Dudes telling me crazy stuff on first dates: Exhibit A

Unlike my catfishing friend that I mentioned in my previous entry, I will let you know when I am using old stories and will not try to pass them off as current stories to make you like me more! This is another example of where my social worker vibe/active listening skills get me into trouble in the dating world. I actually recently talked to another social worker about this and she tells me it happens to her as well, so it must be a thing.

As I said, this is an old story. If I were going to try to give it a year, I would probably go with 2009. So, imagine it is a Wednesday or some night like that in 2009, it has snowed a lot in Denver that day, and it is super cold. I barely want to leave the house, let alone drive to Westminster or wherever the hell this guy who I met on Okcupid lives… But don’t worry, he’s crazy so he is willing to drive to a coffee shop right across the street from my apartment instead. So I meet him at the coffee shop. This guy, who we will call the Brazilian (he was Brazilian), had also slightly lied in his picture (he only had one picture, a sure sign of the catfish, I realized later) so I didn’t recognize him very well but there was pretty much NO ONE ELSE in the coffee shop so I figured that must be him. And he looked all right, older than I thought, but all right.

So we get our drinks and go downstairs, there is a downstairs area that has couches and whatnot so we go down there to sit. I think, this is a basement, a little creepy but it’s still a public place so maybe there will be other people there. Part of what makes this date hilarious is that there were indeed other people down there, specifically, my neighbor and friend who used to camp out at this coffee shop to do work on his computer. So I sort of give my neighbor the head nod, and he can tell I’m on a date so he kind of just keeps working and minding his own business. I asked him later if he saw what went down and he told me that he tried to just stay in his zone and didn’t really see any of it. Which I suppose is better, because I might have started laughing in the Brazilian’s face if my friend had made eye contact with me.

The reason I say that is because we exchange about three minutes worth of usual first date chitchat, and he somehow moves the trajectory of the conversation to the physical. He tells me I look better than my pictures online. More feminine. Tip for the guys reading this, if there are any: This is not actually a good compliment, it just makes girls think they aren’t photogenic, or in this case, look unfeminine in their picture online? I wanted to tell him that he looked worse than his profile picture, but again did not due to the previously discussed niceness. Ok, whatever, I think, he’s trying to be nice. He also says, “You look so good, I bet you smell good.” What?!?! As he says this, he lunges in toward my boob region and SMELLS ME. “Can I smell you?” He says, AFTER smelling me. I was too caught off guard to not recoil so I didn’t have to say HELL NO with my voice, I said it with my body language. He apologizes and explains that this is just how he is and how they do it in Brazil. Yes, I understand cultural differences, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t weirding me out here, dude… Remember, we are in a coffee shop basement and my neighbor is a couple tables over. But at least he doesn’t seem to be paying attention.

So we continue talking and I try to be nice and not just write him off for being a little extra Brazilian on me… I am social worker, equal opportunity for people of all cultural backgrounds! So when he suggests we go get a drink at the bar a couple doors down, I say ok. At this point, I am still willing to entertain the idea that he might not be entirely crazy and that I should keep talking to him. So we go to the bar and shit gets real.

He somehow gets onto his exes, because everyone knows that is an excellent topic of conversation for a first date. But old “Active Listening McGee” over here is just acting completely normal, because now it is just starting to feel like talking to a client and I do that every day, so sure, no problem. He then tells me, “I don’t usually tell people this, but….” Just so you know, any time this happens on a first date, it is about to be followed by something completely ridiculous and you will want the date to end immediately after the crazy comes out.

So, here goes. “I don’t usually tell people this, but…” and he launches into a whole story about his ex who is his BABY MAMA (he did not list anything online about having a kid, and I generally do not date people with kids for reasons like this story) moved here with him, and then he made her sign a legal contract (with lawyers!) to not steal his kid and take him back to Brazil. But then she said she was going to take the kid to visit family in Brazil and never came back and that was last year around the holidays. And he tells me he is debating going back to Brazil and forcibly taking the kid back, or maybe he will just save that money and pay for college for his son. What?!? I just say things like “That must be really hard for you.” Or “Thank you for sharing that with me.” What I should really be saying is “You have no boundaries on a first date and we will not be having a second one!” But again, with the nice.

So, this date is over in my mind, and I start trying to figure out ways to get to my house without him trying to walk me home or otherwise know where I live. No dice, he insists on walking me home. Yikes. I manage to avoid kissing him and get in the door, and congratulate myself on the fact that at least it is an apartment building and he doesn’t know which unit is mine.

Last note on this one, the Brazilian was a journalist. And apparently, a writer of romantic prose. Because after our date, he sent me several dramatic emails about how amazing and beautiful I was and how special our connection was that he felt like he could tell me anything. There were metaphors with flowers… I wish I could find those old emails so I could give exact quotes but they are lost somewhere in the internets. I couldn’t help but think he probably sent those same sorts of emails to his baby mama after his first date with her. So at least I didn’t kidnap his child and create an international custody battle, I just didn’t email him back.

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Gone catfishing

My co-workers and I were talking about catfishing today (the internet kind). One of my colleagues who likes fishing explained the analogy to me. Apparently, when you catch a catfish, it flails around and fights a lot on the line and makes you think you have caught a really big, awesome fish. Then you reel it in and feel disappointed that you just caught a stupid catfish. And it is ugly.

So, I went on my first online date in a while last week. I got a message from this guy, he seemed smart, could type in complete, grammatically correct sentences (a rarity these days, it seems) and wanted to go out for coffee. Of course, he first wanted to have a long ass phone conversation with me. I have discovered that this is a favorite move of the catfish. Make them like you for your personality so they will feel shallow and bitchy if they walk out of your date when you don’t look at all like your picture! Anyway, we have a nice conversation, he asks me a bunch of questions about my recent travels, we talk about all kinds of stuff. Excellent, I think, this is going to be a great date. On his profile it said that he was 42, but I thought, oh, he looks like a young 42 in his pictures. I’m 30 so that’s not too old for me, right? I need to date guys who are a little bit older because they have higher odds of somewhat having their shit together when it comes to dating… so yeah, this seems like an ok plan.

Before this date, I had taken my car to the shop to get an oil change, only to discover that actually it needed all kinds of things replaced, as in my brakes, along with a whole bunch of stuff that goes on around the brakes to make them work…. So basically, my car is still in the shop by the time I need to go to have my date. I give homeboy a call, explain the car situation and ask if he wouldn’t mind going to a coffee shop closer to the bus line that goes directly by my house. He is all awkward, seems potentially confused, and basically says no, we must go to the coffee shop he suggested. It’s ok, I think, not necessarily an indicator of anything, maybe he has a good reason to go to this particular coffee shop. I get my lovely friend to give me a ride to the date.

I get to the coffee shop a bit early, get myself a chai latte, and sit down by the door. In walks an old man who looks nothing like the person I was expecting based on his pictures online. He recognizes me immediately, of course, because the picture I have on my dating profile is from LAST MONTH, you jackass! His hair was white, he weighed at least 50 pounds more than any of his online pictures (there were three of them, dammit! I already learned from the last time not to trust people who only have one picture, that is a sure sign of catfishing), and he vaguely looked like the same person in the eyes, if I thought really hard about how his eyes looked in his profile picture. Ugh. I kind of wanted to walk out at that moment, but I thought that would be too mean. Something you will start to learn about this nice girl in Menver… half of these dating adventures would never have happened if I wasn’t a little too nice sometimes. But what do you do in that situation? Say, “Sorry, you are old and fat now… When DID you look like those pictures you posted online? Do you have a younger brother?” Or, “This product is not as advertised, I would like a full refund.”

So we have our coffee date. Awkward, but again, I am too nice and I am a social worker so I have skills at what you call “active listening.” This is what often gets me into trouble. You can tell me crazy/boring/stupid/Republican/blatantly untrue things and I will look like I am intently listening, no matter what shenanigans is coming out of your mouth. So I listen, lean forward in my chair, nod my head, etc. He thinks it’s going great, apparently, so he asks me to go get a drink at this dive-y bar across the street from the coffee shop. Why did I not just say I had to go at that point? I have NO IDEA! Something is wrong with me.

So I follow this dude into a bar full of guys who are marginally attractive by Denver standards. So to add insult to injury, not only am I stuck with this old man who is starting to vaguely remind me of my middle school science teacher, but I am being cockblocked from potentially getting hit on by some bearded dude from Iowa. I mean, I could at least PICTURE myself having sex with one of the assorted Iowa/Wisconsin/Chicago beard/hipster/bro sorts of dudes that were bro-ing out in this bar.

I have found myself in these types of situations a few times. I generally do stupid things when I feel like a trapped animal. In this case, I decided it would be a good plan to essentially pound three beers in the remaining hour or hour and a half of my life that I am losing to this terrible date. We somehow end up talking about feminism… good, I am starting to intimidate him, I think… No, he is not deterred by the fact that I am a feminist. I go to the bathroom and text some friends to see if they can pick me up. Remember, I have no car. My friends are all out having fun lives and don’t get my texts in time, so no dice.

Eventually, I am drunk and cornered enough that I basically just start operating on instinct. I make up a whole story about my friend who I am supposed to meet up with (I am planning to meet a friend, but probably not for another hour) and how she wants me to meet her so I need to go get a cab or bus to get back to my car and meet her. He tells me he would give me a ride, his car is right nearby because he LIVES ACROSS THE STREET, but he sees a friend in this bar that he wants to talk to after I leave. So the reason he didn’t want to go to a different coffee shop is that he is too lazy to drive to our date. Awesome. But whatever, I don’t want him to give me a ride anyway, I just want to escape!

I tell him I am going to go out to check when the next bus is coming and then I will come in and say goodbye. I take off down the street, knowing I’m not going back in there for I am free at last! I go several blocks down to the next bus stop, and text him to say, oops, I got a cab right when I went to check the bus. Actually, I waited a while for the next bus. I am cheap, ya’ll, I said I’m a social worker!

He still manages to call me the next day and see if I want to go out again. Nope, Mr. Catfish, I am looking for a fish who doesn’t feel bad about his current appearance/think girls are dumb/generally lie and embellish the truth and posts up-to-date pictures on his dating profile! Good luck out there, maybe your tricks will pay off one of these times… or you will meet a nice lady catfish and you will both be vaguely disappointed at each other’s looks but you won’t be mad because the catfishing was mutual…

Making a blog… making a blog…

Hi there, I’m just a girl trying to date in Denver. They call it “Menver” sometimes because there is supposedly a higher ratio of men to women here, but I’m not sure that’s true, or if it is, these odds have not yet proven to be in my favor.

I believe in the concept of love, soulmates, “the one,” all that good stuff. I am a child of the 80’s, I was brought up watching Julia Roberts movies, the Little Mermaid, and other various unrealistic concepts of love. Prostitute? Mermaid/girl who can’t speak? Don’t worry, someone will fall in love with you as long as you are really hot.

So yes, I believe in love, perhaps to a fault. However, I have never believed that adage about “love will find you when you aren’t looking for it.” Really…? You just sit around at home, not looking for love, and somehow magically your neighbor, or the pizza guy, or some other dude you meet in the coffee shop while not looking for him… falls in love with you and you live happily ever after? Not sure that should be my go-to strategy. So I have tried many other interesting techniques such as:

Online dating (this is the source of some of my most hilarious stories), speed dating events (awkward!), asking out dudes (independent woman and all that), blind dates set up by friends (always a classic), throwing a “Stoplight Party” to meet friends of friends that just might be my soulmate (they weren’t, but I think some other people got laid because of my party)…

Anyway, the point if all this is that I am an optimist, but I don’t think fate or destiny or not looking for love will give me the partner I want. And I don’t know if I’ve learned a lot through my dating escapades except how to spot crazies… but I’m sure many single ladies in and around Denver and my friends will be amused by stories of my misadventures. Some friends of mine actually suggested that I write a blog. It’s possible they were just being nice and this won’t amuse anyone, but it’s also possible that I will get a book deal like the “Stuff White People Like” people… or whatever other blogs the kids like these days that got turned into books. Who buys books these days, anyway? I mean, besides me? Also, I realize that most cool people started blogging about 10 years ago but let’s be real, I have never been on the cutting edge. I don’t even have internet on my phone.

So get ready for some ridiculous stories.