Stand up straight, maintain eye contact, exude confidence. Make sure your hair is fixed just the way you want it. Try to look casual, but not too relaxed. You don't want her to think you're not interested, but you don't want to seem desperate.
Oh, I'm sorry. You caught me getting ready for my date tonight. I'm usually not this nervous, but first dates always throw me through a loop. I never really know how to prepare for them and I feel like I always just end up twiddling my thumbs for the first hour of the date before I lean in (unsuccessfully) for a kiss. I think it's fair to say that I don't go on too many second dates.
But tonight, I'm very excited. I have a date with my perfect woman. We matched on the new, popular dating app, "Love Connection." It sets you up with a partner based on your interests, and what you find attractive in a "love connection."
And tonight, I think I found my perfect match.
She is sexy in just about every way imaginable. She's not too tall, she's not too slim, she's just my type body-wise. We also share a ton of interests, like reading, going for walks, and we both hate swimming. Getting wet is just the worst, there is nothing good about it. It's miserable walking around with sopping wet clothes, yuck. Nothing really shuts down your night like getting drenched.
Oh jeez, here she comes. Alright, calm down. Breathe. You've gone on a ton of first dates, this is nothing. Why are you so nervous? This is just another first date in a string of a long line of them, nothing new, nothing special, it's all going to be just fine.
"Hello! I'm Rose."
My brain short-circuits. I forget just about everything I was about to say. All the stories, all the jokes, all the hilarious anecdotes I was prepared to tell this lovely being, all of them just escape my memory. I don't know what it is about her, but she's just so magnetic. Her charm and beauty is unmatched. She has to be the most angelic thing my eyes have ever seen.
"So... what should we do?"
I was planning on taking her to see a show, but now that we've met, I feel like there is no plan I could possibly have that would be good enough for her. She appears to be constructed by a god, a higher power determined to achieve perfection, and that higher power has nailed it. I simply can't compute the ways she revs my engine. Her smile, her hair, her eyes, it's all amazing, as if it were crafted with my ideals in mind.
"Want to play pool?"
"Sure!" she says. I have no idea why I suggested pool. I hate pool. Sure, I'm pretty good at it, but who cares? Is she going to be impressed that I can hit a few stupid balls into a pocket? Maybe I'll let her win. That's the polite thing to do, right? Or will she think I'm weak because I lost to a woman? Too many factors to calculate, I'm just going to go in, not showboat, but hold my own and see where the night takes us.
"Do you want to break?" I ask her.
And in one stroke of the cue, she hit every single ball into a pocket. Every. Single. One. I've never seen anything like it in my life.
"Wow, lucky shot I guess!"
"Yea, I guess," she says.
But then she proceeded to do the exact same thing 6 times in a row. I never got a shot in. I never hit the cue ball once, but I spent $6 to watch this stunning piece of work drain every single ball after one shot. It seems scientifically and mathematically impossible, but I saw it with my own two eyes. It was automatic.
"How the hell did you learn how to do that?"
"Well, I have a confession..."
And with that little phrase, the night changed entirely.
"I have something to show you," she said while grabbing my hand and dragging me outside, "but you have to promise not to freak out."
"Okay, what is it?"
"Well, I'm not like you. I'm not like a lot of the girls you've been out with probably. I have a little bit of a secret, but I think you're a really sweet guy so I wanted to share it with you before things get too serious."
And with that, Rose raised her hands to her face, touched something behind her ear, the sound of air released, and her face came off, revealing her robotic inner workings.
"I was going to tell you online earlier but..."
"WHAT THE FUCK?!" I exclaimed. "You're a fucking robot?!"
I admit, I could have handled this situation a bit more tactfully, but here I was thinking I was on a date with a real, human woman, only to find out I've been hoodwinked by a robot.
"Well, I'm not really a robot, I'm a cyborg. While my body has been synthetically created from advanced mechanics, my consciousness is human. I can feel all the emotions you can, I can think just like you can, I can do just about everything any real human can, but I just so happen to have a robotic vessel that houses my mind."
Look, I can understand why she did it. In this day and age, there is a lot of prejudice against robots and cyborgs. Some people believe their choice to live in synthetics is unnatural, against God. Others think it's not healthy to go on living past the time you are supposed to leave this Earth. On the other side, these robotic vessels are giving people the opportunity to accomplish things they never could with their own flesh and bones. Disease is essentially eliminated, as is aging, and if a part of your body breaks, you can just head over to the robotics shop and have it replaced with a newer, fresher, more technologically advanced model, if you can afford it.
"I mean, it's just... on your profile you didn't say that you're a cyborg."
"I know, I know. And for that, I'm truly sorry. But you don't understand what it's like for a cyborg on these dating sites. I get tons of mean, hateful messages per day telling me that I'm not really alive. People telling me I should have died off years ago. People telling me what I'm doing is unnatural. I just wanted to feel like a real person again. I just wanted to not feel the judgment that I feel just about every day of my life once people realize I'm a cyborg. And that's not to mention the zillions of messages I get asking me to explain the inner workings of how a robotic vagina feels, and if I can receive or give pleasure with it. It's crude and embarrassing."
It's hard not to see her side of it. There's a lot of animals out there on the internet, and very few of them are looking for something real, like me. I've heard horror stories from just about everyone under the sun about how terrible their online dating experience has been, and this is just another cup of fuel to throw on the fire.
"I understand," I told her.
"You understand, but you don't want to see me anymore, right?"
Rose put me in a hard spot here. She was my perfect match. She was my "love connection." She was the one being I thought I could see spending the rest of my days with. But now I don't know. I don't know if I can justify being lied to like this. I don't know if I can handle this type of relationship. I'm curious, because I've never been with a cyborg yet. I've never even thought about what that kind of relationship would be like. Can I truly ever love an artificial body? Is there any real difference between a real woman's body and an artificial rendering of one? Will I be able to tell the difference?
"I'll just go, I'm sorry to waste your time," Rose said as she started to walk away from me.
"What? What do you want? I can read it in your face, you don't want anything to do with me. You think I'm some kind of freak, some kind of unnatural abomination that goes against everything you've learned was right."
"No, I don't think that!"
"Oh, save it. I thought you were a nice guy, I thought you were different, I thought you would be the one person who would get it and look past my robotic body, but I was wrong. And how did you not get it after I sunk all those pool balls in one try? No human is that good at pool, you idiot! Only a fucking robot with advanced calculation methods could pull that off."
She's not wrong, and it all started to make sense. She told me she hated magnets, which I thought was weird at first, but whatever. She never said she needed sleep, she always said she "needed to lay down for a recharge." Hell, even her hatred of getting wet makes sense now. In fact, I feel pretty stupid for not realizing this earlier. It all adds up.
"I know, I should have seen it sooner. I should have been able to deduce that you weren't a real human woman..."
She cut me off, "Fuck you! I am a REAL woman. Just because I don't house my consciousness in a meat sack anymore doesn't make me any less real!"
I walked right into that one.
"I'm sorry, let me try again," I said. "I should have been able to realize your situation. I shouldn't have been so reactive. I'm just new to this, and I didn't know how to control my emotions, and for that I truly apologize. But you have to understand, this is not what I was expecting."
Even though I should have expected it. I signed up for "Love Connections," the world's most popular cyborg/robot/human dating site. It's just, I figured that I'd find a human woman on there, and my luck on the other dating apps and sites was horrible, so I figured I'd give this one a try.
"But let me explain myself. Come back inside with me, let's both calm down and maybe you'll better understand where I'm coming from."
She agreed, and we went back inside the pool hall, and where I was prepared to talk this situation out with her.
"Come here," I told Rose as we approached the pool table again.
I pulled out my wallet, dug out $6 in cash and went over to the change machine. I got my quarters and racked up a game of pool.
"This time, I'm going to break."
And I did. And I sunk every single one of those balls into their pockets. I loaded up the coin slots again, racked the balls, hit the cue, and did it again. Four more times I did it. I could see her eyes widening.
"Now I have something to show you."
I reached back behind my ear, clicked my little button, and my face came off, revealing that I too was a cyborg.
"I'm just like you. I just recently transferred my consciousness to a synthetic body and honestly, I didn't know if I was ready for this type of relationship. But meeting you, and spending time with you, and talking with you, I know that you are the one for me, you truly are my love connection."
I could see she was a bit shocked. Literally, she had accidentally stuck her hand in a glass of water when I revealed myself to also be a cyborg. But I could sense that there was a bit of forgiveness in her expression. Her artificial expression. Her perfect mouth widened to a smile, and she ran over and threw her arms around me.
"I knew we were a perfect match," she said.
"Me too, me too."
(All tattoos by OddHouse, who you can follow on Instagram for updates)