50 First Dates: Fearful of Being Catfished She Never Dreamed Her Date Would Show Up High

Meeting at a busy coffee shop in the middle of the day seemed innocent enough for this first-time dating app user. But date no. 5’s Bumble bachelor had her far from trippin’, stumblin’, flippin’, fumblin’.


50 First Dates anonymously chronicles the fun, romantic, wacky, bizarre and downright awful true experiences of dating in Honolulu. Check back weekly for new first-date stories, where to go to woo a boo, tips on where to meet people and more!

“Um. I’m trippin’”



How we met



Where we met

Starbucks at Salt at Our Kaka‘ako.


The lowdown

My greatest concern was that I would be catfished. After all, this was my first Bumble date ever and I’d heard the horror stories—from both sexes—of barely recognizing the organic version of either a) heavily filtered, insecure singles, or b) online profiles from a decade ago (as if I wouldn’t notice).


But, in fact, he was exactly as he’d posted: sun-kissed and muscular, big boyish hazel eyes and a full head of messy surfer hair undisguised by a baseball cap or headgear of any sort. 


The first red flag, though, should’ve been that he was 30 minutes late. Had I not been working on my computer, I would’ve left. But he did text to say he was running behind, so I let the tardy slide.


Pleased that he was true to form, I stood rather close to him in line to get coffee, making small talk and getting through the initial howdy-do’s. As we got closer to the register, he began squinting his eyes, clearly agitated by the Starbucks lighting system designed to make their menus dazzle. Then, the body language: he began to shuffle from foot-to-foot, and fidget with his shoulders. He seemed distracted so I hastily paid for our coffee and sat down with him. With nary a thank you, he blankly stared into my eyes ... and that was when I noticed his pupils: deeply dilated. As if careful not to slur his speech, he slowly explained that it was his day off from the hospital (he’s a full-time nurse); he was at the North Shore with friends, surfing and hiking. I offered some supportive sentiments, but he stopped me mid-sentence.


“Um, I need a rain check,” he blurted.

“Ok, but are you alright?” I asked, taken back.


“Are you OK?” I insisted again.

“Um, I’m trippin’,” he said.

“… Oh, ok …” I replied, not knowing how else to respond.


With that, he hastily gave me a lukewarm hug and walked out. Either he didn’t like what he saw and made a quick exit, or he was truly trippin’.


How did it end/where are they now?

When I wondered why he never contacted me again—even just to say “hey, sorry, let’s do that over”—my friends say he was probably embarrassed. I say he wanted out.


I can’t tell you what that first Bumble date did to my confidence, but I can assure you that I subsequently checked a date’s pulse and pupils before buying the first round of coffee. 


arrested development


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Honolulu Magazine March 2020
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