It seems that my recent experience as an online creeper compounded with the success of MTV’s hit show Catfish, along with a dream I recently had about the Craigslist Killer, has all resulted in my new generalized distrust of the entire online dating community at large.
For example, I had a date with a very attractive, somewhat older man scheduled for Sunday night, but ended up using “he could be a psychopath with a peeing fetish who wants to maim me” as an excuse to cancel our plans so I could stay home and eat Chinese food while live-tweeting the Oscars. (It was so worth it, P.S.)
We rescheduled for Friday, so you can imagine my astonishment on Tuesday morning when he texted me to see if I was free for a weekday glass of wine after work. Caught off guard and still a little hypnotized by his hot profile picture, I agreed.
Then I got to work and started over-analyzing the whole situation in three separate conversations with my work-wives Jenny, Lola, and Mila. (If you haven’t been following me for too long, allow me to explain: I’m a polygamist in my professional life.)
Here’s a composite, abridged version of all three discussions:
- Nic: Why did he suddenly change from Friday to Tuesday? Is this what murderers do?!
- Jenny: I mean… I don’t know. His picture seems like it could maybe be photoshopped, and that makes me not trust him.
- Nic: You’re right. I’M HIS PREY.
- Lola: Where’s this guy from originally?
- Nic: Canada.
- Lola: DON’T DO IT!
- Nic: If tonight ends in tragedy and later becomes a Lifetime move, please tell me you’ll see to it that they cast a skinny actor to play me. He doesn’t even have to be that famous – I think it could actually be an exciting role for a young up-and-comer — you know? Someone with raw talent. But if it comes down to making a choice between raw talent and physical fitness, please go with the in-shape one.
- Mila: John Krasinski will of course play you. Who will play me?
- Nic: Wow, you’re so right. And oh yeah, you! You are totally a part of the arch of this story, since I first told you about this guy last night at the Solange concert.
- Mila: …
- Nic: Okay, so Solange will make an appearance in the film as herself. And you… Mila Kunis! Yes, she so beyond Lifetime, but she’ll be so drawn to this story that she won’t be able to say no.
So. I proceeded to Google the crap out of the limited information I had on this guy (first name, hometown, current city) and found pretty much nothing — except for a profile from some creepy looking dude on Meetup.com that had all of the same characteristics as my guy but was NOT the man from the photos. This one was scary looking and had a profile blurb that said, “I’m dissatisfied enough with real life to occasionally escape to different dimensions.”
Oh. My. God – I KNOW!
I became instantly convinced that this dude was actually the guy I was talking to — because, I mean, same name, same cities, AND essentially admitting that he enjoys “playing pretend” — it was too obvious. I quickly realized that I was the target of a murderous scheme but also decided that I was too curious about the whole thing to actually cancel yet another date with him. (Plus there were no epic award shows this time to incentivize me. I mean, I guess survival would be reason enough for most people, but I apparently need to reevaluate my priorities.)
So then I thought to myself, Maybe I should have a co-worker film me engaging in conversation with someone right now so that they could later send the video to Krasinski and he could use it as “character research,” but decided against it because I figured that I was too out of sorts in the moment to really portray my natural self on camera.
So instead I spent the rest of the day answering my date’s texts in a very wary, treading-carefully-because-I’m-talking-to-a-predator kind of way, and decided that when he showed up for the date, I’d do my best to feign shock that he isn’t the guy in his pictures and then dramatically barrel out of the bar to hail a cab and have it drive me forty miles into New York and back before taking me to my real home.
And then, a few hours later, the evening finally rolled around. And I went on the date, and – thank God – I did not have to do any of the above. Because he actually was who he said he was and we hit it off and I had a fantastic time, and he wasn’t the crazy one after all — I was.
Because, of course.