I almost never write about dating. There are many reasons for that, but they probably all boil down to the same central concept: I am no good at it, and I don't want to give my friends any more ammunition than they already have. Still, sometimes there is a really really good (read: horrible) story that just needs to be told. Today, the merit of the story outweighs my general rule.
A few months back, by happenstance, I met a guy. Right age, right religion, single, liked a lot of the same things, worked in a similar job, similar background, had interests outside of being a lawyer . . . in other words, he was perfect on paper. (Of course, the last time someone was perfect on paper, he wound up dumping me in the IHOP. I should really know better.)
Anyway, the guy and I hit it off almost instantaneously, but because of work, we didn't go out right away. Instead, we spent a few weeks getting to know each other through long email conversations. Eventually, we went on a first date, and a second. I even told my best friend about him, which is something I generally don't do unless I've been seeing someone for a while -- like a month or more.
Anyway, then we went on what was our third or maybe even fourth date. To a relatively early movie, on a random midweek evening.
For those of you who don't know, I like to watch movies. I pay attention. I think about plot twists and acting and cinematography.
I am also not a teenager. This is an important detail.
So, the movie started, and about five minutes in, the guy started pawing at me, like we were sixteen years old and sitting in the back of a theater in a suburban mall -- instead of mid-30s professionals sitting in a downtown art house theater. I politely pushed him away.
He did this on and off for the next two hours, to the same result.
Now, granted, I can occasionally be cute, but I am not that irresistible. And I expect to have my boundaries respected. So by the time the movie was over, I was really annoyed and felt more than a little violated.
He sent me an email that night telling me how nice I was. I ignored his email, and several other attempts at contact over the next several days. I thought about responding and telling him what I was thinking -- and if I were really a grown up, I would have explained and given him a second chance or something -- but ultimately, I am a child, and in that moment, I lacked the desire and motivation to communicate. So, instead, I continued to ignore him and instead concentrated on work -- which, in my defense, was really busy. Not being a total and complete dumbass, the guy eventually got the message and stopped pursuing me.
I thought this was the end, but still, had an inkling that it wasn't. I mean, we don't work with each other, but we run in some of the same circles. I understood that, eventually, my luck would run out, as it always does.
Which brings me to last week, when I was looking for concert tickets on Craigslist and ran across an interesting personal ad. I pretty much never respond to those things. Really. But the ad was interesting and funny and witty and my curiosity got the best of me. So I wrote a quick note in response to the ad.
Of course, it was him. And rather than ignore it (like I would have), he decided to write me back, making a joke about trying to figure out what etiquette dictates. And what would Emily Post or Miss Manners do? Well, they wouldn't have responded to a Craigslist ad in the first place. So now, here I am, completely mortified. FML.