It was a Tuesday night and, per usual, I was getting ready to go on a Bumble date. Also, per usual, I was telling my group chat about this guy and sent a screenshot of his profile picture for opinions (ladies, don’t pretend like you don’t do this).
This guy seemed to be a perfectly normal Brad (don’t they all at first…). He was cute, had a derpy smile, worked on the Hill, and had a great best man toast photo. He met all of my criteria for swiping right. He seemed very generic, but we had some witty conversation via message and were set to meet for drinks at a downtown bar known for its central location and extensive beer selection.
I’m too jaded to be excited about app dates anymore, but I felt reasonably confident that this guy was normal and we could at least have a good conversation. I went about my business, threw on some eyeliner, curled my hair, kissed the dogs goodbye, and called an Uber.
When I walked in, I saw him sitting at the bar with a seat already reserved for me. He stood up to greet me, which is always appreciated, and to my relief he was just as attractive as in his profile photo and did not give off a weird creeper vibe.
“Ok,” I thought enthusiastically, “I can work with this!”
We started off with some pretty generic conversation (school/work/etc.), but it was going reasonably well. Several Golden Monkeys in (known for their high alcohol content…) I felt comfortable enough to tell him about the birthday party I had recently thrown, which was a “Superheroes and Villains” themed costume party. We started talking about our favorite superheroes and he seemed very interested in the party, so I offered to show him some particularly hilarious photos from the party with everyone in their costumes.
At this point, I was feeling a little tipsy due to the three Golden Monkeys I had thrown back, or I would never have given him my phone with the photo album open and told him to, “swipe until you get to a dog picture.” Obviously, this is a terrible plan with anyone and you should always maintain control of your phone and your photos, but I was buzzed and he was cute and I couldn’t think of any photos on my phone that would be embarrassing or offensive.
He scrolled through several funny photos of my friends and I dressed as varying superheroes and several photos of me looking particularly cute in my sexy Supergirl outfit. I was pretty pleased with myself at being able to work in some attractive photos and show him that I was fun and creative at the same time. I took another swig of my Golden Monkey and turned to flip my hair and scoot a bit closer to him to see which photos he was on. Prior to this moment, things had been going pretty well. We were leaning towards each other, there had been some light hand/shoulder touching, and a lot of laughing. All of a sudden his body language changed completely and he sat straight up.
“Is this a picture of me?!” he asked, accusingly.
I had completely forgotten to delete the screenshot of his profile picture that I had sent to all my friends, and there he was, smiling back at us on my phone, letting the world know that I was a huge fucking creeper. I have never turned so red or been so embarrassed in my life, and I was momentarily speechless. I frantically racked my brain for any plausible excuse that would justify having a stranger’s photo that I’ve never met on my phone.
I thought about saying no, but clearly any reasonable human would know their own photo. Telling him I had actually sent the photo to a group of my friends to judge his attractiveness didn’t sound great either. So, I did the first thing I could think of and lied aggressively.
“Oh, god that’s so embarrassing!” I laughed nonchalantly. “Yes, you know you can’t be too careful meeting strangers from the internet, so my girlfriends and I always send each other photos of our dates in case anything goes wrong and they turn out to be serial killers or something!” I laughed nervously a little longer.
Honestly, my acting was on par with Hayden Christensen’s in Episodes II and III, but he seemed like he wanted to believe me and relaxed slightly.
“Do all girls do this?” he asked, still slightly suspicious.
“Oh definitely!” I doubled down on my blatant lie. “There are just so many horror stories out there, you know? But obviously you’re really cute and nice, so I’m just going to delete this to stop being a creeper.” Surely he would see through my desperation and flattery?
“Oh wow, yeah I guess I never thought of that as a guy,” he relaxed further and looked concerned, taking my hand. Nope, score one for desperation and flattery. And boobs? Maybe boobs.
The rest of the date mostly involved me trying to overcompensate for my mortifying blunder and turning the charm up to 11. I honestly thought there was no way to salvage this date, but at least I could come out not looking like a stalker. I was pretty surprised when he offered to walk me back to my car, but I accepted. He even opened the door for me.
However, I was truly shocked when he went in for a kiss. I had not seen that coming at all. I went with it and we had a nice little makeout sesh against the car, mostly consisting of me thinking, “is this really happening right now?”
We disengaged and I thanked him again and got into my car, driving away into the misty evening. We never spoke again.
To this day, I am still confused as to why this guy, 1.) continued to stay on the date with me; 2.) was not sufficiently creeped out that I had a photo of him that I stole from an app on my phone, right next to all of my dog photos and saved Snapchats; and,
3.) still wanted to make out with me even after knowing what a creeper I am. If the situation had been reversed and a guy had done this to me, I would have maybe stayed for one more drink to be polite and then noped the hell out of there. To this day, I have an immense amount of respect for that man. Here’s to you, Screenshot Brad.
The moral of the story is, if you’re going to screenshot your date’s photos (you know you’re going to, just admit it), delete them IMMEDIATELY after sending to whoever. Also, Do not under any circumstances let a stranger swipe through your photos. Learn from my mistakes. Be better. Good luck!.
Image via Shutterstock