I unintentionally spent Valentines Day and Easter in the same weird bar. Valentines Day had been such a debacle that I should’ve just dyed some nice eggs at home instead of tempting fate at the same bar on Easter. I was meeting “Quentin,” a Canadian man who I had canceled on once or twice before. He had been persistent about rescheduling, so I figured why not celebrate the resurrection of Christ with this person?
It was pouring rain that night and we were both thoroughly soaked when we arrived. He was shorter than he had claimed on his profile, skinny, with multi-colored loafers, light-wash jeans, and a soft black buzz cut. He also had an assortment of colorful bangles hanging from his wrist which caught me off guard almost as much as his foul breath. It didn’t smell like he had recently eaten an everything bagel with onion cream cheese (usually the case with OKCupid dates) but rather that something yucky was afoot in that esophagus of his. As he ordered a beer and I prayed to the Easter gods that it would neutralize his breath, I noticed he was also missing at least one tooth. It may have been more that one– it was kind of hard to tell because they were all pointing in different directions. I asked where he worked and he said a Mediterranean restaurant just a few blocks from where I work in the Village. I had never heard of it, but made the mistake of telling him the cross-streets of my store.
I tried to listen to what he was saying but it was difficult because a tiny man had hopped up onto a stool and started belting out Hansen covers on his acoustic guitar. Quentin showed me pictures of tortoises, weeping willows, and other green phenomena that he had taken from magazines and told me how much he loved Mother Earth. He then ordered some crab cakes and shared an emotional tale about his aboriginal ancestors from the First Nations. I told him that a small slice of my family pie was Cherokee and he responded that he hates it when people tell him they are part Native American because Americans don’t understand what it means to have aboriginal ancestors! OK, moving on. The music was loud and I think I accidentally said yes when he asked if I had seen some Canadian canoe exhibit, because he ruminated on Canadian canoes for what felt like seven forevers. If you are going to talk about aboriginal canoes for an extended period of time, you better make sure you don’t have aboriginal breath.
Each time I tried to look away while Quentin was talking he would tap my arm to bring my attention back to his face, and if I dared add to the conversation he would interrupt me and negate whatever I was saying. At one point I made a silly astrology remark and he said that astrology is for the mindless and he believes that the universe is more chaotic than that. While he was explaining this theory he made dramatic sphere gestures with his hands, crunching them up into a ball and then exploding them out to land on my leg or hand. If you are going to interrupt me and shoot down everything I say, why in the world would I want to hold your hand?
Quentin walked me to the train, making raucous Canadian complaints the whole way– “Why doesn’t anyone here use celsius?! This is the only place in the world that doesn’t use celsius!” He also kept attempting to link arms with me, which I ignored until he finally flat-out asked if I would link arms with him.
"No thanks” I said with a nervous laugh.
"Let’s go to another bar then. There’s one right by the train.” The bar he was referring to was actually five blocks in the wrong direction from the train. I wasn’t going to fall for that old trick. I said goodbye and he asked if he could have a hug.
"Oh sure.” It was the least I could do.
Damn, this canoe-loving fool knows where I work, I thought to myself as I escaped to the underground. Sure enough, a couple days later I was standing around with my coworkers when a familiar tuft of black hair attached to a jarring amount of bracelets caught my eye outside the window. It was Quentin (probably on his way to work) sneaking a not-so-subtle peak inside my store until our eyes met. Let’s review: OKCupid rule number three (right behind “don’t tickle anyones ivories on the first date” and “don’t tell anyone from OKCupid about my blog”) is
"do not tell blind dates where I work.” I have been pretty good about this rule ever since the Soup Can Man threatened on multiple occasions to visit my job.
I keep trying to give Canadian men another chance because all of my Canadian dates have been such disasters. This one was no exception. They all seem to really love wildlife, which is great… but they really really love jewelry which is problematic. Nobody wants to hear the jingle jangle of a dangly bangle when they are trying to get intimate with a man.