I walked in to the bar I was supposed to meet my date at feeling very nervous and uncertain. For once, it was not an online date, but someone I had met in person. Allegedly. The problem was that I had met him over the weekend while blackout in one of D.C.’s best bad decision bars while I was housing a piece of Jumbo Slice, and I had no idea what he looked like.
For the record, I rarely black out. I’m amazing at drinking and I almost always find that sweet spot of drunk as a skunk without being sloppy #NotSoHumbleBrag. Additionally, I can count the number of times I’ve ever thrown up from drinking on one hand. So yeah, you could say I’m doing pretty well in life.
However, the weekend I met the Brad in question was a weekend where I was celebrating a promotion with Carol and our other bestie Betty. We had decided to play a game we invented in grad school called “your team my team,” which essentially just involves assigning people on the opposite team tasks involving the opposite sex that are worth points. For example, making out with someone wearing a hat, get the tallest or shortest guy in the bar to buy you a drink, etc. Everyone wins at this game because your friends do embarrassing things and you get real drunk and probably laid.
After an evening of doing shots like we were 23 again, all I know is that I found myself eating Jumbo Slice on the sidewalk with a tall man whose face I do not remember at all. According to my text messages, I had given him my number at some point and we had an amazing evening and he wanted to take me on a “real date.” I polled Carol and Betty and they had no idea what he looked like either, so I showed up at the appointed hour in the appointed place hoping that fourth quarter blackout Quinn had not royally fucked me over.
I may have neglected to mention that I was so nervous prior to this date that I made Carol and Betty come to my apartment to pregame with me in hopes that if I got a little tipsy before the date I would be able to remember what he looked like. Getting a light buzz before a date is definitely a tried and true strategy, but this falls into dangerous territory when you’re unsure what the food situation will be on a date. Most dates I go on are around happy hour and whatever Brad I’m entertaining is usually down for some heavy appetizers after a drink or two.
I sat down at the bar and texted him to let him know that I was there and wearing a red sweater dress. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around, holding my breath and hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I immediately patted myself on the back; my date was cute! He was tall with brown hair in a military high and tight cut and wore a nice flannel shirt with dark jeans. Good job, blackout me.
We hugged and he sat down. Unfortunately, that is the last thing I really remember. As it turns out, this particular Brad had eaten (a very early) dinner just before meeting me for drinks and was not interested in ordering appetizers. I didn’t want to be weird and order one just for myself to eat in front of him, so I just built off the momentum I had started during my pre-date pregame with Betty and Carol. One glass of wine turned into two turned into three, and it turns out that Blackout Brad liked to party, so if my burps the next morning were any indication we also ended up doing several rounds of pickleback shots.
I woke up the next morning with a horrible hangover, but alone yet again. As we know, this is very unlike me. I checked my phone and saw several texts from him.
“I had such an amazing time last night. You’re so much fun! I can’t wait to take you out again *smiley emoji* I’ll make the drive to you and you don’t have to dress up!”
Well, fuck. What could I possibly have done or said to warrant that kind of effusive warmth from a guy I don’t even remember hanging out with? For that matter, how had I managed to get blackout twice in one week when blacking out is usually a once or twice a year occasion for me? So many questions, so few answers. Why didn’t I need to dress up? That’s a weird thing to say… Was he fun? What did he do? Where did he live? What did we talk about? Did I say anything horrifying/embarrassing? What was his name?!
The only solution I could see was to go out on a second date and NOT black out. I responded and asked if he was free the following Thursday night for a date and he agreed. We met up at a different bar near my house and I started to get some answers to my questions and the result cast our first two meetings into stark relief.
“Where do you live again?” I asked flirtatiously.
“Oh, in Charlottesville!” he responded. Fuck. Charlottesville is like a two-hour drive from DC with minimal traffic. Strike one.
Later, I asked, “So why were you in D.C. last weekend?”
“My daughter lives here and I was here for her first birthday party!” he smiled. “I don’t want to show you too many pictures, but…” he whipped out his phone and proceeded to show me entirely too many photos of an infant. I don’t like kids. At all. And I have no desire to be a stepparent. Strike two.
Clearly, this guy and I were not compatible long term partners, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t take a semi-regular spot on the roster. I decided to go for it.
“So… I live pretty close to here if you want to come back and meet my dogs*,” I smiled, leaning in to kiss him.
We made out briefly and he hugged me.
“I would love to, but just so we’re on the same page, I’ve recommitted myself as a virgin to Christ and it’s a really important part of my life that I stay pure for my future wife,” he gently let me know.
Jesus. Well… maybe that was a poor choice of exclamation, but you get the idea. Strikes three, four, and five. I’m not trying to judge someone’s personal belief system, but my personal belief system involves a lot of premarital sex and I don’t see that changing.
“Hey, that’s totally cool and I support that!” I told him. “But wow, I didn’t realize how late it was, maybe another time?”
He agreed and we parted ways. I thought I could be done with this guy nicely via text message the next time he asked me out and let him know that I didn’t really see us going anywhere long term, so it was probably best if we saw other people. He seemed to take it well and I thought that was the end of it.
I woke up the following morning to an email from an unfamiliar address with the subject line, “Us.” I opened it and discovered a full two page single spaced long email from Blackout Brad detailing why I was making a mistake and we were actually perfect for each other and I should give it another chance. I don’t remember giving him my email address, but apparently he found me on LinkedIn and got my email from there. Aaaaaaaand we had entered creeper territory.
I responded nicely to let him know that my answer hadn’t changed and I still thought we were not a good match, but thanks for the email and good luck.
The next morning… a second email. This one was more desperate and begged me again to reconsider. I also received several text messages throughout the day from him saying that he missed me and making me extremely glad that he didn’t know where I lived after all. After another day or so of this and trying to be nice, I finally blocked his number and email and haven’t heard from him since.
The moral of this story is don’t black out on a first date. Try to learn, yet again, from my mistakes and avoid going on multiple dates with a creeper who is clearly not right for you. Be better. I believe in you!
* “Meet my dogs” is a well-known code for “come back to my house and have sex.” Feel free to incorporate this strategy into your closing game. You’re welcome. .
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