The Kiss of Death

"So," my office buddy asked me on Monday, "how did your date go?"

"Good. He was nice," I replied, in reference to Polish Dude, and she raised an eyebrow. I've come to realize that coming from me, "nice" is the kiss of death. It's only a matter of time.

The second I signed on to Gmail, Polish Dude was right on top of me, wanting to know why I had not returned his text message right away, because he'd had a really great time, I was the "highlight of his night", and when could he see me again?

Whoa. He was zooming (as in, ahead of me); I could tell. I hate it when they zoom, and I'm left behind, trying to find my footing and sort out my feelings.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my dating history lately, and I've come to realize that all of the guys I have dated seriously (save for my most recent ex), I was friends with for a long time first. Jumping into a relationship with someone I just met is very unnatural to me, so I like to take things slow and let the progression happen organically. I don't like to jump in with both feet, as I might have done in the past. I want to be SURE.

Polish Dude and I would often talk on Google Chat, but our conversations tended to be rather mundane and boring. He often took me too seriously, and didn't quite get my sarcastic sense of humour. He was already making plans for us in the future and needed constant reassurance, which often became awkward:

polishDude: So, are you coming with me to the Food and Wine Expo? :D
redhead: Well, it's still early. It will depend on how the second date goes.
polishDude: Please don't hate me!!!!!!! :'(:'(
redhead: Whoa. What? Why would I hate you?
polishDude: I was kidding! It was my own response to my previous statement.
redhead: Okay, crazy person.
polishDude: Oh no :-/ Explain. Crazy in a good or bad way????
redhead: I'm just kidding!

Online dating newbies are the WORST. Oh, and then there was this:

polishDude: Will someone take care of your cat while you're away? (I was headed to London for the weekend)
redhead: No, she's fine for a weekend. I just dump a bunch of dry cat food in a couple bowls and she has one of those water dispensers with the jug thing on top.
polishDude: If I left my cat alone for a weekend, she would finish all the food in an hour and starve for the rest of the weekend.
redhead: Haha, she might very well do that, but she's fat. She won't die. Huh. I just realized I'm probably going to make a terrible mother.
polishDude: That's not something you should be openly telling to a boyfriend applicant.
redhead: Probably not.
polishDude: Don't worry, my maternal instincts have already kicked in. I'm ready to be a mommy
redhead: Uh…what?
polishDude: Other than the breast feeding situation, I can handle the rest.
redhead: ...
polishDude: Have I managed to disturb you?
redhead: Very much so.
polishDude: Nice, I can tick that off my list.
redhead: I'm afraid to ask what else is on the list.
polishDude: Wouldn't you like to know
polishDude: Ok I'll tell you one thing but only because you'll be gone for the weekend so it will give you something to think about.
redhead: Still kind of afraid.
polishDude: there's also "to kiss you" on the list :-o
polishDude: How's that for making you feel akward :P
redhead: Completely awkward. You win.

He talked about spending entire weekends together. Preparing meals together. Watching tv together. Everything together. A flag was waving…the one that signals a smotherer.

And did I mention he still lived at home? Ugh.

We made plans for dinner and a movie the following Friday night. Unfortunately, I got home from work late, so we had to skip dinner in order to make it to the movie in time. He picked me up in front of my building around nine, and as I was getting in the car, he thrust a bouquet of flowers at me.

"I, uh, wow!" I said, "What are these for?"

"Just because."

"Oh. Well, thank you. That's very sweet of you."

We headed downtown to the big Scotiabank Theatre, and grabbed a couple slices of pizza on our way into the movie.

"What is this movie about?" I asked, as I had forgotten to look it up online beforehand.

"I'm not going to tell you. It's better if it's a surprise," he replied.

"I hate surprises," I muttered, and went back to eating my pizza.

The movie was called Let Me In. Have any of you seen it? Talk about disturbing. A creepy and socially inept kid makes friends with a VAMPIRE CHILD, for God's sakes. Blood and guts and biting and no shoes in the snow. It was so completely bizarre that I burst out laughing a number of times (I wasn't the only one.)

After the movie, Polish Dude asked me what I thought, and I told him that the vampire thing caught me completely off-guard, and I had found it odd, gory and quite ridiculous.*

"Fair enough," was his reply.

Driving back to my neck of the woods, he asked if I would be up for a coffee, and although I was tired and just wanted to go home, I agreed. We reached St. Clair Avenue, and I told him to take a left, which he did, RIGHT ONTO THE DEDICATED STREETCAR TRACKS!

Thankfully, it was late and there weren't any streetcars, because he continued to drive along until he found an opening, and then launched the car off the ledge, which was a good six inches high, and we landed on the road with a thud.

"Ooops," he said, and chuckled (he doesn't laugh, remember?)


We parked just down the street from my building and I told him I was going to run inside and put the flowers in water. I thought he would wait for me outside, as I didn't invite him in, but when I went to unlock the front door, he was right behind me, and followed me into the building. Not cool.

Not only did he follow me into the building, but right into my apartment. This made me very uncomfortable, as my apartment was a bit of a mess, and I'm really weird about people coming into my space uninvited.

I went into the kitchen and hurriedly filled a glass with water so we could get the hell out of there, while he stood in the entryway. Willow came to investigate and he bent down to pet her.

Still uncomfortable, I shoved the flowers in the glass of water and said, "Okay, let's go," and ushered him out the door.

"She's cute," he said, referring to Willow.

"Yeah, she's fucking adorable. Also, hungry, expensive, bipolar, and a lemon."

We walked to the Tim Hortons around the corner, as it was the only thing open at such a late hour, grabbed a couple of hot chocolates, and sat down.

I don't remember what we talked about, but I do remember that conversation had no flow, and there were lots of uncomfortable silences.

Suddenly, we felt a presence looming over us, and we looked up to see this obviously high and possibly homeless chick standing beside our table.

"Do you have the time?" she asked Polish Dude.

He checked his watch and told her, then turned back to me.

"Sorry, what was the time again?" she asked, and he repeated it to her.

She continued to stand there, wobbling slightly. I gave Polish Dude my best WTF? look.

"I like your hair," she said to me.

"Thank you," I replied.

"It's red."

"Yes, it is."

"Do you guys have any change?"

Polish Dude told her no, sorry, we didn't have any change.

"Okay," she replied, and FINALLY headed out the door.

"Wow. What the hell was THAT?" I said, shaking my head, and he mustered a small chuckle.

Suddenly I felt a looming presence again, and realized that she was now standing right outside the window, still staring at us.

We ignored her and she finally went away, but it was time for me to go home. We threw our empty cups in the garbage and began to walk toward my building.

"Cold?" he asked, as he noticed me rubbing my hands together, and before I could say anything, he grabbed my hand and held it.

"I can't wait for Mexico. Only two months away!" I said, as a distraction from the awkward hand-holding.

He sighed. "What will I do?"


"What will I do while you're gone for a whole week in Mexico? I'll be so sad and lost without you."

Uh, what the fuck? This was date number two, and he was worried about me leaving for a week two months down the road?

In front of my building, he leaned it for a kiss. I gave it to him quick, all grandma-like, and bolted for the door (checking behind me to make sure he wasn't following me again!)

The next morning, a text message:

Sorry for keeping you up so late last night. I owe you $10 (I covered parking because he had no cash on him) so you'll need to see me at least once more. Ps. You're amazing

Little brother (#2) came to visit me the next day, as he was leaving for basic training in Qu├ębec a week later, and we sat down to discuss my latest date. By the end of my story, he was laughing, and shaking his head at me.

"What?" I asked.

"You! Why are you even hesitating to dump this guy? You're SO not into him. And he would suffocate you. You wouldn't be able to do anything without him."

I sighed. "You're absolutely right."

We were both quiet for a minute, and then he said, "P.S. You're amazing!" and we both burst out laughing. For the rest of the weekend, my brother and I would say that to each other, for absolutely no reason. We still do it now.

The following Monday, I sent Polish Dude this e-mail:


I'm sorry I wasn't able to get back to you sooner, but I've had a very busy couple of days.

That said, I'm just going to cut to the chase. You're a great guy and I've had a lot of fun with you, but I'm just not feeling enough chemistry for us to continue seeing each other. You did nothing wrong and I really wanted it to be there, but it is what it is. I know it's not what you wanted to hear, and the last thing I ever wanted to do is hurt your feelings.

I'm happy to be friends if that's what you'd like, but I understand if you're not interested in that. Thank you for everything, and I wish you the very best of luck in finding what you're looking for.


A couple days later, his response:

Good luck to you too.

Polish Dude

And that was that.

Up next? Do I have some great e-mails for you!

*Surprisingly, the reviews are very favourable, so if you dig young vampire/human relations, go get your weird on.

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