We had agreed to meet for an early dinner. I set the alarm on my phone to go off so I could fake a reason to leave if I needed to and then walked to the pub a couple of blocks from my house while my phone remained neatly on my dining table. I had no exit strategy. I finally understood how George W. Bush felt about Iraq.
I arrived at the pub and quickly found him. We made eye contact as I approached and he stood up to greet me. I reached out to shake his hand while he went in for a hug. Midway through this awkward disaster-waiting-to-happen he realised his error and moved to shake my hand instead. Except in his haste to bring his right hand down and across he punched me in the boob. Hard. So hard I winced and grabbed my boob in full view of the entire pub.
This was sign # 1 that I should really just turn around and leave. I didn't. Silly me.
"I didn't sleep well last night because my cats decided to play tag at two in the morning."
"I'm highly allergic to cats."
I have two. This does not bode well for either of us. Not once in the three times in messages that I mentioned my cats did he ever respond about being allergic. So either he didn't really read my messages because he's a douche or he purposely hid this information from me because he's a douche.
After losing his job due to downsizing during the recession, he moved home. Having a brother in the exact same situation, I have no problem with this per sae, my problem is that he is now employed. I asked if he has plans to move out now that he's working. He doesn't. These are my acceptable reasons for not moving out:
- I incurred debt while unemployed and I want to pay it off before I move out.
- I've decided to save money so I can put a down payment down on a house instead of renting again.
- A parent is having some health issues so I'm staying close to home for the time being.
- After the stress of unemployment and having to be frugal with money, I'm saving up for a really nice five star holiday to relax and treat myself. Once I'm back from that, I'll look to move out.
- My parents' retirement fund took a hit in the market. I know that paying them rent is going a long way to helping them out with that so I'm going to stay for a bit to keep helping them out.
We ended up on the topic of hockey as most my conversations do these days. He was honest that he's not a sports fan but he hoped the Canucks did well. I give points for being honest about his disinterest in sports instead of lying about it (which is all the rage in BC right now), but after then I told him I'm a Canucks fan and he called me a bandwagon jumper because all girls just are. I kid you not, those where his exact words. In one fell swoop, he lost all the points he had gained by being honest.
In trying to find a shared interest, I bring up comic books. He had mentioned them and it seemed like a topic I could show an interest in. After a 10 minute discussion with himself about DC vs Marvel, he looks up at me like he had completely forgotten I was there and then meekly asks "uh, what do you think?"
"I'm not a big comic book reader myself. I mean, I've read a few over the years but it's like D&D, I've often thought I'd like to get into that but I just don't know where to start. I'd be like Zach from The Big Bang Theory: "where are the Archie comics?" Do you watch TBBT?"
"Oh. You should. It's hilarious. Anyway, I do really like the subculture that goes with comic books. Some of the artwork is amazing. I've read a couple of graphic novels. I'm really starting to get into Steampunk costumes and decorating, that came out of a sub-culture of comics and cosplay, I believe. Sci-Fi obviously overlaps with the comic book culture a lot and I love sci-fi. In fact, my friend and I are talking about going to the ECCC next year."
"Emerald City Comicon. In Seattle."
"Yeah." I'm starting to get excited. This is something we have in common and we're only halfway through eating, maybe this will take us to the end of the date!
"Don't do it."
"Why not?" I'm a bit shocked at the attitude he's pulled about going to the con.
"People who go to cons are creepy. I mean, they're grown adults who dress up in costumes for Christ's sake!"
First off, I've just told you I want to go to a con and you've told me that makes me creepy. Thanks a lot.
Second, cosplay is awesome. 'Nuff said.
Third, you're a grown ass adult who doesn't want to move out of your parents home because of pancakes. That is creepy.
When the bill finally arrived, my heart did a little jig. My feet may have even tapped a bit under the table. Now, I had every intention of paying my portion of the bill before I arrived at the pub (I mean, I wasn't going to turn him down if he insisted but I by no means expected him to pay even though he did ask me five times to go on a date before I accepted) but I expected the courtesy of "the bill dance". You know the dance: let me get it; no, no, it's okay, I'll pay my portion; are you sure?; yes. That dance: the world-wide dance done on many a first dates.
Instead he grabs up the bill, loudly complains that it hasn't been separated, states his mathematical prowess while figuring out his portion of the bill, then promptly forgets to a) include his portion of the tax and b) tipped a whopping $0.85. I point this out to him and he writes out the math on a napkin while talking like I'm some simpleton. When he doesn't include the tax after I point it out again, I flag down our waitress and ask for separate bills.
As we're leaving the pub, he asks with all sincerity if he could call me again. Without thinking, I laugh. I feel bad about that for a millisecond before remembering that I'm a creepy bandwagon jumper and simply tell him 'no'. No reasons, no excuses, just no.
When I get home, I find my phone where I left it. It's screaming at its loudest volume "TURN ME OFF! TURN ME OFF!" while the screen blinks on and off. I know exactly how it feels.