The Priest

Date and location of initial meeting: April 2015, Sydney

Subsequent meeting: February 2016, Sydney

The Priest was someone I had matched with such a long time ago that I didn’t even remember the exact time. It could have been back in 2014, even. We exchanged small talk through text and because we had chatted so much without him suggesting a meetup, I brushed him off as someone who didn’t have game (or was really busy), and relegated him to the Friendzone.

We finally managed to meet in April for brunch, at his suggestion. He also picked out a healthy cafe in Surry Hills, where I met him. He looked exactly the same as in his pictures, had great dress sense, and was tall (I’m guessing around 6″0, or 6″1). The Priest was Chinese, had gone to the same university as me, and also majored in a humanities subject. At the time, he was working in commercial real estate. Aside from that, he had attended one of the colleges at my university- so I assumed he came from a moneyed, elitist background.

*Just a bit of background information: my university has a number of several “colleges”, that are like dorm room accommodation in the US. They cost thousands of dollars to live in annually, and in addition to that, you need to make an application for entry, so it’s not just money either. These colleges have alumni communities much like an ‘Old Boys Club’ and lots of VIP business people also come to speak at the colleges that the rest of us regular university goers are not privy to.

Our conversation confirmed this. I asked him during our brunch, about the rape scandals that had occurred at his college, and he replied that it wasn’t a rape, but the girl had drank too much and had also been forced to drink some sort of detergent as a hazing rite. His attitude about it was sort of cavalier, and reinforced the ideas about him being a privileged 1%er. Our discussion led to chatting about other things, such as our plans for the next year, and the Priest began talking enthusiastically about a monastic year that he was hoping to do in the UK, that was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

At this point, I was seriously thinking “why are you on Tinder?” so I asked him if the monastic year meant that participants had to be celibate. The Priest answered hesitantly, that yes, it did require celibacy, but then he added, “Well, on weekends you get to to go into the city though…” and left the rest up to my imagination.

A priest that hooks up on weekends does not a good priest make.

At this time, we also had a particularly despicable prime minister in power in Australia, known as Tony Abbott. The topic of Tony Abbott came up, and

I began to feel increasingly alienated from the Priest, and left it as one of the stranger dates that I wouldn’t bother going out with again. He was nice, but we didn’t have any chemistry, and there was something a little bit self-centred about him. He picked up the bill for brunch, and we waved each other goodbye awkwardly.

We continued chatting though, and a few months later, when he got Snapchat, he bombarded me with snaps almost daily. (Speaking of that, he just sent me a snap). We would chat here and there about trivial things. On my end, I really had no intention of seeing him again, until one day, when I got back from Myanmar in February, I was bored and depressed over being jobless, and I asked The Priest if he had had trouble job hunting as a fresh graduate. He said that he had, but could tell me about it properly over dinner or a drink sometime. We made plans to have dinner and a drink at a new restaurant in Sydney the following week.

The Priest had made plans to meet up for a drink before dinner, at a newish bar in the Rocks. When we met up, we kissed hello on the cheek and walked to the bar talking. There was a palpable discomfort in the air, and mentally exhausted from other dates I’d had earlier in the week, I regretted agreeing to meeting the Priest again.

We got to the Palisades in the Rocks around 7pm, and it was packed to the brim, with not a seat in sight. The Priest lamented that it had been discovered already, and said that when he’d come a few weeks earlier, it had been empty. We got drinks (The Priest said he’d “get the first round”) and struggled to find a seat, all the while scoping out the seats of people that we thought might be leaving. It was all very uncomfortable.

After maybe half an hour, we finally got a seat, and seeing as he said he would “get the first round” implied that he expected me to get the second, so I went to the bar. I was waiting for a ridiculously long time and in the end, I got tired of waiting and made The Priest leave.

We got in an Uber to the restaurant in Surry Hills, where we came half an hour earlier than our reservation. After taking a seat at the bar, the Priest proceeded to bore me with small talk about his favourite foods and complexity of dishes. I regretted agreeing to meet him even more. But that’s not all. After he bored me with small talk about food, the Priest began to say how he “hated people who posted fitness progress pictures on social media”. I asked him what was wrong with it, and the Priest replied that the saying “fat, single, and ready for a Pringle” was what he felt more accurately described the dating landscape and what he would much prefer in comparison to a fitness progress picture.

I replied, “At least people who post fitness progress pictures have the desire for self-improvement, which is more admirable than hating your body and doing nothing about it.” Feeling a little irritated, I changed the topic and asked if he had always wanted to be a Priest, and if he still had plans to do his monastic year. The Priest replied that his desire to become a priest had started because of the uniform, and began to talk about how he just loved any profession that required uniforms.

I couldn’t take him seriously at this point anymore. Shortly after this, our food arrived, and I was thankful that at least I had something good to eat to distract me.

We began talking about our recent date history, and out of the blue the Priest asked, “Do you like older men?” With this question, I made the realisation that he had some romantic intention for this meeting, and I replied that I did. The Priest is only a year older than me, so I hoped that he would read between the lines and understand that I meant that I liked much older men.

When the bill came, I offered to split and The Priest accepted it. Due to an evening full of boring/annoying conversation and having to split the bill, I was in a rather annoyed mood, and told the Priest I was too tired to grab a drink after dinner, and we split. I was never so happy to say goodbye to anyone.



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