Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Doorman & the Ladies: I'm Not Really Feeling... This

I won't to sit here and pretend that writing a blog post about a bad online dating experience is oozing with originality. I also won't bother denying that my dependency on this cruel, dysfunctional, eye-opening, often-hilarious, even more often-tragic, new-age way of finding a spouse has completely destroyed my approach with women. I used to be able to talk to a woman in a bar, or in a class, or in a workplace, and communicate that I'd like to pursue them romantically. And it worked. I did alright for a long time.

Somewhere along the way, after a few failed relationships and booze-fueled summers down the shore, I moved to Manhattan and got caught up in the internet dating chase. I've been at it, on and off, since 2011. Ever since, my ability to interact with women outside of what I'm now used to - scanning through profiles and finding cutesy little anecdotes which relates to something in their "what I'm doing with my life" sections, swiping right or left, altering my search criteria, altering my profile because everything I wrote last week is now completely embarrassing to me, uploading new pictures, answering new questions publicly so I can see someone's answer about sex or masturbation, rating someone 4 stars, boosting my profile, trying to figure out what someone is hiding, trying to figure out why someone who looks so good on paper would need to post a profile on this site, meet them in person, hear them talk for five minutes and understand immediately, type messages like "Hey- I have a signature dance move that I've yet to name. Care to assist?", immediately want to shoot myself in the head after I click "send", have a third or fourth really bad date in a row, claim I've had enough, cancel my account, delete app, get bored a few nights later, have no solid plans for the weekend, reactivate account, re-download app, start fiendishly swiping and messaging for a new date, settle on someone I'd have no interest in otherwise, go on another really bad date, cancel account again, rinse, repeat - has all but eroded. 

I can guarantee that last paragraph went over most of your heads, though if you've done the online dating grind, you're right here with me. Whatever the case, no more inside jokes.

A friend from out of town, who travels to New York for work every few months, came to visit me recently. "Emma", is big into Tinder in another major city (I've learned that each city has a site/app that reigns king over the others). Whenever we get together, war stories are exchanged. She's an attractive, successful woman, and most of her stories generally end with an equally attractive man having some sort of a meltdown or tantrum. They're all hilarious in their own right, but this isn't her blog, is it? 

We sat on my roof, soaked in a little sun, and caught up. She shared a saga about an overly-sensitive Bro bringing her a ficus to a second date (no shit), then opened up the floor to me. I took a healthy swing of my sun-warmed Brooklyn Summer, and got on with it. It's been one of my signature stories since it happened last October. I've told it at parties, on dates - whenever, wherever, I can get a laugh. And it kills, without fail, every time: 

It's never a good sign when someone's profile pictures consists of all tightly-framed "selfies". I should have known better, seeing that every picture "Allie" posted was cropped between top of her head and just a shade below the cleft of her chin. Though she had a pretty face and her profile was interesting enough for me to roll the dice. 

Cut to the Thursday of our rendezvous, which fell on Game 5 of the 2013 ALCS. My roommate's girlfriend is from Michigan, so they were at a bar in the East Village with a bunch of her good-looking, single friends (which is really where I should have fucking been in the first place. See? Online dating rots your brains).

I strategically set up to meet Allie at a bar close by, so I had somewhere to finish out the evening in case the date went poorly. And went poorly, it did.

The 6 train got delayed on my way over, so I had to text her on my way out of the station:

Doorman - Hey, sorry. just got off the train. Will be there in 5.

Allie - No worries. Grabbed a seat at the front of the bar. 

Since I was rushing and sitting in a crammed subway car for twenty minutes, I looked like a sweaty, disheveled mess. I checked the underarm of my baby-blue button-down shirt, which was soaked with a musty, Old Spice-scented sweat. Fantastic. She's sitting at the front of the bar, so I can't even sneak past her to the bathroom, where I can stand with my shirt flattened underneath the automatic hand-dryer (which I've done before).

Already off to a rocky start, I pop into a pizzeria and grab napkins to soak up my armpits. The shop owner shoots me a look, so I buy a bottle of water because I feel bad.

After chugging the lukewarm Aquafina, I arrive at the bar. Fix myself up a little, stuff the wet part of my shirt firmly under my armpits, stiffen up my biceps so the pit stains don't get loose, and walk inside.

Allie's waiting there, thumbing through her phone with a half-full beer in front of her. She's about 300 lb. Her pictures hinted that she may have been carrying a little bit extra (or "Curvy", as she put in the weight section), but this was a completely different person than the one I was talking to.

Still, I wasn't going to just turn around and leave, so I introduce myself and order a round of drinks. If anything, maybe I could get a fun conversation and buzz out of this.

But on top of her wildly deceiving pictures, she was also a bore. Any questions I'd ask were returned with a one-word answer, and any story or factoid about myself was bounced right back with a close-lipped smile and head-nod.

I was really trying, and she wasn't even attempting to reciprocate:

Doorman - "So, what do you do for a living?"

Allie - "Design."

Doorman - "Do you design software? People's homes? Coffee mugs?"

Allie - "Dishes."

Doorman - "Cool... so do you freelance, or work for a company, or..."

Allie - "A company."

Doorman - "Nice... anything I might have heard of?"

Allie - (A company I've never heard of.)

Doorman - "Cool. I think I've seen those somewhere."

Long pause. She sips her beer. I gulp mine.

Doorman - "So, I'm a writer."

Allie - "Oh yeah?"

Doorman - "Yeah. It's pretty fun. I write a blog. Turned it into a TV pilot, which is going to be at the New York Television Festival next week. So..."

Allie - "That's cool."

Doorman - "Yeah."

Another dreadful pause. I dunk my mouth into my glass and come up with more than a third of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale.

Doorman - "What's your favorite color?"

Allie - "Why?"

Doorman - "Why not?"

Allie - "Purple."

Doorman - "Cool... mine's blue."

Ok, terrific.

Doorman - "I'm gonna use the restroom."

Allie - "Okay."

I don't have to piss yet, I just want to dry off my armpits before I head to the bar full of women who might actually care about what I have to say. Or, at the very least, watch playoff baseball and drink beers with my roommate.

I get back to the bar, and she's ordered another beer. God damnit.

Not trying to leave her hanging, I order another Smuttynose. Who knows? Maybe she's nervous. Maybe she'll loosen up after another beer and actually let herself have a good time.

The bartender flips a fresh coaster down and presents me with my favorite beer. 

Doorman - "So..." 

I rack my brain for something, anything to say. I'm completely blank. She stares back at me with the expression of a never-used dry-erase board. 

Doorman - "Yeah..." 

This is going nowhere. Whatever, I gave it my best effort. I decide to take a knee and run out the clock. 

Doorman - "Look, I'm having fun, but I think I'm going to head out after this beer. I have to be up early tomorrow."

She presses her lips together and nods, then does this: 

Allie - "Ok, good..."

She picks up her open palm and puts it out straight in front of her, in a "talk to the hand" motion. 

Allie - "Because I'm not really feeling..." 

She makes a sweeping, circular motion across my body.

Allie - "This."

Not "I'm not having fun", or "I don't think this will work", but "I'm not liking this package you've presented me", as if I'm one her of dishes and she's a client who doesn't think it's pretty enough.

More shocked than pissed off, I stare at her for a solid thirty seconds and fight of every urge to stoop to her level and verbally assault her with every insult she's probably heard a million times over. 

No, I just pick up my beer, toss it back, and gently place on the barely-wet coaster. 

Doorman - "Have a good one." 

And I left. I spent the rest of the evening downing pitchers of Bud Heavy with a bunch of hot Tigers fans and went home empty-handed. 

Back to my roof deck, where Emma is laughing and covering her mouth:

Emma - "Oh my God! What an asshole!" 

And then I ended my story to Emma, verbatim, the way I've been doing so for the past nine months: 

Doorman - "And honestly, I get it. I do. That probably happens to her all the time - guy shows up, takes one look at her, then either bails or has one courtesy drink. It must be a defense mechanism, you know? Like getting the last word in to make her feel like she made the decision to end the night. That's why I didn't say anything. Honestly, I feel sorry for her." 

Oh, Doorman, you look like such a stud on that high horse of yours. 

That's usually when someone will put their hand on my shoulder and say, "awww, well at least you tried to do the right thing, Doorman. Most guys would have just left before having a drink! You're a great guy!"

Then Emma said something that never occurred to me: 

Emma - "Wow. When I don't like someone on a first date, I'm at least cordial till the night is over. She's just a bitch." 

It took a second for that to sink in for me. 

Doorman - "Yeah, and it's sad that when... Wait - what???" 

Emma - "Whenever I'm not into a guy right away, I at least hang out and talk to them for a little. Like what you did. She could have at least reciprocated." 

There I am on my high horse, and here is Mongo punching me off that horse

Doorman - "Wait... You're saying that she wasn't into me at all?" 

Emma - "Isn't that obvious, dude?" 

It was like a getting hit in the jaw with a sack of potatoes.

Here I was, for months, telling the story as if I were some kind of charitable douche. I put myself on a pedestal, making it seem like I "toughed it out" and had two beers with a fat girl. As if she didn't have the option to like me or not, because she outweighed me by a few pounds. It never once occurred to me that I just may not have been her cup of tea. Like she didn't reserve the right to an opinion of me, because she should've just been happy to be there.

Who the fuck do I think I am?!?! 

I'm embarrassed by the way I perceived what had happened. Like I said before, it's been a go-to of mine since that night. So much so that my circle of friends have adopted "I'm not really feeling ::wave hand in circular motion at inanimate object:: THIS" when describing things they don't like, like a new hummus or TV series. I've told it to countless people, then capped it off with the "oh... well... I'm a great guy, and I didn't put her in her place because I'm such a great guy, and I'm really a great guy, so please have a laugh and tell me what a great guy I am" speech.


Having said that, I let her off the hook for her antics. Think about it from her end - she posted deceiving pictures of herself, had a guy dress up nice and meet her, buy her a drink, then bring nothing to the table after he made a valiant effort to make the most out of the evening. Then, to top it all off, she insults him when he tries and leave like a gentleman.

Say what you will about her appearance. Who knows? She might own it. I've dated several plus-size women who fucking own it. And it's sexy as hell. I don't know if Allie did - because she never gave me a fucking chance to find out!!!

Anyone who behaves that way, no matter how they look, is a fucking asshole. Plain and simple. Being shitty to others, whom are (mostly) out to be kind, makes you a giant asshole. Allie, just like any supermodel, reserves the right to be a fucking asshole. And an asshole, she was. Who the hell am I to tread on that?

I'll be honest - I'm grateful for the story, because I'm a whore for the story and always will be. And I'll keep telling it, because that's what I do. Though from now on, I'll refrain from making Allie the victim, which she had no business being in the first place.

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