I first downloaded Tinder on a lonesome panic about two years ago. I was stuffing my face with anything I could find and lounging in my pajamas, spread out on the sofa and watching "Gone with the Wind."
I was fighting back tears at the thought of never finding my own version of Rhett Butler when I finally caved and began searching on the App Store.
Please save your pity; desperate times call for desperate measures. The holidays do weird things to us strong minded folk, and I swore to never spend another Christmas period alone. Tinder was the answer to all my prayers. Or so I hoped.
Within minutes of constant swiping, my finger had cramped and I had an interesting message pop up from, oh, let's call him Teddy.
Teddy and I continued chatting over the Christmas period. We exchanged numbers, then we seemed to be talking everyday. He seemed nice. He was funny, sarcastic and according to his pictures, well, pretty damn cute.
Snapchat proved he was who he claimed to be. We got to know each other, talked about exes, what we were looking for in life -- the usual. I wouldn't exactly say I fell for Teddy, but he had my attention and I definitely wanted to meet him in person.
We finally set a time and place. I was a nervous wreck upon entering the coffee shop. What if I didn't like him? What if he didn't like me? What if he had four legs? What if I forgot how to speak?
It was a little awkward at first, but once we got settled and had a few sips of coffee, the conversation was flowing, the jokes were endless and two hours later, we found ourselves wondering what else to do.
Now, maybe I should have known better -- he was technically a stranger after all -- but I felt like I knew Teddy pretty well. So when he suggested going back to his place so he could cook me dinner, I happily obliged.
Back at his flat, he was showing off his skills in the kitchen. We had gotten some wine and beer at the shop, and the conversation was still flowing.
By now, this had been the longest first date I'd never been on in my life. To me, it seemed to be going well. Too well, in fact. We ate, we drank some more and we settled on the sofa to watch a movie to round up the evening.
Upon the opening credits, there came a startling snap noise from the kitchen area. We looked at each other in panic.
"That must be the mouse trap," he said. He looked embarrassed.
Now, I'm not one to judge. Even the cleanest of houses have mice, so I jumped up off of the chair to go and investigate.
To my horror, there wasn't a mouse in the mouse trap, but the most enormous rat I had ever seen. In my life. It was bigger than my foot, and bigger than his foot. It was too big to be held down by the tiny mouse trap, so it managed to escape and in its panic, shoot out into the living area.
I was screaming. Teddy was screaming. The rat was probably screaming, and the next thing I knew, I was locking myself in the bathroom for safety, and Teddy was bashing the rat with a hammer in the living room.
Yep. He hammered it to death. On our first date, the possible man of my dreams obliterated a rat right in front of me.
That was my cue to leave. Teddy swiftly scooped up the bloody remains of poor Barry the rat (I felt the need to name him out of respect) and placed the body into a plastic bag. He awkwardly walked me to the front door and instead of looking lovingly into each others eyes as we kissed goodbye, he reached over me to dump the dead rat's body into his neighbor's bin. Yep, not even his own bin.
He later texted me to apologize. Nothing romantic ever came out of my first date with Teddy. We clicked and I found him attractive, but nothing more ever came from it.
We've remained friends after all this time, and now we look back and laugh at our terrible, eventful first date. And well, ironically enough, he was my supportive wingman on the phone as I nervously walked to meet my second ever Tinder date. "Don't worry, hopefully there will be no murder on this one," he assured me.
So, RIP Barry the rat. What a horrific experience it was for all of us. But at least I have an interesting tale and a pretty good friend from the experience.