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#7 – Seven Smoke’s A-Blowin’

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

7 Smoke’s A-Blowin’
6 Skirts A-Dropping
Sca-ven-ger Huuuuunk…..
4 Snowboarding Yanks
3 Taco Bobs
2-Stepping Gent,
and a Partridge in a Greek Salad.

Well… this MAY have been the worst date I’ve been on …to date.

I met Kevin on Match.com and thought his profile was funny.

We started texting a WHILE ago (like…months ago), and then he sort of drifted off. He kept asking me out by text for just a few hours later, and with kids, I just don’t usually have that kind of flexibility. So, I kept telling him that I couldn’t, but that if he’d give me some warning, I’d love to meet!

We reconnected a few weeks ago and I told him about the 12 Dates series I was doing on here and asked if he’d be up for it. He agreed, and we decided to meet for a drink that night (again…last minute).

He wanted to go somewhere dog-friendly because he’d been in court all day and his dog had been abandoned long enough. That was fine with me. I’ve never had someone bring their pet on a date, but hey! – new experiences are good, right?

We met at Little Woodrows in Midtown. When I arrived…I texted that I was walking in, hoping he’d watch for me or come to meet me (I suppose they can’t ALL be Taco Bobs…. greeting you at the door with your favorite brew…). I walked around looking for the guy in the photos on his profile, but was having difficulty. Finally I just looked for a guy with a dog and found him.

At the risk of sounding mean, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t think he looked like he portrayed himself in his profile:

Um...is it just me??

So… while I’m still having this internal dialogue with myself about expectations and gestalt shifts, I’m simultaneously trying to make good first date conversation – asking him about his work, his dog, etc.
…and all the while, his eyes are glued to the TV screen where the Texans are playing.
As in… not looking at me… just sort of half-grunting, half-answering or sitting in silence while watching the game.
When he did give a longer answer, he did so while continuing to hold his gaze at the TV screen, so as to make me feel like he could just be talking to WHOEVER was in the vicinity.
Keep it classy, Kevin.

Now, let me pause to address what I KNOW some of you are thinking (especially the Texas residents) –
“Well, that was a big game! (Against the Patriots) I can see why he was distracted!”

But, here’s the thing… HE agreed to go out – AND be under the microscope, knowing I’d be writing about the date, AND he chose the place (a place with TVs showing the game)… so any inattention to our conversation… or to me at ALL – was on him. I feel pretty strongly about this. If you’re going to be the architect of the date, that carries with it the responsibility of being mentally dialed in to said date.
I have no problem dating someone who loves football, but since I DON’T, I at least expect that he’ll plan accordingly so that there’s not a competition.

I tried to order this fantastic pumpkin beer I’d had there before, but they had taken it off the menu and I needed a minute to think of what I DID want. And he seemed annoyed.

Then, he proceeded to pull a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and light one up.

Uuuuuuummm….. wha?

I am pretty hard-core in my opinion of smoking… no love lost for those who do, but I don’t want to date a smoker. Like – at all.

So, I said, in what I thought was the least judgmental tone I’m capable of, “Oh! You’re – uh …you’re profile didn’t say you were a smoker!?”
His response: “Yeah. I kinda lied about that. But I only smoke when I drink. And Match doesn’t have that category.” (Sans eye-contact, of course, because… the Texans are on, after all…)

Now – I know lots of people in this camp – they don’t smoke other than when they’re drinking. So, I get it. It’s common.
But, guess what? That still COUNTS as “SMOKING!” And since you DO drink, that means (by virture of the law of association?) that you DO in fact, smoke. And, I do in fact, not like it.

So we have a couple of problems here:

kevin - smoking options on match.com1. While Match.com, unlike some of the other dating sites, doesn’t have a box to check that says “Smokes? Only when drinking,” they DO have a box called “occasionally.”
That’s you, Kevin.
THAT’S the box ya shoulda checked. I suppose people who only smoke when they drink, don’t consider themselves “occasional smokers,” but I can’t think of a better term FOR it.
You smoke.
On occasion.
Occasionally.

Yeah…that’s you.

2. Since when are we totes cool with people lying on their profiles? I mean, hello – I know it happens all the time, but isn’t there still some universal notion that it’s not right or good? Putting up photos from when you looked differently or saying that you don’t smoke when you do, or….a myriad other ways people can “fake out” the system – just doesn’t make any sense to me, if you know that the end-game will have you – on a date – with someone who chose you based on your exaggerated profile!?
Not to mention that, last time I checked, lying was bad.
As in – wrong. Immoral. Not friendly.
DEFINITELY on Santa’s naughty list.

So, here I was, with a date who was, both literally and metaphorically, blowing smoke. …while giving me clipped answers so as not to disturb his concentration on the football game, and certainly not asking me ANY questions about myself.

I looked around and asked if he knew if they had a pool table or darts at this location, to which he responded, “Meh…I don’t wanna get into all that...”

Finally (when there was a commercial), he suggested we go inside where it was a little warmer (this was QUITE a chilly night).
By this point, I’m just wishing I had the guts to actually use one of my “Early Dismissal Forms“… or, at the very least, just say, “Look… I think we can both agree that this isn’t exactly a match made in heaven. So, I’m just gonna go.”

But, what sounds SO easy now, as I type this from the comfort of my couch, is socially terrifying when you’re in the moment. Even though I have virtually nothing invested in this man, I still don’t want to hurt his feelings. Plus… it’s just not culturally acceptable to walk out of a date, unless the person does something REALLY egregious. Right?
Besides… I knew my readers were waiting with bated breath to hear about #7, and… how could I disappoint?

So, I forced myself to endure another 20 minutes or so with him where, I’ll admit that the conversation got a LITTLE bit better (mostly because he didn’t have a clear line of sight to the game now), but having set the bar so very low at the outset of the date, I was easily wowed with communication gems such as:

– him saying that he doesn’t like to read “middle-brow literature, like the Kite Runner.” Uuuum…. one of my favorite books…thanks a lot. He said that his ex-girlfriend had called him an intellectual snob because of that opinion. Hey, cowboy… you shoulda listened to her.
I asked him what would qualify for “high brow,” first joking, “OOoooh, totally. I only read the classics, like 50 Shades of Gray.” He gave me a pity chuckle and I followed with, “but what are we talking about, then — Ana Karenina? Or does it have to be Constitutional Law?” (thinking I’m being adorable by making reference to the “literature” of his profession.) He allowed as to how the classics COULD be classified as ‘high brow,’ but then listed off some of HIS favorite authors, none of whom I’d heard of, let alone read.

– (this thread started by HIM) the way people misrepresent themselves in their online profiles.
Seriously!?! We’re having this conversation? Am I being tested? Is Ashton Kutcher about to jump out from behind the bar?
This is SO inception. Talking ABOUT people misrepresenting themselves, when you actually ARE one of those people!?

Finally, I was close enough to the time I’d told him I had to jet (to meet a friend), that I said my goodbye.
We made out in the parking lot for while, and then…
KIDDING! I’m just seeing if you were paying attention. Good job.

NO – no kiss. Ick.
Not only was he condescending, inattentive and deceptive… he had smoker’s breath! Blech.

I gave him the obligatory smile and hug and left.

Scene.

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