The Uncurable Dumbness of Dating
Written by Ciena Leshley
This past Wednesday was the last day I had clean underwear, so I was finally forced to visit the laundromat. I really dislike doing laundry. It’s a time suck and it’s boring. I always wait until I’m forced to go and I’m miserable the entire time. This time, however, I was halfway through an amazing The Last Podcast on the Left’s Albert Fish mini-series, which I was excited to keep listening to. If you don’t know Last Podcast on the Left, I’d recommend. And if you don’t know the serial killer Albert Fish… well, he’s pretty dark to say the least.
As the podcast is reaching an apex of horror, and I’m quietly folding my fresh out of the dryer laundry, a man approaches me. Of course the first part of his soliloquy was an attempt to hook me up with his friend who was sitting across from me, but the second part was a classic rant about how our generation is so shallow when it comes to relationships and how we’re bad at dating. It’s the same old lecture we’ve all heard. “It’s harder to meet people.” “People don’t value commitment anymore.” “Why won’t women love me.” Yada yada yada.
I don’t know if I buy that whole “dating is harder now” schtick. But I do believe that ending a relationship (or hookup, or “thing”) is much easier. There’s even a whole new word that has been invented for just dropping out of someone’s life without a second glance (or text): “ghosting.”
Now, I’ve been ghosted in a lot of really good ways. I had dated a dude for like 8 months and then he … moved to Alabama. Without telling me. BUT, this story I’m about to tell you definitely takes the cake. Let’s all revel in the shit this guy pulled just to get away from me!
The first time we met was at Sophie’s in the East Village. It’s a classic dive bar, serving up pitchers of beer, rounds of pool, and the classic graffiti’d uni-sex bathroom. We drank some and chatted. Our senses of humor were similarly dark and self-deprecating. We got along well. He was definitely skinnier than the dudes I’m used to, and he had like a Chin Beard Lite™, which is definitely not my steez. But hey! It takes everyone some time to find their look, so I let it slide.
After that first date, he invited me over the next friday for a home-cooked meal. Now when I say that I went over to his house, I want to clarify that he lived in Mount Vernon. This wasn’t just me bopping into another borough. I had to take the Metro North to get there! He’s Italian, so he claims he has to make me pizza, it’s in his blood. However, he wasn’t that Italian, cause he didn’t even like onions. The next morning I left early, as I had to be back in Chinatown by 10:30 for work. He packed me some leftover pizza for lunch and even wrote a cute and funny note (“Happy First Day of School!!!”). He walked to me to the train station and then… well I never saw him again.
This would have been fine. We had two nice dates, but it wasn’t serious. However apparently, he felt compelled to not just simply ghost me (never text back) or just tell me he wasn’t feeling it (like an adult). Oh no, this boy created an elaborate excuse to not have to ever see me again.
The Friday following our second date, I texted asking if he wanted to come into the city and hang out. He texted back that he had to work, but if it’s not too late, he’d come through. I said “cool.”
Sunday rolls around and I hadn’t heard from him. I wasn’t upset, more just checking in. So I texted being like, “bummer about Friday, let me know if you’re around this week.” He texts me back a day later. He explained that he was super sorry about Friday, and it was totally his B for not letting me know. He had been feeling really, really ill and didn’t go out at all that weekend. He would like to see me this next week, but he wasn’t sure he would be feeling up to it.
The more we texted about how he was feeling, the more he began to reveal that he was actually concerned; that he felt like this was more than just a typical illness. Different details about his sickness kept coming out of the woodwork, hinting that this was potentially something serious. I, of course, was shocked and also worried. We weren’t dating, nor did we even really know each other, but I still felt for him and had, like, empathy. I told him not to worry and just take care of himself. I told him I was here if he needed me or anything.
Two days later, he posted a photo to instagram of him with his pals. He did not look seriously ill at all. Well, not in the traditional sense; they all looked blackout drunk. After still receiving no word from him after his fatal "sickness," I was inclined to think he had died.
Then the next week he posted an Instagram story of him with a super hot blonde, on vacation together, sharing a glass of wine, and kissing. They are seriously dating now. I texted him, just asking how he was feeling, if he was okay.
I got ghosted by a guy who faked having cancer.
Maybe random guy at laundromat was right. Maybe dating now-a-days is worse.
But still, listen to that podcast. Last Podcast on the Left. It's rly good.