horrifyingly true: if you know my screen name, then you can find out just about anything about me.
i’m a pretty open person. i am as i hope others to be. you see my real picture. see my real opinions, likes, dislikes. hear my real voice. nothing you see of me has been altered. what you know of me on the internet is exactly how i am in person. no filters.
this becomes a little bit scary where dating is considered. i feel almost like i don’t want to say anything about anyone because i don’t want them to be able to look me up and read about themselves. because i consider everything i write/record for public consumption as a conversation with you. (with the one exception of my daily blog.) so it would be like me sitting down and telling them everything i didn’t like about them. ouch!
but NOT to write about it would be like hiding parts of myself and being secretive, which i don’t want to be at all. and to be false to you, my friends who are reading this, for the benefit of people i’d be happy never seeing again, is absolutely ridiculous.
anyone reading this who may be insulted by what i have to say about them shouldn’t be reading this in the first place and have no right to feel wronged. i don’t believe in leading people on, so all signs should be pointing to “not interested.” any other conclusion is the result of reckless denial.
this internal debate, and having just arrived at my conclusion, is why the following contents of this blog post are being posted now and not yesterday.
so, uncharacteristically, i’m going to skip the background story and jump right into the action. words were exchanged via text and phone calls which led to a date. spoiler alert, it wasn’t good.
first of all, dude is half bald. let’s just get that surprise out of the way from the start.
second, oh my god, he’s only seen three academy award winning movies. in the lobby of the theater, there was a giant display covering the wall showing lit panels of the movies that had won oscars in the past. i thought this would be a great conversation starter until he said he had only seen MAYBE three of them. to demonstrate the gravity of this, here is a short list of movies he hasn’t seen, and just about everyone else in the world HAS.
Gone with the Wind
West Side Story
The Sound of Music
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Deer Hunter
Million Dollar Baby
No Country for Old Men
i have no doubt that any and all reading this have seen at least five of those. and that is the short list. now, this is gonna sound a little weird because i have no allegiance to the film, but… SOUND OF MUSIC?!?! who hasn’t seen Sound of Music? it’s like never having seen It’s a Wonderful Life. they play it every year without freaking fail. in fact, last year, i felt like i couldn’t get away from the movie.
also, i’m sticking to the story that he didn’t see the panel for The Godfather. i absolutely refuse to believe he hasn’t seen that. even entertaining the idea is upsetting me right now.
the fact that he’s never seen any of these movies, even out of sheer curiosity, is a major problem. you have to have a curiosity about the world around you, what people think is culturally relevant. these classic movies are like snapshots of the public psyche. even if you think the movies suck, it’s still interesting to see what the other humans around you value. i can’t imagine not having that curiosity.
sitting in the lobby, waiting for the movie to begin, the wall full of movies he hasn’t seen shining across from us, i reach for another topic. he said he’d used to write. i ask what kind of stuff he’d been writing. i’ll just say that the plot for his script revolved around a gypsy curse. is it just me, or do the 80’s want their plot line back? also, he thought TV show when clearly a mini series would be stretching it… it wasn’t good.
ok. so when i watch movies i don’t want to talk, i don’t want to hear any noise at all, i just want to be absorbed by the movie. even if it’s bad. especially if i’ve gone to the theater to see it. i move away from loud popcorn crunchers, seat kickers, and candy wrappers. so you can imagine my horror when, as soon as we sat down and the movie began, he started taking candy packet after candy packet out of his pocket. he stopped after about 5, but not before offering me some of whatever the hell he was eating in his normal speaking voice. he said something about the 3D glasses (oh, did i mention we were watching Episode I in 3D? which carries with it its own set of unpleasantries. not to mention ignoring the very publicly used glasses on my FACE.), again not even in a stage whisper, but his normal speaking voice, which i politely responded to, gritted my teeth, and continued watching. then, in the middle of the movie, the wrappers began again, at which point i wondered why god had been so cruel as to not provide me a weapon with which i could STAB HIM IN THE HEART.
after i could finally get the fantasies of silencing him to stop, i realized i heard a voice, softly chattering off to my right. i wished they would shut up. and then it suddenly dawned on me that this was his voice talking to me. i had a choice: turn to him and politely say, “I’m sorry. What did you say?” or continue to stare forward and pretend i didn’t hear him. i could not bare to turn, and ask, and have him repeat himself at full volume, and have everyone in the theater loathe me, most of all myself. so i stared forward, watching Gungans do things that were meant to be cute and funny. and just as i thought with disdain and disgust, ‘and that was supposed to be cute, and i’m supposed to laugh now, how insulting,’ i hear next to me, in the stoney silence of the crowded theater, his laughter. he laughed, alone, at all such moments.
and so, as the Gungans battled the droids, i thought, “i have to get out of here! how can i escape?” and then i remembered my cell phone and my mother at home. i remembered that it was very normal to have to use the bathroom after a movie. all i had to do was suffer through 20 more minutes and i’d be able to call for help. i texted, then called my mom in the tiny, two stall bathroom. i whispered frantically to her, not knowing how well the sound might carry, how far he was standing from the door.
“So you wanna go get something to eat?” he asked the dreaded and inevitable question. ‘it’s ok,’ i reassured myself, ‘your phone’s about to ring.’
“Sure,” i say, keeping my voice light and casual, filled with none of the panic and repulsion i’m actually feeling. and then my phone rings; the song from the Great Fairy Fountain in Zelda’s Ocarina of Time has never sounded so wonderful. he is impressed by my choice of ringtone, and i don’t care.
i answer, she tells me the bogus story about how my brother’s upset because i forgot about taking him out… in other words, we played the autism card for all it was worth. which, if you wanna know, is quite a lot.
“I’ll walk you to your car,” he said.
“Sure,” i said. at that point i should have made up some excuse, but my mind was purely focused on the goal; i had to get to my car. i walked quickly. my saint of a mother made another call, urgently asking if i was on my way yet. i assured her i was almost at the car. she’s fantastic.
he started for the elevator, but i ran up the stairs. i thought to slow down, my mind automatically about to do the courteous thing, realized i did NOT want to slow down, and kept running. it was only two small flights to the second floor. thank god for small favors.
he gave me a hug and, as i got in the car, i remembered to say, “Sorry things were cut short,” over my shoulder. i only made a half-hearted attempt at sounding sincere. i didn’t care.
he looked sad as i pulled away and waved goodbye. i felt bad about that, but i drove quickly through the parking structure. i made record time getting home as my words came out in a flood to my mother on speaker phone.
just as a side note, i was going to title this blog “Chelsea and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad date,” but the reference is probably lost on most and therefore just makes me seem like a drama queen. 😛