Online Dating Encounters Gone Wrong

by Logan Sachon – theawl.com

A word of warning here. Most of these are slightly funny. And then, are a bit disturbing. It just goes to show you that spending 4 minutes with someone at a Speed Date could really have avoided all this.

The Strange

• She told a story about her marine biology internship and about a pack of manatees they once found in the water off Key West. She really loved manatees, and eventually she jumped from her boat into the water and landed on a manatee. But the manatee was actually dead, and the body ended up falling apart and she was covered in dead manatee slime and someone had to fish her out and clean her up. After some words of consolation from me about how fucked up that experience must have been, she told me she made it up, and every other story she had told me that night, because she likes making up stories. It was an amazing WTF moment and I never talked to her again.

• I got walked out on on a date that seemed like it was going fairly well because I said I didn’t like french fries. I am still baffled by it.

• The date where the self-identified “artist” revealed her day job was working as a prison guard, and she spent much of our afternoon on a mumbled, paranoid rant about an anonymous “them” who were on the verge of their incipient take over of everything we hold dear. She wore mirrored wrap-around sun glasses. She ordered $75 worth of lunch, which she wouldn’t touch because she was sure it was contaminated.

• My date ‘encouraged’ me to share the €100 steak for two. It was delicious, but he proceeded to pick out every single piece of fat from his mouth and made a pile of it on the side of his plate. I was so grossed out I couldn’t bring myself to ask what the problem was. By the end of dinner it looked like he’d spit out more than he’d ate.

• I went back to the person’s place after a concert and unwittingly served as passive-aggressive muscle for a drug deal. It was perilously close to that scene from Boogie Nights.

• My worst case dating scenario… was actually not all that bad. But when the conversation turned to “future plans” the guy could not tell me much beyond how many dogs he wanted to own at some future time. He wanted to own thirty dogs. He had their names and breeds picked out already. At the time he owned no dogs at all.

• I went out with a guy in his 30s who told me within the first hour of the date that: he didn’t have a bank account, had never filed taxes, worked on a drug farm, and paid with his “green card” aka pot for goods and services in the neighborhood.

• Nowhere on her profile did it say anything about her being an acid casualty and ketamine dealer.

• He spent one-third of the time telling me about the musical he was writing about raccoons, one-third of the time talking about C++, and one-third of the time demonstrating the plot of Othello using the salt and pepper shakers.

• The seemingly bohemian alt industrial-music dj was still enough of a “nice jewish girl” that she insisted our first meeting be a dinner with her mother at an Italian chain restaurant in the Valley.

• I am pretty good at not going out on dates unless I am fairly certain that I have picked someone I am at least a little compatible with, but at one point, I ended up going out with a girl to a cafe, where she had secretly invited her friends, who, it turns out, were mostly just AA buddies, and the next thing I knew, I was at an AA meeting. I don’t really drink much, and I don’t really have a problem with it, and I didn’t really know the girl very well, and I didn’t want to be there. While I am sure it was great for her, it was just not where I expected to be on a first date.

• I can’t even begin to rehash the details, but the guy drove a Fiesta as if it were a Ferrari, had a facial twitch that I’m pretty sure can be seen from space, had favorite hobbies along the lines of watching History channel documentaries, and disapproved of my eating of croutons in my salad. Because of carbs.

• I went on a date with an otherwise cute girl who wore a “Trogdor the Burninator” shirt and said at least one 4chan meme to me, unprompted, out loud.

• I once went out with someone who, within an hour of meeting me, told me that his ultimate fantasy was to date a replicant.

• Went on two dates. Girl followed me on twitter. Girl randomly started replying and cursing at my tweets.

• This guy commutes to the city from Connecticut, which I never really get (why not just live in New York?). I suggested that he must really treasure his vegetable garden or something in order to put up with 2.5 hours/day on Metro- North. He told me that when he bought his house, he hired a landscaper to tear everything out and replace it with gravel. “Like a prison yard?” I asked. He called me a hippie for growing my own vegetables.

• My dates “catch phrase” was a quote from Seinfeld. I love TV, so I thought that was a good sign. When we meet, I start to talk about Seinfeld and he tells me he doesn’t watch tv and doesn’t even own one.

• A young woman and I got along pretty well in the bar where we’d agreed to meet, but things went downhill when we decided to get dinner at a nearby restaurant. Our server brought us a bread basket that my date grabbed three of four rolls from and then started playing weird games with. Like, she would scoop dough out of a roll, pound it into a little ball, and then put it back in the basket! She would then fill the little remaining crust-boat with olive oil, take a bite from it, and refill it. Eating is cool. Playdough, less so.

• My online date was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. She never mentioned that prior to our meeting. True, I swear. My first words on our date were: ‘Pardon me, but are you pregnant?’ A gay friend of hers, it turns out, had inseminated her with a turkey baster, or so she said. When I asked what she was doing on a blind date when she was going to give birth in two weeks she said: ‘The baby has me; I want someone.’

• A poet offered to pick me up for dinner and a movie. I accepted, and that’s where everything went wrong. For dinner, we went to Ikea for a $5 platter of Swedish meatballs. NO I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS. And the movie? The movie was one of those free movies-in-the-park, and it just so happened to be Spongebob Squarepants and the park was full of children. I hate Spongebob Squarepants. On top of that, he only packed a very small blanket and asked why I hadn’t brought a blanket for myself (um, because I thought we were going to a theater?).

• A guy said how great it was that I was a “mommy,” and when I explained that I was more a mom than a mommy, and a bit about my parenting philosophy about trying to make my then-young son more independent, he corrected me. “You’ll always be a mommy,” he told me. “That’s the gift you got when you had your son.” Not only was he totally infantilizing me with his gross Ronny Reagan virgin-mother bullshit, and presuming to explain for me my place in the world (without having met me) but he wasn’t fucking listening. I explained, nicely, why it bugged me, and he said he was glad he found out early how ugly I was on the inside.

• I met a guy for coffee. As we were sitting outside of the coffee shop enjoying some nice conversation he told me how he was working on writing some music. He then proceeded to sing, very loudly, his current endeavor in song writing. It was about killing unicorns (and no he was not being ironic). I kept making, “oh that’s nice,” “okay,” sort of comments and he just kept singing louder and louder.

The Super-Speed Dater

• We were supposed to meet at a coffee shop at 3pm. He was ten minutes late, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem. In line, we ran into an old coworker of his, they chatted. We ordered coffee, and decided to drink our coffees while strolling through the farmer’s market next door. We walked the length of the farmer’s market, and when we reached the end, he asked if I wanted to talk more. I said yes. He said “great, well, nice to meet you. Bye!” And then he walked away. I looked at my watch — 3:30pm. I was completely stunned! When I got home, I had an e-mail from him saying that we didn’t have any “chemistry.” Chemistry, really? After twenty minutes? Asshole.

Captain Pretentious

• Dude talked for several hours nonstop about his multi-discipline art project, which was based solely on an experience his father had 40 years ago. It was the only thing he talked about, no exaggeration, for 70% of the date. He asked me what I do creatively and I told him (succinctly) that I obsessively document everything. He snorted dismissively and said “Don’t you think that’s a little self- absorbed?” And then he pulled the classic hipster “I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, but I’m really into ____” except IT WAS ALL THE MOST COMMON, MAINSTREAM STUFF EVER. Really? You don’t know if I’ve heard of Miles Davis? You think there’s a chance I’ve never heard of Wes Anderson? Oh, cool, I’m totally humbled to meet the person who introduced quiche to this previously bereft-of-quiche metropolitan area of 7 million people.

The Dates That Didn’t Even Happen

• I had a woman cancel on me by claiming a wild dog killed her pet cat the night before we were supposed to meet. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but the message came to me by text, less than an hour before the date. It was was also her last communication before she admitted that she was still in the middle of something with a boy and would I kindly not contact her again. This followed weeks of correspondence/mixtape e-mailing/etc.

• No actual dating resulted from this, but one opening message sent to me was just “Asian?” because yes, that is my race in my profile. I didn’t respond, so 1–2 weeks later he recontacted me with “Are you full Asian?” like the only thing preventing our connection was my lack of understanding his first question.

• One woman thought it would be funny, before our first meeting, to call me a 7:00 am and pretend to be an Asian massage parlor shaking me down for money.

• He talked about burning man for an hour, then got into the ‘truth’ about 9/11. When we left the bar, he said he would ‘treat us to donuts,’ but he only bought one (which he picked) and gave me a chunk. After he took a bite. I’m sure he’s a nice guy.

Google It

• He had an unusual first name, and a relatively obscure profession, I found him pretty easily. I googled his name, and found a bunch of amazon wish lists and accounts on sci-fy nerd discussion boards. Hmm, I thought, not really my type, but I guess a love affair with superman isn’t THAT big a deal? So then I saw a link to a Vanity Fair article about the Menendez brothers. That’s weird, I thought, as I clicked. Turns out my potential online date murdered his father when he was a teenager, and as a cover up, had concocting a complicated plot involving foreign assassins. The plot was plausible enough to garner worldwide media attention after his father was killed. Of course, police eventually discovered it was my date who killed his father, he was tried for first degree murder, and defended by the attorney who went on to defend one or both of the Menendez brothers (hence his mention in the article). My date was ultimately convicted of involuntary manslaughter (his mother and sister testified that the father was a violent and sadistic abuser), and served no prison time. Eventually, his life led him to eharmony and to me.

The Massive First Date Overshare

• A guy had a bedbug bite on his wrist, and he was like “I think this is a bedbug bite??” Although ultimately he could probably have told a worse story about me that night.

• A good friend of mine walked into the bar with his girlfriend, spotted me and came over to say hi. Names were exchanged and, realizing I was on a date, he wrapped things up quickly and went and sat down in another part of the bar. As soon as they were out of earshot, my date says, “God, I can’t believe that people are ok with doing that”. I thought she was saying that she considered my friend coming over and chatting for all of five minutes was rude, so I started to defend his behavior. “No, no, no”, she cut me off, “ I don’t get how anyone could be with someone that’s not the same race as them.” That’s right! My friend’s were an interracial couple and my date was a stone cold racist. It’s also worth noting, this is the one and only time I’ve ever used the, “I have to go to the bathroom” trick to cut and run on someone.

• Dude who had never met a real-life Jewish person before me and thought feminism was bullshit because ‘all the feminist girls in school hated him because he had sex,’ and then went on to talk — at length — about all the sex he had in school. He was 29.

• He wore a pink polo shirt (collar popped) and worked in finance. He talked with prime rib in his mouth and told me he could use some “BJ action”. That was that.

• Was on a so-so date with a guy at a bar in Hollywood, and we started talking about meditation, which I had mentioned being a fan of in my profile. He said he’d been a practicing Buddhist for a long time, but that now he was onto something new. At that moment he asked if I’d like another glass of wine, and the conversation was getting slightly more interesting, so I said sure. When he got back from the bar, he launched into his new thing, which was… Scientology. (Yes, it’s Hollywood, but I didn’t see it coming.) The switch in my brain flipped from “this is a man I am evaluating for sex purposes” to “I will now use this opportunity to find out everything I can about an insane cult from a man who would like to get in my pants”, so I spent the next thirty minutes or so asking questions about what it entailed, how he got into it, what he believed, etc. Topics discussed: the auditing process, past life regression, being reduced to hysterical sobbing during a session of some kind, Earth as a repository for lost souls, superior alien societies. It was fascinating, I have to say, but it was also profoundly depressing.

• My first online date was with a guy for coffee on a Monday evening at a coffee shop just down the block from my apartment in Philadelphia. The day before there had been a particularly bad Eagles game on and the whole city was pretty much calling for Donovan McNabb’s head, which I still Love McNabb, but whatever. Not even within five minutes of sitting down to drink the coffee, my date went on a 15 minute rant about “that n-word McNabb” and how having a black quarterback is the reason the Eagles can’t win. I was disgusted, obviously, and just completely shocked that this guy would come at me with such racist bullshit within 5 minutes of meeting. I spilled my coffee and said, Oops, guess that means I should go. And left.

• Went out on two fine dates — not magical, but fun. He emails to break up with me because he can tell I’m out of his league. (I’m not, except in terms of mental health, apparently.) He tells me I should enjoy the exquisite chocolates he had ordered for me for Valentine’s Day before he decided to break it off. They arrive, and I do enjoy them! I still have the red velvet box. Anyway, after V-Day he calls and says that he acted too hastily and that he *does* want to go out again, if I’ll give him another chance. I think, what the hell, I have done one or two insecure things in my time, I should give the guy a break. So, we go out again, we’re sitting at a bar, and about 10 minutes into the conversation, he leans in to ask earnestly “Where is this relationship headed?” At that point I had the presence of mind to say, “Nowhere, I’m afraid.”

• I think the worst was this guy who really wanted to go out on a particular night, the night I volunteer at a cat shelter. So I told him I couldn’t, but how about the next day? He agreed, but he was already mad at me so he said he’d meet me for ONE DRINK. So I meet him at a bar, and he proceeds to be very very silent. Well, not completely. First he says, “I thought you’d have a Spanish accent. You’re barely Hispanic.” OK, white guy. Go ahead and tell me what I am. I try to have a conversation with him about the interests he listed in his profile, but it’s like pulling taffy (I imagine. I never pulled taffy). So I try the usual: What do you do? He gets angry and says, “Why do you women always want to know what people do?” OK, I move on. “Where did you grow up?” He responds, “Somewhere near Philly.” And that’s it. I ask him if he has any siblings, and that was the question. “I have one brother, but I don’t talk to him anymore because his daughter is one of those goddamn LESBIANS.” OK! Then my drink is done and he says, “You want another drink?” I said, “You said one drink only! So I’m gonna go!” I can’t believe he wanted to have another drink with me. Maybe this was a good date for him. He actually emailed me and asked for another date, and then emailed me again after I said no, asking me to explain in detail why I didn’t want to go out with him again.

How You Start Thinking: Maybe It’s Me?

• I once got my fingernail stuck in my date’s blonde curly Sammy Hagar weave trying to brush snow from his hair. I went on a date with a blind guy — he ended up PHONE STALKING me for months, MONTHS. He sang songs on my answering machine, either telling me how he deserved another chance or telling me what a huge bitch I was. I had another guy phone stalk me telling me that “I am going into politics and need a wife and I decided that it should be you!” and didn’t stop calling me until I let another man answer the phone. I met men who told me they were single and then three dates in told me they were married. I met a man who said he was 45 but was probably 70. I met a man who showed up faking an English accent, wearing satanic goat-head jewelry, and wearing a girdle — I only know about the girdle because the cops shook him down. Since I am the common denominator in all these disastrous dates, I think the problem is me. I must have had a terrible screening process.

Folks Who Can’t Stop Texting and Calling

• I met an attractive woman i’d been speaking to online. We went to a martini bar on Bowery and proceeded to have three (i think) pretty damn strong drinks. We got in a cab to go to her place, and attacked each other in the back seat of it, groping a bunch. We got back to her place, and she asked me up. I declined, on account of it being the first date. She texts me as I’m walking back to the subway. I ignore it, figuring I’ll get back to her in due time. By the time I get home, I have 6 voice mails, starting flirtatious, and declining into her crying and screaming “why are you ignoring me!?” Keep in mind, we’re talking maybe over a course of half an hour. I waited until the next morning to e-mail her telling her that I didn’t think it was going to work out.

• I met a guy online and we started talking, which eventually moved onto Skype (pretty quickly, because we seemed to get along well). However, this soon — in less than a week — turned into long, drawn out conversations about our hypothetical (although to him, not hypothetical) future together, including children, holiday plans, and disturbing things he wanted to do with breast milk.  He still texts me from time to time to this day and I haven’t responded in 6 months.

Sneaky Secrets

• I got a message from a guy on a dating site in which he sounded really great. Smart, funny, etc. So I go to check out his profile, and am smacked in the face by his photo. He is the identical twin of a good friend of mine. The two of them live together, but because they’re both so busy I’d never met this twin, and he had no clue I already knew his brother. We dated for several months, and my friend/his brother still doesn’t know how we met.

• Realizing that the beautiful woman I went to hook up with was a drunken, mentally handicapped immigrant with a husband/caretaker who wanted to watch. I mean,  C’mon.

The Nonconsexual Polyamorist

• I’m sure that this isn’t even all that horrible by online dating standards, but one potential date took like FOREVER to finally pin down on a date — I’m talking 3 or 4 months of back and forth and scheduling and health problems and whatever. Anyway, we finally go out (I pay and also drive to the other end of town to pick her up). I ask her out again and she says yes (I paid and drove again). Again a 3rd time at a really nice place for her birthday (yup, I paid and drove). Again a 4th time (we split the bill but I still drove). And still not even so much as a kiss. So at the end of date 4 when I’m wondering aloud when we are gonna maybe lock lips, she gets all surprised and tells me she that I thought that she knew that she already had a boyfriend, and she thought we were just going out as friends.

The Glass is Half Full-ish!

• We met at a popular coffee shop / bar. He talked about his (recently) ex-wife the whole time, with breaks where he’d answer calls from his mom. I mean, like, FIVE calls from his mom. He drank about five beers, and then announced that he’d forgotten his wallet. The upside was that he was a clerk at a video store I frequented, so I got some free rentals out of the deal.

Asking For A Ride Home Is Not A Good Look

• The guy was clearly ten years older than he said he was online, wouldn’t stop with the male-gaze, ASKED FOR A RIDE HOME after the date, and then when dropping him off (which I could not do fast enough), told me to come on in, because his girlfriend was out of town that weekend. I peeled rubber out of the driveway and I haven’t been on an online date since.

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