By Kimberly Wharton
So I’m on this online dating site where the only pre-requisite for ‘matching’ is based on whether or not you have a car. This guy popped in, who was somewhat attractive, although it was hard to tell since his only profile picture was blurry. He was an electrical engineer, which I respect, so thought I’d give him my attention. The conversation was a bit jagged, but I do tend to be more attracted to overly smart men with poor people skills, so this was perfect!
After short awkward banter, he asked me out for a date. His innuendo seemed genuine, although somewhat robotic, so I agreed.
We had planned to meet at a popular Los Angeles outdoor mall, but would meet first in the two hour lot across the street. He said I should park there because nobody ever checks cars and you can park there all evening! Robotic and cheap…this could be great!
He called me earlier that day to confirm we were still on. We had never actually talked on the phone before. He had lived extensively in India, Germany, and now West Hollywood, so his accent was tough to understand. I kept on mishearing him and responding in a way I thought appropriate, though completely incorrect.
I rushed home from the Westside as fast as one can on the 405 on a Friday evening. As quickly as I could, morphed from gym to ‘first date appropriate’ and raced out the door, to drive the 45 minutes to meet him.
I’m running a few minutes late, so I call the number he’d used to call me earlier that day. I get a machine saying this number cannot take incoming calls. What!?!
I get to our meeting point. I walk around the lot looking for a blurry Indian. After about 45 minutes, I proceed to said ‘outdoor mall’. I’m there for a while. My phone rings. Our phone conversation went something like this: Him, “WHERE ARE YOU!” Me, “In the center of ‘said mall’. Where are you?” Him, “WHY DON’T YOU ANSWER YOUR PHONE! I CALLED YOU 3 TIMES!” Me, “No, my phone has been in my hand and it’s never rang. I tried to call you, but it wouldn’t take outside calls.” Him, “THAT WAS WORK. I’M HOME ALREADY. TELL YOU WHAT, COME PICK ME UP.” I wish there were words for my facial response, but I don’t think there are.
Apparently, he didn’t own a car or it was being “repaired” was his story. After I stood my ground and said, no, if you’d like to meet, walk here (he lived two blocks away), he did.
My gut response was to run to my car and leave. But I should let you know that my first impression of people is usually completely wrong…so this could be the love of my life!
When he finally arrives, he barely acknowledges me, pulls my shoulder and begins to walk. He says, “Let’s catch a cab and go to a nightclub.” I say no, I’d rather stay here. He argues, but we end up staying. We go to a restaurant and order tea. He doesn’t even look at me the entire time. I try to make small talk. Turns out we used to live on the same street in College. He doesn’t seem to care. I ask him if he liked our college town. He says, “Too many gays.” I say, “I see…so you chose to move to West Hollywood …AND get highlights?” He doesn’t respond.
After an awkward silence, and what seemed to me like a lean in for a kiss, yeah, he then says, “I’m angry for two reasons.” I smile. “First, I was already home and in bed after waiting for you. And I was also evicted today.” I say I’m sorry for the eviction, but if he would rather go home and go back to bed, that’s fine too. He blames the eviction on his roommate. I asked him what his roommate was going to do. His response went something like this, “Well, you know, he’s black.” “What does that mean?!” I say. His response, “Well, you know.” This man was both angry…and racist!
I quickly said,” I should go”. After all, I was getting concerned over my car. He assured me it was fine. I said, “But you don’t have a car.”
After he thanked me for meeting him, I did something I’ve never done before. I stood in front of him, took both his hands in mine, looked him in the eyes and said, “Life can be better”, and left.
…the search continues.