Context: I had been talking to “The Rubber” for like, not at all, when he asked me to get dinner with him the upcoming Sunday at Busboys & Poets in Shirlington. He picked me up from our apartment building and we drove there.
The thing about living in DC is that I get weirded out whenever anyone suggests driving somewhere. Like, if you don’t like walking, I don’t like you. Also, I want an escape route and relying on someone else’s car leaves NO room for escape. And people get really stressed when they’re trying to park and then they take out their stress anger on me and I don’t like it.
Barring my anti-driving stance, I had heard great things about Busboys & Poets, and I was excited to try it out! I got in The Rubber’s car and noticed that he was SUPER attractive. In a very clean-cut, chiseled, Norse God sort of way. Also, his Tinder page said he had just graduated from Georgetown, but it turns out he meant grad school – he was 25! I immediately checked my person to make sure there were no signs of Burnett’s or Natty Light that would give me away as the hooligan I am.
When he started speaking, I found the two major red flags: 1) monotone voice and 2) he cracked some joke in the beginning about me needing the books at Busboys to keep entertained because he was really boring. What? And I couldn’t detect if there was sarcasm because of the whole monotone thing, and so I was like “haha” and tried to make conversation about great novels I had read and how much I loved to crochet (still playing to an older audience, here).
We arrived and had trouble parking (I TOLD YOU!), then had more trouble finding the restaurant. We were doing this awkward leapfrog thing where I wanted him to lead because I’m hopelessly bad with directions, but he wanted me to lead so he could check out my ass, and when we finally got to Busboys I was SO relieved. We were sat at a table and our waiter came over, whose voice was approximately 2.3 decibels and could not be heard even in the very quiet restaurant. Luckily, you don’t need to hear your waiter to order water, so that’s what I did. The Rubber continued his theme of being the most boring person alive by ordering unsweetened iced tea. Way to live on the edge, buddy!
Our conversation was fine, and our food was delicious (shrimp linguine for him, avocado panini with sweet potato fries for me). He spent most of the time telling stories about his endless bad roommate situations, and also how he doesn’t like to drink casually. When he drinks, he drinks to blackout. RED FLAG. It was at this point that he started rubbing my arm across the table. I’m fine with touching when I like you, but I didn’t like him, so this was an “I DON’T WANT IT” situation.
After he paid the bill, he asked if I wanted to go somewhere for a drink, and I couldn’t think of an excuse on my feet (although I really should have used my standby ‘My dog is dying and I need to go care for him,’ duh) so I succumbed. We found a place decorated with old-timey, woodsy paraphernalia (i.e. deer heads and rifles on the walls) which he decided was PERFECT. He ordered an IPA (yuck) and I got a Bold Rock because I’m a wild child. We took our drinks to a long table, and he sat next to me. NEXT to me. On the SAME SIDE of the table. NO NO NO NO NO. And his intentions for this seating arrangement became very clear, very fast, when he started rubbing my arm, and then my leg. Luckily I was a wannabe frat bro in college, so I got on one knee and chugged my cider and was like “LET’S GO!”
Ok, not quite that. But I was regretting the driving-no-escape-route thing right about now. I finished my cider pretty fast, the whole time inching away from him, and was like “Ah, look at the time! I have work in the morning! Move it or lose it!” He took me home, and I unbuckled my seatbelt as we were pulling up to the building, gave him an awkward side hug and was like “BYE” before sprinting to the door and hiding for my safety behind our bewildered concierge.
I didn’t text him (duh), but two days later I was at work when I got “Hey, I had a great time on Sunday. Let’s definitely hang out again soon.” I did not respond.
Next day: “I’ll be out of town this weekend, but want to hang out next week?” This one actually caught me at a moment of weakness, because I was very confused by a few texts I had gotten from the guy I actually like (yes, I actually had a good Tinder date!), but I stayed strong. That night, I texted him letting him know that this was a bad time for me to be dating anyone because I had recently been through a breakup. He told me to call him if I changed my mind. Haha, good luck.