Updated: February 20, 2013 11:31AM
I’ve often said that anyone who’s dating needs to have a sense of humor. I’d like to amend that. Anyone who’s dating needs to have a sense of humor and (where it’s legal) pepper spray.
Laura has been Internet dating for the past nine years, ever since her divorce. “I have so many crazy stories. I could give Carrie Bradshaw a run for her money,” she says. “But this is the date that could rattle even the most experienced daters.”
Laurel met William at an upscale restaurant near the train tracks. The first thing she noticed was that he didn’t look anything like his picture. Not only was he much older, but his hair was long and dirty, and his clothes were baggy and worn.
“But I wanted to be nice, so I sat down.”
The second thing she noticed was that everything he said was in rhyme. “Do you like fish? They serve it on a dish.” That kind of thing. And he stared.
The next thing that caught her eye was the duffle bag he kept next to him. “Like in the movie ‘Seven’ with Brad Pitt. I kept wondering, ‘What’s in the bag? Knives? A severed head? Assorted body parts?’ ”
At one point, William went to the washroom and left the bag on the floor. “Was this a test? I wanted to look, but I knew he’d walk out the minute I did. The smart thing would have been to get up and leave. But for some reason I didn’t want to come across as rude to a possible serial killer.”
After a respectable amount of time had elapsed, Laurel said she had to leave.
William said he needed a ride home. He said he lived near her.
“How did he know where I lived? I never told him. He told me he’s renting a room by me. Who rents a room? When did he move by me? According to his profile, he didn’t live anywhere near me. He said he got to the restaurant on the train. The train from my town doesn’t go anywhere near the restaurant.
“It was just getting worse and worse. He was trying to talk me into driving him by being charming, and the whole time he was doing it, he was rhyming, of course. He said he didn’t have any way home. I told him to take a cab. He said it was too expensive. I told him I’d pay. He said no.”
At this point, Laurel stood up, extended her hand, said, “It was nice meeting you, but I really must fly,” turned and calmly walked out of the restaurant.
“The minute I cleared the front window, l took off my high heels and ran as fast and hard as I could down that city block. I made a turn at the corner and ran to my car. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. As soon as I got home I blocked him and prayed that I would never lay eyes on him again.
“Needless to say, after this date, I laid low for awhile.”
Or as William might say, “When it comes to dating one must be wary/Some people you meet are pretty darn scary!”
Have you ever met someone really weird online? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants, to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website, askcheryl.net.