Because I did not know that.
Like many of you, I’ve been a bit under the weather this week. I sleep 12-16 hours a day, I smell like a nursing home, and I’ve downed so much Emergen-C that I think I’m peeing glow-in-the-dark highlighter fluid. Add to that two nerve-wracking OkCupid dates, a high-stakes job application, and a basic reassessment of my entire life / identity / existence, and let’s just say… blogging has not been prominently displayed on my radar.
Fortunately, Anna has taken pity on you, gentle readers, and has guest-blogged a post so laugh-out-loud funny that, by the end of it, I suspect you’ll be rioting in the streets, demanding my immediate and violent overthrowal* and Anna’s immediate instatement as my successor.
Until then… enjoy.
* that’s… not a word.
I am easily bored.
And when I get bored, I find something more interesting to do. So, on a whim inspired by my lack of viable straight male companionship, and by my desire to compete with my roommate for “Most Ballsy Lady in This Apartment,” I signed up for a date on crazyblinddate.com.
The URL kind of says it all, but I’ll elaborate a bit.
If you are a regular reader of Your Ill-fitting Overcoat, you’re already familiar with OkCupid, the parent site of Crazy Blind Date (or CBD, since acronyms are easier). OkCupid uses algorithms and fractals and mathematical whatnot to “match” you with people you will supposedly “like” based on “questions” on a “quiz” you take. It’s all very mysterious.
Crazy Blind Date allows you to sign up for a spur-of-the-moment date with another OkCupid user. You specify a few nearby geographic areas and a time frame, and you complete a mini-profile which will be seen by the person with whom you are set up. Eventually (hopefully), you get an email asking whether you want to meet someone.
Worth noting here, folks: no picture. Well, there’s a picture, but it’s all blurry “to make you look mysterious.”
You say yea or nay based on your suggested date’s mini-profile, and it’s done. Then you get a (rather ominous-sounding) email that says YOU MUST BE AT SUCH AND SUCH PLACE AT SUCH AND SUCH TIME OR DEMONS WILL EAT YOUR BABIES ETC ETC ETC.
That’s it, in a nutshell.
So: I get an email with a name, age, time, and some bar options. I pick a bar that sounds all right (and is close to the train). I say “yes,” and I am all set to meet up with Thor* at 8pm near Union Square.
Half an hour before your scheduled meeting time, you get a text message from CBD; if you reply to it, your reply goes directly to your date. That way, you can communicate with your date, but don’t have to exchange digits. I debated whether I should text him and say what I was wearing, but decided against it in the spirit of spontaneity and adventure.
What if I don’t know who he is?
What if I approach random strangers, asking if they are named Thor?
What if I look like a crazy person, get laughed out of the bar, and eventually die alone?
This is how my internal dialogue tends to progress. I’m something of an alarmist.
As it turned out, I needn’t have worried.
As I walked in to the moderately-priced yuppie watering hole, feeling very much the weird arty girl, I saw groups here and there of pretty 20-somethings having a post-work drink and a laugh. I quickly scanned the room for plausibles.
That has to be him, I thought, my eyes landing on a guy sitting alone at the bar, gazing expectantly in the general direction of the door.
Now, readers. I am not what you might call “pretty” in an empirical sense. Yes, I dress well, I have really good hair and nice eyes and a killer rack, but I am not the kind of girl who gets picked up in bars or garners lustful glances from strangers (at least, any strangers I might be interested in. Crazy Pete with the three-legged cat and dirty Colorado Rockies jacket doesn’t count).
As such, I know my league. Too-attractive men scare me; I would rather a weird-looking funny dude than a Perfect Specimen of Manhood. While I like looking at Christian Bale, I would never talk to him in real life even if he lacked his apparent anger issues.
The bottom line is: I am pretty lax when it comes to attractiveness standards, as long as you are funny and willing to sing musical theater duets with me on occasion.
Thor, however, was not cute.
Not just “not cute,” but well on his way to Fugville, if I’m being perfectly honest. I may have used the word “trollfish” in describing him to friends afterward.
But! Judgemental though I may be, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I took a breath and introduced myself.
This will be fine! I thought, putting my many years of training in faux-enthusiasm to use. Maybe he’s really funny! Maybe he’s got great stories! Maybe he has the power to give me my own sitcom! Positive! Positive!
He bought me a drink, which was classy, but before I’d taken two sips of my Hoegaarden, a beer he’d never heard of, I knew it was going bad faster than the ever-present leftover Thai food in my fridge.
He wasn’t funny. Or interesting. Or even a big enough douchebag to be amusing. We chatted about the Usual Date Shit: where do you live, where did you live before, what do you do, etc., which is always tedious, but particularly so in this case, because I asked Every. Single. Question. Not once did he ask anything about me. Not. Once. I learned where he’d gone to law school, where he’d gone to undergrad, where he grew up, but only after directly asking him these questions, point-blank.
In his profile, he’d mentioned something about wanting a “good conversationalist,” which I realize in retrospect was a giant red flag. The people who say this in their profiles are either very, very good at conversing, or very, very bad. Based on my own extremely unscientific research, only about 20% are actually good.
Thor fell solidly into the other 80%.
At one point, grasping at conversational straws and bored with watching the Knicks game that was on for some reason, I asked him what made him sign up for CBD. He told me that he and a (female) friend had signed up together and were planning to go on a double date through the site, until “she had to go and get a boyfriend,” this last word said with the kind of disdain I typically reserve for people who murder kittens, or confuse ‘their’ with ‘there’.
Eeeeee. Back away slowly from that topic.
I drained the last of my beer, a turning point in any first date, but thankfully, I didn’t have to think very hard about the answer to the inevitable “do you want another round?” question.
“Oh god – what time is it?” I rambled quickly, checking the clock over the bar. “I told my friend I’d meet her to work on this show we’re putting together. I should probably catch up with her. Can’t stay out too late! Day job! Ha ha!”
I gathered my things to make a quick exit. Earlier in the evening, he’d talked about wanting to find a great pizza joint in Manhattan, and as I made my way out, averting his awkward half-hug / half-kiss, I managed to sputter some parting words.
“See you later! Get some pizza!”
Not “let’s get some pizza.” Just “get some pizza.”
I think what happened here was a disconnect between two parts of my brain. My Dialogue Writer Brain was like, “Hey – we talked about pizza earlier! That is a good segue for a second date!”
And the rest of my brain, which is where I keep cocktail recipes and answers to Jeopardy! questions, was like, “DUDE. What are you doing?”
And then the Dialogue Writer Brain was like, “SHIT. I didn’t actually mean that. We do NOT want another date! What?! It must be the Hoegaarden.”
So from my mouth: “Get some pizza.”
A command, not an invitation.
I think I mostly just confused him. Which is fine.
The aftermath of a Crazy Blind Date is pretty straightforward: both parties get a feedback form, on which you rate your date on things like Attractiveness, Intelligence, Unconventionality, etc. If you give a low rating, they ask you Why It Sucked. You have the choice to send a message to your date via CBD, and exchange email/phone numbers if you want.
I did not want.
Thor sent me a message saying it was nice to meet me and he included his email address. I don’t feel bad for giving him the cold shoulder. As my roommate Tina said as we watched American Idol later that evening, eating Ben and Jerry’s Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler ice cream, “It doesn’t make sense for you to be with someone that awkward.” Tina is wise, even when she has just accidentally consumed dishwashing liquid (don’t ask).
All in all, I’m going to give the whole experience a thumbs up, if only because I got a free drink and a new favorite send-off (“Get some pizza”). Thank you, Thor, for putting the “crazy” in Crazy Blind Date.
*Not his real name, though his name could just as easily be applied to a villain in Conan the Barbarian.
A note from Overcoat–
And now… it’s time for a nap.
* actually still not a word