I recently went on a date with a guy (“Jay”) I met on OkCupid. He’s super nice, funny, cute, into all the things I’m into…and yet I’m not attracted to him. At the end of the date, I could tell Jay wanted to kiss me (and we all know how I like to avoid those things). I was waiting for my Uber and staring intensely at the app that counted down how long until the car arrived when Jay stepped closer. Three minutes away. I tried to start a conversation that would distract him from his current objective. Two minutes. He shifted, antsy, trying to get me to face him. One minute. I turned to say goodbye and he kissed me. Godamn. One minute to go and the bastard snuck one in. Soon after, he asked for a second date and since I’m a girl who can’t say no (I clearly have a very healthy sex life thankyouverymuch), I agreed. I mean he’s a great guy. He opens the car door for me and insists on paying for everything and pulls my chair out at restaurants. The dude is hardcore chivalrous. It’s very sweet. When my cat died, I decided to cancel the date. I texted Jay and realized how much it sounded like a thinly veiled excuse after I pressed Send. “Hey, I’m so sorry but I have to cancel…my cat died.” Being the gentleman he is, Jay offered his condolences and we rescheduled.
I drove to his place for our second date and, as usual, was running late. I just love to start off dates where I make him wait twenty minutes (this is a lie; I was sweating and wanted to cry). I finally found his place…which was literally adjacent to the Animal Hospital I used to take Pickles to (“Oh man, please don’t associate that with this date,” he stressfully pled). I hurriedly parked my car in a lot and met up with him. When we got to the movie theatre, he smoothly slipped his hand in mine. In my mind, I cringed, but out loud I was like, “That was smooth.” He chuckled. “I didn’t know there was going to be a commentary on this date.” “Yeah, this is the special features version.” UGH. Who narrates a date? I might as well have been live tweeting the whole thing. When we got in the theatre, it was completely empty. I was disappointed; he was delighted. A couple in an empty movie theatre…I knew where this was going. Sure enough, we sat down and he immediately inserted his tongue in my mouth. Thankfully, a couple walked in shortly after. I was delighted; he was disappointed. Fast forward to the awful movie (“I’m so sorry that was bad. Please don’t associate this with the quality of the date!”) and dumplings for dinner. While the dumplings were delicious, they were difficult to eat in a ladylike fashion. Too small to bite into pieces yet too big to attractively eat, I shoved each big-ass dumpling into my mouth like a caveman, successfully emulating a chipmunk storing up nuts in his cheeks for winter. I have this thing about people watching me eat on dates; I imagine tiny men in their heads holding up signs rating me on my chewing technique. That and my sister says I chew so loud it gives her migraines. Self-conscious, I tried to eat when he wasn’t staring at me, but that rarely happened so I hardly ate. Awkwardly, he wouldn’t take another one until I had eaten mine, so we sat there not eating until he went to the bathroom and I stuffed, like, six whole dumplings into my mouth.
When we finally got back to his house, I discovered that the lot I had hastily parked my car in had been locked by a giant chainlink fence and padlock (“Oh god, don’t let this reflect on the rest of the date!”). I called Uber and while the seven minute countdown began until the car arrived, I tried to eloquently tell him how I felt. Quite the opposite of eloquent, I vomited out a mangled paragraph that resembled this: “So I really like you, but I think I have to be friends with people first, you know, and oh my god I sound like an asshole…Jesus, okay so this sounds cliché but it’s not you, it’s definitely me that has issues with physical contact. That’s not what I wanted to say. I wanted to say that you’re an awesome person and can we be friends first.” And he was like, “Um, so, you don’t want me to kiss you or anything?” And I was like “No!” Even though I meant yes. He forced a laugh. “This is new for me actually. I always used to ask girls before I kissed them but I thought I would try not asking…guess that didn’t work.” I felt so bad for him because he’s such a good person that I tried backtracking: “Wait, wait, girls love that. Just not me. I mean yes, do that with all the girls. They love it. I’m weird.” After that train wreck, my Uber arrived and he asked me for a kiss because I was leaving for winter break. And what was I supposed to say? No? Instead, I agreed, endured, and slunk into my Uber feeling pretty sure that nothing had changed.