The past few weeks have left me sorting through some serious questions:
-Gay or art student?
-Why do Eastern European men like me so much?
-Does posture correlate with personality?
-I just met you, why is your hand on my ass?
“Roger” and I met a few weeks ago at a bar in my neighborhood. He had moved to the city from upstate to attend art school and was now working as an illustrator. Under the question “How willing are you to meet someone from OKCupid in person?” he put “Hesitant, but I’d certainly consider it.” Most people put “Totally willing!” so I figured he must be new to the scene. Upon meeting him however, Roger told me that I was his fourth OKCupid date that week! He had thick black glasses, the art-student slump, and he kind of reminded me of the rabbit from “Donny Darko”… not because he was evil, but because he looked like a big ol’ bunny. Roger had done a lot of illustrations for various companies around New York, including the artwork for a video game that he described as “like Angry Birds… but with poop.” He was now working on a children’s book about hip hop. Perfect. It just so happens I’ve been working on a “children’s” book about safe-sex… and I am in the market for an illustrator!
Roger seemed a little disconnected until we started talking about OKCupid. He shared that he had almost deleted his profile after a particularly awkward first date. Apparently, he met this girl on a corner and (after the usual introductions) had suggested they head to a nearby bar. She revealed to him that she was a recovering alcoholic and said it’d mean a lot to her if he would accompany her to an AA meeting that night… which he did. Everyone in the room went around and shared their stories while Roger sat in silence, staring at his substantial sneakers. That is one of my favorite blind date stories I’ve heard in awhile. The subject changed to our favorite bands and I told him a certain band I was a big fan of in high school was playing the following week. His eyes lit up for the first time all night, “I love that band! Do you have tickets yet?! Can I go with you?!” Minutes later, thanks to several beers and the ease of the Ticketmaster app, Roger and I had tickets to the concert. For the remainder of the date, he kept rubbing my lower back… occasionally dropping his hand a little too low if you know what I mean. His sudden PDA weirded me out, but to be fair I had just committed to a concert with him.
I returned home pretty satisfied with the date. Roger was a nice man and had even bought my drinks. It also seemed like he was actually looking for someone to date… or maybe he was just desperate to get his groove on, who knows. I wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him, but maybe he would grow on me the second date (it’s happened before). As I was falling asleep I received a text from Roger that said “I had a great time tonight! We should definitely get lunch or something before the concert… ASAP!” Eek. I reasoned that his text probably came off a little too eager because he was drunk. But over the course of the next few days he continued to text me about the concert, how excited he was, how we should get matching t-shirts, etc. Yeah, I wasn’t so sure about this guy.
The day of the show finally came. We were meeting at a nearby bar prior to going to the venue. When Roger arrived, he smelled as if he had just enjoyed a Bloomin’ Onion and he had a windbreaker tied around his waist like he was about to take a tour of Alcatraz. My friend was in the neighborhood, so she joined us for a drink before we headed out. One drink turned into a few and, when I got up to use the bathroom, Roger confided in her that he liked me a lot and hoped he hadn’t scared me off by telling me how many OKCupid dates he had gone on.
"Oh believe me,” my friend said, “she understands.” Wink.
At the concert, Roger bought us some beers and we headed into the masses. Now, this was a crowded punk show with people jumping around and moshing. It wasn’t a romantic jazz quartet on a veranda. So why were Roger’s hands slowly caressing my lower back?! My eyes widened as I looked to the mohawked individual next to me for help– but he yielded no answers. I didn’t want to turn around and shout “You stop that, young man!” so I just pretended not to notice. Unfortunately the caressing only intensified– he put his hands on my hips, and even kissed the back of my head at one point. OK, I know we were standing very close to each other, but this was a second date and we had not even kissed yet, so a back of the head kiss was a bold move. Not to mention that’s sort of a fatherly spot to kiss someone. After the show, we went back to the same bar where I lured his hands away from my torso by ordering sandwiches and onion rings (his favorite). When we finally parted ways, he told me that we should hang out on Friday. I got in a cab, wondering how I was going to get out of this one without leading him on. Moments later I got a text that read “I had fun! Let’s definitely try for Friday… Please!” I could have done without the additional “Please!” and “ASAP!” he added to his texts. All they did was let me know how desperate he was to feel my goodies at the next possible opportunity. Now I knew how every guy I have ever barraged with texts felt.
To make matters worse, my friend told me the next day how much she liked him better than anyone I’ve dated recently and thought he was great for me.
"My boyfriend is totally not my type. In fact, I didn’t like him at all when we first started dating” she said in front of her boyfriend, “and look at us now!” Maybe she has a point. Since I’ve moved to this city, it always seems like the guys I’m into are only interested in one thing… and I’m never attracted to the ones who actually like me. How can this cycle be broken?! Maybe I should give Roger another chance.
“Just say, ‘Excuse me mister, I don’t really like it when you touch me like that’” was my mom (the nursery school teacher)’s input on the matter.
Are things really that simple?