Single in Vancouver: Love at Ikea

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We asked to hear your dating horror stories and you delivered! Here is this week’s terrible tale:

My worst dating story… Hmmmm, where to start?

I mean, there are so many great ‘worst’ dating tales to share. How do you pick just one?

Let’s see, there is the one about the guy who chattered nonstop about how amazingly wonderful he is and honestly never asked me one single question.

Oh hold on a second! Stop the presses. I remember a real good one. One of my better first ‘worst’ dates is with a professional downhill skier. I know right? Score!

We met on an online dating site.

I felt it was potentially a cause for concern when he suggested for our first time meeting that we should meet at Ikea. I figured he chose Ikea because it was a recognizable half way point and then we would go to a neighboring restaurant or something. He did mention dinner in our numerous messages.

When I arrived I let him know via text message that I was in the parking lot. He instantly replies,

“Okay, I’m already inside. Got here a little early. Shopping. Meet you in the lobby.”
Ahhh???… Okay. I’m thinking… strange. I have to go inside? I thought we would meet in the parking lot and decide where we should go from there. I wasn’t really planning on actually going into the Ikea.

So I go inside the lobby area, no one is there yet. I sit down on a bench to wait. Random people are coming and going and I’m nervously looking to try and spot him. We’ve only seen pictures of each other from the online dating site. This will be the first time actually meeting in person.

I notice a guy coming down the escalator and he is staring directly at me. I get the feeling this guy knows me but he doesn’t look one bit familiar. This can’t be ‘him’ can it?

This guy walking towards me is short, fat, bald and frankly more than a tad older. I’m anxiously running through a zillion confusing thoughts in my mind. Basically I’m having a silent nervous breakdown. According to the various online photos of the professional skier guy I’m meeting, he is slim, has a head full of curly brown hair and honestly looks a good 5-10 years younger.

“Laura? Hey you made it!” says the bald, overweight, older guy, as he’s walking towards me. My brain is confused and trying to make sense. This can’t be… him. What the hell? He looks nothing like his photos and I never would’ve been able to pick him out in a line up in a zillion years.

I try my best to not look completely stunned, standing there in a shocked state. I force my best fake smile as he puts his arms out to give me a hug. I definitely am not a rude person and I certainly don’t want to show my apparent disappointment towards him. However, I can’t get over the fact he looks nothing like his pictures. Ironically he immediately says, “You look exactly like your photos. In fact you’re more beautiful in real life.” “Well… ahh, thank you.” I reply. My inside voice screaming, you look nothing like yours!

There we were, standing in the lobby. I’m thinking how do I get out of this one? But I’m also being considerate of his feelings and he is talking about having coffee. I don’t want to hurt or insult him so I decide to follow through with this date. I assumed we were going to determine where we should go from there. What restaurants were close by? But he then says to me that he thinks we should get a coffee inside the Ikea and walk around and look at all of the furniture. He excitedly says it would be a lot of fun to see if we have similar decorating tastes. What. The. Hell. This is really too much.

So being the polite girl I am, off we go to the Ikea restaurant to get a coffee. We get our coffees, he pays and we proceed to stroll through the store. Weird? I think so.

Just when I think it couldn’t feel more awkward he jumps onto a couch in a made up living room display and pats the seat right beside him- motioning me to take a seat. “Let’s pretend we’re shopping for furniture for our home and we’re checkin it out before we buy it!” he says with excitement. I’m kind of standing there, looking at him, thinking he must be kidding around. But no…. no, he was quite serious.

I hesitantly sit down as he leans back into the couch and gets into a comfortable position. Like he’s settling in. “So tell me a bit about yourself” he says to me while casually sipping his coffee.
Ummm… I express my discomfort to him to which he completely brushes off and tells me to loosen up some.

So in all of my awkwardness I figure I’d give it my best shot and pretend like we’re not actually sitting on an Ikea store display couch. (pretending that customers are not constantly walking by, staring, and some even wandering around in our pretend living room). The nerve. (Hello! People, you’re in our pretend living room!)

I’m thinking, yes, I can do this. I go along with this ridiculous situation I’ve found myself in. Not sure what it is about my life and why I end up in weird, uncomfortable situations way too often. But I just somehow do.

We finally finish our coffee and I tell him I really had to be on my way. We left our pretend living room and he walked me to my real life car.

Okay, that was strange and all but I just went with the flow. It’s typically what I do with most situations. I chalk it up to meeting another interesting person and hopefully learning a thing or two- walking away a better person in some small way because of the experience.

Even though I never saw him again and he wasn’t my ‘prince charming’ it was definitely something I can look back at and laugh about.

Just gotta remember… everyone has a story.

We thank you for your contributions. Please email your bad dates to chelsea[at]vancitybuzz.com

Image: Tooykrub / Shutterstock

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Chelsea Pescitelli Sex and Relationship Writer / Creator of thesinglediary.com / Relationship Correspondent for Global News: BC1 AM/BC
@thesinglediary

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