Monday, August 8, 2011

Red Flags

Hello, lovely blog readers. Halterwhip here (I still can't believe I got such a ridiculous pseudonym) with a guest post to give you a little advice on online dating.

When you're navigating the stormy and jellyfish-choked waters of internet dating, it's important to keep an eye out for a number of red flags. These can help you identify serial killers, serial time-wasters, or other general not-worth-its before you invest too much time. Red flags to watch out for upon first meeting:

- Arrives late

- Disheveled appearance

- Appearance substantially different than profile

- Failure to tip

- Arrives drunk

The conference I attended all week here in Berkeley was a total failure. Boring, exhausting, frustrating, repetitive, did I say exhausting? A measly two drink tickets per night had been allocated, but I'd accumulated a stash of them due to a poorly planned dentist appointment. Sadly, I left them all at home on the last night of the conference, which left me networking hard to replace them. I was successful.

We cut out of the conference banquet early for the last regular-season Chemistry League softball game. My skills as a pitcher are somewhat overshadowed by my skills as a heckler, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Guess which one benefits more from lots of Hamm's.

The super adorable and super straight girl who works upstairs wanted to go to Raleigh's after the game. I wanted to go to Raleigh's after the game. Speakeasy was on Kill the Keg special, and it is dead now. We'd already started when SASSGWWU arrived, and she was disappointed that we were well stocked in beer. She wanted to buy us some. "I'm going to go see if they sell shots here." Oh jesus. At least the Telegraph Ave faux-hippies outside the place didn't rob me while I was finally unlocking my bike to go home. I'm fairly certain I smoked their weed though.

When my alarm went off at 7 the next morning, I breathed a silent curse, stumbled up, and swallowed 2 Aleves, 2 Ibuprofens, 2 electrolyte recovery tabs, and a vitamin B. None of those things helped at all. WHO THE FUCK MAKES 8:15 HAIRCUT APPOINTMENTS? I do. Before I left, I opened up my laptop and saw this message, zoomed to extreme proportions the previous night:

Who the fuck makes 9:30 am breakfast/coffe dates? I do. I do.

Shorter. Just make it a little shorter all over. Um yeah, that's fine. Yes. That is a perfect haircut. Please stop cutting my hair now. Where is your bathroom?

For the record, I tipped well.

I had about half an hour to get it together, and the cafe was conveniently right next door to the salon. The smart money would have gone for a walk, gotten some fresh air, ruffled the hair up a little. But the still-drunk-from-last-night money sat at the cafe with a black coffee and tried to read a magazine. Magazines make you seasick on the rough waters of internet dating. Luckily, the cafe had a bathroom too.

The girl from the internet was 15 God-given minutes late. We sat outside for a few minutes while waiting for a table (I was evidently unable to secure a table in the preceding 45 minutes), then chatted for over an hour. I could only manage to mush an egg around with half a piece of toast, but I got that new-attractive-friend adrenaline rush and I made it through without barfing on her. I might have even been charming. She was nice, we laughed a lot, and when I picked up the bill, I told her she could get me a beer when I got back from vacation. She thought that was a marvelous idea. My stomach turned a little when I said "beer"; somehow I'd uttered the sentence while momentarily forgetting my recent vow never to touch the stuff ever ever again. I rode home to find myself with an unsleepoffable hangover, courtesy of one cute girl adrenaline rush and three cups of coffee.

Fuck, fuck. Fuck. Don't go to dates drunk. Just don't.

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