To this day, I’m still not really sure why I agreed to go out with Harvey in the first place.
Harvey and I worked in the same building. I had just broken up with someone and was looking for a distraction so, when Harvey approached me one day and said:
“I just got some free movie passes. Would you like to go with me tomorrow night?”
I said the 6 words that everyone always lives to regret:
“Yeah sure, what could it hurt?”.
I met Harvey the next day after work.
The first thing I noticed was his date attire. He had on super baggy jeans and a massive hoodie that he’d pulled over his head and tightened so that his face was mostly obscured. Apparently I’d agreed to go on a date with the Uni-bomber. When I had met him initially he was wearing a suit. Was this even the same guy?! I looked down at my black pencil skirt, fitted blazer and high heels and all I could think was….
This isn’t going to go well.
I was starving, so I suggested we go to this little Vietnamese restaurant next to the movie theatre. Once we were seated at our table, I looked over my menu and asked him what he was going to order. He sipped on his water and replied,
“Uh, I’m not going to get anything. I’m kind of broke right now so I ate before I came”
“So, you’re just going to watch me eat?”
“Uh, yes I guess so”
“Do you want a coffee or something?”
“Is it going to cost more than two bucks?”
Fearing he’d stare at me while I ate, I ordered him a coffee. As Harvey nursed his coffee, I smiled awkwardly at him in between bites of coconut noodles & BBQ pork. We didn’t have much to say to each other.
To ease the tension, Harvey decided that now was the time to share one of his “freestyle raps/slam poetry pieces” that he had been working on. Because performing bad freestyle raps while eating in a quiet Vietnamese restaurant is surely going to make things less awkward.
The restaurant staff were staring and I was suddenly overcome with the urge to slide under the table. To get out of there as quickly as possible, I grabbed the bill.
I guess that $2 was burning a hole in his pocket because when we arrived at the movie theatre he said to me:
“Do you want some snacks?”
Of course I wanted snacks! If I was going to survive the rest of this date I was going to need some kind of corn syrup sweetened snack or beverage stat! However I was kind of skeptical, can you actually buy anything at a movie theatre concession stand for less than $2?!
When he came back from the snack bar, he was miraculously holding one small popcorn and one small drink with ONE straw. He says to me,
“I thought we could share”
After his dinnertime rap performance I knew there wasn’t going to be a goodnight kiss so I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea of swapping mouth cooties with him over a communal straw. I politely told him not to worry about it and went and bought a second drink for myself.
Although I was craving popcorn, every time I looked over and saw the edge of his grubby hoodie and his long tarantula-like bony fingers digging into the bag, stuffing big handfuls of popcorn into his mouth, I realized the fear of actually bumping hands outweighed my hunger. Instead, I decided to try and concentrate on the movie.
The movie we went to see was appropriately titled “Very Bad Things”.
As we excited the movie theatre, Harvey ran excitedly towards a man standing in the lobby:
“Omg, a guy is giving away free balloons! Would you like a free balloon?!”
(Well, they’re free aren’t they?!)
So, with my balloon that said “Very Bad Things” floating above us, he said:
“We should totally do this again sometime”
When I started to visualize what a second date with him would entail (A trip to Money Mart? Dog Fighting? More freestyle raps?!)
I blurted out:
“NO! I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD!”
Things we can learn from this date:
1) Guys, don’t ask a girl out on a date if you can’t afford to actually go on a date. However, if you’re broke, at least try and hide it from the girl. Don’t let the words “I’m broke” be the first thing you tell her about yourself. Get creative: go for a walk in the park, or the beach, or for dessert. Some of the best dates I’ve had cost little to no money.
2) Performing freestyle raps (for non-ironic reasons), especially if you’re not good at rapping is never a good idea. Sure, this kind of thing may work for guys like Jay-Z. However, Jay-Z can also afford to buy his own coffee.
Some of you may think I am being a bit hard on this guy, but here is the epilogue to this story:
About a year later, I found out through a friend that Harvey (who was in his mid-twenties at the time) liked to invite High School girls to parties, get them drunk, de-virginize them and then dump them a few days later. He’d apparently done this with a couple of different girls from my town. Not only was “One-Straw Harvey” a rapper come cheapskate, he was also a grade-A creep.
His behavior must have eventually caught up with him because three years later I saw him in the grocery store with a much younger girl and four small children who looked just like him. I managed to duck behind a display of soup before he was able to see me.
Not that things ever would have progressed beyond that painful first date but I still consider this a major bullet dodged.
What’s the worst first date you’ve been on?