Remember that date we went on? Do you need me to refresh your memory?I moved to Winnipeg with my boyfriend, and broke up with him a few months later. It just wasn’t working. So I was stuck in my new city and didn’t know anyone. But I’m stubborn so I stuck it out. I’m from a small town where everyone knows everyone. And if you don’t know someone you know their parents. Or siblings. Or your parents go to the same church as their grandma. There is no “dating”. You already know if you like someone or not and one night you happen to be drinking at the same bar and whoops! You hooked up. You are now in a relationship. Or you’re the town whore. One or the other. You choose.
So having never been on a date and being newly single in a city of strangers I figured I’d try that internet dating thing. A friend and I wrote silly profiles for each other and posted them and the emails started coming in: Everything from “hey. You. I think we should do it”, “You seem very sweet and grounded. Which church do you go to?” to “How are you? I’m ______. Do you want to chat?”
I made myself rules and everything and was very proud of myself for sticking to them:
- 2 weeks of chatting before meeting in person. If they’d stick it out through that, they couldn’t just be looking for a one night stand. Plus, I’d have time to ask them enough questions to find out if they’re a freak.
- First date in a very public place where liquor is readily available if the situation is overly awkward. Only one date per person per week (which sometimes still meant 4 dates per week – just with different people)
- Honestly tell them if asked that I was going on dates with other people too.
- No sex until 3 weeks after meeting them in person.
I thought these rules would keep me safe from the likes of you.
So you and I had been emailing for a while and on a gorgeous day after work you emailed to say “it’s awesome outside. Let’s go for ice cream”. I said sure. I’d be thrilled. I need to point out also that by this point you knew I was a vegetarian. And non-smoker. And I’m pretty sure you were aware that you called yourself a non-smoker in your profile as well. And said you worked in a warehouse.
So you picked me up and asked me if I minded you smoking (you must have forgotten that you didn’t smoke) and I was so confused I said it was fine. You mentioned working at the abitoire (where you slaughter animals all day - again, you must have forgotten that you don't work there, you work in a warehouse). You probably only talked about your work to put in context why you were missing your Gambler's Anonymous meeting for our date. You had been missing a lot of work and the only way to get your job back was to convince your boss you had a gambling addiction and wanted to get help. You said you had changed your mind. It was wing night at Smitty’s and we weren’t going for ice cream after all. I figured Smitty’s had a patio and probably served ice cream so it didn’t really matter.
When we got there you wanted to sit inside because it was too crowded on the patio. You said I could have whatever I wanted. I find it irresistible when my date will allow me to make my own choices. When the waitress asked what we were having you ordered yourself 3 plates of wings, a beer and said “that’s it”. The waitress left. I followed her and ordered the most expensive drink on the menu. When I sat back down you asked if I could move over a bit. My head was in the way of the hockey game on television behind me. I think I forgot to apologize but I hope you knew how very sorry I was.
I could have forgotten about you. But I thought it would be more productive for me to remember you. This way, I get to warn the women I meet that you can do whatever you want to protect yourself, but sometimes a freak or two gets through.