LITERAL. WORST. DATE. EVER.
A peek into the grim world of app dating.
It all started with the Bumble era. Although I had been single for almost 7 years, I was living my best life. Then, society was like “You’re single? Oh, honey, you’re not happy” and I was like “Omg, you’re right, I’m going to be 30 in a couple years and I want to have a husband to like subsidize the rent and kill spiders and stuff.” Ya know, all the normal things that millennial girls dream about. So, there I was, downloading this new app called “Bumble,” which my friend called “the classy Tinder.” I would come to learn that no such oxymoron exists.
Quick disclaimer before I carry on: names have been changed to protect the identities of the app-dating meek. I’ll call him “Alfredo,” not because he was yum (I know, ouch, I couldn’t help myself) but because this story makes me hungry. Swiping away, pondering “there has got to be more to life,” then, there he was. Alfredo. A tall, dark and handsome businessman, but not cheesy handsome in that generic Christian Grey type of way (because vom). A single parent, just like me. He lived on the East side of Cleveland which is where I grew up, but he lived in the ritzy part of town. I moved to the West side a few years prior, but he assumed I would come to him. I obliged because I had been out of the dating game for so long, I was like “Is this how it works these days? Gender equality, okay, I support that.” My family still lived on the East side, so I figured what-the-heck, I would make a day of it. I clipped-in my hair extensions, threw on an outfit that said “I’m not trying too hard, but I am” and hit the road.
He planned dinner at a fancy restaurant, but it was summertime so it seemed less formal with the sun still up and the patio open. We met in the parking lot. The first thing I noticed was his height. Much shorter than his pictures, barely taller than me (5’3” on a good day) and not nearly as handsome, but hey, I’ve heard that some people have really great personalities. I would come to learn that that is a rude myth. We hugged in that “you’re not a serial killer, right?” sort of way. Once inside, we sat down and he dove into his personal accomplishments, but not in a way that made me do that thing where you’re holding in a yawn and tears start seeping out of your eyes. So far so good.
The waitress came over to take our order and before I could open my mouth to speak, Alfredo said “We’ll have the appetizer flatbread pizza, that’s on special right?” Oh, Alfredo. Every feminist bone in my non-officially feministic body was tingling. Did he ask what I wanted? What I like? Don’t like? If I suffer from a salivary gland condition which simultaneously prevents me from speaking for myself? Answers are as follows: no, no, no, and NO. The waitress brought us our “flatbread pizza,” which was really a hardened tortilla drizzled in some mystery sauce, topped with whole tomatoes and onions. For the record, if I ever strike it rich, I will eat surf-n’-turf and red velvet cake every night, not freshly plucked leaves of organic greenery and droplets of raw sea urchins. I did not want tomatoes and onions on my hardened tortilla shell, but thought “Ok, maybe he was trying to be all macho and impress me by ordering our app like that…misguided, but albeit well-intended.” I wish I knew then how wrong I was so I could’ve faked a hernia right there on the table. That would have been a more pleasant experience than this date was about to be.
He began to weave a twisted tale about how Google was trying to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in his ideas, which could have been true, being that he did live in the ritzy hood, but it all seemed a little Kanye. Don’t worry, he didn’t ask me any questions about myself or care to get to know me, I mean, who do I think I am anyways? After he NIBBLED on a Barbie-sized slice of the alien pizza, the waitress came over to take our dinner order. Alfredo literally said “We’re good, we’ll take the check.” Hold up, hold up, hold up. Mr. “The kings of the internet want to @ me” can't buy me dinner? The room started to spin a little, and not because of the drinks he was trying to feed me (which, by the way, I declined). He then tells me how he plans on taking me to each bar in the village for a drink to “enjoy the different views” blah, blah, blah. I vividly remember saying, “um, I drove?” meaning “no thanks, I do not want to consume several alcoholic beverages and then operate my vehicle.” He looked at me with confused brows, tilting his head like he was in a slow-mo movie scene where “Mm Whatcha Say” is playing in the background and said “Oh…um, okay. We will go for dessert across the street then.” I went along with it because I am too nice, sigh, where my too-nice people at? You get me.
We walked across the street to a different restaurant and got sat. For this next part, I swear on my Jesus pieces, he said “I am too full from dinner,” got up, knocking his chair over in the process, and started walking swiftly to the exit. I practically fell out of my own chair trying to catch up to him, babbling some excuse to the staff on my way out because I was raised to use manners (I know, SO last century). In hindsight, I should have mouthed HELP, with eyes as wide as the sun. He then said “Let’s go look out at the waterfall,” GRABS MY HAND as if we are in a Nicholas Sparks film and leads me toward the waterfall. I’m like “This is it. This is how it all ends.” My whole life, I have been prone to bad luck and odd occurrences, so I’m like “I WOULD be pushed over a waterfall by a wanna-be Christian Grey, with my last meal being two bites of cardboard and goo, this is how it WOULD go down!” En route, he starts asking me if I want to stop for popcorn or ice-cream… obviously, I responded with a hefty “NO THANKS,” and I kid you not, he replied “Oh yeah, you’re probably too full from dinner too,” DOT, DOT, DOT. We get to the waterfall and he’s rubbing my back like I’m some injured athlete, which I am neither. It was the most awkward, silent stare. I felt like I was starring into my watery grave.
Finally, time to go. He was planning the next date as we walked back to our cars. The following day, he texted me a Justin Bieber gif. I wish I was making this up. Needless to say, I kicked him to the hardened tortilla-shell curb and drizzled it with some SASS. Heaven bless the girls that proceeded me. I wish we could find each other and form some sort of support group for the trauma we’ve all experienced, life-scarring stuff, people. I deleted the app at a red light on my way home and never looked back. My match.com date wasn’t much better. I cancelled that subscription immediately after the date, but definitely not because I “found my match!” Christian Mingle was one for the books. That one ended with me seeing my date on Netflix instead of in real life. You heard correct, but those are stories for another day.
To all my single ladies: live your best life, eat all the cake, don all the bling, dazzle yourself in compliments, and get on your knees to ask the sweet baby Jesus for a man if that’s what you really want, not because some imaginary biological clock is ticking. This is not Wonderland, we are not Alice. No one even uses clocks anymore, it’s 2018, that’s what iPhones are for. Love y’all.