Jack of All Moods

Posted on April 5, 2012


A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

This story is from Dani, a 28-year-old sales rep living in NYC, as told to Raz.

I’m not one to linger when it comes to online dating. If there’s someone I like after a couple of emails, and they don’t ask me out, I pretty much get bored and move on. After all,  you can email someone for weeks and weeks and think they’re your soulmate, but then spend 5 minutes with them and know that they most definitely are not.

One Saturday night, I was too tired and hungover to get off my couch, so I logged on to do a little searching for that special someone. An instant message popped up from a guy who, actually, looked pretty perfect. We chatted for about twenty minutes, and it just kept getting better. Jack was smart (went to a school I’d actually heard of), had lots of friends in the city and cracked a few jokes that I literally laughed out loud at. Like me, he’d had a pretty intense Friday night and was spending a lazy Saturday in. Then he asked, “What if we just met up?”

“Like now?” I asked.

“Yeah, like now.”

Why not? I ran a brush through my hair, fixed my makeup and was off to have a date with destiny. Jack was just as cute in person as online, and greeted me with an excited hug. “So glad you look like your picture!” he joked.  He said he knew a good bar a block away, and our conversation was nonstop as we headed over, chatting about our crazy Friday nights.

We stepped into the bar, and BAM. It was as if a switch had been flipped. His smile was suddenly a deep frown, and he looked lost and confused.

“Should we grab that table?” I tentatively asked, unsure if I should ask him what had changed.

“Whatever.” He didn’t even move.

I lead the way, and we ordered a couple of beers from the waitress. He seemed to have absolutely no interest in continuing our lively conversation. I tried, to no avail, to get him to smile. At one point I even resorted to making funny faces.

Finally, I caved. “What’s up?” I asked. “You don’t seem to be having a good time.”

“No, I’m having a great time,” he said, though he still looked as if he might break into tears at any moment. “It’s just because I’m bipolar.” Then, he excused himself to use the bathroom.

Now my brother’s bipolar, so I’m understanding, but this was getting to be too much. The couple at the table next to us even noticed my pained expression and sympathetically asked, “Bad first date, huh?”

That’s when I knew it had to end. When he came back, I suggested we call it a night, blaming the hangover. He sadly nodded his head in agreement, and started to move towards the door. (Was he walking in slow motion?)

We stepped out onto the street and BAM! Jack was all smiles. I’ve never seen anything like it! He started going on and on about how great he thought I was and how he didn’t want the night to end.

“Let’s get some food!” he announced. Then, I thought, maybe I was going crazy. Had I imagined his mood swing in the bar? After all, no one could possible go from sky high to rock bottom that quickly.

“Alright,” I said. “Let’s do it.”

We found a pizza spot nearby, and it seemed like the old Jack was back. Then, we stepped inside. You guessed it: BAM. My mopey friend had returned. And I was back to funny faces.

As I said, there’s a reason you should meet someone in person before you decide that they are your soul mate. Jack is the personification of that reason.

Posted in: Your Stories