The Stranger

Oh wow. I was sure that I was being punked…

Last Sunday, I took J to see Iron Man 3 at Alamo (it was great. Go see it). Afterwards, she treated me to coffee at Genuine Joe’s Coffee on Anderson. We walked inside, and there was this guy standing at the counter, just staring at us. And not in a “I am going to casually glance your way and then look away quickly” kind of way; no, this was a full up and down and then stare into my eyes to make sure that I knew he was checking me out. He looked like a younger version of Will Schue on Glee, except that his hair was not as similar to a Chia Pet. As we walked up to the counter, he smiled widely, and then walked over to sit with some people. I just looked at J, smiled, and we took our drinks outside.

J and I must have been sitting there and gossiping for an hour or so, when she asked, “Isn’t that the guy that was checking you out inside?” I tried to do the casual look over the shoulder to see (that never works, by the way). He caught me looking, smiled, and WALKED OVER TO THE TABLE, PULLED THE EXTRA CHAIR OUT, AND SAT DOWN.

Okay, if this happens to you all of the time, congratulations. This has never happened to me. Ever. I’ve had guys approach me at a club or a bar, sure, but to be so bold as to seat yourself at a table where two women are obviously chatting with each other and not looking for a hookup is… rather appealing.

“How are you ladies doing?”

I looked at J, sure that at any moment she was going to start laughing. There was no way this guy would just come and sit down with us. She answered him.

“Fine. How about you?”
“Oh good, just finishing up a Spanish class. What are you two up to today?”

So now I answered.

“Not much. Went to see the new Iron Man, now we’re just gossiping over our coffee.”
“I didn’t even realize the new Iron Man was out yet. I’m not much into movies.”

Okay, you’ve lost my undying love, not because I am such an Iron Man fan, but you’re not into movies? Who even says that out loud? Okay, so I ask what he is doing for the rest of the afternoon, and that’s when…

“Actually, I’m on my way to a swing dance class. Would you ladies like to join me?”

What? Did you really just ask us out? Like, two girls, at once, you just asked out? Without knowing our names, ages, whether we are psycho killers?

I demurred, as B had been sick, and I needed to get back to her. J passed, as she was still in the early stages of seeing someone, and she wasn’t ready to juggle. But this guy was all good with it. He sat there talking with us for a couple of more minutes when J blurted out, “So do you usually talk to total stranger girls without giving your name?”

Our guy laughs, ask me if my friend is always so impatient, and I said, “Sometimes, although she’s usually more patient than I am. I gotta say though – I don’t think I want to know your name. I think I’ll call you The Stranger. It goes with the whole mysterious vibe you’ve got going on.”

The Stranger smiled, nodded approvingly, and stayed there talking with us for another 15 minutes. Around 4, he announced that he had to head over to the dance class, asked us again if we wanted to come with, and then said goodbye. No names were exchanged, no numbers, nothing. It was pure and simple flirting, and was truly the highlight of my day (well besides the movie and hanging out with J. So it ranked in the Top 3).

I did have to ask J afterwards if she was punking me. “Did you actually know that guy?”
“NO!! I swear to you, that has never happened to me before. That was so weird!”
“Weird?!? That was so cool!!”

Thus endeth the tale of The Stranger. Wherever he is, he goes there boldly and without restraint. God bless him!

– Finch

And then I Googled him

After my 30th birthday, and once my disappointment of not hearing from Catcher had dissipated, I decided that it was time to get back out there. On to the next one, right? So back to CL I went. Another ad, another load of responses. While sorting through, I found a decent one. Cute picture, promised to make me laugh, kept it short and simple. So we decide to meet up. I was actually in the middle of studying for my Spanish mid-term, and I didn’t really need the distraction, but yeah, I kind of needed the distraction. So we make plans to get together on a Wednesday for dinner. For some unknown reason, I give this person my number within a day of emailing him. But when I did, I told him that I was studying and that I really needed to focus.

So, of course, less than five minute after I email him my number, he starts texting. And he’s one of those really annoying texters who sends three or four emails back to back. Like, completely separate emails, not just one long continuous one. I finally deflect him long enough to hit the books. This was Sunday.

On Monday, I kid you not, we exchanged 150 text messages. 150. I feel sick just writing that. He keeps going on and on about how we are so compatible, he really wants to meet up with me sooner. Okay, he wears me down enough to where I finally agree to meet him that night for coffee (my mid-term had happened that morning. And yes, I aced it).

So that night, we meet at my local Coffee Bean. He was incredibly cute – very Jake Gyllenhaal. Except, he was exactly my height. And I was wearing flip-flops. Alright, no biggie smalls (ha). We start in on the conversation. I’m having a great time, but there are some red flags. He’s been engaged twice, and with one of them, actually got married, but had it annulled about a week later. He has broken up with girls because they wanted sex too soon (within two months of dating). He lost 100 pounds about a year and a half ago, and he started dating voraciously since then, going on about 100 different dates with 100 different girls in one year.

And here’s where he lost me. Because, at that point, you’re not trying to find your soul mate, or even, really, a girlfriend. You’re adding notches to your belt. You’re going to all the hot chicks who wouldn’t look at you when you had the extra weight and saying “hey, check me out now. Don’t you wish you had this?” And hey, that’s all well and good, but 100 dates in a year is, on average, two dates a week. I would imagine that with that type of saturation, you probably met at least one or two ladies who were “right” for you, but because of this drive to run through everyone, you passed them by. Speaking of drive… we’ll get to that.

So the night ends, he walks me to my car, hugs me, says, “Okay, we’re still on for Wednesday, right?” I said sure. Of course, I never heard from him again. As I was telling all of this to Tripp, an ex who is now a good friend, he asks what the guys name is. I tell him, we agree that it is a good name, though not as awesome as Catcher’s, and we move on. Until two days later, when Tripp sends me an email with the guy’s name, and one sentence underneath – “Google him.” So I did.

O.M.G. Tell me why the very first thing I saw was a picture – actually, make that two pictures – of him, that look suspiciously like mugshots. I click on them, and oh yes, they were indeed mugshots. One from July, 2012 for public intoxication, and one from August, 2012 for DWI. So you’re a serial dater, who would have looked like a hobbit next to me in my heels, who can’t handle his alcohol or drink responsibly. Yeah, nice to meet you too.

My girl T told me once that “man’s rejection is God’s protection.” On this one, she was so freaking right.

We now call him “Mugshots.”

– Finch

Don’t give up on us!

The thing that scares me about living in a world where so many people online date is that it is much more difficult to spot the creepers. Usually, out in the real world, you can spy them out. They won’t approach you, or they just have that creepy sense about them, so you can escape to the safety of your girls before you exchange vital information, like your names. But online, these guys can create any persona which they desire, and you may fall for profile, and be sorely disappointed by the man. Luckily with this guy, I never had to meet him.

So I was spending a little time on OKcupid, beefing up my profile, adding some pictures, answering a ridiculous amount of questions, when I get a notice that I have a message. This guy has written to me, and right off, I’m a bit smitten. Why? Because he obviously read through my profile. This was not a “Hey, wassup?” message. No, no, he saw what my interests were, he commented on my movie taste, he showed a keen interest. I then read his profile, and thought, “Wow! We are totally on the same page!” We were both in similar places with school/work. We both had dogs, and ran with them frequently. I was loving it.

We email back and forth over the next couple of days, and then we set up a date. Nothing too stressful – just coffee. Here’s where the awkwardness began. Almost immediately after we had set the date, he started sending me strange messages. “I can’t wait to meet you and see your beauty before me.” Okay, I like to be called beautiful, but a little much. “I’m counting down the very minutes until we see each other.” We weren’t meeting for another three days – that’s a lot of minute-counting! “I’m not even worried about what to say, because I just want to stare into your eyes.” And, we’re done.

If this were all, I might have gone through with it, but this continued up until the day before we were supposed to meet. At that point, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I messaged him that I wasn’t going to be able to make it, but that we could reschedule. Yes, I lied. Apparently, I had meant a lot more to him than he meant to me. “Don’t give up on us!!!” was sent to me multiple times before I blocked him from being able to view my profile.

Maybe I should have been more like Selina Kyle in Batman Returns (that’s from 1992, FYI) – “The sickos don’t scare me. At least they’re committed.”

– Finch