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• 1756 words • 7-8 min •
[Mild-ish content warning: some fatphobic comments and gross sex/bodily function stories.]
Let’s talk about my second date with Smiley, cause the first date was a basic coffee shop date that was so standard, I don’t even really remember it. Except for the part where he loudly talked about his mom getting high before his surgery and a lengthy description of a prostate exam in which he shit into a nurse’s hand. Maybe I blocked the rest out.
The second date was weeks later. Smiley is tall, loud, very expressive, and has no filter (obviously). He’s kind of a giant goofball who doesn’t really think before he acts (see first date). Most of his text messages to me came with numerous exclamation marks!!!!!! And he would randomly toss out adorable facts like he’s terrified of spiders and makes his girlfriend kill them for him, or when he was little he wanted to change his middle name to Snowman.
In December 2016, I was on a weird mission to drag as many people into the holiday spirit with me as possible. I was starry-eyed over Christmas light looking, shopping, winter festivals, gingerbread houses, snowmen!! I was all wrapped up in how romantic it is when it’s cold and everything is covered in twinkly lights.
So, naturally, I made it a point to have as many Christmas-themed dates as it was possible to cram into one month.
We met at the coffee shop (of first date fame) in order to get warm drinks before walking around a park at night in December. And we got up to the cashier and I didn’t have my card. Yes wallet. No card. I was all flustered and panicked, searching my purse.
Smiley calmly says my birth name.
And the entire world kind of stops and zooms in on his face and I’m sure I look like I’ve seen an actual ghost.
“If you wanted me to pay for you, you could’ve just asked.”
What came out of my face was some mangled NOOOOO noise (My brain was still trying to figure out how he knew my birth name) as he swiped his card. I was weakly pawing at my purse still, face hot, brain spinning trying to comprehend what was happening.
I tell him I want to go back to my house and check to see if my card is in my other coat pocket just in case. So he gets into my car and we drive back to my house and I remember.
I started talking to Smiley a day before I met Cute Boy. He was so early on in this round of dating adventures that I hadn’t really come out as nonbinary yet. I’d told a few friends, but I wasn’t bringing it up around anyone I didn’t know for a fact would 100% support it.
And at the time, I had a weird compulsion to tell people my birth name, then clarify with the name I wanted them to call me. When I was on my second date with Axes, I was giddy that my cup said “Gaven” spelled correctly at a coffee shop, and suddenly blurted out, “That’s not my real name, you know. My birth name is something else.” And Axes, whose trans nonbinary spouse had been out for years, told me “Your real name is whatever name you are most comfortable with. I don’t need to know what’s on your birth certificate.”
All this to say that when I introduced myself to Smiley, I gave him my birth name. But we’d been kinda texting for a month and honestly, how often do you use someone’s first name in conversation?
My card was in my coat pocket. I told him I hadn’t intended for him to pay and showed him the card so he knew I wasn’t weirdly trying to manipulate him into spending $5 on me or whatever it was he had implied at the coffee shop.
I had my card and had helplessly proven I’m not a gold-digger (petty-cash-digger?) and settled in my mind why he knew my name that shall not be spoken. We were good now. (Kinda.)
My favorite park is just a few blocks from my house. It’s a walking trail around a pond with statues of sea monsters in it. There’s an island in the middle you can walk to by hopping on stones that has a big snake-dragon-sea-monster statue. There’s a winding, light-up trail across a dam where water pours off the side in a waterfall. Everything is – for some reason – sea snake themed. And for the holidays, they covered the entire place in Christmas lights.
We got out of my car and Smiley informs me that it’s too cold for this, so if he’s going to survive, we can’t stop moving. I’d been working on building up my walking endurance for the last few months, but had only made it so far as “I need a 10-minute break every 20 minutes or so please.”
He shoved his hands in his coat pockets and charged ahead like we were racing to get deals on Black Friday. While telling me how much he hates children and is tempted to use the Christmas lights to decapitate them. LOUDLY. AROUND PARENTS.
Luckily I was struggling to keep up so no one probably knew I was actually with him. Anytime I tried to talk was met with “What? WHAT? I can’t hear you WHAT?” And instead of leisurely looking at lights, we had made like four laps of this pond and my legs were screaming at me to stop.
I finally suggested a break. I collapsed, wheezing, on a picnic table and forced him to sit or else keep running this marathon on his own. So he sits and we can actually hear each other now.
[Warning: I am about to reveal a very gross fact about myself. If you want to continue in the belief that I am a magical unicorn who lives in a pinterest-pretty home and is always very artfully put together and organized, please, for both our sakes, abandon ship.]
We talked about Pokemon Go and how huge it was over the summer and how this park used to be filled with people every night. And chatted about how he’s been addicted to the new Final Fantasy game for months. And discussed our dating partners and other sad attempts at dating.
Him: This one guy messaged her. He was this gross, fat nerd who did nothing but play video games all day.
Me: Uh, wow. That’s not really a cool thing to say? I mean. I’m a gross nerd who does nothing but play games all day..?
Him: No, no, no. I don’t mean like you. I mean like a gross lazy guy who doesn’t do anything but lay around playing video games, eating cheetos, with stacks of mountain dew all over the place.
He continued to insist I “didn’t understand what he meant” while describing this guy in ruder and more fatphobic terms. And how laughable it was this guy even dared contact his girlfriend when clearly he was Gross and Lazy and Morally Reprehensible because he was a fat nerd. I stared at him and let him just go on and on until I finally stood up and said “WELL, I GOTTA GO AT 8 PM. SORRY. FORGOT I HAD A THING.”
Ah, That Thing. Good ol’ Thing always being spontaneously remembered. Trusty, reliable Thing I Forgot I Had to Do. A girl’s bff.
He was bewildered but followed me back to my car, yammering on about whatever the hell. At one point I told him my boyfriend made rap music and he proceeded to mansplain rap music to me as if I didn’t just tell him I had a much more qualified source at my disposal.
I drove him back to the coffee shop parking lot. I imagine myself hitting the breaks a little hard and slinging the gearshift into park and turning to him to say “Well, it was nice seeing you!”
He was pouting at me. Actual, literal pouting. I swear – why do men think it’s cute to pout when someone tells you no? I can’t think of a time a girl or a nonbinary person pouted at me. It’s always guys, trying to look cute?? when I’m denying them access to something they want – my body, my time, my affection. Actual sad noises and bottom lip stuck out in the most unattractive display imaginable. Like take the cute big-eyed, cherub-cheeked baby who is genuinely adorable and inspires affection in others, and invert it. Into a grown-ass man using baby talk to convince you to engage in romantic activities you very clearly do not want.
*pukes into a bush*
“You said you had to go at 8 PM.” He holds up his phone. “It’s only 7:30.”
So he talks some more, and I am staring at the parking lot wondering where in my life I went wrong to deserve such a fate as this. I’m honestly surprised, given the pouting, he didn’t ask me what Thing I mysteriously needed to do so urgently at 8 pm on a Friday when I’d planned this date a week in advance.
Then he randomly brings up edible panties.
Me: What, you’re not into food during sex?
Him: NO. NEVER. Food and sex should be entirely separate!!! What if she’s wearing those edible panties and she farts and then you’re eating her FARTS
Me: She could fart in your face during oral just as easily you know.
He didn’t get out of my car. Not at 7:30 pm. Not at 8 pm. Not at 8:15 pm.
The pouting ramped up the more times I reminded him I have to go. He full-on whined “But I don’t want to go. It’s much more fun here.”
Eventually I just stared at him until he left.
Then didn’t respond to his texts until he stopped trying.
Then was kind of invited to his New Years party by a mutual friend but that’s a totally different story.
Next Polycule, I’m going to tell you about TWO people who didn’t make it past the texting stage but were SO OBNOXIOUSLY AWFUL you need to know about them.
And oh, hey!
If you want to ask me, Chris, or Cute Boy a question through this totally anonymous link (you don’t even have to register!) – I’m compiling them into a big Q&A post coming soon. But it won’t happen without questions, so ask us things! We’re bored!