Archive | September, 2013

Ace of Spades

10 Sep

The other day I was watching a reality TV show about frog-catching at a neighborhood bar.  My friend had abandoned me and my beverage was long gone but I couldn’t unglue my eyes from the duo of old men on the screen hurling accusations of amphibian sabotage at one another.  Suddenly, a bar patron who sounded like a Tickle-Me-Elmo in mid-tickle straddled the barstool next to mine and asked if he could buy me a drink.  I was hesitant– the last guy I’d taken up on that offer at this particular venue had turned out to be a crawfish-obsessed carny.

My new friend’s name was Brant.  I’d never met such a giggly individual and couldn’t decide if I was more confused by what drug he must be on, or why he was wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap inside a bar at night.  He asked what I did for a living and I told him that I work in a store… which prompted an eruption of high-pitched giggles.  When I returned the question, he looked around before responding in a lowered voice “I play poker.”  That’s right– Brant was a part-time poker player, full-time party animal.  I could see a reflection of my facial expression in his dark lenses and quickly altered it to appear more impressed.  I don’t remember anything that was said between “I play poker” and “Let’s go to Atlantic City and get married next Wednesday” because my brain was still stuck trying to process that there is an entire reality series dedicated to frog-catching.  But it was just one of those situations where you agree to go to Atlantic City with someone you just met to get married next Wednesday.  Why not?

Sadly, my schedule that Wednesday ended up being full to the brim, so my fiancé had to go to Atlantic City alone.  He sent me a text saying what a great time he was having but how it would be much more fun if I were there.  How romantic!  Did he even remember what I look like?  Because I didn’t have any clue, thanks in part to his unabomber disguise.  I recall a sort of mushroomy nose and distressing thumbs… but I only remember the thumbs because he sent me a picture of them fanning out five crisp $100 bills.

A few evenings later, he asked if he could use his plentiful winnings to buy me some beers.  I declined his offer because I didn’t want to go out after work, and he texted back “Ok then send me a pic if u in ur PJs.”  ENGAGEMENT OFF.  What a creep.  My disgust quickly dissipated, however, when I realized how hilarious his typo was.  He wanted me to send him a sexy selfie… but only IF I was wearing my PJs– no nudity or underwear, please.  I started to text him back “you first,” but was afraid he would actually follow through.  A vision crossed my mind of Brant cackling into the night sky, wearing sunglasses, a cap, and onesie pajamas– with the rear-end flap unbuttoned to reveal a strategically-placed Ace of Spades.

What had I gotten myself into?  A pending engagement with a professional gambler who wears criminal disguises and has a pajama fetish.  This is precisely why you don’t encourage people in a biker bar.

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Planet Lars

4 Sep

I’m going to get the moral of the story out of the way now in case you’re pressed for time.  Here it is, my friends:  Do not get a tattoo on an OKCupid date.  I repeat, DO NOT GET A TATTOO ON AN OKCUPID DATE.

Last November, I met a wealthy Texas oil tycoon named Lars.  Well, actually his parents were wealthy– he was on a monthly allowance, livin’ in the big city in the name of a most noble accolade: a doctorate in philosophy.  I don’t remember much about our first date.  It was at Art Bar, my former go-to blind date spot (when I used to date).  That night, I recall being pleasantly surprised by the fellow before me– he was cute, well-dressed, and insanely smart.  A little on the skinny side, but you can’t have it all.  He had a charming gap between his front teeth, which I saw a lot of… because he talked a mile a minute the entire evening.  When I would attempt to interject, he would freeze for a polite nanosecond, then pick right back up where he had left off, as if restarting his paused cassette tape.  I gleaned that he didn’t take social cues very well.

Acute Asperger’s aside, I was enthralled by this strange specimen of mankind.  His stories were detailed and funny– prior to our first date he had come from a city-wide scavenger hunt for pig-related merchandise with a clan of fellow Texan trust fund babies who, during which, had somehow gotten themselves mixed up in an illicit exchange gone awry between two moving train cars.  Who does that before a first date?  I was further intrigued by him after a little innocent cyber-stalking turned up some eyebrow-raising results.  First, I found a seemingly dormant Facebook page with an all-American relationship picture of him and a cute blonde girl.  It seemed he had also been in the Navy (which fit with the blonde girl)… then in rehab for a spell… then Rose McGowan’s personal assistant in LA– before she publicly and scathingly fired him for putting her in the wrong car at Chateau Marmot (seriously, it’s on YouTube).  He had mentioned in his compatibility questions on OKCupid that he had had a homosexual encounter in the past, and joked to me about a male colleague attempting to touch him in an very un-collegiate manner.  So I was a little on the fence about his sexuality AND his sanity at this point… but fascinated nonetheless.

Lars and I continued to hang out in various dive bars around town and he certainly never lacked in the entertainment department.  Once, he said he had turned down a date with a sexually frustrated foreign exchange student who had suggested they meet for the first time in the bathroom of an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Another time, he showed up to a sports bar in Midtown wearing a tuxedo.  Then there was the time when he recollected a German stripclub he had recently visited where the performer "made an origami house out of a dollar bill, then wrote a postcard to her sister, then shot a banana into the air– all with her… well, you know.”  But my favorite story of all was the one about his stalker.  Apparently, someone who claimed to be a 19-year-old girl had been contacting him on OKCupid for months– bringing up personal information about him, trying to persuade him to email her naked pictures of himself, and sending him packs of his brand of cigarettes anonymously through campus mail.  Every time he attempted to meet this person, something would suddenly come up and she would have already left the bar/concert/etc by the time he arrived.  He thought it might be a lovestruck undergraduate in one of the classes he was TA’ing… I thought it was probably another man who wanted to probe his corduroys.

And then we got tattoos together.  I wish there was some sensational build-up to it, but I think we were simply out at a bar one night and someone suggested we get tattooed.  They don’t match– his is an anchor and mine is a flower– but it certainly was a bonding experience at the time.  Afterwards, we sat huddled together in a nearby pub, comparing our bandages and sharing all of our secrets.  A week or so later, he asked me to go out with him for Valentine’s Day… but I unfortunately blew him off to hang out with a much less entertaining Texan.  And then Lars seemed to disappear into thin air.  I recently checked in on him to make sure he was still with us on this Earth and he wrote back to say he was sorry that we’d lost touch, but that he’d been traveling the globe and didn’t have any time in his schedule right now.  Well.

Although much less exciting, my world has most definitely been a better place since I quit OKCupid.  This radical change in lifestyle has enabled me to start facing my troubles (like where I’m going to come up with two grand to get this damn tattoo removed) and my insecurities, rather than hiding them in a daze of wine and fleeting male affections.  I must say, however, that Lars was one of the most special snowflakes I met on OKCupid, and hopefully our friendship will find its way once again.

Perhaps over a nice cup of coffee rather than permanent ink this time.