The whole dating scene gives me the willies—and I’ve done my fair share of it, thanks to a crippling fear of being left on the shelf (a horrendous notion drummed into me by my mother and grandmother).
Dating involves subjecting yourself to the intense scrutiny of a stranger, and the idea mortifies me. Even if it seems like it’s going well, and he is laughing at all of your jokes, inside you’re thinking: “Sure, you like me now. But will you still like me when you see me on a regular Saturday night, sitting in my dad’s old sweater from when he was fat, dipping biscuits in the Nutella jar while watching Friends reruns?”
I wasn’t even good at dating as a teen, when you’re supposed to be all carefree and shit. On one date at the movies—I must have been around sixteen—I opened my purse to pay for the popcorn (because my date had paid for the tickets) and accidentally revealed a picture of my mother. “Phwoarrr, who’s that?” said my date with more enthusiasm than he had shown me all night. “My ma,” I almost whispered, and that was the end of the date as we know it.
Another time, at a pool hall, I was trying to impress my date with my cue skills when my chewing gum accidentally fell out of my mouth and onto the floor. My date saw this fiasco, and looked at me like: “Are you just gonna leave it there?” In the meantime, I pretended that nothing happened, staying straight-faced and nonchalant, seemingly trying to decide which ball I should hit next. But inside I was pleading with the Gods, saints, and prophets to open up the ground and plunge me into the depths of Hades. My date tried to kick the gum away to save me further embarrassment, but the gum ended up sticking to his shoe and I really don’t want to continue this story.
Do I really need to give any further reasons why I loathe dating? All right, I will. So you meet someone and agree to go on a date. They don’t know you! You don’t know them! The next moment one of you opens your mouth to speak, there’s a 50/50 chance that you will put your foot in it:
Him: Oh, you’re Greek? I’m a quarter Turkish; sorry about the whole five hundred years of slavery thing. Ha ha.
Me: What do you mean by “Ha ha”?
Me: I’m an Arsenal fan.
Him: I come from a long line of Tottenham fans, so you have to be careful in my house.
Me: Who even said I wanted to come to your house, douchebag?
Me: This restaurant only serves steak; the best in town!
Him: I’m a vegetarian.
Him: Oh gosh, I hate this song.
Me: My dad wrote this song.
Him: I hate grown women who wear Converse All Stars. I mean come on, we all know you want to look younger, but twelve is a little too young, am I right?
Me: HA HA! *shoves the All Stars for the walk-of-shame home further down into my bag*
Me: Look at that old bat over there with her fake boobs and collagen lips, she looks like the frickin’ bride of Wildenstein and… oh my God, look away now, she’s walking towards us…
Him: Mother, what are you doing here?
In a perfect world, we’d all be friends and get to know each other first, and would not be allowed to date one another until we filled out a questionnaire and knew at least the basics, such as least favourite food (a must). But this is the real world, and unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work like that… usually.
So off for a dip in the dating pool it is! Although… it’s starting to feel really cozy up here on the shelf.
Anyone care to join?
This original piece by was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © innovativecaptures via depositphotos.com.