Archives for category: You’re Boring

I basically haven’t been able to write anything since the election, which was fine for a few weeks, but now it’s been several months and – it’s time to get my brain together and do some work. So I thought the perfect re-introduction would be the man I spent that fateful election night with.

A few weeks before, I met this man on OKCupid. He seemed perfectly nice and smart, so we met up for drinks. We met at a restaurant in my neighborhood (because, as my readers know, I don’t leave the area for first dates). It was the night of game 7 of the World Series, and we started talking about baseball. He mentioned that he wanted to find a place to watch game 7.

“I actually like baseball,” I said.

“Really?” he asked. “Who’s playing tonight?”

As in, you’re a girl, you can’t possibly like baseball or know what you’re talking about. Prove it.

I called him out, and he said, “Oh, I just wanted to make sure you really were fine going to watch the game.”

I let it go, because we had been having a good time. After all, everyone mansplains sometimes, right? Upon reflection, maybe I need to be more careful about this. I’ve had a lot of mansplaining interactions lately, and really one should probably be unacceptable. I’m nothing if not smart, and any man who talks down to me should get, as my Pop Pop would say, a punch in the nose.

But, smart or not, I let the mansplaining go. We went to get another drink and watch game 7, and then went our separate ways.

A few days later, we went to brunch and had a lovely time. A few days after that, on Election Day, I met up with him after therapy. He had a TV, and I wanted to watch the returns.

“I’m coming from Borough Hall,” I said. “I should be back at Franklin Avenue in 15 minutes.”

“That doesn’t take 15 minutes,” he said.

I was going from my therapist’s office to my home stop. I have made that trip a thousand times. I know exactly how long the trip takes. It’s three stops on the train. But he still felt the need to boss me around.

“I guarantee you it’ll take me 15 minutes. You’re mansplaining.”

“I’m just trainsplaining,” he said, which was kinda funny, if infuriating.

Anyway, I got to where we were supposed to meet exactly on time (in 15 minutes). He wanted to hold hands when I got off the train. We had been on two dates. It was weird and felt like he desperately wanted someone to hold hands with, rather than to hold hands with me. Then he told me boring insider MTA stories for a while, like, about the brakes at different stations.

“Sometime I’ll take you into the control room,” he said.

It was kinda painful. The date was not off to a good start, and it was only 4 pm.

He lived in a really Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. He hadn’t voted yet, so we walked to his polling station and I waited upstairs while he voted. I had a hilarious conversation with an old Jewish man about how the New York Times hated Israel.

“You’re not Jewish,” he said.

“I am,” I said. “But not Orthodox.”

The MTA guy and I met back up after he cast his vote. I insisted we buy wine, although he didn’t really drink. We stopped at the only wine store nearby. There were six shelves of wine from Israel, and a few from France and Spain and Italy. If you were wondering whether you can get a kosher Bordeaux, you can.

Ok, so we went back to his apartment. I drank wine, he had a beer. We talked for a while. The returns hadn’t even started yet. While we still thought Hillary would win, we ordered in Mexican food and, upon my insistence, two more bottles of wine.

“So, when was your last relationship?” I asked him.

“A few months ago,” he said.

I found out that he had a series of year long relationships, all a few months apart. He had gotten married at 22 (I haven’t mentioned that he also had a 5-year-old, but that’s mostly because I tried to forget about it) and had basically been in short-ish long-term relationships since then. Clearly, he was the relationship type – he desperately needed to be with someone. He had met his ex-wife, by the way, on Craigslist.

As we all know too well, the night soon became terrifying, as it seemed less and less likely that there would be a Hillary victory. I got really drunk. Also, I really like politics – I was getting into what was going on, and exclaiming excitedly when something good or bad happened.

He was being more and more standoffish. It was pretty obvious to me that something was wrong; that I was getting on his nerves.

“Listen,” I said. “Are you not having a good time?”

“No, everything’s fine,” he said.

“Seriously, if you’re not having a good time, I can go. Just say something.”

“It’s fine.”

Around midnight, I left so he could go to sleep. He had to work the next day, and I wanted to watch the rest of the votes come in. I went downstairs to wait for an Uber, knowing I’d never hear from him again. He didn’t even have the guts to say, “You know what, it’s true, I’m not really having a good time.” He couldn’t say, “You seem lovely, but I’m not sure this is gonna work out.” Instead, he promised everything was fine.

Which was just the last, annoying straw on top of explaining to me how the Subway worked and a boring day, capped off by a Trump victory. I texted him the next day to say, “So, it happened.” He sent back a sad face, and we never spoke again. As went the fate of America that night, so went the fate of my relationship with the MTA employee. I guess I’ll never get to go on a secret hike on the tracks.

 

I recently changed my Tinder age range to be ages 28-49. I know. I’m 27. That’s absurd. But we all know I have a major thing for older men, so I thought I’d indulge it.

So when I got a message from a guy who was 46 (yes, that’s 19 years older than me, and 11 years younger than my parents, but who’s counting?), I responded.

My Tinder profile says, “I’ll never turn down an oyster.” Which is true. I love oysters. This guy messaged me saying, “Now you have me wanting oysters. When can we get some?”

If you want to buy me oysters, I am always on board. Plus he was pretty cute. Plus he had a beard. And it was gray. So I was in the bag.

We talked for a while. He seemed into the sassy Jewish American Princess type (aka, my brand). It was going well. But then I ran into an issue.

The number one problem with older men is that they often come along with kids. This guy was no exception.

“You don’t have kids, do you?” I asked.

“I do,” he responded. “One. He’s ten. He’s great. Is that a problem?”

It was a problem. But I didn’t say so. After all, it would be kind of fun to be the obscenely young step-mom that no one wants to mention at Thanksgiving. I could try to get the kid to call me “mom,” and then, one day, his father and I would have our own kids, and he’d feel alienated and like his dad had replaced him for a new, younger family. That sounds pretty fun. So maybe I do want to take on a ten-year-old.

Anyway, the Dad suggested we get oysters at Grand Central Oyster Bar (yes, please) and make use of his Yankees season tickets. That sounded like a major time commitment for a first date, but both of those activities were so tempting. I agreed.

And then I had second thoughts.

“How about we do something more casual first?” I suggested. The game wasn’t until Monday, and it was Friday. “I usually take the dog on a walk through the park on Saturdays. How about you join us?”

“Can I bring my camera?” he asked.

I forgot to mention that he was a photographer. Well, a lawyer who primarily identified as a photographer, which is one of my pet peeves – no, you’re not a photographer. You’re a lawyer. Own it. But he had sold photos, and did have a show coming up, which really made him as legitimate a photographer as I am a writer.

I told him he could bring his camera. We made plans to meet at 1 pm the next day.

“This sounds fun,” he said. “I’ll see you then.”

We met up, and he was perfectly good-looking. He was tall, which was a nice surprise – the men of online dating are usually really short. But then he talked, and he had a really annoying voice. I immediately had doubts about our future together.

We walked, we talked. I brought up the full-sour pickles I had been experimenting with for weeks, he mentioned that he really liked pickling okra. It was fine. Whatever. We went into the park. It was a nice day in the shade, although really, really hot in the sun.

Here’s the thing about taking a walk with the dog as a first date. There is literally nothing to do other than talk. Like, not even the quick respite that comes with sipping on your drink, or taking a bite of food, or going to the bathroom. It’s just all talk, all the time.

And he was the worst when he talked.

“I hate when parents reprimand their children in public,” he said.

“Really?” I replied. “So, like, what do you do when your child is kicking an elderly woman on the subway?”

Great, I thought. Another one of those awful parents who doesn’t say no to their child. Or take them out of restaurants when they’re screaming. Lovely. Ten points for this guy.

He insisted on showing me his photographs. Like, over and over and over. And sure, they were fine. A sunrise over the Brooklyn Bridge. Some artsy silhouettes of people walking through a tunnel in Central Park.

Throughout our walk (which was a long, long walk, as I got lost in the park), he kept making really, really not-funny jokes. Soon, I wasn’t even trying to laugh, or smile. I just pretended I hadn’t heard him. Because I didn’t know how to respond to his erudite commentary on people who dipped their fries into ketchup instead of putting the ketchup all over them, or people who ate M&Ms one by one instead of by the handful. It was excruciating.

“I like that we can just be here, and be quiet, and not have to talk,” he said, at one point. We had been walking and I had been ignoring him for a while, by then.

“Yeah,” I said. “I like silence.”

I was starving, and getting cranky. Or, as he said several times, “hangry.” Which wasn’t cute or funny the first time he said it. Don’t worry, though. He repeated it at least twice.

So we dropped the dog off at home and went to get food.

Why, you might ask, didn’t I just ditch him and go home by myself?

Fair question. I guess I was hoping to get a free meal out of it. I mean, the date had been so bad, didn’t I deserve some recompense?

As we were walking to get food, it started raining. Not just raining. Monsooning. It was a serious July-in-New-York thunderstorm, and those don’t mess around. By the time we got to the taco place (the closest food I could think of), I was soaked and very, very cranky. I do not like being wet. I do not like being uncomfortable.

I mentioned that to him. He said, “What? I would never have guessed,” with a clever little smile, as if he knew me inside and out and understood all my little quirks. It was annoying. I ignored it.

The only seats were outside – so rain kept blowing under the awning onto me. It took forever for my food to come. And I was already with an incredibly annoying man. I was not happy. Not. Happy. I didn’t even want to drink, and that’s a major, major red flag, for me.

While we were waiting for our food, he told me several times how much he had enjoyed himself that day, how much he liked me, blah blah. He showed me a few more photographs. I tried to smile. It was difficult.

Finally, after we’d eaten, I extricated myself. I gave him a quick awkward hug good-bye. Then I ran to buy cigarettes and go home to my dog, who never, ever says annoying things.

I sent the guy a nice text message:

“Hey,” I said. “It was nice to meet you, but I think I’m gonna cancel on Monday. I wish you the best.”

A minute later, he responded.

“Yeah, it was cool meeting you and the dog, but I didn’t really feel anything.”

Cute defensive text, dude. Especially after you had just spent half an hour telling me how great of a time you’d just had and how much you liked me.

But whatever. If defensive gets him off, that’s fine with me. As long as I didn’t have to sit through oysters and nine (or ten, or twelve, or fourteen) innings of a baseball game with that annoying ass motherfucker. Be well, dude. Be well.

I’m still kind of sad I won’t get to be the shitty stepmom to ruin his ten-year-old’s life, though. But I’m sure another lucky woman will fill the role almost as well.

 

On every dating site or app, there’s a cornucopia of really, really boring profiles.

On OKCupid, there’s a question that asks “What are the six things you could never do without?” Obviously, it’s meant to be a cute, pithy way to talk about things you like or care about. To demonstrate that you love to knit, for example, or are really passionate about craft beer.

My list, for the record:

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 6.43.01 PM

I figure that represents me pretty well:

I like nice things, like cashmere sweaters. I’m a heavy drinker who prefers whiskey to gin. I’m a writer, and I always keep a small notebook and a nice pen in my purse. I’m feminine, and embrace it with my love for dresses and floral patterns. And I love to read. But, most of all, I love my dog.

There you go. Me in a list.

But way, way too many people’s lists just read: “Family, friends, air, water, food, iphone.” Variations include “the internet” and “my passport.” I’d think it was obvious to any dater that this kind of list says literally nothing about you as a person. That it makes you look fucking boring. And that you care about nothing and have zero interesting shit to talk about. But apparently it works for some people.

Which leads me to the most boring thing.

“I love to travel.”

Well, no shit. Who doesn’t love to travel (full disclosure: I actually don’t, really)?

Traveling is vacation. You’re walking around somewhere unfamiliar with a refreshingly different culture, and have no responsibilities beyond exploring new places and buying handmade pottery.

Saying “I love to travel” is like saying “I enjoy naps” or “I like weekends.” It means nothing, other than that the person writing the profile has nothing more interesting to talk about than the fact that they like having time off and going somewhere new.

So, when men list “my passport” as something they can’t live without, or post pictures of them posing with sedated tigers in Bali, I take that as them saying “I am boring as fuck.” Thanks, but no. Swipe left.

 

 

 

I want to preface this post by saying that I am NOT shitting on people who work in service. I am not shitting on people who hold down regular jobs and are happy to do things that aren’t “prestigious” or “impressive” – in fact, I kind of hate people who are more ambitious than passionate; more into prestige than actually liking what they do.

But I am shitting on this guy.

For the record, and right up front, I will say that this motherfucker cancelled on me.

“I’m just not feeling this,” he said, the afternoon before our date.

And no one fucking cancels on me. He’s missing out on a lot. And by that I mean, I’m a lot, and he may not have been into it, but at least he should have experienced it. Because, who knows? Maybe he’ll never get this much again. This much attitude. This much brilliance. This much class.

Also, I was cuter than him, but, hey, that doesn’t matter (it matters).

Now, let’s back up.

I matched with this gentleman on Tinder. He was pretty cute, my kind of dude – a little chunky, with a beard. And he was wearing a Washington Nationals t-shirt in one of his pictures. So I had a great opener.

“Are you from DC?” I asked. “I see the Nats gear.”

“I am,” he responded. “Go Nats!”

“But DC proper?” I asked.

Because I’m a snob, and it’s important. There are so many people who say, “I’m from DC,” when, like, they’re from Arlington or some shit like that. NUH UH, BITCHES. You’re from the suburbs. I’m from the 202. The land of Marion Barry. Don’t front.

Hennyway, he responded with a beautiful answer.

“Oh yeah, DC proper,” he said. “None of this NoVa or Montgomery County garbage.”

In other words, he got it. This is a man who knew what was important, and that was the Stars and Bars.

sdc35skp_-00_dc-flag-3x5-feet-superknit-polyester

Here’s the DC Flag, for those not in the know.

 

So we chatted. I tried to figure out what he cared about.

He told me he was a big baseball fan, which is nice. He worked as a manager at Trader Joe’s on the Upper West Side, and it was boring, but he hoped to retire doing it. Both of which are cool, but, like, that’s it?

Yeah, it turned out. That was it. He seemed to have zero interest, zero passion, about anything. Besides, like, supporting his local sports team and hawking (very affordable) prepared foods.

And apparently, that apathy extended to me.

I didn’t have high hopes, but I had been looking forward to our date. After all, he was a fellow Washingtonian, and he had a cute beard.

But he cancelled on me.

“My heart’s just not in it,” he said.

And, yes, I am bitter. Because no one cancels on this bitch. Especially when I’m cuter than they are.

 

 

We all know, at this point, that I have a type. Like, majorly have a type. I always have – when I was younger, it was tall, skinny, with dark hair and a beard. Now I’ve shifted to liking a little bit of chunk – something to hold onto, something to cuddle up to. But, other than that, it’s still basically the same – I date tall, hairy, chunky men. It’s predictable.

This guy messaged me on OKCupid. His message was really smart, funny, creative. In one message, he covered camping (hates it) and reality TV (loves it). His profile mentioned that he has a favorite kind of pen. It was so good.

But there was a problem.

He was skinny and couldn’t grow a beard.

Even so, he seemed so perfect that I decided to give it a try. We had amazing text chemistry. He liked the Millionaire Matchmaker. He was on an Old Overholt kick. And he said he liked a woman who was “a challenge.” Everything was trending toward a great fit.

So, we met up for tacos and frozen margaritas. He showed up, and he was good-looking, sure. But I felt like I had a lot more personality than he did. Sure, he was smart. Obviously smart. But he was…boring.

And then it came out.

He went to Harvard.

I have a major, major anti-Ivy bias. Even as a 17-year-old, I knew that I hated the elitism and prestige of an Ivy League school. I hated the idea that people went for the name. I never wanted to feed into the idea that all smart people go to Ivies. I was an A student with exceptional SATs, and I had been captain of a boy’s wrestling team. I could’ve gone wherever I wanted. I could’ve gone to Harvard.

But I didn’t.

When touring schools, my dad and I had this system – we’d stop people at each school and asked what had made them choose it. Everywhere else, people had creative reasons and things they loved about the school. At Harvard, everyone just said, “Well, I got in, and you can’t say no to Harvard.”

Bullshit. I could.

Plus the major Ivy Leaguers – Harvard, Yale, Princeton – are always fucking boring. I know. I’m a major hater. I own it.

Anyway. To be fair to him, this guy wasn’t pretentious. But he clearly felt the same way as those Harvard students I’d spoken to years ago – he wanted the name.

Oh, and he wore a Harvard ring.

Puuuuuuuuke. Puke. Puke. Puke.

I know it’s probably unfair, but the Ivy League thing is something I hate so much that I kind of can’t get past it. Put a hairless, skinny, boring man on top of that? Let’s just say he’s not getting on top of me (Ohhhhhhhh!).

He was so nice. So earnest. And so boring.

Last night, I was bored, so I went on a date with a guy who asked me out on OKCupid. He sent me a really nice, personal message. We met up at my local bar. He bought me a drink.

Ok, so it was a little weird. He told me he didn’t “do small talk.” So when I told him I’d dropped out of school for personal reasons, he asked why.

“It’s pretty heavy,” I said.

“That’s fine.”

So I told him my long ugly sob story. He told me he’d dated a series of girls who had been sexually assaulted. I told him that, in my personal experience, that was the norm, not unusual at all.

He started babbling generic progressive liberal stuff, which ended with, “Basically, straight white men have it easier than everyone else.”

“I mean, doesn’t that go without saying?” I replied. “Isn’t that kind of like saying ‘The sky is blue?'”

“Ok, fair,” he said.

He was blond and short and so sweet and so submissive and so boring.

Then he started talking to me about how his dad has cancer. Blah blah. Heavy. Not so much first date conversation. And, frankly, not the kind of conversation I felt like having over drinks on a Saturday night. So I went outside to smoke a cigarette and texted my friend.

“He’s nice, but kinda boring and the progressive person kind of irritating. Like, I am WAY more interesting than him.”

She immediately took it for the disaster it was.

“Want a call?” she replied. “Boyfriend drunk and hit me?”

Oh man. There’s a reason this woman is my friend. What a sick, sick, beautiful idea.

I told her to call me in 20.

Twenty minutes later, my friend called. She pulled out a great acting job from her theater degree, sobbing on the phone. Her boyfriend had been drunk, she said. He came home and hit her. She’d left without her coat and was at our favorite bar.

“Listen, you stay right there,” I said. “Sit in the corner. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

I hung up the phone and sighed.

“Oh man,” I said. “This friend – Jesus.”

I proceeded to tell him all about my friend’s imaginary abusive relationship.

“What can you do in that situation?” I said. “I mean, all you can do is let her know you think she should leave, and then support her and love her when she doesn’t.”

We had a long intimate chat about abusive relationships in general, and what you can do for a friend caught up in one. His opinion on that was generic and annoying, too.

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I have to go deal with this.”

I went to the bathroom and then walked out, apologizing again, and then headed to a different bar to see some friends.

I’m an asshole. But that’s what you get for being nice and generic and boring, right?

Like many of my stories, this one starts on OKCupid. As I’ve mentioned, I have fairly low standards for responding to messages – basically, literacy and decently good looks. I figure, what’s the loss if he’s not for me? Just a little bit of my time. And hopefully I’ll get some free drinks and, maybe, a good story.

This date, however, was such a non-story that it actually came out the other side to become a good story.

The lovely gentleman in question first appealed to me because he had a full, luscious mustache, and we all know how much I love facial hair. So, he was in, based solely on that criterion.

He was at the bar before me, and had already gotten a drink. When I got there, he didn’t offer to buy mine – which is really fine, but I just like being paid for. But like, I get that me paying for myself is totally normal and decent and not a shit move. I just like the gesture.

So we sat down. I honestly have no idea whatsoever what we talked about. He mentioned “Burroughs,” which I thought was Augusten Burroughs, but he meant William S. Whatevs. Augusten is cooler. Fuck that.

Ok, so this is where it gets good.

I ran into a friend at the bar.

“I’m on a date,” I told her.

“How’s it going?” she asked.

“Fucking horrible.”

We arranged that she’d call me, and I’d tell him that I had to go save her from a bad date – the irony of which does not escape me.

She called. I apologized to him, and told him that I had to go rescue my friend.

“Why doesn’t she just join us?” he asked.

Ugh. Someone did not get the hint.

So we went inside and met my friend. She was sitting at the bar, next to her roommate. At first, I really didn’t want to be a dick. So I stood between my date and my friend, trying to only subtlely exclude him from the conversation. But, as I got drunker, I decided to just go all out. I would talk and laugh with my friend, with my back turned entirely to the guy. Like, being a total asshole. Completely ignoring him. But he still didn’t get it.

My friend and I went out for a cigarette. A guy friend of mine came up to us, and asked what was going on. I told him I was trying to escape a bad date. He came up with a plan:

“How about I come up to you and tell you our friend has a birthday party – a going away party! – and you have to come? Then we can go smoke a bowl and come back after he’s left.”

I agreed to the plan, but told him he had to let me protest vehemently before we bailed.

“Oh, of course,” he said, and we went inside to execute our heist.

I went back to the bar to stand next to my date. I started talking to him (still boring, for the record), and then my friend came up. My friend insisted, over and over, that we had to leave, so I turned apologetically to my date and told him I had to leave.

“I feel kind of bad,” I said to my friend. “He can’t possibly have believed that.”

But I was free. Praise Jesus.

My friend and I went to his apartment. He smoked some weed, I had a cider or two. And then I checked my phone. I had a text from the Boring Man.

“This might sound weird,” it said, “but I got this coloring book and I don’t know if you’d like to get some bottles of wine and color it in this weekend.”

Oh my god. Like, oh. My. God.

Putting the coloring book aside – how could he possibly not have gotten the hint? It wasn’t even really a hint – it was a pretty fucking obvious snub. Jesus Christ.

And, I mean – I kinda felt bad for him. He’s totally fine with a woman ignoring him, bailing on him, and basically treating him like shit? That’s sad.

But not sad enough for me to color with him. I sent the following text:

“Sorry,” I said. “Bottles of wine and coloring books don’t sound good to me. Best of luck.”

And that was that.

I haven’t really been into dating lately. Generally, my conundrum has come down to, “Would I rather be out on a lame date right now, or at home with my dog, or out with my friends?” The answer has never been “lame date.” But I just knew my dear readers were floundering with no new material, so I took one for the team.

I met this guy on OK Cupid. I was immediately interested because he was wearing a cardigan in every one of his pictures. Us cardigan people gots to stick together. We talked for a little bit. I realized, through his questions, that he seemed to be kind of religious (!) and had been married before (!!), so I obviously had to go on a date with him to probe through these issues.

We met up for tacos. He was pretty cute, just seemed a little bit shy. He was wearing a cute turquoise cardigan. We started talking. I kept waiting for the assumed shyness to wear off, and for a conversation to kick off. There aren’t many people I can’t strike up a good conversation with, even if I’m not interested in ever seeing them again. But it just wasn’t happening. I asked him about his marriage, and even that wasn’t too interesting. He had met a woman when he was working at Disneyworld (sounds good, right?), they dated for 9 months, and then got married at 23. This is the stuff of my dreams, guys. I love young-failed-marriage stories. But this one was boring. I asked him about his seeming religiosity, and he told me about how he left the church recently. I love religion stories. I’m fascinated by faith and the loss of it. But the way he spun it, it was just boring. I tried to bring up my go-to religion discussion topic – the book of Job – but even Job couldn’t spice up our conversation. It was just plain boring.

After tacos, and a drink at my favorite bar, I was done. I tried really hard. I was my usual charming self, but there was just no chemistry whatsoever. Not even a little bit of conversational chemistry. Nothing. He was just, well, dull. So I used my tried and true excuse.

“I have to go let the dog out,” I said.

Friends, if I ever tell you I need to walk my dog, and I don’t invite you to come with me, or offer to get together again afterward, I am probably trying to get rid of you. Take it personally.

I walked the guy out of the bar, pretended to head home, and then went back inside to meet my friends for a drink. Sigh. Boring evening.

This semester, I took one final class at George Washington University, a school for retards. My college counselor told me that it would look better on my transfer apps if I continued to display my “commitment to life-long learning” for one more semester as I tried to go somewhere I could actually stomach. I guess it worked, so no hard feelings, G-Dubs.

Anyway, in this class, I sat next to one of the most objectively attractive people I have ever met. His face was just so perfectly symmetrical. One day, we both accidentally came to a class that had been cancelled. It turned out neither of us had found out because we were both non-degree students, which meant that we weren’t attached to our GW email accounts. I had to go to the library for something, and he wanted to check out one of the books of reserve on our syllabus.

I said I’d show him where the reserve desk was, since I was headed to the library anyway. We walked over. He told me that he had been trying to make it as an actor and model in New York, but it was just too hard, so he decided to go back for a college degree. He was the kind of beautiful that looks great in a headshot, so I believed it. We walked into the library, I pointed out the reserve desk, and I figured things would end there.

“What do I do?” he said.

“Just go over there.”

“But what do I do?”

I walked him over to the reserve desk.

“Hi,” I said, “we want to check out a book on reserve.”

The woman asked if we had the call number. I told her we would go find it.

“What’s a call number?” he asked.

I had no idea how I was going to try to explain a call number. It’s how you find a book in the stacks? There was no way he knew what stacks were. I wound up mentioning the Dewey Decimal System, and he had heard of that, so I figured I got close enough.

Anyway, we looked up the call number in the catalog, and he went off to the reserve desk to find it.

Apparently, when you’re beautiful, you don’t need to know about things like books or libraries or call numbers. And he was so beautiful. I just couldn’t take my eyes off that perfect face the entire time we were talking. It wasn’t even that I wanted to sleep with him (I didn’t), but just that he was a piece of artwork that I could not help but stare at.

We stayed friendly after that educational journey. We would talk while we were waiting for class to start.

One day he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I said that I wanted to teach public high school in cities. I asked him the same question.

“Well, I want to be an actor,” he said, “but obviously that didn’t work out. I know I need something more practical. So, I’d like to be a novelist. Or a rock and roll writer.”

Good for you, beautiful man. Forget practical dreams or career plans. Apparently they don’t matter when you look that good.

Later, he told me that he had gotten a job (his first ever) working as a host in a restaurant. He hated it.

“Why?” I asked.

“They always want me to be there, even when I don’t want to,” he said. “It was my friend’s birthday, and I wanted to leave, but they made me stay all the way til 10.”

“Well, that’s kind of what work is,” I said. “They pay you, so they expect you to be there.”

He shrugged. Two weeks later he told me he had quit.

“It’s ok,” he said. “I just found out that I had some back pay waiting for me from one of my modeling gigs in New York.”

Sigh. If only we could all be tall and handsome enough for people to just pay us to look pretty. Fuck all the jobs in the world. Especially the low-paying restaurant jobs that are universally miserable. But really, why spend your nights working when you could be out drinking with your buds? Fair point, beautiful man. Fair point.

 

One night, this guy messaged me on OK Cupid and asked me out. I had no plans that night, and didn’t feel like sitting at home, so I agreed to get a drink. As usual, I had him meet me in my neighborhood, so it was super convenient.

We sat down and got our drinks. We started talking. I asked him some questions about himself. He was really into soccer. He had a chihuahua (should have been a red flag). I learned a lot. But he asked nothing about me, in return. Instead, he just talked on and on about himself. I could not get a word in edgewise.

What he mostly wanted to rant on about was soccer. Now, the kid I nanny for is obsessed with soccer, so I can talk about it for a little bit. Like, as a first-date conversation, I can hold my own. I offered up my theory that Cristiano Ronaldo was the Derek Jeter of soccer. I mentioned a few team names. And then I was just about done. However, he was not. He continued to talk straight through my first drink. He accompanied me outside for a cigarette and kept talking. At first, I had tried to feign interest, but eventually it was just so unpleasant that I wasn’t even pretending that I was paying attention or interested in what he had to say. He didn’t seem to care. He just kept talking. As soon as I could without being really rude (although I didn’t really care at that point), I said I was tired and went home. I believe it was 9:00.

He texted me afterwards to tell me he had had a great time. I wasn’t going to respond, but then I thought it might be a mitzvah to tell him how unbearable that evening had been. Nicely, obviously.

I told him how offputting it was to sit with someone while they just talked for an hour straight. I told him that his dates might go better if he listened some, too.

At first he was penitent.

“Yeah,” he said, “it’s a nervous habit. I’m kind of aware that I do it.”

I acknowledged that, and empathized, but told him it was still unpleasant. I then said gently that I wasn’t interested in going out again. He got angry.

“What makes you think I’d even want to go out with you again?” he said.

“Well, you texted me.”

“I don’t. I’m the one who’s not interested. You shouldn’t just assume that I want to go out with you again.”

“Ok,” I said, “sorry. Best of luck to you.”