You guys, I miss telling stories. It seems like in the years since I’ve finished college, most of my interactions have been fairly surface-level. I like talking–that’s for sure–but I seldom dig deep anymore. It’s amazing how long I can go on about the weather or complain about the lack of veggie chips at work, but I want to get back in the habit of being a rambling old lady who can wax poetic about chicken pockets and pizza Nazis.
In fact, that’s the story I want to start with: the Pizza Nazi.
I’ve been acquainted with the world of online dating ever since I could drive, which, for me, was right before my twenty-second birthday. Before that, I’d been too afraid to meet up with anyone because it would mean my date would have to pick me up to go out, and that wasn’t how I wanted to start a relationship. Not only was it embarrassing to admit I didn’t drive, but who gets in the car with a perfect stranger? That’s not the smart girl my parents raised me to be.
Shortly after I acquired my license and took a few solo spins in my parents’ 1999 Taurus, I set up my profile on OkCupid. Within minutes, I was already getting a good amount of messages. It felt great to see them piling up in my inbox, but when I actually set about reading them, well, it was a different story.
This is an all-ages blog, so I’ll spare you the content, but suffice it to say a lot of it was vomit-inducingly disgusting. (It still is, of course, but this was a huge shock to my doe-eyed younger self.) Another good chunk of the messages were along the lines of, “hey whats up my name is andy ur cute i think we have alot in common message me back if ur interested.” At first, those ones annoyed me because of the poor grammar, but now they irritate me because I know that the guy is most likely copying and pasting those same few lines over and over to dozens of other women.
But every now and again, someone would write a message that had meaning. The guy had clearly read my profile and was trying to connect with me in a way that had some substance. He wanted to talk about my love of cereal! Or he had a cute dog! I really appreciate those kinds of messages. When I get one of those, I do like to make an effort and see if the conversation goes anywhere. Most of the time, it kind of fizzles out, but sometimes, of course, it leads to a date.
Which is exactly how things commenced for my very first online date.
I’d been messaging this guy–let’s call him Luke–for about a week or so. He was still in school and told me about some of the classes he was taking. He’d been interested in culinary courses of late, and he had recently begun working at a pizzeria. One afternoon, he asked me out, and I agreed to meet him at the local Starbucks.
I rolled up in my parents’ Taurus and, to my delight, found that Luke was already there, waiting for me. I greeted him with a hug, ordered a coffee, and sat down to talk. We chatted for a bit about work, and then he said he wanted to show me some of the pizzas he’d made. You see, sometimes when he was bored, he would make designs out of the pepperoni or mushrooms on the pizzas. A rose. A smiley face. A swastika.
Luke laughed when he showed me that one. “That one was my favorite. The guy we delivered to was so pissed when he got it, but it was hilarious! People need to lighten up.”
I didn’t think it was funny, either. Of all the pictures you could show a girl on your first date with her, why did it have to be a pizza with a swastika on it? If you were going for shock value, why not a penis? I could laugh at a penis on a pizza. But not a swastika.
What was I supposed to do, then? I didn’t have time to lecture this weirdo on why that symbol doesn’t belong on a pizza (or anywhere, really), and I didn’t think he’d understand even if I started enumerating the atrocities committed by Hitler and the Nazi Party. I could talk about the 11 million people who lost their lives, or the millions more who lost their friends and families, and still this bozo wouldn’t care.
I simply got up and left. I drove home in the Taurus and deleted my profile that night. If this was the caliber of men I was going to meet on OkCupid, then screw it!
Of course, that resolve didn’t last long…