I’m not famous. Perhaps that’s not necessary for an anonymous blogger who writes about his consistently sad and frequently embarrassing love life to point out. I mean, presumably, if I was like…Harrison Ford, I wouldn’t be doing this. I wouldn’t have to tell everyone about the time a girl cried at my lovemaking, I’d just make a movie about blowing up IRA headquarters, or some other entirely preposterous thing for a person my age to be doing, and then go out and buy some new earrings. But this is not my life. So, I toil.
Although I decidedly am not famous, this does not prevent me from being recognized on extremely rare occasion. I have done some things on TV here and there, and once in a great while, someone on the street notices me. Which is perfectly nice, and the one time that it happened while I was on a first date, well that was just marvelous. But when someone recognizes you for your writing, especially Internet writing, that’s a different story. “Hey, don’t you write for that website?” is a weird thing to say, because who knows anyone who writes for websites? And when it’s said to you from someone you thought you just randomly met on the Internet…well that’s weirder by far.
I used to write for a site that you most probably haven’t heard of, and most certainly never read. But we did OK for a while, and were just starting to poke through into the most distant outskirts of mainstream when the site was bought by a larger company and dismantled. As is the American dream. I wrote about whatever…pop culture, news, Snuggies – you know, the usual jazz. I had readers, but I was hardly well read, so it surprised me one day to see in my Match inbox the following…
“Hey, don’t you write for that website? Your picture looks really familiar to me. Anyway…”
and on she went to talk about her love of the way fall smells, or whatever the fuck. Yes, she did recognize my picture, because I’m a guy and lazy, so I use the same picture for pretty much every face requirement the Internet presents. She mentioned my site in passing, I felt a bit flattered, but not at all worried. After a few more emails, I asked her out on a date. Big mistake.
I knew from jump street that we were in trouble. Immediately, at our hellos, she seemed nervous. But not first date nervous, there was something…else. Something extra. She kept smiling all the time, which I specifically remember because there’s usually a fair amount of frowns and yawns from my female companions. The conversation was scattered, jumping from her love of Jersey Shore to her hatred of Iceland for ruining everything with their volcano ash. And no matter how hard I tried, she refused to talk about herself. I make it a priority on first dates to talk as much about the lady as possible, both to be polite and because I genuinely want to know more. They are strangers, after all, that I’m trying to date. But she was not having it. She kept coming back to me, and a potpourri of topics, seemingly chosen at random. It was confusing. Until, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.
Her: Did you see Glee last night?
Me: I hate Glee. They talk normally, yet when they start singing they all suddenly sound like teenage robot synthesizers.
Her: I know!
Me: And you know what, I went to high school. I don’t remember the nerds being a slightly diverse group of hot people who are all exceptionally talented. I mean, none of them have braces? There must be some a-
Her: -amazing dentists in Glee-town! I know?!
Yes, this person I’d never met before finished my sentence. And that’s when I realized when she was saying “I know”, she wasn’t saying it like “yeah, I totally agree!”, she was saying it like “yeah, I know, because you wrote about it because I remember what you wrote in almost frightening detail.” Then, well…have you ever seen Usual Suspects? I had a moment a lot like this.
Suddenly it was all coming together. We didn’t talk about her love of Jersey Shore earlier…we talked about my love of Jersey Shore as parroted back by her. And she didn’t really hate the Iceland volcano, I did – which I wrote about in great detail on my website two weeks previous – and she apparently memorized. And Glee, well clearly she’d been setting me up for this Glee conversation all night long. Great dentists in Glee-town, come on! I realized two things: 1) I’m the tedious sort of person that just repeats whatever I’ve recently written and passes it off as organic observations, and 2) this girl is far too familiar with my work. And by work, I mean silly little blog, and by silly little blog, I mean the sort of thing no one should be familiar with. #1 wasn’t much of a surprise, but #2 made me a little uncomfortable.
Had I never made this connection, I’m certain we could’ve had a very nice date, and perhaps several more. I mean, we did have one very important thing in common: a thorough and utter adoration of my talent. But once I put her fascination of me together, I couldn’t get it out of my head. How exactly had she “stumbled” upon both my dating profile and my blog, and connected the two? The odds on that seem pretty long. How far back did her knowledge of my writing go? Could I go back to a piece I wrote two years ago and still have her regurgitate my opinions? And most importantly, could I get her to give me a kidney? As you can see, I was not prepared to handle this situation responsibly.
Truthfully, she was very sweet and complimentary, but it was all a little weird for my tastes. Maybe it’s my own issues, but I feel so wildly undeserving of fans that anyone particularly aware of anything I’ve written creeps me out. So when she asked if I’d like to go back to her place at the end of the night, I politely declined. As far as I know, she kept reading my site. In fact, oh my god, she might actually be reading this. Holy shit. She might be reading this.
What would Harrison Ford do in this situation? I need an earring.