The Worst Date I've Ever Been on

He asked me to dirty talk ten minutes after we met

Ten years ago, Tinder wasn’t a thing, but there was Plenty of Fish, which was (then) more for actual dates than for sex. At least, I thought? I don’t know. I was very naive. This was my one out of three online dating experiments before I realized I prefer to have bad choices offline.

Anyway, I was 21, young, fresh out of college.

No, actually, I didn’t even start college at that point, but it felt like a good thing to say. I was 21, young, and freshly been broke as fuck for three years — thank you, Raman Noodles, I have lived off your 20c noodles for at least five years, and I thoroughly enjoyed the fake chicken and fake shrimp flavors you provide.

Anyway (again), I, in constant search of something *anything* fun to do, decided to experiment with online dating for the first time.

Just Because They Look Like Axl Doesn’t Mean They Are Axl

There was this one guy who looked like Axl Rose, really looked like Axl Rose, and my 21-year-old obsessed-with-Guns-N’-Roses-brain came to a conclusion that they’re like the same person, right? His profile said 26 years old. That was like “an adult” to me. I don’t remember what we talked about, but back then, I had this habit to not give a shit about what they say if I like them.

This guy and I agreed to meet in front of this college bar in downtown Toronto that had cheap drinks and good music. This guy, let’s call him Steve, showed up, and he really looked like Axl (the beard phase Axl of 1992 — like anyone but me knows but ok). He looked a little bit (not too much, but a little bit) older than 26.

“Hello Romi,” he greeted me. “So you are from Croatia?”

“Yes,” I said like the wise 21-year old I was.

“I have a fetish on women from the Balkans,” he said

“Oh” — that’s a fuckin weird opener, I thought to myself, but he looks like Axl Rose.

The bartender asked for ID, and for some reason, I was intrigued by his photo. I then noticed the year of birth — 1972. At first, I didn’t even react because I’m fuckin stupid, but after a few minutes, I was like …

“Wait a minute, your profile said 26, that’s not…”

“Yea.” he was calm about this massive age gap he lied about. “I knew you wouldn’t go out with me if I put my real age on there.”

“You’re right about that,” I thought but still continued to have a drink with this liar who has a fetish on women from the Balkans.

I Love Dirty Talk

“My ex-girlfriend, she was Bosnian, the one before her was Serbian, there was one Croatian too.” He listed his exes, and I wondered if he kept them mummified in his basement and what’s my exit strategy here. I had always arranged with a friend for a fake emergency call, but this bar was a bit underground, and my shitty Public Mobile provider had no reception.

“So, what part of Croatia are you from?” He was attached to the country of my birth like an infant to a tit, and I was starting to think maybe I could tell him I’m actually from like Ireland or something so he can chill a bit. He did know a lot about the music from Croatia, so I steered the conversation in that direction and figured one drink, and I’ll “have to go feed my fish” or something.

“Yea, I love that song, did you know-”

“I love dirty talk” — he interrupted my extensive knowledge in the who-was-this-song-written-for category.

“Oh wow, ok” I was stunned.

“Can you do it?” He stopped blinking.

“W-what? Here? Now? — I crossed my arms and leaned back, eyeing the doors to freedom.

“Yea here, now.” He smiled. It’s worse when they smile. “Do it. Say something dirty to me.”

“Bro, we just met. Can we at least like… get to know each other a little bit?”

“Do it in Croatian. I won’t know what you’re saying anyway.” he leaned forward, and I leaned far back into that wooden chair and clenched my beer like it was the last one I’ll ever drink.

“No,” I finally stood up, “I have to go actually, I have to wake up early” I chugged my beer and went to pay. Steve followed me and insisted I dirty talk to him. I ran out the door, and he was next to me.

“What’s the big deal?” He said, “Have you not dirty talked before?” I was broke, but I decided getting a taxi instead of waiting for the subway was such a worthy investment right now, at least for a portion of the trip. I raised my arm to hail a cab with such passion to get the fuck out. I have never been happier to see a middle-aged Indian man in my life. I slammed the door, and he was yelling after me. “So I’ll text you later!”

I blocked his number, deleted the plenty of fish account, and never saw him again, but every now and then, I think of this weird interaction around Axl’s birthday. Later in life, I met another Axl Rose look-alike who was also a little off, that’s when I finally stopped picking men based on “they look like a rock-star” standard and leveled up to “they wear grey sweatpants and are like so rebellious” in my mid-twenties, but that’s a whole new set of weird interactions.

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