5.03.2011

Le Dumbass

Following Polish Dude, it took a good month before I came across a guy who really caught my attention, and although he wasn't the most attractive guy in the world, I was immediately impressed with his intelligence and great sense of humour.

We e-mailed back and forth a bunch of times on Lavalife, and I discovered that he was an elementary school French teacher who was originally from Montréal (I shall call him "Le Habitant"). He had two brothers, both of whom lived in Boston, and his parents lived in Florida.

Le Habitant and I made plans to meet up at a local bar on a Tuesday night, and unfortunately, it was absolutely pouring rain. My stomach churning nervously (as always), I ran from the subway station to the pub entrance. I shook out my umbrella and turned to see him standing at the top of the stairs.

"Hey!" I said.

"Hey!" he replied, "Who's stupid idea was it to meet on such a miserable night?"

"Ha! That was all you. Let's go inside."

We sat at a small table by the window, and each ordered a beer, then talked about our respective days. The waiter returned with our drinks, and laughed as he placed a huge mug with a handle in front of me (Spaten), and a very small glass in front of him (Red Stripe).

"Wow," Le Habitant said, "That is a BIG beer."

"I had it the last time I was here. I need two hands to lift it!"

"Is that a SHOVEL on the label? That's pretty serious."

"Your little beer, on the other hand…" I said, and made my best unimpressed face.

"Hey! I'm comfortable with my manhood!" he said, and we both cracked up.

Unfortunately, it was trivia night at the pub, and soon the tables around us were filled with loud people arguing over correct answers. Le Habitant knew the answer to a question about a British actor, and helped out the guys at the table next to us.

As the night went on, I remember thinking that Le Habitant was seriously growing on me. He was not hot, but cute, smart and really funny. I liked him, and I wanted to see him again.

We finally decided to call it a night, and when the bill came, I reached for my purse.

"No, absolutely not," he said.

"But—"

"Your money is no good here."

Score one for the Hab.

Leaving the pub, we paused just inside the entrance, and I pulled out my umbrella.

"Wait right here," he said.

"What? Why?"

"I'm going to get you a cab, and pay for your ride home."

"What? Don't be ridiculous!" I replied, shocked.

"Redhead, it's pouring rain and late."

"No! Seriously, I'm absolutely fine. I have a Metropass, and I live ten minutes from here. No cab. PLEASE."

He saw the look of resolve on my face, and sighed. I smiled and gave him a quick hug, thanking him for a great night.

"Can you at LEAST send me an e-mail when you get home?" he asked.

"I'll do one better. Here's my business card. Text me your number and I'll let you know when I get home."

He smiled, and put my card in his pocket.

"Thanks again!" I said, as I stepped out of the doorway and dashed across the street to catch the coming streetcar. We exchanged a bunch of text messages during my ride home, and I let him know when I arrived at my apartment.

The next morning, I received a text message:

LeHab: Just a friendly reminder: I had a great time last night :)

Le Habitant and I texted back and forth for a couple of weeks, and I was honestly not sure if he was ever going to ask me out again, until finally:

LeHab: So when are you free this week/weekend? I was hoping we could meet up.
Redhead: I'm free the rest of this week. Busy this weekend.
LeHab: How's Thursday then?
Redhead: Works for me. What do you want to do? Drink more baby beers?
LeHab: Was thinking we could do a nice dinner, actually :) Is Yonge and Davisville too far?
Redhead: Not at all.
LeHab: The Firkin there is really cozy and there shouldn't be any trivia nights :P. Let's meet outside the subway station at 7?


Wait, the FIRKIN? I'm sorry, but when someone suggests a "nice dinner", the last place I would think of is the Firkin, which is just an English-style pub. Weird.

Redhead: I know it well. Sounds like a plan.
LeHab: Looking forward to it.


Thursday night, I met him outside Davisville subway station, and we crossed the street to the Bull & Firkin. Taking a seat in an upstairs booth, I immediately noticed some strange sounds coming from the front of the bar.

Le Habitant noticed the confused look on my face and said, "Oh great, Tourret's dude is here."

"WHO?"

"There's this guy who comes in here all the time, and he has Tourette's syndrome. He just yells out random shit."

Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to have a conversation while some guy yells (often obscenities) every two to three minutes? Don't get me wrong, I feel horrible for anyone dealing with such a disorder, but it does make for an awkward date.

Le Habitant and I each ordered a beer while we perused the dinner menu. I opted for a simple grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and sweet potato fries. He, on the other hand, ordered "The Big Poutine" AND Irish Nachos.

When the food arrived, I was slightly horrified at his massive portions. Each bowl was as big as my head, and he held his fork like a shovel and began to scoop heaps of the greasy food into his mouth quickly, as if he were a competitive eater. He barely said a word while we ate, as he would have had to do so with his mouth full. At one point, he offered to let me try his food, I politely declined, and the next time I looked up, it was all gone.

I let him talk while I finished the other half of my sandwich and picked at my fries, and then I noticed him looking at his watch.

"Do you have to be somewhere?" I asked.

"Well…I just realized if I leave now, I have time to pick up my car at the shop before it closes! That would save me a trip tomorrow."

"Right. Well, don't let me keep you," I said (with an admittedly sarcastic edge to my voice, which he completely missed), and he signaled for the bill.

A few minutes later, the waitress placed it on the table, and he grabbed it.

"How much do I owe?" I asked.

"Just give me $20 and I'll cover the rest," he replied, and took the twenty dollar bill from my extended hand (Stef pointed out later that there's no way my sandwich and beer even came to $20, so he wasn't doing me any favours).

"Thanks," I said, and realized he was already standing outside the booth with his coat and scarf on.

Jesus. Was this guy serious?

We walked out into the cold and across the street to the subway station. He gave me a quick hug and ran to catch the bus.

I was home before nine and sat down, stunned. It was as if the first and second dates were with two completely different people.

Buzz. Text message.

LeHab: Did you get home ok?
Redhead: Yes. Did you get your car?
LeHab: Yes I did. Double win! We're awesome
.

Yeah, not so much. I never replied to that text message, and I never heard from him again.

Next up: I get lonely and do dumb things. At this point, are you really surprised?

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