“I went out on a date with Simile. I don’t know what I metaphor.” – Tim Vine
So some time ago, I wrote a post that had a “to be continued” that was never actually continued. Actually, I kinda do that a lot. This is my first step towards continuing one of those, and it’s not even strictly a good one. But I promise it will be amusing in a horrifying trainwreck sort of way.
2012 was a bit of a rough year. It saw the end of a long term relationship, an event that would impact me in about a million ways. My mental illnesses brought their full strength to bear, and I was feeling especially isolated, both by geography and social anxiety. It also started the Captain Hammer Project, still ongoing. My attempts to resurrect something that looked like dating were a comedy of errors. This one more than most. In this post I will share with you the prelude to the Worst Date Ever (TM). I’ve made a few slight changes (like her name) to protect
the innocent myself from the crazy, but left most of it in tact to preserve the horror. I met this interesting specimen on OK Cupid, and took her off site to chat a bit. That site gets a lot of flack for being overpopulated by male slimeballs, but here’s some proof that the unsavory also can lay with the fairer sex. Enjoy.
scatterbrain jane: What’s your story anyway?
me: That’s a very open ended question. Refine it a little?
scatterbrain jane: What’s your life situation? Why are you patrolling for troll dolls on okc?
me: Well, my life situation…
scatterbrain jane: Where do you live? How old are you? Do you have a job?
me: Bachelor Number 1 is a lifelong STL native. He enjoys deep conversation, hiking and laughing at life’s many quirks. He works for ye olde newspaper. A round of applause for Joe! I currently live in Pacific, which I don’t care a great deal for. 34 years old.
scatterbrain jane: Pacific is fucking far away. What section of the newspaper do you work for? What is your job title?
me: It’s not so bad, but it’s not convenient. It’s cheap at least. And I work in Advertising. I assigned my email signature the title of “Problem Solver/Rock Star” but my boss made me change it (true story) to “account consultant” Yawn.
scatterbrain jane: So do you write?
me: A lot. But not for the paper.
scatterbrain jane: Is there still a personals section in the paper? So people call you who want to advertise in the paper, right? How’d you get that job?
me: There might be. I can’t imagine it would get a lot of entry given stuff like Craigslist. And yeah, pretty much.
scatterbrain jane: How long have you worked there?
me: I kinda fell into it, honestly. I started as a phone room grunt and the powers that be noticed I have a way with the people, so they groomed me for Sales. I’m good at what I do, but it’s not by any means a passion. My eyes are elsewhere.
scatterbrain jane: Well that’s good having a steady job. Did you go to college?
me: I did. I started at the paper saying “I’ll just work here til I finish school” and other opportunities opened up at the paper. They were quite lucrative at the time (before the economy crashed) so I ran with them. I did not complete my degree, but I also didn’t amass a huge student loan debt.
scatterbrain jane: Do you have kids!!? How long have you been split?
me: Dun dun DUN! It happens. I am solidly pro-divorce. It’s rarely pleasant but almost always the right thing to do if it comes to it. No happy marriages end in divorce, you know? And I have one child, who I have half of the time. A lot of this stuff was on my profile, you know 😉
scatterbrain jane: Guess I should have read the profile. I’m bad about that.
me: Yeah, probably would help. So what about you and your deal? Similar line of questions to save time.
scatterbrain jane: Well I’ll tell you upfront I do NOT do kids! I don’t like them they don’t like me. And I am highly anti- marriage.
me: Slow down, cowgirl. We’re just talking. We made different decisions and that’s okay.
scatterbrain jane: I have commitment issues I can’t even wear the same shoes all day. I haven’t dated anyone in about a year.
me: Bad history?
scatterbrain jane: One of my friends told me I was asexual.
me: Do you agree? Not dating could have a zillion reasons.
scatterbrain jane: Well, if you call not dealing with a hurting heart very well, then yes, “bad history.”
me: It’s rough. My last breakup hurt in ways I never thought possible. I can empathize.
scatterbrain jane: Well, he also has sex with everything that moves.
me: Since you, you mean?
scatterbrain jane: I’m glad you can empathize. Have you ever asked yourself is it really worth it?
me: Huh? What, love? Relationships? Is that what you’re asking about being worth it?
scatterbrain jane: The pain! Is it worth it because no matter what it always ends the same way in pain. I don’t deal with stress very well.
me: You don’t say. Well…the truth is what you make it. If you go in planning for pain, you’re going to find it. And it’s okay to have issues. Everyone does. What matters is how you choose to address them.
scatterbrain jane: I choose to just avoid the situation altogether.
me: I don’t feel it always ends in pain. And I feel that even if it does, if you learn something and seize the opportunity to grow, then it’s not a waste of time either. So if that’s your choice, why advertise otherwise via OKC? Not accusing, just trying to understand your view.
scatterbrain jane: I don’t know. Because that’s what you’re suppose to do. But marriage changes everything.
me: No. You’re supposed to live your life in a way that makes you happy. Life is too damn short to waste on fear and doubt when there are better things to experience. And marriage didn’t change anything actually. An awakening on my part did.
scatterbrain jane: What? You didn’t want to be stuck with one person the rest of your life? So no serious relationships since the split?
me: No. I have no problem being with one person. I’m fanatically loyal…to the right person. That marriage was a bad idea. We had a lot of problems, and our foundation was built on fear and convenience. I came to the realization that I was desperately unhappy and had as much right to happiness as anyone else. So I took charge and started to live the way I wanted to, rather than the way other people thought I should. And one serious relationship. That’s the one that ended, broke my heart and eventually led me back here. When you’re with the right person, a lifetime doesn’t feel long enough.
scatterbrain jane: You’re 6’6″ What in the hell! I gotta see this. I’m only 5’2″
me: I can juggle you.
scatterbrain jane: Right, I know. How much do you weigh? Is it true the taller the guy the bigger the penis? I should have read your profile before.
me: I’m a bigger guy, I won’t lie. I’m also very active. I’ve lost a lot of weight in this new thing I’m doing and I’ve got a sense of determination that can move mountains. That said, I’ve still got a ways to go. If that’s a deal breaker, that’s your call. But honestly, if someone would give me a chance when I reach my goal weight but not now? I don’t want to be with that person. I’ve never looked around the locker room at the Secret Tall People’s club.
scatterbrain jane: No, I’m fat too. Is that a deal breaker?
me: No. Attractiveness is only 10% physical to me. I don’t mind people who are heavy. I do mind people who are unhappy with themselves and refuse to take action about it. I don’t ask for much physically. I’m a mouth person. If your smile is better than a jack-o-lantern, the rest is up to your brain to wow me.
scatterbrain jane: Huh? I have a bad smile! I went to get invisaline and it was $5500 so I just got teeth whitening instead, only $199. Can you believe that shit?
me: That’s pretty crazy.
scatterbrain jane: Yeah I will not be getting that! I have an idea. Do you have Facebook?
me: face…book? It’s 2012. Of course I do.
scatterbrain jane: Hey, you never know. Friend me then you can see my 1000 pictures I have on there. Then you can decide if you still want to go out with me.
me: …here’s the deal. For real. What you look like isn’t who you are. I get that a lot of dudes out there roll that way, but I don’t. That whole line about confidence being sexy? It is. Own yourself. You rock in some capacity, and if I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t have reached out in the first place, you dig?
scatterbrain jane: Okay.
me: From the sounds of it, the last breakup you had hurt bad. I know that one all too well. But I also know the only point of looking back is to see how far you’ve come. Learn from the past, but don’t live in it. We have now, and that’s all we’re guaranteed. Make the most of it. My greatest fear in life is looking back someday in my twilight years and being disappointed in how much time I spent being angry and sad when I could have been happy. I’m not saying you are angry and sad, but well, you know you. Take that as you will. Onto the facebook!
me: Ok…so I’m supposed to be horrified or something now? Is that right?
scatterbrain jane: No, not horrified. I was just checking if we had any mutual friends.
me: Ah, you prefaced that whole thing with “look at me and see if you’re still blah blah blah” but that was all a clever ruse. Do our circles touch anywhere?
scatterbrain jane: I don’t know you have too many people on here. As you can see, I’m not a friend whore. Some people friend everyone they met once. I don’t friend everyone. I don’t friend those mean girls from high school that now want to be fb friends.
me: Oh, I do. That’s a gold mine of schadenfreude.
scatterbrain jane: What?
me: Schadenfreude is finding pleasure in the misfortune of others. Leave it to the Germans to have a fucking WORD for that concept.
scatterbrain jane: Oh, I have to tell my roommate, that one that thinks he’s German. I have to block the ones that complain incessantly. I rarely post shit on fb. I don’t think anyone really cares about what I have to say, because I don’t care about what they have to say.
me: Shrug. FB is what you allow it to be.
scatterbrain jane: You look like Hurley in one of these pics. Just how fat are you right now? I can’t tell.
me: My hair curls a lot when long, but I keep it short. And not sure how to answer that question. Definitely a bigger guy. I don’t look anything at all like my “before” pics, but I’ve still got a ways to go. I’m told I “wear it well” whatever that means.
scatterbrain jane: I can’t tell which is the before and which is the after?
me: I don’t keep before pics there, and I’m not at the after point yet.
scatterbrain jane: How much more weight would you like to lose?
me: My main pic was taken inside of a month ago. It’s not full body, but you can tell the loss in my face. I guess that depends too. I don’t think my medical goal weight would look good on me honestly. I’m thinking 20-30 over medical? I tell people my medical goal weight and given my height they think I’ll be sickly looking.
scatterbrain jane: Well what is it? I want to lose 20 pounds.
me: Medical? 220 I think? Which yeah, it not a lot to spread on 6’6″ but we’ll see when I get there. I’m pretty fanatical about this.
scatterbrain jane: Oh that’s great! I lost 50 pounds in 2008 and have pretty much kept it off, but I have had my ups and downs. I would like to get back into a healthy routine.
me: Everyone does. It’s a tired cliche, but it really is a lifestyle change. If I break routine, it better be for a damn good reason. It’s funny, I’ve gotten the “you’re a lot more kinetic than I would have guessed” from a lot of people. I’m heavy. That doesn’t mean I sit around all day and get up only to get more fried things with cheese. It means I’m in a cocoon. I’m not a bad looking guy, and when I reach where I plan to be, I’ll qualify as arm candy.
scatterbrain jane: Well, that’s a great attitude. Unfortunately for me, I will never lose enough weight to become pretty.
me: Ummm…picture your best friend saying that to you. What would you say to them?
scatterbrain jane: Well, if they looked like me I’d say “there’s always plastic surgery!”
me: I appreciate self deprecating humor. Really, I do. My “celebrity exception” is Tina Fey, for fuck’s sake. But it’s only funny when you’re doing it strictly for the laugh and you don’t really believe it. Now, chat has no tone, so I could be off here (and I apologize if I am) but I get the feeling that you’re joking…but you’re not kidding. If that is the case, let me ask you something else…where do you think that’s going to take you? MOREOVER, who gets to decide what is pretty? I’m a guy with a bunch of weight to lose. You know what else I am? A catch like no other. What purpose is served by thinking you are not/could never be attractive?
scatterbrain jane: I own my ugliness! But it’s hard to pick up guys in a bar! And you misunderstand. I think I’m pretty, but pictures tell me a different story.
me: Wrong. You own your sexiness. HUGE difference between the two. And it’s not hard. Confidence. Play to your strengths instead of playing against your shortcomings. And I think the only story your pictures tell is that you can’t keep your tongue in your mouth and in the right context, that’s not a bad thing. Don’t ever let failure set you back. If you go to pick someone up and they don’t go for it? That’s their loss, not yours.
scatterbrain jane: Okay, I know all this but reality bites!
me: Is just a movie. Reality is what you make it. Period. If you really know all of this, and believe it? Different story. The universe sends back to you what you send out to it. If you hear nothing else I say, know that this is a law of truth: positivity breeds positivity. Period. Negativity breeds negativity. Period.
scatterbrain jane: Well I must be breeding with the wrong people.
me: I’m a big guy. Lost a bunch, still a lot to lose. If you let your eyes do all the thinking, you’d think I was a virgin living in my parents’ basement. You seem like a decent chick with a few things to be straightened out.
scatterbrain jane: I’m sorry if i came off negative. I’m not really.
me: You don’t strike me as overtly negative. You strike me as someone who needs something good to happen to snap them out of a rut.
scatterbrain jane: Yes, you hit the nail right on the head.
me: Well, sometimes opportunity knocks. I know I could use the same thing. And what defines that “good” is yet to be determined.
scatterbrain jane: Have you been outside today? Do you drink alcohol?
me: I’m getting ready to. It’s 7/4 and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to not cook on a grill. Because nothing makes triple degree heat better than standing over fire. And yes.
scatterbrain jane: I would advise you not to go outside. I do not drink alcohol.
me: Wow. That bad, huh? And that’s okay. Some do, some don’t. I don’t do so often or excessively. I guess that’s the plus side of apartment life, the grill is two steps from the door so I won’t be exposed for long.
scatterbrain jane: Do you live alone?
me: When I don’t have my kid.
scatterbrain jane: Do you drive all the way to the city everyday to work?
me: Unfortunately. When the lease is up, I’m going to get right the fuck up out of here.
scatterbrain jane: When is that?
me: Another 8 or 9 months.
scatterbrain jane: So would you come to me for a date or would I have to drive all the way out there?
me: We would discuss what we wanted to do and go from there, though I’m pretty used to the burden of travel being on me. part of the whole “trapped in Pacific” package. Provided we had multiple dates, it stands to reason you would come to my place on occasion.
scatterbrain jane: Yeah that should be a tv show ” Trapped in Pacific”
me: It would be cancelled faster than Firefly.
scatterbrain jane: I thought you wanted to go see the moonshine movie
me: Very much so. Moonrise Kingdom? It’s ok to say “Wes Anderson isn’t my thing.” Not everyone hearts him like I do.
scatterbrain jane: I dont know about Wes Anderson.
me: Sigh. He’s only the best director in the history of ever.
scatterbrain jane: Oh. Well in that case…. What movies did he do?
me: The Royal Tenenbaums? Rushmore? Bottle Rocket? The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou? Fantastic Mr. Fox? The Darjeeling Limited? Ring any bells?
scatterbrain jane: Hmmmm I know I watched the fox movie. Are you going to pay for me?
me: Is that a prerequisite?
scatterbrain jane: No, but it would help. I mean, to see that movie and not another.
me: I guess we’re doing this 50’s style. Fair enough. This one’ll be on me. The first step in addiction is always free.
scatterbrain jane: How’s your laugh?
me: Uh…Good? Great?
scatterbrain jane: It’s not strange? I’ve found a lot of guys I met on here end up having weird laughs.
It’s perfectly okay if your reaction to this is “Joe. JOE. What in the actual fuck? Why?” That is completely acceptable, and reasonable. This chick had a wheelbarrow of red flags. I had to restrain her from verbally beating herself to death. I tried to convince myself that maybe this was all intentionally quirky, but actually meeting her threw that right out the window. She brought a change of clothes to the theater. And changed early in the movie. She talked incessantly through the movie about someone I didn’t know. In a capacity that had no connection to anything. We didn’t touch. At all. Not a handshake, not even an accidental nudge. And I learned that I do want more than a smile physically speaking. She had no chin. Not like Roger Ebert, but…take a balloon and put a nose on it. Now look at the side profile of that balloon. Just like that. So I ask for a nice smile…and a chin.
It was pretty clear early on that this was a horrible idea, and there were only 167 or so cues to bail in the first few minutes. Reading through, you can kinda see where I stop caring and just want to “win,” whatever that means. I did not win. But I did get a good story out of it.
What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?