Guys, I am 28 years old. You would think that the days of worrying about whether or not my date can drive, pay his own bills, and not live in his momma’s basement would be behind me.
I actually remember my very first date. I was old enough to drive but broke enough to not have my own car. As was my soon-to-be boyfriend. So on our first date, we both got dropped off at the movie theatre- me by my roommate/bff and him by his aunt (he showed up 15 minutes late mind you so the chit chat happened as we ran to get to the movie before the previews start). That meaningful 10 seconds of out of breath conversation was capped at the end of the date by his aunt waiting outside the theatre as we walked out of the movie. I mean it was some riveting 30 seconds of discussion we were having about watching Transformers.
Our second date only amped up the awkward. My roommate, aka team mom, again drove me to the theatre. However, this time the boy-toy didn’t have a ride either. So we swung by to pick him up. Now if you think through the logistics of how to make this work there was no way to win. If I sat in the front seat and he in the back, then he’d be third wheeling it with me and the bff until we got there. But would he sit in the front seat? Then I’d be third wheeling it on my own date. So we did the next logically awkward thing you could think of.
We both sat awkwardly together in the back seat while my best friend chauffered us to the movie theatre. At 18 and 19 years old. I still remember my internal eye rolls at the situation and thinking I need to get my life together before the next date.
But hey, that’s just what goes with the territory of dating when your voice is still cracking, your face still breaking out, and your main financial priority being how you are going to pay for the new video game system or the next round at Taco Bell. None of us had steady jobs, cars, and certainly no suave.
But I’m 28
Honestly, sometimes I am more serious about dating than other times. Sometimes online dating for me is like scrolling through Facebook. I just keep scrolling/swiping to see all the ridiculous things people post and then realize halfway through scrolling/swiping that I passed something meaningful that caught my eye and I can’t exactly remember what it was.
But other times I do take it more seriously, I promise. But taking it seriously can make it pretty frustrating. I almost hating dating apps that have criteria set on them because as soon as I go and set my criteria there are suddenly not a lot of fish in the sea. There are two sardines. And one of them lives in his momma’s basement. As long as I leave all the criteria open-ended I can pretend that the smoking hot guy isn’t actually 5’7 and looking for a non-monogamous friend to smoke with.
But back to the story, being 28 and in the wonderful world of online dating, I have come across some real characters. I never forget though when I came across this AMAZING man. Tall, dark, and handsome. Just how I like them. As we started chatting I realized we had a lot in common. Similar family upbringing, faith, parents in ministry, having big families, born in different countries- me in Japan and him in Kenya. Great job, smart, no serial killer vibes that I could pick up on (and BELIEVE me that’s a thing). And best of all he seemed normal (as normal as you can be I suppose ).
We set a date and a time and then when it came time to pick a location he asked me to pick. Seeing as he had only been in town a few short weeks, I had no issue telling him some of the best places around that he might enjoy checking out. Asked if he wanted to do coffee or dinner or a movie or do something more active.
“I don’t care baby. I want to do whatever you like”
First of all, I very well may be alone in this, but I have never quite wrapped my brain around how some dude I have never met and only interacted with briefly over text thinks it makes sense to call me “baby”, “my queen”, “babe” etc. Like, in my mind, if you don’t know my last name yet, you probably shouldn’t be calling me by pet names. Am I alone in that? K thats fine.
Second of all, aren’t girls supposed to be the indecisive ones who can’t make up their minds about where they want to eat (mind you I’m not that girl and if the question comes up we are getting burgers and ice cream, end of story)? But I couldn’t even get a straight answer out of this guy about what he liked to do. Did he drink coffee? Does he even eat food?? Is he secretly paralyzed from the waist down that taking him to mini golf would be cruel and unusual punishment??
I tried to push for an answer and when I did is when the truth came out.
The reason that dude didn’t want to decide what to do was that he wanted me to figure that out and pick him up on the way to doing whatever it was that I wanted to do.
Now my faulty assumption at the age of 28 is that if I am going on a date with a guy anywhere remotely close to my age, that he will show up to the date on his own. I don’t typically invest any time thinking on how dude gets TO the date. Bus, train, car, skateboard. Whatever. I literally do not think about it for one moment.
Until the first time, I get asked to pick him up from his house before our date and drive him back after.
…….Honestly, at first I thought he was joking. I mean we live in the day of uber and lyft (something that would have come in really handy on that very first date of mine). We also have public transportation, borrowed cars, or even feet. Not saying he needed to walk to our date but it was a mile from his house. I know because he sent me his address so that I could pick him up…
Now I feel like dating, and life, is made up of key choices (wait for the story about the date where I made some REALLY bad ones). What you choose to do in those moments is very important. I like to think that I am a nice person. Most of the time. If you ask the right people… So, I did what any person who has a hard time saying no would do.
I agreed to pick him up
As the day of the date approached, things got weirder. He began to tell me about his modeling experience and sent me pictures of him in his backyard and asked me to pick which ones he should send in to the modeling agency… What? Ummmm… No, what?? Started telling me how he wanted me to meet his mom when I picked him up.
Some of the story he painted so eloquently at first started to fall apart.
When he said he:
1) left a good job behind in North Dakota
2) Had a good job lined up here that he was waiting to start
3) Had moved out with his family to help them as they start a new venture
1) He quit working at the North Dakota version of Burger King because…
2) He had someone from LA ask him to be a model (even that was interesting because his modeling offer sounded an awful lot like those checks that come in the mail saying you inherited a million dollars from a rich uncle)
3) He had always lived at home with them and they sold the house so he decided to go with them because he wasn’t deeply rooted to flipping burgers.
Generally speaking, with a few exceptions, I am willing to give anyone a shot. One shot. But the more that I started to think about it the more that I did not feel comfortable with the situation (which safety is on my list as a definite exception). So, I kindly told the guy that I didn’t feel comfortable picking him up and dropping him off for the date but that I was happy to still get coffee or dinner and see where it goes from there.
I kept picturing it in my head.
I drive up to his house, knock on his door, tell his mom I’ll have him back in time for jeopardy and that she has nothing to worry about, he’s safe with me (insert eye roll). Now in best case scenario, we have a great time and the drive back to his house at the end of the date is not weird. I just walk him to his door to make sure he gets home safe and kiss him goodnight on the porch as his mom watches diligently through the slats of the blinds to make sure I don’t take advantage of her little boy.
On the other hand, coming up with a scenario where you are trapped in a car with a guy from a bad date is not difficult. My not so creative imagination can come up with a 100 of those. I’m pretty sure a few episodes of CSI or Law and Order could also help me come up with a few more…
Because I decided against picking him up for the date, the date never happened. Perhaps I could have ordered him an Uber and this would have been a “they lived happily ever after” kinda tale but… In the words of Fat Amy ” Sometimes I also think I should do crystal meth and then I think…. mmmmm betta not”
So now at 28 years old I will always wonder just how the guy is going to get to out date