Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Randy was one of the few men on last week's list of meMarmony failures and other misadventures whom I did not meet online. People used to warn me to be careful with online dating; you never know who you can trust. Randy reminded me that it doesn't matter where you meet someone; weirdos and so-called "normal" people are everywhere, and it's really a crapshoot when or where you'll find either one.

Also, Randy's name wasn't really Randy. In the list, I used his real name, and if you read my italicized commentary there, you can probably figure out which name this post is about. But when I was digging through old emails tonight trying to remember exactly all the things that terrified me about Randy, I remembered there were several things that initially charmed me as well. I also remembered that he sent a very genuine and remorseful-sounding apology after our second and final date. It wasn't enough to make me overcome my reservations and actually tell him where I lived, but I appreciated the gesture anyway. So for this post, Scary Guy's name is Randy. That is my possibly inadequate way of absolving myself from the guilt of outing by real name someone who was maybe actually a decent guy at heart.

I met Randy at a free outdoor concert (one of my favorite things about Minneapolis in the summertime). He told me later that he'd seen me from afar and carefully calculated which friend of his to bring over to distract the friend I was with so that he could talk to me, and which backhanded compliments or borderline insults to use to get us just riled up to make things lively without actually outright offending us. It wasn't a typical approach, and it was even less typical to confess he'd used it. I was intrigued by his honesty. I was also intrigued by his vocabulary. The guy may have been an idiot in the long run emotionally or socially, but I can't deny that he was whip-smart.

He called me the next day and insisted we go out for drinks that night. It was about 97 degrees that weekend, and I'd had big plans to lie in front of a fan in my living room for hours, staring at the TV while I tried to move as little as possible, but eventually I agreed to take a shower and actually leave my house instead. We had already had a fairly lively phone conversation, and I thought maybe for once it would be a date where I actually had fun. Also, he had begun quizzing me on likes, dislikes, and various life experiences in order to properly file them into a Venn diagram to determine our compatibility, and I was convinced the result would be either hilarious or frightening. I had to see how he executed it to be sure.

I wish I could remember more of what was in that Venn diagram. I know Taco Bell as a guilty pleasure was in the intersecting portion; the fact that I liked to read was in the outer circle. That I had only sisters was a strike against me (which made little sense, seeing as he had only brothers himself), but the fact that we were both middle children was a plus. In all, the Venn diagram ended up not being any sort of deciding factor. No, despite the few lovely reasons I saw to continue getting to know him (numbers 1, 2, and 4 of the first list in this post, for instance), there were also plenty of reasons NOT to proceed any further. Namely, these.

Bear in mind I went on only two dates with Randy. And yet, in the course of those two dates and the time spanning between them, this man...

  • Told me never to cut my hair.

  • Or to stop wearing glasses.

  • Said he probably wouldn't be attracted to me anymore if I did either of the above, and even if he were, he wouldn't be happy about it.

  • Asked me to change my e-mail display name from "Stefanie" to "Stef" (the two are very different names with different connations, he claimed, and he much preferred I be a "Stef" than a "Stefanie").

  • Sent me 13 consecutive replies to a single email (all during the one-hour span I was at lunch), each with just a single question or comment inside.

  • Told me that most men would probably like only about 70% of who I am. Said that he liked 90%, but rather than accept that as a pretty good number, suggested we work on the 10% he didn't like instead.

  • Got slurred-speech, sloppy drunk on our first and second (a.k.a. last) date.

  • Took a cab to our first date seemingly intending to get sloppy drunk, and then asked me to drive him to the club where his friends were before I went home.

  • Called me after midnight on a week night to tell me he had just been on a date with a girl who wants to be a technical writer and wondered if I'd have any advice for her.

  • Showed me pictures of the last two women he'd gone on dates with (pictures taken during those dates). Didn't understand why I wouldn't let him take my picture ten minutes later.

  • Talked repeatedly about his ex, but got near-violently angry when I mentioned mine merely in passing (in the context of a not-relationship-related story).

  • Told me he was not ready for a relationship at the moment, and made sure I knew he was actively dating. Told me I could date too, but he didn't want to hear about it at all.

  • After walking me to my car and already saying good night, asked, as his final, parting words, whether I like p*rn.

I'm sure there was more, but I remember that last one being the final straw in my head, the mental door slamming shut with a quick, "OK, aaaaannnd, we're done here."

Too hasty? Tough call, right?


Danielle said...

As Blair on Gossip Girl said, Oh, my F'ing God!!! People sure have balls. I must go back and read what attracted him to you in the first place.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Oh, HELLS no. A couple of those were grounds for a quick punch to the eye socket.

3carnations said...

Wow. That sounds like a horrible date.

Anonymous said...

Sounds a little like a Tom Cruise crazy person. You know Katie to Kate. Yeah, Not-Randy is an alien and I don't think you were too quick to make that decision.

lizgwiz said...

Well, I don't know. I mean..DO you like p*rn? ;)

Mickey said...

Porn was the final straw?

The lesson here (among many, many lessons): Don't go out with non-readers (Hasn't this come up before?) Your screen-out question should be "Do you like to read books?"

Courtney said...

"Told me that most men would probably like only about 70% of who I am. Said that he liked 90%, but rather than accept that as a pretty good number, suggested we work on the 10% he didn't like instead."

Oh. My. God. That is your best/worst dating story yet. I cannot believe this guy. And he showed so much promise at the start!

Alice said...

AAAHAHAHAAA. seriously, reading all these stories is making me SO EXCITED about my match subscription, because OH MY LORD LOOK AT THE STORIES :-)

Anonymous said...

I am willing to bet this guy is on someone's "neighborhood watch" list!

flurrious said...

Man, that's a lot of crazy to reveal in only two dates. If that's his idea of making a good first impression, can you imagine what he'd be like once he stopped trying? Oy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, he sounds like a real catch. Also, giggling out loud in the middle of my open plan office at some of your commenters. :)

Jess said...

Oh yeah. What a winner. What a rash decision you made to slam the door on that one.

Also, what you said at the beginning of this post is what I've always thought. Maybe we place too much trust in meeting people in person. Yes, people can pose as other people very easily online. But the only thing you can't hide in person is your looks and a few basic demographics.

Stefanie said...

Danielle--I don't watch Gossip Girl, but I think we can all still relate to that sentiment. OMFG indeed.

NPW--The eye socket at least, right?

3Cs--Oddly, the dates themselves were NOT horrible. That's what made all these isolated bits of insanity even more strange and maddening.

TTC--I don't know about him being an alien, but the Tom Cruise comparison DID come to mind at the time.

Liz--Well, who doesn't, right? (Kidding. You do remember how I wrote than I never even saw any p*rn until well into adulthood, right?)

Mickey--Yeah, the reading thing was strange. Honestly, I don't care if a guy isn't a big reader, but to consider the fact that *I* like to read a negative? I don't get it.

Courtney--My best/worst yet, and I can't believe I almost forgot about him.

Alice--I definitely think having a blog helps to put you in the right frame of mind to have a sense of humor about dating. I mean, bad dates are actually better than ordinary and uneventful ones, because hey--blog fodder!

Monkey--Yeah. MINE. ;-)

Flurrious--That was exactly my concern. His apology email focused on how he was a drunken jackass but how he was just nervous because he wanted to impress me. Unfortunately, it did nothing to clear up why he was so frighteningly controlling. That kind of thing, early on already? No thank you.

12ontheinside--I wonder sometimes if he was like that on all his dates, or just on the ones with women he claimed to think were perfect for him.

Jess--I totally agree. You can meet a weirdo in real life just as easily as online. The same has to be true for the good ones, right?

Miss Pants said...

He sounds like an absolute dream! I can't figure out why you weren't interested pursuing a relationship.

steve said...


While I would never claim to speak for the male gender, may I offer an apology?

What a douchenozzle.

Aaron said...

What NPW said. Jeez Louise!! I don't even know which specific point to discuss.

Poppy said...

Huh. If not for the sloppy drunk I'd say he's a total control freak. But control freaks don't like losing control.

Still, a control freak. Reminds me of my ex. Steer very clear, don't ever compromise on this type of guy.