Some people think that, because of the sheer volume of dates that I go on, I am some kind of ‘Love Guru.’ A female, very white version of Hitch, if you will. While flattering, I would like to say the following to these people:
Phew. Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s move forward!
I am NOT, by ANY MEANS, an expert on love. Am I an expert on small talk? Sure. Have I studied extensively at the school of ‘making men pay for you’? Absolutely. But, sadly, I have a long-standing fear of both commitment and abandonment, which is a really awesome combination and yep I’ll probably die alone.
It all started when I was eight years old, on the cusp of my 3rd grade year. This was a big year: I would finally a) read ‘Harry Potter’ and realize that my life calling is to be Hermione, b) perfect my long division technique, and c) take things to the next level with my 2nd grade boyfriend, Connor. It was going to be the perfect year, I could feel it in my 60-pound frame. This was, until the first day of class when Connor sat down next to me, sweetly took my hand, and uttered four soul-crushing words.
C – I have to leave.
Connor, the love of my life, was moving to Wisconsin for his dad’s job. It was then that I knew I would never love again. Connor had it all: perfect blue-green eyes, he liked me, athleticism, he liked me, shared his m&ms, liked me, etc. And now he was gone. I would never see or speak to him again.*
*Or so I thought, in this time before cell phones and social media. I found him on Facebook in late high school, and he got fat. CLASSIC.
I did what any heartbroken eight-year-old would do – poured myself bowl after bowl of Lucky Charms (god bless the metabolism of my youth) while I watched ‘Saved By The Bell’ and wept. Sure, I dated other guys in my elementary school years, but no one could ever replace the Wisconsin-sized hole he had left in my heart.
Anyway, now that I’ve dumped the tragic tales of my childhood on you, let’s talk about my date!
I matched with a boy, ‘Twin,’ whose super original opening line was “Why is a girl like you on Tinder?” Boys, I’m sure your intentions are good, but this really isn’t flattering. It’s actually pretty panic-inducing. My internal dialogue usually goes something like “Because I like to meet new people…? And try new restaurants… and… THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!! Is there something wrong with me?? Why AM I on Tinder?!?!”
Feeling especially honest on this particular morning, I told this gentleman about the blog, expecting him to disappear once he realized that I only wanted him for his money. Instead, he responded that he thought I was super funny and had always had bad luck with dating apps – would I mind grabbing dinner with him to help him with his Tinder skills?
UM. WHAT? YES! THIS IS MY DREAM! Why not transform my IT Consulting skills into Dating Consulting? I would make millions! I would be on Oprah! I would finally have my own office!!!
We agreed to meet in Adams Morgan on a Friday night, and when the time rolled around I really didn’t feel like dealing with a Metro transfer, so I called an Uber. I was already running a little bit late, so I was a tad stressed out as I watched the little Uber icon spinning like my vision after eight glasses of wine. I watched the time estimate change from three minutes to nine to one to five, and I was pissed because, yeah, I made myself late, but this dude was making me EVEN LATER as he as he rolled the wrong way down one-way streets and probably through the drive-thru and shit. Whatever. He finally showed up and we made our way to AdMo.
One of the best things about this guy having read my blog before meeting was that he new all my dating preferences. He didn’t suggest a seafood restaurant, he made it clear that he was taller than me, and he made sure to wait for me outside the restaurant so I didn’t have to go inside and hunt him down. Perfect! I knew immediately upon seeing him that he wasn’t a romantic match – he had been the product of some seeeeriously drunk swiping – but I was super down for this Dating Coach arrangement.
…Or, I was, until we started talking. Homeboy. Could. Not. Speak. Every question I asked was matched by either a one-word answer or a blank stare, and I was torn between tearing all my hair out of my head and stabbing myself with his steak knife to put me out of my misery. I was legitimately a one-woman show, sharing date tales from the depths and ALL of the ‘tips and tricks’ that I’ve like to think I’ve acquired over my dating career.**
**Which I quickly realized is heavily targeted towards a female audience – Twin, I apologize for instructing you to ‘flip your hair’ and ‘giggle shyly’ more – I do not take any responsibility for negative outcomes of these actions.
In situations like these, I always weigh the possibilities of the situation. Maybe he had a bad day? Maybe I’m not as pretty as my pictures? Maybe he just doesn’t feel any chemistry? So, when the waiter came back to ask us if we wanted another round of drinks, I was ready to say no and save him the $10 and extra 30 minutes or so when he exclaimed*** “We’ll both have another!!!”
***This was actually the most emotion he had shown all night, which reassured me that he was NOT actually a robot, but also confused the crap outta me.
In fact, every time the waiter came by, he asked for another round for both of us. TWO HOURS and FOUR DRINKS later, I was drunk, and he was NO MORE INTERESTING. I had just run out of stories about second grade (he, too, now knows about my childhood lover! y’all have so much in common!) when he tried to order a fifth drink and I shut him down. I thanked him for the food but told him that I needed to make it home for a pregame I was hosting. I stumbled my drunk ass to the Metro and swore on my ancestors’ graves that I would never, ever be someone’s dating coach again.
Unless they pay in cash.
Everything has a price tag.