Date Stories, J

J: Poker Face

Context: I matched with ‘Ohio’ on Tinder waaaay back in November, and met up with him for a few drinks at Pearl Dive on a Monday night. A few nights later, my blackout self decided to play my favorite drinking game – self sabotage. He texted me asking if I would like to go on a second date, and I said yes. I said we should go ice skating. ICE SKATING. THE HANDHOLDING SPORT OF THE USA. I couldn’t do it. I needed to back out. The day of the date, I took action.

Am I the worst? Absolutely. Could I have just told the truth? In theory. Why did I say my cat died? Because my friend Matt told me if I used it as an excuse, he’d buy me a drink. Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Anyway, despite my pathetic-cat-lady cancellation excuse, Ohio took things quite well.

Yes, Ohio. I could use some tequila. But not purchased by you.

However, then things came to an end with the other boys I was dating, I had a staggeringly depressing New Year’s Eve as a 13th wheel, and on vacation in Florida with KC I started rethinking my decision.

Maybe he’s not so terrible after all? Maybe I’m missing out on something good? He was tall and hot what the hell is wrong with me?

So, while I was drunk on a booze cruise (between playing tambourine for the on-ship guitarist and bravely taking charge of the bar when I couldn’t find the bartender), I texted Ohio.

Man, am I full of shit.

Somewhat shockingly he responded right away, proposing to meet at El Centro on MLK Day for drinks. Boys are so stupid. We texted sporadically throughout the week, and then when I met him that Monday, I was just shocked to realize that he was STILL BORING. Awesome. Our conversation went something like this:
J – How was your Christmas?
O – It was fun! It was good to see my family.
J – Are you guys close?
O – Yeah.
J – Nice.
O –
J –
O –
*Audible crickets inside El Centro*
J – I need another drink.

Y’all, there is so much to be said for having a natural chemistry and flow of conversation with someone, and that was just not going to happen here. Once I resigned to this being our second and ACTUAL final date, I pulled out my phone, partially because Ohio is more boring than the terms and conditions agreement of your standard refrigerator, and also because I needed to wish a very happy birthday to James Franco on Twitter.

At this point, I started to plot my escape plan.
O – Do you want to go somewhere else to grab dinner?
J – UM, WELL, ACTUALLY, I have plans to cook dinner with my friend KC, so I can’t!
O – Oh, too bad… what are you guys cooking?
O – ….
J – What did I say? I meant tortellini. I definitely meant tortellini.

Keeping cool under pressure is the name of my game, y’all.

Ohio headed to the bathroom before we left, at which point my bartender took notice of my dead eyes staring blankly into the wall of tequila behind the bar, praying for solace.
Bartender – Girl, do you play poker?
J – Uhh, not really, no – why?
B – You would have an excellent poker face.
J – Huh?
B – You have been here for THREE hours. You weren’t feeling it since the very beginning, and I would have shown it and walked out at least two hours ago, but you’re holding strong. You GET those free drinks, girl.

You know it’s bad when the bartender can see right through your cold, heartless exterior. Hey, if Donald Trump, the human embodiment of a cheeto, can build a wall, then I can put up as many emotional walls as I want.

Ohio returned from the bathroom, and I gently suggested we leave.

He picked up the tab, and we headed out. Luckily we were heading different directions (him towards the Metro, me literally anywhere else), so I initiated a hug.

He went for the kiss.

I moved too fast and he awkwardly kissed my neck.


He texted me later that night to ask how dinner was, and I didn’t respond – mostly because Ohio and I had come to an end, but also in part because I hadn’t made or eaten any dinner. Just wine. Always wine.

Lesson learned: once you let someone go, LEAVE THEM THERE. There’s a reason you didn’t want them in your life in the first place, and thots ain’t got time for rebounds. Those are for nicegirls.


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