Back in 2006, I tried Match.com for the first time. I liked the idea that I could simply “wink” at guys who seemed appealing, and didn’t have to spend too much energy in actually crafting a witty e-mail. I don’t recall his real name or Match pseudonym, but none of those labels are important. What really stands out about this particular fellow is that I’m pretty sure he was a terrorist. Thus, I will call him “T” for the purpose of this anecdote.
As I learned earlier, T’s whole family had emigrated from another country* several years earlier and as the oldest of six siblings, he often acted as a make-shift parent for his brothers and sisters. So, when he was not at school studying sociology, he was picking up one of his brothers or shopping with another family member. We clearly lived different lives, but that didn’t mean that we weren’t compatible.
After a few light and friendly e-mails, T and I exchanged phone numbers. We must have had a few short phone conversations, but the one that really stands out in my memory is when he asked me why I had a job at a big company where I sat at a desk and worked on a computer. He seemed to think that was a deplorable quality for someone to have. His tone irked me after I explained that I like to get a paycheck in a structured environment, and wanted to actually make a career for myself in my field. Crazy talk, obviously. He laughed for a good 30 seconds and spat the word “capitalist!” in between another giggle.
“What’s your problem!?” I demanded into my cell phone while standing on a crowded bus headed to my apartment. I remember this specifically because several people on the bus turned around quickly to see if I was yelling at them.
T then went into a diatribe about how Americans are pigs and don’t understand how “the system works” or what really counts as “work.” He alluded to the evils of the economy, and how people who work within it are essentially brainless. I interrupted him to growl my dissent and quickly hung up.
I looked down at my phone a few seconds later to see a text that read, “I bet you’re really hot when you’re angry. What are you wearing?”
That text and the handful that he sent for a few days asking when we were going out were left unanswered.
No date for T.
*When I told a friend of mine about T, she didn’t even skip a beat and said, “Stay far away from him. He will definitely kill you and your entire family.” That put me at ease.