I did it. I went on a date! I gave myself a time frame and I said to myself,”Melody,” I said. “You have two weeks to set up a date.” I said that. And I did it. Would you like to hear the story? Of course you would!
I joined three dating apps. What? You thought this date was like a blind date set up through friends? Oh no? You thought I hit up ‘the nightlife’ and met someone at a bar and gave him my number? So likely. Or maybe someone at my Church Bible Study said, “Hey there, wanna get coffee?” I don’t actually go to a Church Bible Study. Or maybe you thought that new gym I joined had a single fitness coach and as soon as he saw me, dripping in sweat (joking! I don’t sweat…), he knew he had to ask me out.
Yeah, no. It’s 2019. I went online.
I tried Zoosk, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel. I am still hesitant to pay for the upgraded versions or for more intense services like Match.com, eharmony, etc. I hear the cool kids are on apps and the old ones are on dating sites. I don’t know exactly where I fall yet. Still hoping for that blind date set up by friends (FRIENDS? Friends?).
Back to my date. I made a profile during the beginning of the Polar Vortex, not knowing I would have five days off work in a row and therefore have plenty of time for swiping and liking and guessing which guy I was chatting with when every single one of his pictures had multiple dudes in them. So many guys do that. I am not physic. I can’t guess which one you are! I started talking to ‘The Analyst” within the first day or two, along with at least four other guys. It was stressful. “Tattoo guy” thought it was hilarious that my only tattoo is my eyeliner (true story, 50 bucks in Korea and I haven’t had to apply eye liner in five years) and then just stopped talking to me after he sent several pictures of his tattoos… all PG pics, I promise. I think he just wanted to show them off? I realized quickly that none of these guys were going to actually ask to meet me in real life. So I asked the Analyst if he would like to get coffee sometime. He told me sure, name a date and a place and do all the work of deciding what we should do/where we should go, and he would be there. I gave him two options for dates and three options for places to meet. Because, everybody loves options.
We decided on a place in his neighborhood. On a Thursday. Because Thursdays are safe. He pushed to move the date earlier than 5 because we would be drinking coffee. We make the date earlier. I myself, prefer chai, but that’s totally besides the point (unless you are reading this and you want to take me on a date, or buy me a chai latte). The day of the date comes and I have my sixth snow day in two weeks. The Polar Vortex strikes again.
I tell the Analyst that we can still meet when he assumes a snow day means a cancelled date. I was not about feeling all of those nerves for a week to have the date delayed for who knows how long. Also, I have a jeep. It has four wheel drive.
I head to the cafe a few hours early to get some “work done”. I thought I could work on my grad classes and read a book and write a blog post. I did not do these things. I mean one of them I did, I nervously read a book and nursed my chai latte… for hours.
I get a message from the Analyst telling me he decided to run to the grocery store after work to get breakfast food because he ran out. O….k….Because no store is opened after six or seven when our coffee date would be over. He ends up getting stuck in traffic and is 20 minutes late. LATE. After he wanted to meet earlier and while knowing I have been in the coffee shop all afternoon. But whatever, I myself am very time-oriented, which is why I was hours early in the first place. I was willing to let it slide though because, you know, traffic.
He comes in and we have the awkward and unavoidable greeting, “Hi… Melody?” and I say hi back. He asks if I want anything. I say I am good with my drink (the cold one I have had for two hours). He persists. Are you sure? Yes, I am sure. But… I have a coupon! And then he pulls out a coupon the size of a travel book. It’s buy one get one half off. Well then I guess I could always go for another chai. Oh… I think it’s just for coffee. He already knew I don’t drink coffee. Then I am good. Are you sure? Yes.
He leaves to order a coffee and comes back with a coffee and a massive muffin. “I was hungry.” He sits down and starts to eat his muffin.
Let’s talk about where he is sitting. During my first 30 minutes in this adorable coffee shop I’d moved seats three times. I wanted to make sure we had a spot in the place conducive for conversation and weren’t crowded by other tables. I ended up at a study table (meaning it’s a good size) for four. I had my backpack and coat on the seat next to me. Instead of sitting across from me, my date sits diagonal. Yes, you read that right. Diagonal. Straight across from my backpack. I look at him. I look at the empty chair across from me. Do I ask him to move over? No, I just met him. Do I move all my things off the seat and slide over to be across from him? No, that’s awkward. I stare at the empty seat across from me for a second. Then I angle my chair and body towards him and ask him what kind of muffin he’s eating.
While he is eating his muffin he starts talking. And talking. And talking. I share here and there when I can. He asks me zero questions and continues bringing it back to him. Well, maybe he asks me one question. I shouldn’t exaggerate. He definitely asked me one question at some point. He tells me about when he got a ticket for running a red light. He went to court to fight the ticket, bringing a stack of research with him. “I like to analyze things.” He says explaining how thick this stack of papers was. He told the judge why he thought he shouldn’t have gotten the ticket. The traffic light was poorly designed. It was unsafe, actually. Etc, etc. The judge looked at him and told him to pay the ticket.
He told me another story about going to parent-teacher conferences with his friend, because she asked him to. They get there and the teacher says to the boy, “You haven’t introduced me to your dad.” The boy bursts into tears and runs from the room. This guy is not his father. I felt so bad for the child and the teacher in this story. I also thought how in ten years of teaching, I’ve never had a parent bring a ‘friend’ to a parent teacher conference. Like. Never. And that’s coming from someone who has worked at seven schools on three different continents. He told me the kid was fine with it by the next year. WAIT. What? You did this more than once? You do this regularly? I do not say these things aloud. I sit and listen.
As we talk we discover we have people in common we know. We have a conversation where I clearly state my sister is married to someone from our area. He then talks about my brother in law. And by talk, I mean he starts to badmouth my bro. His mom thinks this and that. I don’t want to share too much info here because the basis of my date’s mom’s opinion is pretty off. And I want to protect my brother in law. But. He talks bad. About my family. I smile with my teeth and look at him a bit incredulously and say, “Um, haha, yep. That’s my brother-in-law.”
My sister texts me two hours into the date. Yes, you heard that right. Two hours. Two hours I can never get back. I look at my phone for the first time during this very long coffee date to check the time and see her text. Are you still out? I start to hint that I need to head back home with the weather and everything as I am thinking in my head, “Right, and now I am deleting all of my dating apps.”* Then I text her back and say, Trying to say goodbye. She was waiting on my text to make sure I wasn’t meeting up with a crazy person or thrown in the back of a van. Which is important. You never know who you’re going to meet.
My sister is proud of me for going on a date. I am proud of me for going on a date. It could have been worse. It was fine. We left and he was smiling ear to ear saying, “This was fun!” I did not have fun. I smiled at him and said, “Bye!” Also… last thing. Because this is where I am not the nicest person in this scenario. I realized I am more shallow than I thought. Because this guy. He was my size, if not shorter. And I am 5′ 2″. Okay, okay, I am 5′ 1½”. And he was skinnier than me, I mean, I am not skinny by any means, love me some chocolate. But a smaller man than me who insults my family on a first date? Yeah… pass.
By the time I got home he messaged me again asking for a second date, to a boat show, which we had talked about before the first date. I said I was going to pass on the boat show. He said so is that a pass on the boat show and potential hangout/dates or just the boat show? … both, it’s gonna be a pass on both. He was very cordial and told me he hoped I found what I was looking for.
I was very tempted to tell him to analyze our date since he mentioned multiple times how he likes to analyze things. But instead I said if I ever needed anything analyzed I would give him a holler. But that was a lie. I will not do that.
Do: Go on a date!
Don’t: Be late, sit diagonally from your date, insult family members, talk the whole time and ask very few questions of your date.
*I did not delete the dating apps on my phone for another two months. I tried, sincerely did, to connect with someone else and meet in person. Then I tried another app as well, OKcupid, and guess who was on that app with a 91% match to me? Yep. The Analyst. This is when I deleted all of my apps. If he ever stumbles upon this, now he knows. Sorry dude.