L and I started message bonding over farming. One thing that sets me a bit apart from your typical Barnard broad is my love of the great outdoors. True, I grew up in the Bronx — not quite your rolling hills of Switzerland — but still, I took classes at the Bronx Botanical Gardens as a small girl and have pictures of me with my gardening diploma, bangs, and poison ivy rashes to prove it. Plus, I spent an entire month on an alpaca and goat farm in bumblefuck eastern Washington just last year.
I could go on about goats all day, but the matter at hand is L, a 24-year old composer. In other words, he’s the OkC everyman (“music is my life”) but with an Alec Baldwin-sized God complex. He’s the “starving artist” type, introverted and arrogant. He’s interning for a music company and is taken aback when asked what he plans to do next. His new year’s resolution is to make friends. He is extremely attractive.
Here’s the thing: out of the few handfuls of boring to disturbing messages that will rape your inbox each week, a girl can find that one guy that she knows she’ll be attracted to. He writes you something cool and casual; he actually read at least a sentence from your profile. It’s a liberating experience. We pick who we want to talk to, and get some easy practice ignoring the rejects. It sounds harsh, but online dating is kind of harsh.
L and I decided to meet at one of Morningside Heights’s finest watering holes: the Abbey Pub. This place is just classic, so here’s my little shout-out to the bar that cardlessly handled my inebriating needs back in the days before turning 21.
I couldn’t stop smiling our entire date. We talked about our appreciation for good tequila, beekeeping, some music … all that fun stuff. “So what’s the first thing you noticed about me?” I asked, referencing a section of the OkCupid profile titled: “The first thing people notice about me is.”
“Flowers,” L said. “Your dress is very flowery.”
“Oh,” I blushed. Damn my roommate for lending me this American Apparel hipster shit.
“Also, you have an interesting voice,” L added.
“Huh? My voice? What do you mean? You mean I sound young?” I panicked. It had been a good few years since anyone had commented on my voice. I guess it’s kind of on a higher register than most. But like, is he into that?
And if he is, does that mean he actually likes the flowers? Maybe I could show him my baby pictures. Wait … Pause. Relax. I don’t have to avenge myself with the second guy I meet. There will be more.
“I don’t know,” he said, “But I feel like you could do the voice for cartoon characters. You know, like Pokemon.”
Two beers later (I learned my lesson!), he held my hand as we walked north. “You smile a lot,” he commented.
Ohmygod. He was negging me! My friend John had explained this to me once before. It’s when a guy makes comments that are neither good nor bad. The girl gets just insecure enough to want him more. It’s horrible, devious, toolish, and has an appallingly high success rate. Red flag #1.
#1? Really? I should have been more on my game.
“So,” L began, “I have some super fancy tequila in my apartment. You want to take shots?”
It was the moment of truth that every flirty date comes to. Did I want to go back with him? I definitely did. Let’s face it, I’ve already told you how long it’s been since I’d had incentive to shave my legs. And to make matters even more complicated, he had these big adorable brown eyes. Thing was, I was worried about girlfeelings. Every time I sleep with a guy — whether we’ve been waiting a month or just met and ran off to a kitchen pantry in the Ecuadorian jungle (true story; wut uuuup) – the girlfeelings creep their way in. I didn’t want them for L. See, a few months ago I had a break up that fucked my shit up. It’s only recently that I’ve decided to get back out there.
But when I say get back out there, what I really mean is back into the sack. Obvi. If feelings arise, so be it, but sometimes a girl just needs to do her own thing and rebuild her confidence. Girlfeelings for L would only set me back.
I took a deep breath and prepared to answer. “Yeah let’s do it.”
The strange thing was, we spent hours in his apartment, watching TV, taking a shot or two, and shooting the shit, but he never made a move. I mean, sure, we kissed, and yeah, I had some mildly suspicious handprint bruises on my sides the next day (I bruise easy; it’s a vegetarian thing), but that was it. And that’s how it stayed during our next two dates — also that week. We made jokes, watched TV, went together to see my budy kick ass at her Notes and Keys acapella concert, even had sleepovers, but all clothes stayed on until the fourth night we hung out that week. Last week. And I haven’t heard from him since.
My friend Rachel promised to visit L at the bakery where he works. She’s going to order a complicated beverage, take a sip, smack her lips a few times in disgust, and say, “Hm. Yeah. I don’t know. Something tastes kind of … kind ofdouchey! Yeah, that’s it. DOUCHEY.” Then she is going to turn around and march out the door with one hand raised in the air like a drag queen-like yelling, “HERPES! HE HAS. HERPES!”
In other news, J called me. He wants a second date. “For real?” I asked. “Absolutely,” he said. Inconceivable. But can I move past our first date’s humiliation?
And the creepy message of the week …
“Do you want to know the “first thing I noticed”?
I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing to you, but your face struck me as being a bit child-like”