The following is a true account (although I admit some details are fuzzy in my memory) of the strangest romantic entanglement of my life.
I was on my way to see the very nice man I was casually seeing (still am, actually) who lived about a 45 minute train ride away. He, to this day, is not my boyfriend and I don’t wish to categorize him as such. We get together every 3-4 weeks for movies, take-out and sex. It’s a beautiful arrangement actually.
This was early in our “relationship,” so of course I was still getting all dolled up to go see him. Full makeup, big hair, heels, sexy underthings, and LOTS of confidence. Now I just waddle over there in stretchy pants, glasses and a big ol’ messy bun. I still get what I want, so why bother with the effort? Anyway, that’s a conversation for another day.
So I board the train, clickity clacking along in my heels, relishing in the fact that I can feel every dude on the train looking at me. I LOOKED HOT, YOU GUYS (as I’m saying that, I feel like my mother when she digs out old photos of herself in her early twenties).
A few stops later, I am completely distracted by this tall, dark and very handsome gentleman who boards the train. He walks by on his way to a seat and makes eye contact. I flush and look away. Of course he sits right beside the door, and continues to glance my way. I’m noticing him noticing me noticing him noticing me (and so on), and I’m enjoying all of it. But really, I’ve had these experiences before. You make “the eyes” at someone, but neither of you actually DOES anything. That stuff only happens in movies, right?
The train pulls into the station, and of course as the cocky little bitch I’ve somehow become since boarding this train, I exit through the door next to him and I can feel the butterflies nearly exploding inside my stomach. The fresh air hits me and knocks me to my senses. I just boot it as quickly as possible to the bus stop, with Britney Spears blaring in my ears. Just as I exit the station, the song ends and before another one can begin, I hear someone yelling.
I turn around, and the dude is running after me. RUNNING AFTER ME and trying to get my attention. He reaches me and, out of breath and clearly very nervous, he apologizes profusely and promises he’s “never done this before.”
Totally confused, I just sort of stare at him (continuing to notice how really really cute he is). He says (I am not kidding) “You’re just so beautiful, if I didn’t ask you for your phone number or something I’d regret it.”
ARE YOU DYING? Because I pretty much did. I couldn’t believe it. I even did a quick scan of the area of the inevitable candid camera. As I fumbled around looking for a business card or ANYTHING to give this guy my number (I would have written it on a freaking tampon if it was all I could find), he asked me if I want to get a coffee or something.
OBVIOUSLY I wanted to get a coffee, but the whole reason I was looking so damn amazing was because I was actually on my way to a date. So I had to brush him off (I felt awful) and just give him my number.
He texted me pretty much immediately and continued apologizing. I think he was concerned he had creeped me out. BITCH PLEASE! Every girl wants a guy to be so overcome with her beauty that he just HAS to chase after her. I was completely elated, and dying to go on a date with this guy.
Over the next two weeks or so, we texted fairly regularly. It was flirty and fun, but he wasn’t asking me out and it was driving me crazy. Finally, I asked him to come to my place for a bottle of wine and he accepted. I wouldn’t normally invite a dude over on a first date, but I was super broke and didn’t want to wait any longer for this movielike romance to continue.
When he arrived at my apartment that night, I could tell he was really nervous. And really, really neurotic. But somehow I found it to be totally attractive and kind of adorable. It was sort of like being on a date with Woody Allen or something. It was bizarre, but it made me want more.
He took notice of all the eclectic knick-knacks I have lying around. He asked me specific questions about nearly every book on my bookshelves. He was really funny, and I was kind of into how interested in what I was interested in he seemed to be.
At one point, he got up and asked if he could look around. I didn’t think anything of it and told him to go ahead. He poked his head into the bathroom, and then wandered around the corner into my bedroom. A few moments later I heard him exclaim “OH MY GOD.”
I should probably stop here to tell you that until my 2013 resolutions came along (which may or may not be the result of this very story) I had, at all times, a gigantic pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom.
I’m not talking like a week or two or even three worth of laundry. I’m saying probably ¾ of my wardrobe. I was never really in the mood to deal with it, so when I had a dude over I would just throw a blanket over it. It was never a problem because by the time you’re getting a guy into your bedroom, HE DOES NOT CARE. Is he going to ask about the pile, or is he going to have sex?
As I hear him, my heart leaps into my throat as I leap from the couch and run into my bedroom. There he is, the tall, dark, handsome man standing with the blanket in his hands staring at the shamefully massive pile of my dirty panties, bras and sweatpants of many varieties.
I was so embarrassed; I didn’t even care about being flirty right anymore. I was super ashamed, which was coming off as super pissed.
I yanked the blanket from his hands and questioned him immediately. What did he think he was doing? WHY would he look under the blanket?
But… I said he could look around! That was his defence. I was so embarrassed I literally thought I was going to die. I know people say that a lot, but this is the first time I genuinely felt that way. Like my legs were going to give out and I’d fall into the laundry pile. Dead.
What gave me hope was the fact that he just sort of playfully teased me about it, and we were able to move on (or so I thought). We returned to the couch, he laughed at my expense (and I took it, as I figured it was all I could do) and we drank some more wine. Then he finally made the move.
Seriously, nothing is better than a good make out session with someone you thought you had blown it with. I was so content and relieved and totally ready to “go all the way” when he just stopped. Cold. He got up and said he had to go.
WHAT? I was completely dumbfounded. I couldn’t even speak at first. I was half topless, and HE HAD TO GO?! He insisted it wasn’t me. No, he wasn’t sick. No, he didn’t have a girlfriend. No, it had nothing to do with the laundry. He just had to go and that was it.
He kissed my hand (I know!), put on his coat and left me standing in my living room, still half topless and frozen from pure shock.
Over the next few weeks, I replayed the scenario in my head and told the story to a few friends (who also laughed at my expense… bitches). It didn’t make sense. He ran after ME. He wanted to go out with ME. He texted ME. He had promised me it wasn’t the laundry. And while I was mad at the way things had gone down, I was still dying to see him again. He was clearly just a master of playing “the game,” because all this ambiguity had me wanting him. BAD.
He did text me a few more times, asking to see me again. I said "no" on the grounds that he had never really given me a good reason as to why he took off. Until that time came, I wasn’t going to see him again. I just have to say I am super proud of my personal strength. He refused to say anything more than he “just had to go” and I refused to see him again.
Until he finally admitted it.
It was the laundry. It freaked him out. He actually said it gave him a panic attack. A PANIC ATTACK. I guess I had always known that the laundry was probably the reason, but reading it in black and white just sucked. The only silver lining is that the issue no longer exists. I had been sufficiently laundry-shamed by this guy to take care of the problem. I guess that’s a good thing? Here at xoJane, in the land of shame-shaming, am I supporting this act of laundry-shaming because it helped me turn things around?
No. I mean, sure it’s nice to have a clean bedroom and clean clothes to wear and BLAH BLAH BLAH… But really, what was the laundry hurting? Okay, well maybe my love-life. I was going to say sex-life, but none of the others seems to mind (WHAT UP!). Since when do dudes care about good housekeeping? I’ve had dudes step over moldy dishes to GET WITH THIS.
And don’t compare this to something à la Carrie Bradshaw PLEASE. As a young woman who likes to write, people think its funny or a good idea to compare to Carrie Bradshaw. But none of this WEIRD-ASS SHIT happens to Carrie! Carrie doesn’t date funky-spunk, face-raper, poops-with-the-door-open, laundry-shamer guy. But I do!
Now please share your best (WORST!) dating stories so I feel better about myself and can maybe skip laundry this weekend.