Why didn't I listen to mother? SWEET JESUS, PUT DOWN THE LIGHTER!!
If you've turned on a TV in the last decade, then Barbara Walters has no doubt warned you about the extreme, sphincter-tightening dangers of online dating. The numbers are astonishing, the atrocities, atrocious. Millions of men and women, assaulted and gruesomely dismembered by a white trash killer posing as someone else on "that blasted cyber-space." Think about it: when was the last time you actually met a 13-year-old girl? Not lately, am I right? Well. That's because they're ALL GONE.
And yet, online dating persists. A high-risk sport of pursuit only for the brave, the poor, and the lazy. COUNT ME THE HELL IN.
As an active member of Seattle's Lovelab for 9 months now, I must say that I have some real problems with online dating. Up until last Sunday, the gentlemen Lovelab had delivered to me had all been great. Attractive, engaging, polite, adequately affectionate. I've enjoyed their company, made some lasting and true friends, and made it home safely every time. Case in point: They're doing it wrong.
Where is the fear? The gut-wrenching moment when I know there is no escape? The hungry-eyed man from the made-for-tv Lifetime-movie moment who will leave me whimpering on my bathroom floor?
Well, let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen. Finally, finally, I found him. And boy, did he rock my Easter Sunday.
Oh, what a feeling! So impressed was I with the state this date left me in that (before my mind could erase the memories as an emotional defense mechanism) I took notes. So that you, too, will know how to scare the pants, literally (hah!), off your next blind date.
Securing the Date:
After establishing contact and finding out your date's name, Google her immediately. That's standard practice for blind dates, of course, but be sure she knows just how thoroughly you have researched her online traces. Try mentioning how much you like her fiction work minutes into your first online chat session. Careful, though! You want to spook her, but you still want to meet her, so talk about yourself a bit, too. Exemplify your normal qualities and attractive hobbies, and be flirtatiously suggestive (but only slightly!). It is also okay to suggest a secluded activity like hiking for the two of you sometime in the ridiculously near future.
Text her constantly in the days leading up to the date, but don't establish a time yet. This shows that you are very busy harming other women but are still thinking about her. Eventually, her thumbs will get tired and she will just call you. When she does, state that you are conveniently somewhere close to where she lives, even though SHE HASN'T TOLD YOU WHERE THAT IS YET. That is sure to put up a big red flag.
Look your best, but put on your best crazy eyes (thanks to American Psycho, all girls know that the sickest assailants are handsome and normal-looking). Very important: Make sure she knows right away that all you want is to get alone with her. After a greeting and approximately twelve seconds of small talk, immediately suggest your three ideas: a tequila party with people she's never met one county over (via your car), going back to her place (via your car), or the first place you can think of that will require her getting into your car. When she laughs nervously and suggests a nearby pool hall instead, no sweat. She just wants to size you up more before you take her down, you handsome thing, you.
Don't give up on the car idea. Suggest driving to the pool hall, no matter how close she insists it is. Even if you give in and walk, you can later suggest driving her home (which is also only three blocks away from your car). During the pool game, let her do most of the talking. This will put her at ease, as will your brief but wild travel stories. Wanting very much to give you the benefit of the doubt, she will assume that your overt friendliness (and your proposition of watching a movie at her place) are just by-products of your free and well-travelled spirit. Note: Make absolutely sure that every movie you keep on your person is of the male bravado, gratuitously violent ilk. Don't just have Inglorious Basterds, Reservoir Dogs, or Goodfellows. Have all three. That'll really shiver her timbers!
Now for the good part!! Since she has allowed you to be alone with her, it's assumable that she has a can of mace, at least two friends on call, or both. No worries --there are still some things you can get away with. Halfway through the movie, without any pretense whatsoever, get extremely close to her face and ask for permission to kiss her (women LOVE being asked permission. It makes them feel empowered). Her response will likely be a startled whimper, as she fears by the impossible closeness of your face and the feral look in your eye that a "No" will at this point invite physical harm. And that's to your advantage, see? She would much rather just kiss you than have her teeth broken in! So go for it. Start with a slow kiss, and then, without invitation of any kind, GO FUCKING NUTS. Grope, unsnap the bra, and dive head-first into that cleavage as fast as you fucking can, before she comes to her senses and struggles away from you. After she slaps you and irately demands that you snap her bra back on, take some time to let the both of you cool off. She will have a lot to think about, such as how to get you out of her apartment with the least amount of hurt feelings (or broken teeth) as possible. Maybe you just had the wrong idea about what she wanted, she thinks. She calmly begins to say this, to ease the situation for both parties. It is very important that you quickly interrupt her by declaring that you are NOT having sex with her until you see recent documents stating that she is STD-free, and for her not to worry. Yes, say that. If you want to see a woman's head ignite into flames, say just that.
Taking Her Home:
By this point, she either has a death wish or perceives just how utterly ineffective and harmless you are (you silly thing! you just wanted to get laid!), so she'll consent to that quick lift to her house once you've both reached your car again. Do not drive anywhere immediately. Simply turn on the ignition, sit, and drink in the tense, sweet awkwardness of the moment. Say you need something out of your glove compartment, and (since it's so dark in your car?), wave AN (I-FUCK-YOU-NOT!) LIGHTER around between her knees while searching through your glove compartment (trust me, she won't even remember what you were looking for). Be sure to also say something light-hearted about slicing her into little pieces when you casually brush your pocket knife off the dashboard. Then, before she can walk away from this experience with any dignity whatsoever, ask her how many men she has met from Lovelab, and if she likes to make out with all of them. She'll be so stunned, outraged, and hurt that she'll be trying to stutter an appropriate answer all the way home. And let me tell you, nothing on this earth is more adorable than a woman who's just been wrongly accused of being a loose, indiscriminate hussy. Look at you! You're in love!
After the Date:
You may be anxious to send coarse, suggestive messages to her about what a slut she is, but give her some time. She will likely need Sunday evening and most of Monday to cry, battle a gnawing sense of shame, constantly review and question her own actions, and seek out the company of friends in an attempt to feel loved, safe, and generally right again. After two days of no contact, though, you should probably cut things off directly, just to be safe. Send her a text message that states your admiration and appreciation but clearly ends the relationship. "Nice to meet you. Have a great life," will do. She probably won't bother to answer you, but rest assured --she will be looking for you in every empty parking garage she walks through for the rest of her life! Great job!!
** Did this shit really happen to me? Yes. Am I making light of an important issue? Yes. Is it still a gravely important issue? YES, it is. Sharing this post is the equivalent of a shaky marathon chat about the encounter with a friend, plus a tub of cookie dough. It makes me feel better. I know the risks I deal with (I listen to Barbara Walters, duh!), and I'm okay. But ladies, be careful. They're out there. They really are. If you are meeting someone for the first time, always make sure your friends know where you are, and ALWAYS trust your gut. XO!