OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Digital Dating Nightmares Vol. 3

Digital Dating Nightmares Vol. 3

There was a time when I was famous on Twitter. My profile was much different than it is now. Long ago, I traded my Odyssey-level escapade threads and thirst trapping profile for a more news-centered, awareness garnering, brand promotion, approach. I had to grow as a person.

But the beginning. Oh, the beginning was beautiful.

I created a Twitter in 2011, late to the game and after most of my friends, mainly to keep up with people with whom I had once been close, but likely would not see again. I’ve lived in 6 different cities in the last 7 years, so virtual extensions of live connections have been a way of life for me.

Needless to say, I’ve done some great things on social media, and created many meaningful connections, both business and personal. Even though I’m late to nearly every platform, there’s something quirky about my life that allows me to have some of the most ridiculous stories from my time spent acclimating to the app. I could probably write a dissertation. This is merely part 3/umpteen of the foolish predicaments I’ve landed myself in being reckless the sea of catfish and screenshots. This is digital dating nightmares.

Twitter: Dinner in the Bando

In my glory days, when I had leagues of adoring Twitter fans, any request that I had could be met with a simple post. I’ve had pizzas delivered from followers, money sent from unfamiliar acquaintances, and other manners of support you wouldn’t typically think people would provide for somebody they didn’t know. But that was years ago. So I was a bit shocked when long past my Twitter prime, I lazily posted a tweet, something about wishing I had some company, and moments later, received a prized jewel in my notifications:

The lurk eyes.

The lurk eyes are by far my favorite emoji. Extremely versatile, often funny. They are ambiguous and yet potentially pointed enough to say exactly what you need to say without actually saying anything at all, but while simultaneously saying everything.

I responded with a standard greeting, and the young lady who had sent me the lurk eyes mentioned that she was cooking. When she shared the menu I asked if she would be so kind as to provide me with a plate.

She left my tweet unanswered and entered the promised land of my direct messages.

A little banter back and forth, me trying to get a couple more pictures from her to further assess my interest in meeting up, her trying to see if I was using her for conversation or genuinely considering visiting.

Finally, I told her my pull up game is strong.  I live for the story.

She delivered her address and I prepared for departure. It was a rather short ride, I picked up some wine to complement the dinner, and headed on to the spot. I pulled up to her apartment complex. It was on the “hood” side of town, but still, no reason to assume any inherent impending danger. I navigated through the lots, parked my car and knocked on her door.

As soon as the door opened I knew I had made a mistake. Her welcoming remarks were just a muffled babble as I peered over her right shoulder into the apartment. Disregard the fact that she was totally catfish and I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. There was nothing there. Nothing at all. No couch, no tables, no decorations, nothing. Maybe there was still a chance. Maybe I could say I left something in the car and just disappear. I should have. But I didn’t.

I crossed the threshold and stood in the middle of the empty room. She talked and walked around and fixed plates and talked, and talked, and talked. We stood up and ate with our plates on the counter. I almost wondered if it was some sick experiment. We ate. And by we, I mean she. 1. Because I don’t eat everybody’s cooking. 2. I didn’t come for the meal, and we both knew that. I came for the potential of a post-meal pop off (PMPO). She was so consumed with her one-sided conversation, I don’t even think she noticed that I hadn’t touched my food. It was like she was playing ping-pong by herself, when that other side of the table is flipped up. The more she talked, the faster and harder she replied to herself. And she didn’t miss any returns.

As soon as dinner was over, I was ready to leave, but I knew that I had to exchange enough pleasantries to somehow work in that I was tired and needed to get home, or had something else to do. Besides, I wouldn’t have crashed over there anyway. I’d rather come home and sleep on the floor than visit someone’s house and do it.

At one point I saw a roach crawling across her floor. I didn’t say anything, mostly because I’m not really afraid of bugs, and I didn’t want to make the conversation more awkward. I did notice, though, that roaches move incredibly slow when they have nothing to dart under. I feel like we’ve always seen them scuttling quickly across kitchen floors under sinks or across living rooms to baseboards and window sills. But this little roach looked like it had been crossing the Sahara Desert of carpet forever, and was taking its sweet time getting to its destination. It was walking as if maybe there was no end to the desert. That’s how I felt listening to the young lady talk. I wondered if my roach friend was listening too.

Around the time I was finalizing my great escape plan in my mind, the young lady noticed that I had become quite distant. She reached out to touch my arm and get my attention and exclaimed.

“Oh my goodness, your skin is so soft.”

This wasn’t the first time I had received this feedback, and it wouldn’t be the last. Normally, this was the break in conversation that I would need to take a casual chill session towards a PMPO situation, but I had no desire to capitalize on this opportunity.

“Oh, haha.”

“What’s funny? Is that bad to say? You seem uncomfortable. It’s wild, I love dark-skinned guys, but y’all don’t be acting right. Y’all don’t ever show me any love back.”

I wanted to ask her to show me back to the exit, but I froze up. I shrugged though, and it was quiet for half a second. My reflexes took over and I stood up, but I didn’t take a step. I raised my hands in the air to try to make my bodily-willed escape mechanism look more like a much needed stretch.

“You okay? You got up like you wanted to leave. All fast and whatnot.”

I do.

“Haha, well, it is getting sort of late. I definitely have work in the morning.”

Now, I’ll save you the time. That section of the conversation didn’t end in me leaving. In fact, she talked up a hurricane and spun me around past that very same exchange about three more times before I had been able to gradually inch closer and closer enough to the door to make it obvious that I was leaving. My shoes were on and my right cheek was nearly pressed against the peephole by the time she stopped talking and said, “Well, I guess I should let you go get some rest.”

If her words were furniture and decorations, she might have had a beautiful home. Maybe even a bit close to the hoarder side, but that’s how it felt. Like she was trying to fill that empty house with words. They were up to the ceiling and I was wading in them, nose barely poking out of the flood.

I exchanged a short goodbye and awkwardly turned a hug reach from her into a handshake. I thanked her for the meal, and I could have left it at that, but the jerk in me just couldn’t resist:

“You have such a lovely home.”

“Oh, don’t you just love it. I’m thinking about getting two plants to put in here,” she beamed.

“I'm sure they’ll really make everything else come together,” I said, turning and speed-walking to my car. I never saw her again, and I don’t think I follow her anymore. She pops up as a retweet on my timeline every once in awhile.

The moral of the story is this: knowing who you’re meeting up with and what type of conditions they live in. Do they have pets? You might be allergic or have an aversion. Roommates? Smaller house, bigger house? Where’s the closest neighbor? These things may not seem important when you’re primarily focused on the PMPO, but the vibe is everything in these situations, and the ambience has a good amount of influence on the vibe itself, so be informed. Oh yeah, and standing up and eating isn’t so bad. Supposedly your body digests better that way. Who knew.

Photo Series: 92 Bricks - 78th Brick

Photo Series: 92 Bricks - 78th Brick

What is the "Culture"?

What is the "Culture"?