Posts Tagged ‘fail’

Ok, I know, I know–why is a twenty-five-year-old man so concerned with College Park?

No, it’s not to scope out under-21’s and talk to them. I have OKCupid for that. Nor is it to speak on social media and, in turn, create memes out of my fellow Terps. They do that on their own. Since I live a literal hop, skip, and a jump away from UMD, I find myself in the area more often than I like to admit than not. I also still conduct a teeny bit of business in the area, therefore I’m invested in places where I can (cheaply) talk turkey. So, when I heard that a Denny’s was opening in the area, I was both cautious and enthusiastic. Growing up in Baltimore, the only Denny’s within a twelve-mile radius was this run-down spot near North Point Road that’s now a Sudsville laundromat near an almost deserted K-Mart.

This area looks almost nothing like it did when I was younger...but almost exactly the same. Think about it.

This area looks almost nothing like it did when I was younger…but almost exactly the same. Think about it. About five minutes from here resides the Gentleman’s Gold Club. It’s exactly what you think it is.

Suffice to say, I’d heard of it, knew what it was, but I’d never had it. But, I always wanted it. Like some slightly below average Holy Grail, I searched high and low for a Denny’s. Whenever I found one, there was always something a bit…better to do/eat. But, recently, I couldn’t avoid my cautious enthusiasm about the place any longer. So, after a long day at work, the family and I drove down Route One, past the Enclave, past the Taco Bell, to a little slice of Americana: the Denny’s of Greater College Park. While I didn’t expect five-star dining, what I got exceeded my lowest expectations in terms of “SMH.”

When we walked in, we were three of (including the staff) maybe twenty people in the restaurant. I chalked it up to finals, but it stuck out in my mind; the place just opened not too long ago. Ke$ha and Bruno Mars played from the sound system, so the idea of this being a slice of modern Americana was kept intact, albeit a bit glittered and puffed up. Our waiter, a young woman in her twenties, was pleasant but forgot the bare necessities (making sure your tables are properly equipped with silverware, keeping your menus accessible, keeping your order pad on your person, checking back on your customers, making sure your customers aren’t ready to torch the place because the service they’ve gotten has been below sub-par, etc). When we finally did get her to stop and get everything in order, she was quite apologetic for everything (that’s a plus to alleviate my negativity) and took our orders. I had the “Red White and Blue” French Toast. The family had kid-sized spaghetti and the Cheesesteak Omelet, respectively.

About forty minutes later (after a slew of “mishaps”), our food arrived. My “red white and blue” was replaced by butter pecan and cinnamon. My eggs were cold and my sausages were more mushy than my cats food. The omelet lacked, well, most of what it was supposed to have (you know, peppers, onions, taste–that sort of thing). And our beverages were…unique. We got flavored lemonades. The “mango lemonade” was some Minute Made that was (supposedly) squeezed fresh with a giant glob of mango syrup at the bottom. I stirred and I stirred, but they just don’t make water wet enough to dissolve the “mango” into the drink in any way. I’d understand if it’s puree; puree isn’t supposed to flat-out dissolve into things. But, it was literally half-a-cup full of syrup.

The only thing that came out remotely like expected was my kid’s spaghetti.

Upon paying my check, the cashier asked me how everything was.

“Uh, it was…cool…kind of different,” I hesitantly said, biting my tongue.

“Well, it wasn’t no Ruth’s Chris, was it,” the cashier cheekily asked me, sensing my disdain.

And in the back of my mind (and the front of it), I answered honestly.

“No. No, it wasn’t,” I retorted as I walked out, head-shaking family in tow.

Did I expect Ruth’s Chris? Heck no. But, I at least expected something better than what I got. Maybe it’s some post-open jitters that they’re still trying to work out. That’s entirely possible, just like Terrapin Turf before it (expect a part three of that series at some point, probably in the fall of ’14 with my old a**). Personally, I probably wouldn’t go back for a while, but if you’re in the mood to wait around and possibly get the wrong food, check it out.

At least the pancake puppies were divine. Even though by the time they brought us syrup, the puppies had gotten a bit cold.

Until next time, this is your (admittedly cynical) critic Speed on the Beat, the one who endures awkwardness and clusters so you don’t have to, signing off.

It’s 2014. Well, almost. And, at this point, I’m sure that some of you a good portion of you have – even snarky or sarcastically or “just for giggles” – used a social media website or the like to gain a leg-up (no pun intended) and get some alone time with a potentially special someone. Gone are the days where online “dating” would require a box of tissues and a high-speed internet connection – mostly, anyways. Instead, we’ve got an entire boatload of websites dedicated to sad sacks – and not-so-sad ones – finding love at first sight (or, at least, love at first…yeah…).

This entry into “Not So Social Media” is dedicated more so to a cautionary tale. If you’ve followed my personal blog/website, you may have heard some of it. Arteest, feel free to cut me off at anytime if this gets too out of hand/too BroBible for the blog.

After my break-up with my son’s mother in late 2011, I, in 2012, decided to try my hand at online dating. Yeah, I know. What a stereotype! A (mostly) black man leaving his child’s mother to date other women. Well, if you knew, mentally, what I was going through at the time, you wouldn’t really judge…as much. Anyhow, I said to myself “what the hell? I mean, Facebook’s turning up blanks. Barhopping’s turning up more Beckie’s and Becca’s than I can shake a stick at. (I may have actually ran into Becca Martinson, now that I think about it. (No wonder she didn’t respond to my interview requests) I definitely don’t want to date a stripper, even though they’ve (kinda) tried.” The first couple of times, I drew wildcards straight out of Baggage Claim (for Men). First, there was a woman who, after we went out for drinks, said I smelled like alcohol. Secondly, there was a woman who I met on a Tuesday, kissed on a Tuesday, and ended up having sex with on a Thursday. Suffice to say, the spark in that “relationship” faltered quicker than RG3 in the 4th Quarter. (Too soon? Don’t worry, I’m a Washington “American Football Team Club” fan, too) As all hope ran dry, and as I finally dusted myself off and started to see clearly, all hell broke loose.

My face after the first two. #ThankYouBasedTiaMowry

My face after the first two incidents. #ThankYouBasedTiaMowry

I met Angela D. Boston. Obviously, Angela’s not her real name, but since I’ve already talked about it on my blog, I figured I’d save her some anonymity – something I didn’t allow with my whole Dezeray/Heartbreaker/I’m-Losing-My-Ish dilemma. Angela, who had a habit of calling herself “Flawed Perfection” or some derivative of that idiom, was about two years older than me. She worked in PG County at a phone store. Angela, like me, had just broken up with her long-time boyfriend who she lived with. The break-up, apparently, was kind of an OMG! Moment. She was, according to her, very freaky. She liked to drink, nerd out, kick ass in Call of Duty, and still do “girly things.” She, unlike a lot of the women I’d talked to previously, also had female friends. (SOTB Tip: Ladies, this is clutch. If you want your man to grow tired of you, stay around him 24/7. If, however, you want a healthy relationship, make sure that you and he both have your own sets of friends to hang out with. Hell, they can even mingle, to a degree, of course.)  All in all, the girl was pretty awesome.

Until it all started unraveling.

That face you make when you know it's all about to go to ish.

This is my “aw hell, I done got myself into some ish” face, as displayed by Paula Patton.

Now, you’ve seen Catfish, right? If you haven’t, you’re a sad excuse for a millennial. This story takes Catfish and spins it on its MTV-funded head. First, Angela starts sending me photos that don’t really match up. Secondly, they’re all from the neck up. I’m thinking, “ok, maybe she’s got a crappy phone, or maybe she’s just kind of a BBW or something. No biggie.” Of course, she starts rejecting times we could hang out, date, or even just have sax. Then, she starts questioning me about things that most people don’t know about. This, in itself, isn’t that harmful. It’s one of the things that allows people to get to know you. However, when you factor in that I’d never even met this woman and she’d rejected all attempts to actually meet her…you get a stalker vibe from questions such as:

“Why do you have so many pictures with [your son’s mom] on your Facebook?”
“Why do you want to get a tattoo of the Orioles Bird?”
“Why aren’t you over your son’s mom?” (This is something I mentioned to no one, ever. At all. On Facebook, Twitter, or otherwise. And, at the time, it was no one’s business, either way, of my feelings for her)
“Why is your middle name Everett?”
“How old is your mom?”
“How did your cousin’s kids’ mom get evicted from her new place?”
“Why do you have that slight split in your eyebrow?”
“Why don’t you come out and play? I’m right outside your window!!!”

But, the problem wasn’t even (just) the vibe of the questions. It was the way they were asked, like some sort of scorned ex-girlfriend who’d be willing to show up at my house with a shotgun, a tarp, and a shovel. She sent me a text that was longer than Dan Snyder’s fight to keep(?) the Redskins name. I tell my friends about it, and they pretty much confirm everything I already knew: Angela was bonkers.

Ya...don't say, Speed?

Ya…don’t say, Speed?

Not that Bonkers, but the face still applies. So, as apparently is the norm for awkward, potentially psycho pseudo-girlfriends, I hit her up via phone and text and said “hey, this is probably not the best thing.” This was, of course, after I flipped because she was creeping me the hell out. But, at least, I was warranted in my disdain for the situation. And, that was that, we didn’t talk and everything was hunky dory – or so it seemed! 

(I had to.)

A couple of months later, I end up needing a phone charger. I’m on Route One. This is because I’m meeting my son’s mom to celebrate her new job. So, I stop at this strip mall and go into a phone store. Just my luck, it’s the same one where Angela works – and she’s actually on duty. The photos, obviously, were of other people – or of her when she was in high school. As much as I tried to not make eye contact, out of fear of, you know, being turned into stone (or being hacked up into little bite-sized Speed on the Beat pieces), I do.

I go from this…SONY DSC

To this…hayate_sweat_drop
To this…awkward-face

Paying for my charger, and not even giving a damn about change, I hop back in my car and speed off. I’m pretty sure I spend $30 for a $23 charger. A couple of minutes later, I get a text:

“Couldn’t say hi?”

In the immortal words of Nino Brown, I had to cancel that…well, you know. Blocked her number, her friends’ numbers, her friends’ friends’ numbers, and to this day, I have never gone back to that phone store.

And, I don’t plan to. And, I’m pretty sure my soul will be required in hell at some point because of this whole thing. Let’s hope not though, shall we?