"When I had my wisdom teeth removed last year, I had two dry sockets."
"Oh yeah," he replied, "when I had my wisdom teeth out I had four dry sockets."
This should've been the first sign that this was going to be a long night.
We were driving toward dinner on our first date. I was newly single, and he was one of the only local boys who was my age and happened also to be attractive. When he suggested we go out, I accepted without knowing much about him, other than his name was Joe, he had unbelievably blue eyes and told me I was beautiful. Had I known more about him, however, I probably would've told him I had to wash my hair or clip my toenails - Anything to avoid being stuck with him for four hours.
There was no denying that Joe was attractive. He had those eyes, and nice lips. He was tall and he had a great smile. But I like a man with depth, and unfortunately, there wasn't even room to wade in Joe's pool. He talked constantly about all the weight he had lost ("I used to be really fat. But now look at me. Would you believe that I was fat?") and suffered from Former Fatty Syndrome - In love with his new and improved physique, he felt the need to constantly show it off and believed that everyone with the capacity to see him was as in love with his body as he was. He laughed uproariously at his own jokes; Jokes that, by the way, didn't warrant even a grin. His laugh was that of a snooty rich person: His eyebrows contorted in an upside-down V, he would laugh "mwah-hugh-hugh" with his upper lip slightly curled.
As if those qualities alone weren't enough to think I don't care how fast this car is moving, I'm going to jump, it got worse. Not only was Joe alarmingly full of himself and far from funny, he was also what I call a Sundae Person.
The term Sundae Person was originated that night because whatever I told Joe about myself was immediately countered by something he had done or seen that was better.
I told him I had recently purchased a stereo for my car. He told me he had purchased a top-of-the-line sound system for his Jetta that included a CD player, radio, touch-screen capacity, four speakers and sub-woofers.
I told him I'd had poetry published in a local writers' book in high school, he told me he'd toured with an orchestra in London.
I told him that I enjoyed my job. He responded that he absolutely looooved his.
I told him that I had a dog and a cat. He had two dogs, two cats and a bird.
Had I lied and told him I recently inherited a million dollars, he probably would've said "I'll see that million dollars and raise you a mansion in Beverly Hills."
I understand that, when getting to know someone, you always talk about yourself. That's understandable. You share similar experiences to create a bond and you use your similarities as something to build on. But our exchange didn't mimic the ebb and flow of normal dialogue: He was competing with me, and I wasn't even fighting...I wasn't trying to WOW him with things I had done. I was only making conversation. But apparently, it was very important to him that I believe he was better than me, because he met me at every comment with something more grand and interesting.
I had survived dinner, I had swallowed all of his so-called importance and successfully refrained from constantly rolling my eyes. I was tired and unable to take even another minute with him. I just wanted to go home. He thought we should go for ice cream.
"Oh, I can't," I said, feigning disappointment. "Besides, I just had a cone of vanilla last night. I'm not really in the mood for ice cream."
"Okay," he said, bypassing the Dairy Bar. "It's probably for the best anyway. I really shouldn't eat ice cream tonight, since last night I had a banana split sundae."
Of course you did, I thought, you're a Sundae Person.