After making eyes for weeks at Chipotle, boy and I exchange names to meet for our first date. We go to a whisky bar where he tells me ten minutes in that it’s “really sexy” I drink whisky as a nightcap as an early 20-something.
Things continue to improve as he decides to invite me to his apartment to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi which I politely decline. He says it’s fine, and that he’ll talk to me later. To my less-than-bemused discovery, I find he’s now added me on Facebook, Google Chat, and Skype and he proceeds to contact me across all platforms.
“Hey! How was your exam? What are you up to?” I ignore his text.
*GChat ping* “Hey! Did your exam go okay? Are you done with class.” Still not going to answer because I’m in class.
*Facebook ping* “Are you okay? Was your exam hard? It’s night time now so I’m guessing you’re done with class.” Dude, I’m just not into talking that much please take a hint.
Finally, *Skype call request* “Is your phone not working? I tried Facebooking you too, but I guess you’re busy so I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
I decide I’m giving this dude a hard time since I took a long time off from dating. We meet at another restaurant where he proceeds to ask what I would like for my birthday.
“If I accept a gift for my birthday, they’re shoes. Expensive shoes. At least $300 a pair.” He laughs, creepily mentioning my upcoming birthday (how did he find it?!) and fishes for ideas.
After leaving he decides to invite me to his friends’ Thanksgiving, whom he only sees once a year. I decline.
By now I’m not sure what is wrong with me because I’m now giving this guy a third shot. During the date he proceeds to showcase his unwavering devotion (I do not use this term lightly) to me, to which I tell him I’m not looking to date and that he’s a nice guy, but nah.
Instead of letting it go, I get a phone call a week later. On my birthday.
“Hey! I know it’s been awhile, but I have a gift for your birthday.” I try not to react violently and tell him he shouldn’t have done that.
“Hahahahahahahaha it’s okay! I already made it so can I bring it to you?” No, I want to say, but curiosity betrays my cold response so I make him meet me in my university’s library staircase.
DATE I PONDER RESTRAINING ORDER / REALIZE HE LOVES ME / WHATEVER:
As he hands a package over, I tell him he shouldn’t have made me a gift and that I’ll only accept it as his friend. He begins fidgeting and my armpits are now sweating profusely because I have no idea what terror I’m about to find.
I slowly open the package and find a plaque of wood with a woman carved into against Nujabes’ album art for Metaphorical Music (which is one of my favorite albums of all time and he researched to find), and with words of random things on the bottom half of it like LOTR, Music, Fashion, and Baking.
“What is this?” I ask him. He tells me it’s me. It’s a photo of me he found on Facebook and carved it into a plaque.
Stunned into complete silence, I regain composure and tell him I can’t see him again until after the new year. Then I remove him from all social media accounts and block him.
Too soon, man. Too soon.