The only thing that saved me from going utterly insane while I was dating was my vanity. When people didn’t like me, I thought they were teh stupid. Specifically, I can recall an incident with one Match.com person who did not think that I was in the least bit funny. This caused me to think that he was totally devoid of any sense of humor, despite the fact that the record will show that I was completely obnoxious during the entire exercise.
In my defense, keep in mind that this guy:
Fortunately, I always have something to say. I’m also, lest you think I’m just some dick who goes on and on about herself, really interested in people. I like their sad stories, and I like their happy stories, but most of all, I like finding out how they’ve managed to put their lives together in the fashion they currently are. This dude, creepy beard or no, had what seemed to be to be a fairly interesting job. He did editing work for some sort of TV show. I can’t tell you which one, because he was fairly cagey about details. In fact, in general, I would say that I other struck him as an extreme freak who was likely to murder him and boil his rabbit, or that he had had very bad experiences with dating in the past. He was very careful not to give me any details that might enable me to, say, track him down. Here’s a sample of our conversation:
Me: So you’re an editor?
Me: What do you edit?
Him: TV shows.
Me: Oh, that’s really interesting. My friend does that. He just edited the promo spots for some show about a bunch of fat brides-to-be who are trying to lose weight in time for their wedding. I hear there’s crying. I can’t wait to see it.
Him: You can’t wait to see them crying?
Me: Well … uh. Anyway. So what are you working on?
Him: A TV show.
Me: About …?
Him: I work on all kinds of shows. (Long pause.) It’s, you know, a real TV show. Not one of those reality programs. They do that across the hall.
Me: Oh, OK. Yeah, I hate those reality TV shows. And it sucks for writers, you know, because they’re all scripted, but no one admits that, so they don’t get a credit and they don’t get benefits.
Him: Yeah. I know.
Me: Of course you know. Of course. Anyway, yeah, fuck reality TV. I can’t stand, like, Survivor, or any of those shows. Well, OK, I mean, I love Project Runway, but who doesn’t.
Him: I don’t … I’m not familiar.
Me: Tim Gunn? Heidi Klum? I love Tim Gunn. He’s teh awesome. I sat behind him one year at Fashion Week and he was so nice to everyone and smelled just like a birthday cake.
Him: (Makes noise somewhere between a grunt and hiss. A scoff?)
At this point, I should say, I had no idea why I’m still talking to this dude. I wasn’t attracted to him, I didn’t like him, it was clear that he doesn’t like me … and yet, I felt like if I just said, hey, your hair is creepy and you have no conversational skills and you clearly think I’m just as hot as an otter, so let’s call this off, his feelings will somehow be hurt. But of course, I can’t just STOP TALKING.
Me: And of course, Ghost Hunters. That is the finest program of our time.
Him: I have no idea what that is.
Me: Oh man! You don’t know what you’re missing. OK, so there’s this group of guys, the Atlantic Paranormal Society – TAPS. They’re plumbers, but they’re also paranormal investigators. So they go into all these spooky places – your standard haunted houses, the occasional library or church, and of course, loads of hospitals and prisons and mental institutions – and they try to debunk the supposed hauntings that are going on in all these places.
Him: So, is it … do you like it because it’s stupid?
Me: No, man! I like it because it’s AWESOME. Also, all the guys on it have these super – actually, make that WICKED – strong New England accents. And this makes me incredibly homesick, and then I have call my mother so I can hear her talk.
Me: Where are you from?
Me: Oh, that’s funny. A friend of mine is from … no wait. He’s from Pittsburgh.
Him: (Bristling.) Baltimore is not at all like Pittsburgh.
Me: Oh, I know. I know. But I’ve never been either place. So … anyway. The other thing about Ghost Hunters is that the EVPs scare the ass off of me.
Him: I don’t know what those are.
Me: Electronic Voice Phenomena? Basically, you record, like, air, and then when you play it back there are all these spooky voices on the tape, saying things like, “GET OUT” or “IMA EATCHA!”
Him: Ima eatcha?
Me: I don’t know if they actually said that. That’d be scary, though.
Him: So … wait. You’re actually scared by this. You watch this show and you’re scared.
Me: Oh, yes. Oh, my God, yes. Sometimes I have to turn it off.
We never made it to the third beer. My shrink, upon hearing this story, wiped the tears of mirth from her eyes and said that she didn’t see much future for me with anyone who didn’t appreciate why that interaction was funny. I told her that I didn’t see much of a future with myself with anyone who didn’t think GHOST HUNTERS IS FUCKING AWESOME.
To be fair, Sgt Lucky has never said anything of the sort about Ghost Hunters, but his best friend loves it, so I figure that’s good enough.