The date took place at a bar. We sit at a table, across from one another.
Approximately 5 minutes in, I learn that my date went to (insert name of prestigious east coast design school here) and studied with (insert name of famous person here.) He eventually landed a job at (insert equally prestigious edgy advertising agency) – but not until he traveled and “experienced” (insert names of various countries that I’ve never even heard of.) Then, he pointed to the label on a beer bottle and said, “I designed that.” He pointed to a pair of tennis shoes that a person was wearing, “and I designed those.” And then, modestly, “just the color scheme.”
My date took a sip of his craft beer and stared into my eyes – waiting for me to talk.
I went into panic mode. Somehow my resume must have been confused with another woman’s resume in his pile. And now here I was, accidentally interviewing for a job that I wasn’t qualified for. Like the time I volunteered to make buttons for school election – and walked down the hallway to find out that I was running as a candidate for Class President.
For the record: I don’t like losing. But after I lose, I immediately insist that “I never wanted this to begin with” … and then people get this look on their face like I’m a liar.
And also for the record: I’m not an overachiever, especially when it comes to dating. And this guy in front of me was NOT what I signed up for. From the looks of it, he probably had a vehicle of some sort, probably health insurance. He probably thought Hep C was a band. He probably had pictures..in frames.
I sunk back in my chair. A MISTAKE HAD BEEN MADE.
But, then, I realize: Perhaps this is an OPPORTUNITY. Perhaps, God had finally answered my prayers. (Example: God, just please, no matter how desperate I become… Or how long it’s been since I’ve felt human contact. Just, I’m asking, God… No more dudes with stolen industrial rolls of toilet paper. No more dropping dudes off at community service or helping them with their expungement paperwork. Please God. Just please, this one time, God.)
This moment ***NOW*** in front of this dazzling, manicured, shoe designing specimen… THIS was THE TURNING POINT.
Now I was just sitting there, nodding for like 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 -7 seconds … basically buying time, trying to think of something to say.
8 – 9 – 10 …
I’m nodding, pretending to be concerned about a napkin on the table, adjusting the corners so that they aren’t folded, but this napkin tactic backfires and I become MORE self-conscious and the only things I can think to say are mono-syllabic statements … I am a mongoloid fifth grader. Mongoloid. Do people even say that word? Have I ever said that word? Why am I thinking of that word? No. Don’t say it. MONGOLOID. MONGOLOID. MONGOLOID. That has got to be racist. I’m not making friends here. But what else is new? I have got to start talking now. Say something. Mongoloid. Not Mongoloid. I am failing this date so hard right now.
Me (after what feels like 5 minutes of dead air): I LIKE TO DRAW.
Date (taken aback): Oh?
Me (trying to elaborate, but still Mongoloid voice. I don’t know what a Mongoloid voice is exactly, but that’s how I’m talking. Totally creepy. I don’t know what the fuck has happened to me. This is the Twilight Zone of dating: One day, a woman with phenomenal dating game woke up and her game was gone. Poof. Slow motion, in front of my face, a subway train slowly careening into a cinder block wall. Just one word): CARTOONS.
Date (unsure if I’m joking): Cartoons? You like to draw cartoons? Like, comics?
Me (nodding frantically, like I’m playing charades, hands up in the air): YES, COMICS!
Date: Of what?
Me: COMICS OF ME KILLING MYSELF.