I am really starting to resent the game of dating. I used to think it was fun! You go on a date and see if you enjoyed yourself. If so, do it again. If not, don’t. Then the game leveled up with the invention of the Fade. Everyone knows what it is – a classic way to avoid the dreaded “Sorry, I’m not interested on going on a second date!” conversation. You just take longer to respond to each text message until, eventually, you never do. It’s slow. It’s gentle. But for the Fade-ee, it’s fucking annoying.
Mr. Darcy was the last person I thought would ever execute a Fade. I was convinced I had hit the jackpot. I matched with a STUNNING bearded ginger and his bio was witty and charming – just the right level of humor while still implying that he was on Tinder with honorable intentions. The best part? He’s BRITISH. I instantly messaged him some bland quip about New Year’s Eve as I was too hot and bothered to conjure up anything original. It was 10:00pm but he responded immediately and our initial conversation kept me up until midnight. He was so charming as to end it with, “Kate, I hope you don’t think I am horribly rude, but I just arrived back from London for holiday and I’m dreadfully tired. I have so much more I want to ask you! Chat again tomorrow?” It was straightforward and powerful and managed to give my icy abyss of a soul a few butterflies, but most importantly, it was the exact opposite of a Fade.
The Bro Pros
Genuinely engaging and inquisitive
A man in glasses… mmm….
Many shared interests – NPR, Minesweeping drinks, etc.
Intelligent enough to understand my culturally relevent wit
We continued to talk very regularly over the next several days until he asked me to grab a pint with him. I immediately accepted and suggested Bit House Saloon, a cozy place that had just re/opened near Dig a Pony in the inner SE. My coworkers had been talking about it and they’re pretty old (30s) so I felt a little out of the loop. I spent the day at work Googling Mr. Darcy and perusing Yelp to build excitement over Bit House’s cocktails. The most interesting tidbit I found on him was his salary on Glassdoor.com. I don’t want to give too much detail, but lets just say he’s one of those transplants who could buy an entire house with cash. I’m talking six figures and the first number certainly isn’t a 1. Now, I’m not gold digger (I have my own money, thanks), but I’m not naive enough to realize those dollar bills aren’t important. Don’t you dare tell me life isn’t easier when you have someone else to clean the random bits of nastiness in the bathroom.
With all of this climactic build up, I downed my water bottle of wine and walked into Bit House Saloon…
The Bar Pros
Surprisingly decent parking!
Easy to mingle around 11pm – gotta love standing bars.
Nice brick interior and soft mood lighting
Perfect ambient noise level at the bar for conversation
The amazing fire pit out back!
The Bar Cons
Not enough seating! There’s the bar, the restaurant, and 3 “bar” tables.
Weak beer selection
The “daily punch” was basically melted ice with flavor
One stall in the bathroom. Hella line.
Giant chalkboard menu with small font.
I scanned the bar and didn’t see him, but there seemed to be a line forming to a hostess booth. I didn’t know there was a restaurant side (or is it all considered the bar? Still don’t know!) so I was a little caught off guard. As I approached the line, I heard him tell the hostess his name. He was just the same as on Tinder – my height, short beard, glasses. He was wearing a Burton puffy coat so I couldn’t get a read on his body, but I didn’t care. I was there for that accent. We only had one language barrier incident the entire night. As I was scanning the cocktail menu, he said “Walter?” I thought he was talking to the bartender so I ignored it. Then he said it again, “Do you want Walter?” I looked up, confused, and said “What? Who is Walter?” He laughed and gestured to the water. “No, I meant this. I suppose you call it Waahh-derrr.” It was cute and endearing. I was smitten.
We stayed at Bit House until midnight, having moved to the fire pit halfway through our stay. Five hours of conversation is a lot, but it came easy. Only a few things worried me…
The Bro Cons
Admitted he just ended a multi-year relationship a few months ago
I was his first Tinder date since the breakup
He shared an extensive list of medical conditions. Uh, u sick, bro?
ANOTHER team Android. Why?
I remember drunkenly thinking, “He’s not really that cute without the accent.”
BEARD KISSES ARE GROSS
At midnight, we wandered over to Dig a Pony and stood in line. He revealed he had never been before, so I knew the line was worth it. I had only worn a leather jacket so I was shivering for the entire 30 minutes we were outside. I was slightly irritated he didn’t offer me his jacket, but I probably wouldn’t have taken it anyway. We struck up a conversation with the eccentric Nike employee in line behind us. It soon became clear she had recently done a lot of cocaine. She nearly lost her mind when she heard Mr. Darcy’s accent. “ARE YOU FROM LONDON? HOLY SHIT! ARE YOU VISITING? YOU LIVE HERE? OH MY GOD!” I was 6 drinks in at this point so I was pretty tipsy, but I remember being slightly irritated he spent most of our time in line talking to her. Whatever.
Inside Dig, our conversation continued. We ordered 3 more rounds, which I offered to pay and he quickly accepted. $60 later, it was time to go. We spilled out of the bar and onto the sidewalk. Without question, he pulled out his phone and ordered an Uber. “How are you getting home?” he asked. I told him I needed to price compare Uber and Lyft in order to make an informed decision. He laughed and suddenly we were making out on the sidewalk. To be honest, I’m not sure how long for. My memory faded away at that point (does that mean it was so bad I’m electing to repress it?) but I do remember disliking the feeling of his beard against my upper lip. Either 30 seconds or 6 minutes later, his Uber arrived and he said “You okay to wait here alone?” and I replied “Uh, sure…” and his taillights faded in the distance across the Morrison bridge.
I returned home, made some curry seasoned chickpeas as guilt-free drunk binge food, and turned on 30 Rock. A few minutes later, he texted me to ensure I arrived safely. We bantered back and forth for a bit. He told me, “I had such a wonderful night tonight. I really enjoyed myself! Sweet dreams, Kate.” I smiled and fell asleep imagining the faces of our children with duel-citizenship.
Here’s where it gets weird. Let me introduce you to my thought process…
1 day. No text. Cool, whatever, let’s bask in that post-date euphoria.
2 days. No text. Alright, maybe he does that 48 hour rule. Stupid, but it’s working.
3 days. No text. He went camping? Sometimes people lose phones. This is weird.
4 days. No text. FUCK THIS, I’m texting him.
And he replied! With humor! Our conversation was great and not at all like he just ignored me for 4 days when our pre-date communication was nonstop. I was willing to forget and forgive… but then he suddenly stopped responding again. And the cycle repeated 2 more times before it was clear he wasn’t interested.
Still, he hasn’t replied 3 weeks later.
Let’s recap: have a great date, have your partner VERIFY that it was a great date, and then never hear from them again. It was enough to make me feel mentally unstable for an entire week. My confidence plummeted, I was a bitch at work, worst of all – I ate chocolate, I ate Taco Bell, I ate everything in sight except my phone on the 4% chance he might text me back.
Finally, I deleted his number out of annoyance. I’ll never know why he suddenly faded or how many calories are in a smothered beef burrito with onions, but maybe that’s for the better. All I can say now is FUCK YEAH AMERICA! REVOLUTIONARY WAR CHAMPS! 1776 FOREVER!
The Bro: 3/10 – The date was great, the Bro is a spineless Beta.
The Bar: 8/10 – Entering my regular rotation, although the seating arrangement is a bit confusing.