A while back, I went on two Tinder dates on one day. I have only posted about the second one so far. The first one was a little more mundane, at least on the first date.
This guy, we will call…. Badminton guy. Because he told me on our second date that he used to be a high level collegiate badminton player in India and almost went pro. Because I guess that’s a thing in India. And a friend of mine who has her own badminton net and no one to play with her always says she should go out with him so he will play badminton with her. But she doesn’t really want to go out with him, for reasons that will be explained shortly.
One funny thing that happened on my first date with Badminton guy is that we ran into the very same badminton-loving friend of mine, who lived in Baker at the time, on the street while we were going to Sweet Action to get some hipster ice cream. She was carrying a stack of books, one with the title “Teen Relationship Violence” or something dramatic like that and a picture of a girl with a black eye on the cover. It was for her thesis for her Ph.D., but she joked that it was her way of setting boundaries with random passersby in the street. Which cracked us up because we work in mental health. Badminton guy was not a therapist and not a native English speaker, so he did not get the joke and just said something about how people will think she is so studious with those books.
Anyway, date one was normal. Especially in contrast to the fact that immediately afterwards, I went on a date with that guy who showed up like 2 hours late and did a tongue-filled attack-makeout in the Lyft I begrudgingly shared with him.
The part where it stopped being normal is that after our first date, he wanted to text me and call me all the time. I think it was the day after our first date, I was grilling with some friends at my house and he sent me a bunch of texts, starting out normal with “how r u” (he had a good mastery of text speak for not being a 12-year-old from the U.S.) and gradually devolving into “I guess u just don’t want to talk to me :(” after a series of unrequited texts. My roommate told me that she wondered how many more non-response texts it would take for him to show up at my house and break down the door. Luckily, he didn’t know where my house was.
And he started calling me “baby” constantly, which I promptly had a talk with him about, but he kept doing it. But despite all this, I decided to give him another chance in the form of a second date because I tell myself that being overzealous is better than being underzealous (definitely not a word but I’m going with it).
So our second date started off when he picked me up at a friend’s birthday party picnic at City Park. Because he very specifically wanted to pick me up rather than meeting somewhere. This was complicated because of his lack of familiarity with Denver (like many bros I meet on Tinder, he had lived in Denver for less than three months at the time of this story) and communication barriers due to his less-than-perfect command of the English language and perhaps mine as well! After several complicated and annoying phone conversations, he finally found the spot in City Park where we were having the picnic. He then decided we should go somewhere with the best “American chicken wings” in town. I like the wings at Jake’s, so I decided to take him there. Where we awkwardly ran into one of the students I work with and his parents. Which is par for the course when I go to that place so I should have known better, and they are a really nice family, but still awkward.
Over the best “American chicken wings” ever, we talked about his badminton career, and how much money he makes. He was trying to impress me, I guess. He was a computer engineer for a diamond mining company. I guess that sort of thing exists other than just in the movies. He was also trying to convince me to go to Orlando with him because he had to go there for a month for work. I have a job, you see. Two of them. Also, it was summer, and Orlando is one of my least favorite places even in the winter, despite the fact that my heart is with all the victims in the recent Orlando tragedy and their families. Also, we are not there yet, at all.
But I decide to humor him and not just cut the date short right then and there. He wants to go to a movie. I remember there was some sort of halfway decent movie that was supposed to be playing at the Denver Pavillions downtown. We showed up, and any movie that would have been tolerable was sold out or playing in 2 hours. But he seems really committed to this movie plan, for reasons that I will discover later, and insists that we watch that terrible disaster movie with the Rock in a helicopter… San Andreas. I had to Google that, but it was the first thing that popped up when I entered “the rock disaster movie.” That might as well have been the title. But, as a consolation prize, it was in the theater there with the nice leather seats where you can recline a lot.
However, a little ways into the movie, I discover this is not a consolation prize, this just means that it is super annoying and cramp-tackular when he wants to hold my hand during the entire movie. I periodically shift around to get his claw-like grip off of me for brief intervals. Eventually, he gets bold and moves to full-on boob groping. Because that is the next step after hand-holding? Ugh. “The Rock Disaster Movie” as I will now call it, is also really long for a movie so lacking in plot, so this dance of periodically squirming out of his grasp and/or removing his hand from my breast goes on for much longer than I would like.
After the movie, I just feel grossed out and want to leave. Also, during all this physical contact, I determine that Badminton guy’s general scent is a lot of B.O. mixed with a lot of man perfume. Why do I always find the ones that bathe in cologne? Anyway, this wanting to leave is complicated by my stupid decision to let him pick me up and leave my car in City Park. But after minimal complaining, he agrees to drive me to my car. I tell him goodbye and that I don’t really think I want to do this again. He seems very sad and asks me what he did wrong. I can’t quite manage to put my finger on a kind way to say it at the time, so I just say that I don’t think we’re on the same page or something vague like that. And I drive off into City Park, where he will never find me. The end.