You know when you make plans and they seem like a good idea at the time, but then when the time comes you realise you’re tired and you’d rather stay in? But you go and figure you’ll just cut the night short but then the guy you’re out with attempts to bargain with you to make you stay out and chooses to lecture you on how much you’ll regret it if you go home? Yeah that’s what happened with Whistler Teacher Slash Photographer.
I’d only gone to Whistler to run a half marathon. I had no plans of organising a date, or meeting someone but while lying in my hotel room bed awake earlier than I even needed to be with pre-race nerves, I was mindlessly swiping through the Bumble and Tinder, wondering what the usually bustling ski town of Whistler would have to show for itself on a dating app in the middle of summer.
I was pleasantly surprised, but I was also sure the majority of people were likely to be just visiting. Not that it mattered – again, I wasn’t planning to meet anyone.
My friends, who were also running the half marathon, and I had arrived the night before, just in time for a glorious carb load and then an early bed. Somehow, despite travelling with two couples, I had ended up in the huge hotel room, with a King size bed, full kitchen and dining space, corner windows and a balcony overlooking Whistler village.
As I lay swiping in that giant bed, having probably used about a third of the available space at most during the night, I matched with a few people and was surprised when at 6.03am one of the Tinder matches messaged me. At first I figured it must be someone who was just getting in from the night before but, after a few messages back and forth, it turned out that when he wasn’t being a teacher, he was a photographer and had been asked to film the race. So while I was preping myself for getting sweaty while running through the mountains, he was preping himself for filming people getting sweaty while running through the mountains.
Hs asked why I wasn’t sleeping and I said I wasn’t sure when I was in such a big, comfy bed. It was a throwaway comment that I didn’t even think about because I’d just been messaging friends back in the UK and had been telling them the same thing. But I realise that making any reference to your bed when you’re chatting with someone on a dating app, instantly sounds like an invitation for sex. It was not.
He didn’t seem to read too much into it, or at least if he did he didn’t let on. Although he did make a comment about me probably needing a massage later. I wasn’t sure if it was an offer or merely a suggestion. I chose to just take it as friendly advice and skip on over it.
As it got closer to race time, he wished me luck and said he’d look out for me on the course and hopefully would see me later as well. The first part of which horrified me, to think that a guy you’ve met on a dating app might see you for the first time midway through a half marathon didn’t bear thinking about – it’s not a pretty sight. The second part of which sounded like it could be fun.
He’d been funny and engaging and he clearly had a number of passions in his life with the teaching and photographer. He seemed like an interesting guy. So I said yes maybe we could do drinks later and left it at that.
I hadn’t actually thought I’d see him on the course, I presumed he’d be filming the people who could actually run without looking like they were having a heart attack, and those people aren’t me. But would you believe it, first corner we turn on the course having come out of the starting line area and I see a guy on a bike (as he said he would be), with a camera (as I imagined he would be) sitting in the central reservation capturing everyone as they’re going up the first stretch of road.
Despite the fact it was so early on in the race and my face hadn’t yet turned the beetroot red colour that it so loves to go after any small amount of exercise, I still decided to try and maneuver my way out of his line of sight. I wasn’t really prepared to do a whole weird, awkward “oh hi, it’s you” thing while trying not to get out of breath in the first five minutes of the race.
A very long and very sweaty two hours, fourteen minutes later and I was back in Whistler village, having enjoyed some beautiful sights around Whistler (not so beautiful were the really big fucking hills). Shortly after all my friends had gathered at the finish line area and we’d picked up all the required post-race snacks, I got a text from him to ask how I’d done and how I was feeling.
As my post-race recovery of a bath followed by brunch took place, we toyed around with the idea of meeting in the afternoon, but he then said that he’d rather do a night date so suggested we meet for drinks after my dinner.
Now two things about that: 1) a guy who “would rather do a night date” instantly makes me think that they’re in it for sex and they don’t think it’s as easy to get to sex on a date if it’s a middle of the day date. Little do they know me, I’d far rather have sex at any other time of the day than at night. 2) given that we’d both had a pretty early start and a fairly busy morning, there was a high chance that by the time I’d had dinner I’d be ready for nothing but my bed. Alone.
I should also note that by this stage in our messaging, he’d started to make more comments about my bed, following on from what I’d told him in the morning about it being massive. Coupled with his insistence that my muscles must really need a good massage and low and behold he had great massage skills, they were cheeky, flirty comments which for the most part I laughed at but didn’t entertain.
By 6pm, even getting myself up after my post-race, afternoon nap was a struggle and I had a feeling that by the time I’d stuffed myself with food I wasn’t likely to be feeling much more spritely. Alas, halfway through dinner he texted to confirm we were still on for drinks and made a plan where to meet based on where we were having dinner.
The friends I was with thought it was hysterical that I had arranged a date while only in the village for two nights and were especially excited when the date plan was that he’d come by the bar we were now in and we’d then walk somewhere else for drinks. I wasn’t sure why we couldn’t just meet there. I had Google maps.
So that was the first thing that kind of irked me, as well as the time it had taken to actually get to that plan. But he duly turned up outside the bar I was in, although thankfully stood just out of the line of sight of my friends so they couldn’t gawk too wildly.
Mercifully he looked like his pics, however, everything from that point was just a bit… blah. He’d brought his bike, presumably the same bike I’d seen him on during the race that morning, so, while we walked to the bar we were headed for, he walked with his bike. Now, if you’ve ever walked with a bike or walked with someone with a bike, you’ll know it can be awkward as hell. And this most definitely was. Add to that the fact that when we got to the bar we then had to find suitable bike parking and, to be honest, it just wasn’t the sexiest thing I’d ever encountered.
Once inside the kinda weird bar (there’s a tonne in Whistler, I didn’t know why he chose this one), he didn’t know what he wanted to drink. Oh god, I could feel my spikiness rising. Then, as I was telling him how tired I was, he told me I had no reason to be tired as I’d had an afternoon nap. Um, hey, Mr, you don’t get to decide if I’m tired or not. Again, the spikiness in me rose.
Given that by the time he’d decided what he was going to have to drink I’d almost finished my first gin, I ordered a second just to make sure I wasn’t sat there empty handed, though I was already thinking about leaving. But then he ordered a second and I could feel the will to live start to slip away from me.
The chats were fine, he was nice enough and hearing about his teaching and photography was interesting, but we were very different people. Apparently he didn’t go anywhere without that (damn) bike and never went to the city. He also apparently couldn’t take a hint that I was tired regardless of the number of times I yawned.
Thankfully the barmaid then came round and told us it was last call – I could have kissed her, I was so happy for the get out of jail card. Especially when he asked for the bill to be separate so we each paid our own way – again the paying on a date debate requires it’s own blog post, but that’s for another day.
I figured he would have caught onto the fact that a) there wasn’t really a connection and b) I was hella tired. Turns out, he’d caught onto neither so as we were leaving the bar he started to throw out suggestions as to where we could go next. When I politely declined, he started to do that reverse psychology thing of telling me what a fun night I was going to miss out on, not realising that a private show with The Killers wasn’t even likely to make me stay out at this point. Ok, I lie, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Brandon Flowers.
Just as I was saying that I’d had fun (why did I feel the need to lie about that?) but I was really tired, as we were stepping out of the bar, I realised why he’d chosen that bar – it was right opposite my hotel. So he took it as the perfect opportunity to say “ok, why don’t we just go to the liquor store and go back to your room?”
Wow. Just wow… People’s inability to read a situation is flabbergasting at times. Take a hint. Know your audience. Sense the tone. I WANT TO GO TO BED. ALONE.
After many more insistencies from me that I really was tired and I really did just want to go to bed (ALONE!), but I really had had a good time (why must we stroke the male ego simply to be allowed to do what it is we want to do?), he reluctantly started to unlock his bike from the bike rack. Then he stopped. Was I really sure I didn’t want just one more drink? Was I sure I didn’t want him to come back to my room with me? Didn’t I want a massage? And couldn’t that big bed use a second person?
Oh good God. By this point I was done being nice. I cut him off, told him I was going and momentarily was concerned that he knew which hotel I was staying in and with it’s proximity to where we were standing, him following me wouldn’t be that difficult. Thankfully he didn’t go full batshit crazy and do that but as I was in elevator up to my room my phone buzzed and it was him. Just checking (AGAIN!) that I didn’t want another drink because I was going to regret it.
I decided to ignore it, until just as I was closing the door (and firmly double locking it) my phone rang. Of course, it was him. I answered it mostly to make the noise stop, I can never find the silent switch when a call is incoming – why is that?!
There was yet more protestations on his part that I would regret it and I’d made a poor choice., and that he was still downstairs if I’d changed my mind. At this point I just laughed. The fact that he thought there was any chance of me going back on my decision and either inviting him up or heading downstairs to meet him again, was laughable. I was already in my pjs as I listened to his sales pitch on loudspeaker.
But I was done with the entertainment of someone trying to sell themself, it was now starting to get a little degrading, on his part, so I once again cut it off and told him I was turning my phone off and going to sleep. By this time he was pretty pissed off about it and wasn’t doing a good job of hiding it. I don’t think I could have cared less.
The next morning, after a blissful sleep in my massive bed all by myself, I woke up to more texts from him. All bemoaning my choice and telling me I’d missed out on a “night of fun” and that he could have really shown me a good time. Jesus, I hope he was drunk when he sent those.
I’d definitely made the right choice but all I could think was, I wonder what he must be like as a teacher? Was he that insistent? Did he make it that difficult when a student wanted to leave the classroom? It must be a bloody nightmare if you were desperate for a pee…