How This Perfect Nerd Pick-Up Became a First Date Disaster
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single mother in possession of a Batman tattoo must be in want of a geeky partner. Matching cosplays, rings inscribed with “IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE,” cozy conversations on our favorite sci-fi & fantasy authors — I want it all.
This is the back of my car:
I did it for laughs and not because I actually hoped anyone would use it to hit on me, so you can imagine my delight when I walked out to my car one morning and discovered this:
A picture of X-Men’s Rogue and Gambit in a plastic bag. It had the guy’s name and phone number inside and was affixed to my car in electrical tape that didn’t leave a sticky residue for me to clean up. It was gloriously creative and thoughtful; I stood amazed that any man would put so much time and energy into asking out little ol’ me. My heart melted like a T-1000 into a mental hospital floor.
The timing was bad for me to meet someone new as I was busy preparing to move apartments, but I texted him, and he lived across the street from me. He said he had seen me walking to my car plenty of times and had never approached me because he figured I was someone’s hot wife. No, I am just someone’s hot ex-wife, as it turns out. He came over to help me paint my dining room in preparation for my move.
I thought I had won the lottery when I saw him. He was tall and gorgeous. Very friendly (if a little eager), and he won points with me for voting for Gary Johnson in 2012.
And then it began to go downhill like a Ewe Boll production.
Here’s the thing about me: sure, I like nerd stuff. I also like having good credit, paying my bills on-time, and not living paycheck-to-paycheck. I was married to an absolute manchild for 11 years and, in the last three years, was abandoned while pregnant, got my pregnant ass back into the workforce, had a baby, got divorced, finished my master’s degree, and completed a professional certificate at the local community college — in that order. Oh, and just to make it interesting, my older kid is disabled, and my younger kid probably has severe ADHD. Maybe the reason I like sci-fi and fantasy so much is because I’m a fucking machine.
I don’t need rich, but I do need “responsible” and “has it together.”
As such, when Gambit said he would be over just as soon as he paid his rent, I blinked in disbelief. It was July 24th; rent is due by the 3rd. Please tell me you’re paying your August rent early and not your July rent late, I thought. No, he later said that he always pays his rent that late.
During our first meeting, I mentioned that I was moving in two weeks and that I was really happy because I had just been offered the lowest possible security deposit for good credit. This caused Gambit to blurt out that his credit rating is in the 400s, because of course it did. He also mentioned that his apartment was pretty trashed. It was like he was working through a list of “things you never, ever tell a woman on a first date” and trying to prove that you could say every item on that list and still get the girl.
Just before leaving, he accidentally knocked over my Batwoman statue, shattering it in about six places. “Hope that wasn’t expensive!” he said in an unconcerned tone. “It was about $120, so it kind of was…” I said, trailing off in horror. It was pretty much my favorite toy. He assured me he would replace it.
Still, given his excellent pick-up note, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt that this could get better, so I invited him to my graduation ceremony the next day. We went out to eat with friends afterward and one of my friends paid for the dinner, which came to about $70. As we exited the restaurant, Gambit blurted out, “I’m really glad your friend paid for that, because I couldn’t have. I had no dollas.” I tried not to stare in horror at what would possess him to blurt out to the single mom that he wanted to date that he was broke-ass-broke.
The next day he texted me to complain that he was telling all of the other women on OKCupid that he’d met someone and was done with them, and they were giving him grief. Oh God particle, he wants to be exclusive, I thought, astonished at how fast he was trying to move on me. I began gently trying to let him know that I did not think we were a good match without actually using the words, “I listened to a lot of TLC in high school and I don’t want no scrubs.”
Then he sent me this:
A few days later, he texted me to say that he had some of the money he owed me for breaking Batwoman. I said he was welcome to bring it over anytime.
He never came over and I have not heard from him since. Marijuana had just been decriminalized in Illinois the day before, so maybe he took the Batwoman blood money and decided to celebrate.
And I am left with a hole in my heart. A Batwoman-statue-shaped hole in my heart.
— — — — — —