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Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Ray of Sunshine.

It was New Year's Day, and I'd taken my recovery nap, and found myself wearing fringe with nothing to show for it. It was time to find myself some trouble to get into. So, I took to the internets to find myself a date! An hour later, I was getting pretty to head out to my local watering hole. was closed. And so was my back up. And my back up's back up. After much texting, my date and I collectively found a place that wanted to serve the thirsty people of the Bay Area on a government sanctioned holiday.
I arrived to find he had already staked out a table for us. He met me at the bar as I ordered a drink. "Would you like it on the lady's tab as well?" the bartender asked, gesturing toward the woman at the table next to ours. He shook his head, looking slightly sheepish as I, confused, offered the bartender money. "Oh!" the bartender exclaimed, "I thought she was your date!" Iiiiiiiinteresting.
Drink in hand, we headed back to the table. We made small talk, but it quickly became clear that my date had some serious social anxiety, which seemed to be increasing the more we chatted. We finally started talking about what we did for a living, and after several minutes of listening to him trash his former employer in no uncertain terms, he finally started to talk about his new solo venture.
Him: So, do you partake in marijuana?
Me: No.
Him: Not at all?
Me: No.
Him: Well, I'm starting a home business helping those with medical marijuana cards do home growing...
Mind you, I have nothing against those who smoke, it's just not my thing. When someone specifically says, "Yeah, that's not really something I'm into, you should probably change the subject to something they'd show more interest in, and try to find some common ground. He disregarded this and proceeded to go on about this new venture. For 20 minutes. Aggressively. At the first pause, I excused myself to go to the restroom, as I definitely needed a break.
Coming back to the table, I noticed that he was deep in conversation with the lady at the table next to us. Yes, the one that the bartender had thought was his date. I sat down, and he continued his conversation with her until her companion finally arrived. After filling me in without any prompting on her situation, he then asked the dreaded question: "So, how has your experience with [dating site that we met on] been?"
First of all, I hate this question. Who wants to talk about other dates when you're trying to get to know someone you just met? Second of all, it was immediately obvious that he was not merely curious or making small talk with this question. Oh, no, he had a mission. His mission included systematically destroying any potential of this date going well. The conversation (and I use that term loosely, as I quickly found it was one-sided) included such gems as:
"I just know that I could never connect with someone I met on the internet the way I could connect with someone I met in the real world."
"People on [dating site that we met on] are just looking for the next best thing. They go on dates, but really they're thinking, 'Oh, I can do better than this.'"
"I'm pretty much always over [dating site]. I'll feel optimistic for a minute and activate my profile, but then reality strikes and I just delete it. So, don't be surprised if my profile is gone soon."
Listen, I get that dating is frustrating. I get that dating sites are extra frustrating, because a lot of them are full of flakes and people that probably shouldn't have profiles up, but guess what? The last person you should discuss your hatred of a dating site and the people on it with is someone you've recently met on that site. In fact, the last person you should talk about your dating frustrations in general is someone you're on an early date with.

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