So I finally managed to emerge from the grading cave, blink a few times at the bright sunlight, then fall into a coma for a few days. A coma that included convocation and meetings and various medical and medical-ish appointments, but not much in the way of socializing.
My life is a little weird these days. During the semester, my social life is spotty because work is so overwhelming. Between semesters, the combination of a lack of structured time, an odd sort of post-partum depression that always tinges at least the first few days, and the awkwardness of reappearing at social events after a long absence ("Hey, guys! Remember me? Did you notice I haven't been around?") all combine to make it hard to smoothly re-enter what I like to think of as my real life, even though it sadly covers less than half of my time.
So today I managed to do a little Christmas shopping, and then in the evening I had, yes, a date. Not with the Second Date Dude of my earlier entry, but a new guy. Another online-originated encounter.
Remember how I said bad dates are preferable to the meh kind? Well, this was a case in point. I'm kind of delighted at just how awful it was.
- He lives in another part of town, so he asked me to pick the place. Before I did, I posed a few questions, such as whether he's more a beer, wine, or cocktails kind of guy (the plan was to meet for happy hour). He said wine, so I chose a wine bar. On the date, he tells me he knows next to nothing about wine, and asks me to order for him. Again, I probe a bit to try to figure out his tastes, and make a selection. He doesn't like it. I offer him a sip from my glass; he likes that even less. Every time he drinks from his glass, he makes a face.
- I learned a lot about the remote-control helicopter community. For instance, you can totally use one of those to take aerial pictures of houses in South Dakota. Also, it's a great way to make friends whom you don't really like and who overshare about their adventures in infidelity. (Apparently the remote-control helicopter crowd is pretty wild.)
- When he told me what he does for a living, I mentioned that one of my closest friends here is editor of a trade publication for that industry. "Is this a female friend?" he asked. I said yes. "Who's an editor?" He was incredulous.
- At one point, he very randomly asked me whether I'd ordered my (adorable, striped) tights from Amazon. WTF? (I told him I bought them in Italy. Really they were from Target, but I don't feel even a little bit bad about lying in this case.)
- Speaking of Italy, he seemed really confused about why I'd spent so much time there, and asked a lot of questions in a way that sounded as though he was trying to trip me up. I think he might suspect me of being a spy.
I did enjoy not feeling the slightest pang of guilt about having no desire to see him again. It's nice for things to be so clear cut. Yes, once again, despite my work being all about ambiguity, when it comes to dating I much prefer black and white. I'm sensing a pattern, here.
It's all well and good to add to the Bad Date Story Archive, but honestly, mine is already bursting at the seams. I know they say it's a numbers game, but my numbers just aren't adding up to anything at all. My failure rate of 100% seems excessive, even for someone like myself, for whom demographics and general weirdness are natural limiting factors. I live in a major metropolis, after all, one with a huge university, so the pool should be big enough for me to find at least one other odd little fish to swim with. Right? And yet.
On bad days, this situation leads me to suspect that I am, on some fundamental level, undateable. Maybe I simply fall into a kind of uncanny valley: at first glance, I seem like someone who can and should have an active and satisfying dating life, but instead am wholly unsuited for human pairing at a level that defies ready explanation.
On better days, I think I just need to figure out how to meet people I actually want to spend time with. I'm not sure it actually makes my position any easier (because if I could find the answer, I obviously wouldn't be in this position in the first place), but at least it's a little less depressing.
Meanwhile, I'm mostly relieved that tonight's date didn't leave me with any difficult decisions to make.