LET ME GUESS…YOU’VE BEEN HURT BEFORE, RIGHT? AND NOOOOOOOOOW…I’M PAYING THE PRICE?”
I had nothing to say, mainly because how do you answer that…mid movie, with now the entire theatre no longer paying attention to the movie they’ve paid for, but rather your conversation with a crazy person. At that moment, you can feel the sympathy radiating, hear the women going “poor girl,” and I can feel my jaw clenching, fists tightening and tears trying to fight their way forward. “I’LL TAKE THAT AS A GIANT YES,” he screams. I had enough, but refused to get angry as we’re still in public, and I’m still a lady… of some sort.
Me: “Take it however you want to. Just leave it alone, and leave me alone.”
Dan: “SO…YES,” raising his voice over the climactic moments of A-Team.
Me: “Think whatever you want.”
After that, it was as if he had never snapped. He returned to trying to caress my hand, tell me how into me he was, etc.
Dan: “I’m going to go get a soda, want anything?”
He leaves and I text my mom and a friend of mine. I text: “awful. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Just went for a diet coke, hope he doesn’t come back.” But he did. With a large diet coke and large popcorn, both of which he finished then proceeded “release” the popcorn and soda back…out both ends. It felt like a cosmic joke…this kid couldn’t be serious? But he was.
Finally the movie ends and he walks me to my car, which I cannot get into fast enough. Before I even get home he’s called twice and left three texts. We never spoke after that, and in truth, it seriously rocked me so much that it took me a minute to get to a point where I could write it down.
But wait, there’s more…
About two months after the ordeal, I get a friend request from a girl name Sandy. For some reason, I accept her friendship thinking I must know her from somewhere. Something about her looks weirdly familiar, but I’m not sure I’m not crazy. I let it go and figure if nothing else, she’ll just be one of the other Facebook friends that I have that I don’t “know.” A week ago, I signed on to Facebook and my chat popped up immediately…it was Sandy.
Sandy: “Hey,” she says.
Me: “Hey, do I know you?”
Sandy: “Can I ask you something, and can we keep it just between you and I?”
Me: “Of course,” I reply, thinking…I don’t really know you, so what does it matter? And, you didn’t really answer my question, which would actually be telling of how the rest of the conversation would go.
Sandy: “How do you know Dan Smith? From CL?”
Me: “What’s CL?”
Sandy: “Craigslist,” she replied and my face automatically went into a highly grossed up, perplexed contortion.
Me: “Um no, not from…Craigslist,” I reply trying to suppress the disgust seeping up from my tummy and into my throat.
Sandy: “GREAT,” she says. “That tells me that he’s really out there trying to look for something/someone else.”
And so we spoke about Dan for about 30 minutes. She asked what happened and what my experience was. I tell her bits and pieces, but am still withholding because I’m not sure how she knew to find me on Facebook. Apparently, she met him off of “CL,” and then proceeded to have a plethora of strange experiences with him. He stood her up, she said she toyed with his emotions but eventually felt bad and met up with him. They went back to “his” house and he tried to get her to do stuff but she said she “doesn’t do THAT because it’s trashy.”
She said that it was time to consider not speaking to him, to which I reply he’s been blocked on my end for a while and that in my opinion, he’s not a hundred percent there and she should stop communication. While we’re talking, something occurred to me…the same thing I mentioned above…how on EARTH did she figure out who I was and how did she know how to get a hold of me? While she continues to talk to me, I decide to go to his Facebook page and see if they’re friends. Something just started to feel weird…I know, imagine that.
Turns out they’re not even Facebook friends. Which leads me to believe he clearly told her to contact me and ask why I’d not responded. ANOTHER thing occurs me…she looks EXACTLY like the girl that was at the movies that night, standing on the pillar (SOPHIE…remember?). Turns out, the crazy just keeps getting crazier. By the time I went to ask her how she knew to find me and confront her to see whether or not that was her that night…she disappeared off Facebook entirely.
SCARY, CRAZY and yet…typical.