The world of internet dating can be a tricky one to navigate, sometimes: you chat to someone online, something sparks between you, you do your very best to determine that they’re not an axe murderer and you arrange to meet up with them IRL (that’s ‘in real life’, for those not down with their acronyms).
The anticipation involved with all of this is, without a doubt, phenomenal. Will they look like their profile picture? Will it be as easy to chat to them in person as it is through a computer screen? Did you get the axe murderer thing wrong after all?
Sometimes it’s all worth it, but sometimes it’s not. And on those occasions it’s best to say your goodbyes, count your blessings, and move on to better and more exciting things.
What you probably shouldn’t do, however, is what Brandon Vezmar decided to do: file a lawsuit against your date in a bid to win back the cost of the evening.
Vezmar – a Texan local – said he arranged to meet up with a woman he met online and they went to the cinema. Vezmar magnanimously decided to fork out for the tickets, and they settled down to enjoy a 3D screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
And this is where he says the trouble began.
Speaking to Austin paper Statesman about his “date from hell” (seriously, dude, you have no idea), Vezmar said his date was texting throughout the film, and that she “activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.”
Apparently Vezmar asked her to put her phone away, but she refused. He then told her to go outside if she was going to carry on texting, which she promptly did.
Only, when she left the cinema, she actually left the cinema.
When the credits rolled, Vezmar looked around him to realise that his date had never returned. And he decided to deal with this in the most mature way possible: by messaging her and demanding she reimburse him for the date.
The text, which he later posted to Twitter, read: “Your behaviour Saturday was not only rude but it cost me money. I want you to compensate me for the $17 movie ticket and $4 pizza. Will you do this or will I have to pursue the money in small claims court?”
$21 is roughly £16.
It wasn’t long before his date responded (and, yes, it seems he really did feel as if he would be shown in the best light by including her text in his social media post).
“Are you serious?” she wrote. “My best friend needed me right away and you said my phone was driving you crazy then I felt so uncomfortable.
“I can't believe you would take it as far as going to court. This is insane.”
Vezmar has since filed a petition in small claims court in Travis County.
And, continuing to act in the manner of a rational human being, he also made sure to contact several members of his one-time date’s family in an attempt to get her address for the court papers, posting a screenshot of his communications on Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, his date – who prefers to remain anonymous – now plans to file a protective order against Vezmar for allegedly contacting her little sister through Facebook to get the money for the movie ticket.
Speaking to KVUE, she explained: “I did have a very brief date with Brandon, that I chose to end prematurely. His behaviour made me extremely uncomfortable, and I felt I needed to remove myself from the situation for my own safety.
“I feel sorry that I hurt his feelings badly enough that he felt he needed to commit so much time and effort into seeking revenge. I hope one day he can move past this and find peace in his life.”
Not that it’s anyone’s business, she added that the reason she was texting in the cinema was because her best friend was upset after a huge fallout with her boyfriend.
“I had my phone low and I wasn't bothering anybody,” she added. “It wasn't like constant texting.”
Vezmar’s petition to the court, meanwhile, still stands.
It claims that his date’s incessant texting was a “direct violation” of the cinema's policy: “While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behaviour is a threat to civilised society.”
A threat to civilised society. Yes, having someone use their phone in the cinema is annoying – but it’s more of a niggle than indicative of the crumbling of civilisation.
What is worrying, however, is the idea that someone who feels uncomfortable on a date should be forced to sit through it against their will, and that a person who pays for someone else's cinema ticket is somehow owed something in return.
Because the world doesn’t owe you anything – and women don’t owe you anything, either. “If I pay for her, she will like me” is a case of you having unrealistic expectations. And it is those expectations, not your date, that will break your heart.
FYI, women tend to like people who are good, not people who do things to look good.