Dating in the Internet's Early Stages - A (Slightly Funny) Horror Story
Don't Let This Happen To You
The Time: The early 1990s. Internet dating is in its infancy. Many people (including me) do not post pictures of themselves online, due to uncomfortability or simply the lack of a scanner. As a result, we are forced to rely on each other's self-assessments. People usually accentuate the positive but are generally honest.
The Guy: His screen name is a reference to Ayn Rand (my favorite philosopher). Bright, interesting, charming in the chat room. Describes his physical appearance as "attractive and built" .
The Plan: To meet at the Blue Moon Mexican Restaurant in New York City's Chelsea district.
The Date: He was....well....perhaps "built" was not the most accurate descriptor, as he was instead more...uh...
The Point: He was fat.
The Date (continued): We sit down to order.
Him: Let's split the three-burrito meal.
Him: But I want two burritos.
The Conversation, as I Remember It:
Me: Blah, blah, blah.
Him: You're wrong.
Me: But isn't it possible that blah, blah, blah, blah blah?
Me: Oh...well, blah blah.
Him: You're wrong.
Me: Ok...let's see...what's your opinion on blah?
Me: Well, I've always thought that bl-
Me: And there's always the possibility that bla-
The Date, One Hour Later:
Him: I want to order another 3-burrito meal.
Him: But I want 2 burritos again.
Me: [OMG. I'm mortified. Deep, cleansing breaths. Is he serious??? What kind of a freakin'...]
Me (outwardly): Sure.
The Date, Another Hour Later:
Him (to waiter): We'll take the check.
Me: [In my happy place]
Him (after receiving check): Alright, now let's split the check down the middle.
Me (ashen-faced): Wh-a-?
Him: Did you sneeze?
Him (busily figuring): Alright, you owe $32.50.
Me (forking over the cash, mouth agape): He...here ya go.
Me (eyeing the door excitedly): Bye.
The Lesson: At the first display of unacceptable behavior, refuse to accept it. Walk out. If possible, run out. Better yet, give him constructive criticism ("You've got to be kidding", "What's the matter with you", "By the way, 'attractive and built' does not mean 'ugly and flabby'") and then run out.
The Bottom Line: If he's a freak, YOU should not be embarrassed!