Date #1 with the ex-con.
We’ve made plans to meet at Vesuvio's. For some reason almost all of the dates I go on that month involve North Beach in some way. North Beach is by far the best place in the city to go on a blind date. I don’t know anyone that I might run into in North Beach, it’s one of the most city-like parts of the city, big, anonymous and pervy. Vesuvio’s happened twice in a matter of two weeks. The bar staff there must think I am either cheating on someone or a casually dressed prostitute. This guy, we’ll call him the ex-con, is late. I’m neurotically early, it annoys even me sometimes. I can’t help it, I want to be there on time and in the case of a blind date I would rather be the one already there, looking out the window casually, half my drink already gone. So I’m there first and I’ve chosen to sit in the window upstairs at Vesuvio’s. I can see the sidewalk; I see the ex-con as he approaches the bar. At first sighting, I think, “OK, not so bad.” I know he won’t come upstairs, or maybe I don’t know that but I’m so fucking neurotic that I need to make sure he knows I’m upstairs. I peer over the balcony. He is looking around the bar, kind of sweaty and nervous looking. To his credit it was a really hot day and I would have been sweating a lot more had I not been sitting at the bar for a half hour already. I go downstairs and tap his shoulder, he smiles and nods and it feels good to get this sort of approval, I know right away that he is pleased with how I look, and even though I will later find out that he is an ex-con that almost killed someone, it still feels good when you know someone thinks your hot. And it's tricky with these internet dates, you never can tell how attractive someone really is from a photo. You figure there’s a 25% ugly factor in either direction, and you cross your fingers it swings in the right way, in the “oh, he’s no where near as ugly as I thought he would be” instead of “shit, I did not notice that bend in his nose in the photos he posted online”. That’s only one of the many risks involved in online dating and one of the reasons I just couldn’t hack it anymore, but right now I'm telling you about my first date with the ex-con. Back to the date. He’s a little thicker around the middle then I could tell from his photos, but I don't mind having something extra to hold onto. He’s pretty bald, but in that I shaved my head and this is intentional way. He’s got a really big beard and it kind of grosses me out. He’s wearing a button down shirt, plaid I think, which I later find out is the nicest article of clothing he owns. And, the very worst thing about him, judging solely from appearances here, he’s wearing shorts. Big khaki shorts and Tevas. I hate shorts. I hate shorts so much you have no idea how happy I am that I am a girl, which allows me to wear skirts in hot weather (yes I know men can wear skirts too, but didn’t we all realize how fucking stupid that was once we graduated from college?) I am a girl who lives in a city that never really gets hot; therefore I never ever again have to even entertain the idea of wearing shorts. I hate shorts. But, kind as I am, I’m totally willing to look past the shorts thing, after all he’s sitting and I can pretend he has a decent pair of jeans on under the table. I should have walked away after I asked how his day was, his answer should have been enough. He kind of laughs and then says, “Oh, I got fired today.” When I ask why, he says he stopped going to work about a week ago because he just didn’t really feel like it. He does tech stuff and says he was able to do a lot of his work remotely. But he failed to call his boss and tell him he would be working from home. Oops. Now if we were watching this date on a video and ex-con was in the room, this is where I would pause the tape and tell him that it's not considered lying if you don't disclose all information, I mean just pretend like you're trying to impress the girl here, save the "i got fired story" for at least date two. Ok, play. We’re talking about traveling or something and he says something, stops and then lets out, “Well, full disclosure here, I’m still on probation.” You know, my brother’s spent a good part of his life in and out of jail, and I guess I wasn’t really phased by this. I ask and he says he was in jail for about a year, minor charges, making something with weed in his storage space. That’s not fucked up, what’s fucked up is that I’m kind of more attracted to him after I hear this. I know, I need therapy, but until then I don’t really even want to think about what that says about me. That if you are an ex-con you have more of a chance of getting in my pants. So very wrong on so many levels, I know. The rest of the date is fine. We talk pretty animatedly and since it’s my first date in a while since the break-up, I feel pretty good about things, I also get pretty drunk. It’s dark, I start to find him more attractive then I later realize he actually is. He wants to leave the bar and go somewhere else, but I realize how drunk I am and he walks me to BART. He gets a little cuddly on the walk and tells me how much he likes me and how he really wants to see me again and when we get to BART he asks if he can kiss me and I let him and it’s fine. I mean really, half of going on these weird internet dates is for your own self-esteem. Everyone wants to feel attractive to someone, and if you’re newly single or if you live in San Francisco and you’re always single, well then chances are you’ll be able to find someone on the internet that finds you attractive. This was date one with ex-con. I should have stopped there, but I’m no good at walking away from things I know I should walk away from.