Girl Number Five
Lying is often hysterical and I thoroughly encourage people to take advantage of opportunities to do so, though I do not suggest looking to me for advice. Socially, I am barely adept enough to tell the little white lies we all depend on, and usually rely on an abrasive mix of tactless sarcasm and churlish indifference to get by, which is occasionally funny in its own regard. Sometimes however, lying is of no benefit to anybody whatsoever, and becomes a dangerous game of disappointment. No one wins. No one laughs.
For example, say you’re filling out an online dating profile in the hope of attracting a few prospective suitors. Don’t list your age as twenty-two when you’re actually twenty-seven, don’t post a bunch of skinny pictures of yourself from five years ago when you are currently explosively fat, and don’t tell me you never do drugs if you are currently high on drugs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a twenty-seven year old overweight drug addict, but there is something wrong with lying about whether you are. Granted, I’m going to be far less likely to take an overweight, pill-popping alcoholic out for sushi, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some other fella who would kill to watch you eat ten pounds of raw fish and drink an entire bottle of Chianti. That guy just isn’t me.
I have not been doing this long, but I believe there is an etiquette that ought to be followed when it comes to online dating. Before you faint from the hypocrisy of that statement, give me a chance to explain. Yes, this is coming from the bastard who posted all of his unanswered messages last week, which managed to be offensive to just about everything that walked or crawled at one point. But, I have never failed to be anything other than a gentleman on any of my dates thus far, and I have never intentionally given anyone the wrong impression of myself. Now if for some reason they read my messages and assume I’m a suave and sophisticated person, it’s not my fault.
Date number five started in typical fashion, with me driving around the side streets of downtown Austin completely lost. I was desperately trying to find where this girl lived but refused to look at my iPhone out of some sort of boyish sense of pride. Somehow I recently managed to convince myself I can find my way around using the night sky, despite the fact that I know nothing about celestial navigation. The last time I attempted it, I wasted fifteen minutes before I realized what I thought had been the north star was in fact the red eye out of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
When I finally looked at Google Maps and found where she lived, I parked outside her place, got out of my car, and texted her. I’d been practicing my sexy man lean (advice from my sister, who insists you can get any woman to fall in love with you if you can lean against something just right), so I did that against my car.
I stopped my sexy lean when I saw my date undulating down the stairs like a walrus on heroine. I’m not going to say she was obese, but she had definitely been hitting the jelly donuts hard since the last picture she uploaded to OkCupid. And I think those jelly donuts were filled with tequila. For a moment, as I watched her drunkenly waddle towards me, I contemplated making a break for it – I know I’m out of shape but there was no way this chick was going to catch me. Or, I thought, maybe I could pretend like I’m here for someone else.
I only let these ideas dance about my mind for a few moments before I killed the music. I hugged her and didn’t allow any expressions of disappointment to play across my face. She had certainly been dishonest about her body but it’s not like I’m the most handsome man alive. Besides, I might have a fine time with her anyway, even if I’m not attracted to her. Also, she might have hot friends.
Fifteen minutes later I realized just how stupid I am. It took us five minutes to walk to the restaurant. She had clearly lubricated herself already, and not in the good way either. I’d say she had managed to get a good three drinks deep before I had arrived (lesson: always talk to the person on the phone before you go and pick them up). She spent most of the time rambling on about how she knew everyone in the city and that her “bro at the bar would totally hook us up tonight. When we got there, her “bro at the bar got the same look on his face as I probably did when I first saw her, but it quickly changed when he realized all the seats at the bar were occupied. To my dismay, we ended up sitting off in a corner that was far too secluded from the safety of the public. It was candle-lit and disgustingly romantic.
My date’s mouth remained open for the next hour and half as she projectile vomited words into my face, stopping only briefly to consume food and imbibe more wine. She wasn’t a mean person, but she was pretentious, acted like she knew everyone and everything, but never said anything interesting. Every now and then I would interject a random remark to amuse myself, but there wasn’t much to do besides suffer through the pain.
So, I did the only reasonable thing I could think of – I got absolutely soused. I wasn’t going to let this girl be the only drunk in the room. I’m not sure how much I drank exactly, but it was enough so she didn’t bother me anymore, which I imagine was quite a bit. After we finished eating and drinking, I paid for the meal, and we walked back to her place, where I came to the unfortunate realization that I was far too inebriated to drive home.
“You should come up to my place and stay for a bit, she says.
That was the worst idea I had ever heard so I did it. Her place wasn’t so bad. It was kind of cozy. She started playing an episode of Black Books (British TV show I’m a fan of). She had some cool artwork on her walls and the chair I was sitting on was nice. No, this wasn’t so bad at all. But, just when I was figuring I could spend an hour or so here to sober up before driving home, she handed me a giant paper cup full of wine.
Well, I didn’t want to be rude….
An hour later, when I realized I was drunker than I had been an hour earlier, I got the brilliant idea of asking her if I could lie down for a bit. I told her I wasn’t trying to be cheeky, but I had work tomorrow and wasn’t sober enough to drive. She seemed all too willing to accommodate me and showed me to her bed. I lay down and was feeling pretty good about myself until I discovered that she thought this was an invitation to not only lie down with me, but basically on top of me. I recognize the fact that this was her bed, but she was definitely too close. When she started playing with my hair and touching my chest I knew I had made a grave error in judgement.
“Hey, look, I’m sorry. I’m just drunk and wanted to rest before I drove home. I have work tomorrow.
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody.
What the hell wasn’t she going to tell anybody? Where she buried my body? I pathetically struggled to get up but quickly retired. My shoes were tangled in a blanket, I was drunk, I couldn’t drive, and I’m pretty sure this girl was stronger than me. Sometimes it’s best to just accept your fate.
So, I played possum.
Sure, I got molested for a while, but who hasn’t been?
Girl Number Six
My last date had left a bad taste in my mouth, literally, but I had already told the next girl I would see her. We had talked for over three hours on the phone the previous night so I had a much better feeling about her. I even told her the story of date number five and she laughed and told me not to worry. That helped.
But when I finally saw her, I immediately decided I hadn’t been doing enough worrying.
“Oh sweet, merciful Christ, I think to myself. “She’s gorgeous.
Her petite frame bounded down the stairs effortlessly. She landed on the ground with a huge smile and her big green eyes stared at me. She was the opposite of my previous date, whose picture deceitfully depicted a flourishing garden, when in actuality the flowers had wilted. This girl’s photographs had done her no justice at all.
I realized I hadn’t gotten out of my car to do that sexy lean thing. It was too late. She opened the passenger door and got in. I don’t remember what I said to her. We got Ethiopian food. I didn’t drink at all. She giggled a lot. We got ice cream afterwards and went back to my place. We drank wine and watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I took her home.
I thought things had gone really well, which is why I was so surprised by what she told me in the car.
“I’m sorry, she says, “but you’re really sort of awkward.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt emotional about much of anything, but for some reason when I heard her say that, maybe it was because I thought things had gone well and she had a good time, I actually felt my face and my hands get hot. My heart started beating fast. I knew what was about to come. This was where I get rejected, which isn’t a big deal. I’ve been here before. I’m good at this. But, for some reason, this one hit me harder than usual.
“Sorry, really. You’re a nice guy and you were better back at your place. But you’re a little weird. Not in a bad way. We just don’t… gel. I’m not feeling it. I’m sorry but I want to be honest with you. You’re funny and cute enough but… I like you a lot in theory.
I wanted to ask her what liking someone in theory meant but it had become physically difficult for me to talk at that point so I didn’t bother. I thought about how girls say sorry a lot when they do this. I wasn’t sure what she thought she needed to be sorry about.
It dawned on me that I possess the characteristics of a truly awkward person – I am strange without knowing it. I am odd when I think I’m normal.
“We can still be friends though, she says.
Girl Number Seven
Evidence is mounting. I am finding it increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that I’m kind of a little bitch. I took the seventh potential love of my life out to a few different bars on our first night together. The weather was cool and pleasant, so we walked around East Sixth Street (Austin’s hipster central). The bars were quiet. She smoked cigarettes with her long thin fingers and wore a black turtleneck, black shorts, and black flats. She drank French 75’s and talked about old things. Classically beautiful. Smart. She was four years older and four inches taller than me.
I thought things were going well so they probably weren’t. She didn’t laugh as much as the other girls. I wasn’t trying to be funny. I mostly listened and asked questions. We ran into three of her ex-boyfriends that night. I thought that was funny.
On the drive home her hand found mine. At the next stoplight her lips found mine. I walked her to her door and we resolved to get dinner the following night.
We split a bottle of wine at the Mediterranean restaurant we had chosen. She was a little tipsy when she got back in my car. I was too. She pulled me close to her by my hair and put her tongue deep into my mouth. With her hand that wasn’t gripping my hair, she took my fingers and pushed them between her legs, and up under her skirt.
“Take me back to your place, she whispers.
It had been a while since I had had sex and I was nervous. I put on a record – Keep It Hid by Dan Auerbach – and drank a glass of wine while she drew on my mirrors. Her skirt fell to the floor. This didn’t help my nervousness.
When I tried to rip open the condom I accidentally threw it across the room. This prompted a laugh and an, “Oh my, you’re not very good at this, from the curly haired brunette lying in front of me. The condom went behind the headboard and I had to crawl under the bed to get it.
Thankfully, ancient memories of how this worked and where things went came back to me and she enjoyed herself. When it became my turn, she started an interesting sort of cute dirty talk. I really liked it but I couldn’t finish. I tried for a while but eventually began to slow.
“Hey, it’s okay, she says softly. “The last time you had sex you were in love, weren’t you?