I mean, that right there: "I don't tolerate lateness", should have told me all I needed to know, shouldn't it? That's not a normal text from a guy who has asked you out on a date.
I have apparently lost all ability to tell what is normal and what is not. With the sheer amount of male fuckwittage kicking around recently I now assume that if one says something lovely, it's probably bollocks and if one says something really quite weird, I decide to give him the 'benefit of the doubt'. I don't want to tar them all with the same brush you see. Just because one guy ripped my heart out and booted it around for fun doesn't mean that they're all complete fuckwits, right?
So I got back on the horse. In the saddle. In the game. OUT THERE. I went on a date. Via the internet, naturally. Meeting men in the flesh and liking them and then going out with them is something that only happens on US sitcoms.
So we texted a few times. He seemed resistent to much chat. I asked him what he did for a living and he responded with: "Are you always this nosey?"
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, PEOPLE.
Plus he is in a band. And I figured that even if he was weird he might have some ace friends. I mean, it's not actually dating at the moment, it's more trawling for potential friends in a new city. Obviously if he was also hot and awesome and funny and intelligent and well hung then so much the better.
Yesterday evening some texts were exchanged about where to meet. That was odd too. He wanted me to meet him outside M&S. I mean, why? Why would anyone meet outside M&S? I suggested a pub. He said no. He suggested a pub. I said, OK, but I might be a bit late because I don't know where it is. He said, and I quote: "I don't tolerate lateness."
I thought, maybe this is some kind of hipster banter. Maybe this is a thing that people do. Maybe he's trying to sound cool and in control. Maybe he's a fricking psycho. But I have put so many dates off so many times that I decided to go. Just go. It must be banter. I mean, otherwise it would just be really weird to be so rude to someone that a) you've asked out and
b) presumably want to like you, at least a little bit.
So I get there. I was about two minutes late. He doesn't meet my eye. Or smile. I buy myself a drink (strike one) and we sit down. I make small talk. During which he tells me that he has a new job and now has to work with "a lot of women" who "talk too much". OKKKKKK. Not keen on women chatting, not a great start.
I mention his resistance to chatting on text.
He says: "Questions are tedious"
It gets a bit warmer, a bit more bantery. Oh, should have said, couldn't fancy him less. His photos LIED. They were in black and white and full on band mode and they LIED. Barely looked like the same person. Pfffft.
I brought up the whole "I don't tolerate lateness" thing, in a light hearted fashion. At this point I honestly thought that he was doing some kind of dry witty thing. THAT'S how much of a doubt I benefitted him.
He said: "Well, I don't tolerate lateness."
Me: "But don't you think it was a bit harsh to someone you hadn't even met yet?"
Him: "I'm not going to be fucked around by anyone."
Him: "What? I tell it like it is. I'm not going to sit here waiting for someone."
Me: "All I said was I wasn't sure where the pub was and I might be a bit late."
I was desperately trying to maintain some kind of normality during this deeply weird exchange but it became apparent by his clenched fists that things were not going well.
Fuck it, I thought.
Me: "It made you sound like an arse"
Now, I didn't say twat, cunt, fuckhead or psycho. I said arse. Not the worst adjective. It could even, at a push, be affectionate.
He breathes deeply: "I'm going to go home"
Me: "I'm sorry, what?"
Him: "You've just called me an arse."
Me: "Woooooahhhh there. I said your text was rude and made you sound like an arse. I certainly didn't mean any offence as I'm sure you didn't when you sent it."
Him: "You should think before you open your mouth"
An actual stunned silence.
For a second.
Me: "Yeah, don't talk to me like that. Ever."
Him: Exits, pursued by a bear.
My immediate reaction is a flush of humiliation. That lasted approx two seconds as I relayed the encounter in my mind.
What an absolute waste of some damn good make-up. Oh, and it turned out he wasn't even in a band anymore. They broke up "a while ago".