I have an unintentional affinity for attracting men who exhibit strange dating behaviour. What you are about to read is no exception. Following a night of drinking and dancing last December at an East Vancouver dive bar, I met a guy and delusion ensued! For all of those juicy details you will need to read Part 1 of this story, but for those of you familiar with my blissful ignorance, please allow me to me set the scene for what came to be….The Date!
It is a cold Sunday morning in December, approximately 10:30am. I am hungover, and as I lay in bed I utter to myself “I…am never…drinking…again.” Ahhhh, not the first time I have spat out that loosely veiled threat, but nonetheless, at that moment in time I meant it. I groggily look at my surroundings. Relief! Thank Jeebus that I’m currently in my own apartment. I roll over and look left while aggressively patting the right side of my bed to make sure I’m alone. Sweet Hallelujah! I rejoice as I look up and slap my hands together in a shaky prayer gesture. I am drawn to my black ink stamped inner wrist splotched with what once looked like the word YEAH!, and to what has since bled into all of the creases on my wrist. As I slowly achieve moderate levels of alertness, I can’t help but grin emphatically as I start reminisce about the night before and I remember…I met a guy…..MET A GUY…IN REAL LIFE! I sit up with the same urgency you have when you shift from telling yourself that you can have 1 more minute of sleep to realizing that you just seriously slept in. I met a guuuyyy-eyyye, I met a guuuyyy-eyyye, I sing in my head while simultaneously throwing up jazz hands and doing a seated version of the Dougie dance. I grab for my cellphone on the bedside table and there it is…a text message…from him! SQUEAL! OMG, what will it say…what will it say!
Text Message: Hi.
Epic. Hi. I fall back into bed, blankets swirling around me and I gush! I am flooded with visions from the previous night! Endless witty banter, goosebumps, a dazzling Prince Charming smile, the intriguing handlebar moustache, his strong hand on the small of my back, the kiss…THE KISS! Memory after beautiful memory replaying in my head, reminiscent of how people’s lives flash before their eyes in emotionally charged impending death scenes in sad movies. However, my movie reel instead plays slow motion snippets of the happy moments, backlit with heavenly white light, set to a soundtrack of epic music with Morgan Freeman providing peaceful narrative in the background.
I clutch the phone in my hands, bringing it up to my chest and decide to play it cool by committing to not write back any time in the near future. Deep sigh. I last 20 minutes. I write back with an equally impressive “Hi” and internally justify my moment of weakness by convincing myself that I simply can’t start off this whirlwind romance by playing games with the man who could possibly be the next future love of my life! The vibration of the incoming text startles me and as I look down, he asks me to go to a comedy show at a local bar with him on Tuesday! He doesn’t want to play games either. Kismet! He writes, “I have a friend that will be doing standup comedy that night.” With every intent to not show my hand here, I write back “cool, talk to you later.” all the while hoping that he doesn’t interpret this as too blasé. Amazing! I love comedy, I love laughing. This will be a perfect date. Thank you Universe!
Tuesday arrives, and as I am eating my lunch, I can’t help but wonder if I will hear from him any time soon. We still need to confirm what time we are meeting up. Almost immediately I am startled to see an incoming text from him looking to confirm that we are still on for the night ahead. Sweet! Thanks Universe, I didn’t think you were listening. Not only does this serve as a nice distraction, I also feel reassured that he is serious about figuring out these plans. Obvi, he’s into me! The song “I’ve Got The Power” by SNAP! rattles through my brain while I once again do the Dougie. We agree to meet up at the Cambie Skytrain station for 8:00pm. C’Monnnnn end of working day – Mama’s got a date!
It is now late evening and I am ready to go! I feel great, so I grab my purse and strut my way up the street to catch the bus down to the meeting point. It is cold…I should have worn a thicker jacket, but there is nothing hot about a thick winter coat. Besides, we won’t really be outside for that long, so I should be ok. I hop onto the bus and beam at the bus driver while flashing my bus pass like a police officer flashes his badge. I take my seat and we’re off! The vibration of my phone again startles me. I look down to see a text from Handlebar Moustache man saying, “I hope you haven’t left yet, we’re going to go to the 9:45 show instead.” Slightly crestfallen, my first reaction is 9:45! It’s a work night! Of course I have already left, I was ready to go like 5 hours ago, but I reply with “yeah no worries – cool.” And I am cool, actually I am fricken cold, it’s December and am about 5 minutes away from having to sit outside, dressed for an obvious date, waiting for my Prince to arrive.
There I am, sitting outside of the skytrain station and I cant help but feel like I am in the middle of a crime scene. Do I look like dating roadkill, I wonder? I envision a police officer standing beside me proclaiming loudly to passersby, “Nothing to see here folks, she’s already met the person. No awkward first time online date encounters to see here…move along.” Is it obvious to everyone that I am waiting for a date and further that as I am clearly waiting in a public spot, that it must be for an online date! I had escaped this torture when the Universe gave me a real life pickup! I contemplate yelling “I am not online dating road kill!” As I sit there, I take off my Rose Coloured glasses, blow hot breath onto the lenses, clean them with a delicate handkerchief and then place them back on my face. Handlebar Moustache man and I will look back on this and we’ll laugh….and laugh.
And then…from across the street, I see him. Excitedly waving at me and rolling up on his bike. I know what you are thinking. HOT GUY cruising up on a motorcycle – Yeah, I’ll hop on that. However, that is not what happened. I mean…yes, there is a bike…a bicycle to be exact. His left pant leg is rolled up to his knee, obviously to prevent his jeans from getting caught in the chain, and he also has a bright yellow bike helmet with a red blinking battery powered safety light on the front. Ohhh Universe! I thought we had a deal here. While I fundamentally believe in safety first, I am perplexed because if there is one thing that runs rampant in Vancouver, it’s helmetless bike riding hipsters who believe they qualify simultaneously for the rules of being a driver, a cyclist AND a pedestrian all at the same time. For a brief moment, I wonder if I unknowingly scored myself a date with someone “special”.
We exchange awkward hellos as I follow him to the bike rack so he can lock up his prized possession. I have instant deja vu and I’m transported back in time to a point when this would have been normal…at age 13. He spends endless minutes locking up his bike, pops his helmet into his awesome backpack and comes in for a quick hug. However, we both lean to the right side, recoil at the same time, sputter “uh hahaha” and then both lean left to try it again. We then just stand there, looking at each other as if to say, go ahead YOU DO IT, just hug me and I’ll conform.
We exchange awkward niceties and start walking to the intersection where we are greeted with the amber coloured hand alert telling us that it’s not safe to cross the street. I, of course, stop with no intent to cross at this time. Um HELLO, this was covered in Kindergarten! It is also the intersection of Cambie and Broadway and unless you have a death wish, there is no such thing as a quick jay walk across the street. As he enters the cross walk, all I can see is the GIANT amber hand taunting me. I stand there, PARALYZED, like I am being asked to jump from an airplane without a parachute. WHOA Hipster Handlebar Moustache man, what’s with the danger?! Your helmet rules tell me otherwise! I laugh and say in my best ‘Whatchyou talking ’bout Willis tone, “Hellllll No” and throw my hand up like I am about to yell “Stranger Danger!” While saying it in a joking way, I am clearly not joking and he asks me if I’m square.
1) SQUARE! Did he seriously just say that? Who says Square…ever…WHO?!
2) Am I being judged for not wanting to play frogger in heavy traffic?!
He begrudgingly walks back LOOKING DISAPPOINTED! I am trying to recover from my near death experience and he.looks.disappointed?! In silence, we stare straight ahead, make no eye contact and wait for the little white walking man to light up so we can finally cross the street as law abiding citizens. WE MAKE IT, we crossed the street! I feel like we should be running through a finish line ribbon and popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate our victory. If we can get through this, we can get through anything! He then smacks his forehead and says we have to go back…because he forgot to take the reflectors of his bike. SWEET BABY JESUS, do we have to go through this again? We turn around, stand awkwardly at the opposing corner and wait for the little white cross walking man to give us the go ahead again. He didn’t pull OR push me into oncoming traffic, so I think we’re still ok at this point. Also because I’m still wearing my deluded Rose Coloured glasses, I find this to be almost adorable. It will be such a funny story to tell our kids one day, I convince myself with illogical optimism. Reflectors secured – check! Crossed the street safely again – check! This clearly has the makings of amazing date written all over it, so we head off to the comedy show.
Ironically, I find myself at the same place that I experienced the speed dating disaster, so my memories of this place are already fond…NOT. It’s free to get in and the first thing I do is actually look around hoping to see the speed dating Gong. Sigh, it’s not there. For some god awful reason, we decide we will sit at the front of the room. Do.not.do.this! If you are ever on a first date and you go to a comedy show, do not put yourself in general proximity of the comedian. It is with certainty that you will get picked on or asked if you are on a date with the guy sitting next to you…Always! I KNOW THIS yet why do I choose to forget this? “Foreshadowing” (said with a hushed whisper).
I order a beer and learn from Handlebar Moustache man that we’re technically at an open mic night. Great! That explains why it was free. I ask him to let me know when his friend is up, to which he says “Totes, can’t wait!” Totes can’t wait? Whoa, wait, am I on a date with a 13 year old who just looks older?!? I momentarily freak out convincing myself that this would happen to me. Then I look at his moustache and trust that there is no way on God’s green earth that a 13 year old could have facial hair like that. The comedy sets begin.
While I applaud people for putting themselves out there and trying stand up comedy, this showing was not good. Think drunk guy at every house party who is trying to be funny. Out of 6 comedians, the first 5 ask if we are on our first date #facepalm. And then it happens, out comes the last comedian. She’s female and hot in a quirky way. Handlebar Moustache man leans over, giggles, grips my forearm and says in a voice two octaves higher than normal “that’s my friend!” She starts her set, she’s funny! I like her, she seems cool and then she acknowledges that her ex-boyfriend is in the audience. I chuckle and look around smugly thinking suckaaaaa, someone’s gonna get ripped!
As if time has completely slowed and the proverbial record scratch sounds in the background, I start to realize that she is looking at me, he is looking at her and I’m now looking at him. It’s an awkward threesome of epic Bermuda Triangle proportions. OMG REALLY?!?! I am at his ex girlfriend’s stand up comedy show…with him! She continues her set which, believe it or not, is about their relationship. He’s laughing and reacting like none of it is about him and I am just trying to make sense of what is happening at my life in that very moment. That is until she says to me, “Don’t worry it was like 10 years ago, and yeah…his dick is THIS BIG!” while making a hand gesture with a clearly exaggerated amount of space in between her palms. I start choking on my beer. Handlebar Moustache man frantically starts patting my back and people are laughing because they think it’s part of the act! For a moment, I consider standing up and declaring incurable herpes, but I digress I am a total masochist!
The show ends. She comes up, HUGS ME and says, “wow, you are a good sport!” and then she walks away without even uttering a word to Handlebar Moustache man. I AM SO CONFUSED! I signal the server who promptly brings the bill to our table. It’s all of $30 and we both stare at it awkwardly, as with all moments in which you have no clue how the payment situation is going to work out. He puts down $15 and says “Halfsies!” like he’s a 13 year old girl. I question debating with him whether he can up that a bit, as he’s clearly forgotten about tax and tip….or has he??? I resign, pay and convince myself that perhaps ignorance is bliss. As we decide to leave, he insists on getting me home safely. More safety rules, yet you wanted to play frogger on Broadway and Cambie? Alas, though I am drunk, still wearing Rose Coloured glasses and playing along, pretending that this night is not actually crazy.
We head up to the skytrain station to collect his bike from the bike rack, and then together, we head up Broadway towards my place. I walking slowly and he drunkenly attempting to slowly ride his bike at the pace that I am walking. It’s comical because I am already a slow walker in general and it is virtually impossible to successfully ride bike at a human walking pace. He further declares that he doesn’t want to take the bus because he doesn’t agree with paying for public transit.
As we approach my apartment, and with the cold, fresh air knocking some sense into me, I start to realize what this is. He is not my Knight in shining armour and so I take off the Rose Coloured glasses. As I fumble through my purse for my keys, he insists that he’s immensely thirsty and asks if he can come up for a glass of water. No Way! I know what this means. I politely decline. He dramatically and intentionally falls backwards into the wall, clutching his chest, as if to imply he is dying, gets down on both knees and pleads with me for one.small.glass.of.water…..but only if he can have it in my apartment. I sense this will turn into a spectacle, so I oblige and demand that he waits outside while I go upstairs and fill up an empty water bottle that he has from his backpack. As I descend back to the lobby, the elevator doors re-open and I can hear loud music. HE.IS.IN.THE.LOBBY! Not only that, but he is cranking electronic dance music from his MacBook. CRANKING IT and dancing around like he is at a rave. I stand there in a frozen state, with water in hand and a look on my face like I’ve just stumbled across a bear at a campsite garbage can. With my body square to his, I place the water down and back away slowly. I shuffle backwards into the elevator and jab the close door button repeatedly with my finger. With the elevator doors shutting, I hear him say “Rachel?” As the elevator goes up, the music becomes significantly more quiet, until I can no longer hear anything and I contemplate what I will tell my landlord if he inquires about the weirdo I let hangout in the lobby of the building.
I escape from the elevator and run down the long hallway fearful that he may have been fast enough to run up the stairs and lurk around the corner. I burst through the door, lock it and slump to the floor. As I sit there, I think to myself, “What…the hell…just…happened?“
And that, my friends, is my Date Night With a Hipster.