SOOOO!!! I give it to a lot of dudes on this site, for reals … I hate it when a story is only one sided … I try to be objective, but I’m also human. I went out on an OkCupid trivia date on Sunday (I know … how nerdy) … and he actually offered to post on it, and furthermore, and to my surprise, actually DID IT!! =) Here are the deets:
Field Report – Trivia Night
Time: 8:30 – 11:00
Location: Ye Rustic Inn
I arrived early to secure a table, as things can get a little territorial at the Ye Rustic. Showing up is really the most important part. As usual, Laura is working tonight and informs me that they are all out of Fat Tire, which is the usual. Not an auspicious way to begin the evening. She returns with a pitcher of Newcastle and three glasses. I inform her of my situation, an internet date, my first internet date. Perhaps sensing my unease, Laura says “We have shots if you need them, you know, in case she has three arms or only one eye or something”.
I thank her, but I know enough to not engage a three armed Cyclops in a drinking competition. As I wait the place begins to fill with both the familiar and the unfamiliar, and I am quietly sizing up the competition.
Every time the door opens I glance over, not knowing if I would be able to recognize my date if she arrives. My knowledge is limited to what I gleaned from the internet, which was quite overwhelming. Some people are easier to find than others. This one is literally an open book, which means I should be on my guard.
Best behavior, no horsefaces, let me explain.
My friends invented a term to describe my particular effect on women, a combination of misplaced innocence, brutal honesty, an abrasive vulgarian who does not quite understand the niceties that certain girls come to expect. That term came about when I, innocently enough, tussled a girls hair, saying she should part it on the side and get rid of her bangs because it only accentuated her horseface. Some people had a problem with this.
You live and you learn, unless you are me.
She walked in and I knew immediately it was her; nobody that good looking walks into a place like this on purpose.
I get up and as I approach I begin to take in the silent clues. You never know what you are going to get when people post pictures on the internet, how representative the photos are of their actual appearance. For instance, some people are very photogenic and she is very photogenic – and you wonder if they can be that lively and bright in real life. And she is.
She wore a conservative blue shirt, not too showy but not necessarily the Golden Girls either. She chose the same tactic that I had, blue, to accentuate the color of our eyes. Her eyes are soft blue, growing larger as I approach. She knows it is me before I even utter a word.
“Are you Jen?” I ask rhetorically, as I know it is her.
“Thomas?” She responds, rhetorically.
In my mind I was formulating a joke about how the third time is the charm, but all I can hear is “Horseface, Horseface”, she stands up and I motion towards the booth.
And then the unexpected occurs. She embraces me in a big hug. Well played. She initiates contact, thus the physical mental barrier has already been broken in the first 10 seconds. I, like most guys I assume, am fairly incompetent at deciphering a hug. With a kiss, you can tell if it is working in your favor or not, but hugs are, for the most part, non-sexual, non-committal, non-threatening. It wasn’t one of those just friend hugs: your butts as far away as possible, a potential pat on the shoulder, all sexual tension dissolving as you are very deliberately placed firmly into the “do not include” pile. Well played indeed. Hugs are difficult to decipher. They use so many more muscles, so much more surface area, but without the eyes, without facial expression. It is truly how the blind must see the world.
Being that it was not one of those and it lasted about 2 seconds longer than I thought it would, what did it mean?
Don’t overanalyze and horseface this shit up, that’s what it means.
Back to the table, I sit down first, giving her the outside seat on the bench. That way she doesn’t feel trapped, and when my friends arrive, she won’t be in the middle and feel sandwiched. I offer her a drink and she accepts. Good for me, I cannot tolerate a teetotaler, especially at a bar, and especially since so much of my life involves alcohol.
Damn. Newcastle is an English Brown Ale (BJCP Category 11.A) characterized by poor head retention due to its low gravity and low carbonation levels. As such, it should not create excessive amounts of head but Murphy’sLaw seemed to be in full effect tonight.
No head jokes, bite your damn horsefacing tongue.
She saves me. “Luckily I am a girl that enjoys good head” or something to that effect.
The grace of the gods shines on me tonight.
She continues. “I never really grew up. I have the mind of a 13 year old boy. Sometimes I cannot finish a sentence without ‘That’s what she said.’ ”
I look in her eyes. She holds eye contact when she speaks, unless she is thinking and finds it too distracting, then they move wildly around, pulling thoughts out of the air. She talks about herself and as I listen I get the sense that she is outgoing with a quiet sadness about her, something that draws me in. I want to learn its source, and her secrets.
What type of person is this? She is honest with herself, she knows she is beautiful, and I want to ask her, as I have heard before, that beauty often finds itself isolated. I want to ask her if people are more at ease admiring her from afar, if that is why she opens herself up like this. Or maybe she is a drama queen, if what she does is a way to deflect boredom, if she opens herself up so she can play the victim. If this is the case, than I am completely wrong for her, as stability and security, which are the suits that I have to offer (I am the consummate Capricorn), will drive her to the hills. Hopefully I can decode this before life deals me a horseface.
She asks me what I do for fun, which is a question I enjoy more so than “what do you do?” which is not unusual to encounter in a first date. What do you do is usually a huge turn off, as it is a qualifying question, even if girls don’t realize it. It is meant to put people into the datable or undatable categories and, therefore, says, basically, I respect what this person does and I am not interested in who he is.
What do I do for fun? I show her some pictures of me at the Great American Beer festival, and explain that beer is a big part of my life.
I talk about the beer certification program, how I am a licensed beer judge, I go into how I am starting my own business, a home brewing supply shop, to help people learn about beer. I basically beer nerded out, which can be a little scary to the uninitiated, she found my weak spot and it is fermented. After I realize that I have gone on at length I check to see if she is still paying attention.
I think she is, or she is pretending to be. At least she is not uploading my failure real time.
I motion over to her glass, she motions back, I begin to pour, more slowly this time.
“I never had Newcastle before.” She states rather matter-of-factly.
Perhaps that was an invitation to continue to beer nerd out, but I will never know. My brain just kinda stopped working as it incredulously began to process this information.
There are only two types of people in this world who have never had Newcastle: 1. People who don’t like beer. 2. People who have never had Newcastle.
Which one was she? Obviously, she was in the second category. Keep calm and carry on.
At some point in all of this, Laura comes over, no doubt to see if those shots she mentioned earlier will be needed. I get her to take a picture, allowing me to prove to myself later that this night really happened. I have a lot of pictures like these and I am often surprised how I manage to get into and out of these types of situations.
This is where the “date” portion ends and the trivia actually starts. Not bad for ½ an hour. Not a single horseface to my knowledge. An unprecedented achievement.
The actual trivia could be another post entirely. Long story short, my friends showed up and after a rather gallant attempt, we failed. Failed the drinking round, failed the actual game, and really, I couldn’t be happier.
Jen had some wings and confirmed that they are indeed the best in Los Angeles. She is not a dipper and required 3 napkins. Maybe she was playing it safe, as wings can be dangerous.
After our trivia loss was confirmed and the wings consumed, I asked her if she would like to play Catan, which is the usual Sunday night ritual. She declined, and made a subtle exit. I did not escort her to her car, which is probably the biggest mistake I made that evening. It is rather ungentlemanly, plus I robbed myself of trying to secure a proper follow up date. Next time, if you can only be so lucky.