If you have been following along you would have learned by now I've met my fair share of weirdos on dating sites (Comic Book Super Hero , Mistaken Identity , Slot machine, etc ) And the stories just continue! Lest you think OkCupid is the only dating website populated by the certifiably insane, I should probably warn you that Match.com is also home to a wide assortment of crazies. The guy I now call Anger Management is a prime example.
To be honest, I never should have agreed to a date with AM in the first place. He was from Weehawken, New Jersey, which is even more “outer borough” than the outer boroughs! However, like many of the expert self-promoters I’ve found on dating sites, he looked amazing on paper. He was tall, great looking, an athlete (he played hockey, which maybe should have offered a clue to his somewhat aggressive personality), and had a nice, stable job at a bank. Who wouldn’t bend the rules for a catch like that?
Not only did I bend the rules for AM, we actually made it to the elusive fifth date. We reached this milestone despite the fact that those red flags were waving long before the incident that earned him his nickname. Basically, he seemed to have a bit of a temper. An edge. A weird vibe that indicated he might blow at any moment.
But he didn’t. Until that fifth date.
He took me to his favorite restaurant, a “quaint” (and I use that term very generously) cafeteria-style barbecue place with karaoke in Chelsea.
We each received a ticket, and then proceeded like high school students with trays in hand along the counter, where we selected our food from a variety of cafeteria-style delights. Then the server punched our tickets.
Problem was, I’m not a big meat eater and all of the entrees looked like they could practically walk or fly out of the place. I opted for a green bean casserole and some other item that had a faint resemblance to a vegetable instead.
Despite the menu, we wound up having a blast joking and laughing for hours and making fun of the terrible karaoke singers that provided our entertainment. The chemistry between us was electric to the point that a woman at a neighboring table commented that we were either on a first date or madly in love.
Finally, it was time to end the cafeteria festivities and move on. That meant providing the checkout girl with our individual meal tickets so we could check out.
Here’s where things started to head in a distinctly southerly direction. AM’s ticket came in at a reasonable $40, while mine somehow totaled a whopping $120. Those were some pricey green beans, I guess.
Now, as you already know (remember Insufficient Funds?), I always offer to split the check with my dates, but AM was too gentlemanly to allow this. On our previous dates, we followed his suggestion that I pay for the drinks and he pay for the food. However, because our entire bill was on these “tickets,” and mine was so much higher than his was, I suggested that this time we split the bill 50/50.
He did not seem to like this suggestion. His entire demeanor changed. Meanwhile, I had no cash on me and tried to play the adorable damsel in distress by plopping a five-dollar bill—all the money I had—into the tip jar.
AM was not amused. As the line behind us grew, he violently slapped his credit card on the register and stormed out of the restaurant.
I ran after him, only to be greeted with a temper tantrum that seemed more appropriate for someone in his terrible twos. My mind was racing. Was he bipolar? Did he have multiple personality disorder? Is this how it all started with Ted Bundy?
He screamed like a man possessed, right there on the street, ranting and raving about how he had taken me out to dinner three times and I had never even offered to pay. This, of course, was wrong, meaning he was completely delusional. More importantly, he was terrifying. He was a full foot taller than me and was screaming as if he was about to cut my throat right there in front of all of Chelsea.
(This is how scary he was)
I started to plan the quickest possible escape from what felt like certain doom. He kept yelling, moving on to the fact that I was “expensive” and “high maintenance.” Then, mercifully, he left me on the corner, but only after his unforgettable parting words: “This is why you are beautiful, almost thirty, and ALONE!”
I guess I couldn’t have expected him to put me in a cab to make sure I got home safely given how “high maintenance” I am. I couldn’t fathom what had just happened. Then I remembered he was from Jersey. What was my rule about dating guys from the “outer limits”? I made that rule for a reason: because they’re WEIRD!
I headed to the subway, a little dazed and confused, but also relieved that the whole ugly scene was behind me. I bummed a cigarette from a guy standing outside the train to calm my nerves and wound up telling him the whole story of my verbal assault and almost battery at the hands of an unhinged giant from Jersey.
As if to prove chivalry isn’t entirely dead, cigarette guy invited me to his party! Instead of going home and crying in my vodka and soda (again), I met a great guy, went to a party, and had a blast.
What’s the moral of this story? For me, it is to squash that part of me that wants to give guys (that appear good on paper and have the pictures to match) the benefit of the doubt, and to take heed to red flags early on.
After all, they say Ted Bundy was hot, too.