This is a modern dating experiment. One girl. Five dating sites. Hundreds of chats. Thirty days. Thirty dates. Eighteen guys. (?) boyfriend. To start at the beginning, click here -- or jump right in at date twenty-one below.
Date 21/30: OkCupid Taylor*
OkCT: Let's meet at the Natural History Museum around 12. Depending on the weather, we could picnic outside the museum. If not, the have a cafe inside or we can walk to some places nearby.
Cute. Er, it should be cute. Conceptually, I understand this is cute. Unfortunately, the morning of our date brings to light a saltier side of Stacie. I had been out way too late the night before due to a surprise visit from my bestest friend in the entire world. I was tired. I was hungover. I was still a bit swoony over Friday night's adventures with Tinder Oliver. OkCupid Taylor didn't stand a chance -- especially after he sent this text, mid-sandwich orders:
OkCT: I was thinking of getting onions myself and then I remembered how much I wanted to kiss you ;)
Deep breaths. Be nice. Just be nice. Remember all that chemistry you guys had just one week ago?!
When I get to the museum's main entrance, OkC T is nowhere to be found. Apparently, he entered through the backside of the building.
OkCT: Wait, where are you?
Me: At the front entrance.
OkCT: I don't know where that is.
Me: Well, if you entered through the back, it's probably on the other side of the building?
He declines my offer to meet him in the back, instead having me stay on the phone with him while he breathes heavily en route/refuses all attempts at chatter. Cool. I'll just listen to your footsteps. This is awesome.
He finally appears, sweet smile and optimistic outlook intact. I will myself to be kind. We set up a picnic on the lawn in front of the museum. Some things are a bit better in theory than in practice. It only takes us about twenty minutes to consume our deli snacks...and then we spent the next fifteen hiking back to my car to drop off the blanket, etc before starting our tour of bones.
I adore the Natural History Museum, and OkCT does his very best to be the most adorable companion. We take ridiculously adorable photos, which we decline to purchase, but it's nice just to know they exist?
All in all, I maintain a decent degree of pep and appreciation. Upon our exit, I'm giving myself a mental pat on the back, when OkCT asks if I'm hungry. I should say no; but, as luck would have it, I'm starving, and keenly aware of my empty cupboards back home. I say yes.
He asks where we should go -- after all, I went to school here. Uh yeah, seven years ago. Chanos? Are we drunk? Is it 4am? My sorority house? Despite my severe lack of knowledge, I offer a few suggestions, directionally speaking. He challenges every single one of them. I seriously consider hailing a cab back to my car.
We end up at a newer venue called Lotus. A fine - not to be confused with fine dining - establishment, offering students and locals the chance to supplement their sushi with a hit of hookah. Fantastic. We'll stick with sushi and soju, thanks. Post-meal, we continue to sit there and chat. Still sitting. Still chatting. I have thrown out more conversation closers than I ever knew existed. My phone is vibrating with text messages from other online suitors.
IS THIS EXPERIMENT OVER YET? I just want to sleep. So much sleep.
I excuse myself to the restroom for a text check. This is when I see it is eight o'clock. PM. We have been hanging out for EIGHT. HOURS. Dear Jesus, please let me go home now.
I scroll through my messages. eHarmony James wants to know why I've gone radio silent. Radio silent? I just talked to you three days ago. We've been on one date. Keep scrolling. Nothing urgent. Gah who is eHarmony Nick?? We'll research that one later. Keep scrolling. MMS from Tinder Oliver featuring a photo of our stolen rose from Friday night. Cute. Sigh Back to this date I go.
When I finally convince OkCT that it's time to head out, we start on a slow meander to my car. Emphasis on both the slow and the meander. He pauses awkwardly here and there, sort of inching toward my face as we talk. Is he trying to work up the nerve for our first kiss? I pause, hoping to help him get it over with so I can get home. He stammers and shuffles back a few inches. We continue our desolate march.
Back at my car, I offer him a ride to his, as it's a bit of a trek. He accepts. This was a bad idea. Down in the depths of a now-deserted parking garage, he refuses to exit my vehicle. Not vocally -- I mean, I at no point demand/or even request he open the door and GTFO. I just keep saying how tired I am and how I'm about to fall asleep and how I can't wait to get home, and sort of think he'll get the hint at some point. He doesn't. What he does do is start to massage my shoulders. Holy mother of Jesus, how do I kindly bring this to an end?
OkCT: How was that? Feel better now?
Me: [visible grimace] Magical.
At this point, it dawns on me that I am all alone in a parking garage with someone I barely know. As it's our fourth date, I didn't even really tell anyone where I'd be/with whom. What if I trusted too soon? What if I die down here? I'm trying to recall if I have a pepper spray stashed anywhere in my Prius when OkCT goes in for the kiss.
It. Is. ...horrendous. Is this his first kiss?? There is darting tongue action, sloppy lip stuff, hands around my neck in a decidedly not-hot way.... I am backed so far into my seat, I'm pretty sure there's going to be a permanent indentation. When the salacious assault on my face finally comes to an end...
OkCT: [silly smile] Magic?
I have a funny feeling there will be no date five.
*not his real name