I mentioned the other day that I had kind of a dating disaster this weekend with that guy I used to like, and my friend Jackie asked one of two logical questions: "How did you get from 'I need toilet paper REAL BAD' to dinner with the guy?"
The answer to that one is pretty easy: I've run into him a few more times since February, mostly in passing, and we managed to set up a casual dinner last weekend under the guise of, "Hey, you wanna hang out? Maybe get some dinner or something?"
The other logical question, of course, would be: What the hell happened at dinner? Before I answer that, I'm going to go ahead and say right now that I am a difficult person to date, and therefore not without blame, flaws, or dealbreakers. In no particular order:
1) I like to be alone, and guard my personal space to an almost pathological degree. Not counting the maintenace workers at my apartment complex, fewer than ten people have been inside my apartment, ever, in the time that I have lived here. At my old place, my friend Jen knew me for five and a half years before she got inside my apartment, and that was the night I moved out. I'm fine in other people's space, more or less, but having people in mine leaves my nerves completely fried and I become a little bit tense the longer the visit goes on. Just ask my friend Dan, who stayed on my couch once and moved some things on my shelves.
And has never been invited to stay over again.
2) Direct quote from a former boyfriend: "95% of everything you say is a line from a movie or a reference to television." That's totally untrue. I also reference books and comic books, which has also lead to the following complaint: "I asked one question. I didn't need a ten minute lecture on the twenty different colors of kryptonite and what they do."
"There are only 17 different kinds, not twenty."
"YOU'RE JUST PROVING MY POINT, AND..."
3) ...WHENEVER YOU CORRECT SOMEONE, YOU SAY IT IN THAT INCREDIBLY SNOTTY, CONDESCENDING TONE, EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T MEAN TO."
"I'm sorry you feel that way, but you were wrong."
"That's the tone! Right there!"
"And there's the martyr tone."
I actually do try not to have either of those tones, but I'm usually unsuccessful. Sometimes I even feel bad about it, but most of the time I'm not even conscious of it until someone points it out.
4) This complaint has come from friends and loved ones both: The shelves in my apartment are full of creepy staring action figures with their creepy staring beady little eyes, watching you from every corner:
I like my figures. Looking at them makes me happy. I'm not apologizing for that. (Side note: All of the figures pictured are of comic characters that are gay. It seemed thematically fitting.)
I'm not apologizing for any of these flaws, actually, or the others that I'm sure I have but don't feel like mentioning or can't think of at the moment. (This is not an invitation for any of my friends to point them out.) I'm just pointing out that I have a lot of quirks that I'm sure other people would consider dealbreakers.
And in that spirit, I'd like to give a few dealbreaker highlights and breakup moments of my own. Again, in no particular order:
1) "I don't mean for this to sound racist or anything, but I really hate working with black people."
Years later, I still have no idea how he intended for that to come out somehow sounding other than racist. This was a blind date that a friend set me up on, with her brother. She looked as mortified as I felt when I explained why he and I would not be dating again.
2) "I think it's so cute how you never outgrew comic books."
Don't patronize me. You don't have to like the things that I like, but you should respect the fact that there are reasons why I like them, and that they mean something to me.
3) This next one happened on a "friends" date, rather than a romantic date, but I had kind of a little bit started thinking of my friend as maybe a possibility and this totally killed it. We were watching the first Harry Potter movie, and Oliver Wood (played by Sean Biggerstaff) came onscreen.
"Wow, he's hot!"
"Yeah, but a hot twelve."
There is no hot twelve. That's gross, especially if you're in your twenties. It's as creepy as those "Twilight Moms" lusting after seventeen year old werewolves.
These stories are fun and all, but they still don't answer the question no one asked, which was "What the hell happened at dinner?"
In short, that guy I liked was only likeable when I talked to him for less than a minute at a time. As I mentioned, he considers blogging and all other forms of social media to be a complete waste of time that keeps people from reaching their full potential by "distracting them with meaningless trash, just like TV!"
"You... don't watch TV? Like, any TV at all?"
"I don't even have a TV. I read books and better myself."
You are officially a better person than me, I guess. Like Veronica Sawyer tells country-club Courtney in "Heathers", in her bitchiest and most sarcastic tone, "You're beautiful."