He’s Not the One Who Got Away

Dear Saturday Night,

Once again, I cheated on you, and I’m sorry, but I had a Tinder rendezvous on a Wednesday evening. My friends later yelled at me because a major red flag appeared in his profile that I dubbed as funny. His info stated, “Please don’t be fat in real life.” I’m well aware a lot of girls will try to pass themselves off as a good 20 pounds lighter than they really are with flattering facial shots that hide double chins and anything south of their collarbones, so to me this was just amusing. He seemed pretty funny throughout our texting bantering, so when he suggested we meet up, I was down. Before any plans were set, I decided I wanted to do things at my speed. On the phone with Miguelita, I said, “Okay, if he is willing to come to Venice and no later than 8-8:30, I’ll meet up with him. After all, it’s a Wednesday.”

“Fair,” she said, not completely supportive of my internet dating habits. But I’ve been very bored lately and very distraught about Celebrity BF’s exit to the South, so I was ready to do anything to get my mind away from his Instagram posts and the isolated memory of our tongues intertwined outside a bar in the valley. Anyway, back to the situation at hand. Let’s call this particular Tinder human Loser Larry.

Within minutes Loser Larry texted me saying, “Abbott Kinney, 8pm?”

Perfect. So far he was staying within my constraints.

My uber dropped me off and I said, “Wish me luck, I’m doing a Tinder date.”

“Oh no, love,” he said with a British accent, “Those are crap.” That was warning sign #2 from the universe.

“I’m wearing a tan overcoat,” his last text said. A tan overcoat? What?

I found the man in a tan overcoat and immediately realized his hair was totally different from the photos on Tinder. He had that thing going on where the bottom part of his head was buzzed but the top part was long and in a short ponytail which he played with continuously, taking it out and re-tying all night. I wasn’t a fan.

“So, Pennylstucky?” he asked me, referring to my home state. “You know 30% of the population lives below the poverty line?”

No, I didn’t know that. I wasn’t really interested in discussing my hometown. I left it for a reason, and just didn’t want to focus a first date on it.

“Wow, that’s a depressing statistic,” I answered.

“Yeah, I googled everything about your town. It seems like one of the worst cities in the country.” Well, thanks for that reminder. I felt defensive oddly. When my friends from home and I commiserate on what a strange place we grew up in, it’s fine. But when an outsider throws down insults, I’m downright defensive. Who are you to bash the land of dive bars filled with toothless wonders, rattlesnake roundups, a lack of passports, and most importantly, the setting of The Office?

We were still standing outside the bar what felt like a good 12 minutes during this pointless conversation.

“So… want to go inside?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, sure.” He seemed hesitant. Strange, it was his idea to meet here in the first place.

“You seem so East coast,” he commented as we walked inside. I learned he was from Nashville. I don’t really know how Tennessee people classify themselves geographically, but they’re definitely not East Coast.

“Well, I am…” I said, agreeing with the obvious.

“So, you don’t strike me as the polite type.” Hmmm, guess he had me nailed. I probably wasn’t that southern belle he was used to.

“Actually I can be polite. You know, to parents, or bartenders and servers.” Why was I defending myself, ew.

We stood next to the bar for what felt like another 13 minutes. So here I am, almost 25 minutes into this awkward first encounter (I can’t call it a date) without a beverage in my hand. This is just not how I roll.

“Shouldn’t we get a drink?” I was starting to feel like the man in this situation.

“Oh, I’m not drinking.” I looked at him confused, especially as he suggested we meet at a bar.

“Oh, are you sober?” I asked. I’ve been out with sober guys before, which I’m totally cool with. But usually they still ask if I want a drink and tell me they’re sober before we meet. Jesus did that for me.

“No, I’m cutting,” he explained.

“Cutting?” That’s what suicidal people did and I’m not sure it correlated with alcohol consumption.

“Yeah, cutting weight. I put on about 15 pounds of muscle, and now I’m cutting calories to make myself more defined.” It took every ounce not to roll my eyes, but i probably did anyway. That is just such a turn-off. As someone who’s struggled with eating issues and my own body dysmorphia, I can’t be around men who are just cutting calories for the sake of muscle definition. I mean come on, a vodka soda is like 60 calories. Just drink the damn thing and do an extra 3 push-ups tomorrow.

“Well… do you mind if I have a drink?” Let me reiterate, I’m at a bar, and yes, one of my interests includes imbibing.

“No, not at all.” Well, at least he gave me the green light.

I ordered a vodka soda from the bartender, and I pulled out my wallet. He watched me hand over my credit card to the bartender and purchase my own drink. This is the epitome of the most ungentleman and unchivalrous behavior as a Jewish spoiled princess who absolutely expects a man to pay for drinks on a first encounter. This isn’t The Netherlands where that whole “going Dutch” thing is in vogue. I cringed as I added tip on top of the $12 drink thinking to myself, Stop going out to get free drinks. They are no longer a guarantee.

He picked out two chairs side by side for us to sit down.

“You seem so serious,” he commented. No, you idiot, I’m not serious, I just am really getting my buttons pushed. After discovering I’m Jewish, his ridiculous questions started.

“What if you date an Arab?”
“Can you bring home a Christian?”
“Do your parents tolerate men who aren’t Jewish?”
“Why won’t you eat pork?”
“Why do you work out at Gold’s Gym if you’re not a meathead?”
“What are your workouts?”
“How many calories do you burn in a day?”

I would rather he ask me how many times I fart in a day. That would have been more entertaining to answer. At some point I finished my drink and asked, “Well, what do you want to do now?” I felt uncomfortable ordering another drink and the bar started to fill up with real drinkers, so it was pretty hard to hear over the music.

“Want to go for a walk?” he asked. Yeah, thrilling, a walk. But whatever. I kept looking at him as we spoke and tried to imagine him shutting up and maybe just what it would be like to kiss him. And then to have sex with him. But with that damn ponytail flopping around like Pebbles from the Flinstone’s just wasn’t doing it for me. My face must have scrunched into an expression of disgust because he asked if I wanted to go our separate ways. I felt under pressure and like a bitch, so I apologized and said the last sip hit me hard.

We got up and strolled down Abbott Kinney, talking about how I came from a poverty stricken town and he came from one of the nicest counties in the country where all the country-music producers and execs lived. Hooray. I might not have been the richest kid in school with Daddy as a surgeon or a hot-shot local lawyer, but I wasn’t exactly poverty stricken. Two blocks later we came to a red light across the street from an always crowded ice-cream place called Salt & Straw. Well, it wasn’t like he was going to want to eat any of that nonsense.

“So, shall we call it a night?” he asked.

“Um, yeah, I have an early day tomorrow.”

“Okay, get home safe,” he said, with an awkward pat on the back and strolled away, leaving me alone. I was just blown away. I called an Uber and in the 4 minutes I had to wait, I hopped across the street to the convenient store and stocked up on five Quest bars because that’s what I eat, and a bottle of water. I got home, got naked, and recounted my evening to Jameth with my stash of protein bars and a bowl of cereal at the kitchen table.

“I need a drink to recover from this,” I said, pouring a hefty vodka and club soda into a glass. It wasn’t even 10pm, so I didn’t feel too guilty drinking at this hour.

“Namaste girl,” she said, lighting this incense thing she believes will cleanse our house’s toxins and my aura. She’s currently dating a guy I’ll call Geffen, so she’s pretty much on cloud 9 constantly. He’s normal- he pays for drinks and consumes them as well. Maybe one day I’ll find a Prince Charming who pays for drinks, waits for me to get into Ubers safely, and actually contacts me for a second date.

Aftermath:

Loser Larry and I never spoke again. Let’s just say I didn’t shed any tears over that.

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