When I showed up at the bar, Doug* had not arrived yet. I had seen his picture (he was an online acquisition), so I knew roughly what to expect. I am not a superficial broad and I can usually find just about any dude attractive if he has a good personality. Based on the few emails we exchanged, I felt fairly certain that at worst Doug and I would bond as friends. His emails were funny, honest, and open. “Now that’s what I’m looking for!” I thought to myself. “A guy who can communicate!”But oh –– it was super awkward from the start. Doug wasn’t talking. Not a word. As if I was a complete stranger on the street. What happened to the guy from the emails? Give me something to work with dude! It was an unbearably humid night right before a rainstorm and we both started to sweat. Feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable I kicked into middle school-mode. I knocked over my glass of wine and pretty much fell off my chair trying to pick it up. “I’m such a freaking klutz,” I laughed at myself, trying to break the ice as I wiped my sweaty face with a napkin. “And I’m sweating!” For a moment, Doug said nothing at all. He stared at me intently with his brown eyes and then his floodgates suddenly opened.
It started off as a trickle and cascaded into a tidal wave. “I am shy in person.”
“I had a bad date last night.”
“I hate my job.”
“My girlfriend and I broke up recently because the sex was bad.”
“We went to couples therapy.”
“I can’t have orgasms during sex.”
“I have a huge penis.”
“My mother is in a mental institution.”
“My dad was abusive.”
This type of TMI (way too much information) went on for hours. What to do? I felt bad for the guy and frightened of him all at the same time. Now, I can be a bit of an oversharer myself — but this guy’s deluge of personal information left me uncomfortably speechless, something I can safely say I’ve never experienced before. In fact I don’t even think I said anything at all. If I did it was something like, “I’m sorry to hear that,” while nodding pseudo-empathetically at the sad, sweaty man with the big penis sitting across from me and trying to figure out how to escape. I didn’t know what to do to make it stop. I watched his life story — intimate details and all — unfurl before me like a tsunami.
When he came to from his TMI coma (I don’t think there was anything left to tell me), he looked at me and asked his first question of the night. “Do you like me? I can’t figure you out.”
“I don’t know you that well,” I said trying to hide my horror.
“I guess that always happens at the beginning of a relationship,” he said.
I let out a weird gasp/howl/laugh. Did he just say the “R” word to me? On our first date?
“You don’t like me, do you? I knew it!” he exclaimed.
“I don’t know you, Doug. I really need to get home.” Luckily the rain heard its overdue cue and it began to pour. I quickly dodged Doug’s soggy attempt to kiss me and gave him my cheek. I thought I was safe once I was in the cab. I let out a sigh of relief but was interrupted when my cell rang 30 seconds later.
“Hello?” I answered, unsure of my own voice.
“Just so we can avoid any confusion tomorrow, I want to see you again.” It was Doug.
“You’re not what I’m looking for,” I replied, finally safe and dry. Communication is great, but too much of it too soon is not.
* Named has been changed