Date Zero with DoomedHistorian
DoomedHistorian is hoping to begin a PhD program in History sometime next year. He is currently working on applications. He believes in the master narrative of great men and great deeds. The chances of him getting an academic job someday are about as good as the chances that this date will lead anywhere.
One hour before the date is to begin I receive a phone call from Doomed Historian. The following is a faithful reenactment:
DH: Hi Anna, it’s DoomedHistorian. Did you get my message?
A: Yes, Hi, I did. Sounds good.
DH: OK, so do you know where it is?
A: It’s in Sunset Plaza? I should be able to find it.
DH: Yes, the address is blablblalalalblah.
DH: So I’ll see you there at 1:00?
DH: Ok, I’ll look for the cute blonde.
A: Well, there will probably be a lot of those.
DH: Oh, I doubt it.
Feb 28, 3:47 p.m. Sushiya, Sunset Plaza, West Hollywood.
I wore a grey turtleneck, khakis, loafers, diamond studs, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Fresia perfume.
So I get there, and DoomedHistorian was already there. He wore a decidedly fugly green sweater, t-shirt, jeans, some kind of athletic shoe–ironic, because he did not appear to be athletic. He is not particularly cute, though not repulsive. He’s a little chubby but not obese. Not really exciting physically.
We decide to sit outside. Immediately I understand why he has been doing online dating “on and off” for “3 or 4” years. He is very nervous. He has kind of a dorky demeanor. I am not sure, but I think his hands are shaking. So we sit down and look at menus, and I find out that he is not a sushi eater. He orders one California Roll.
He asks, “What kind of sushi do you like?” and I say, “all kinds.” I order yellowtail sashimi and sweet shrimp, which comes with fried shrimp heads. When it arrives, he says, “there are eyeballs on that.” I say, “Yep.” He says, “Are you going to eat the eyeballs?” and I say, “Yep. You want one? They have given me more than usual.”
DoomedHistorian looks like he might barf.
We talk about stupid academic stuff. He reveals more evidence of the fact that he will never get an academic job. I keep quiet on these observations, naturally. He tries one of the shrimp (but not the head) and looks like he’ll barf. blah blah blah conversation. A guy with a dog walks by and I say, “Look at that dog!” and he’s totally uninterested.
I ask him if he plans to watch the Oscars, which leads to a discussion of movies. He says, “Which actors do you think are hot?” and I’m a little weirded out by this. He says, “Ashton Kutcher?” and I say, “No,he’s too young. George Clooney.” Weird.
He says, “So have you had any success with the online dating thing?” and I say, “How do you define success?” and he says, “I mean, like somebody you’ve gone out with more than once?” and I say, “I’ve met some cool people, sure.”
We decide to get the check. I take out my wallet even though I’m expecting that he’ll pay. He doesn’t stop me. In fact, he says, “just give me $10.” So I do, but I’m a little pissed off. He announces, “I’ll walk you to your car.”
On the way out, I say, “I want to pet that dog.” and I talk to the dog’s owner and have more fun in that 20 seconds than the entire time with DoomedHistorian. Meanwhile, DoomedHistorian looks off into the distance, presumably daydreaming about the Battle of Gettysburg.
He walks me to my car and mentions something about emailing me and I say, “sure, great [WTF ever].”
There were so many places for DoomedHistorian to fail on this date, though I did not put any of them out there intentionally. He went in at a disadvantage, but even without that, he is not a match for me.
Epilogue: Doomed Historian did email me again, presumably to test the waters for another partially dutch date, perhaps at a more pedestrian establishment this time. I did not respond. Online dating lesson learned: if your internet code name for your date contains the word “Doomed” either stay at home or bring extra cash.