OkCupid has a ‘Quickmatch’ feature, where you rate people on a scale of one to five stars. If you both rate each other high, OkCupid e-mails you both to let you know. Such was the case with Cat Guy and I.
Through a number of lengthy e-mails, I discovered that Cat Guy was 33, originally from Oakville, Ontario, athletic (training for a triathlon), worked as a consulting engineer in the construction industry, had two half-brothers…and two cats.
After a couple weeks of e-mails, one very long phone conversation, and a bunch of text messages (even one night while he was at UFC), Cat Guy and I decided to meet up on a Tuesday night after work for drinks. I let him know ahead of time that I’d eat dinner before our meeting, as I prefer to keep a first date simple (get in, get out; neither party needs to suffer if there isn’t any chemistry.)
As I headed down the street to catch a westbound streetcar, I noticed that they were extremely packed with people, and decided to start walking.
Redhead: You there yet? Streetcars are packed. Walking.
Cat Guy: I sure am. I’m nothing if not punctual (was that a dig?) How far away are you?
Redhead: 5-10. I walk fast.
Cat Guy: No doubt. Let me know when you’re close. I’ll be walking around getting some fresh air. It’s nice out!
I put my phone in my pocket and picked up my pace. Buzz! Text message.
Cat Guy: Ooo, the place across the street has pizza and a pint for $12 lol.
Redhead: Someone’s hungry.
Cat Guy: Haha, I went for a run instead of dinner. I’m not going to ruin your drinks plan though, don’t worry!
Redhead: You can eat.
Did I mention that I HATE walking and texting?
Cat Guy: No I’m good!
Cat Guy: You could be some super weirdo and I’d have to run away :P
Cat Guy: Lots of places for lease here. Is this a bad area?
Redhead: No, not that I’m aware of.
Cat Guy: Mmm, outdoor flowers! Smells nice :).
WTF? Why was he telling me this?
Redhead: I’ll be there in a minute. Dufferin is the next major.
Cat Guy: I’ll take your word for it lol.
Cat Guy: Hey, my google maps agrees with you!
Cat Guy: Aesthetics places, laundromats…
I reached the bar just then, and thankfully put an end to his texting nonsense. He gave me a big hug and asked where we should go.
“I thought we were going to The Fox?” I asked, confused.
“Sure! Yeah, we can do that!” he replied.
“Is there somewhere else you wanted to go?”
“Nonono, this is fine,” he said, and grinned at me. Weird.
We chose a seat beside the window, and the waitress brought us menus.
“Just drinks for me, thanks,” I said, and handed mine back. I noticed Cat Guy looked at the menu longingly as he did the same. “Jesus. Cat Guy, order some food.”
“No, it’s okay!” he replied.
“Seriously. If you’re hungry, just eat. I really don’t mind.”
“I shouldn’t spend the money anyways. Drinks are fine!”
Uh oh. After what I went through with my ex (story soon to come), mention of money (especially lack thereof) tends to freak me out a little. Okay, a lot.
Cat Guy and I each ordered a beer and chatted while we waited for the waitress to return. He talked about not knowing the city very well, which confused me, as he was originally from Oakville (which is just west of the city and part of the Greater Toronto Area, for those who aren’t from around here.)
I asked him about his experience at UFC, and realized why he had had the time to text me most of that night: he had gone to the event ALONE.
Our beers arrived and I made the mistake of mentioning his cats. His face softened and he said, “I don’t go out much because money is tight, and my babies are used to me being at home. After my run I was sooooo tired, but I had to get ready to meet up with you.” His voice went up a few octaves so he was speaking in a baby voice, and he quite literally pawed at me across the table while saying, “My baby was like, no daddy, don’t go!”
All I could think was, that. just. happened.
He told me what his cats looked like. About their habits, personalities, and what their favourite toys were. How he became their "daddy", and their entire medical history. On and on and ON about his cats. I'm a cat person, but this guy put me to shame!
As if things weren’t awkward enough, Cat Guy informed me that his mother was a huge slut (his words, not mine). She left him when he was just a baby, and his father and grandparents had raised him. He found out about one half-brother at the age of 15, and the other at 29. “So may times I’ve asked my dad, WHY did you sleep with her? You knew she was a giant whore!” Cat Guy said.
This was a lot of information to process on a first date.
“Sometimes I just get in the car and drive,” he said, changing the subject.
“Where to?” I asked.
“Last summer I drove up to Thunder Bay twice, for no reason. Every once in awhile I would get out and have a look around. Stretch my legs. Enjoy the quiet.”
Did this guy have any friends? UFC alone, long road trips alone…
This was the point in the night when a homeless man parked himself right outside the window beside us, singing and swaying. To be honest, I found this way more entertaining than my date.
“See this scar on my head?” Cat Guy said, pointing at a jagged white line across the back of his scalp, and I raised my eyebrows. “I got it in a fight!”
I couldn’t help myself and said, “Like UFC?”
He laughed. “No. I was on a camping trip and really early in the morning, some guys started playing their music REALLY loud. Well, I didn’t like that, so I went over there and told them so.”
“Uh oh,” I said, feigning interest.
“Yeah! Only THEY didn’t like that, so one of them smashed a beer bottle and came at me! That’s how I ended up with this scar. I was bleeding everywhere and had to go to the hospital and get stitches. When my girlfriend came home, I was asleep and there was blood all over the pillow and she freaked out,” he laughed.
This guy was the king of too much information, especially on a first date. “You lived together?” I asked.
“Yes, I was engaged once and I’ve lived with three girlfriends.”
Miracles do happen, I suppose?
The bill arrived and Cat Guy grabbed it and said, “Well, we can do this one of two ways.”
Ugh. I spared him the bullshit I knew was coming, said, “Forget it, this is for my share,” and handed him a twenty (later, Stef was frustrated that I didn’t allow him to continue, as she wanted to know what the two ways were.)
We gathered up our things and stepped outside the bar. “I know you don’t like to take rides on the first date, but it’s late and I would really like to drive you home,” he said.
Bottom line: I knew this dude wasn’t a psycho. A little weird? Yes, but completely harmless. He would make the perfect boyfriend for some geeky, cat-loving, UFC fan chick, but not for me. I accepted his offer of a ride home.
As we were walking to the car, he again mentioned that he didn’t go out much, in order to save money. My curiosity got the best of me, and I couldn’t help but say, “If you don’t mind me asking, why is money so tight, Cat Guy?”
“Well, I’m making payments on my car, so I’ll have more money when that’s done in about a year.”
I directed him to my building, thanked him for a nice night and just smiled when he said he’d like to do it again as I hopped out of the car.
As I was getting ready for bed, he texted me to let me know he found the street he was looking for, was going home to make some dinner, and that he’d had a fun night with me.
The next evening, my phone buzzed.
Cat Guy: Hey Redhead! How was your Thursday :) ?
I never replied and I never heard from him again. I love it when they get the hint immediately and just walk away. Makes my job a lot easier!
And that, my friends, was the last date I’ve been on (it was early May.) It’s been a sad state of affairs online lately; over the last few months, nobody has caught my interest in the least (except a guy I’ve nicknamed “California”, but he lives too damn far away and thinks us Canadians are weird with our bags of milk, two-fours of beer, and loonies and toonies, eh?)
I digress. Guess what? It’s time to tell you about my ex…