It wasn’t long before I was ridiculously drunk. I walked home defeated, knowing the route by heart yet wondering where I’d end up after this. Because the life path I was on was almost certainly a dead end.
The evening began with a dog attack at the most laid-back hangout in my neighborhood—giant German Shepard vs. tiny Foley, my 15.4-pound Dachshund. The massive dog shook him violently like a chew toy and Foley’s squeals rang out like a piglet at the slaughterhouse. Foley made it out unscathed, thanks to the other dog’s owner, who unfortunately left the scene with a bloody hand.
A classic gin martini was the logical next step for me, so I sat there sipping while waiting for my date to arrive. I didn’t know this guy, but he called several times to talk and texted a lot after we matched on Tinder. I didn’t really want to go out that night; I was still recovering from the trauma of the night before when I decided to quit my part-time job because of an out of control control-freak boss. Yes, that’s a thing and a story for another time.
We were supposed to go to dinner, but he didn’t really make a concrete plan and that was fine. I didn’t want to go anywhere. Somehow we made a plan to meet for drinks in an hour. I’m a little early because the venue is close. The dog quarrel happened and then I waited… for an hour and a half. Guy texts me screen shots of his Uber driver’s circuitous course.
Three martinis later, he asks for a house salad when he arrives. The kitchen stops serving food at 11 p.m. and it’s much later than that at this point. He pivots and opts for bourbon neat. We talk for a while and everything’s fine. Our server asks if I want to pay separately when I come out of the bathroom. Apparently he asked her for his own check. I catch him on his way “to the bathroom” and he says he’ll be right back.
He didn’t come back. He left me sitting there with my little dog and my half-empty martini. It was mortifying.
The Opposite of Meet Cute
This was the last rendezvous in a series of ill-fated dates/encounters generated by Tinder matches. It all felt like one terribly degrading experience after another for this newbie “Tinderella,” which seems to be a popular pet name for the ladies on the app. Sigh. The total time wasted was probably around three months. (Please note: my last digital dating effort was about four years ago.)
Let’s do a roll call, shall we? In order of appearance:
1: He tells me I’m amazing and then never contacts me after our hang. Why? He’s really busy. Like I don’t know what it’s like to be busy? Thanks for wasting my time and patronizing me.
2: This was fun though he lives in Berlin. Next…
3: He makes plans to come to my neighborhood to meet up and then asks me to pick him up near the Grove instead at the last minute. I begrudgingly agree because I’m supposed to be “putting myself out there and making an effort.” Right?!? I arrive at the address and there’s a creepy shrine with a larger-than-life sculpture of a young child in the front yard. Red flag. He walks out of the house carrying a full backpack and he’s a little twitchy. Red flag. He gets in car and reeks of vodka and cigarettes. Red.fucking.flag. I’m like, “Hi, nice to meet you. Are you drunk?” He told me he picked up a pint of Smirnoff earlier. I fire back, “What? Are you homeless or something? Only homeless people ‘pick up pints.’” His response: Well, I live in a halfway house… He goes on to explain that he was Baker Acted a month prior for blacking out for the first time (lie) and not knowing what happened. He suffers from bi-polar II disorder and he’s on medication so I shouldn’t worry. (Disclaimer: In no way am I belittling someone with a medical issue here. This is more about being detained involuntarily for a mental health evaluation due to drunken rage… and going on a date a month later.) I compassionately told him he should focus on getting better and said I needed to go home because I can’t be in this situation. He was relieved because the halfway house enforces a 10 p.m. curfew for “residents” and it was about 9:50. If he’s not back before 10 on any given night, he can’t stay there—hence the backpack. Awesome!
4: We have two fun hangs. He calls, texts, sends affectionate voice messages for weeks… and then he’s too busy. This is after I tell him several times that I don’t want to meet him after 1 a.m. at a bar.
5: He tells me via text that what has happened in the past doesn’t matter. His past though includes royal blood, he says almost in the same breath as, “I live with my parents in Weston.”
6: I’m on my way to a media dinner and I’m texting with a guy who happens to work near the restaurant. I offered to pick him up on my way, thinking that an impromptu hang was less stressful. He hops in the car and he seems very sweet. All I can see is a dangly earring hanging from one ear with an amethyst crystal swinging ever so slightly above his shoulder. He’s quiet so I ask what’s wrong. Well, he says he’s nervous about the dinner because he’s broke. Luckily, the dinner was free because it was for work. I tell him all we have to do cover the gratuity. Can you at least do that? He said he had 3 bucks. We’ve all been there, but…
7: We haven’t met yet because I’ve been floored by these other morons. He tells me he’s in the market for a fanny pack because he’s always carrying two phones for work/personal and sends me images of his top two choices. One is black leather with gold studs. The other is like a gold lamé faux animal deal. Nope.
Bonus: My ex-boyfriend’s face pops up while swiping left/right one night. Bastard. I asked him how Tinder was working out for him the next time he reached out trying to get laid in the middle of the night. He lied and said, “No Tinder for me.” Probably because you uploaded a freakin’ mugshot to your profile.
What would you do at this point? No matter how positive/optimistic/holistic/yogic/tantric you are, you’d recoil to protect yourself. Stay where it’s safe with pizza and puppies in your PJs. Don’t even pretend that you wouldn’t. Dating has simply become a hazard… It goes against every self-love mantra in every damn book, it wreaks havoc on my chakras and it chips away at the peace I worked so hard to create in my physical surroundings. I made space for someone to join me in my safe zone and then let an inappropriate person in last year. He extinguished my fiery side because I let him. I don’t have to continue letting the wrong guy in. I truly believe all of this is part of being an open, sensitive and emotional human being, who sees the best in others and wants things to work out. Sometimes we just get burned.
While I don’t even really “know” the people I’ve met on Tinder I still somehow feel like a fraction of myself after dealing with their nonsense. It’s exhausting and I’m going to bed. Sweet dreams.
Let’s pour one out for Memes by Marni. She was kind enough to distill these stories into some brilliant images. #Blessed