Pokemon Bro :: Slow Bar

Let’s face it: Life is boring. Most of have mundane routines that include sitting in traffic, watching the clock at work, and anticipating the weekend… when all we actually do on Sunday is binge watch so many episodes of Entourage and reminisce about the sweet, sweet early 2000’s when life was “easier.”

That’s why I love holidays and trends. Holidays punctuate the monotony with unique “once a year!” food and traditions. Trends give people something new to talk about and obsess over, if only for a brief period of time. One of my life goals is having embarrassing photos for my children to look at and say, “Mommy, did people really dress like that?” “Yaaaas, Fam! 2016 was lit.”

Given that you’ve somehow navigated the internet and landed on this humble blog, I’m going to assume you are culturally literate enough to know about the latest trend of Pokemon Go. I don’t play it. I appreciate how it promotes physical activity and making new friends, but I find it irritating. It’s annoying when I’m trying to hang out with my friends and they can’t stop catching goddamn Pokemon.

However, I think it is an important cultural marker that proves how blurred the lines have become between the “cool kids” and the “gamers.” 21 Jump Street (the one with Channing, not Johnny) also highlighted this shift by portraying the popular clique as a diverse group of gamers, gays, and drug enthusiasts. In 2016, coolness is no longer defined. You can like the nerdiest anime, but as long as you do it with passion, it’s cool.

The Pokemon Bro’s profile oozed coolness. His fondness for millennial sarcasm and geeky hobbies is what initially caused me to swipe right… back in February. Yes, this is another Bro whom I had initially dismissed but now, in my mid-20s desperation, have decided to reswipe.

Our initial conversation focused on his unique Instagram – an account dedicated to MS Paint drawings of animals. They were simple, but surprisingly good. I soon discovered that he worked with kids and held a schedule completely opposite of mine. He went into work 15 minutes after I got off. Our weekends were on totally separate days. It was clear that scheduling a date would never pan out… so we mutually faded. We matched a couple more times in March, but never spoke. It became routine.

I saw him in my queue two weeks ago with the same photos and same kitschy Instagram… but with one important change: a new job. I swiped right with the intent on congratulating him (and finding out his new hours) when I realized he had SUPER liked me. Cute.

We started talking and suddenly 5 hours had passed. He was witty, smart, and engaging. Best of all, we now had identical schedules. We continued talking every evening for multiple hours until Wednesday rolled around. The weekend was approaching, but he didn’t seem to be steering conversation in the direction of a date. Fuck it. I asked him out. “So are we going to get a drink together this weekend or what?” He agreed.

I was genuinely excited. He seemed so perfect. We already had inside jokes and he was painstakingly blunt, like me. Even though we had never met, I already felt a deep sense of familiarity.

The Bro Pros
Big mouth! Seriously, the biggest ever
Works with kids and enjoys it
Witty, sarcastic, intelligent sense of humor
Upfront: “I am really excited to meet you”
Parents are doctors!
Followed me on Instagram pre-date. Not into the “caring less” game
Single for awhile, according to social media
(Spoiler: he paid!)

We set up a date for Friday at 4:00pm so we could hit happy hour at Slow Bar. I rearranged my entire Friday. Usually I work out after work, but I had to skip my favorite class and run during lunch to compensate. Typically I would go home and shower before Friday night dates, but I had to wake up early and shower that morning. My routine was turned upside down and I loved it.

It was quittin’ time on Friday and I launched into my ritual of getting ready in the office bathroom and then mixing myself a roadie to drink in the bar parking lot. I still hadn’t heard from him so I texted him at 3:50 (10 minutes before our date!)

 

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Wow. Not only was he trying to reschedule a date AT THE TIME of the date, but he also initially lied about it. I get it! Bonding with coworkers at a new job is crucial. Trust me, I would have understood. So instead of going home and sitting on the couch, I made plans to get drinks with my own coworker. I was upfront! I told him I would be at Slow Bar with my friend, so he could take his time.

The Bar Pros
Excellent location on Grand near Dig a Pony!
Plenty of free street parking!
Immediate attention and friendly service
The cocktails are delicious and the pours are strong
Quirky, retro decor

He sauntered through the door and was… exactly like his photos, which isn’t saying much. Usually men are better looking in real life. His outfit was a little sloppy – just a salmon t-shirt and grey jeans. He had some scruff that wasn’t present in his Tinder photos. Overall, he looked a bit sloppy.

My coworker greeted him and then left. He sat down in her spot at the booth. Almost immediately, the waiter came over and said, “Sorry guys, it’s that time of night when I’m going to have to ask you to sit at the bar if it is only the two of you!”

Okay? I understand there is limited seating, but sitting side-by-side is not ideal for date conversation. Whatever. I smiled and followed him to the bar.

Our conversation was slow to take off. I instantly got the impression that he was high. He was squinting and not as animated as I expected him to be. We had previously talked about animals and how I am not the biggest fan of pets, zoos, etc. He spent the next 45 minutes telling me why I was wrong and regaling me with his most “amazing” animal stories. Bro, I just told you I don’t like animals, I’m not impressed by these stories of you making faces at monkeys!

Finally he got the hint and said, “Okay, no more animal talk!” After that, the date got exponentially better. We talked about our families and politics and art and how he was made fun of in school for his big mouth! It was a great conversation and our mirroring body language proved it.

We were just about to order another round when the same waiter came over and said, “Sorry guys, I know I just asked you to move, but can I switch you to the other end of the bar so these people can sit down?”

We were both a little irritated but didn’t say anything. We really do have the same passive aggressive personality!

The Bar Cons
Obligatory game of Musical Chairs
Have fun walking through the homeless camp outside!
Sticky booths reminded me of childhood at Steak N’ Shake
Middle aged crowd
A little bit too loud for comfortable conversation

Midway through our second drink, I was feeling good. He started talking about how all of his friends are getting married to their high school sweethearts. He said, “I just don’t understand why they want to settle down so young! The world is full of women of all different flavors and I just want to sample them all before picking one!” I must have given him a weird look (probably wondering if he had read my Cookie Monster post) so he quickly corrected, “No! I’m not saying I just wanna fuck everyone, but…. fuck. I’m drunk.”

Not only did he look sloppy, but now he was acting sloppy.

Logically, the next sloppy topic for him to bring up was Tinder. “So, how many times did we match? You’re like my elusive bird. I was so excited when you said you wanted to meet me. I just had to see you in person. Even if I just walked into the bar, saw you, and then left… I would have been satisfied!”

I still don’t know what that means but it creeped me out.

He started asking all of the typical cringey questions like, “So how many Tinder dates have you been on?” When will men learn that no one likes to talk about their failed attempts at dating?!

I was a little put off by his sudden awkwardness, but the memory of our great texting conversation kept me interested. Maybe he was just nervous? He especially redeemed himself when he offered to pay! “I’m paying, this is a proper date!” Swoon.

However, he lost all brownie points when he followed that up with, “So… Do you wanna go back to my place?” I simply replied, “On a first date? No.” He immediately backed off and said, “Okay, no problem! I get it!”

He walked me to my car. The date (and preceding texting conversation) had gone well enough that I thought a kiss was a guarantee. He hugged me and then started to pull away. I pulled him back in and we made out. He seemed surprised and said, “Oh, well… ha! Okay! Have a great night!” Awkward. It wasn’t like the kiss was bad. In fact, it was pretty great. I got in my car feeling like it was a pretty promising date, despite some road bumps.

The Bro Cons
Flip through GQ once in awhile, bro
Who pushes a date back 3 hours?!
In love with animals and children – my two nightmares
Admits he hops from seasonal job to seasonal job
Lives all the way out by 82nd!
Wants to move fast… seriously, so fast (read on…)

I got home and he immediately texted me to apologize about the amount of teeth during the kiss. Huh? Our teeth may have bumped once, but it certainly wasn’t worth apologizing over. I told him not to worry about it. He sent me a meme and said, “This reminded me of you.” I woke up the next morning to a friend request on Facebook and a request on Snapchat. Whoa. Someone’s eager.

I added him on Facebook and… wow.

His posts are garbage.

He posts at least 5 times per day. Mostly sharing un-funny memes and pictures of animals. Occasionally there is a text status of him trying to be witty, but failing. Suddenly his interest in Pokemon Go made sense. He wasn’t one of the cool kids who downloaded it because it was trendy. He downloaded it because Pokemon was his LIFE in the 90’s.

I spent Saturday working out, getting lunch, and doing laundry with my friends. He started incessantly texting me. “What are you doing right now?” and when I took too long to respond, he sent, “Mmmhey!” Sorry I like to give my attention to my friends IRL and not my phone! It was clear he had no other plans than nagging me all day. It’s quite a turn off when a guy doesn’t have a life of his own.

Saturday night, he asked if I wanted to get a drink. I explained I already had plans. On Sunday, I was meal prepping and he asked if I wanted to come over and drink wine. I explained that meal prepping takes a lot of time… and I just saw him 2 days ago. I compromised and we set up a date for Wednesday after work.

I was pretty turned off by his extreme meme Facebook, but I was trying not to let that cloud my judgement. He was decent in person! To make matters worse, my coworkers were shaming me into liking him. They read this blog, so they know about my failed dating life. “You’re never going to meet anyone if you keep saying no to everyone.” They were right. The Pokemon Bro was a good option! He wasn’t playing games and he was nice and funny. I decided I would pursue it and keep an open mind about our second date.

On Monday morning, I saw I had a new snap from the Pokemon Bro. I opened it.

It was a crotch shot. An up-close look at his bulge in khakis. There wasn’t a caption. Nothing was hard. It was just a crotch. What?

I didn’t reply. I thought he might follow it up with something. He never did. A couple hours later, I replied and said, “Not cool.” He sent a selfie of him looking off into the distance. What?!

Finally, I crafted this message…. “I’m not sure how you expected me to respond to that Snapchat, but most women find unsolicited crotch shots as disrespectful.”

He replied… “I was just goofing. Sorry.”

I honestly had no response, so I didn’t reply. We didn’t talk the rest of Monday or most of Tuesday. Honestly, I was relieved.

As I am writing this, it is Tuesday night. I just checked my phone and saw a missed call from him. Ugh. A phone call? Who does that? I sent him a text asking what was up. He said “Sorry, butt dial!” and then asked me about my day. I have a feeling this is becoming a game.

I can only assume our date is still on for tomorrow. We are now navigating strange, post-failed-sexting waters. I’m sure he feels embarrassed and I feel irritated. If he cancels the date, I’ll be relieved. It is such a 180 from my initial feelings for him, but I guess that’s the point of a date. You get to find out if someone is a weirdo. So why did I agree to a second date? I’ve already gambled so much emotional energy on the Pokemon Bro, I’m willing to give him a second chance. You can’t write someone off for one failed sext.

Plus, as they say… you’ve gotta date ’em all!

The Bro: 5/10. So many pros. So many cons. My head says yes. My heart says no.
The Bar: 4/10. Portland has so many better bars with better atmosphere!

(Update! Read about our “second date” here!)

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