Monday, November 2, 2015

The Free-Loading Giraffe Killer (a.k.a. The One I Married)

On this, the sixmonthiversary (that's a thing) of my wedding, I thought it appropriate to write one final chapter in my dating saga.  I often think back on my collection of stories and how many times my husband could have been on this blog.  Well, why not share one?
Jake showed up on my doorstep one evening for a housewarming three night Lord of the Rings marathon I was throwing with my roommate.  Funny thing: I don't remember inviting him.  He was a vague acquaintance I had played ultimate Frisbee with for a little over a year.  He came in with crazy, Gene Wilder status hair he had been growing out for months for a dorky Halloween costume (which was still 5 months away) and a plate of melted homemade banana treats tucked sideways in his backpack. 

Surprised but not upset that he was there, we enjoyed his company both Thursday and Friday night. On Saturday, a group of us had planned to see a movie. Since we had discussed it in front of him the evening before, I thought it most polite to extend an invitation his way.  He replied that he would like to come, but since it was a bit of a drive, he would rather just follow me around for the rest of the day than go home and come back for the third night of the party. 

Showing up late to the theater, he refused the ice water I had thoughtfully gotten for him without so much as a "thank you."  As the credits rolled, the afternoon of following me around commenced. 

I had planned to find a place I could watch the NBA playoffs.  He doesn't like basketball, but he was hungry.  After an out-of-the-way jaunt to my place to drop off his motorcycle, we headed for Texas Roadhouse to appease both desires.  On the way there, I informed him that the last time I'd been there, I had to pay for the boy I went with. (See "Alejandro") Once there, we found a small table where I could quietly watch the game while he proceeded to put away an impressive amount of food in record time. 

During the course of the meal, a girl making balloon-animals stopped by our table to ask if we would like her to make us a heart. (She must have been tipped-off by our lack of interaction.) We quickly straightened her out, but to ease the awkwardness, I asked her to make a giraffe for me. Shortly thereafter the bill came. As the waitress walked away, Jake sheepishly looked at me and said...wait for it... "I don't have any cash..."  At first I assumed he was joking based on our previous conversation. He wasn't.

After buying him dinner, he came with me to a gathering a friend was having with her family and a few friends (totally not weird for me to bring a practical stranger to) to open her mission call.  As we got out of the car, he had my balloon giraffe with him.  I told him that if he brought it in, we would never see it again. He decided to bring it in anyway, and promptly handed it to a child, insisting it would be fine... because, I can only assume, he's never met a child. 

I did see my giraffe again... as a deflated snake.

The rest of the evening was relatively uneventful, but I had decided I was not interested in this homeless-looking, impolite giraffe killer.  I didn't talk to him again until Monday when he briefly texted me. I came home from work that afternoon to find this:

A new balloon giraffe taped to the front door, along with a hilarious letter of apology and cash to pay for his dinner. (Remember that he didn't live close-by at all.) Ugh. How irritatingly thoughtful
And that, my friends, was the beginning of the end. It would still be a little while (and several less-than-ideal date scenarios) before I'd give him any serious consideration, but the lesson I've learned is this:

Everyone has red flags.  Nobody is perfect. Whether he uses a breathalyzer to start his car, confesses on your second date that he was just released from prison, or argues that he can buy your love (true stories), the key is to find the shade of red that best fits your own color wheel. (Heaven knows there are boys out there that will tell you about the time they went out with the quirky girl who kept a dating blog.) That's not to say that some aren't total lame-wads, but once in a while... one might be worth another look. 

So... thanks for reading! Good luck finding your own weird forever. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Single & Cynical: A Cautionary Tale (My Brief Bout with a Cyber Predator)

About a week ago I was contacted via Facebook by a guy named Clark.  I got a bizarre, lengthy message about how he stumbled upon my profile and had this feeling he needed to talk to me.  He fought with it for several days before feeling "prompted" while in the temple to share with me a quote from the prophet. I was moderately weirded-out, but politely returned pieces of conversation... eventually finding him to seem somewhat normal.

A few days later, I actually looked at his profile. It was perfect. Too perfect.  He is a recent widower with a beautiful two-year-old daughter who is newly returned to Facebook after accepting a new job as a pediatric oncologist at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City where he performs many surgical procedures.  He had a list of degrees and past work history including Harvard and UCLA.  Not bad for a 32 year old...Riiiight...

More confusing was that his friends list was blocked and we had no friends in common.  When I asked how he "stumbled" upon my profile (still haven't figured this one out) his answers were vague... but no doubt Fate had a hand in it!  The friends that did make comments on his profile wrote things that were remarkably similar to his own, and friends sharing his last name had equally short-lived, picture-perfect profiles.

During a slow day at work, I decided I would Google him.  Someone with such credentials should have plenty of information floating around out there. Nothing.  Next I went to the website for the Primary Children's Medical Center, only to find that there is no Clark Wayment on their staff.  Interesting.

Out of curiosity, I looked up "pediatric oncology" (it was a VERY slow day) on Wikipedia.  I learned that surgery is a last resort in pediatric cancer and pediatric oncologists avoid it, preferring chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Fun fact.  The following conversation ensued that day:

(I'm aware I spelled Te'o wrong. Not the point...) So true, though.  Who was I to judge? He's just a single dad trying to do good. Far be it from me to rain on that parade.

This afternoon I mentioned to my sister and sister-in-law... which of course meant we were going to look into it.  I Googled him once again... this time yielding different results.  The very first page suggested was this page. From the comments we learn that he has used several different names, but all with the same sad story... creeping out women on the Internet.  At first I thought I would write a super snarky message (as is a personal strength of mine.)  Then I thought, "What if I could outcreep him?!"  Brilliant!

Honestly, I thought this would do the trick.  Instead he just sent me another photo of her.  I had no choice but to lay it on thick.  When could we meet?  He's every girl's dream!  Who wouldn't want that? And most importantly... How can you argue with... revelation?! His response?
"That's what led me to you from the start!"

I finally saw my opportunity and took it.

 I've never seen a profile disappear so quickly, though I'm sure he has plenty of them!
I can't help feeling just a little bit proud of myself for not being suckered in.  And yet once... just once...
I would love to be wrong.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Juan: The Hair-loving Hair Hater

I once told this person I had no plans to put him on the blog, but when things turned uber south, he specifically said, 12 year old style, "Fine. I hope you put me on your stupid blog, too."

Well... I only aim to please.
It all began when a certain friend gave Juan my phone number...because he was bored.  This resulted in multiple text messages before asking me to dinner.  
Dinner, partly due to a failure by the host, began awkwardly.  We were led to a table that was intended to seat about nine people.  I sat down first on one side of the table, after which he sat down... at the opposite end of the gigantic table.  Naturally, all I could do is scooch all the way around to his side like a moron.
The conversation was focused primarily on what he was doing for work, his goals for the future (including how many cars he would have and the live-in maid he would get,) and how he was trying to learn to be more proper...including table manners.  At one point, I used a clean napkin to wipe up a puddle of water the waitress had left by my glass.  He stopped mid-sentence to say, "Um... Don't bus your own table."  Evidently I was to continue my meal, ignoring the lake on the table beside me.

A few days later, he came over to watch movies with some friends.  He sat on the LoveSac next to me and asked if he could play with my hair.  He did. For an hour.  Then he asked if we could trade places because that arm was getting tired. So we did. And he played with it for the next hour.  When we put in another movie, I specifically moved to a couch without an empty seat next to it and laid my head on the arm.  He somehow managed to find a spot on another couch that would allow him to reach across the gap to my head... and play with my hair for two more hours.  
I had to wash it three times to get the grease out.

During our brief acquaintance, there were a few conversations that were a little off-putting.  One day he texted me to ask what was I was doing.  I happened to be at the gym at the time.  When I told him this, he said, "Oh, good! Do you plan to go to the gym every day when you're married?" Uhmmm... I responded that although I plan to remain active, at some point my primary focus would be my family.  He responded,
"Well, my wife will need to make working out a priority." 
It's the least she can do if he's providing her with a home and grocery money.  Duly noted.

Side note: For someone who feels working out is so important, his detestation for sweat is abnormally high.  He likes to run ten miles at a time, but makes sure he drinks no water before beginning in order to avoid sweating, because that would be disgusting.  As one who understands the biology the body, I submit that purposefully dehydrating oneself before that level of exertion is disgusting. To each his own, I suppose.

On another occasion, someone made a comment that they had forgotten to shave their legs.  He turned to me and said,
 "Ugh. That's disgusting. The first thing I'm doing the next time I get married is having my wife completely lasered."  
When I mentioned how selfish and shallow that sounded, he tried to defend it by saying it would be only for her convenience, but later admitted that his intentions weren't quite so sincere.

After several childish conversations, it was finally agreed (I was certain of this very early on) that I would not be his next super-fit, hair-free wife. Though I wouldn't mind the free gym membership...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jimmy (The Wandering Trash Talk Serenader)

This date was 100% the result of a faulty wing man situation.  A quality wing man picks up on the not-so-subtle hints in a timely manner that doesn't allow their Maverick to be faced with an unavoidable last second phone number collection/date proposal after an endless, painfully dry conversation. She knows who she is.
Moving on...

Jimmy knew that I was a recovering Spurs fan and purchased tickets for the Suns/Spurs game... which was six weeks away.  When the appointed date came, I met him after work wearing my Tony Parker jersey.  After an uncomfortable failed attempt at a joke about how hot I looked in it, we were on our way!

When we got to downtown Phoenix, he informed me we would need to find an ATM so he could get cash to pay for parking.  After meandering through the one-way streets for ten minutes, we parked in a lot about 4 blocks from the U.S. Airways Center.  From there we walked two blocks to an ATM (which was two blocks from the center) and back to the car.  Once back in the car, we drove around until we found a parking garage a block from the center.  In the garage, we spiraled downward until I felt nauseated before finally parking.  Following an impossible search for the staircase, he insisted we needed to go down to get to the main level.  This would be a puzzle, seeing how we drove downward as we came in...But who am I? So we went down two flights of stairs where I was proven correct and we started back up.

It was seven flights up to the main level.  He decided this would be a good time to relive his high school days and run football drills up the stairwell. Not kidding.  Gotta give him props. He completely beat me to the top.

We made it to the game halfway through the first quarter, tired and little sweaty.  He proceeded to talk trash... even as my team was completely dominating.  This, however, was the most normal portion of the evening. 

On the way home he decided he was hungry.  Not for dessert.  For an actual meal.  The only problem is that there aren't very many eating establishments open at 11:00 at night.  This didn't stop us from searching the entire city.

During this search, he asked if I like to sing.  I told him I do but only when I'm alone or just goofing off with friends. His response surprised me.

"Would you like to sing something for me?"

"No, I think I'm good.  Thanks, though." He let me know that if I felt more comfortable later on, he wouldn't mind hearing.

It was about that time that he settled on stopping at McDonald's.  We sat at a booth across from a very tired homeless man.  (It was obvious to me that that was the situation.  I soon learned it was not obvious to my date.)  At one point in our conversation, the man leaned over and said,
"How long have the two of you been together?"

I'm sure I looked mortified as I explained that it was our first date.  He replied, "Well, you make a really cute couple."

 Trying not to show my disgust, I made the joke that my date must have paid him to say that.  He chuckled.  Then Jimmy made the painfully ignorant comment:  "I could pay him.  I've got a bunch of cash in my wallet."  Oh gosh. (This man had earlier made a subtle statement that this meal had been a long time coming.)

The cherry on the top of the evening (most of which had been spent driving in circles, walking endlessly and filling awkward silences with even more awkward conversation) was as we were pulling into the parking lot where we had left my car.  Just when I thought I was home free, he says,

"Would you mind if I sang a little something to you?"

He proceeded to sing a church hymn.  I was speechless.  Evidently I took too long to respond as he immediately offered to sing another.  Again I told him that I was all set, exited the car and headed toward my own.  As my hand reached the door handle, he called, "Would you like to go out again sometime?"

I hesitated:

"Ummmm.... maybe."

That meant no.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jerry & Al - (Double Date?)

This post I will preface by saying that I like both of these guys.  They were good friends of mine, but this will always be one of my favorite stories...

Shortly after I'd met these fellas, Al called me up to ask if I would like to go on a double date with Jerry and another girl we'd been hanging out with.  Snow cones and a movie. Sounded fun! I told him I would meet them at his house after work.

A few minutes before I would be heading over, Jerry called to ask if I would like a ride over to Al's.  Hmm. Not thinking much of it, I told him I just planned to meet them all there.

I don't remember why, but on the way to get snow cones, the other girl and I sat in the back and let the guys take the front. (I know, doesn't sound like me at all.) All good so far.

The awkwardness started after I'd ordered my snow cone and both guys pulled out their wallets.  After noticing an uncomfortable look between the two of them, I went to sit down while the guys had a short 'team huddle.'  They came over to the booth a minute later and Al sat next to me while Jerry sat across with the other girl. The rest of the night, while very fun, was filled with some slight tension.

Evidently there had been some miscommunication about who was taking whom on this date.  Both had thought I was with them.

Bless their hearts.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dale - Axe Murderer?

So I'm sure I've mentioned it in other posts, but I always have to wonder when I'm set up on a date by someone who reads this blog if they're secretly hoping to see a post about it.  In this particular case I doubt that's true because there really wasn't anything wrong with the guy... just the scenario.  You'll see what I mean.

About a year ago I had a blind date with a law student from ASU.  I hadn't talked to him much before, but he seemed nice enough when he picked me up. 

After driving for about twenty minutes, I realized I couldn't remember the last time we'd passed a building...or any sign of civilization.  Finally I asked where he was taking me (episodes of Law&Order flashing through my mind.)

He apologetically explained he had planned to go out to the lake to look at the stars with some binoculars he'd gotten.

When we got out to the lake and pulled into the parking lot, he looked around and decided it wasn't dark enough and drove around to the opposite side of the lake. (Okay, maybe he really is going to kill me.)

The sun had set nearly completely when we got out.  He led me to a hiking trail... which we took in the dark for about a half mile.

By this time I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it out of there alive.  Of course, out of politeness, I'd left my phone in his car.  How would my roommates even know where to look for my body?

The rest of the date actually went pretty well.  Toward the end of the evening I did point out that I typically don't hike in the wilderness alone with strangers and he realized how creepy it must have been.  We had a good laugh and he asked if he could take me out again the following week to do something less obscure. (Note: he never did.)

I think of this blind date every time I drive out to that lake. The night I thought I might not come back...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Troy - The Mega Mouth

After graduating from college, I had limited number of friends left in Oklahoma and was looking forward to meeting some new folks.  A couple of guys had moved into the area and I managed to get myself invited to a few game nights.  I'm gonna be honest. I was a little proud of how quickly I'd made friends. Yay me!

One night, after making a joke about how clean my mouth was after visiting the dentist (which **spoiler alert** would later lead to my demise) I was invited to another of these game nights.  Everyone was meeting at his office... which had a perfect room for games and a projection screen.

I arrived at the office at the appointed time.  Just me.  A few minutes later, he pulled up in his truck and apologized for being late.

Then came the next apology.

"Hey, sorry! I totally forgot to invite the others."
Uh... Is this a trap?!
He decided it would be less awkward for us just to go back to his place to watch a movie or something.

Yes. This is a trap.
Upon arriving at his apartment, I was relieved to find that his roommate was home.  This was a  "problem," however, because the roommate (whom I knew well and was fairly certain wouldn't have cared) "wouldn't want us there."

The solution? Grab a game and a few movies and head back to the office. Alone. Of course we should only take his car... why would I need mine?

No doubt about it. Trap.

At the office we kicked things off with a game of Scrabble. No harm there. Good clean fun. Then he pulled out the four movies he had chosen.  Of course they were all creepy thrillers.  After all, no trap would be complete without a scary movie!
We settled on one and I left the room for a moment.  I came back to find a dark room with him on a blanket on the floor. I joined him on the opposite side of the blanket.  He left briefly, the point of which I can now assume was to smoothly sit closer when he returned and slip his arm around me.


A few minutes after the movie started, I turned slightly to ask him a question. 

Bad move. 

If only I'd known that would be my last gasp of air for a very long time.  That kid latched onto my face before I had a clue what was going on.

Without details I'll just say that the next while was filled with me defending my own virtue, trying not to get swallowed and begging to just watch the movie.  To this day I haven't seen "Edward Scissorhands" all the way through.  (Yes, that's really what we were watching.)

When the movie finally ended I awkwardly rode back to his apartment and tried to avoid any bad follow-up kissing on the way to my car.

Talking to him later I found out he had hoped to actually date me.  By this time I wasn't interested.  Perhaps I should take a little more time making friends in the future.

Word to the wise, gentlemen: Just ask the girl out.  It'll probably work better than tricking her into a date-like scenario and assaulting her face for two hours.

Advice to the ladies: Don't tell a boy you just went to the dentist.  They get these ideas...