Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventures in Dating, Episode 5: Night of the Living Dead

This is the 6th installment of my "Adventures in Dating" series. Enjoy episodes 1,234 and 4.5 here.

It was late February-ish and I was still suffering through the winter of my discontent. I'd been knee-deep in dorks and poozers for months on end with still not a single normal relationship brewing on the horizon. Most mornings found me crying alone in my bed, so desperate for affection and human touch that even I, master of the dramatic, was taken aback. I just wanted to connect with someone, to feel appreciated, to have someone with whom to share my ever-multiplying stash of Groupons. Seriously, how the fuck was I supposed to eat $40 in dine-in Thai food alone?

But I had learned several things the hard way in the previous months:

A) Do not go out with someone that you haven't had at least a 10 minute phone conversation with, unless you particularly enjoy uncomfortable silences, the sound of crickets and the possibility of a tumbleweed blowing through your alleged "conversation."

B) Do not go out with a man who refuses to provide you with a photo. I promise there's a good reason for the omission and it's not because Quasimodo is a CEO trying to protect his identity or his millions.

C) Not everyone you meet online is a well-adjusted, normal person.  In fact, it's very possible that you yourself may not be a well-adjusted, normal person.

These make perfect sense, right? So it stands to reason that in desperation, I chucked this hard-won logic out the window and accepted a date with a man not properly vetted.

What could possibly go wrong?

His name was Rick and he looked like Anderson Cooper, just with a hard-on for zombies.  Of course for all I know, Anderson Cooper really does have a hard-on for zombies. But as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sure, his profile photos were a veritable "Welcome to My Mid-Life Crisis," and at least one featured him wearing something he called a "utility kilt." Still, the prospect of having a glass of wine with a man in a skirt was more appealing than another night alone. Plus I totally wanted to impress him with my new word: "Utilikilt."

Like this, only way cooler.

We met in the bar of a restaurant. After a quick physical appraisal we both sat down and commenced with the small talk. Approximately 5 minutes into the date, he suggested we play a game.

If someone suggests you play a game on your first date, you should know that things are about to get severely goofy or about eighty-nine kinds of inappropriate.  But whether it was because I was desperate for acceptance (totally true) or because I knew it would make an entertaining Facebook status (also true), I agreed. And so we played "3 Reasons."

"3 Reasons" is just good family fun. The object, he explained, was for me to pick another woman in the bar at random and give him 3 reasons why I'd be a better girlfriend. Despite the strong urge to point to my boobs and say "You only need 2'" I sat silent for a moment, then declined to play.  In a sudden and surprising rush of self-esteem that would've made Yoda (my shrink) fiercely proud, I justified myself by saying "I don't feel the need to justify myself to you or anyone else."

To which he said "You're no fun."

WTF? I'm the poster child for fun! Which is why I remained seated and let him propose another game. After all, the entire population of Facebook-- and eventually you, dear reader-- were waiting to mercilessly mock this guy.  And he did not disappoint, by suggesting we play "3 Questions."  (He was apparently obsessed with the number 3 and quite frankly, the possibilities this suggested were best ignored.)

"3 Questions" is another family favorite in which we each could ask the other 3 questions about anything...and each had to then answer the questions honestly. Not surprisingly, he queried first.

Before I tell you what his first question was, I want you to think of the opportunity and possibilities here. He could ask me ANYTHING he wanted in order to uncover what makes me unique, what makes me tick, what I feel in my little heart of hearts. And so obviously his first question was: "Shaved, natural, or waxed?"

I shit you not.

At this point, morbid curiosity set in and I was determined to see this date through to the bitter end. Not surprisingly, he next revealed he was a Libertarian (well hello there, Dutch!) and then lectured me on why my political beliefs were wrong, stupid, misguided, constitutionally illegal and quite possibly dangerous. My best friend's husband is Libertarian so I'd heard these bullet points before, complete with puffed-out Ayn Rand references as if no one else has ever read a work of fiction.

Yawn, supress urge to roll eyes, change subject.

After the stump speech, Rick must've felt really close to me because he began to share his interests.  I've found that the more you allow a man to talk about himself, the more fascinating he'll find you, and this was no different.  And what interested Rick? In a word:  Zombies. And then more zombies. And then, just for giggles, even more zombies.

Rick, or "Plan Z" as I began think of him, owned 127 zombie DVD's. Over the next two hours, he told me so much about them that it felt as though I was experiencing all 127 of them in real time. We discussed (and by "discussed" I mean he talked and I nodded) his participation in the largest Zombie Walk in the U.S. and he even showed me a photo of this crowning achievement. And yes, even as a zombie, he was wearing a dress.

It's possible we were made for each other.  I'm one hot zombie!

As we ordered dinner, Plan Z mentioned that he was a "Paleo-eater." Not-at-all-interested, I of course asked what, pray-tell, was involved in paleo-eating? His answer began: "Human beings have been on the planet for 13 million years."

Um, hold the phone there, Homo erectus.  Most scientists believe it's more like roughly 200,000 years. But what's a few million years between friends? So, much like during his Libertarian monologue, I bit my tongue. And then bit it again, harder this time, as the sensation was more enjoyable than the actual conversation he was having.

Plan Z continued to educate me:  "Yep, 13 million years. And the reason people have diverticulitis and gluten allergies today is because we're eating the wrong things. We need to eat like cave men did."

And although I was smiling and nodding and acting all engrossed-like, inside I was thinking, "Didn't cave men, robustly gastronomically healthy or not, live to the ripe old age of like 12?" But Plan Z plowed boldly forward, prescribing a simple diet that would cure all that ails us.  According to him, there are only 3 things we should eat: Meat, fruit...and tree nuts.

And then I giggled because he said "nuts."

Oh, and we should also stay away from anything that is intentionally farmed.  So basically, we should all become hunter-gatherers.  I fought the urge to ask him if we should also be nomadic-- is shelter killing us too?

To underscore his point, Plan Z ordered grilled shrimp for dinner. Now I'm certainly no paleontologist, but I'm kinda thinking that most cave men "13 million years ago" were not harvesting shrimp, unless their rudimentary tools included a private jet to the coast, a nice boat, and some naturally-occurring netting. And I'm still a little unclear on whether or not their stance on fire was "fire bad" or "fire good."

You might be asking yourself what a handsome cave man in a skirt does for a living?  I know I was certainly curious!  So when I asked what he did, you can imagine the look on my face when he replied "I dabble." Plan Z was apparently a dabbler of the highest accord who went on to infer that said dabbling was incredibly profitable and in fact, he had published books with 3 different publishers. I began to wonder if he was just a shaved Trout.

In the end, the restraint I showed on this date was remarkable-- I think Gandhi himself would've smacked the guy. But all good things must come to an end, and it was eventually time to bid my dabbling doofus adieu. After the build-up of his political philosophy, the description of his expansive DVD library, the references to his lucrative and varied career, I was remarkably interested in what he drove. Would it be the E Class? A little something from the 700 series? Perhaps something low, sleek, sporty and yet compensatory?

At the heart of this line of thought was this: If this guy was loaded, could I overlook the Utilikit, the zombie fascination, the Tea Party leaning, the cave man diet, the dabbling...and make a go of it to secure an economic future for myself? Might it be possible to ignore his deranged need to define my groin grooming habits in order to avoid becoming a dog food-eating Walmart Greeter in my golden years?

He walked me to my car, said he had a wonderful time and would love to see me again (of course he would).  And then Plan Z drove off.

In a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo.

Complete with a Libertarian bumper sticker.

"Hello, and welcome to Walmart."  It really does just roll off the tongue, doesn't it?


  1. Omg on a plane lol , crying , can't catch my breath funny !!!! Girl u need to write a book and take this on the road !!!!!!

  2. I think I'm beginning to understand why Hindi women might prefer to throw themselves on a funeral pyre!!

  3. Ok, this might be better than the dude in the lace panties! hahaha!