Dater X: Don’t Block The Box

Do you ever feel like everyone’s out to get you?  This week has been like that, at least when it comes to my dating life.  The city has been nothing but one big cockblock.  Er, clitblock.

First things first: I haven’t seen Israeli Tinder Guy again.  We exchanged a few friendly texts, mostly perfunctory on my part, and when he asked about seeing me again, I couldn’t even muster the enthusiasm to respond (in my defense, I was several beers deep at a baseball game at the time).  The next day, I forgot about his text entirely – and when I realized, three days later, that I had never answered, I decided to let my ambivalence do the [not] talking, which apparently it already had. Usually I find it impolite to just ghost on someone like that, but then again, he never sent me any more messages either.  Is there such a thing as a conscious not-coupling?  Because that’s what this all felt like, and I am contentedly back to ordering my own drinks, thankyouverymuch.

As for Esquire: After a week’s worth of radio silence during which I fretted daily about being too aggressive with the umpire at our game (an umpire, by the way, who has since been banned by the league because of his absurdly bad calls that day), we exchanged a few friendly texts … only to be rained out on game day. Clearly, I’m playing the long game with this one.

In the meantime, my Tinder crashed and I can’t fix it.  I tried everything I knew of, including all of the suggestions in their FAQ, then emailed tech support. Naturally, their oh-so-helpful customer service bot sent me back a response suggesting that I try all of the things that I told her I had already tried.  I pointed that out, and even played the “I’m a dating columnist” card, and the damned thing still isn’t up and running. Hey! Tinder! Get it together! I told you I needed my app back!

So to that end, I set up a date night with my favorite friend with benefits.  We’ll call him El Guapo, because he is all broad shoulders and tan skin and great style.  For years, he had a live-in girlfriend, but things between them went south a while ago, and he and I started fooling around while watching old episodes of “Mad Men” on my couch and waiting for his lease to end so that he and the now-estranged girlfriend could go their separate ways.  She has since moved out of state, and he now lives with his family here in the city.  I hadn’t seen him for a while, courtesy of our opposite work schedules, so I offered to take him to dinner and catch up.

By way of context: he and I often go out for meals together, but it hasn’t always been “date-y,” thanks in large part to his living situation.  So while I wasn’t totally sure that we were on a Capital D Date, I was reasonably sure that I would be getting some, and readers, it has been too long.

Remember how I said everyone was out to get me this week? Let’s start with the mood murderer I encountered en route to our dinner destination. I was walking along the subway platform, minding my own business and mentally high-fiving myself for managing to stay upright in heels, when I heard what sounded like a babbling brook.  Looking to my right, I saw a man comfortably reclined on one of the station’s benches.  Pissing a river all over the bench, his legs, and the floor.  In a steady stream that I had just forded in my fancy high-heeled date night shoes.

Love was in the air indeed.

Once I got to the restaurant, El Guapo and I had enough fun to distract me from the Platform Pisser. But was it a date? I still have no idea. I got there first and sat at the bar; he walked up behind me and cupped my ass. (Point: date.)  I tipped my head back to kiss him, and he kissed my cheek instead. (Point: not a date.) We enjoyed a leisurely, delicious meal, then headed up to the rooftop bar for a nightcap, then headed to a nearby arcade for another, catching up and enjoying each other’s company.  (Point: neither; this is par for the course when two bartenders start drinking together – we never want the night to end.)  At the last bar, he bit my shoulder and told me he couldn’t wait to get me naked. (Point: date.) Then he asked when he might be able to do so. (Point: not a date – what’s wrong with now??) We made plans to get together Saturday night and end the evening at my place. (Point: date.) Then he walked me to the subway, kissed me goodnight, and got in a cab.

Sure, it all sounds like a date, and I was excited to see him Saturday, but alas – the universe wasn’t done fucking with me yet.

Saturday morning, I got up early and headed to spinning, and when I got home, there was a note stuck under my door. I live in a fifth-floor walk-up, so if someone hauls themselves up all of those stairs to put a note under my door, they must really want me to read it. I opened it up, and leaping off the page with the creepy-crawly vileness of a millipede on acid were the two words that every city dweller fears the most:

Bed. Bugs.

It turns out, they’re in my building, in at least four units, and while I’m relieved to report that A) there’s no sign of them in my apartment, B) the building is bringing in an exterminator to check every single unit just incase, and C) they’re going to do whatever is necessary to get the creepy little fuckers out of my life, because GAHHHH, there was no way I was inviting El Guapo up to my place if there was even a chance that he might catch them.

So, I went to bed alone on Saturday night.

To recap: no Tinder; softball rained out; Platform Pisser; bed bugs. Here’s hoping for a better seven days … and until then, good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

And seriously, universe: quit blocking my box.