Your Father Isn’t… Michael

26 Jul

The first date I went on after joining OkCupid was with Michael. I was new to the scene, the guy seemed cute and very unserial killer-like and I thought we might have some chemistry. I do not have to admit here that the deciding factor was the suggestion we meet at Baked & Wired.

Our date is scheduled for a freakishly warm March Saturday, so I convince my roommate to head to Georgetown with me, hang out for an hour and be my escape plan at exactly 3pm. Being a good sport and I’m sure concerned for my safety, not the cupcake I promised to bring her and the laugh she was sure she would have at my expense, she agrees.

I’m glad she did because walking down the canal path, I find myself experiencing unexpected butterflies. I can’t believe how nervous I am, considering it’s someone I have never met before, will probably never run into again and have already established I have enough in common with that we could spend an hour together discussing these commonalities in person. Plus, there will be cupcakes.

Still, my instinct to flee is strong. Claire patiently tells me that no, I cannot call in sick to a date and that yes, it is too late to go home, he’s already seen us. With a hug and a pat on the cheek, I’m off on my first off-line online date, and I feel much like a toddler getting dropped off at preschool… equal parts nervous, excited, and bewildered, while also wondering how long until Mom Claire comes back to get me.

At first blush, Michael is sweet, respectful and confident. As we move through the line, admiring the rows of gigantic cupcakes, I start to relax. “I can do this,” I think as I glance up at Michael. “He’s perfectly nice, a med student at Georgetown, so clearly not an idiot, and he seems like he has good taste.”

I’m lost in my growing admiration for Michael when he interrupts my thoughts. “What do you want to order?” he prods me gently. “They have chocolate and peanut butter. What more can a girl ask for?” I reply, trying my best to look as cute and skinny as a girl ordering a peanut butter-flavored 2 pound cupcake possibly can.

“I hate peanut butter, especially with chocolate, but if that’s what you want, good for you.” I can’t help but look around for Ashton Kutcher. One of my great loves in life is the chocolate-peanut butter combo; so much so that my future kids better be damn cute if they want to outrank it and my future husband can hope for a close second at best. I resist the urge to ask if he also hates puppies and Santa.

We sit down to eat our cupcakes (he got red velvet) and talk about our weekends. I’m just getting started on my brilliant theory as to why happy hour was the best invention ever when he matter-of-factly interjects that he doesn’t drink. Ever. At all. Now, I’m no lush, but I enjoy my cold beer with friends after a long week. I’m also new to this whole dating scene, but interrupting a girl’s ode to reasonably priced cocktails with stories about how you love to go to parties to “see what stupid things my friends will do,” strikes me as an odd tactic. This prompts my first glance at the clock. It’s been ten minutes.

I let him regale me with stories about laughs at the expense of his inebriated (and slightly more interesting) friends, and steer the conversation towards his career. What med student doesn’t get all McDreamy when talking about why they wanted to be a doctor, and all the people they want to help, right? Cure cancer, save little kids, etc. All in a days work, right?

“I want to be a plastic surgeon.”

Not the answer I was hoping for, but I’m sure there’s a need for people to help heal victims badly burned in tragic accidents or mangled by some psycho they met on a dating site.

“It’s good money. Everyone needs a little nip and tuck eventually.”

Time check: 2:20.

I struggle through  the rest of the date by pretending he’s from an alien race and I need to understand his ways if I want to save the planet from destruction. It works surprisingly well.

Finally, it’s 3 and I feel my purse vibrate with Claire’s fake meet up text. I make my excuse to leave, but of course nothing is quite that easy with this guy. He asks if he can walk me to where ever I’m meeting my roommate, which of course we hadn’t established. I pick a place (close) and breathe a sigh of relief as she walks up to us. I’ve never loved Claire so much in my life, but now I have to somehow make this date end.

[Author’s Note: I want to preface this. I had been in the process of doing hiring interviews for work all that week. I swear, that’s the only reason I did this and it was entirely involuntary.]

Michael starts to slowly lean towards me, finally unsure of himself for the first time all day, and in his moment of hesitation I instinctively thrust out my hand, grasp his in a firm shake, and say, “Thank you for the cupcake. I’ll be in touch.”

Claire chokes and stumbles away, clutching her sides in poorly concealed laughter. At this moment, I love her slightly less.

As Michael finally departs, feelings of relief and incredulous survival wash over me. That wasn’t so bad.

~~~~

Believe it or not, Michael later asked me out on a second date and his surprise even seemed genuine when I gently turned him down. Needless to say, Michael is not your father, kids.

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