Last week Schmoozer and I were rained out of our scheduled run. Instead we met at a local pub that's sandwiched in between our office buildings. I found myself singing for my drinks in the form of bad dating stories. Schmoozer scored himself a deal; it was $1 well drink night.
He tipped his pint glass towards me in a toast. "You have the best stories."
"I'm giving up dating for Lent."
"No! But what about the stories?"
"Subscriptions to these dating sites cost money. You want my stories? Sponsor me."
Last night I went out on a date primarily for the story. When I stepped out of the shower and wrapped my hair in a towel, I knew I wasn't going to meet the man I would marry.
I had been on the fence for quite awhile regarding Date #13. His profile picture was a story in and of itself: he was wearing a blue Oxford and was sprawled across a plush leather chair, glasses lowered to the tip of his nose and an empty wine glass in his hand. It looked like an audition for Masterpiece Theatre. But men also post pictures of themselves in front of the bathroom mirror, so this was an improvement, right?
He wanted to talk on the phone before meeting, of which I'm not a fan. The phone conversation was littered with non sequiturs: I told him where I lived and he responded that he liked to go hiking.
"Let's meet for coffee. How about the Barnes and Noble in [metro suburb]?"
"What?" I shrieked exasperated. "You want me to drive 20 miles for a cup of coffee?"
"I thought you lived in [metro suburb]?"
I was very unimpressed. "No," I said flatly. "I live downtown. I said so earlier."
He doesn't acknowledge his faux pas and just keeps going, making plans. "How about Tuesday?"
"I think I have plans on Tuesday. My calendar is at work, but I know next week is a busy week for me. I have a 5k, hockey game and painting class all scheduled."
Meanwhile, he's talking over me, as in talking while I was talking. Just kept making plans even though I was clear I wasn't sure I was available. "At the mall? 8 pm?"
I've never been on a date at a mall before. Not even back in 1993. Our plan was to meet at Starbucks. And because this is a modern-day Starbucks love story, I was waiting at one Starbucks at the mall and he was waiting at another Starbucks at the mall.
I got in line and made my purchase: tall mocha frappuccino, skim, no whip. The guy behind me in line was attractive: early 30's, dark hair, khakis and Adidas jacket. My coworker encourages me to go out on all dates. "Who knows who you're going to meet while you're out? Maybe the guy at the next table..."
This was the guy she to which she has obviously been referring.
Could I? Could I hit on another guy while waiting for my date to locate the other Starbucks?
I turn around, "Long line, huh?"
"Yeah. I didn't think so many people would want coffee at 8 o'clock on a Tuesday."
"You normally drink coffee at this hour?" he asked.
I opened my mouth to respond when a guy approached and I crossed all of my fingers and all of my toes that it wasn't my date. He stood a little too close to me, invading my personal space, and waited a beat before introducing himself.
And this guy was hideous. I try to keep an open mind about people. I didn't say anything about the gross little turd who worked in sex toys, but there was no saving this one. I was a victim of the bait and switch again! It was like someone took his profile picture and ran it through one of those Photoshop style layers that swirls the head and I was left with the whorled mess.
Adidas Guy took one look, smirked and left. Oh god.
I opened my mouth to just say No, thank you and leave but I couldn't. Oh god.
Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.The mall closes in an hour, I kept repeating in my head.
We sat at those crappy little Starbucks café tables. He leaned towards me with his arms outstretched across the table, his drink sitting next to mine. Even from the other side of the table, he was invading my personal space. I leaned back and crossed my legs at the thigh.
"This week is going by slowly," he said.
"Well it is Tuesday, so I guess."
He picked up his grandé frappé, extra whip with caramel drizzled on top. "I had Pop Tarts for dinner. I don't really eat well."
"I can see that. I guess that makes sense why your cats are named after candy."
"What did you have for dinner?"
"Steamed chicken with broccoli and red peppers."
He asked me another question but instead picked up something and started playing with it. I specifically didn't answer.
"Sorry, I'm not being rude; I'm just adjusting my insulin pump."
My stomach turned over. He's adjusting his insulin pump at the table on a first date. I don't know because I don't have an insulin pump, but I would think manners would have him adjust it in the previous five minutes before he met me, knowing he was going to get that beverage. Or if there was an indicator that needed attention, he'd get up from the table.
I stared at the wire and then my frothy frappuccino that I just spent four bucks on. I know enough about the mechanics of an insulin pump that I'm imagining it in my mind. I pictured the box pumping insulin through a catheter inserted in the stomach as the same consistency as my frappuccino through the straw in my mouth. My stomach flipped over again. I'm nauseated.
"So an insulin pump. You must be type 1," I said.
"It's a difficult disease. But the Pop Tarts and the large frappé—You say your favorite food is 'Pizza Hut'— is all that good when you're a type 1 diabetic?"
He chuckled. "I guess not, but imagine what I would look like with less fat." He pinched his skinny arm. "I need all the fat on the stomach I can get because I need it to absorb the insulin. Sometimes the skin on my stomach hasn't healed yet when it's time to move the pump."
Oh god. Considering I was nauseated before he mentioned that he had open skin wounds on his abdomen, I can't imagine him saying that to anyone and she'd still want to see him naked. I tried to sip my frappé but I was seriously trying to fight back the vomit.
I thought about a news article someone sent me in preparation for the date. Date #13 was an Auburn man, "So Auburn football. Armed robbery." Luckily we rode out the rest of the time talking SEC football.
As soon as the Starbucks in the mall flicked its lights off at 8:45 pm, I stood up. I had never even taken off my coat.
He nodded to my zebra-print stilettos. "Nice shoes. That's one perk to being a girl; you get to wear pretty shoes."
I wasn't sure how to take that statement. I thanked him.
"Tomorrow's Hump Day," he said.
I couldn't even hide my annoyance at that expression. I turned around. "Nice to meet you!" gave a shoulder hug and crossed the street to my car and spent the rest of the night gagging.