Never Let Your Ex-Boyfriend Set You Up

Posted on May 24, 2012


“I have arrived. Let the date begin!”

This story is from Ellie, a 23-year-old graduate student living in Los Angeles, as told to Raz:

I have a really good relationship with my ex—we parted as friends—so when he introduced me to his new roommate, Tony, and suggested we’d hit it off, I trusted that he was a good guy.

Tony and I talked on iChat and a little over the phone. I found out that he planned to become an art teacher and worked part-time at the zoo.  Basically, he seemed like a rare breed—the kind of guy that actually loves art, animals and children. We made plans for our first official date—dinner out and then a movie back at his place.

I drove to his building, arriving on time, and gave him a call to let me up. He told me that he’d be there in a few minutes. 15 minutes later, I was still standing awkwardly outside his building when I spotted him running towards me.

“I’m so sorry,” he panted. “I was watching a movie at a friend’s and had to run back to meet you.” Not only was he late (with an incredibly lame excuse), but he was very, very sweaty.

“Would you mind coming up for a little bit so I can shower and change?” he asked. OK, I wasn’t impressed, but I had already driven there, so I decided to go with it. He offered me his computer while I waited. When I sat down at his desk, his instant messenger was flashing with an open IM conversation. I couldn’t help but look.

The gist of the conversation I read? Tony was bragging to a friend about having two dates that same evening. (Ah, the real reason he was late—and in need of a shower. Ew.)  I thought about sneaking off while he was still cleansing himself, but decided confronting him would be more fun.

When he emerged, I told him what I’d seen. But, oh, Tony was smooth. He made up this elaborate story about how he had just said that to his friend to boost his self-esteem and seem like a stud. Truth: I didn’t buy it, but I was hungry (and it’s not like we were exclusive!).

We drove to the restaurant, picked out by Tony. The walls were covered in taxidermy animals. This didn’t exactly spell romantic.

“Don’t you work in a zoo?” I asked, eying a giant deer head.

“The food’s great!” was his answer.

The food was good (if a little greasy). The conversation was not. He revealed the true reason that he wanted to become an art teacher: to gain access to free art supplies for his portfolio (So much for loving children…). And he said he worked at the zoo only because that’s where he could meet the hottest, not-going-to-be-here-very-long tourists (So much for loving animals…). He also went into detail about his severe financial difficulties. I sensed that he was trying to prepare me for something. Alas, he was. When the bill arrived, he asked, “Do you want to pay for your half?”

How did he know that all I really wanted (after driving for an hour, waiting around forever and discussing his odd life goals all night) was to pay for my own meal? Honestly, I usually offer to pay, especially if the night is going badly, but in this case I felt a little snubbed.

“I don’t mind if you pay,” I said sweetly. But he just looked at me in shock, so I handed over my card. Since I was his only source of a ride, I drove back to his place to drop him off.

“Aren’t you coming up?” he asked.

Was he serious?

“We had plans to watch a movie…” he continued. Damn, he was right. We had planned for that. Confused as to why he was pushing this and unable to come up with an excuse, I parked and we headed upstairs.

As soon as we got up to his apartment, I smelled it. Was that rotting blue cheese? A dead skunk? Turns out it was the silent but deadly farts this guy was letting loose every 5 minutes or so. Perfect.

So let’s recap: he double booked me, was late and sweaty, is not a friend to animals, has no career ambition, can’t take a hint, and smells like year-old eggs. After an entire movie spent contemplating all the ways I disliked him, I was ready to accept defeat.

Posted in: Your Stories