Saturday, April 29, 2006

My hot date with Hot Rob

How desperate is the dating scene in Vancouver? Hot Rob asked me out and I said yes. It doesn’t get much more dire than that.

Rob stumbled across my blog last fall after I wrote about what an arrogant ass he was here, here and here. But instead of being insulted, Rob complemented me on my sarcasm (which is funny because I wasn’t being sarcastic). We’ve been emailing each other ever since.

So when he invited me to a party this week, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet the man in the flesh. I was curious to find out if he really was the Adonis he said he was.

Before I go any further, I should probably back up a bit for those of you who don’t know who Hot Rob is.

Hot Rob is a 34-year-old former Sears catalogue model. His real name is Robert Funk. Last fall, Rob called a Vancouver radio station to complain that he had a hard time finding love because women were intimidated by his high level of hotness.

The whole thing was absurd. Especially because Hot Rob wasn’t all that hot. Or at least not nearly as hot as he thought he was.

Which is why it is so painful for me to admit that Hot Rob actually is kind of hot.* He looks nothing like he does in his photos. He is quite possibly the most unphotogenic person I have ever met (which probably explains why his modeling career tanked).

He is also funny, charming and self-deprecating. When I introduced him to my friend Annelle, he leaned across the table to shake her hand and said, "You’re the one who said I look like a gay flight attendant."

He even seemed a little embarrassed about the whole Hot Rob thing. Or at least he acted embarrassed about it.

"I don’t think I’m hot," he confessed over a beer. "I’m okay looking but I’m not hot. Not even close to hot."

So why phone a radio station to complain about being really, really, really good looking? He said he did it on a lark. And he wasn’t happy with the way the interviews turned out. "They edited it to make me sound like an arrogant jerk."

I didn’t buy his explanation and called him on it.

"But I heard you say you don’t like going to a restaurant on a first date because you know every woman in the place will be staring at you and then the woman you’re with gets all jealous and insecure," I said. "You said that. It came out of your mouth in one sentence. Are you trying to tell me that was edited?"

"Okay. Maybe that wasn’t edited," he laughed. He may be vain but at least he can laugh at his own vanity.

On the downside, Rob smokes and talks on his cell phone way too much.

On the upside, Rob is very close to his family. About two minutes after I met Rob, he introduced me to his father, his mother, his cousin, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend. He said they were all dying to meet me.

He wasn’t kidding. Rob’s family spent most of the night gushing over me. They acted as if I was the most fascinating person in the room. They treated me like a celebrity. They told me they loved what I wrote about Rob. I spent more time talking with Rob’s mom than I did with her son. She even gave me a big hug and invited me to a slumber party at her house.

It was so over-the-top that the first thing Annelle said to me after we left was "I can’t get over how much his family loves you. It’s kind of weird."

Now, in case you’re thinking that sparks are flying and Rob and I are about to head down the aisle, let me stop you right there. First of all, I don’t date models. Second of all, Rob has a girlfriend. They’ve been dating for three months. The best part? They met on a reality TV show.

Actually, that’s the reason we were at the bar in the first place. Rob and Katherine had invited everyone to watch the episode of Manhattan Matchmaker where they were set up on a blind date.

I’m happy Rob has finally found love. And I’m even happier it’s not with me. The Vancouver dating scene may be desperate but I’m not.

* Although I admit that Rob is not a bad looking guy, I would describe him as being more lukewarm than hot. He also has the same kind of eyes as Stephen Harper and Karla Homolka -- eyes so light blue they are almost colourless. While these eyes can be attractive in person, they usually look creepy in photographs.

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