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?