So, where were we? Ah yes. I was on a date, in a bar, with a gentleman who had recently tried to give up drinking. And I have a hardcore brunch buzz. Right. This is my life, Ladies and Gentleman, and at that moment, I wasn’t loving it.
Less than ten minutes in, I already know that this encounter is going to go nowhere. What you don’t know is that my last serious relationship was with another friend of Bill (that’s AA lingo for being in recovery). In fact, the only rule I had when jumping back into the dating pool was “Maybe No Addicts.” Yet somehow, here I am, in a bar with an alcoholic. But he seemed like a nice enough guy, and I didn’t want to be a dick, so I decided to stay and finish the date. Besides, I had nothing else planned for the day and figured: Hey, I’ll hang out with this dude for a bit, maybe have some interesting conversation and then keep it moving.
You’ll be shocked to hear that conversation got off to a clumsy start. I suggested we go for coffee instead, but he assured me that he wasn’t going to jump over the bar to get at the liquor because, and I quote, “It’s not like this is the first time I’ve quit drinking.” Well good. At least he’s persistent. I respect that. With a slight air of impatience, he continued, “That’s why I wanted to meet out in Wissahickon.” This guy, again with the hike. Clearly he still doesn’t get it. But moving on…
I asked him about the wedding he had told me he had that weekend. And he mentioned something about the bride keeping his buddy’s “balls in a jar” and, in the same breathe, shared that he was “raised by a woman like that.” Fifteen minutes in and mommy issues are on the table. Cool. Fun fact: Over-sharers make me wildly uncomfortable.
I quickly changed the subject. I wish I could remember what it was that we were talking about that led to his next statement. But I can tell you what we weren’t talking about: the economy, Wall Street, Obama, the government. So, it really was out of nowhere when he said, “I mean, just so you know, American currency is worthless. We are all just trading this Monopoly money that is based on nothing.” I took a big gulp out of my can of beer, excused myself, and hot stepped it over to the restroom. Once I was alone, I texted a couple of my girlfriends about the state of affairs. And then I had a conversation with myself in the mirror. Out loud. Because I was kind of drunk.
“…um… so…yeah. This is happening. But hey, it’s fine. You’re fine. Just go with it. And you know, at least you’ll have something to talk about at parties when this is over.”
I stared at myself for a more few seconds and then just shrugged, put on some lip gloss, and got back out there. As I was walking back towards the bar, I was able to see the rest of his first date outfit. We already discussed the hoodie, under which he had on a plaid flannel shirt unbuttoned to his belly button region and a white tank top underneath that. And now I could see what was happening on the bottom half. His pants…imagine if a pair of sweat pants and a pair of cargo pants had a baby. And his flat brim baseball hat was on the bar to his left. At least he took it off, right? (Insert eye roll HERE)
The conversation continued from there. And by “conversation,” I mean me rapid-firing 10,000 questions at him to keep things moving so that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to ask me any. I wasn’t really interested in sharing anything personal or even semi-personal with this dude. I garnered that he was one of four kids, with two brothers and a younger sister. Because I am principled (read: stubborn and persistent when trying to make a point), I couldn’t help but ask, albeit jokingly, “OK, now if some guy your sister met online told her he wanted to meet out in the woods, would you tell her to do it?”
“Hey, man. She’s a big girl. I never have a problem with the guys she brings around. She’s never brought around any dickheads.” Charming. Your sister is a lucky girl to have a big bro like you, man.
I also learned that he had eight nieces and nephews. He didn’t know any of their birthdays, but what he could tell me with certainty was that his oldest niece, Kelsey, “is a bitch.” I asked how old she was. She was 14 years old. “Well, that’s why! She’s a teenager, all teenage girls are kind of bitchy.” I was trying to lighten things up while at the same time give him the opportunity to make a better choice. Maybe NOT refer to a child as a “bitch” while talking to a woman you just met.
Nope, Tinder Tim wasn’t interested in the better choice. “Nah, man. She’s been like since she was 10. That’s why I don’t go over there. I tell them, keep her away from me.” This grown man was getting kind of heated talking about a fourteen-year-old girl. I finished my beer, told the bartender to back me up, and then I excused myself again. I wanted to give myself another pep talk. But this time, looking at myself in the mirror, I literally had no words. I stood there, shoulders shrugged, hands in the air, with my mouth open. Speechless. Eventually, I just started laughing. Because, yeah, this is the shit that happens when I listen to people and “put myself out there.” Shove it up your ass, Online Dating.
Back to my barstool. Now, up until this point, Tinder Tim has not once cracked a single joke or laughed at all. Not a hint of irony to be found. As I was settling back into my seat, he commented on the fact that, despite being given a glass, I was drinking out of the can. I hadn’t given it much thought with so much else going on. I made some quip about what a classy broad I am. He tried to follow my lead. Here is Tinder Tim’s first attempt at humor:
“The can makes it harder to get a roofie in there.”
“NO!” I said louder than I meant to. “You can’t joke about that, ya creeper!”
Rightfully so, he got embarrassed and the crappy conversation ground to a halt. We sat there in silence for an eternity until he piped up, “I’m going to get some wings.” Fast forward through him eating wings, me watching him eat wings while not drinking anymore of my beer. With his mouth full, he shared that he was having problems with his roommate (Tinder Tim was in his late 30s, if your wondering). “He keeps getting hash oil mailed to the house and I told him, ‘Hey man, I can’t lose my job over this shit again.’” Again. He also shared an anecdote about the time he and his roommate broke into their neighbor’s place, but just to make sure he wasn’t dead.
By this time, he was done his wings and brussel sprouts, and I wasn’t drinking any more of that beer he joked about drugging. We got the check. Tinder Tim paid, because he’s nothing if not a gentleman.
“Hey, what are you doing now? Do you want to go get some coffee?” No one will ever accuse this guy of being a quitter.
I mean…I really didn’t have anything better to do that day. And seriously. I was kind of dying to see what else this dude was going to say.
“Coffee? I could drink some coffee.”