With all of the online dating that I have done, more than one jerk has crossed my path. Truthfully, though, the number of awful guys I have encountered is really, really small. I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about dating in the ether is that it is full of criminals or freaks or sociopaths. Granted, I have met at least one guy that falls into each of those categories but, statistically, they are very, very rare. The overwhelming majority of men that I have met are cool and nice and just fine, whether there is a romantic spark or not. But then there was Austin, one of the biggest jackholes I have ever met, either on the Internet or in real life. I guess he has that to be proud of.
I don’t remember a lot about the initial emails and contact I had with Austin except that he told me he worked at Microsoft and that, like me, he loved to frequent good restaurants and bars. His profile was well written, he looked pretty cute and I was quite impressed at his dining experience. Austin seemed to know his stuff. When, after a few emails, he offered to come to my part of town and meet for a drink, I was pretty excited, agreed to join him and asked him if he had a favorite place to hit up.
I live in Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle, that is absolutely filled to capacity with amazing places to eat and have a good cocktail and I like to think I am familiar with pretty much all of them. So, when Austin made his initial suggestion, I was pretty surprised that I had never even heard of the bar and was even more so when I looked it up and it was two blocks from my apartment. How I had not heard of this place?
I did some more Internet research and it turned out that the bar was a total dump. Not a dive bar or a decent hole-in-the-wall but an all-out dump. I read some reviews and, when one of them mentioned a pool of vomit under one of the tables that didn’t get cleaned up for a few hours, I decided to just be a jerk and suggest somewhere else. Life is short and I only get so many drinks so I want to enjoy them as much as possible and not worry about slipping in puke. I will say Austin was totally cool and didn’t seem to mind when I offered up a place right across from my apartment. Crisis number one seemed to be averted.
Austin had a longer commute than me so I told him just to text me when he is was in my neighborhood since it would take me all of three minutes to get to the bar. I got the notification from him that he was looking for parking so I headed across the street. It was still pretty early so there was almost no one in the restaurant. There were two guys sitting at the bar and that was it. At least Austin would have no problem knowing which girl I was. I sat down and a text came through from Austin that he was having a ton of trouble parking. I answered back that it was cool and that I had already secured us a table. He could totally take his time.
Five minutes later Austin walked into the restaurant. I knew it was him because he looked exactly like his pictures – he got points for that – and he was wearing the exact same navy blue coat that he had on in his profile shot. So, I was a little bit shocked when Austin walked right past and up to the bar and stood with his back to me. Since I was one of three people in the bar, and the only female, there was no way that he hadn’t seen me. What the hell was he doing? My jaw about hit the table when Austin ordered a drink and stood there, watching the bartender make it, without even turning around. I was nervous and pissed all at once. What…the…hell?? As he started sipping his cocktail, I saw him get out his phone and start typing away. My phone buzzed with a text that said, “Are you here?” Was he insane? We had established that while he was still parking!
A number of responses went through my head but maybe I was just missing something, something huge, so I merely wrote back, “Turn around!” I saw Austin check his phone when my text came through and he wrote back, “Not before I finish my libation.” I almost stood up and walked right out. I should have. Who did this asshat think he was? The ten minutes (!!!) I sat there and waited to see my date’s front half seemed like an eternity. I hated him before he even sat down.
The date did not get better once Austin deemed himself ready to sit with me. He was a total ass. All he could talk about was allll of the places that he went to and allll of the chefs and bartenders he was friends with and allll of the places he had traveled. He mentioned that he mostly tried to go places where he could ride his horses. In fact, trying to park with the horse trailer on the back of his pick-up was what had caused him to be late meeting me. Oh, besides the first round that he enjoyed by himself? I commented that I didn’t know anyone that owned horses – he was the first for me in that department. Austin then haughtily told me that ‘the majority of his co-workers’ were horse people so I clearly I didn’t know what I was talking about’. I responded that I was pretty sure I had dated half of the men at Microsoft and not a single one them was equine-friendly. That shut him up. I really hated this guy.
It was a bit of a surprise that, after we finished our drinks, his second, my first, Austin suggested we have at least one round at the place he first suggested since it was right around the corner. I already knew Austin and I would not be hanging out ever again and I was a bit curious to see if the dump rumors were true so I agreed. Why not make the night a total loss?
The reviews of The Dump were not sugarcoated. There were career alcoholics lined up outside smoking and the interior was full of them. I really am not a bar snob but even alcohol did not help this place. The patrons all looked to be about twenty rounds in, both of the bartenders had guts hanging out of the bottom of their shirts and there were two guys about to get into a fight in the corner. And they also served Chinese food through a hole in the wall. Charming, really charming.
I didn’t even want to sit down – I was afraid of getting a STD from the mangy-looking seats – but I tried to be a good sport. I was just baffled by what Austin could even remotely find likeable about this hole when there were quite possibly thirty better places within five blocks.
I braved it out through one drink and nothing improved. Austin was still obnoxious and boastful and I was more than happy to head out when we finished our one drink. I was so giddy to be free that I didn’t even shake Austin’s hand or give him a hug, which I always, always do. He was that much of an ass. I am sure he called me lots of names as I sprinted away but I could not care less. I got a few more texts in the next few days from Austin sharing his so-called expertise on drinking and dining but I didn’t even answer him. I was too busy ‘enjoying my libations’. Jerk.