December 29, 2011

My Internal Monologue On A First Date

Looks like I’m a half-hour early, whoops! No whoops, actually. This is exactly what I wanted to happen. I hate showing up last, or second, as it were. I hate like, walking into a bar, and then here’s some dude I don’t know watching my every move as I self-consciously try to get my act together in front of him. Awkwardly look for somewhere to hang my jacket. Awkwardly wrap my headphones around my iPod. Awkwardly figure out how to say “hi” while all of that is going on, and there he is all settled in and just… looking at me. But where else is he going to look? Guess it’d be kind of weird for him to look at like, the floor or the menu or his cell phone while I’m totally aware of his purposeful lack of eye contact. God, I hate dating. JK, love it.

I should probably order a drink to calm my nerves. That’s totally innocuous, right? Nothing wrong with that. If this guy has a problem with my having a beer or two before he shows up, he’s probably not The One, anyway. It’s my personal version of There’s Something About Mary-law, the one that states guys must jerk off before dates so that they’re not all horny and distracted come showtime. Pre-date maintenance. No big deal. I wonder if guys actually do that? Seems like, time-consuming now that I think about it. What if they’re coming straight from work? Do they squeeze in “me time” anyhow? Do they, in all actuality, make it a priority to jerk off before a date or am I stupid for taking a two-minute movie clip to heart all these years? I feel like I’d be too lazy to commit to that, touching myself every time I leave the house. I’d rather have a beer. Beer is my date lubricant. Does that analogy even make any sense? Beer = Jerking off? I’m glad I’m a woman.

The bartender is attractive. Kind of wish I wasn’t about to be on a date. I guess it’s too late to cancel? I shouldn’t be eyef-cking the bartender right now. I guess I’m doing it because I’m nervous. Getting major ‘This is going to suck’ vibes re: this date, except they’re all coming from me. I’m the only one on this date right now. I need to chill. And be positive. Positive vibes.

I hope I recognize this guy, seems to be a recurring problem of mine. Hope I haven’t been betrayed by beer goggles again. I guess this issue would resolve itself if I quit drunkenly accepting dates but like, no one asks me out otherwise. Think I possibly give off asexual body language if I haven’t had a few; I need to work on that. Need to be more approachable.

Is that him? He’s smiling. That’s him. How are we gonna do this? Handshake? This is why people don’t ask me out. Because I shake hands. My first instinct is to shake someone’s hand. I don’t want to hug, don’t want him near my boobs yet. Is that weird? I’m not a big hugger. I’m like, a Larry David hugger. He’s going for the cheek kiss. This reminds me of junior high school. So many cheek kisses. The age of the cheek kiss. Which way are we going? Oh christ. We’re both unsure. He’s coming at me with alarming velocity. Ow. That was bad. That was awfully orchestrated.

He’s in work clothes, I think, unless he just dresses like that in which case, I’m not sure this is going to pan out. I wonder if I’m dressed okay. I think I am… I guess it’d be easier if I, too, had work clothes on — except my work wardrobe consists of t-shirts and ex-boyfriend boxers. Think anyone who saw me during working hours would lose interest almost immediately. Pretty sure those are my least attractive hours. Too bad there’s not some sort of date uniform we could all wear, like Catholic School. I always wanted to wear uniforms when I was in high school. I thought accessorizing to assert my individuality would propel me to new heights of popularity. In hindsight I probably felt that way because I couldn’t afford anything ‘hip’ in high school. Glad I’m okay with admitting that to myself now. Screw uniforms.

I guess we’ll talk about work, since we both have jobs. I hate this conversation. I’m going to skimp on details so that he doesn’t like, look me up and read all of the insane things I’ve written w/r/t love and dating. I’ve probably screwed myself, I’m pretty sure. Some people worry that what they’ve published on the internet will mess with their employability, but not me. I’m concerned that some dude I kind of like will read some sentimental tirade I wrote and be all, “Oh no, this girl has like, soooo many feelings. Can’t deal, must abort, flatlining – – – —————-” and I’ll just never hear from him again. Goddamn feelings. I wonder if Robyn has this problem. Or Adele, jesus. She definitely has this problem.

Oh, he’s taking a bathroom break. Going to use this time to look at my phone. Wish that weren’t my first reaction. There’s never anything good happening, anyhow. Just spam from Daily Candy or whatever. Oh, a text message from some guy I used to date! He must know I’m out with someone. They always know. Do they teach that in boy scouts? “The girl you’re completely indifferent toward is resoundingly OVER IT — quick, ask her out for drinks!” Eff off. You’re not salting my game today.

I just picked up the second round. I wonder if this is even a date? It kind of seems like we’re bro-ing out, or something. He just told me about this girl he went on a date with two weeks ago… don’t open those floodgates, pal. You don’t want to. Two hours from now we’re gonna be all sauced and lamenting the ones that got away, I’ve seen this happen. It’s a slippery slope. Is this how we date now? Each party pays their own way and talks about the other people they’re dating, and their exes, and like, their baggage? This is so bleak. It’s like cooperative therapy. Which I guess is cool, because my health insurance doesn’t cover the mental stuff, but damn. Would this be going better if I weren’t overthinking everything or like, actually paying attention? Probably, right? Not sure I’m under control, here. Think I might be sabotaging myself, again. I wonder what going on a real date is like. Wish this were a real date. I guess it’s not. Oh well. TC mark

Stephanie Georgopulos

Steph is a former editor at Thought Catalog and a current writer at Studio@Gawker. Her work has appeared on Glamour, …