Here goes my dating experiment. Because who doesn’t have those these days? It’s all you read about in the blogging world. But, of course, mine shall be infinitely more interesting.
A friend of mine texted me one Sunday morning, when I complained to her about how I’ve been lacking creative inspiration. “Well,” she said, teasing me, “You should write about your amusing dating experiences.”
He had ginger hair, and freckles, and a quirky way about him. Definitely intelligent, and Jewish (what a plus), and seemed to be a nice mix of assertive and conceding. After a few hours of chat on Tinder, we decided that we should enjoy our lively conversation in person. I was excited to go on our date, and we met at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in the cute hipstery neighborhood of Bucktown, in Chicago. He pulled my chair out for me and told me how nice I looked, and I graced him with my best smile.
The date started off smashingly, with lots of bonding over our Jewish traditions and mutual appreciation of lox. I noticed that he would pause after his own jokes and laugh uproariously, which I wrote off because hey, he was probably nervous. We gabbed on about our families and that’s when I became the most unfortunate person to have ever graced the beautiful venue that is Mindy’s.
I suppose he assumed that we were getting married and he could become as real with me as he possibly could. Just put all the cards on the table, lay it all out for me to see, expose his raw open heart. He started telling me about his adorable and stereotypically Jewish grandparents and how he loves them so, and makes a point to visit them at least once a week (to which my heart went “awww”). Just the other day, he said, he was over at their apartment and they asked him to help them adjust some picture frames on their walls because they couldn’t reach that high (another “awww”).
Guess how long you can talk about picture frames? Twenty minutes. During which he managed to laugh and cry and rage. Because picture frames can do that to a man. Here’s a snippet:
“So she said, turn it a bit to the left. So I did, and asked her if she liked the placement. And she said, no, a bit more to the left. So I adjusted it and then she said it was a bit TOO far left, so I moved it again…”
I texted him the next day and thanked him very much for taking me out, but that I didn’t think we were a match. He responded that I was making a terrible mistake.
Maybe it would’ve worked out if I was a picture frame?
At Least He Can Skate
Not to be discouraged, I continued on my Tinder journey. This one and I swiped right and he opened with a challenge about my Star Wars nerdiness, citing obscure movie references to test my knowledge. I rose to the challenge, being a competitive human, and of course beat him. This was suitably impressive, I suppose, since he said he wanted to take me to dinner. On a winning high, I agreed but said we should get ice cream instead.
He picked me up from the train, and walked over to give me a hug hello. The first thing I noticed was that he’s a blatant liar – on his profile, he claimed to be 5’6 and while I stand proudly at 5’2 (with my voluminous hair adding an inch), his eyes were lower than mine. (Like really? You think I won’t notice?)
We went to Lickety Split in Edgewater, a northern part of the city of Chicago (a place I would later move to. Edgewater, not the ice cream shop). Conversation was mainly one-sided as he bragged about how wonderful he is at his job, elaborated on his trips to Vegas with his sleazy (his words) dad, and his unique skill regarding freeline skating.
When I tried to add some flirtation into the conversation with my question, “So, why did you swipe right?” he responded with, “Oh, I don’t remember actually swiping right on you. I just swipe right continuously until I match with someone and then go back later and unmatch with people who aren’t attractive.”
He leaned in for a kiss at the end of the night. I pushed him away and said I don’t kiss on the first date. He said I was missing out, and I politely disagreed. But hey, at least he can skate?
Back to the Beginning
Let’s end this storytelling journey with my first-ever online dating extravaganza. Jaded with my real life love journey, I decided to bite the bullet, get on the bandwagon, and other such idioms. After downloading OKCupid and sifting through the (sometimes aggressive and often disgustingly creepy) messages from (literally) anyone who feels like chatting you, I happened upon a gentleman who had one photograph uploaded, but swept me off my virtual feet with his witty quips. We agreed to meet at Starbucks (casual first dates would soon become my M.O.).
My heart pounding in my ears, convinced this is how I would die, I met him at a Starbucks near the Allstate Arena, in Rosemont, Illinois. (I wanted to meet him far away from my hometown so that, in case he was an axe murderer, he wouldn’t know where I lived.) We met in the parking lot, and it started to rain. This wasn’t romantic at all and his self-assured, coffee-stained grin immediately put me on guard. We walked inside, and got our drinks.
He regaled me with tales of Hebrew school, camp (why was he telling me about camp?), and learning how to be a rabbi, and he tried his best to school me (I found this irritatingly amusing, seeing as I was raised Orthodox and can read Aramaic), while sipping his coffee concoction and spraying it more than saying it. He seemed to think that our mutual religious background was the only worthy topic of conversation and stuck to it with a vengeance. This being my first online date, I sat there and politely nodded and tried to add my own comments, until somehow four hours went by and they kicked us out of the cafe.
He thought this was a sign of our undying romance, and pounced on my mouth for a slobbery kiss. I was shocked and didn’t stop him, but then I said brightly (in retrospect, I probably squeaked and jumped away), “Well, thanks for meeting me, have a wonderful night!” After scooting around him and his grabby hands, I got into my car, locked the doors, and sped home. When he texted me later, I pretended I didn’t exist anymore, and he texted me incessantly until finally getting the hint a day or two later.
A few weeks later, he texted me: “Two things. #1 The African elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal.” I didn’t ask what #2 was.
Note: These dating stories happened about 2-3 years ago, and have stuck with me since. I figured I shouldn’t add the recent ones until a bit later, so as not to give away who I’m referring to.
Image is not mine.