Hello, dear readers. Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day being happy or unhappy or drunk or high or oblivious or whatever works for you…
I have been back out there on the Okcupid with a vengeance lately, and I already have another story for you.This whole situation just happened fairly recently, a few weeks ago…
So I start messaging with a guy on Okcupid, yet another engineer. Because I have not yet learned my lesson about engineers… He keeps talking about how he wants to go snowshoeing but I have finally wised up enough in my life to have a few less intense dates before committing to something like that. So I suggest that our first date be a coffee date. He lives in the South suburbs so we decide to meet at a nice hipster-y coffee shop in Baker.
I head out on my way to this date, la la la… When suddenly a car pulls out right in front of me on 13th Avenue, causing me to have to swerve to avoid hitting them, which in turn causes me to run off the road into someone’s yard, somehow shooting the gap between a tree and a rock landscaping wall as my life flashes before my eyes. Miraculously, I am fine (except for a little whiplash) and so is my car. The people whose yard I am now parked in come out, they are very nice to me and not concerned about the damage to their yard, and this other guy gets the license plate of the driver (who didn’t stop) and gives me his info in case I want to file a police report. At this point, I probably should have just turned around and headed home. This was not going to be my day. But yet again I am too nice, I decide that it would be mean to reschedule because homeboy is probably already almost at the coffee shop because he had a long journey from Englewood or Centennial or Highlands Ranch or wherever (they all blend together in my mind because I always get lost down there!) So I call this guy and tell him I am going to be late because I just got in a car accident. He says thank you for calling, he is already there at the coffee shop. Of course he is.
So I make my way down to the coffee shop, feeling really weird and shaky due to adrenaline/whiplash/thinking I was going to die… But I must soldier on, I say to myself. This could be my soulmate waiting for me and this day will start looking up!
Nope. I get to the coffee shop, meet Engineer #2, have some tea, start talking about stuff, etc. Not very far into the date, the dude says… because you know, these things just come up… “I used to hate everyone because I was bullied as a kid. But now I just don’t like most people. It takes a lot for someone to interest me, to keep me entertained so I want to bother spending time with them.” Or something like that. Great. My job and life mostly revolves around being interested in people, caring about people, having friends, being in social situations… I’m sure you will really understand me and how I operate given that you think of people the same way you think of inanimate objects… Hmmm… “Maybe that’s not something most people would say, but I’m brutally honest,” he says, one of those phrases which I have learned is code for “I’m an asshole but I feel good about it.” Wow… the more I think about it in hindsight, the more I should not have gone on a second date with this guy!
However, throughout this date I am also spending a ridiculous amount of energy trying to act normal, look normal, feel normal, do my “active/fake listening” despite the fact that my neck super hurts and I am now coming down from the adrenaline of avoiding crashing into a tree.
Upon further reflection, I somehow conclude that maybe this guy’s not a sociopath, I mean, he did open the door for me and say please and thank you… I say to myself that I will consider a second date if he contacts me again. Which he does. A lot. He apparently is really bored all the time at his job and tries to have extensive texting conversations with me all the time over the next two weeks that it takes for me to be available for a second date.
This time, I don’t know why, but I suggest a more ambitious date. Going to see a movie at the Boulder Film Festival. But it’s still Sunday daytime and I have plans (another date, actually) later on that afternoon/evening so that gives me an out. My intuition tells me that I don’t want this guy to know where I live (probably one of the few good moves I made during this whole story), so we meet near the Auraria Campus and leave my car there, and he drives to Boulder.
This is where shit gets real. It’s around noon on a Sunday, a beautiful Sunday drive up to Boulder. Sounds great, very peaceful and calm, right? Not for this guy and his anger issues that I am about to find are rather unresolved.
There are a few places along the way to Boulder that there are construction zones, or old people driving slow, or other minor bottlenecks that would cause a normal person just to slow down or maybe switch lanes. Not this guy. He starts road raging to the max each time any obstacle is encountered, engaging in some extreme and high-speed tailgating (I am from the East Coast so I know about tailgaiting, but out here you don’t see it that much, maybe because tailgaiting someone doesn’t actually make them go faster..), cursing and muttering about “idiots” and “people who drive like that can die in a fire.” Who says things like that?!? This situation is sort of freaking me out because he has to slam on the brakes repeatedly to avoid hitting the people he is tailgaiting at 55 mph, and also because I am generally disturbed by his massive road rage on what would be a leisurely Sunday drive for any normal person. I almost died in a car crash once already this month, I don’t need to die because of your terrible driving choices, sir…
But somehow we make it up to Boulder without dying, or hitting anything, despite coming close several times, including once when he changed lanes in an intersection and cut someone off at a light once we were actually in Boulder… And we go see a movie, good movie, no talking happening during the movie. Also, no groping. Which I think is good because I am a bit concerned about this guy’s barely-concealed rage and feel like that might translate into things I don’t like, like fierce face-sucking during making out, or copping a feel really aggressively… It’s not nice to tug, boys!
Anyway, the movie is uneventful but I am a glutton for punishment (and hungry) so we go get a sandwich and walk around a little bit on the Pearl Street Mall. During this time, he lets slip several gems about really weird stuff, including somehow telling me a story about how when he was a kid he had some sort of really intense lego set and he was so much of a control freak that he had to always put it away so his cousins couldn’t play it whenever they came over so they wouldn’t mess it up or put things in the wrong place. The thing that made this extra disconcerting is that he described this incident so vividly and with such emotion that it seemed like he was re-living it. He also made a lot of references to a bunch of sci-fi things, video games, etc. and seemed very crestfallen every time I tell him I didn’t know what he was talking about. He had seemed super excited on our first date when I told him that I liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That generally seems to be the only thing that I like that gets me any cred with nerds. Like the time when I thought it was a good idea to go to Comic Con to pick up dudes… I can save that story for later. But I am basically a nerd poser (yeah, I said poser, I probably haven’t used that word since high school!) because I only like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and just the show, not the graphic novel! So he seems fairly dissatisfied with my ability to keep his interest and entertain him (the purpose of people in his world, as you may recall) by talking about anime movies, sci-fi movies or TV shows, or fantasy books. He also gets into a whole racist diatribe about the time he spent working for his engineering firm near the Mexican-US border and about how all the people there were worthless and it was a cesspool, but that’s not racist because I don’t hate all Mexican people! Just the ones in that part of Texas! I have friends who are Mexican!
Anyway, at this point my inner monologue is screaming “Mayday! Mayday!” So I talk about how I have to head back home to get ready for the other things I have planned that day. We walk back to his car, drive back to Denver with fewer road rage incidents, which is good. During the ride back, he also tells me a long and boring story about an issue at his work with the wrong parts for some sort of rocket-related thing. Much of the story revolves around the parts and the fact that everyone in his company and the company that makes the parts are idiots and can die in a fire. His conclusion to the story is that it was a really great week at work because he got to yell at people all week for doing their jobs wrong and sucking at life and it “made him feel alive and for once he wasn’t bored at work.” Awesome. If I for some reason kept dating you, you would a) never understand me b) die of a heart attack at age 42 and c) make me die of a heart attack, possibly before age 42. This kind of energy/person is why I moved away from the East Coast. I can get a little intense myself, and it just goes better for me if I am in a calm environment. Note, this guy was from Chicago. I have never been to Chicago, but I hear it’s like the East Coast. But they have thicker pizza and Kanye West? Anyway, that’s about it. Angry engineer guy dropped me off at my car, I basically bolted out of his and started mumbling about catch you later or see you around or some such other vague lies that you say to make sure you don’t sound too mean but also clearly don’t want to go out again. Mostly, I felt like a sailor rejoicing upon reaching the shore alive.
Anyway, the moral of this story is that sometimes you just need to trust your own judgment and not bother giving that dude a second date just because his level of craziness/incompatibility with you has not yet passed the “unacceptable” mark on the first date…