So you want to know how the rest of the date with Aidan went, do you? Yes, I suppose I did leave you hanging there. It was fine, I guess. We took a walk, and then he asked me what my timeline was for the rest of the night. I hedged, leaving myself an out. Well, I'm fairly open, but I do have this awful headache, I said, which was 100% true. But I wanted to see what he proposed. I had been feeling mildly ill all day, but I was also borderline starving, and if he had mentioned anything involving food, I would have accepted. Instead, he proposed his place, and tea. I had a vague feeling I knew what that meant, and that it didn't bode well for food anytime in the near future (and I do have my priorities, after all), and so I said, Well, I really should get home, I've had this headache all day and I'm not really feeling well. We exchanged a short and sweet kiss (or three), and off I went to take my two trains home. I picked up a kébab on the way and finally made it through my front door just in time to avoid a trembling, fainting fit of hunger. (I swear, sometimes I think I have the hunger of a pregnant woman. Also, the bladder of a pregnant woman. Lord help me if I ever actually get pregnant). All in all I'd had a fairly pleasant time, although he wasn't entirely my type, and I didn't find him that attractive, and I wasn't really sure I would want to see him again. But I suppose I might have been persuaded otherwise.
Today he sent me a text message, in French, which I hope you will allow me the liberty of translating for you. It said: How are you?
Fine, I replied. And you?
Fine, he said. Are you preparing your bags?
Er, yes? I replied, meaning that actually, I was not.
You are doing what at the present? he asked.
I sighed. I actually can't stand texting, especially when it's just meaningless chatter. I didn't mind it so much in the U.S. when I was familiar with my phone, but here, with this phone and its unfamiliar buttons, and switching between two languages, only one of which it recognizes as a language...it sort of makes me want to tear my hair out sometimes. But I was already in too deep, and couldn't just stop texting now. I had no choice but to answer. But what to say? I certainly wasn't going to tell him that actually I was getting ready to meet a new guy for dinner in Paris. So instead I told him that I was arranging my room. Which, again, was at least sort of true.
It isn't always arranged? he asked.
Not yet, I said. And gnashed my teeth. (Bah! Meaningless! Pointless! Stop texting me!)
I am a little disorganized, he replied. Can you help me?
Perhaps, I replied, wanting to end this conversation and move on to more important things, namely, mascara application.
Maybe the next time you see me you will... and here I stumbled a little. There is this particular word in the French language that can mean either kiss or fuck, depending on whether it is used as a noun or a verb. So is he asking if I will kiss him, or if I will fuck him, I wondered? He's an American too, so maybe he is as unclear on it as I am. Or is he playing on the element of confusion? I again replied noncomitally, perhaps, hoping to end the conversation, and set off to apply my eye makeup. Only...it bothered me. I looked it up on wordreference.com, just to make sure. Yup, he definitely asked me if I would fuck him. Except, he spelled it wrong. So actually, he asked me if I would...lower him? That didn't make much sense, I decided. And I had already kissed him at the end of our date. I thought back to his Okcupid profile and remembered how one of the things he claims he can't live without is "a lover." So is that it, then? I thought. Is he taking applications for a new lover, now? What did I sort of just half agree to do??? My annoyance grew steadily as my phone continued beeping.
Well, I guess I'll just have to wait, he said, in English this time. I didn't reply.
Won't I? he persisted. I didn't answer. My phone beeped again.
Yup...he replied, in answer to his own question.
He sent me one more message suggesting that I pick up some Marseillaise soap during my vacation down there (I'm leaving tomorrow), and then finally, that was it.
If French men are aggressive, I decided, at least they are not gun-jumping, presumptuous twerps who use language as a coy disguise for reprehensible behavior. And you know, maybe in other circumstances I might have ended up sleeping with him. Who knows? But this guy needs to know that if he has any hopes of going to bed with a woman, tea is not going to get her there. Maybe spring for dinner first, is all I'm saying. And text messaging as a seduction technique is certainly not winning anyone any points.
One week into the great French Online Dating Experiment, and I'm oh for three. It's funny how, though it may take place on the Champs-Elysées, or in a charming café, or on the banks of the Seine, a bad date is still a bad date, no matter where you are.