Blonde Moments, Dating, humor, PSAs

I Think I Botched This One

“Jules! You have a radio voice!”

I clicked on the Hinge dating app message. It was always nice to see some text on the screen instead of a lazy ‘like’ with no accompanying message.

In case you’re wondering what zero effort looks like.

Greg’s profile photo was slightly menacing -dark beard, unsmiling, his face filling the entire frame- but I was intrigued by his comment on my voice prompt. (Hinge allows us hopeless romantics gluttons for punishment to add video and voice memos to our profiles.) I quickly scrolled his profile and saw that he ticked all of my major boxes: non-smoker, vaxxed, liberal, didn’t appear to live in a van. He had also included a voice prompt and when I clicked on it, I heard him say, “You can tell a lot by a person’s voice. In fact, 90% of your connection to someone is through their voice.”

“So does this mean I’m already 90% golden and I can coast from here?” I replied.

Witty banter immediately ensued.

“Oh wait, you like to meet up,” Greg wrote after a couple of back-and-forth messages.

Translation: Let’s just get this over with.

I decided to shuffle a few plans that evening so I could reply, “Yes! The snag is that I’m only free tonight or after next Monday.”

“I could meet tonight at 7:30,” he immediately responded, offering up a couple of locations.

We solidified the plan and exchanged a few more funny messages throughout the day. When I walked into the bar just after 7:30, I felt flushed from the bitter cold central Oregon air, my hands shoved deeply into my trusty brown puffy jacket.

That coat is even older than this blog! Photo: Jan 2014, Freeport, Maine.

I immediately spotted Greg at a large table and he greeted me with a prolonged handshake and big smile. He looked like a stand-up guy with his act together and I inwardly unclenched. He was a bundle of nerves, but in a charming way – the kind of person who has a million things to say when they’re excited.

A welcome relief when half of my first dates look like this.

Before we got too far into our frenetic conversation, Greg popped up.

“I ordered at the bar, but let me make sure someone is coming over to the table.”

Point one for Greg, I noted. My most recent first date had been sitting with a drink when I’d arrived and didn’t offer to get me anything, which always gives me pause.

We still love chivalry, gents.

“So you’re a writer?” Greg asked after confirming we had a waitress.

Greg offered up lots of questions and though I never quite got to finish any train of thought before he bounced to something else, I was flattered by his interest.

“I’m a lightweight,” he said when ordering his second hot toddy. “I usually only have two drinks.”

“I’m German and Irish. And I don’t have kids [like you]. Don’t try to keep up with me,” I teased.

I could tell he was feeling a little loose about an hour into the date and I wondered if things would get sloppy.

“Do you have any celebrity stories?” he asked and we both launched into our best tales.

“I usually don’t tell the story like this,” he said while I was on the edge of my seat. “You must bring out the writer in me!” He had built his story so that I was left guessing the celebrity the entire time. I loved it.

Throughout the night he dropped dozens of compliments and I wondered if there could be any romantic spark. I knew I liked him a lot and could definitely see us having fun as friends.

Two hours into the date, I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back, I noticed how buzzed Greg was and knew I was ready to go home.

“It’s so freezing in here,” I said and we both pulled on our jackets.

“We could go have another drink back at my place,” Greg offered with a grin.

My heart sank and emotion took the wheel.

“Noooo, Greg,” I moaned.

“It’s totally innocent! We live in the same neighborhood!” he said, still smiling, trying to warm me back up. “Damn. I can see you’ve put up a wall now.”

“This keeps happening!” I explained, only partially teasing. “Every first date, guys keep asking me to come home with them. It’s not cool.”

He continued back pedaling and I continued spiraling, not having the energy to recover gracefully and smooth things over. I just wanted to go home. I was exhausted from the endless dating rollercoaster: the adrenaline rush of meeting a perfect stranger, the ensuing trickles of hope, nightmares, occasional magic and inevitable let down.

I’m so glad I put on Spanx for this.

“I was married for 20 years; I understand women,” Greg said in a last ditch effort to win me over. “Like I know you took your purse to the bathroom because you have your period.”

I blinked. After a long beat, I blurted,

“I’m really uncomfortable and I’m gonna go.”

“…Okay,” I heard Greg reply, flabbergasted, as he watched me bolt into the frigid night.

As soon as the cold air hit my cheeks, I felt a flood of relief. …Immediately followed by shame and regret. Did I just completely overreact? Am I going to be “the crazy blonde” he tells his friends about? Should I apologize? This was a small town and we were practically neighbors, after all.

I suddenly realized I had ten minutes to make it to the grocery store before they closed, securing the much-needed lemon I’d forgotten earlier that day.

When life hands you lemons, start a blog. (Photo by Francesco Cantinelli on Unsplash)

By the time I got home and opened Hinge to apologize, Greg had unmatched me. When you’re unmatched, you lose all access to your chat history and their profile. The ultimate slap in the face in the online dating world. He had sent his number in the Hinge chat right before we met, but I didn’t save it.

Well f*%&.

So, “Greg.” If you’re out there, I’m sorry I didn’t handle that more elegantly. My bad. But maybe stick to two hot toddies next time.


13 thoughts on “I Think I Botched This One”

  1. He tells you he knows you have your period and wants you to go home with him on the first date? No. You didn’t over react. And btw Greg, I’m menopausal but still take my purse to the rest room.

    1. Right?! That’s exactly what I was thinking in the moment, which contributed to my reaction. And that’s just the thing – who leaves their purse on the table with a total stranger? One of my friends said, “I don’t even leave my purse on the church pew!”

  2. Sorry to hear about the wheels coming off. Seems his reaction was a bit much… almost vindictive. His loss. Happy New Year if we don’t touch base.

    1. hahaha I had to bolt while my wheels were still working! It was definitely an unfortunate ending, but I think things are looking up for 2023. Happy New Year, Tony! 🙂

  3. I don’t know anyone who leaves their purse backpack or personal item laying around with anyone they don’t know or trust. For him to immediately gaslight you with that ignorant ass comment.

    Yeah I’m on my period Greg that’s why I went to the bathroom with my purse… he knew he fucked up and that’s why he unmatched you.

    He saved you the trouble. Don’t apologize for his behavior. You’re not obligated to go home with some dude cause he claims it’s innocent.

    Every FUCKING woman that has fallen for that bullshit knows it’s never innocent… and men have zero business inviting you home or asking to go to your home on date 1. Unless y’all trying to tinder/Netflix & chill. Period.

    Please don’t feel guilty like you messed up. No what he did was messed up.

    All I can say is same boat, and I literally paused my own hinge and bumble cause the shit being served/offered is bs and I deserve better and refuse to settle to be someone’s date one fuck buddy like I’m not good enough to get to know and make strides towards more.

    Stay strong, stay single until you meet someone who’s responsible for your emotional well being not just physically. 💚

    1. Thank you so much!! I had to laugh at “the shit being served/offered” on Bumble and Hinge – it’s SO TRUE. Living in a small(ish) mountain town that caters to van lifers and “entrepreneurs,” my single girlfriends and I just scratch our heads (and cry into our craft beers) as we swipe through the same Peter Pans over and over again.

      I’m going to put it into the universe for both of us: 2023 will bring some GOOD dating stories. And not good like hey-by-the-way-I’m-ethically-non-monogamous-and-this-will-make-a-great-blog-post, but good like hey-I-have-a-grown-up-job-and-deep-respect-for-women-and-want-a-true-partner.

      1. Triple facts!!!! I’m just going to put it out there… we should do a podcast. 🤷🏽‍♀️🤣 I’ve been just making personal notes about my experiences and shit that is said to me… and my goodness what in the ass is this mess lol lol lol

        But more tears from laughter cause these literal hoes ain’t loyal and aren’t even worth the effort it takes to dredge up tears!!! Namaste queen!

        1. I know a LOT of single women with dating horror stories that you could host on that podcast, LOL! Tears from laughter – that pretty much sums up why I have this blog – to turn my traumatized frown upside down!

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