Submitted by Rachel:
Early on in my collegiate career, I found out that public transportation was not the way to meet suitable men.
I was hopping a bus to surprise my friend for her birthday when I was approached by Larry. He wasn’t the best looking of guys, but we ended up chatting and got along on some really controversial things. I was impressed, got his number, and called him a few days later for a date.
He had suggested we meet in Harvard Square and play some pool. I was by no means a pool shark, but it sounded fun and different, so I told him I was game for the idea.
When I got there, though, I got a little lost. It took me quite some time to find him, and when I did, he was carrying a backpack and wearing jeans that were at least 5 sizes too big and a plain white t-shirt that fit him even more loosely – not at all like the clothes I’d seen him in on the bus.
Casting aside my strong negative gut feelings, I asked him which pool hall we were headed to. His response? “Oh, pool? I don’t know any places around here.”
Excuse me? You were the one who... oh nevermind.
I asked him if he knew anywhere he’d like to go, and he suggested that we take a walk. I tried to seem enthused, as I really do like for dates to go well, but as the ten minute walk became half an hour and then an hour and then longer, my interest more than waned. Finally, I suggested finding a place to eat. It was getting late, and I still hadn’t had dinner.
He decided on Chinese, but as we approached the first restaurant we found, he ran up to the hostess to ask if they prepared their food with MSG. They did, and we were out the door. Well, he was out the door, and I was left to keep up with him.
This process was repeated twice more before we finally found a place which would prepare their food without MSG if specifically asked. Too weary to pay attention, I didn’t notice when he forgot to tell the waitress his request. But of course, when the food came around, it was not enough to throw off Larry’s game. After half an hour of searching and three restaurants, the MSG was fine. Right.
Not to be deterred from impressing me, Larry spilled on himself twice, went to the bathroom twice, talked to me about his “prior” drug use, and asked for the check before I had finished my meal, telling me I could just have it wrapped up.
When the check came, being a lady of etiquette, I offered to pay for my half. Larry told me it wasn’t necessary, but if I wanted to pick up the tip that would be nice. No big deal. I shelled out the dough. He asked me if I had an extra dollar, and thinking he was just short, I gave him one. He put it with my already 20% tip. Nice move, Larry.
Feeling more entertained than frustrated at this point, I got on the subway with him to go back to a nice spot he wanted to show me at his school. Larry pulled out the backpack he’d been carrying and asked me, “What’s the most interesting thing you brought with you?” Confused, I replied that I had a compass on my keychain. I supposed that was unusual.
But Larry, not to be one-upped, pulled out a large, heavy-looking sack from his backpack. “Reach in,” he said. Noticing my hesitation, he assured me it was nothing harmful, so I reached and pulled out… a bouncy ball. A customized bouncy ball. This was a sack of about a hundred customized bouncy balls.
He said he liked to throw them around and see if he'd ever encounter them again. Without further ado, he pulled one out and tossed it down the train filled with people. This happened twice more, once as the train doors were closing – just for posterity, I’m sure.
Having just had a packed train staring at me, I was eager to get out of the limelight and agreed to go up to his room while he changed shirts. I knew someone on his dorm room floor and kept the door open, of course, so there really was no risk, but still, I should have been out of there. The finale of our date was not something I should have stuck around for.
Larry’s piece de resistance was a bike ride. Except, instead of the casual merriment reserved for the normals, he had me ride on the pegs of his tricked out wheels as he chose the steepest, most traffic-filled street to careen down as I clutched on to his shoulders for dear life.
At this point I quickly made up my mind that it would be best to leave his company and made up some excuse about my feet hurting.
I left for home, and ate the rest of my Chinese food in peace.
Submitted by Rachel: