More from Someone.
Date 2: “A Case Study in Bad OPSEC”
Not too long after the “Bait-and-Switch,” I proceeded to go on another OKCupid date. This date was ill-advised right off the bat, even by the standards of some of my less-than-discriminating friends. The reason? In the only profile picture she supplied, her face was entirely obscured. In a pretentious manner, too. For reasons that will become evident shortly, I will refrain from going into great detail on this particular one, but the important elements are there for your amusement/edification.
After a too-short online conversation, we agreed to meet, her mysterious nature having gotten the better of me. We went to an establishment that was way too upscale for a first date, but I was too intrigued to care. She recognized me, we briefly greeted each other, and we proceeded to dine.
Although she came off very reserved and would only give vague generalities about her line of work, the conversation started off splendidly, and we were getting along well. I explained away her sketchiness by concluding she must have not wanted potential suitors making decisions based only on her appearance or employment.
The drinks flowed, and after about an hour the conversation started to take a darker turn. She began to dominate the conversation, dropping multiple references to work-related stress, long hours, and lack of appreciation and fulfillment in her career. I tried my damnedest to salvage the evening’s pleasantness, but it was not to be so.
After her fourth (FOURTH!) cocktail, my inebriated date straight-up told me about her job in greater detail than I ever wanted to know. (I’ve told this story to Laura, and she thinks I overreacted to this part of it: but, although there was nothing of serious consequence about it, suffice it to say it was still a TERRIBLE idea to mention any of the things she did to a relative stranger she had just met online days prior, particularly in DC. It’s not like at that time in my life I would have talked to anyone about it, but she could have lost her job if I had.) I kept trying to change conversation, but like a stubborn train ignoring track switches, she kept veering back onto the same old topic. Was she bragging? Trying to gauge my reaction? Trying to vent to someone beyond her typical network? Was she just super-drunk?
Boundlessly uncomfortable, I suggested that “we” go somewhere else to sober up. I paid for the drinks – my one and her four – and we walked to the nearest food establishment, my arm steadying her as we went. She chose an inopportune day to wear high-heels.
At some point on our tortuous walk she decided to try to put on makeup. I had never understood why some women made a big deal out of lipstick stains on teeth until that day.
After a cheap meal and another handful of stumbles over uneven pavement, I flagged down a cab. She assured me that she was capable of directing the cab home. She was more sober than she had been, so I uneasily agreed and let her go.
Days later, I received a message from her expressing how much fun she had on our date, and how it was great to get out. Had she gone on the same date as I? Even though “Bait-and-Switch” did not pan out well, at least that girl (though kinda married) had attempted to be relatable and most of the conversation was enjoyable. This one, though — she tried dumping burdens on me like boulders. And if she was using our first date solely as a test of my suitability as a partner to shoulder them — well, for her that’s a test I would gladly fail.
I didn’t usually ignore messages from people entirely, even after awkward dates, but this flat-out bad, un-fun, stress-inducing date didn’t even deserve the perfunctory debrief. Every once in a while I wonder whether she has found a better outlet than first dates for her issues. I guess that’s one of the prices she pays for her job. Just as the bad date was the price I paid for letting my sense of curiosity override my common sense.
Sounds like Someone dated a drunk Carrie Mathison, no?