A few years ago, when I was living in New York City, I was pretty lonely and being that I didn’t really like going to gay bars, I decided to join an Internet dating website. Now, I didn’t spring for Match.com because, well, you have to pay for that shit and I was broke. I decided to sign up for OkCupid. I quickly realized I needed to have a rule to weed out the weirdoes and deadbeats. I took a lot of time crafting my profile and if someone just messages me with “Hey, what’s up?” or “Nice pictures” without commenting on something I’ve written in my profile then I didn’t want to talk to them.
Anyway, after exchanging a few messages with this one fellow – I’ll call him Stuart (because that was his name) – we decided to meet for dinner in Greenwich Village. I arrived at the restaurant on time. Stuart was, of course, late. Minus one point for Stuart! So I wait and wait. I waited about 15 minutes and then I see this fella walking down the street towards me. Well, he wasn’t walking so much as cat walking while vigorously swinging his arms in such a way I thought they would swing right off. Not only that, he was carrying a huge bag, almost exactly like the one Mary Poppins uses.
I thought, “Ok, let’s not be too judgmental. I don’t think I’ll be into him but maybe I can make a new friend.” We ended up having a really nice dinner and had some good conversation. He asked me if I wanted to get a beer after dinner and at first I said I had to wake up early the next day for work (a lie) but then I acquiesced. Before I move forward with this tale, I want to let you know rule number two in regards to dating me… No gay bars in the first few dates. New York City gay bars are like meat markets and I don’t want to be on a date with someone while either he or I are looking at anyone else or distracted with the loud music. I’m not sure how it happened but Stuart got me to go to one of the sleaziest gay bars in NYC, Pieces. They were playing Porno Bingo in the back and Boogie Nights on the TV screens.
“Why am I here?” I thought. We ordered drinks, I got a sensible vodka tonic and he got… I don’t actually remember. He then started asking a series of questions that progressively got weirder. The first one was “Do you like porn?” I paused because I thought I had heard him wrong and when I realized I hadn’t, I thought, “Wow, that’s not a question you ask on a first date.” Instead, I decided to just play along because this would make a great story. I said, “Yea, I think most men do.” We continued on with the conversation and a little later he asked “Do you like underwear? What kind of underwear do you like?” Again, I thought “Yup, not a question to ask on a first date.” I answered, “Yes, I like underwear. It keeps everything where it should be and I’m not going to tell you what underwear I like.” It was right after this that an older man sauntered into the bar fanning himself.
I saw him and started chuckling because the image that flashed in front of my eyes was this older man dressed as Scarlet O’Hara fanning himself. Stuart asked what I was laughing at and I replied “That man over there is fanning himself like a Southern Belle, it’s funny. Makes me laugh.” He looked at me with a straight face and said, “I have a fan”. “This is too good to be true and I got to see this fan,” I thought. He then reached elbow deep into his Mary Poppins bag and pulls out this powder blue fan. He then proceeds to awkwardly fan himself. I had to stop him. “That’s not how you fan yourself. Here, let me show you,” I said. I took the fan from him and snapped it open like a proper Spanish lady and proceeded to fan myself and say things like “I’ve got the vapors! I’ll never go hungry again” and “I do declare, I’m in need of a mint julep.” Next thing I know, this sassy black man in the corner shouts over to us “Ooooo! Look at Miss Scarlet over there!” To which I replied, “Thank you!” I then folded up the fan, gave it back to Stuart, pounded my vodka tonic and left the bar, never to see Stuart or his fan again. This, my friends, is how not to get a second date.