I like to hike and I go reasonably often with groups organized through Meetup.com. On one particular walk, I went with a group of about 12 different people. There were several guys about my age and I talked to most of them along the 3 hour walk. One was a tall Iranian who had recently moved here and was working on his Phd in English literature. Of all the people on the walk, I talked with him the most.
A few days later, I got a message from Amar*. We messaged back and forth a little bit and eventually arranged to meet for drinks after work one evening. I was looking forward to it since he was quite a nice guy and we seemed to have a lot in common.
We agreed to meet in front of a well-known book shop. I arrived first and was scanning the pedestrians to see if I could spot him. Imagine my surprise when a completely different guy from the walk showed up for the date! I had been talking to a different person the entire time! He was a shorter Indian guy who I had talked to a little bit. I hope he couldn’t read my facial expression of ‘holy crap I totally thought you were someone else’. I think I pulled it off.
In my defence, the pictures on the Meetup messenger are tiny. It easily could have been either one of them. Plus, when you meet a ton of new people, it’s hard to keep all the names straight, and, with my little experience with Iranian names, Amar sounded about right. In hindsight, the grammar errors in his messages should have tipped me off that he probably wasn’t getting a Phd in English.
We walked around and talked for a couple of hours and then went our separate ways. In the end, the date turned out fine, but I’ve learned my lesson. I will make sure I know exactly who I’m talking to.
*name has been changed