“The Rock Disaster Movie”

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.





Pizza party back in full effect… or the time I had two Tinder dates back-to-back

Hello readers, sorry for the delay in posting, it’s been a busy summer so far! Busy and full of dudes.

So, I decided I was over being on pizza break, and hit Tinder with a vengeance. Because why not? I Tindered up a bunch of dudes and was just trying figure out how to fit them into my schedule when conditions aligned just right for me to have maximum Tinder dates in one day.

Due to recent ridiculous flooding in Denver and my own stupidity, I flooded my car engine by driving through too deep of water on the way to meet my friend to see Pitch Perfect 2. I did not see Pitch Perfect 2 that day, instead, I waited for a long time in the middle of the street to get my car towed. My mechanic is magical so he fixed it and everything, but it required drying the car out over the weekend. I was originally going to go camping, but without a car, that wasn’t happening. So I figured, why not set ’em up and knock ’em down by setting up two Tinder dates in one day?

The first dude was normal and only became a crazy person after the initial date, so I will save that one for later. The second date might be one of my most impressive first date stories.

So, I literally stacked these dates one after the other so I was walking into my second date, scheduled for 5pm happy hour, right on time. I realize, however, that bachelor #2 had texted me a few minutes beforehand saying he was running late. “I’m just getting back to my house and need to change, but I only live a couple of blocks from Historians so I will be right there.” Great, I tell him I’m already in the area and I will just get a spot on the patio. So I find a spot at the Historians Ale House in Baker, a place I suggested due to their excellent rooftop patio. There is a really nice group of people having a college graduation party up there, and they offer me drink tickets and we shoot the shit and hang out. For a long ass time. Finally, at 5:45pm, I get a text from this dude saying he’s on his way. I would have probably left at some point but I didn’t have a car to go home quickly and there were free drink tickets! Another half an hour passes and this dude shows up at 6:15pm. A full hour and 15 minutes later than our originally planned meeting time.

“Sorry I’m late,” he says, “I was talking to my roommate.” Terrible excuse! You could have at least made up an excuse that sounded like you had some level of respect for me or my time or something. So I tell him that I have to leave at 7pm, which I do, because I am meeting a friend to go to a show, but we can sit there until then. I am also a little buzzed at this point due to the beers I have been drinking whilst waiting for this asshat.

So we talk, blah blah blah, he’s from South Carolina, he moved to Denver recently, he works in insurance, whatever. It would seem like a generally normal and appropriate date conversation except that during the 40 minutes we spent talking, he took not one but TWO phone calls. “Sorry, I have to get this,” he said, before each phone call. Like it was an important emergency or something. And both phone calls consisted of basically the same conversation, “Hey bro, what are you doing? I’m just having a drink with this girl, yeah, what are you up to later? Yeah, let’s link up later. I’ll holla at you in a bit.” You did not have to get that. If I was a cartoon character my eyes would have turned red and steam would have started coming out of my ears. But I was also kind of drunk so I just looked off into the distance behind him on the balcony and had flashbacks Friends with Benefits guy who always looked at his phone. Even he wasn’t this bad!

Anyway, I have pretty much had enough so I tell him I’m going to go get a Lyft to meet up with my friend. We’re going to a concert at Black Shirt Brewery, which is, incidentally, one of the better places to find the most bearded of Colorado bros in their natural habitat. Right as I am trying to leave, it is starting to rain, because Colorado has apparently become a floodplain. “I’m not tryin’ to walk home in this rain,” he says, and asks if he can share my Lyft for a few blocks because he only lives a few blocks over and it will be on the way. Fine, I figure it won’t be much harm to allow this. We go downstairs to wait by the door for the Lyft. “It’s coming in 5 minutes,” I tell him.

He suddenly realizes that he “really needs to go to the liquor store.” There is a liquor store right next door to the bar, but still. I tell him that I am leaving when the Lyft arrives so he’d better get his booze quickly if he still wants to get a ride. I figure I will go with him into the liquor store, and that’s where shit really gets weird. We go in the door and he is all high-fiving and bro-ing out with the liquor store guy and calling him “cuz.” We are standing there, waiting in line for him to buy his Crown Royal, and he goes, “What do you think, do you think I’m hot, do you think I’m cute?” He is actually sort of hot; but the kind of hot that gets uglier the more he opens his mouth, clearly. I tell him he looks “all right” because I don’t know what else to say to this fool. He says he thinks of himself as hot but he wants to hear me say it. What a douche! Then he says, “You want to date me, don’t you?” I can’t fake anything anymore and I just say, “No.” “Well, I don’t want to date you anyway, I just want to be your friend, I use Tinder to meet friends.” Ok… I tell him the Lyft is coming in one minute, because it is, and move to the door. He finishes paying just in time. As he walks out of the liquor store, gesturing towards me, he says the following to his bro-friend, the Vietnamese liquor store owner, “Look at how beautiful this girl is, I’m gonna marry this girl!” I keep walking, horrified, and pretend I didn’t hear that.

We get in the Lyft and during the 5-minute ride to his house, he keeps going on and on about how he can tell I am such a great person and have good vibes and I’m so beautiful and am I sure I want to go to this show with my friend and not come over his house instead? Yes, I’m going to the show. What about after the show? I’m going to hang out with my friend and go home. I’m going to text you later and we can link up, he says. Like I don’t have a choice in the matter. We get to his apartment, which is indeed about 4 blocks from Historians. It is also literally right across the street from my good friend’s house, so I now feel slightly concerned that I will run into this guy when I go to her house.

The Lyft stops and he keeps jabbering about hanging out later that night, and then does what I will call an “attack-makeout.” He literally lunges for my face with his mouth all open and tongue-y. It catches me off guard and I sort of kiss him back because it seems a bit dramatic to slap him. “Ooh girl, you nasty!” he says, and then reiterates that we are going to connect up later and finally gets out of the Lyft.

I apologize to the Lyft driver, who looks sort of scared. He later tells me he just moved to the U.S. a month ago from Bahrain. Poor guy, welcome to America, where all the dudes are dicks and do awkward shit in your car while you are just trying to make a buck!

I make it to Black Shirt Brewery, where I regale my friend with tales of my crazy ass dates while watching a band called Church Fire. They can best be described as “the sort of band that would be playing on top of a car at Burning Man.”

I don’t hear from bachelor #2 that night, which is a pleasant surprise. A few days later, he sends me a text saying “How’s your day?” I don’t even respond, figuring that the fadeaway is adequate in this situation. Learn social cues, dude! I also discover that my Lyft driver from that night gave me 5-star rating. Maybe he felt bad for me. Or maybe he just loves America… Happy Late 4th of July! ‘Merica!

That time when I saw the guy who hit on me on TV….

Hi all, it is apparently the one-year anniversary of my blog today! Hooray!

So, a quick story for you. I went to one of my favorite Denver music scene events this summer, the Underground Music Showcase or UMS. It is basically a magical time where all my favorite Denver bands and cool national acts that I generally haven’t heard of come play for 4 days and it’s awesome. It also makes me feel cool/hipster/something because I have been going to the UMS for at least 5 or 6 years and now it is this big thing but it used to be only two days and no one used to know about it and I knew about it before all the less cool people! You must understand that I am actually not a cool person so this type of credibility is big for me. Not really, actually no one probably cares.

Whatever, the point is, I was at the first day of my most favoritest summer activity and my friend and I are waiting to go into a show and this guy starts hitting on me. Yes, I do occasionally meet men in person like people did in the olden times. He seems nice and compliments me and talks to me like a normal person. He tells me that he lives in Baker, the neighborhood where the UMS takes place, and comes every year, etc. He tells me he has his own podcast classic rock radio show. He is also clearly at least 45, which isn’t necessarily bad, but is on the upper end of my age range. He tells me that he just got back from filming a commercial. He is trying to impress me, I guess. Whatever, we talk, I act vaguely interested, but honestly I am just sort of trying to have a fun weekend and enjoy awesome music and nothing much happens because I am not at the UMS to pick up 45-year-old dudes. My friends and I run into this guy several other times throughout the UMS weekend, and he always talks to me and flirts with me and “hollas” at me in the street, but never manages to get my number or anything else.

During the course of the festival, I also get recognized in the street by some girl who has seen me sing karaoke at SoBo 151 and run into various people I know so my friends start joking about how I am becoming “Denver famous.” Denver famous is a status which is basically a miniature version of real fame, sort of like internet famous but involving less actual volume of people knowing who you are. However, you can still get recognized on the street (in Denver only) if you are Denver famous. Examples of Denver famous people include: any member of the Grawlix, Jake Jabs, Blinky the Clown, Kathy Sabine, Hazel Miller, Matt Selby, any member of the Flobots, Nathaniel Rateliff, DJ Rockstar Aaron… Let’s be real, I’m not even on that level! However, I think this is funny, and am possibly a vain person (remember, not a cool kid in high school, so maybe that makes it ok?) so I tell this story to another dear friend of mine one night at the bar.

Literally right after I tell the tale of the UMS and the people recognizing me and the guy with the commercial and radio show and what have you, I see, on the very large TV screen at the bar, a close up shot of the face of the UMS 45-year-old who was hitting on me! I exclaim to my friend to look, that’s the guy! He was for real about being in a commercial! I was hoping to find a clip of that commercial (it was for Go Auto or Groove Auto or something like that, apparently both of those are real things) on youtube for your viewing pleasure, but I can’t find it anywhere on the interwebs. But I’m pretty sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Just think, if I had played it better, I could have been the trophy wife of a dude who is in one commercial! That would have really upped my level of Denver fame.

Sometimes you don’t need a second date to tell someone is cray…

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…