Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Blog: Why Optimism, con't

When we last left Brie, she was in the middle of her date with Stephen, a guy she met online who had questionable notions regarding adequate housekeeping and very few skills when it came to reading body language.

My roommate and I have concocted this plan for whenever we go out on dates: if you need out of the date, text 911 and diligent roommate will call with an “emergency” that requires immediate attention. Best. Plan. Ever.

While Stephen was in the bathroom, I grabbed my phone and texted the pre-planned 911, but was nervous because I knew she herself would be on a date as well; I was hoping she had kept her phone nearby. Luckily, as soon as Stephen walked back into the room, with his shirt off (again, not thinking about what went down in that bathroom – pun intended), she called. My savior! I had never been so happy to hear my ringtone in my life.

Nonchalantly, I said, “Oh, it’s my roommate… sorry, hold on.” He disappointingly sat next to me on the mattress and began to rub my shoulders, and I tried not to cringe as I answered the phone as calmly as possible, as if I were surprised by the call: “Hey.” My roommate was cracking-up laughing as she said, “So, my date choked on some popcorn and we need you right away. There is no one around and I can’t save him by myself; hurry, come quick.”

Sidebar (Brie): I had a chat later with her about how to properly convey an emergency situation.

I was trying to turn the volume down on my phone because I knew if Stephen heard her laughing he was not going to believe there was an emergency. I add the appropriate “uh-huhs” and “oh-no’s” and “I’ll be right there’s” and hung up the phone. I turned to see puppy dog eyes looking back at me as I said, “I’m sorry, my roommate needs a ride, she went on this date and I don’t know what happened, but she is stranded at the movie theater. I know he picked her up, so maybe something went wrong and she doesn’t want to be with him anymore. I don’t know any details, but I have to go.”

Sidebar (Brie): This is why you drive your own car.

I grabbed my shoes and my keys as he stammered about hoping I could come back after I helped her. He walked me to my car, and tried the awkward goodbye kiss, but in my “concern for my roommate” I bobbed and weaved and managed to get out of there disease-free, which was a genuine concern of mine towards the end.

The following is the last of our correspondence via text message. And yes, this is word for word as my trusty iPhone has no text message capacity and can save all my messages for a time such as this:

Him. 9:00PM (this was about two minutes after I left) – Hey. I hope you can make it back and I hope your roomie is ok. If you need I can come to your place and be quiet!

Sidebar (Brie): The eagerness is a little creepy. I’m not saying you have to wait three days as the movies and TV shows have convinced society is proper, but give it a little time. Also…what plans did you have that you needed to be quiet for?

Sidebar (E): *Giggles uncontrollably*

Him. 9:28PM – I just shaved. So now my face is as smooth as your wrist.

Sidebar (E): I’m surprised that at this point he didn’t break out some “Song of Solomon”-esque compliments: Your hair is like a flock of Goats moving down the gentle slopes of Gilead…Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing…

About this time, I had arrived home and my roommate was waiting with a bottle of wine and two glasses, as any good roommate would. I walked in the door, threw myself on the couch and recounted the past few hours. When this text message came in, she was literally rolling on the floor laughing at me as I described the awkwardness of the wrist stroking. We discussed possible responses and everything we came up with was too bitchy to actually send, so I did nothing.

Date tip: Silence speaks louder than words.

Him. 11:29PM – Is everything ok?

By this time the bottle of wine was gone and I was certainly not going to engage in “tipsy texting” even if I had no intention of ever seeing him again.

Him. 12:40AM – I hope all is well for you and your roommate. I am heading off to work. Take it easy. I am hoping I did not scare you away or make you mad, you’re a really nice girl and I hope we see each other again soon! Good night!

Him. 4:57AM – Good morning babe!

Sidebar (Brie): WTF? When did any of my signals tell you we had moved on to the nickname stage?

The next morning I had decided I should probably say something; I was feeling a little guilty for just leaving him hanging. The following message went through multiple drafts and editing with the help of my trusty roommate.

Me. 9:52AM – She is fine now, thanks for asking. But I don’t think this is going to work out. It was nice meeting you, but this is as far as it can go.

Him. 1:20PM – What was it that turned you away? I thought you were rather great, I don’t know why you feel the way you do, but an understanding would be nice. I had a wonderful time talking to you!

Him. 6:23PM – Will you tell me what I did?

And that is the last I heard from Stephen. About this time, I realized that I had paid for the redbox, and in my rush out the door I had left it behind. I quickly looked up the policy of unreturned movies and found out that it is a dollar a day for twenty-five days; after that, you get to keep the movie. So, worst case scenario, I would be out $25; he returned it within a couple days and my card was only charged $3. Honestly, I would have been okay with him keeping the movie—the escape was well worth twenty-five bucks.


Oh, Stephen. Seemingly so sweet, and yet so unbelievably clueless. I’m curious to see which Guest Blogger’s guy you think is worse: Katie’s Mr. Suave, the slick, smooth-operator who was way too pushy, or Brie’s Stephen, who was way too earnest and in dire need of “Clean House: The Complete Series” on DVD. Let me know in the poll in the sidebar!


  1. I second E's *Giggles uncontrollably* What a TERRIBLE date!

  2. Alright Guys it’s time to do some signal decoding…

    You remember the whole venus, mars thing? This is as clear a case of that as I’ve ever seen. I think Jack Nicholson sums it up best in As Good as it Gets, when he’s asked how he writes women so well. With his ever so enduring ridiculous blunt candor he replies, “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” Let’s remember this mantra as we take a look at this date.

    When a woman accepts your invitation to go out, it does in no way imply that she actually wants to go out. More often then not, it only means she could not think of reason to say no fast enough. In fact, you could just be a free meal, something to do, a RMOS, a story for a blog, or any other myriad of things that might inspire a woman to say yes to your amorous inquiry. Getting the date is just a starting point, and quite frankly it may not even be a good one. It’s cool though, because by saying yes, she is keeping an open mind.

    Now, you’ve been texting her on a daily basis and her polite, numerous responses back should in no way be read into as cute, or thought of as the beginning of couply crap. But no worries dude, all those txt and email replies means she’s totally keeping an open mind.

    So she tells you she’s tired and wants to just keep it low key and watch a Red Box movie. Stop jumping for joy about how she wants your 100% fresh meat, because that just ain’t it. Fellas, contrary what you learned in high school, college, and pretty much any other co-ed environment, “Stay in and watch a movie” is not code for, “let’s stay in and make out.” Cheap Mexican food and a Red Box movie, really just means cheap Mexican food and a Red Box movie. Really guys, why would you think there was any subtext there. Eh, it’s all good, because she’s keeping an open mind.

    The fact that she wanted to watch the red box movie at your place and not hers in no way implies that she wants a nonjudgmental place to make out because, after all you remember (with more pride then you should,) this is the first date. No, no, no, she merely wants a change of scenery and is curious about your home decorating scheme. Remember, she’s keeping an open mind.

    The kiss…This is tricky…No matter how many chick flicks you’ve seen or Jane Austin books you’ve read, a kiss does not actually mean a happy ending. Indeed, let us not confuse a kiss with actual physical display of affection. It is simply a tool to let women see just how into us they really are, regardless of how bad they may think things have gone. After all, she IS keeping an open mind.

    So in review, just because a girl chats you up on email and text messages; suggest that she get some fast food, and watch a movie at your place; and kisses you on your bed, does not actually mean the date went well.

    It just means that she was keeping an open mind.



  3. Mark-

    I disagree very much with your "Stay in and watch a movie" is not code for, "let’s stay in and make out." Because if we are being honest (which i think we should be) it indeed very often means just that!


  4. I think the bigger lesson is that if a trashed house, wandering around shirtless, and excessive touching (complete with a "people who are going into shock look like this" self-hug) don't make a bad date - and you can't tell that - there's literally no amount of advice that will help you.

    I wonder what his criteria for "not a good date" are. Open-hand slaps? Her kissing someone else? Spontaneous human combustion?


  5. Wow. Train wreck... but it makes for an excellent post... and the best post from Mark, yet. Very Hitch-esque.

    Poor Brie... and clueless Stephen. Do we get his rebuttal? Please say no...

  6. Oh Breezy.... as your former roommate I only wish we had awesome 911 escape stories. But maybe the lesson should be dating websites + texting can equal disaster.

    And E- y'all are not the only girls that find the overly mushy (especially way too early in) names and touching to be obnoxious