Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Taking One For The Team

I know that all the fine readers of the Damfinoblog(well Krysta and Jed anyway) are eagerly awaiting the story of a mild Seattle evening in late spring. An evening that turns a young man's fancy to dates and longing. A night a young man will never forget for the rest of his life.

If you know anyone who's got a story like that, let me know. Because after last night, I would sure love to hear one.

I must preface this by saying that I've never been the smoothest fellow on the planet. Jed can vouch for this, as he was staying with me as I tried to woo a young girl the summer after I graduated high school, and screwing up a perfectly good cheescake in my efforts. Seattle is a tougher town for dating to be sure, and so I turned to what I deemed a neccesary evil: Internet Dating.

To fast forward, I've not had great luck with internet dating. Most of the time I'm lucky if I get one date a year out of it, and I've come to understand that their strategy is much like the lottery. Get people to feel as though they could win against all odds, but only by forking over insane amounts of cash for the chance to try.

Last night I waited in the Starbucks at Barnes and Noble, reading a newly purchased Jim Thompson book and scanning about. Since the girl in question took some pictures of herself at rather odd overhead angles, I didn't have a very clear idea at all of what she looked like. Finally, around five. I looked in the corner of the room. There was someone sitting alone pulling out her cell, presumably looking for messages. This must be her, I thought.

There are time, upon locking a gaze with someone across the room where you get a certain look in your eyes, and in this case that look in my eyes was one that begged me to scrub them with steel wool. Ok, so she's not attractive. I try not to be shallow. I really do. But there are some people with whom you know that looks cannot be overcome. I went over and said "Hello, my name is Alex" and she replied, "Hmmph, I thought so."

I don't know in retrospect, if the "hmm" and "hmmphs" that punctuated nearly every sentence she spoke was some sort of tic, or if it was nerves, but it permeated our entire conversation.

I thought to myself, I should give this person a chance, even if I'm not attracted to her. Luckily for me, she opened her mouth and began talking. At that point, I knew that her looks were the least of her problems.

What followed was I would have to say, a magical experience...much in the way getting teeth pulled without anesthetic is magical. Without question, it was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. She was sarcastic, self absorbed, not funny, depressing, boring, and completely unattractive. It was as though everything you don't want in a person was distilled into one grotesque caricature of a human being.

And this is me holding back...

I sat there for an hour and forty-five minutes with this person, treating her respectfully, though I didn't even want to be there. I had a rescue call in place, but when my phone rang, and I went to get it to have an excuse to leave she gave me the evil eyes and kind of snapped, "What's going on? Something wrong? What's wrong?". So I was so taken aback I said nothing. I missed both my rescue calls and finally had to ask if she minded if I looked at the time. She was very annoyed when I told her I had to go. I think she would have gone on rambling about herself and her personal situations and lack of taste in everything if I would have let her. And that was part of the problem. I felt bad because I don't think she goes on many dates. Probably less than me, if that gives you any indication. But she was so negative! It was like she was sucking all the air out of the room.

I finally escaped and she wasn't even going to say goodbye. I stopped her and told her it was nice to meet her(it wasn't) and she said "You too". But as she did it, she had the audacity to roll her eyes at me, as though she knew it was coming, and she knew that it had to be the fact that I was a shallow ass that killed the evening, not her toxic personality.

I ran home and curled up in the fetal position with a triple Bushmills and water, trying to convince myself that it was all a bad dream. Unfortunately for me, I know that's not true.

From now on I think it may be best to take the advice of one Alice Cooper.

"No more Mr. Nice Guy, no more Mr. Cleeeheeheean!"

Pfft. Yeah right...


krysta jo said...

OH MY...

Thank you for the delightful story. It made me giggle, cry, shake my head, and generally cringe. Overall, I give your story-telling ability a two thumbs up.

That might quite possibly be the worst date story I have ever heard and for that I truly feel bad for you.

However, can you go into a more in depth description of her ugliness? Did she have that "I just stepped out of the trailer park" look or was it more "All my shopping is done at Hot Topic"?

Damfino said...

Holy crap.... I think I soiled myself.

Kern - how could you let the rescue calls go?!?! You had your out, yet you still hung in for the nasty closure.

This is an absolute nightmare. I would recommend opening your head and scraping the edge of your brain to erase the whole experience.

I have had a few dates like this... they tend to destroy your will to live.

The truly sad part is that she was not even attractive... I am completely shallow and embrace the whole judging people by looks thing... and I would have bolted early!

Then again - I am hated by most and respected by few.

Sorry man... don't reply when she sends on the 2nd date e-mail... just erase and breathe easy.

Kern said...

Well, I didn't really want to focus on that as much in the story, because I wanted to emphasize the fact that her personality was rancid, not so much just the fact that she was unattractive. But since you asked.

She was probably no lighter than 225 to start with. She seemed to do most of her shopping at Modern Grandma, and it looked as if dental work were like actual work to her, she would have been unemployed on both counts.

She also had a grating voice, which resembled that of Stan's sister on South Park...a bratty slur that venomously dribbled out of her mouth, with a touch of Mumbles from Dick Tracy.

There are so many things to dislike about her, I could have easily gone on for several pages, but thought I would condense it for the sake of brevity.

Krysta, I hope your date goes far better than mine...

krysta jo said...

Oh good lord.

That's all I can think to say. Well that and she sounds like the kind of person that causes me and my mom to point and discuss behind our hands. If she contacts you, you might suggest she visit the Iowa State Fair sometime - she'd fit right in.

I have no qualms about my date - but thanks for the kind thoughts. I'll have to give you all the rundown on Monday morning.

Kern said...

In answer to Jed's question:

I was scared.

This woman was physically imposing. I'm probably 2/3 her size, and she kept giving me this evil, hypnotic eye thing every time I made for the phone.

On the second attempt I was able to get it out and look at it, but I was greeted with a look that would have scorched the flesh off of many a man, but I withstood it, feeling the phone might melt in my hand if I didn't pocket it right away.

It was truly a nightmare. She would make a great interrogator. That sloth-y, slurring voice...that half-baked method of seduction(she kept putting her face in her hands and messing about with her hair). I spent almost two hours with her on what was supposed to be a friendly outing. Just imagine what she could do with all the time in the world with some poor bastard she wasn't trying to court.

Another funny note about her musical selections. Her two favorite musicians...wait for it, wait for it...Sarah Mclachlan and Tori Amos. I like Tori, myself. But...

If the two artists you can think to talk about were most contemporary in 1995 or on Lillith Fair, or both, then you need to brush up with a copy of SPIN or something before going out into public. Make cue cards while watching MTV or something. She went on to say she was a big fan of Counting Crows, and Black Crowes. I was almost tempted to ask whether she was drawn to any band with the name "crows" in it, but restrained myself. She talked about her large music collection, but didn't really enlighten me on anything. She seemed to like a few people that were kind of cool, but only bands that were kind of breaking out right now anyway.

She also told me she didn't like movies with ambiguous endings. In retrospect, I think that's odd, since she seemed to have an almost ambiguous gender assignment.

One of the best parts was when I said, "Mind if I check my watch?" and she shrugged and did that harrumphing thing, and said "Harrumph, well, I'm not gonna stop you."

No. No you will not...

krysta jo said...

Maybe you should have used the classic "I need to visit the men's room" and then leaped out of the window. After all, a broken arm, leg or head would have been worth escaping the horrors of this date.

Kern said...

Well, I don't think there were any available windows. This particular Barnes and Noble was smack in the middle of an upscale shopping center downtown. And I was on the bottom floor.

My other favorite line when I first met her...I was shell shocked after she said, "Hmmph, I thought you were" when I had introduced myself. I sat down and I must have had the deer in the headlights look. She sarcastically mustered forth, "Uhh, aren't you going to get any coffee?", accompanied by a slight head shake.

I believed I could do nothing more than shake my head and squeak "yes" or some equivalent tone of agreement.

In retrospect, I should have just gotten it to go.

krysta jo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
krysta jo said...

That would have been awesome, but think of the greater good of the group - we need stories like this for entertainment purposes.

This whole situation though begs the question of why these types of people even exist and where they come from. I get increasingly agitated when I meet rude, inconsiderate, not-pretty people who feel it is their job to tell you everything they think and feel, even if it offends you. Did their mamas not teach them any manners? And...by all means...it's high time that we realize there are fashion magazines, catalogs and television shows which can help us dress a little nicer than skanktastic.

I won't even get into her music selection because even I (the country princess that I am) know that she lacks some serious originality and taste in music.

Damfino said...

Who deleted a comment?

krysta jo said...

I had a misspelling so I deleted it and hoped that no one would notice. Thanks for calling attention to my mistakes. GOSH.

Damfino said...

You are such a poser KJ!

(actually, I misspelled Guinness a while back... but Kern called me out on it... so I guess we are just one huge jackass of a blog!)

Kern said...

But it's the little mistakes that give the blog such character!

But back to the original topic...I think Krysta is correct. With a wealth of media out there for the plucking, it seems almost absurd for a person who seems to think she's so on top of it and into hip things and above it all, to not be more clued in.

How does that happen, honestly? At least with geeks like myself, the thing I have going for me is a near encyclopoedic knowledge of my subjects, and a grasp of things a fair amount ahead of the curve. So even when I don't have an exciting social life or a girlfriend or what have you, I can hide behind the fact I've dedicated myself to intellectual pursuits and art.

It may be a lame excuse, but I like it.

People like this girl just hide behind a low self image and sarcasm.

Kern said...

PS-She just e-mailed me, and said that she had a great time. Apparently, she "doesn't get to talk to many local folks besides her family, so it was a rare treat for her :P"

Being Mr. Nice Guy...I don't suggest it.

Kern said...

As I think about it, the mental blocks I threw up are crumbling and there are even more memories I think I supressed in earlier renditions of the tale...

I hate to beat a dead horse, but this was another special tidbit I wanted to share from an e-mail my recent date sent me yesterday.

"I probably babbled way too much about silly things, but I LIKE to think that's part of my charm, so it works. ;P"

Couple this with her charming anecdote about how she just purchased a "Darth Tater" Mr. Potato Head on Ebay, and how she wouldn't pay the going rate of 40 dollars as 40 dollars is "so not worth it" and how cute it is going to look in her apartment, and I think we are one Darth Tater short of her jumping out of the bushes in front of my apartment building to stab me in the privates...

krysta jo said...

Alex - oh my. Please tell me you just deleted it. If a Darth Tater is going to look good in her apartment, I shudder to think of her decorating abilities.

As far as fashion goes, it's always just safe to try to NOT be the person that people are pointing to and laughing at. That's my whole goal in life.

I like how she thinks she is "charming." Amazing. Maybe those weren't hate eyes when she was glaring at you - maybe they were bedroom eyes. Lucky you! And...before I begin my day of drudgery behind my computer, did she really say "folks"?

Kern said...

KJ-Upon further examination, she did not actually say "folks", but "people". She also used that horrible ;) emoticon after it. And also as though she wants to emphasize that she's giggling about something she actually writes out "heehee". I think you might be right about the bedroom eyes. That or she was thinking about dinner, and I transmuted into a large walking steak as happens in Warner Bros. cartoons so frequently.

I also figured out that the "hmmph" or "harrumph" was actually not that, but what I've now deduced was her pathetic attempts at a coquette-ish giggle. It ended up sound more like the Pillsbury Doughboy being strangled from behind with piano wire.

I now fear that she viewed the worst two hours of my life as some sort of "dream date". Of course, I imagine for her a dream date actually consists of her and a breathing human male, but maybe she's not that particular.

krysta jo said...

So inquiring minds want to know if you are going to buckle to peer pressure and "nice person syndrome" and go out with her again. Speaking from wretched experience, just say no.

I just got reprimanded by the janitor for throwing my gum away in the trash can without the wrapper on it. Isn't it his job to take out the trash? I am simply insuring his financial stability. And...besides that, where would he like me to put my used gum?

Kern said...

Well, I think truthfully, I will not succumb to that syndrome. I've come to feel as though if you can't read the end of the date where I specifically do not say that I will call/write her, she should know it's probably not good. Should I be held responsible for her lack of ability to read signals? I think not.

I fear that in trying to be kind in the first place I may have inadvertently led her on. God knows, that wasn't my intention. I know that there is no way in Hell that I could stomach another date like that.

As for the janitor, this is like one of those "rinse the dish before you put it in the dishwasher" conundrums. Is this the same janitor who was sweet on you the other day? If so, he's just being bitter. If it's not, this janitor would probably get a lot more done if he tried sweeping with the broom while it's not protruding from his posterior.

Or to put it less kindly, tell him to take the stick out of his ass and get back to work.

krysta jo said...

Ok good point about signals. But sometimes it's just so hard to read them. I wish we lived in a society where it was acceptable and preferred for someone to say, "Sorry I don't like you." That would save a lot of time with signals and also trying to come up with lame-o excuses as to why you can't see each other anymore. You know??

As far as the janitor goes, he is just crabby because I won't hardly talk to him anymore when he comes in my office because I am busy and he scares me. Oh and he is too lazy to take the trash bag out of the trash can. I can't wait for his temporary status at ISU to disappear. Your suggestion made me giggle - don't tell Jed...

Kern said...

Man, I wish I could have just said, "Thanks for coming. I just didn't feel there was any chemistry, though" but my mum thought that would be a bit harsh. Ironically, she was quite down with the rescue call idea though.

This janitor sounds like a wanker to me. Classic case of he gets "shut down"(though there was no chance anyhow) and so now he's going to be all Polly Prissypants about everything. In fact, he's probably looking for any excuse in the world to speak to you, so the only in he's got are discussing yr methods of trash disposal. Smooth, brother, smooooth.

I will not tell Jed about the giggling, as I rather enjoy it when girls giggle.

One thing I didn't mention until I unblocked it, was one point where she and I somehow began to discuss people's perceptions of where we were from. I mentioned people had a specific idea of what a Midwesterner was. And she, trying to follow suit told me that she knew what that was like because people not from around here are asking her things about being from Seattle. Apparently, and I must preface this by saying I don't believe it, she not only talks to actual people, but they ask her questions like(according to her)

"So, it must suck being in Seattle because it rains all the time..."

and "So you live in Seattle, what are you, part Sea Lion?"


Here's what I think happened. She was trying to identify with something I said, and she wanted to be funny. She couldn't really do either. But instead of throwing out a joke that I knew she was making, and risk my not laughing. She tried to say something amusing and cleverly attribute it to "people".

It was, as we'd come to expect, not funny in the least. I think I actually winced.

Forgotten comedic gem #2: Do you know what her job was at Qwest? Wait for it...Customer Service!!!

Wow. Didn't see that coming did you? She was genuinely annoyed by the calls they'd get. She informed me that there were some very unintelligent people out there who asked the dumbest questions, such as "What does the AM on my bill mean?" Instead of finding the inherent Dilbert-esque on the job humor that could bond two people, she instead acted as though it was a horrible slight that she took personally or something.

Smug and humourless. Now that is a winning combination if I've ever seen one.


krysta jo said...

And...let's not forget un-pretty.

I think she may have been the Qwest representative who kept signing me up for phone services that I don't need. I don't even answer my phone, but have to have it because I only give out my cell number on a need to know basis. Most people don't need to know.

Oops...got distracted by my anger at Qwest. I think you are being overly picky with this one. Who would not want an un-funny, un-nice, un-pretty girl who works as a customer service rep for a major phone company? Think of the perks if you hooked up with her. Umm...nevermind.

Can we start a revolution? I am tired of the games - if I like a guy, I want to tell him I like him. If I don't like him and he is gross like the janitor, I want to tell him that. As it is, I hate to think up excuses and I can't cover for my own lies, so I use the ever-popular ignore technique to ward off bad second or third dates. That doesn't work well in small towns. Ahhh the joys of dating.

Kern said...

I agree. It would be nice to be able to say what one thinks. I am a bit of a sap, and I don't want to be a bad guy, and hurt anyone's feelings, despite the fact they may or may not be a trained Yeti.

I think for all the disadvantages of dating in Seattle, that is one of the few small victories. The ability to ignore bad dates with impunity.

One thing that gets me is how people can't voice being excited about dates without potentially scaring the other person off. I especially hate the wait X number of days before calling. What a load...

I'm not expecting any more dates for quite a while. I usually average about one a year these days, and it's usually around this time. I think fate caused me to squander my date of 2005.

Stupid fate...

Kern said...

Christ on a Cracker...this girl will not quit! She just messaged my cell. I've got to e-mail and nicely, and politely tell her that it's not going to happen.

Lord have mercy! I hope she doesn't start stalking me. I doubt it's as glamorous as it looks in the movies.

krysta jo said...

Whoa...never never text message someone who has not returned the email. Plus...some people don't return email right away. Silly, I know, but that's how the world works.

Try something like this...The coffee last night was great and the atmosphere wasn't bad either. However, I should let you know that I won't be able to meet you again for such coffee and atmosphere because I am going into Yeti training. There are those lies again. I tried hard but messed up at the end. Notice though how it didn't mention meeting her. It's good to stick to true positives like the traffic wasn't bad getting to the Barnes and Noble. Or the book you were reading was fantastic.

Good luck - keep us posted.

krysta jo said...

Could you say Christ on a Cracker again? That was quite amusing.

I am going to open the windows in my office and throw the building balance off. This is what some professor (Dr. Love I believe) told me would happen if I opened my windows. Maybe the glorious Food Science building will then tip over and I can return to my humble abode for the remainder of the afternoon.

Kern said...

Christ on a cracker...I was just talking to my Dad and told him about the Darth Tater business. He was laughing his head off. Especially about my comment about her in the bushes. In a wry comment of his own my witty father had this to say:

"I can see it now. The headline in tomorrow's paper will read: Local Man Castrated With Light Saber Outside His Apartment"

Now I'm sure you can see where I get it from.

Would anyone like to lay odds that sometime within the next 24 hours this woman is going to call me and with a Darth Vader vocoder held up to the phone say, "(Insert Vader breathing noise)Alex...(More breathing noise)I am your GIRLFRIEND!!!"

Cut to closeup of me throwing my head to the heavens and screaming a blood curdling "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

What did I do to deserve this? It's like I ask for a date, and I get a series of events that play out like the Book of Job filtered through a Seinfeld episode. If this is a test, I wish someone would let me know if I've passed already. I mean damn...either that or it's my sincere hope that the corpse of Allen Fundt jumps out from around the corner to inform me I've been on Candid Camera.

I just want a nice date with a reasonably cute girl who is a good conversationalist.

Is that too much to ask?

krysta jo said...

That really shouldn't be too much to ask - you ought to be able to find one especially since most men want hot women with a lot of "personality" - if you get my drift. If you don't, take a look at the photos from Coyote Ugly - those girls have more "personality" than most people I know.

Tomorrow morning I will be scouring the Seattle-area newspapers looking for your headline. I suggest that when you get home you light some candles, sing a quaint assortment of show tunes and sacrifice a baby lamb on your kitchen table. That way if she shows up, she'll be so freaked out, you'll never hear from her again.

Kern said...

I did briefly flirt with the idea of asking her if she like to come to a church service with me, waiting till almost the end to allude that it was The Church of Satan. Thought that might freak her out a little bit.

No, I took the high road. I sent an e-mail that succinctly told her where we stand or don't stand as this case is. I told her "I wanted to tell you it was nice meeting you the other day. But it wasn't."

Ok, not true. I didn't say "but it wasn't." I did continue to say, "I also wanted to say that I don't believe there was enough chemistry between us to warrant going any further. I wish you luck in all future endeavors."

Hopefully that will do it. I don't like being a heartbreaker, but it had to go down this way. I'm still a little wary of what she might do or say after this. I think she's crazy, clueless or both. That's a short fuse on a big ass stick of TNT.

I sincerely hope that there is some girl out here who fits my humble criteria. I'm not asking for a Coyote Ugly girl or anything, but come on, throw a starving man some scraps...

krysta jo said...

From those of us who may be lumped into the "scraps" pile - OUCH. Take that back.

I think you did a fine job being direct but nice. If she continues to stalk you, start making up really random excuses like "my mom/dad says ..." Those could work.

Kern said...

Hmm...I did a shoddy job in picking a metaphor as I was trying to be fast. Mea culpa.

I didn't mean scraps in that manner. Perhaps the better saying would be "Give a poor man a break".

Is that better? Sometimes my sayings have one intent and read as another.

I hope I really don't have to use either. Besides that, I think goat and lamb's blood is really hard to get out of the carpet...

krysta jo said...

You aren't a farm kid are you? Get a big plastic tarp and sacrifice the animals on that ... easy clean-up. GOSH.

I'm going shopping tonight for a new dress for my date - however, it can't be too skanktastic because I don't know what we're doing and if we show up somewhere and his parents (friends, relatives, etc) are there, I really don't think that would make a good first impression. Any suggestions?

Kern said...

First, I'm not a farm boy, though I come from a long line of Indiana farmers. How I ended up so agriculturally challenged is beyond me...

Anyway, more importantly, your clothing selection...so how hot is it there right now? If it's still a little cool or if it's an evening thing, perhaps a nice twin set and some complementary trousers. I wouldn't neccesarily wear a dress, unless it's a relatively casual one. You don't want to appear as though yr too high maintenance or too overdressed.

I don't know...do you have any skirts that might work, especially if it's hot out?

Shoes are important. But I don't know enough about what you're doing to say what shoes you should wear. I need more details...

krysta jo said...

I have no idea what we are doing. It's a surprise. He said either a sundress or a black pair of pants. I am leaning towards a dress because I am a dress/skirt kind of girl for the most part (but not when working with the cattle of course). The shoe issue will not be - I have a vast selection to choose from. We'll see what I can come up with - don't worry - I am not shopping at Grandma's R Us. I'll probably lean toward something that can be worn with flip flops because they make my toes happy.

And I'll let ya know tomorrow...

Kern said...

Fantastic! I nearly said sundress, but I wasn't sure if that was going to be to casual. But if that's one of the choices, I second that.

When's the date again? Tonight?

Kern said...

I have no doubt you'll turn his head. Good luck, by the way!

krysta jo said...

It's not til Saturday night, but actually he is picking me up Saturday morning from my friend's house so it's more like a whole weekend date. Fun times.

Kern said...

Say, not to change the subject, but where's Jed been? He hasn't appeared much...

krysta jo said...

He is pouting in the corner.

I have no idea...I graced him with my presence yesterday for a few minutes and he was diligently checking the comments.

JED...where are you?

Oh he has probably left for home now.

Kern said...

Yeah, I failed to notice he replied to me in the other thread. Hope he didn't think I was ignoring him.

Perhaps I'll try to give him another call tonight.

I imagine you are also on your way out, yes?

krysta jo said...

Yes...hitting up the mall.

'Til tomorrow. Keep it real.

Kern said...

Right on.

Damfino said...

Holy crap!

I was not needed for this stream of concsiousness... I was out yesterday shooting (though I find it moderately creepy that KJ spied on me... yikes).

42 comments is a new high for us!!