This post has been brewing for awhile. Today we’re going to talk about text messages. Gross, disturbing, overtly sexual, inappropriate, creepy and uncalled for sexts.
But, before we get to that we need to talk about The Actor. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned him, which now seems like a major oversight.
The Actor and I met in 1999 while we were both working at an upscale menswear store in downtown Toronto (one of my first part time jobs when I moved to the city.) Although we only worked together for a short time, he made an impression on me. He was studying pre-med and seemed kind & thoughtful. He was also cute – in a rather unsettling way.
The Actor and I look alike. Scarily alike.
In fact, when we were introduced my first thought was, “if I was a man, I would look exactly like him.” He has a porcelain complexion, blue-green eyes framed by dark expressive eye-brows and a thick mop of curly dark hair. Although my hair at the time was dyed a frosted blonde (hello, it was the late 90’s), other people noticed the resemblance too. A bunch of my coworkers just assumed The Actor and I we were related. On several occasions people asked me in earnest if he was my brother.
I’d have to explain, “Oh, you mean ________? Yeah, we’re not related.”
Coworker: “Are you sure?”
Faux familial ressemblance aside, The Actor and I had a connection but I never pursued anything with him because I had a boyfriend at the time. We both stopped working at the menswear store shortly thereafter.
Flash-forward a year later: I’m now single and attending the same university as The Actor where e’d periodically bump into each other around campus every few months. At the end of third year, I ran into him while on the way to my summer school class and we ended up having an extended stop & chat. He told me he had been doing some acting. I assumed he had (like me) shot a few low budget student films. We exchanged numbers and agreed to hang out (finally!)
I was at the video store near my apartment when I saw the poster. The bottom half featured a dark haired man and woman in bed. Above the image: a 2-ft wide set of eerily familiar blue-green eyes. It was The Actor. The movie he had starred in wasn’t some run of the mill student production, it was an award winning film by a world renowned director. I was stunned.
The Actor was kind of a big deal.
A few nights later we went on our first date to a popular upscale pub located near campus. We sat on the patio and the conversation flowed nicely. At this point in my dating career, I was used to spending time with sullen, sardonic, troubled dudes (read: douchebags), so The Actor’s disposition caught me off guard. He seemed legitimately happy and excited about everything – including hanging out with me.
At some point during the night I got up to use the washroom and was accosted by two girls.
“Are you with ________?” they asked.
“Yes, we’re having a drink.”
“Oh my god, he’s so dreamy,” one of them said.
“Uh, yeah, I guess” I replied.
“You know he’s like a total player right?” the other one said.
“Yeah, you should be careful. He like, totally broke two of my friends’ hearts.”
All I could think during this interaction was, “THAT GUY?! REALLY?” Sure, he was adorable but The Actor just seemed really sweet and kind of hapless. I was well versed in dating players and he didn’t strike me as one.
I politely assured them that I could handle myself and went back to our table.
I was dating several different guys that summer. When I told my best friend this story, she said, “really, he should have been worried about you.” She has a point.
We went out 3 or 4 more times, during which we had a few make-out sessions. On our second to last date, I invited him back to my place. We were kissing, when he pretended to lose his balance, pulling me onto my bed. It was a move out of…well, a movie (and not a good one).
We kissed some more but I stopped things before they went too far. Maybe it was his cheesy make-out move, his exuberant (bordering on slightly manic) energy or the fact that WE LOOKED RELATED, but something felt a bit off. Although I liked The Actor, I decided to hold off on sex until I could get a better read on him.
A few weeks later, I went back to the West Coast for the summer. In September, he invited me to be his date at the Toronto Film Festival Holt Renfrew party, but I had a terrible case of bronchitis and couldn’t go.
(My Mom is still mad at me for this and insists I should have just “sucked it up and went.” She’s always been a fan of The Actor and sees him as “the one that got away.” She never misses a chance to remind me of this whenever she sees him in something on TV.)
The Actor and I lost touch for a few years until we found each other on Facebook. By that point he’d moved to LA to pursue acting full time and I was in a serious long term relationship.
There have been many times between then and now that I have thought back on what did, or rather what didn’t happen between me and The Actor. Was I really not into him, or was I just turned off by the fact that he seemed too nice? Accustomed to dating assholes, I used to think that nice guys were corny. However, now that I’m in my 30’s and a little bit wiser, a corny guy actually sounds pretty great.
So, when The Actor reached out to me on Instagram a few months ago, I was intrigued. He’d noticed photos from my recent trip to Los Angeles and mentioned that we should hang out next time I was in town. We exchanged numbers and he texted me that night.
Maybe I was being totally naive, but that evening I allowed myself to daydream about what our time in LA might look like: afternoon bike rides along the Venice boardwalk followed by dinner & drinks at Sugarfish. This could turn into the perfect vacation fling…. or maybe something more? Was The Universe finally sending me my very own Canadian/American Angeleno Dream Man?!
However, NOTHING could have prepared me for what came next.
We sent a few messages back and forth catching up. (He has a recurring role on a popular ABC drama and was recently in a Hallmark holiday movie.)
But the conversation quickly turned to what he referred to as our “unfinished business.” He asked me why we never “hooked up” in the past (his words). I didn’t know how to answer. Somehow I thought, “you were corny…oh, and YOU LOOK LIKE MY BROTHER” seemed like the wrong answer so I lied and said I didn’t know. He sent me this (he’s the one in grey).
That’s his high-five, not mine.
Cue: the sound of a million records screeching to a halt.
I was tempted to write back, “thanks bro, but I already know how to do that myself” and end things there, but I was perversely curious to see what else he’d say.
Unfortunately I forgot to screen cap the middle part of the conversation, but he went on to tell me that he was coming to Vancouver for a shoot and could meet me there. Then he asked me where I usually stay when I’m in Vancouver. I told him my sister’s place.
He replied, “will she mind if I’m over there fucking you?”
B) Not happening.
C) WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.
“If you’re coming to Vancouver, you should find a hotel room of your own” I told him.
“Ok, but I’m going to need a shower first before we do anything because it’s a long flight.”
It was bad enough that The Actor was assuming I’d automatically sleep with him, but now he was suggesting it would happen…immediately after landing?
I never replied, but was awoken by these texts in the morning. FYI, we’re in the same timezone, which means he would have sent them at 6am.
It’s also concerning that I never told The Actor I’d have sex with him, period.
A few hours later I sent a reply that said:
“Here’s another thing I’m not into as a 30-something: casual sex and receiving these kinds of texts.”
He wrote back: “Oh god. I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize I’d crossed a line.”
To which I replied, “we haven’t spoken in years. When you go from zero to squirting, you’re always crossing a line. Any woman who tells you otherwise is lying to you.”
I sent him a high-five emoji (because he seems to like those) before blocking him.
The next day, I broke the news to my Mom and watched as her golden boy fantasies dissolved in front of my eyes. She was thoroughly disappointed.
Angeleno Dream Man, The Actor was not.
I don’t know if his tactics work on women in Hollywood-land, but if they do that just makes me feel sad for humanity. People, we’ve got to do better than this.
Let this be a lesson to us all:
Men, don’t be this guy. Being objectified feels really gross. These kinds of texts likely won’t get you anywhere, except maybe a place in a blog post like this one.
Also, sometimes your Mom is wrong.