Before he became McWorstDate, there were warning signs. McWD’s profile indicated that he was into polyamory (I’m not—in nursery school I declared, “Sharing is damn yucky stuff!” I’ve learned since then, but there are still some things I don’t share), and it didn’t look as though we had all that much in common. All the same, he seemed quirky and fun, and you just never know.
Now I know. Our date lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. We had agreed to meet for hot chocolate at a chocolatier’s in Harvard Square on a Sunday afternoon. McWD had arrived before I did, but didn’t snag a table before they filled up, and so we had to get our hot chocolate to go instead. We ordered, and I pulled out my wallet to make the obligatory gesture to pay for my drink. McWD let me pay for him too. We decided to wait for a few minutes by the candy counter to see if a table would open up. He wanted to talked about what a ripoff the high-quality chocolate was.
When it became obvious that we were going to strike out on the table front, we left. “I’m starving,” McWD said. “I really need a sandwich.” Then why didn’t you ask me to lunch? I thought. He led us into an Au bon Pain, not the big one in the square (bad enough), but a little hole in the wall next to a Bertucci’s. There I watched him eat a sandwich and drink a container of milk, as he told me about different people he’d dated from the web site. He then said, “I’m surprised my profile didn’t freak you out.”
I’m freaked out now, I thought but said something more polite. After he finished, we agreed to go to the Harvard Book store. “Where do you usually hang out in the bookstore?” he asked.
“Oh, usually the fiction section. Sometimes I check out criticism or poetry, but mostly I just stick to fiction.”
“Well, I really like the erotic section there,” my date said exactly thirty-five minutes into our first less-than-successful encounter. Not only did I find this comment to be a bit sketchy, but I also found it to be just plain odd. The erotic section in this store is one skinny little shelf, and so far as I can tell, it has mostly best-of collections. Odd pick, that one.
We wandered around the front of the store a bit before heading back to the fiction section. “Oh there’s your section,” I said to him, pointing out the little shelf right before the fiction.
“Did they move it?” he asked, surprised by its location.
There, in the section, was a best-of gay men’s short fiction or something like that, featuring a ripped torso on the front cover with a book covering the goods. “Oh my god, that man is hot,” McWD said lustfully. “There is nothing like a really hot man’s chest.” Drool was practically dripping off his chin.
Excuse me? I know you are Mr. Polyamory Man, but you are out on a date with ME! I don’t want you talking about men. I don’t want you talking about other women. I want you to be talking about ME! Tell someone else about the bod!
“Yeah, that is one hot faceless torso,” I said and wandered into the fiction section. My date picked up a book, one I had actually enjoyed, and I said so. He found a damaged copy and decided to try to get a discount on it. “I used to work in a bookstore,” he said knowingly. Just then, his phone rang.
He answered it. Then he proceeded to talk for about fifteen minutes in the store. I nearly left, but for some reason, I didn’t. Instead, I wandered about the store pondering just how bad this date really was. He finished talking and then walked over to me and explained that a friend of his was contemplating dating her professor and she really needed advice. OK.
Next he went to the counter to try to procure a discount, only to be informed that discounts apply to the last copy only. “We have four available now,” I heard her say pointedly.
We left the store, and I informed him that I needed to go. He walked me to the T, gave me a weak hug, and then left to get his bike. I stayed down in the T station for about five minutes, walked back out and did some shopping. I got an e-mail from him saying that although the sparks didn’t fly that it was great to meet me. Yeah.
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