Some things you can never unsee. For me, most of those things have come courtesy of OkCupid. Smarmy pick-up lines, over-sexual innuendo, offensively poor grammar – you name the Creep tactic, I’ve shuddered tigerishly at it. And I’ve only been on this thing for a week. So when my eyes finally land on a normal, “Hi Stacie, How’s your day going?” I write back with almost gleeful abandon. Meaning, I babble nonsensically for about five lines too many.
Fortunately, OkCupid Taylor seems to take my nerdish excitement in stride, countering with all the typical get-to-know-you questions.
I try my best to scare him off, mentioning red flag modeling years, waxing poetic on the merits of green juice, and linking him to my blog.
Man, can nothing deter this guy? According to OkCupid founder, Christian Rudder, interactions that exceed four messages are likely headed straight to the friend zone, and OkC T and I are capping off at a hearty fourteen, but I’m willing to play through to see if we can prove him wrong. Dinner it is!
OkCupid Taylor offers to make the drive up from Sunset Beach for a mid-week meal at Sugarfish in Beverly Hills. I graciously accept. Being a girl definitely has its perks when it comes to the logistical side of dating.
With everyone presenting the best version of themselves online, I find myself unconsciously building these guys up in my head before we meet. Walking over to the restaurant, I realize I’ve got OkC T pegged as tall, witty, charming, sweet – and a perfect match in the chemistry department. But, you know, my expectations are totally, reasonably low.
He meets me outside, thankfully alleviating that whole, hi-I'm-here-to-meet-a-stranger-like-a-high-class-hooker hostess stand situation, and we cozy up to the bar for a plateful of sushi and a couple shots of sake.
OkC T is tall, witty, charming, and sweet – the chemistry is questionable. Maybe Rudder was onto something with his BFF metrics.
Conversation is easy and entertaining. OkC T works in the superfoods industry, but doesn't believe in superfoods. I proceed to make him tell me all about his company, attempting to discern the exact number of dates it will take for me to qualify for the friends and family discount. Because I definitely believe in superfoods. He does offer to send me the files for the complementary P90x workout regimen. I choose to not take that as a hint.
Post-dinner, OkC T insists on walking me home. This is where things start to get weird. I live close, but not that close. I just happen to be one of approximately three LA residents** who actually enjoy a pedestrian lifestyle. He pauses every few blocks thinking this is finally going to be the one we turn at.
Me: Oh no, just a little up this way still. You really don’t have to walk me the whole way.
OkC T: No, are you kidding? I’m having a great time. It’s such a nice night for a walk.
(Repeat six times.)
Finally outside my building, we chat awkwardly for a bit, with him standing just a touch too close. Are we just talking here, or are you working up the nerve to kiss me? He reaches for my hand. Uh, ok, we can do the whole romantical thing, I guess. Oh, nope. Nevermind. Going for the BlackBerry. Right.
OkC T: How does this thing even work?
Me: You just swipe up!
I demonstrate on the phone he’s now holding in his hand. The screen glows out with messages from Tinder Brandon, OkCupid Kevin, and eHarmony James. Welp.
We hug it out goodbye.
He walks back to his car. Alone.
Two dates in, two decent guys. Maybe this online dating thing isn’t so bad after all!
Then again, maybe it is.