This summer I took my first vacation in over a year (I know!). I came home refreshed and squarely in the “online/app-dating does not work” camp. About a week later I was back to swiping, convincing myself that this time would be different and I wouldn’t make the same mistakes I had in the past. [Question: Am I actually making mistakes or is it that you can’t really know someone until you meet in person and even then, how well do you know the people you date?]
Enter “looks like Adam Levine,” faux Adam or Fadam if you will. Fadam was smart, able to keep up with the pop culture references and sarcastic jokes I litter my sentences with, and all in all, really fun to be with.
Date one was coffee. Easy, breezy, lots of laughter and well, I did say he looked like Adam Levine right? The only “hmm” moment came when Fadam told he didn’t really love to travel; I would like to see just about everywhere in the world. Not such a big deal, I thought. If this ends up going somewhere, it will just be his quirk, the “oh Fadam” *eye roll.* We made plans for a second date at a wine bar in the West Village.
The Fadam that came to the wine bar was not the Fadam I met for coffee, or rather, not the Fadam I thought I met for coffee. Everything started off well; we were outside, it was a beautiful night, our banter felt really natural- there was an all-around good vibe. As I told Fadam about the trip I’d been on, his distaste for travel resurfaced. He had spent a few days in Northern California for work. It was “the worst.” A few years ago he had a two-week stint in China. “The worst.” Not exactly the reactions one would expect. China, he explained was, “crowded and polluted” but, “listen to what a badass I was.” Nothing good can come after a statement like that. He went on to explain that because the water in China is tainted with lead and he doesn’t want to risk lowering his IQ due to lead poisoning, upon arriving he went to Walmart because it’s an American store to purchase bottles of water for his stay. Did he get just any bottled water? Of course not. He bought Evian because it was the most expensive and thus clearly the safest. Something is off but, as I told myself, we all drink bottled water in foreign countries, though making a point to buy it in an American store and choosing by price to ensure safety is a little much. If only it stopped there.
Fadam then told me that because the water in China is contaminated, you can’t eat the food. No Fadam, that’s not what that means. He disagreed. To make sure he didn’t lose any IQ points, Fadam brought two suitcases to China, one with his things and the other full of pre-packaged food. The guy spent two weeks in China living off of Evian and packaged foods.
His travel hang up was no longer a charming quirk. Surely, I asked, there must be somewhere you like going? As it turns out, there is one thing that he enjoys about travel: Denny’s. That’s right, Denny’s, the fast-food, diner-style chain. If there is a Denny’s at or on the way to his destination, the trip isn’t a total wash. He then proceeded to text me a gif he keeps on his phone of his favorite dish at Denny’s. Check please.
We walked to my apartment—strike that, I was walking home and as far as I was concerned, he was free to peel off anywhere and the sooner he did, the better—making awkward small talk. Stopping at a crosswalk, Fadam turned to me and said, “Can I ask you a question?” I’m pretty much an open book and at this point I was not a lick concerned about what he thought of me. “Since becoming a vegetarian, I really miss fried chicken sandwiches. Would you eat one in front of me?” Plot twist. He quickly went on to explain that there was a list in the current issue of New York Magazine, or maybe it was Time Out New York, of the best chicken sandwiches in NYC and I “could choose from there.” How generous. All I could do was laugh.
Funnily enough I’ve never eaten fried chicken and thanks to Fadam I never will. What little appeal it had to me before, has been totally replaced by an overwhelming sense of ick I feel whenever someone mentions it. The jury is still out on Evian.
Not so anonymously written by @whatleahloves!