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                 Things are not always how they appear.

Let me start by saying that this type of devil is difficult to spot unless you know what you’re looking for, which is why I’ve taken the gracious stance of exposing his plight to all the innocent single women out there.  

Your first clue in identifying this weirdo is his overly enthusiastic attitude.  His constant and lengthy email communication with you via whatever dating website you’re using may seem flattering and he may even be genuinely interesting. You start to think to yourself, “Wow! This guy seems great and he’s definitely into me!” After all, he’s pinging witty response after witty response back and forth with you, with no end in sight. If textual chemistry were a thing, then you two would definitely have it.

Time progresses and after a series of lengthy and informative email exchanges you decide to meet for the first time. Precautions must be made, of course, because you’ve seen the television show Catfish and know that even you are not exempt from this type of cyber humiliation. After confirming his Facebook profile matches the photos on the dating website, and seeing that he has a decent amount of friends, you agree to meet him for a coffee. After all, what could be the harm in that?  

But as most of us single ladies know by now, things are never as they first appear.

You’re obviously nervous upon arriving because it’s not every day that you agree to meet someone from off the internet, but after all, if you want to get out there then you have to literally get out there because we all know that Prince Charming isn’t galloping up to your front door on his unicorn to take you to the movies. And even if he did he’d probably suggest that you buy your own movie ticket because, after all, you did save on gas money by riding his unicorn there. Nor has a rainbow appeared pointing you to a pot of gold so you can save yourself the frustration of trying to find someone with decent credit and generous income who can co-sign the mortgage for your dream mansion on Riverside Drive.

However, no amount of wishful thinking or positive attitude is going to trump what you’re about to endure on a date with Mr. Enthusiastic.

Before I continue, let me reverberate that this a true story and while I must stick to my guns and suggest every young woman be vigilant about this type of man or any man for that matter, I must admit that something this heinous would probably only ever happen to me.

So I show up to the designated coffee place and Mr. Enthusiastic is nowhere to be found. At the time I was frantic, thinking that he stood me up. In retrospect this would have been the best case scenario, but I was a fragile woman at the time and obviously on high alert. After sending him a text indicating that I had arrived, he responded and said he was standing outside. At that moment a man opened the door, and to my horror he was at least 65 with white hair and a beard. THIS IS NOT WHO I AGREED TO GO OUT WITH! My heart absolutely froze. SHIT! I’ve been catfished, I thought, and immediately start thinking of ways to escape. I literally almost just ran out the door.

Then after the older gentlemen made no effort to approach me, I noticed Mr. Enthusiastic had come in behind him. Thank God, he looks like his pictures. Well, sort of, as I start to realize his fashion sense is nowhere near up to par. Skater shoes? Baggy jeans? Ugh. What a nightmare. Then he smiled. SHIT! Snaggletooth, I definitely don’t want my kids to have bad teeth. Orthodontists are way too expensive. Okay, okay, bring it back, maybe he’s nice. You can always make him go get his tooth fixed. It’s just coffee, relax.

I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean maybe his personality would be amazing and then I could get him to buy new clothes and it’s never too late for Invisalign. It’s just coffee after all, so I urge myself to relax and just get through it. “This too shall pass.”

Willing myself to continue, we head upstairs and have a seat. It was then that I noticed the smell that seemed to be emanating from him, kind of a mixture of manure and stale cheese. I think I knew in my heart it was him, but I was trying so hard to be open-minded I convinced myself it was the vintage furniture we were sitting on. The smell wasn’t overpowering so I was able to drink my coffee without gagging.

He droned on and on about this and that. During which I concluded the following things he had told me were all, in fact, a lie.

  • His job. He said he was a full-time student at the local university, which in this day and age is perfectly acceptable, but in addition to that he told me that he was also a Radio DJ. In the midst of conversation he ceded that he was actually not enrolled at any college at this time, but “had plans to be in the future.” Umm…what? So then what the hell are you doing? I inquired about his job at the radio station. He then told me that he didn’t actually work there, he just liked to spin his own dubstep music on his computer and submit it to the station via the internet…..UM! WHAT? He then proceeded to play me a sample of his music on the Ipad he had conveniently brought along in a backpack on our date.
  • His residence. I have firm rules about dating men that don’t live in my immediate radius because I think it’s a hassle and quite frankly I’m unwilling to drive farther than 15 minutes to meet a stranger at a bar somewhere. Furthermore, men that live too far outside of city limits are mostly Republicans and bigots and I have no interest in either. So when Mr. Enthusiastic  told me that his apartment in our city had “fallen through”, I was more than a little disgusted. “So then where the hell do you live?” I thought. He quickly informed me that he had driven two and a half hours to come and meet me at this coffee shop from his grandmother’s house where he was staying. SAY WHAT? Could this date get any worse?

This is when the truly creepy part started…

I asked him about his last relationship. All I needed was a run-down, nobody was trying to get into the nitty-gritty here, at least I wasn’t. Mr. Enthusiastic, who I’d now diagnosed as fairly manic, obviously had other plans though. He proceeded to give me a play by play recount of his entire last relationship, how it started, where it went wrong, and how it ended, and let me tell you, this was no traditional affair.

He met her while he was working the register at Dollar General [I literally could have stopped him right there]. She came in with her cousin and he was immediately struck by her beauty. Unable to summon the courage to speak to her in person, he texted her cousin for her number later that day. She obliged. The two got to talking via the internet [apparently the only place he shines], and he found out that she lived in Michigan. The two never actually hung out in person because after he saw her at the Dollar General, she went back to her state to continue school and live with her parents.

Apparently the two strike up a relationship via internet connection FOR A YEAR AND A HALF! Then Mr. Enthusiastic come to a life-altering conclusion: he must move to Michigan to be with his love or end the relationship immediately. He decides he wants to move to Michigan.

Curious, I ask him if he and his girlfriend then decided to move in together. He replied, “No. She was unsure about me moving there because she was so busy with school, so I decided to surprise her and I moved in to an apartment down the street from her parent’s house.

WWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!

I knew at this point I had encountered an actual stalker who obviously had serious delusional problems, so I immediately launch into survival mode so he doesn’t claim me as his next victim. My female intuition told me to play it cool, act friendly, and don’t let him know you’re alarmed.

I asked him about how it went after he moved there. He replied that she didn’t want to see him as often as he’d hoped, and eventually she started ignoring him altogether. This is when he decided to move back home to his grandmother’s house and go out on this wonderful coffee date with me. “Oh good,” I thought, “I wonder if they’re still looking for her body.”

I changed the subject because I sensed he was feeling forlorn, and when I did he asked me a very startling question, “Do you want to see something?”

Caught off guard but still wanting to appear friendly I reply, “Sure.”

He pulls out his Ipad.

This is when he proceeds to show me an entire album of his cat. His cat dressed up in Santa clothes, his cat napping on the washing machine, his cat stalking a mouse, his cat sleeping on his bed…etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a cat person, but something struck me as unusual about whipping out a 10 minute long album of only your cat, especially after admitting to your date that your last girlfriend was actually your stalking victim.

After enduring what seemed like an eternity of cat pictures, he asks if he can show me another album. I instantly assumed that he was about to show me pictures of this ex girlfriend that he had obviously murdered, cut up, and thrown in a ditch somewhere. He proceeded to show me an album of a creek that he likes to visit out behind his grandmother’s house, with photos of the different woodland creatures that he caught there. There were shrews, dragonflies, crayfish, and tadpoles.

 I imagined what it would be like to be buried there, because I was certain that was where my dead body would end up.

Thankfully the coffee shop owner came upstairs at that point and told us we better pack it up, because they were getting ready to close. Finally! My lucky break.

We walked downstairs and he asked me if I’d like to grab a bite to eat with him. I had to find an excuse, so I told him I couldn’t eat this late because I was on diet. He told me he was going to Wendy’s and I could come along if I wanted to, but I didn’t have to get anything. [.....SERIOUSLY?] I told him no thank you, it was getting late and I had to work in the morning.

In a last-ditch effort to probably kidnap me, he invites me back to his car for a granola bar. He told me they were special fitness bars and they would be good for someone on a diet.

Seriously dude? Do you need me to help you find your missing puppy too?

Needless to say I had no further communication with Mr. Enthusiastic, and I quickly erased his existence from my social media so he couldn’t determine my location.  

- S