I’ve been trying to find a way to write this post for quite some time. I feel that it’s a sweet story, with tons and tons of hilarity. But also some moments of WTFness and I feel I’m finally ready to share.
I should start at the beginning. Back in 2010, I dropped out of college at UAF for a variety of reasons. I wasn’t mature enough to take college seriously, I didn’t want to move back to Minnesota, I had convinced myself that I was happy working at a deli for barely above minimum wage, and I was having more fun doing underage drinking and staying out until four in the morning than actually studying. Also, I was an English Literature major, and English Lit majors never find jobs. It’s just a fact of life.
So I cut my losses after two years of school and dropped out. I started renting an apartment from an army guy and a girl who lived in my dorm freshman year. I lived there for five months before moving into a house with three women as old as my mother, while working full time at the deli. I eventually got a job at Eielson Air Force Base as a cook at the bowling center.
So from 7 in the morning until three in the afternoon, I worked in a deli. Then from 4 until 10 I worked as a short order cook in a bowling alley. I would work for weeks at a time without a day off, and overall I was just exhausted. But I wanted to prove I could survive on my own.
About a month after working at the bowling alley, I had gotten an account on Plenty Of Fish, a dating website that I do not recommend to anyone. It was awful. But right before one of my best friends got married, I got an email on my Plenty of Fish Account.
The picture was of a man who had coke bottle thick glasses, a goofy smile, and a shaved head. His email was novel length (in his defense, my profile was also novel length), but it had weird comments in it, such as, “Is it too soon to say I love you? We should get together sometime soon. Where do you work? I’ll stop in and try out your cooking.”
This person hadn’t even met me before, and it all just came off as so damn creepy. I explicitly said “Only Midwesterners or Alaskans should contact me, I’ve never much cared for east coasters or southerners, and west coasters don’t really have the work ethic I care for.”
I know that sounds biased, but I’m a hard worker (at least I like to think I am) and whenever I’ve worked with Californians, it seems that they have no sense of urgency, which drives me batty.
This person informed me that he was raised on both coasts. Born in Connecticut, from age 6 until after high school he lived in California, but spent a good deal of time in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina. He also had family from Missouri.
To say the least, he was very detailed in his information. And it just went on and on.
So I did what any sane person would do: I told him to leave me the hell alone.
He emailed me back within ten minutes, asking me why I thought he was being a creeper. I told him that I had no interest in dating military men. Also that his picture was creepy and I didn’t much care for the pedo-stache. He changed his profile picture immediately, asking if I liked him without the mustache.
He looked far less creepy, but he still wasn’t really my type All I could think was how rude every east coaster had been that I’ve met. And I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing to him, he’d flip out.
I told him he looked less creepy, and he should back the eff off.
He emailed me one more time, asking me to just let him take me on one date so he could prove himself. I told him no. So he said he’d leave me alone.
Since I’m really, really weird, I had to show everyone this horribly creepy email that he sent. I was at my friend J’s house, her daughter was doing homework and we were having a glass of wine in her living room. When it came to dating, I liked to talk to her. She was 14 years my senior and was that in-between of the wisdom I needed, but the modernity I needed to seek advice. She wasn’t old fashioned and she knew what she was talking about.
When she read the email, she gave me a dark look.
“He doesn’t sound creepy, Leah, he sounds lonely,” she mused.
I shook my head. “Really? I thought he sounded horribly creepy.”
She pointed at some of the sentences in the email. “No, see? I bet you he just got stationed here and he’s fresh out of basic training. He probably hasn’t had a real friend since before basic. If he is new here, you should give him the benefit of the doubt and go out with him once. For all you know, he could be prince charming.”
I thought about this, and since I was fairly tipsy, I emailed him, with J looking over my shoulder.
My friend said I should give you the benefit of the doubt. When were you stationed here and when did you first join the military?
He responded fairly quickly.
I joined eight months ago and I got stationed here about two months ago. I still haven’t met anyone really and I really didn’t want to come to Alaska. Why do you ask?
Shit, J was right. I felt horrible for treating him so poorly.
I’ll make you a deal, if you can guess where I work on base, I’ll let you take me out to dinner. I’ll give you a hint, I work where they make the best food on base.
He waited a day to respond, to which he asked if I worked at the Enlisted Club. I was deeply offended, the Enlisted Club was awful at that base.
Hell no, I work at the bowling alley.
I’m stupid, if you can’t tell.
The day after I sent that message, I got to work a few minutes early and I saw a guy at a table checking out his phone. I didn’t think anything of it so I went into the back office to clock in. When I came out, the guy I saw sitting was at the front counter, and the top of my head only barely reached his shoulder. He had a shaved head, coke bottle thick glasses, and his name tape matched his screen name on Plenty of Fish.
He was first to speak. “I know you!”
I stopped dead in my tracks. I was greasy from working my morning job, I hadn’t changed into my evening job uniform yet, it was -20 outside so my cheeks were really red from the cold, and my facial expression was deadpan.
“I don’t know you,” I retorted, casually walking towards the snackbar. Since his legs are ridiculously fucking long, he caught up to me with no effort at all.
“Well I know you, your furniture looks great from the yard.”
I stopped to look at him. “What?” Is this fucker stalking me?
He realized his mistake. “Oh no, it’s a quote from a movie. Come to my dorm and I’ll show you.”
As you can see, he isn’t the smoothest chap.
“How about no?”
“Hey, you said if I figured out where you work, you’d let me take you out on a date.”
“But I told you, so it doesn’t count.”
“It totally counts. How about your next day off? My treat.”
Since I was broke, I figured why not. And I figured that if I went on one date with him, he’d leave me alone. Besides, he was pretty cute in that nerdy type of way, and his voice was so high pitched that he seemed harmless. So I agreed…
Don’t worry, there’s more story to come. How did you meet your significant other? What kind of creepers have you met? Let me know in the comments!