Monday, June 7, 2010

The Good Sport

The Good Sport was a kind, considerate, and some may say traditional sort of gentleman. He believed in opening doors, pulling out chairs, and picking up the tab. It had been a long time since I'd encountered his type and was impressed. Working for a sports radio station he had a good, stable job that he loved. He lived with a roommate in a decent apartment and was more knowledgeable about pop culture than was probably necessary. Unfortunately, I could tell very quickly that he was not my type. Looking back, I realize I should have moved along immediately but during this time in my long and varied dating career I still believed chemistry could develop. In reality, I would waste more time than I should have trying to convince myself to like someone that I was never going to like. The Good Sport is a good example of that.

However, that's not what this story is about. This is a story about what a bad date I can be when I really put my mind to it. The more time I spent with GS, the more he annoyed me. His mannerisms were beyond corny. Sometimes I thought he was playing a part he deemed appealing. Why he would think this pseudo-contemplative, mostly cliched character was appealing was beyond my comprehension. I listened to story after story about his experiences in high school, what a good friend he can be, and how many girls have mistreated him.
It became more than I could stand and on third and final date I decided to start amusing myself. Granted, my antics began after waiting roughly an hour for a table at the busiest upscale, chain Chinese restaurant in town. I was frustrated, starving, and absolutely bored to tears of listening to GS. It all started when I decided to tell a story of my own. It was the tale of how I'd shaved my dog earlier that day (don't worry, I didn't shave him bald, just got most of his long hair off so he wasn't uncomfortable in the summer heat). I spoke to GS for seven to ten full minutes about the process of shaving my dog. What tools I'd used, where I did it, how I got the dog to stand still, how it takes practice to get an even cut and I'm not that practiced. It went on and on and he sat there seemingly listening intently.

It was about that time that I lost all respect for GS. How could he listen to my ramblings and not speak up? Not even try to change the subject? What's worse is he appeared to care. While I mistakenly sat quietly while GS rambled on with his stories I could not say I gave any indication I was interested in what he was saying and I often tried to change the subject. Is it really necessary to share story after story about high school, which was nearly 10 years ago?

My bad behavior did not stop there. Among other things I began negating almost everything he said, playing devil's advocate for scenarios in which I agreed with him or couldn't care less about. I even found a way to work into conversation a statement along the lines of "I wouldn't mind sacrificing the lives of many innocent people in the name of science". It was completely false and meant to garner a shocked response. Instead, he nodded politely and insisted on hearing more.

Eventually, the date ended and he was free. Sadly, he continued to call and text requesting more dates. It was GS that taught me a valuable lesson about breaking things off. Until then I'd often used the "ignore them away" tactic. He was ignore-proof. No amount of unanswered messages or "sorry, I'm busy" excuses would deter him. Eventually, I had gather my moxy and tell him I wasn't interested. His response was life changing--"why didn't you say something sooner?" From then on, I didn't drag anything out. If I was uninterested in a guy he would be the first to know. Don't feel bad for GS about the terrible date I put him through. I had a bit of fun with it and he apparently didn't even notice what a train-wreck it really was since he sought more dates. Either he didn't notice or he was just a really good sport.

XO Jane

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