Sunday, September 11, 2011

Adventures in Dating, Episode 4: The Disappearance of Dart League

I'm not against games played in bars.

I've been known to dominate a trivia game, put forth a valiant effort In Shuffleboard, and once played an excruciatingly uncomfortable game of pool in front of a group of bikers who stared at my ass while on a touchy/grabby date with a man I like to refer to as "Panty Raider" for reasons I'd rather not disclose.

And no, there will be no episode on SeƱor Asaltante de Pantalones. 

But I don't get darts. What do you mean I'm not supposed to try for a bullseye? And hang on, there's math involved?  Yeah, count me out guys, I'd rather spend the evening with the Love Tester machine in the vestibule. 

So when "Tim" (that's his real name, I just like the sarcastic tone of voice I use in my head when reading names in quotation marks) contacted me on and a closer look at his profile revealed that he played on a dart league, I was admittedly dubious. Also he looked a little like a douchetard in his profile photo... but as previously confessed in episodes One, Two and Three, I was horribly lonely. So we agreed to meet at Earl's on the 16th Street Mall. For those of you not in the know, this is a touristy, crowded, well-lit public place and perfect for a blind date for those who can't help thinking of shallow, unmarked graves and the pathetically few people who would notice if I never made it back to my home.

(Gotta give a quick shout out to my girl B who served as my safety during these adventures...I'd tell her where I was going, at what time and what his name allegedly was along with his phone number. What up, B? We made it through the reign of terror!)

10 minutes to D-time, I pulled into a parking lot, paid at the self-service machine and walked back to my car to place the ticket on my dashboard.  As I was walking back towards the street, apparently in the goddamn middle of the driveway (so weird when you realize that you're that girl), I became uncomfortably aware of a vehicle with an impatient driver trying to navigate around me. Without even looking, I knew it was him. Cuz that's pretty much how I roll. I stepped aside, turned and there he was.

Admittedly, I don't know a lot about trucks, but for a non-commercial vehicle, this one seemed to have an over-abundance of both doors and tires. I didn't recall him mentioning a ranch or a road crew, so I immediately named his truck "The Compensator" in my head. It's just what I do. I judge.

Seems practical.  If you have a ranch or perhaps a thumb-sized penis.

We greeted each other, laughing at the awkwardness of the situation, and proceeded to the restaurant. It was a pleasant summer night and we snagged a great table on the upstairs balcony. As I recall, he ordered a slightly girlie drink (Bacardi & Diet Coke maybe?) and I ordered a beer and as expected the waitress got it wrong when delivering the drinks.

In person, he was actually quite handsome, having apparently abandoned the salt and pepper pompadour for something a bit less Rick Perry-esque. He was tall (I'm 5'2", so everyone is tall to me), appeared relatively fit and had an easy laugh. I was surprisingly at ease with him and the witty repartee began.

Do I enjoy darts?  Yes indeedy-do!

If you're keeping score at home, and no doubt you are, the game is all tied up at this point. In the plus column, we've got witty repartee and non-douchetardy looks.  In the minus column, we've got The Compensator and a possibly dorktastic past time.

About twenty minutes into the date, we were talking about weight loss and tight jeans and such and he said "Oh believe me, you'd never fit into my jeans," and while I know what he actually meant was that they'd be far too big, I replied "And based on that statement, you won't be getting into mine."

We belly-laughed, and it was a nice moment. Next to inappropriately-timed laughter (think: grandpa's funeral or your own execution), belly-laughter is absolutely my favorite kind.

The next thing I knew, two hours had passed and things were still surprisingly when he asked if I wanted to stay for dinner, I said yes.  (For those of you who have never endured online dating and who simply have to try it based on just how appealing I've made it sound, here's a tip: Never, and I mean NEVER, commit to meeting for dinner on a first date. Just commit to drinks or coffee so you can kick the tires and don't have to feign illness or chew your own arm off to escape the horror. Look for an upcoming episode featuring "The Whale" which will illustrate.)

Dinner passed in a flash and although we were still clearly enjoying one another's company, I suggested I needed to get home to let my dog Jackson out (poor lil Jax, Mommy's dating pawn). Basically, my intent was simply to leave him wanting more.

It worked. He walked me to my car (a giant Durango absolutely dwarfed by "The Compensator"), and we spent several surprisingly awkward moments saying goodbye and trying not to kiss each other. I mean, we absolutely clicked...for real. There were crazy sparks flying all night and we both knew we wanted it to continue... just at a respectable pace.  Well, maybe semi-respectable.  Okay, I at least wanted to have clean-shaven legs.

I got in my car and drove away, my heart and other regions of my body all aflutter. I hadn't gotten out of downtown before I got a text message from him telling me how much fun he had and how we absolutely had to get together again and he was counting the minutes.

Do I know how to hook 'em, or what?

After The Tongue, Dutch, Trout, Panty Raider and other dates that deserve no blog posts for their ordinary awfulness, you can imagine how pleased I was.  I went to sleep that night with a strange warm feeling I couldn't quite identify. In retrospect I think it was a surge of high self-esteem.  Or maybe just a low-grade fever.  It's a tough call.

But then the weirdest thing happened. Dart League completely disappeared. Not a phone call, text nor email to be had.

Because I'm me, I spent copious amounts of time navel-gazing to determine exactly where I went wrong. I enlisted the involuntary help of countless girlfriends who assured me he'd call. I spoke at length with Yoda (my shrink) on the topic. She said I had nothing to lose and should just contact him.

So, pride suffering, confidence shaken, I finally said "fuck it" and sent the following text (I curse a lot in my head):

"Hi Tim, I really felt like we clicked last week so I'm a little concerned you may be trapped under a heavy piece of furniture. I'm a good person to know in a crisis so please feel free to call me."


Enter the well-meaning friends to tell me "He just got scared, clearly he really liked you." "You're too good for him." "Are you out of wine?"

Um... No, quite possibly, and fuck yes.

Fast forward 5 months.  I was sitting at the bar at Sushi Den, awaiting the arrival of "The Wookie" so that I could break up with him (details to be shared in a future episode). I was feeling very self-conscious because I was wearing a kilt and Uggs (also to be explained in said future episode) and I realized someone was staring at me. I glanced down the bar and there was Dart League.

Seated next to him was his long-standing wife.

How did I know that a) they were married and b) for more than a few months?  Well, they were wearing wedding rings, clearly together, and miserably indifferent to each other.

We made eye contact.

I looked at the wife and then back at him.  And laughed.


1 comment:

  1. holy shit what a lying, manipulative, cheating bastard! What the fuck is wrong with people?!?!? Loved your post. Laughed out loud in several spots. And beware of the cursing in your head thing. I was like that, but after having 3 kids, I could no longer keep it all in my head. So each of my kids' first word was "shit shit shit". What can I say. It's life, and sometimes it's a lot of shit.