I met F at a bar, while drunk, standing on a table, so it’s probably a huge surprise to everyone that our first date was not super romantic, traditional, or normal by any standards. As instructed, he called me on Thursday afternoon, five days after I met him. I was sitting in my bedroom at my Piazza Duomo apartment when my phone rang. I rocked in a rocking chair, stared at the ceiling and let my feet molest the dresser. When I answered I had almost forgotten that I’d given my number to a complete stranger because it all happened while I was self inflicting brain damage. “Hello. This is-a Francesco, I do not know-a if-a you remember me but-a you told-a me to call-a you?” I panicked and shouted, “I need to call you back!” I think he said “okay” but it’s entirely possible that I just hung up on him.
I called a friend who was with me that night to ask if the dude I’d given my number to was ugly, creepy, or seemed homocidal. “He was cute. He seemed normal to me,” he said, “you don’t remember him?” I guess I kind of did. I vaguely remembered how he looked but it was more of a generic idea. I knew that he looked italian. I’m not big on blind dates or stranger-danger dates but I was curious and it seemed safe-ish so I decided to give it a go and called him back. “Hi. It’s me. So, uhm, yeah, we can go out. I live in Piazza Duomo. Do you want to meet me in a wine bar downstairs from my apartment?” Thinking back, he probably thought that I picked a place close to my house so I could make sweet love to him. In reality I just figured it was the safest place for me if he got all rapey or stabby. If shit got weird my roommate was just upstairs and she’d probably hear me screaming or throwing things. Anyway, he agreed to meet there so I hung up and spent the rest of the day putting little or no effort into our date.
Something weird had happened to me during that year. I’d never wanted to get married but I had also completely given up on the prospect of ever dating someone that I wouldn’t hate within a few months. It seemed pointless to even try. Everyone bugged the shit out of me. Once I went on a date where a guy wore a white tracksuit and all I could think the whole time was how ashamed he should be for being born. I don’t really believe in horoscopes, but I do like to blame my nit-picky, overly critical, irritating personality on the Zodiac. I’m not an asshole, I’m a Virgo, I cannot help to judge ones outfit or soul. The downside to quickly disliking men is the lack of decent sex. I’m kind of a hyper sexual person, yet, I do not do the one-night-stand thing. I’ve never done it. Can’t. It’s not that I’m morally against it because that would require morals, it’s just that I am not attracted to men quickly enough to want to sleep with them. If I see a hot guy my vagina is like, “brain, what do you think?” and my brain is all, “he’s probably a fucking idiot or he thinks I want him,” both which make me want to gag. Things have to build to a certain point before I’m interested because I’m a weirdo personality really is everything. I’ve never found a man to be so attractive that my panties just dropped. However, a sweet man who likes the same books as me, that gets me, that’s hot. You would think that “friends with benefits” would be a solution to this but I also have an issue with sleeping with friends. Once someone hits the friend zone they are trapped there until the end of time. They become sexless, weird brotherly creatures who I want to lecture and punch in the arm. The last thing I want to see or think about is their funny little elephant trunk. This seems like a digression but it somehow relates to my date with F. I think. Or maybe it doesn’t.
Around seven p.m. I got ready for our date which consisted of me pulling on black snakeskin leggings, black boots, a black sweater, not brushing my hair, and throwing on five minutes of makeup while dancing to the Yeah,Yeah,Yeahs. At seven-thirty my roommate walked me downstairs to the teeny-tiny, dark, restaurant next door and waited with me until he showed up just in case he was a serial killer (because we would totally be able to tell by his appearance). He was late so I drank wine without him and chatted with my roommate about our thesis projects (hint: Mine had the word “vagina” in it.). About ten minutes later F strolled in. He was wearing jeans and a purple hoodie. I thought, “Oh thank god he’s hot,” as he shyly made his way over to me and sat down at my table. My roommate left, pausing at the door to give me a thumbs up. Since I’d given up on finding a dude that I didn’t want to punch to death I wasn’t nervous at all. Frankly, I just wanted to find out how bad he sucked as quickly as possible so I could go out with my friends. He ordered wine and I turned to face him.
“So. Francesco, right? Cool. So, do you live with your parents?” I asked. I was pretty sure he’d fail this one because he is Italian. Mamma por vida!
“No. I’ve lived in Florence for five years. I live with roommates.” By “roommates” I later found out that he actually meant, “ex-girlfriend.” Awesome (and babe, since I know you’ll read this, you’re kind of dick for omitting that…).
“Oh. Nice. Do you do your own laundry?” This was important because I’d went on a date (first and LAST) with another Italian guy a few weeks prior who was late because his mother was washing his clothes. He was 40. He did not live at home. I never talked with him again.
“Yes. Who else would do it?” He laughed.
“Do you have a job?”
“I do. I’m an Engineer. I finished my masters degree in the spring. I just started this job a few months ago.” Shit. He’s smart.
“Hmm. What’s your favorite book?”
“The Unbearable Lightness Of Being.” Mother fucker! That’s my favorite book too! sonofabitch!
“Do you believe in fate or soulmates?” I asked because my roommate asked me the exact same question that morning and I found it both interesting and peculiar. It happened to pop into my head.
“Sure. Plato‘s version,” He said.
It was right about then that I shit my pants. That was my exact answer word-for-word. HOLY SHIT! We both washed our own underwear and we both mentioned Plato in reference to fate and soulmates. I was already attracted to him physically but then I started thinking about getting down and dirty with him. I freaked out a little. I realized that I’d possibly just had a date with someone I might actually like and I was totally NOT ready for that level of commitment. So I panicked, and told him that I needed to go to bed, but not in a sexy way, in a weirdly fast, running for my life kind of way.
“I’ll walk you out.” He said.
I paid for our wine before he walked me to my apartment which was about two feet from the entrance of the restaurant.
“Want to go for-a a walk-a?” He asked. I was pretty sure he was just trying to be sneaky.
“No. Can’t. Call me some time if you want to see me again.” I said.
I unlocked my door. Stepped inside. And slammed the door in his face. No shit. What is wrong with me?
But apparently that’s how you seal the deal ladies because he was totally into it! Freak.
I ran upstairs to my roommate and did a weird little epileptic dance.
“How’d it go roomie,” she asked.
“I could marry him. He’s kind of awesome so far.”
Then I went out and got totally shitfaced with my friends.
F calls our first date The Interrogation. He says it was the weirdest date he’s ever been on in his life and he thought that I hated him. The fact that I was so weird is also what made him, in his words, oddly attracted to me.