• Wed, Dec 14 2011

Dating Hijinks: The Phone Number Collector

On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page. 

I had known “J” in college. His group of friends sort of ran with my group of friends, but he and I never really hung out. I knew that he had dated a few people within the two circles, but having established himself as a heartbreaker freshman year, his “relationships” never went past a few weeks or so.

When I moved to New York City, J was already here. He was trying to make it as, well, I’m not sure! Something to do with art or print-making. Frankly, I have no clue what it was he was trying to do. Once he heard I was now in town, he tracked me down via email and suggested we go out, because he had always thought I was “hot.” I’d like to stress those were his words, not mine.

We met at a bar in Williamsburg where he was living at the time, and played that game you play with people you haven’t seen since college, the one where you ask and answer where so-and-so ended up and who was now married and who wasn’t. I had managed to lose track of a lot of people over the years, and unfortunately for me, he had not. It was two hours of our college’s graduating class’ current placement in the world, and had it not been for the small bowl of extra salty popcorn on the bar, I probably would have fallen asleep.

Halfway into our evening, my friend Mallory popped into the bar to meet some co-workers. She was my first friend in New York who wasn’t in any way connected to my past.

I introduced this friend, to J and he immediately lit up. Instead of being boring and going over the trivial shit that he had the first two hours of our date, he went into funny and engaging mode. I was delightfully surprised at this side of his personality. After she joined her co-workers on the other side of the bar about 20 minutes later, J proceeded to probe me for details about Mallory. Was she single? How did I know her? Did she know so-and-so? Where was she from? What sort of music did she like?

I had know the gal for less than a year, and it’s not as though the few times we hung out, I was able to memorize every minute aspect of her life. However, I answered his questions, and agreed that yes, she’s “super cool and great.” Because she is.

Our conversation then turned back to our college days, and when 2am rolled around, I told him it was time for me to go home. He walked me to the L train, pinned me to the wall outside, and kissed me the way they only do in the movies. In that moment, I realized why so many girls had briefly dated him in college: the fella was really aggressive in a good way. I decided in that moment that despite his lack of interesting conversation skills, I would be seeing him again.

We said goodbye, but not before agreeing to hang out a few nights later. J also told me he’d call me the following day… and he did.

But, true to J’s reputation, he didn’t just tell me what a great time he had with me during that phone call and how he was excited to see me during our upcoming scheduled second date. No. J also wanted Mallory’s number so he could call her; not only that, but he asked me if she had said anything about him or inquired about his relationship status.

I was shocked; he wasn’t even subtle. He didn’t even try to hide his wanting of Mallory’s number with a stupid lie like how he wanted to set her up with his brother or his friend or the weird co-worker who sat at the end of the cubicle at his work, the one who laughed to himself incessantly over rubber bands –nothing.

It was both disbelief and utter insult that made me lash out at him and point out that he asking me for her number wasn’t just completely rude, it was sort of hurtful, too. But J didn’t understand. He even said “it’s not like we’re in love, so it’s OK.”

I told him I was in no way going to contribute to his little black book and that it would be best if we never spoke again. I had wanted to slam my phone to make my point, but since cellphones don’t allow for such behavior, I screamed into it instead, then pushed the red ‘hang up’ button.

But the problem with New York City is it’s smaller than it seems, and even when I didn’t see him at gatherings’ of our mutual friends, I was constantly running into him at other places. Had I believed in fate, I would’ve read something into it, but fate never made much sense to me. I finally stopped seeing him around town when he got married and moved out of the city and out west somewhere. And although I never gave him Mallory’s number that night, like a true stalker, he eventually tracked her down–after he was married. Of course, Mallory told him exactly where to go; and from what I hear marriage hasn’t exactly changed him.

Perhaps it’s time you have your own adventure in the dating world. Why not try TheGloss dating page and see who’s out there. 

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