Ginnie is a 35-year-old marketing executive who lives in Leslieville with her three-year-old son. She is back on the dating scene after ending her 10-year marriage. “I feel like Alice after she went down the rabbit hole,” she says. After a lot of casual dating, Ginnie says that she’s looking for a committed relationship with “someone warm, grounded, and real.” She met Shaun online.
I was really looking forward to my date with Shaun. He seemed to have his life together: a six-figure job with a major consulting firm, a close and supportive family, and lots of friends. As we got to know each other online and over the phone, he seemed very personable, intelligent, and made me laugh. Most of all, I was impressed with how he seemed consistent—he phoned every night and even texted me at lunch to see how my day was going. After a never-ending string of outlandish dates, I dared to think I might have landed a guy that was, quite possibly, normal. For our date, Shaun picked me up and we headed over to Ossington for dinner. The first sign of abnormality with this presumably normal, wonderful guy was his car. It was totally spotless, like a murder scene that had been forensically scrubbed. I asked him if the car was new and he said no. I was afraid to sit in it. After we parked and I got out, he leaned over to pick a few pieces of lint off my seat and check the floor mats for dirt.
At dinner, Shaun ate voraciously. He inhaled his steak frites and then, without missing a beat, he took his napkin and wiped down the rim of the plate until it shined. No drop of the jus from his meal was left. After that, we decided to take a stroll down Queen West and, when he reached for my hand, I let him hold it. Just as I started to relax and think, “This is kind of nice,” he stopped to face a window display and adjusted both our scarves in the reflection to bring them into perfect vertical alignment. I tried to write this off as charm. Women are spectacular at rationalizing when we want to.
Later on, we decided to drive to the lake; we parked and just talked until Shaun asked me if I wanted to get in the backseat. I said yes. He removed his wool overcoat and delicately folded it into six parts—like a military flag at a funeral—before neatly placing it on the front seat and getting into the backseat with me. I didn’t notice whether or not he had picked off the lint that I had dared to leave on my seat because, by that point, I was trying not to look at him at all.
The kissing was robotic. I think I could hear the very faint sound of springs and gears shifting in his jaw. “This can’t be real,” I thought. After a half-hour of awkward groping, we left. When he dropped me off, he administered another stiff kiss and, as he pulled away, he smoothed out my jacket and then checked his reflection in the mirror. “There,” he said. “Almost perfect.” We lasted one more date.
Ginnie rates her date (out 10): 2
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