by: Todd Andrew Clayton
I’ve been on a lot of first dates. As it happens, everyone has a gay uncle, or brother, or “guy I went to State with, and OMG you two would totally be perfect.” That, and I have a witty profile on OkCupid. Below is a (painfully true) list of 14 reasons I didn’t call some men back, and why I will still be single this Valentine’s Day.
1. He doesn’t really “do” ethnic food. He doesn’t eat tomatoes, either. “It’s a texture thing,” which means squash, zucchini, and watermelon are also out, “but ketchup is totally fine.” So, chicken strips it is, I guess.
2. He winked after telling me he’d be in touch. And not in the endearing, you’re-totally-safe-with-me kind of way. More that classic, open-mouthed, I-swear-Russian-roulette’s-a-fun-game vibe.
3. He watches Naruto. It’s not that I think people who watch anime are weird; I just think people who watch anime are weird.
4. He’s surprised I’m still wearing the jeans from last season. I’m surprised my jeans even have a season.
5. His tattoo says “Warrior.” To be fair, it’s not that he has a tattoo. It’s more the fact that it’s in French, and that he’s “fighting for love,” that makes it hard to take him seriously.
6. He sent me a text after coffee. This would have been an endearing gesture, but then I read it: “Ur really cute lolz.” Yikes. Thx, bro.
7. He listens to Nickleback.
8. He has really nice abs. But I only know because he’s shirtless in four of his seven profile pictures.
9. He giggles when I ask if he’s been following the caucuses. He flirtatiously smiles at the table before he looks at me: “I thought that was private.”
10. He’s “like, kind of afraid of black people.” Which, like, kind of makes him a racist.
11. He mentions that his “f-cking ex-boyfriend couldn’t even pay rent,” before I finish my coffee. Turns out the boyfriend cheated, too. “I mean, what was I supposed to do?” Hide behind your mug, and raise your eyebrows, which is what I do.
12. He laughs when I ask him what kind of books he likes to read. This makes the part of the conversation where I tell him I studied literature in college kind of awkward.
13. He gets flustered when the woman at the counter says they “don’t sell biscuits.” He points in the display, half-laughing, and says, “I’m sorry, I meant the cookie.” He tells me sometimes he forgets the words are different here than they are in England. The thing is, he was only there for two weeks last summer.
14. He doesn’t work. Well, he does, “but it’s complicated.”
Todd Andrew Clayton wishes he were good at soccer. He lives in San Diego & writes at coffee shops & in his living room. Someday, he hopes that he can write & get paid for it. Until then, he’s going to grad school. He likes Thai food & wants to go to Ireland before he dies.