As I’ve already written on the general pitfalls of a first date that we should all avoid, as well as a point-by-point list of all of my “requirements” for a boyfriend, I realize that my writing is nearing the slippery slope of becoming a knock-off Carrie Bradshaw. That being said, I recently went on a date that I feel, by any and all standards, deserves to stand forever in time as a cautionary tale for any overly zealous man given an opportunity to terrify an unsuspecting woman over dinner.
Now, there are many benefits to some French guys having a tenuous grasp on the English language and an even more delicate one on the idea of having a blog…combine the two and I’m almost guaranteed that this guy will never see what I’m writing here. Even if he does, however, I feel so compelled to write this that I refuse to be censored by the possibility that he will one day discover this. So what? If anything, it’ll be good practice for his English exams.
I went on a date recently, and for the first time in my life, it was a (mostly) blind date, having been set up by a mutual friend (whose loyalty and personal judgment I now question). Anyway, my friend had been telling me for about three weeks now how great this guy is and how much I need to go out with him.
It bears stating that in France, especially when you are friends with as many couples as I am, if you are a single girl of my age—you become something of the guinea pig for everyone around you to coo and gently prod at the prospect of you finding love like they have. Never before in my life have I fielded so many offers to help me not be so tragically alone, everything from asking a guy in a bar for his number on my behalf to bringing a cousin to Paris for the weekend for me to meet. (He was really hot, if his Facebook pictures were any indication, but that’s too much pressure, even for me).
Either way, I’ve enjoyed my single life here and never really felt any overwhelming pressure to find a boyfriend. It wasn’t until a few solid weeks of encouragement and guarantees that this guy was Prince Charming incarnate that I agreed to the date. My friend assured me many times that I met this guy once at a house party, something I still contest (much more vigorously after having met him). The idea that I had met and forgotten this guy didn’t bode well for him being such a catch, but I figured, what harm could it do?
So we met up. And now, an enumerated list of date behavior that I hope never to endure again:
- Making creepy double entendres within 4 minutes of meeting each other. Literally, it was as though he had some kind of stop watch and said to himself, “I don’t know how long she’s gonna stick around, gotta reveal how much of a terrifying alley-lurker I am while I have the chance.” I awkwardly laugh, he touches my arm.
- Showing me the condoms (Extra Large—right, as if he would have any other kind) he keeps in his backpack UNPROVOKED and then, seeing my face of terrified dismay, assuring me he always has them and would never make an assumption about me. They’re just, you know, there if he needs them. I must emphasize how awkward the segue into pointing out his condoms was. He had rested his bag on a chair and, suddenly, announced to no one in particular that he should probably move it because, and this is a rough translation, “There are some rather un-Catholic things in it.” I would have preferred a gun or some Scientology leaflets, to be honest.
- Paying for our drinks at the first bar and then, the second the check hits the table at the second bar, turning towards me and stating, NOT asking, “You’re paying for this one,” without even a touch of sarcasm, before I even have a chance to reach for my wallet (I was planning on paying, but now I regret having done it on principle). He then proceeded to launch into a 10-minute tirade about how he makes sure the woman will pay up front as he, in his own words, “does not date prostitutes.” It’s kind of hard to decide where to start getting offended at that one.
- Touching me about 409832059823502835 times, no matter how much I made it clear through body language that I was not comfortable with it. Eventually, I was reduced to saying “We don’t know each other at all. You’re really, really touchy.” That statement was directly provoked by the following:
- Pulling me to him, kissing my ear (!!!) and telling me “I’m not a woman…I’m gay,” followed by an awkward laugh when I tease him for drinking mojitos and smoking the French equivalent of Camel Crushes. It was possibly the most uncomfortable moment of my life. In hindsight, I am guessing this was his version of seduction, but there are so many questionable decisions here that it’s really hard to tell if this actually was, in some strange way, his awkward tumbling out of the closet on a date with a stranger. In any case, the “kiss” was more like a wet wooly.
- Telling me that he lost his virginity at almost 22, but that he made up for lost time by being something of a whore for the following six years. Yes, unprovoked, he told me how many woman he has slept with, how long he was with each of them, and how often they had sex while together.
- Telling me that the second woman he slept with was older than him but insisted that he must have been fucking with her when he said he had only just lost his virginity because he was THAT good. He then explains to me how losing one’s virginity late can inspire an underdog-like sexual spirit in which one does all the research they can about the female anatomy to make sure they’d catch up with their peers. (It was at this point that I took stock of all of the quick exits and made pleading, “call the police” eye contact with the waiter.)
- Continually holding my hand despite my constant refusal to hold on for more than three seconds. He would grab it, I would slip away. He would wait two seconds, grab it again, I would slip away.
- Taking the metro in the wrong direction simply to follow me several stops.
- Upon seeing a group of good-looking, well-dressed guys in the metro having a conversation, (I would have given ANYTHING to have gone and hung out with them at this point) taking me in his arms and displaying to the full metro car that I was his and I was not to be touched or looked at. I slithered out uncomfortably and he glared at the guys next to us. I turned around behind him and mouthed “Sorry, he’s crazy,” in French. I hope they got the message.
- Trying, despite my firm turning of the cheek, to give me a real kiss. At least that was not successful.
Well, there you have it, the worst date of my life. I will try, in the future, to check all of my potential dates on the sex-offender registry before I agree to meet them for a drink. (Side note–does that exist in France? I’m picturing Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast and Pepe Le Pew being forced to go door-to-door and tearfully inform their neighbors that they are determined to start a new life.)
You live and learn, I guess.