<EditorsNote> One of the many very very cool things about being autistic is that we write things out. It’s a huge part of my mental health actually – I need to write. There are over 7,500 blog posts (from Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover) that have now been trimmed to a “best of” Talk Nerdy To Me™. If you’re new, welcome!! These origin stories are a part of how I found out I’m autistic and have a neurological condition called Synesthesia.
It was QUITE the journey getting here!!!
Have a laugh … or a cry … or both. Much love!! xo Jen </EditorsNote>
Last Friday, I went to the local watering hole with my best friend (who happens to be gay, a guy, and not into anything tech), and somewhere near the end of our first glass of wine, I referenced a gif I had sent to a guy on Bumble, “let me show it to you,” I said grabbing my phone.
As I pulled up Bumble, I quickly realized I couldn’t find the conversation.
“Oh, I said laughing, he clearly googled me and unmatched.”
“Why would someone unmatch with you?” he asked confused.
“I fully disclose in my profile that I’m a writer and that I have the blog. Some men get weirded out by it.”
“Why do you need to fully disclose your blog to people?”
I took a moment, and thought about it, before responding with “you’re right! I’ve spent my entire ‘career’ disclosing that information because my website and myself were one in the same. It’s been (almost) a decade, and one full lifetime later. So, why am I still doing this?”
I immediately deleted my entire profile (and also took down my TedX picture) and changed my profile to this …
The results were immediate, and on Monday, I texted him my findings …
As I was texting him, I got YET ANOTHER text from YET ANOTHER date …
I’m a sapiosexual, so leading with “just” my looks was the LAST thing on my mind. I’m a hot chick, why the fuck did I not think of leading with that!!!
Who knew dating could be so easy???
Well done, Friel. You’re for once not over thinking things.
Now, onto the post …
The more honest I’ve been able to be with myself, the more that I realized I never actually made dating a priority. I made dating a business yes, but a priority no. When I reread texts or (even worst) posts, I noticed a pattern in starting them off with … “I thought I was going to meet this guy, and then I had this work thing come up …”
If I really want what I say I want, this should be the only coming I’m focused on …
The seizure I had back in September was such a blessing in disguise; it forced me to face my own mortality, which then lead to a stronger focus on what my intentions are.
I want a family, and to make that happen, I have to shift my priorities.
I then popped on Bumble, and matched with a guy who is in the C suite of a tech company you all know.
The tall, dark, and handsome boxes checked, I then gave him my number and FOUR HOURS of gif game/ texting later (I dig a man with endurance) … we set a date for our actual date.
<tangent> I’m one of these people that doesn’t want to text back and forth before we meet. Once the date is set, it’s set in my mind and I go about my day. It doesn’t mean I’m not excited to meet the person, it just means that I’ve got shit to do. </tangent>
iCal appointment added, I then opened up safari and googled him. Historically, I’ve preferred to get to know someone first before googling them, but in this case, I knew he would be considered a public figure and I was curious to learn more.
I typed in his first name (which is all Bumble gives you) and the company. The results were not great.
Review after review spoke really ill of him. One review directly called him a “bully” and what a “horror he was to work for.” Clearly these are just disgruntled employees, I thought thinking the person I had just talked to seemed far from being a “bully.” Depending upon how the date goes, I will tell him about his ORM (online reputation management) and offer help (if he asks), I thought.
We agreed to meet at the Belmont at 9pm (we both had meetings that ran rather late), and as I grabbed a LYFT over to my happy hour, I noticed he still hadn’t texted to confirm.
“Still on?” I sent.
“I wasn’t sure,” he texted back.
See, our very last message was a sarcastic gif stating that I wasn’t actually that excited to meet him. I view playful jests as flirting. He took what I said literally.
“Oh shit!” I texted back. “I must seem like such an asshole. No, I’m actually really excited to meet you, and can still do 9 if you can.”
“Okay,” he texted.
Shake it off, I thought to myself. Not exactly off to the best start, but that’s fine. We had gotten along so well over text that I had assumed that we were vibing on the same level. Clearly that wasn’t the case, but all good in the hood.
And if there’s one thing in this life I know that I’m not, it’s a quitter.
I arrived at the Belmont five minutes past nine and saw my date at the bar (drink already in hand).
Hi, I said excited that he looked just like his pictures.
I’ll take a glass of rose, I said to the bartender as I took my seat.
Oh man, I said laughing, you must have thought I was such a jerk with that last text. I was totally just kidding.
Not a problem, he said as I caught him literally sizing me up and down.
Taking the focus off of the flesh, I quickly asked about his family and passions.
I listened intently, but could tell he was a bit guarded and closed off. Unsure if that was normal for him (he happened to be foreign), I continued pushing on.
30 polite minutes later, both of our drinks were done.
Shall we get another round? I asked.
Sure, he said, let me just first use the restroom.
Okay, I said, waiting.
Five or so minutes later, he returned saying that he thinks he has food poisoning from the dinner he had the night before. (He admitted to being with the CEO of his company the previous night.)
Does food poisoning have a 24 delay effect? I thought but didn’t say.
“I’m so sorry to hear you’re sick,” I said. “Why don’t we call it a night then so you can go home and rest.”
“Okay,” he quickly replied seconds after I finished my sentence. Equally as fast, he then pulled out his phone and called an Uber. The car arrived a minute later.
“It was nice to meet you,” he said standing up.
Shocked, but sympathetic, I said, “I hope you feel better.”
The entire date lasted less than 45 minutes, and he was out the door sans a second glance.
Well, I thought, you’re all dressed up so you might as well make the most of it. I ordered another drink, as I texted my bestie.
I’ve discovered in my old age that I fester far less (if at all) if I just vent. I don’t need anyone to fix anything, just let me say what I need to say and be done with it.
We continued to text …
I then finished my drink, and asked for the bill.
Hi, I said grabbing the bartender (the bar was quite busy), can I have the check for the rose?
“Yes, you had the rose, and the beer too, correct?”
The words “and the beer too” hit like bullets as I quickly processed that he stiffed me with his bill … his $7 bill.
See, because he had gotten there before me, I just (again) assumed that he had already paid cash. Tears immediately welled up and poured from my eyes as the bartender quickly offered a discount.
In my 20s I got drinks because I was pretty. In my 30s? I got one because I was pitied.
I’m not sure what was worse, the date or being served an unwanted side of sympathy.
<tangent> I feel like the fact that the bill was only $7 made it THAT MUCH WORSE.
If you’re experiencing money problems, no big deal! I can pick up a check, but someone in his position doing something like this? Money is not the issue!!! </tangent>
Still processing, I typed the words “and he actually stiffed me w the bill. Now it’s on.”
I then called my LYFT and headed over to another local bar. Tears still present, I sat down at the bar feeling sorry for myself. You’re allowed to be sad tonight, I thought not wanting to compartmentalize my emotions to the point where I stopped feeling them. Give yourself tonight to feel sorry, and then move it the fuck on, I thought.
My GF arrived moments later, party hat and all …
The previous weekend we went to my friend’s birthday party and he had these tiny poop party hats clearly meant to be worn on a child, and as adult children – WE WERE GAME!!!
I nearly spit out my wine, as she danced through the door announcing “we’re going to take this shit show and make a shit salad!!!”
We’re gonna need a round of shots, she said to the bartender. This girl just had a REALLY bad date.
Oh no, said the female bartender.
I went into enough detail to highlight how horrible it was, but not enough to continue crying.
Fortunately, she didn’t say “that this one was on the house,” but she did comment on the fact that this was true sisterhood.
“Yeah, I said tears completely dry (the poop hat helped). This girl was in bed, and not only put on makeup, but I mean look at that hat.”
That night, I might not have gotten the guy (THANK GOD!), but I did solidify a best friendship.
She then asked the next day if I had heard from him, and I said no.
“His intentions were pretty clear with his actions.”
“So, why not message him and tell him to fuck off?” she added.
“He’s not worth it,” I said. “People hang themselves, and one google search alone revealed plenty.”
“Congrats on being the bigger person,” she said.
“Yes, the bigger person with a bestie who showed up in a very tiny poop hat.”
“Well that’s what friends are for!”