The Proposal

I don’t know why every interaction has to be such a god damned chore.

You see, like most times when I post an personals ad, I got replies. Sure, I got the requisite Brunglish replies, but I also got a couple of genuine people. One didn’t respond after the first volley. One responded with “I LOVE TO LAUGH”, and was disregarded out of hand. Another responded and included a Myspace link that didn’t inspire a lot of interest. Another? Well… Let’s just say my interest was piqued.

So I mentioned that. And I mentioned that I might be interested in getting a cup of coffee (I have no idea what people “do” on dates, so this is the best idea I could come up with). I also included a picture of me.

And she responded with the sort of unguarded enthusiasm that is normally reserved for dental visits when you’re asked whether you’ll be paying by cash or check. There was a lot of heavily implied reluctance, along with plainly stated reluctance (the perfecta). But she also included a picture of herself, and indicated that it was I that had a choice to make, for some ill defined reason vaguely related to her age (Fargo and I both looked at the picture for a while, to see if I was missing something, she looks to be about my age to me).

Now, my natural response when someone does this is to run, not walk, in the other direction. I had a magnificently bad set-up with someone that started with this sort of – I’ll be generous and call it – lukewarm reaction. Nothing sets a date off right like showing up and having your date turn to her roommates to say, “Hopefully this won’t take long”. And that is the same gut reaction I had to this email.

Ladies, here is a free tip: If you aren’t interested, just fucking say it! And don’t think that I want to take out out to dinner for the pure unadulterated pleasure of buying you shit. Don’t make mealy mouth excuses about wanting to meet “all kinds of people” and “trying anything once”. If you have to make excuses to go on the date, you should really just man up and say “Hey. I’m not interested in you. Let’s both save an uncomfortable evening and not do this.”

I responded that I was still interested in going out, because I am holding out hope that this isn’t just some delightful game that translates to “Whoa, you’re not what I imagined you’d look like but I’m too ‘nice’ to just say no”.

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