Several years ago, I went on a date with a girl who jumped in front of a Mack Truck and asked me to save her. I didn’t. About thirty seconds into her suicide attempt, she realized I wasn’t coming to her rescue (I think I was checking my mail), and threw herself to the curb. It takes a special kind of person for me not to save from oncoming death, and well. She was it. Forty minutes into the date, she told me she had “waking dreams” where she “murdered her mother.” She also mentioned that she made more in her last corporate bonus than I made in the last year (true) and showed up to the date in white New Balance Sneakers (is that what you do with a bonus?) She was immature and arrogant. And besides, it all felt too soon. I like to save my suicide threats until at least a year into the relationship, when it feels both fun and real.
The date, like many other online dates, started off normally enough. We decided to meet for some day drinking at a bar and then see where things headed from there. When she showed up, I noticed that she was already tipsy (and in white sneakers) but I thought nothing of it. We all need a few drinks now and again to remind us we’re not dead on the inside. In fact, when we sat down, I thought she might actually be cute, potentially date-able. I was excited! Then she started to talk.
“I don’t believe in violence against women, but one time I punched my ex-girlfriend in the mouth, because she deserved it.”
“Last night I got so drunk I woke up in bathroom at Chili’s and I had no idea where I was.”
“I own a murphy bed.”
It wasn’t clear to me what bothered me the most (the domestic violence oooor the retractable couch?) but I knew I had to get out of there. Unfortunately, she was one of those conversationalists who prioritize their talking over their listening skills, so I remained seated. Advice to any future daters: if you find yourself talking a lot on a first date, it’s not because your partner is shy or you’re particularly interesting. It’s because you have no known interpersonal skills and don’t deserve another person in your life.
Thankfully, a few hours later she decided she had to go home because she was feeling tired. I knew what that meant (ralph! Ralph all over the bed! All over the house!) and I appreciated the courtesy. We walked outside and hugged for a second, before she decided it was a good idea to leap from my arms and rush into oncoming traffic.
“Hey Heather,” she said, cars whizzing around her, “If you’re such a social worker, why don’t you come and save me?”
I thought about it. She seemed like a nice girl who probably deserved a future. But the the only person who could save her at this point was herself. Traffic was moving fast. A Mack Truck sped up and turned. Everyone honked. She threw herself to the curb. Everything fell silent. She was okay. I was okay. Life would move on. In an hour, I’d be on another date.