“Coffee? I could drink some coffee.”
Now, I’m not super thrilled to admit this part: I got in his car. I wish I could tell you what I was thinking, but clearly, I wasn’t. I wasn’t sober. Not drunk by this point, but obviously not on top of my game. I think I was lulled by the false sense of safety I got due to the fact that we were in the city; there is a stop sign or light at the end of every block so you can’t really get anywhere in a hurry. But right, I’m sure rapists and murders don’t have a problem disobeying traffic laws. But I digress.
When we got to his vehicle, I was surprised. It was one of the biggest trucks I’d ever seen. There was no lady-like way to climb up into that bad boy. Lucky for me, any desire to impress this guy evaporated hours ago. On the drive to the coffee shop, he talked about the truck he wished he had, about how this one was too big, but he couldn’t get financing for the other one and “It’s not like I could have my father co-sign for it.” Of course not. You’re almost 40, dude. Then he got to talking about his previous troubles with drugs and alcohol. He mentioned that he used to smoke a lot of crack, but only after drinking for days straight. I wondered how the HELL I got myself into this. Pink Floyd lyrics aside, there was nothing all that odd about the dude over text message. Yet at the same time, I felt like I should have maybe seen at least some of this coming.
“I think I know that dude in the truck in front of us,” he said (to who, exactly, I’m not sure).
He was talking to himself more than anything at this point. For the rest of the ride to the coffee shop, he tried to decide whether or not the guy in front of us was a guy he knew. All at once, the absolute absurdity of what was happening suddenly hit me. I started to laugh, out of nowhere. I couldn’t help it. There are times in life where you’re either going to laugh or you’re going to cry. And I cracked up.
“Are you laughing at me?” Oh, Tinder Tim. Not a shred of self-awareness, Tinder Tim.
I quickly composed myself and told him I had thought of something funny I heard the other day.
Finally, we had arrived at our destination. I couldn’t help but notice that he parked in a 30-minute loading zone. What the F? This isn’t how this works. You aren’t trying to get away from ME, Tim. I have been nothing short of darling. If anyone here is trying to make this coffee stop quick, it’s me, Buddy. Tinder Tim unbuckled his seat belt and was out of the truck in a flash. And as he was slamming the driver’s side door, I heard him say to someone, “I thought that was you.” It took me a minute to repel down the side of his monster truck. As I pushed the giant door shut, I heard a voice ask, “And who is this?”
As I came around the front of the truck, there stood one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen in real life. Like, Bradley Cooper beautiful, if Bradley Cooper just got done building something with his hands and had a pencil behind his ear, a tape measure in his back pocket, and saw dust on his clothes. Sweet Jesus. It was a lot. I swear, I think I heard angels singing as the heavens parted above this man’s head (that or Tinder Tim really did drug me).
“Raina, this is my friend Tommy.” Finally, Tinder Tim has a redeeming quality.
Tommy shook my hand and smiled while letting me know it was very nice to meet me. And I almost passed out because making direct eye contact with incredibly handsome men is more than my nerves can handle. It’s like staring directly into the sun; it hurts my eyes, and I have to look away. I tried to be cool as we stood there for another minute while the guys concluded we were all heading to the same place. So now, all three of us are going to go get coffee. Together.
Dear God, The Universe, Buddha, whoever is running this show, you’re killing me.
I stood in line waiting to order coffee with the giant weirdo I was on a date with and his super-hot, seemingly normal friend. When it was our turn to order, I did the ordering (and paying) for the group. It wasn’t a gesture of any kind as much as it was a way for me to not have to engage in the situation at hand, for at least a minute. And while I was conducting said transaction, I overheard Tinder Tim bragging to his friend how I “wouldn’t let him” pay.
Dear Tinder Tim, I’m going to need you to stop telling people that I like you.
After paying the bill, I stepped aside to the end of the counter to wait for our coffee order to come up. Tinder Tim had wandered off, and I suddenly realized I was alone with Tommy. Normally, I make fun of grown men going by the “y” version of their name—Billy, Bobby, Tommy—but this guy? With a face like that, he could call himself Big Bird, and I think most of us would be onboard. He made funny small talk while he smiled at me, and I wanted to die. My mind raced. How can I get rid of Tinder Tim and go on a date with THIS guy? I came up with nothing. Arguably, it would be a crappy thing to do and karma would definitely come after me for it. And let’s be real; I don’t have the game necessary to pull off such a maneuver.
Tommy did the noble thing and tried to talk up his friend. “Tim’s a good guy. I’ve known him for a few years now.”
“I’ve only known him for like an hour.” That was my super subtle way of letting Tommy know it’s not serious with Tinder Tim. I told you, no game.
As we were chatting, Tommy dropped the money he was still holding after trying to pay me for the coffee I’d ordered on his behalf. I saw the bills float in slow motion towards the floor and land next to my left shoe. I bent down to pick them up, not seeing that Tommy was going down to pick them up at the same time and like out of completely predictable but totally adorable romantic comedy, we bumped into each other and knocked heads. Seriously, I can’t make this shit up.
“My fault. I should have warned you, hanging out with me is a full-contact sport,” Tommy joked.
We smiled; I may have giggled; it was fantastic. Then reality reared its ugly head. Tinder Tim popped up out of nowhere. “There aren’t any seats. Do you want to go sit in the park instead?” Oh, right. This is still happening. Fuck my life.
“I’ll leave you guys to it. It was nice to meet you, Raina.” And just like that, Tommy walked out of the shop and out of my life.
Tinder Tim and I strolled over to the park across the street. All the while, Tim was telling me about his friend Tommy: how he’s really nice and really funny, he travels a lot, just got done hiking through some cannons and deserts in Arizona and Las Vegas. Yes Tim, tell me more about what a great match your friend would be for me if only I’d met him first.
We found a bench and sat down. Tim talked and talked, about all of the things you don’t talk about on a first date. But that’s his M.O., so I was used to it by this point. He was telling me about a female friend of his who he used to hook up with. She’s married now, so they don’t hook up anymore, but she still grabs his balls when she sees him (yeah, I know). In the middle of this riveting story, he interrupted himself to remind himself he parked in a loading zone. He announced that we had to go move the monster truck.
We walked back the way we’d came, towards the coffee shop and the side street he’d parked on. He jaywalked across the street to his truck. I took a step to follow him but then stopped dead in my tracks. “You know, I’m just going to walk home. I live right over there,” I said while pointing in a vague direction.
“Oh, ok. Um, well, let’s not do this in the middle of the street,” he replied. Only then did I realize that I had stopped right smack in the middle of the street. I finished crossing the street and walked over to him. I had a cup of coffee in one hand while the other was shoved in my jacket pocket. Tinder Tim gave me an awkward hug around both arms that were down at my sides and told me he had fun. I don’t remember and can only imagine what kind of nonsense I mumbled in response.
That walk home was filled with fits of laughter because I was still a smidge buzzed and was in shock and awe about all that had taken place over the last few hours. When I got home, I texted a few girlfriends to joke about what a joke my big date turned out to be.
With a day-drinking headache setting in, I called it a wrap. I deleted the two dating apps off my phone. It was early December, and I decided that I was shutting shit down for the winter. Done. I’d revisit the issue in the spring. In the meantime, I was going to spend the downtime “working on myself.”
I’ll tell you all about it one of these days.