Last Fall I was getting pretty tired of the whole online dating thing and I started to wonder to myself why couldn’t I just be out somewhere and meet the man of my dreams in real life? I mean people meet each other all the time, why couldn’t it happen to me? Well, I guess you should be careful what you wish for because shortly after those thoughts passed through my head I met someone in the checkout line at Canadian Tire.
First of all, let me set the stage. It was the week before Christmas and Canadian Tire had some big screen TVs on sale. I had been wanting one for a couple of years so I decided to splurge and get myself something for Christmas. The sale started at 7am or something ridiculous like that so I decided that I would go after I dropped my youngest at school. As I wasn’t working at the time, I was dressed in yoga pants with my hair in a pony tail and no make-up (no shower either for that matter).
I was standing at the cash with my giant TV and the guy behind me just starts chatting with me. We probably chatted 5 minutes while waiting in line. Once I paid for my purchase, the cashier asked me if I needed any help getting the enormous TV into my car. As I had recently hurt my arm, I said yes. The guy behind me quickly offered to help so I said yes to his help instead.
He followed me out to my car after paying for his purchase and graciously helped me load the TV into my car. (OK, he put it in the car, I held the door.) We continued to chat and all the while I am thinking to myself how am I going to get the TV out of my car and into my house with my sore arm? so I did something completely out of character, I asked a stranger to come to my house and help me unload my brand-new TV. Under normal circumstances I would never have invited him to my house but desperate times call for desperate measures. I only live a few minutes from the Canadian Tire so he agreed to come over.
The whole drive to my house I am wondering what the hell am I doing… who invites someone to their house to help unload their TV after chatting with them for 10 minutes? Anyway, everything was fine, he was a gentleman. We chatted for a little longer and then I really wanted him to leave as the whole thing felt awkward and I was feeling self-conscious. I offered him my phone number and before long we went on our first date.
It wasn’t much of a date really. He took me to Subway (I know, pretty fancy for a first date), and then we went Christmas shopping for some last minute items. I was a little concerned when he bought a BB gun for his 5 year old nephew. His family hunts so that is different than what I am used to but I thought that 5 was pretty young for a gun, especially when the recommended age on the box was 10. Then my date proceeded to tell me that his nephew’s Mother wouldn’t be happy about the BB gun but he bought it anyway… This is already the beginning of the end. First, I didn’t like the fact that he was buying a 5 year old any type of gun and second, I definitely didn’t like the fact that he was disregarding the Mother’s feelings or concerns, but I have a 3 strike policy for dating and this was only 1, perhaps 2 strikes. So after we were done shopping we went back to my place to watch a movie (I know, but he already knew where I lived). The movie was good and the evening ended with a little making out on the couch but nothing too far.
Then Christmas came and I went out of town for a week so we just texted each other. One of the texts that he sent me said something to the effect of he wanted to be the one to hold my hair back when I was sick, be the one for me to lean on and on like that. I was already feeling unsure about this guy but then this just seemed like too much, too soon. I mean we only went out once. When I finally got back home I decided to go out with him one more time as a test to see if there really was nothing or if I was judging him too quickly.
On the second date, he showed up in his plain brown Stanfield’s t-shirt that was too small for him. And not too small in a good way. I had dressed up as this was a date and the best he could do was a brown t-shirt that was too small… things were not off to a good start. He took me to a Chinese food buffet, the scary kind with the questionable clientele. And after dinner we had planned to go to a movie, but he told me he brought his hard drive with some movies on it so we went to my place instead. Of course, when he hooked up his hard drive to my laptop, all of his porn was completely there for the world to see. We picked a movie (not porn) as I started to devise my exit strategy. Of course he wanted to make out on my couch instead of watch the movie but I put him off as much as possible.
Afterwards, somehow the conversation turned to our future so I decided to take the plunge and ask him if he really thought we were a good match for each other. He was pretty sure we were but after seeing the look on my face he asked me what I thought. I told him I really didn’t think we were a good match. He asked me if I wanted him to lose my number and I said “I kinda do.”
This whole scenario is completely out of character for me. I never invite strangers to my house 10 minutes after meeting them and I am never so blunt when telling someone I don’t want to see them any more But the reason I didn’t pull any punches was that I didn’t want to be misunderstood, he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed so I just said it.
That exchange pretty much ended the date so he packed up his stuff and I escorted him to the door. As soon as he left I saw his glasses on my coffee table so I had to call him to come back and pick them up. He was quite surprised when I met him at the door with his glasses. He thought that I was calling him back to have sex with him. Yep, he thought that someone who had just asked him to leave was calling him back to have sex with him. I meet all of the winners.
Now online dating doesn’t really seem worse than meeting people in real life :).