Context: Sometimes, Tinder conversations can get a little bit repetitive. Like, I can only explain my hobbies, why I have a picture with a traffic cone, and answer the question “why is a girl like you on Tinder?” so many times before I want to make my phone take a very long walk off a very short pier. Thus, I was pleased when “Peter Pettigrew” and I fell into a married-couple style rapport. What do I mean, exactly? See for yourself:
Freakin’ adorable, folks.
This loving back-and-forth continued for about a week, and we made plans to meet up at Courthaus Social for beers on Saturday afternoon. He seemed witty and we shared a sense of humor, so I was excited. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned behind bars… wait, I mean on Tinder! Hahaha, ignore that first part. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on Tinder, it’s not to get ahead of yourself i.e. don’t plan your wedding/life with someone/future Goldendoodle’s name until AFTER you meet them. And, let me tell you, it’s a DAMN good thing that I didn’t.
I got to Courthaus Social at 2:06 PM, several minutes after our scheduled meeting time, and shot off an apologetic text letting him know that I had just gotten there. He texted back, “It’s okay! I’ll be there in five minutes.” Eh, if I was late, he can be late too. I fixed my attention on anything that wasn’t the disgruntled homeless man sitting to my left, hurling insults and the occasional penny at passerby. Life in DC, guys.
Fifteen minutes pass. Where the eff is this guy? This must be what it’s like to date me.
Finally, a car rolls by, and a tall, blond gentleman hops out. Excellent! And then I look at him. AAAaaaahhhh shit. NOTHING LIKE HIS PICTURES. I was expecting a youthful, pre-cocaine Aaron Carter (my inner 15-year-old is partial to Jesse McCartney, but I can get down with a little ‘I Want Candy’ on occasion). What I was greeted with was Peter Pettigrew, mouselike as any of his appearances in Harry Potter, minus the irresistible British accent.
Internally, I sobbed. Externally I put on my biggest “IF YOU BUY ME ENOUGH ALCOHOL I MIGHT FIND YOU MILDLY ATTRACTIVE” smile and hugged him before heading inside. The inside of the bar was filled with loud, beer-gutted men washing down their greasy burgers with dark lagers as they yelled arbitrarily at the multiple sports games displayed around the interior. Not exactly the best place to get to know someone, and it was a nice day (for mid-November), so I suggested that we sit outside. I, the girl who is always cold and at that moment was wearing a sundress and TOMS because I don’t know what seasons or the Weather Channel are, suggested that we SIT OUTSIDE.
I’m stupid, guys.
We sat outside for multiple hours, drinking COLD beers, me trying to conceal my violent bodily shivers and cover up my teeth chattering by smiling even wider. Probably a bad idea, because my date seemed to think that I was fully thrilled to be sitting here with him, seeing as I was replicating the facial expression of Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat.
Our conversation was, on the whole, pleasant. We do have similar senses of humor, and there weren’t any awkward silences, which puts us at a better personality match than the majority of my Tinder dates. But, a few things arose that really struck me the wrong way. The most memorable of which was:
He brought up things about me that I’m sure I had never mentioned. When I looked puzzled as to how he knew the name of my high school, he told me that he had done a little bit of “online research” before going out with me. Now, I’m not about to go all Judgmental Judy on some healthy online sleuthing (I’ve done it too), DO NOT TELL ME THIS. Especially not in the way this guy did, which was “Yeah, I googled you! And found your Facebook and Instagram. Trust me, you were easy to find.” Cue several looooong slurps of my beer.
The icing on the cake was a very, very drunk Radford girl who was sitting at the bar with her friend, loudly screaming gibberish at the Virginia Tech-UNC football game. About 2 hours into the date, she screamed at us, “ARE Y’ALL ON A DATE?!” When we confirmed her suspicion, she shouted “YEE HAW! IS IT A TINDER DATE? IS THIS Y’ALLs FIRST TIME MEETING?!” We said yes again, and she practically LOST IT. She leapt down from her seat, hugged me, and said “THIS IS SO FUNNY!” before running off, presumably to go throw up in the bathroom. I’ve been there, hun.
So, he walked me home, arm around me the whole way. I would have brushed it off, but at this point ANTARCTICA seemed tropical, so I welcomed any additional warmth. He told me to text him… and, after a long discussion with M about the pros and cons of our date, I decided that this couldn’t continue. So I texted him to let him know that the timing wasn’t right for me. Sorry, Peter Pettigrew, but this magic isn’t gonna happen.