Recently, I was on a date with Chad. I’m not really sure how much we had in common-he is short, I am tall, He is Jewish, I am Episcopalian, He teaches at a for profit college, I am a public school teacher, , I have social skills and he doesn’t. Our first date was nearly unremarkable-tea, conversation, a gin and tonic for me and a couple diet coke and tequilas for him. I guess I should have guessed something about him from his drink. So we go out again, and that polite thing, that attempt at charm is already waning. He switches our plans, we end up at a sushi restaurant in a suburban hell in a flood plain in a depressing strip mall with a derelict cupcake store and a 24 hour masseuse. He goes on and on about himself. He never asks me follow up questions. He tells me how he’s looking for a relationship, that he is done dating. A little later, during a lull in conversation he pauses, and in this appraising way says: “I mean, you’re a catch, you’re cute, you’re in your thirties, you don’t have kids and you don’t seem to be crazy, are you crazy?”
And we both laughed, but I was sitting there reminded of this one time that I went to buy lipstick at a cosmetic counter and this salesgirl told me that my eyebrows were my best feature. Really? Our second date and out of all of my manifold good qualities, all of my accomplishments, everything that I would bring to a relationship, that’s the best he could come up with ? Up until that moment, I never realized that there was something worse than hearing what a “great personality” I have. I got all nostalgic thinking about how I used to be hurt that guys would tell me how “funny” and “witty” I am, right before they said something about being friends. In fact, there is something worse than being in a friend zone- being out with a man who believes that he a greater catch than he really is.
Hear me out here, and I am not saying that it is all men, just the majority of men I’ve been out with in the last year, there’s a certain type of guy-divorced, white, employed, reasonably well-groomed, and has a college degree-and it’s like they think that because they have these things they are exempted from a whole host of other things-like being considerate, asking questions, or basic courtesy, you know, the little things that you do to make your date feel special. It’s like they feel that you are lucky to be out with them, because women are apparently throwing themselves at them? In a way, I admire their confidence(or Bravado?), and I wonder what it would be like to grow up in a society where one is encouraged to think more highly of oneself and to not compare yourself to other people or obsess over minor details of one’s appearance. It’s almost like it’s some off shoot of patriarchal privilege-like why should they change for anyone or compromise on anything when their whole failed first marriage was based on compromise? What is repulsive to me is that they invariably allude to commitment-even though there’s nothing about their behavior or demeanor that suggests a human being that one would want to commit to. I’m not insulted that they believe that I would be stupid enough to believe them, but that they dangle a relationship WITH THEM to get laid as though it would be some sort of reward or great thing.
So the funny thing was, he doesn’t really try, I mean, I go to the bathroom and he has the waitress split our check so he could pay with a coupon, and then he asks me back to his apartment, which was a block away, so that I could sit on his porch or something. Of course I declined. Later, he invited me on a third date, at 10 pm at his house for ” a movie”. And I really couldn’t get over how lazy he was, and how I was like some kind of pizza he could order for a hook up. I mean, the dude couldn’t be bothered to drive anywhere. That’s just sad. My friends made me promise to stop dating for a while. They say that I am so awesome and great, and that all of the men I have been dating have been awful, and that they really wish that they knew a guy they could set me up with, but how this last year has been a masochistic march towards not meeting anyone. They say my time would be spent doing anything else, and creating vision boards or something.
And that’s when I realized Chad said one of the least romantic things I’ve ever heard on a date. I deleted his phone number and text messages and hope that this is the worst date that I go on for a very long time-or really ever.