By Lauren Huffman
There's a reason I despise dating. I know I am not alone in this sentiment, but I think my experience is a bit out of the ordinary. You see, I am a terrible picker. You can put me in a room filled with bankers, lawyers, doctors and business owners, and I will undoubtedly find myself attracted to the alcoholic homeless person who accidentally stumbled his way into said room.
I don't know what happened. Throughout my teens and my 20s I had great success with dating. Before I turned 30, my shortest relationship was two years. I am now 33 and have not had a real relationship in three years. And it's because I keep dating idiots. I'm still trying to figure out why. I think it's because I never had those carefree-dumb-dating-years most people experience in college and their early 20s. I was too busy playing house and building trust with my (then current) significant other.
Do I regret letting them go? No, but I now know to always think twice before ending a solid romance.
Below is a tale of one of the bigger losers I have encountered in the past few years. I call this "Illiterate Dick" because, well, you'll see.
"Hey Laura. I have to be honest, I recognize you from the Chicago Storytellers Facebook group. I'm Aaron. It's nice to meet you," The Match.com message read.
First of all my name is Lauren, I thought you said you recognized me, and second of all I am done dating storytellers and/or comedians. They are disasters.
I replied politely. "Hi Aaron. Actually it's Lauren not Laura. Thanks for reaching out."
This chat message was the start of a half-assed romance that lasted the hottest months of 2016.
We met in person at a coffee shop. He was OK, but to be honest I thought he might be gay. He had earrings and a questionable beard and I was sure he was a hipster and didn't realize it.
We chatted, we talked about storytelling. I felt like he was more of a networking contact than a romantic connection. Although, I did find him funny, semi-charming and entertaining. It was not a total loss.
We became Facebook friends and started talking frequently. He posted a picture of himself out one night sitting with my co-worker, Irving. They are good friends—whoa! My worlds are colliding. My storytelling world, my professional world and my dating world are all orbiting around Aaron.
Maybe this could be something?
He asked me to dinner the following week. We went out for sushi and we flirted and we laughed and we took turns sharing insights into each other's lives.
He told me about his sister and her two kids and his special relationship with his niece. He casually mentioned his alcoholic past and how he no longer drinks. He said he spent many years wasted and just quit cold turkey one day. He walked me home. And we sat on the ledge outside my apartment building. And we kissed. And we kissed some more. We made out for a good hour. At one point a homeless guy came up to us, gave us high fives and started singing Love is in the Air.
OK, I guess I liked him. We had the same sense of humor and we had fun together. I decided to give it a chance. He texted me everyday and booked plans well in advance. Could it be? Did I find the anomaly in the sea of non-commital and non-plan-making comedians and storytellers?
We started to grow closer and we became intimate. Well, we tried. Turns out he can't get it up.
His doc thinks it's an emotional problem but Aaron doesn't want to figure out why. So he takes Cialis. It gives him headaches so he only takes it before he knows he's for sure going to get laid.
Hmmm. Dry alcoholic with emotional problems disabling his physical functions. Or, perhaps his flaccid penis is due to him actually being gay. I still wasn't sold on his sexual orientation. So, of course, I carried on to see where it could go.
He had to go out of town for work. And I started to feel like things faded. But, he texted me everyday he was gone. We talked about getting together when he got back. And then, the texts stopped.
I texted him a few days later. Is everything OK? He replied back telling me that we bring out the worst in each other and he just wanted to stay friends. In so many words I said thanks but no thanks, take care.
The next day at work I was telling my co-worker how I was dumped via text message. And how the dumper coincidentally knows Irving from the planning department which is annoying because I have to see him everyday and I know he knows.
She stared at me blankly and said "Is his name Aaron?"
"He did the same thing to me in February." My co-worker continued.
"What?" I replied, dumbfounded.
"He can't drink or get it up. And he doesn't vote. He's kind of a lunatic."
Yup, same guy. So this is just what he does.Good thing it's over.
Months later I was telling my friend Nora, from a completely different walk of life, about this coincidence.
"Wait. Is his name Aaron?" Nora asked.
"He did the same thing to me in 2015. Did you know he has a pseudonym blog where he writes about girls?" Nora inquired.
"No. But I do now." I said.
I have seen Aaron around and have ignored the crap out of him. I could not care less about his well being. But I secretly enjoy knowing these things about him so I can use them if and when the time is right. Like in an article for Literate Ape.