Amazingly second date guy from “the day of 2 dates” wanted to see me again. Did he not notice my karma induced sweats?! Regardless, it boded well for me that being a hot mess didn’t seem to put him off, so I went with it.
We texted daily, the usual “how was your day” stuff as well as getting to know more about each other – what our favourite midweek dinners were, the TV shows we were currently watching, our mutual love of sports. It was fun and easy and I was excited to see him again. Between the first date and the second date though, Easter weekend fell and he went away to see family. We kept in touch but it was during his trip that I saw the first red flag…
I don’t know if it’s still a thing but in 2016 there was this app called Dubsmash. You could record yourself lip-synching to songs or movie quotes and then send it to people or post it on your social media. On his way to his family’s place, he recorded him lip synching to Jim Carey’s lines in the police road stop scene from the film Liar Liar (Google it). It was… puzzling. I clearly missed the joke. I showed a friend, he missed the joke too. I passed it off as him being bored on the drive and sent a cursory reply text with all the laughing emojis and said no more. If only that had been the last Dubsmash.
Over the course of Easter weekend, I received 4 other Dubsmashes from him, which he’d also recruited his family for. The first was another movie scene which he and his sister acted out, then there was one of his whole family (mum, step-dad, sister, brother-in law – all adults) singing “We are family”, then one of him, his step-dad and brother-in-law singing in their garage (the song escapes me) and finally their big finish of the weekend was the three of them again in the garage but this time with instruments, matching white vests and black leather jackets singing. “The Boys Are Back In Town”.
I received the last one while at a friends party and by the reaction on my face my friends expected me to show them an unsolicited dick pic. Turns out a choreographed family Dubsmash from someone I’ve only met once gets the same return. And so his nickname of Dubsmash Dude was born.
After Easter weekend I wasn’t quite so excited about seeing him again. What can I say? Watching him “rocking out” in a white vest and lip-synching (badly) just didn’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love people who know how to have a good time, and aren’t afraid to make fools of themselves to make other people smile but I’d probably need to know someone way better before I was ever going to find that funny. And it’s unlikely it would ever make someone more attractive to me. But it’s not a theory I’m willing to test out.
Add to the Dubsmashes the fact that I’d been introduced to someone on the Friday of Easter weekend who had piqued my interest and until that point, and still to this day, never sent me a Dubsmash. So by the time we were arranging our dinner date for the Tuesday night after Easter I wasn’t really into it but I figured I should give it another date, he was a nice guy and he’d put up with my caffeine shakes and sweats on the first date so it was only fair.
He invited me to go to his place and he would cook dinner. A lot about that made me uncomfortable and now, over a year later, I would never agree to it – there have been lessons learnt about being ok with your own boundaries and not agreeing to things you’re uncomfortable with just to be agreeable. But at the time, I thought it was nice that he’d offered to cook so I accepted his offer.
I thought about saying “that would be lovely and, just FYI, I don’t eat fish” but for some reason I didn’t, I figured he would check. On the day of our dinner he messaged me late morning and while confirming time and address details said “I take it you’re ok with tuna?” I politely said sorry, no.
Let’s just say his reaction was less than stellar. You can’t have known I was coming for dinner for a few days and then only on the day of decide to check if I eat what you’re planning to cook and then be put out when I say I don’t. It pissed me off. He made a fuss about having to go to the supermarket again and finished his moan with “I’ll just get another protein and hope it works in the recipe, unless there’s anything else you don’t eat”… ok then! Now I’m really looking forward to dinner!
Later that day, I made the $30 cab ride out to his place (did I mention he lives in the burbs and the burbs and I are strangers to each other?) at which point the guy I’d met on Good Friday was texting me to plan a date. Dinner with Dubsmash Dude was looking like a poor choice.
His place was dark and a bit dingy and, considering he was having someone over, not particularly tidy or clean. One of the reasons I’ve now stopped going to guys’ places, few are tidier, cleaner or more central than mine. Fact. So I was uncomfortable from the moment I arrived and as he cooked us dinner (now being made with ground chicken rather than tuna… not sure that’s the culinary substitution I’d have made but there we are…) we chatted and it was at this point I found out what one of my biggest turnoffs is.
I’d never come across it before due to my newness to dating and also because everyone I’d dated before sounded like me. You know in Friends when they talk about the words that make Chandler’s balls jump back up inside his body (Janice saying “ohhhhhh myyyyy god”)? It would appear that someone trying to do a Scottish accent does the female equivalent to me.
I tried to laugh it off and went the “wow, that was terrible, haha, never do it again hahaha, lol, lol, lol” route to which his response was to continue doing it. So more sternly I asked him to please not do that and he proceeded to tell me (still in a “Scottish accent) that he looked Scottish – he was ginger – so he could carry it off. Um, not so my friend.
All I could think was “you will never kiss me with that mouth”.
It got me thinking, especially since then as I’ve dated people from all over (my friends affectionately call me the United Nations of Dating), I would never do that, I would just never attempt to do someone’s accent. A) because I’d be shit at it. And B) because it can actually be mildly offensive.
Since moving to another country, I’ve had to get used to the whole accent conversation. Some of my other immigrant friends really hate when people comment on their accents. I don’t mind it, you have to accept that it’ll be a part of being in a different country. But I actually get told a lot I don’t have an accent. To which my reply is always “that’s impossible because everyone has an accent, even when you sound like everyone around you”.
I think what people mean is I don’t have the accent they expect. I don’t sound like the female version of the guys in Trainspotting or Gerard Butler. I had a fairly soft Scottish accent to start with and moving to the Middle East as a kid gave it an interesting International School coating, to the point where most people here take a while to hear an accent or inflection they don’t recognise and then, when they do, they think it’s Australian or Irish. Though that’s mostly because they don’t really know accents, more than me actually sounding Australian or Irish.
However, I have found myself getting slightly offended when people comment on my accent, as if somehow them saying I don’t sound Scottish makes me less Scottish. I’m an incredibly proud Scot, especially this far away from home, so it gets under my skin a little. But that’s my accent, me speaking with a Scottish lilt, not someone trying to imitate it. Someone trying to do the accent essentially for comic effect… no. Please God, no. It’s as bad as, maybe worse than, someone shouting “Freedom!” in their best Scottish Mel Gibson impression at me. Get out. Get in the bin.
I’d tried to be jokey about it with Dubsmash Dude and, honestly, if someone on a second date suggested I stopped doing something a couple of times I would probably take heed of that request. He clearly felt differently. The rest of the evening was peppered with him sporadically switching into a “Scottish” accent and me slowly losing the will to live.
After finishing dinner, which I hope for his sake was that crap because of the last minute ingredient switch and not just an indicator of his level of cooking skill, I couldn’t wait to leave and get my $30 return cab ride home, sure that I would never see him again.
If the Dubsmashes were the initial straws on the camel’s back, the repeated attempts at the accent were most definitely the ones that broke it.