Catfish Out of Water

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the worst. At least when it comes to dating – I’m as clueless as Cher Horowitz. I was accustomed to being with one man my entire adult life, so now that I’m single, I’m a novice. I’m not saying that I don’t know what to do or how to treat a guy, I just don’t understand the dating world. It boggles my mind when people misrepresent themselves online – it genuinely doesn’t compute in my head. People have tried explaining to me why others deceive. The only thing I’m guilty of is knocking a couple years off my age on Grindr. Everything else is 100 percent accurate, and every pic I send is 100 percent me, and recent.

My rant has a purpose. I went to New York City a couple weeks ago for an exciting new work project, and decided to make the most of my free time. My Grindr lights up like a Christmas tree when there, and I honestly can’t keep track of a lot of conversations. I was lying on my hotel bed and one guy in particular caught my eye. He looked like a missing Wilson brother – very reminiscent of a younger Luke or Owen. We talked for a little while, and I decided to meet him for drinks. The person who actually met me for drinks was not a missing Wilson brother. In fact, he didn’t even look like his pics at all. I got catfished, straight up.

The first thing he said to me was, “I know my pics are a little older, but am I okay? Do I pass the test? Wow, you’re really handsome.” I sat there flummoxed, figuring out how to reply. In that moment, I decided it wasn’t worth it to throw a bitch fit. I sized him up, deemed him harmless, and possibly fun to hang out with. “You don’t even remotely resemble your pics, but if you want to have a drink, I’m down,” I said. His eyes lit up with excitement, as I knew he wasn’t used to this response. In the back of my head I was thinking, “At the very least, I might be able to get an article out of this …”

Two drinks later he begged me to go to my hotel room. I of course declined, but I agreed to go to another bar with him. It was getting late and there was a show there, so I figuredwhy the hell not? I wanted to salvage the night somewhat. When we got there, he ran out of money. I told him to use the ATM. I refused to buy him one sip of alcohol, so that was on him. Several minutes later, he explained how the ATM was “not cooperating.” He was broke. I suggested water – I wasn’t going to budge. We walked over to the show, and I finally started to relax. Suddenly, I heard him talking to a couple of dudes behind me, “Yeah, I guess this guy isn’t into me. We were supposed to be on a date, but now he won’t even buy me a drink.” I immediately turned around and SNAPPED. I announced exactly what had happened and even showed them the fake pics he sent me. I was pissed. He went away, presumably to the bar, with his tail between his legs. (Do catfish have tails?)

And then it happened – one of my favorite New York City moments ever. I looked at one of the remaining guys, we locked eyes – he was so incredibly handsome – and then we kissed. Right there, without saying a word first. And then we kinda couldn’t stop kissing, and I’m not much of a bar kisser, but I was really into him really quickly, so I didn’t care. Until I had to deal with the original guy I came with, who wandered up to us and was taking it all in. I knew he was flat broke and had to get home, so I offered him to share a cab with me.

I turned to my new guy, who I shall call “Mr. Hipster,” and explained the situation and what I was obligated to do. He completely understood, and said, “Text me after.” I was stoked. I had a small amount of time to get the poser home and then meet Mr. Hipster somewhere presumably close. The cab ride proved to be more humiliating for the catfish as he continued to make advances on me that I shut down quickly. I practically pushed him out of the cab when we got to his place, then texted Hip to see where he wanted to meet.

“Meet me in Columbus Circle,” he texted. I had no idea where or what that was, but I instructed my cab driver to go there. When I arrived, it was obviously the famous landmark I’ve seen in TV and movies 100 times, and it was lit up beautifully, and there was NO ONE THERE. I experienced a few minutes of feeling like Drew Barrymore in “Never Been Kissed.” Even though I had been kissed. I worried that he was ghosting on me. When I was almost ready to go back to my room, I heard someone behind me, turned around, and there he was. It was a perfect moment. We embraced, kissed very passionately, and stayed there for a while – giving all the local cops around a super-hot show.

Floating on cloud nine, I invited him back to my room – just for a cuddle session. He was very respectful and the short amount of time we had to cuddle and sleep was, of course, amazing. I left the next day, with the stain of him on my brain. We were only in each other’s presence for a few short hours, but the chemistry was so apparent. Mr. Hipster gave me the most – ugh, I hate this word – romantic night since I can remember. So much so, that I have to see him again, soon.

The moral of this story is: Don’t judge every catfish by its cover. As appalled as I was, I wasn’t going to let that instance ruin my night. I was determined to make lemonade out of lemons, and had no clue that I would meet Mr. Hipster. In fact, had I not met the catfish in the first place, I wouldn’t have met Hip. It all happened the way it was supposed to – I was in the middle of a serendipitous moment and had no idea. I’m excited to see what happens with me and Hip, but should I find myself back on dating apps again, any guy I talk to will meet my little friend called FaceTime before meeting me.

Posted by Frank Lowe

Frank Lowe is a former stay-at-home dad, best known for his online persona “gay-at-home-dad.” Now a twice-published author, find his books on Amazon!


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