OKBye Story #11: Disinterest Actually

I was getting back into the swing of online dating. It seemed to me that I wasn’t getting as many messages like I had with my older account. I suspected that was because I looked like an Asian prepubescent Daniel Radcliffe with my short hair. This, combined with the white-dudes-suck framing of my profile, probably made me less desirable to the hordes of sexually repressed nerdy white guys who inundated the OKCupid dating cesspool. But maybe it was just my imagination. Either way, the pickings slimmed with each day.

At the start of my new account however, I had several dudes flooding my inbox, one of whom appeared to be fairly nerdy and cute and not white, all very desirable qualities. Plus, we had a high match percentage! (For some reason I was STILL buying into this idea that match percentages actually mattered.) Let’s call this dude… Peter.

peter1

Our conversation went exactly like this:

RandomDude11 What’s your favorite karaoke song?
Sent from the OkCupid app 7/31/2014

CrumpleHSnorkack Nicki Minaj, “Super Bass.” Does this mean you karaoke? 😀
Sent 7/31/2014

RandomDude11 Nice! I’ve been known to rock a karaoke mic every once in a while. Not since I moved to sf though 😦 I can do a mean rendition of bohemian rhapsody tho
Sent from the OkCupid app 7/31/2014

CrumpleHSnorkack Coolcoolcool

How long have you been in the Bay?
Sent 7/31/2014

RandomDude11 Just over two months. I just graduated from college in Illinois, and I’ve moved out here for a job. So I guess I’m an adult now?

Are you from the Bay Area originally?
Sent from the OkCupid app 7/31/2014

CrumpleHSnorkack Congrats! How was Illinois?

Nope, I’m from Modesto. It’s in the Central Valley of CA–closer to Stockton and Merced. I moved to the Bay for school and decided to stick around, since Modesto sucks.
Sent 7/31/2014

RandomDude11 I love Illinois! I was also born and raised there (in the central part with all the corn fields) so I might be a bit biased though. I got kind of sick of it towards the end though, so I decided to move as far away as I could.

And thanks for the quick CA geography lesson. I still don’t know anything about this state…

Btw I just noticed your username. Always happy to see an HP reference 😀
Sent from the OkCupid app 7/31/2014

I’ll spare you the rest of the boring details.

After a few more messages were exchanged, Peter surmised we had filled our small talk quota and proceeded to pop the online dating question: “Hey I was wondering if you wanted to grab dinner this Thursday?”

Dinner sounded like a terrible first date idea to me. Sure, I had done a first date dinner before (see OKBye Story #2: Kissing in Cars with Boys), but I was lucky in that the dude had arrived super late, so it wasn’t so much us having dinner than me simply watching him eat a burrito. For whatever reason, I felt extremely self-conscious of eating in front of strangers. I hated navigating the whole eating-while-talking thing. I felt stupid trying to talk with my mouth full. I felt stupid waiting to talk until my mouth was no longer full. It was just anxiety-inducing all around. There was also the fear that I would not like my date at all upon first meeting him. Having a first date dinner would likely require that I suffer an entire meal with someone I already knew from the get-go I wasn’t interested in. It wasn’t like having drinks at a bar, where I could simply chug my beer and make a quick escape. No, having dinner was a legit first date concern.

However, I didn’t want to say all of this to Peter, because I would sound slightly crazy and I knew that I was supposed to postpone revealing my crazy until we met in person (at the very least). So I pretended to be totally down with having dinner on the first date even though in my mind it was probably going to be a disaster.

Due to conflicting schedules, we ended up meeting the following Saturday at a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Oakland. I got there first. I was feeling very cute wearing a turquoise dress with a pair of bold patterned wedges that matched my dangling earrings. I got us a table and stared out the window. A guy was approaching. Oh no. Was that him? He looked way less attractive in person.

Ah, fuck. My petty fears were coming true.

(Yes, I’m shallow. Everyone is shallow, okay?! You think this guy wanted to meet up with me because of my winning personality?? Psh, as if.)

peter2

He joined me at our table. I smiled politely and greeted him, all the while cursing in my head for going against my gut instinct. We hadn’t even ordered yet, and I had already “friendzoned” him.

The “friendzoning” quickly became stranger-zoning after we ordered our food and commenced an especially uncomfortable segment of the evening: making small talk with no food or alcohol to distract us from each other. We jerkily changed topics, trying to think of interesting things to say and ask. As he recited his family and background information, I realized I was nodding and listening to him like he was a lecturing professor whose class I was never actually going to study for.

Our food arrived. I didn’t really care for my entree, but liked it a lot better than the conversation we were having. I was hoping Peter would at least be sociopolitically aware, but after failing to engage him in a discussion of toxic masculinity as presented in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I mentally checked myself out of the conversation. As assholish as it sounds, he was such a dull person to me and yes, maybe his unattractiveness was skewing how uninteresting I was making him out to be. That couldn’t be helped. Eventually, I was saying things just to say them. To mitigate the insufferable silence. To wait out the insufferable date.

At last we both surrendered and took the remainder of our food to go. The check came. I tried to put down my card, but he insisted on paying, on reinscribing traditional gender roles, affirming his masculinity, and confirming that this was indeed a date. Ugh.

He offered to walk me to my car, which led to another especially uncomfortable segment of a first date: the goodbye. Would it be a kiss, a hug, or a handshake? Would we make plans for next time or make excuses? I didn’t wait to find out. “Nice meeting you!” I said over my shoulder, not even bothering to stop to have an actual face-to-face chat.

“It was nice meeting you too,” he said, standing there and watching me as I immediately got into my car and drove off.

Well, at least he had gotten the hint. There was no follow-up text.

tl;dr Boy messages girl, boy asks girl out to dinner, girl is paranoid about dinner being a terrible first date but ignores her intuition, girl and boy have dinner and it is in fact a terrible first date and girl wishes she hadn’t ignored her intuition, girl and boy never see each other again

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