Gabrielle is a 31-year-old market researcher who lives in Baldwin Village. She likes to work out, run, drink, dance, and shoot the shit with her girlfriends. “I’m outgoing, confident, and a little quirky,” she says. “And I’m always looking for a laugh or a smile from people around me.” She met Richard online.
I got divorced last year. Now, I go on dates, and I consistently find men who are broken, angry, sad, misled, and misbehaving opportunists. This has led to many more first dates than second ones, because it only takes three or four beers to get to the real person under the bad sweater.
I liked Richard’s sense of humour, his ambitions, and his attention to detail when we were exchanging messages. His questions were thoughtful and intuitive. He was sometimes curt in his responses, but I chalked that up to the nature of email and texts. He lived out of town, and one Saturday, he texted me and said he wanted to meet, and that he would drive to Toronto if I would have a beer with him. Of course, I said yes.
I met him at my local. Richard’s profile had him at six-feet tall and fit, with gorgeous, long hair. When we met, he was several inches shorter, overweight, and wearing a filthy baseball hat. I immediately knew that I wasn’t attracted to him.
The conversation was, at best, incredibly awkward. He was even more abrupt in person, and he spoke in a very loud and annoyingly shrill voice. I was having a hard time reading his blunt responses, and thought that maybe he was going for the “asshole angle.”
Two sips into our first beer, he said, “I should probably come right out and tell you I’ve been married before!” The volume made my labia fold back inside my own uterus. I reminded him that I was divorced and, too, and asked if he wanted to talk about it. He said, “I’m getting my life back together. This is me time!”
I attempted to move away from the topic by asking him if he was a baseball fan, but he responded with “We met in high school. Her family never thought I was good enough for her.” The people at the three tables nearby were clearly listening to us, and I was openly burying my head in my hands. “That’s why I decided to go online and meet beautiful women like you!” Great. Amazing. Now those three tables knew that we were on an online date. I tried a new approach and asked him about his job, but he continued, “We were hardly having sex anymore and, when we were, it was in only one position.”
At this point, he excused himself to use the facilities, and the server came over to ask if he was doing that on purpose, or if he just “talks that loudly.” I told her I had no idea, and she interrupted my explanation with “Oh, right, you guys just met online.” Of course she had heard that—how could you not? When Richard came back to the table, I just gave up and let him talk about his ex for two full pints.
Later, outside the bar, I thought he might go in for a kiss. I deked right and gave him a brief hug. When I got home, my ears were humming.
Gabrielle rates her date (out of 10): 1
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