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Dating Under the Influence

Having been more than a month since The Boyfriend and I split, I thought the time was right to start dating again.

After all, the last First Date I went on was in 2004 (with The Boyfriend, obviously).  It involved me confusing “sake glasses” with “shot glasses," resulting in intoxication that has been matched only by those needing rehab.  Clad in a bright pink bra and strapless Juicy Couture terrycloth mini-dress (yes, I know, classy), I actually turned cartwheels on the dance floor of Hiro.  No, seriously.  I did.

It’s shocking The Boyfriend agreed to see me a second time.

Anyway, I'd forgotten how truly funny First Dates can be.  Sometimes Funny Good, sometimes Funny Bad, but hopefully Funny Enough for a Decent Story.  I think my date last Friday falls into the last category, but it could have easily made the middle one if not for my spectacular sense of humor.  :)  You know you're in for a bizarre evening when your date starts calling himself Howard Roark.  Er ... right.

The complete date is in today's AM column - or read below (it continues after the jump):

SEPTEMBER 25, 2006

The funny thing about being single again is that all my eagerness to go on first dates has been rapidly replaced by the realization that these events are only valuable insomuch as they provide me with a ridiculous story to tell.

Since I’m a big fan of Ridiculous Stories (note my career choice), I have no problem with such dates.  I happily subscribe to the philosophy espoused by my friend, the comedian and professional recovering frat-boy Aaron Karo – AFS: Anything For a Story.

My date last Friday night falls firmly in that category.
Admittedly, The Guy started off with emails so farcical, he instantly rendered himself AFS Material.  “Julia,” he wrote, “Certain of my friends thought you'd be a good person for me to talk dirty to ...  at the very least, you’ll be entertained.  What do you say we meet for a drink to start?”

To start?  To start what??  Talking dirty?  Um, hold up there, stud.

The ill-advised subject heading of his next missive wasn't much better: “Let’s grab pizza and sex next Wednesday night.”  (Note to future dates: Do not insinuate that girl is a ho before meeting her to confirm such facts.)

He explained that normally he wouldn’t be so forward, but “Conquering a dating columnist has to be one of the ultimate achievments [sic], and may require unconventional tactics....”

Conquering?  Oh dear god.  Even if you were actually thinking something that ludicrous, why would you EVER write it??  With a spelling mistake, no less!

It’s not a coincidence that The Guy works for a hedge fund.

I’m sure I would have blown him off completely, but he was incredibly persistent. I rainchecked and/or canceled on him five times, and the only reason I didn’t reschedule again was that I literally couldn’t.  He was moving to Europe the next day.

I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go on a date that evening.  I did not want to get dressed up.  I did not want to put on makeup.  I did not want to down alcoholic beverages out of boredom.

I wanted to stay home in my PJs and revel in the sheer trashiness of the new book I’d just bought at Barnes & Noble (Bunny Tales, the memoir of a former Hefner Girlfriend - equivalent to 30 copies of US Weekly).

But I couldn’t cancel just hours before the date.  Could I?

Running through the list of excuses (sick, work emergency, dog has asthma), I felt a twinge of guilt.  After all, The Guy had gotten us tickets to The Killers concert, and although I’d never heard any of their songs (there goes my indie music cred), it was his last night in this country.  

Still, I stood in the shower Friday at 6 pm wondering whether, if I called to say I had just broken my ankle, he would try to visit me in the hospital.

I figured he would, so I gave up and just went on the date.  As a preemptive strike, I downed several drinks at the beginning, but not enough to forget him telling me that he could see beyond my “hard shell,” and that he, at 25, was going to prove that “these old guys you’re always dating” were lame.

I just smiled and nodded, enjoying The Guy’s show of amusingly misguided bravado.

That is, until he started kissing me.

I use “kissing” in a loose sense, because what he was really doing could be more accurately described as “jack-hammering his mouth onto mine.”  Now, it’s one thing if your date is a bad kisser.  Fine.  I mean, it’s disappointing, but what can you do?

However, it’s quite another when that Bad Kisser finally lets up jamming his tongue into your mouth and says, “I knew you’d be a good kisser … like me.”

WHAT?!?  He seemed to take my hysterical laughter as an affirmation, which only made me laugh harder.

“You’ve met your match,” The Guy then proclaimed.  Uhh … yeah.  I’ve met something, that’s for sure.

He then informed me that he wanted to go out with me just to see if I was “a genius or a psychopath.”  At this point, I was pretty sure he tended towards one of those categories, and it was didn’t look like the former.

After the concert, I tried to go home, but having mentioned earlier that I just canceled my gym membership, he offered to give me his fitness pass, good till the end of the year (and worthless to him given his impending move).  Because I’m a sucker for free stuff, I reluctantly agreed to go back to The Guy’s apartment to pick it up.

Upon entering, he sat down at his laptop and told me he had a “special song” to play for me.  As the recognizable strains of Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous Girl” filled the room, I couldn’t decide whether to slap him or knee him in the nether regions.

“You know,” I said, “That’s probably not the right song to play ‘in honor’ of the girl you’re trying to get in the mood.  And just FYI, in case you were confused, you’re not even going to come CLOSE to sleeping with me.  In fact, I’m leaving right now.”

At that, he nervously backtracked.

“Oh, I don’t even want to have sex with you tonight,” he lied.  “I’ve already shipped all of my condoms to Europe … But when we do go to bed, it’s going to be amazing.”  I almost choked on my drink.

Thank God for FedEx.

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