If there was ever a time to point to something and say "see, girls really do like jerks!" this would be it.
Late last year, a woman named Jacklyn Collier went on a date with pharma bro Martin Shkreli some time after his AIDs drug price hike occurred. And then she wrote about it for The Washington Post.
They 'met' on Tinder, where he wooed her with lines like "I’m that guy who has been in the news lately," and sent her photos of his license and credit card as proof of identity. Who could resist a date with that guy? To be fair, Collier describes her motivations for the date as a little less than perfectly honest:
I also had a fantasy of being the manic pixie dream girl who helped him turn his life around. I pictured us opening an HIV/AIDS clinic together and wandering the streets of New York, handing out wads of cash to homeless people and other strangers.
On their date, Shkreli was apparently very awkward and polite. Collier is a vegetarian, so Shkreli (via his assistant) made sure the restaurant could accommodate her diet:
Martin asked, “Is there a vegetarian menu? My assistant said there was a vegetarian menu. There’s a vegetarian menu, right?” He wasn’t being a jerk; it was more of an “I’m stressed because my date doesn’t put raw fish in her mouth” kind of comment.
Aw, he was stressed! He also apparently admitted that just one drink was enough for him: "Martin told me that he was a lightweight, something I’d never heard a man admit on a date (or ever)." Collier seems kind of impressed by this.
As the date went on, Collier and Shkreli discussed their days and Shkreli laid on some thick philanthropy talk, but overall seemed like an okay dude:
Throughout our date, I saw occasional glimpses of the cocky Martin I had expected, but those were the moments that seemed the most false to me, as if putting on a confident-dude front. He seemed the most genuine when he was acting like the guys I hung out with in high school (I dated the president of the chess club); that’s probably why I felt so comfortable on our date.
At the end of the date, Shkreli pulled a real power move that Collier totally didn't see coming: he ordered a $120 cup of tea they had joked about being ridiculous earlier, then proceeded to tell Collier he wasn't much of a tea drinker. Collier describes her reaction to the moment:
I thought of all the good I could do with that money — donating it to charity, buying a new winter coat, buying myself 20 Venti iced soy vanilla chai lattes. He might as well have eaten a $100 bill in front of me.
Afterwards, Shkreli's driver took Collier home. She was left not interested in dating him, but without the sour taste one would expect from spending an evening with 2015's most hated dude:
I am not trying to excuse his professional behavior or say he’s a good person. (I can’t really tell from one date and occasional text communication.) But he’s a lot more interesting and complex than I would have imagined.
My only regret is not guzzling a cup of that $120 tea. As far as Tinder dates go, I’d call that a win.