I Can’t Be With You…
If you know me even the smallest bit about me, you probably know that I have a very strong weird magnet. A magnetar level weird magnet.
Know why I know what a magnetar is? Did you guess so that I could make life to magnet comparisons accurately? Because that’s the answer.
I swear to jeebus, I dress normal and I act normal while I’m out and wandering on my own. I don’t think I’m ever really doing anything to warrant someone metaphorically approaching me with a white van and being all like “Do you want some candy, mmmmmm?!” but in place of candy, they’re like “Do you want some of this crazy, mmmmm?!”
NO, NO I DON’T WANT YOUR CRAZY. HARD PASS. FULL STOP. NEIN. NILCH. NO.
That never works. I’m just super approachable and crazyable, apparently.
SO. I had plans to do karaoke with my friends one Saturday in the summer and I decide to walk there from my home because it’s a really nice day out and I spend a lot of time on my bum during the week and I just happen to also like walking.
I’m walking now as I type this, so please let me know if I’m about to walk into a pole. Or a crazy person…
There’s this nice field by University of Toronto that has some steps to sit on. I was way ahead of schedule and no one was around so I decided to take a seat and just people watch/read for a bit. Ok, this is a lie. I INTENDED to do those things but instead I was trolling through Tinder, ironically. I mean, I wasn’t ironically on Tinder, it’s just ironic given the following circumstances. OK MOVING ON…
I’m sitting there minding my own business and this guy walks up to me and asks me if he can sit with me and chat for a while. He’s pretty cute and unlike most guys, he has actually asked my permission to engage with me so I think to myself that there are worse things in the world than talking to a cute stranger who was polite enough to respect my boundaries.
He sits. We talk.
Ali is his name and he tells me that he’s just left an event at the school (U of T). He tells me that it was a meetup for Persian students in the city and they had all gotten together for a movie. I ask Ali what movie they were watching to which he tells me that he doesn’t remember anything about it except for the fact that it was Italian.
Ok. Good memory… check. But whatever, that’s trivial so we start talking about movies and he very quickly shuts me down on this subject and tells me that he doesn’t like movies.
WHAT. How can you not like movies? That’s a super general thing to hate. That’s like not liking music or JOY or something. Not to be dramatic. But really…
He’s like “Oh, I guess you must like movies then?” YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I DO, ALI. I’m not a goddamn monster.
Still, aside from Ali’s taste in hobbies (he’ likes exercise and stuff, ew), he’s not completely awful. I continue to chat with him, albeit awkwardly.
The conversation gets pretty boring and cliché for a hot sec so flash forward to 5-minutes later.
Out of nowhere, Ali changes the subject and asks, “Are you religious at all? Christian? Jewish? Muslim?” and I’m like “Oh boy… is he about to Jehovah’s Witness me here or what?” and very sceptically I answer “I’m technically Catholic but only because my parents wanted me to go to Catholic school. They’re not religious and I’m not a practicing Catholic…”
Ali’s face saddens noticeably and deeply. I’m straight up so confused about this and just life in general but that’s a completely different can of worms. He looks into my eyes (my life is basically a bad Lifetime drama or sitcom) and says “I’m so sorry Stephanie, but I can’t be your boyfriend…”
I can’t even say anything because I’m so shocked and confused.
Where is this coming from? Were we in love? Did I miss something? Does he think I’m someone else also conveniently named Stephanie? Can’t be… he definitely introduced himself to me so he definitely knows we’ve never met before. Ok. Cool. What the hell.
I don’t know why at this point I’m playing this chill and not being all “Um WHAT?!” but I’m playing it chill. I’m the cool chill girlfriend (said no one about me ever).
“Oh?” is all I really manage to muster because baffled but again, I’m not freaking out so there’s that. Ali continues on, “It’s just my religion. I need someone who is religious also… I don’t understand this aspect of my faith but it is the way it is.” I’m nodding along like I know what’s happening. I still don’t.
“You’re great, Stephanie. I want you to know that. I shouldn’t have even said that it was because of my religion but I felt you should know the truth. I hope we can still be friends.” I’m sorry, what’s your last name? Who are you again?
“I hope we can sit here and chat a while longer until you have to meet your friends for karaoke…” to which I REALLY don’t have any answer to other than “Well actually it IS that time and I DO need to go, so this has been great and I, uh, hope you have a nice life…”
In reality, I probably didn’t say something nearly as graceful as this. I know I definitely said the part pre-uh, but the rest? Well, I once high-fived someone after a date and lunged away and on another occasion had such an incredibly awkward moment that a homeless person for one brief second thought my life was worse than his and laughed at me. SO, the jury is out on how graceful my exit really was but I want to believe it was ballerina level DOPE.
I wish I could say that this is the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me. I really wish that. The sad thing is is that it’s barely the weirdest thing to happen to me that WEEK. That being said, it’s definitely the first time I met a complete stranger, apparently immediately became his girlfriend and was subsequently dumped 15ish minutes later.
Welcome to my world.