Dates With Kate! A new website and the first podcast!

My new website, www.dateswithkate.com, is up and the first episode of my online-dating themed podcast is available there. Enjoy!

Episode #1 – Dates With Kate

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Published in: Uncategorized on November 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Leigh

As in all things, timing is everything when it comes to online dating. People enter into the dating arena at all stages of relationship readiness and sometimes you don’t find out until it is too late that the guy you are interested in has no business being out in the dating world. This was the case with Leigh, my next date, who should have come with a sign that said ‘emotionally unavailable’ hanging around his neck. I was not, however, so lucky as to get a warning so I was forced to find out the hard way.

Leigh showed up in my daily email of suggested guys from Match.com and, after clicking on his profile, I found myself pretty interested. He was cute, owned his own real estate business and seemed to have a solid base of friends and family in the Seattle area. After my last date (a poor actor with questionable role choices), Leigh sounded alluringly stable and safe. I couldn’t tell yet how exciting he was but I was intrigued enough to send him a short email.

It was clear from our first contact that Leigh was totally, totally new to online dating. He asked me on our second round of messages what the whole ‘story’ was and what the ‘rules’ were so that he didn’t mess them up. I assured him that I didn’t believe in the whole ‘Swingers’ mentality of waiting a specific amount of days to call or initiate contact but rather that it should be easy and comfortable and not so rigid. This seemed to calm Leigh down a little but I could tell he was still just…scared and uncomfortable about the whole thing. We started emailing right before Thanksgiving but he seemed to disappear over the long weekend and I thought he had run off into the hills in fright. A week after the holiday, though, he tentatively reached out and I all but forced him to come and meet me for a drink. Some days, it seems, you have to try a little harder than others.

Leigh and I agreed to meet at a bar located between our two neighborhoods. He sent me an email the afternoon before our date to tell me that, watch out!, he had met with two clients that day and consumed two lattes so he was wired for sound. Things could get crazy! I have been warned of a lot of things but this was new. Hopped up or not, I was excited to finally get to meet Leigh.

As over-caffeinated as he might have been, I was fine with Leigh almost immediately. He was very nice, almost bland nice, had a decent sense of humor, was easy to be around and, once his drink kicked in, he wasn’t at all too amped. I asked about the spelling of his name since it was a tad unusual and he said that he was ‘named after Jerry Lee Lewis’. I took a sip of my drink so I didn’t blurt out that, what the hell?!?, those names are totally spelled differently, but Leigh beat me to it. He laughed and said, “I know. My parents had half of a good idea.” It was comments like that which made me like Leigh. He seemed all kinds of vanilla but then he dropped something like that out of nowhere. I was getting the slightest bit charmed.

I sensed trouble, though, when we started talking about the adventure that is online dating. Leigh’s whole demeanor totally changed and it was so, so clear that he did not want to talk about that subject at all. I didn’t want to be a jerk but such a visceral reaction had to have some story behind it. I insisted that we get another drink to buy myself time to figure Leigh out.

Leigh turned out to be a bit of a lightweight – apparently caffeine was not all he was sensitive to – and the story came crashing out midway through our second cocktail. Leigh had had the awful misfortune of recently getting out of a long relationship with a woman he thought he was going to marry but had turned out to be all kinds of mentally unstable. He looked like he was going to cry as he sat there, gripping his drink, and told me about the horrible time he had been through trying to end their relationship. Wonderful – I was going to be responsible for causing my date to have an emotional breakdown just to satisfy my sick curiosity. But, really, it wasn’t sick. I had some sort of right to know where he was at, right? Right?

Thinking fast, I recommended that we hold off on more drinks but rather get some chocolate cake instead. If sugar was the third stimulant in Leigh’s trifecta of chemical instability I was in for it but, thank you thank you, he seemed to get in a better mood. By the time we finished our cake, served with the coolest little milk jug that we both had to take pictures of ourselves with, I was feeling the slightest little crush on Leigh. Maybe it was ok that he was a little unstable and on the mend and maybe he just needed the guidance of a good girl like me. Danger, danger, danger, those thoughts.

As I drove home I wondered if Leigh was going to be ready for whatever the next step was in whatever type of dating thing we had going on but I need not have concerned myself. Mother Nature was deciding for us. Not two days after our first meeting, Seattle was hit with a huge snowstorm (for Seattle) and the city shut down. I was stranded at home for a few days, as was Leigh, and, without him, I am not sure I would have gotten through it. We sent each other fun emails through the day and spent what felt like hours on the phone comparing the food in our pantries to see who would starve to death first. But, really, all we talked about was snow and the weather. It did not get more serious than that.

The snow melted before we perished but then it was Christmas and then New Year’s and, before I knew it, it had been almost a month since I had met Leigh. It seemed like we both knew either the timing or the chemistry was just not right for us. I suggested, finally, that we meet for dinner and a movie in January and it was enjoyable and we even held hands and kissed but something was just…not…there. I am not sure if I was turned off by the hesitancy on Leigh’s behalf or we just didn’t have a spark and a click but, after that date, I just was not that thrilled at the idea of doing it again.

I didn’t hear from Leigh for a few months (apparently we felt the same way about our chances in love), but I did get an email from him asking if I was still dating and available and, if so, would I be willing to meet him for some video games and pool? I will admit that I got kind of excited at that email and, after agreeing to his offer, at the thought of meeting up with him again after a little bit of time. Maybe the months apart had been good for Leigh and he had been able to move on from his ex-girlfriend. A girl could hope. I was waiting in front of the pool hall and Leigh drove by in his brand-new, pimped-out Cadillac, waving. The guy could definitely make me laugh.

My hopes about Relationship 2.0 were soon dashed, though, after we got some food and drinks and hit the arcade. I just still felt unsure about Leigh. He was laughing and seemingly having a good time but there was just something distant and kind of awkward in everything we did. After about 45 minutes I just really wanted to go home. A date, in my mind, should not feel so forced. All of the signs were telling me that, no matter how much I hoped it might work out, it was just not in the stars for Leigh and me.

I did get an email from Leigh almost a year later, oddly enough, to tell me how much he loved my blog about online dating. He had even been at a party where they took turns reading my entries out loud. That blew my mind just the littlest bit but I was glad that, even though we weren’t meant to be in love, at least we could still be cool with each other. Through the wonders of Facebook I know that Leigh has gotten married and seems to be, from what I can tell, a pretty happy guy. I still have the picture of Leigh on my phone, eating chocolate cake, drinking his milk and looking all kinds of not ready to be in love with me. Even though it was disappointing at the time, I am glad it was just me he was not ready for.

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Just a reminder: I am going to be starting an online dating themed podcast in the next couple of weeks and I would love your stories, questions or advice to include in the show. Send them to dateswithkate@gmail.com!

Published in: Uncategorized on October 31, 2011 at 3:30 am  Comments (1)  

Online Dating Comes to Real Seattle Radio!

If you have any interest in hearing my TBTL podcast regarding online dating on the real radio, rumor on the street is that it will be playing on 97.3 KIRO FM tomorrow, Saturday, at 2 p.m. Coolio!

Published in: Uncategorized on October 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

You know you want to hear it…

My dating adventures are about to be available for your listening pleasure! I am going to be starting an online dating themed podcast within the next couple of weeks that will include the stories of my dates, helpful tips, profile recommendations and whatever other topic occurs in the dating universe. I would love to have input and feedback from other veterans of the online dating wars. If you have met someone cool, have an unbelievable horror story or have a question that you want to ask, I would love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at dateswithkate@gmail.com so I can include them in the show.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 28, 2011 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Online Dating Podcast!

In case you missed it, I was lucky enough to get to be a guest on my favorite podcast today, TBTL, to talk about online dating. You may dig checking it out!

Published in: Uncategorized on October 19, 2011 at 5:36 am  Comments (1)  

William

A friend of mine once told me that the good part of staying in a rut is that you have less chance of running off the road but I got the wild idea to apply the opposite theory to online dating. It seemed like I had been going out with the same type of guy over and over with almost no luck so maybe I just needed to change things up and go totally outside of my comfort zone. Stable, financially secure, well traveled and, most likely, working at a technology company? Not this time! Next up in the rotation was a minimally employed, destitute, vehicle free actor named William.

I had already decided that I wanted to shake things up when I got an email from a very cute guy that lived in the heart of downtown Seattle. All of William’s pictures were black and white and very artsy and hip. There were definitely no ‘shots taken with a cell phone in a bathroom mirror’ photos in his collection. The actual written profile was pretty minimal – I knew only that William loved independent movies, the urban life, bourbon cocktails and acting – and that made him all the more intriguing. In his second email, William suggested meeting after work at a speakeasy I had never even heard of for a drink and, damn it all, I took him up on the offer.

As I made my way down a dark alley in one of the seediest neighborhoods in Seattle looking for the door to the alleged bar, I thought for sure William had completely made the place up so he could attack me and drag me away. Finally, though, I found the entrance and stepped inside. The place was tiny and there were only about seven people there, none of whom looked like my date. “Kate. Kate!” A less-than-attractive guy that easily had about 15 years on me was waving from a dark corner. No, no, please, no. William looked nothing, absolutely nothing, like his urban glamour shots but more like an old, short, sandal-wearing man with, it was getting better as I moved closer!, incredibly awful teeth.  Sweet mother of god.

I decided before I even hit my seat that the date was just something I had to get through and chalk up as a loss. It was going to be an unpleasant two hours, like going to the dentist, but I might as well just get it over with. I was so, so, so not attracted to William.  But maybe we would have a dazzling, friendly conversation. We both ordered cocktails and I tried to come up with something for us to talk about. I asked about his acting career and what he had done lately and he just laughed and said, “Oh, we haven’t had enough to drink for me to go there.” What? I kind of laughed and said something about, lucky me, being the girl unknowingly on a date with a porn star. William just chuckled, uncomfortably took a chug of his Manhattan and said, “Well, not exactly. So what neighborhood did you say you live in?”

Holy hell – I was on a date with an adult film star! I had wanted a little change of pace and that is exactly what I got, times infinity. By the time William dropped that little bomb, I could tell that he was harmless, albeit not the guy for me, and I got curious. This might be the only time that I was on a date with a member of the adult film industry so I was going to take advantage of the opportunity.

When we finished our first round of drinks, William asked if I was interested in having one more before we headed out.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be murdered, he seemed safe enough, and I wasn’t leaving that bar until I found out the truth about his acting history. Halfway through the second cocktail I got him to spill the beans and, oh, my goodness, it looked like I was going to need a third drink.

William had indeed been in a sexually-themed movie and, although it had been shown at the Cannes Film Festival and was ‘tastefully’ done, the film involved relations with animals. Looking back, I am not sure how I kept a straight face as my date talked about his love scenes, artful ones, of course, with livestock, but I managed quite well. I have had men bring up all kinds of strange subjects on a date but this one clearly took the cake. The story behind the movie did actually sound intriguing but, honestly, did William just bring this up at family barbeques? That just might be the new definition of awkward.

I was absolutely dying to ask William how his other dates had reacted to his acting role but I was afraid showing too much interest would imply that I was tempted to go out with him again. The bill came and William threw down a $10 bill and asked if I would mind picking up the rest – he hadn’t gotten paid yet – and, actually, could he also get a ride home? Oh, right, right, he was a starving actor. I figured that I had gotten my money’s worth just for the story of our date so I picked up the rest of the tab and agreed to give him a lift.

After I dropped William off, I think I laughed the whole way home. Of course, OF COURSE, the first time I tried to deviate from my dating norm, I ended up out with a guy that had been naked with horses. Could the universe make it any more clear that I should stick with my own kind, as tedious as it might seem? At least the next engineer I ended up on a date with would seem delightfully boring compared to William. There is something to be said about ruts.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 17, 2011 at 2:57 am  Comments (9)  

Trent

As it is to vampires, daylight can be very harmful to internet dates.  A guy that can be all kinds of attractive and charming over a couple of drinks in a dimly lit bar will oftentimes, in my experience, lose those same qualities in the harsh light of day. The first date that I had with Trent was one of the best I ever had – it is a good sign if I don’t roll in back home until 5 a.m. – but, despite the initial buzz, Trent turned out to absolutely not be for me. Daylight can be so disappointing.

Looking back, Trent and I exchanged almost no emails before we decided to meet up for a drink. I knew that he lived near me, was fairly cute, had kick-ass taste in music and was really into sports but that was about it.  He seemed harmless, and cool, enough that I didn’t feel like meeting would be a waste of time so, when he asked, I agreed to meet on the following Saturday night. What the hell?

Trent was waiting for me at a table in the bar when I walked in and my stomach dropped a little. His pictures had made him seem kind of cute but, holy hell, to this girl, he was pretty hot, with short black hair, blue eyes, nice hands and broad shoulders. Check, check, check and check. I went from ambivalent to crazy-excited in about five seconds. Things were definitely looking up.

From the start, Trent was just…easy. I had no trouble talking to him, I was totally at ease, and it seemed that we had a ton in common to discuss. It was a great conversation and, if Trent started to emphasize his points by touching my arm, I was not going to complain. At all.  We finished our drink and Trent suggested that we change locations and try a bar he liked near his house. I was more than game.

Trent and I managed to close the next bar down. They had a jukebox and we played music for hours, trying to stump each other or play a song that the other person hadn’t heard. I was having so much fun, and just felt so comfortable and attracted to him that, when he Trent leaned in and kissed me right at the bar, I almost fell off my stool in a swoon. How had this night happened? Out of nowhere? Hadn’t I just met Trent five hours ago?

I liked Trent so much that, when the bartender told us that we were not allowed to play one more song, I accepted when Trent offered to play me some more music at his house. I don’t have many hard and fast rules about internet dating but, if I do have one, it would be not to go home with a strange guy on our first date. I kind of like being alive so this has always been a pretty strict policy and I was completely and totally throwing it out the window. As I drove to Trent’s house, I had a brief thought that those might the final moments I had before ending up in Trent’s crawlspace but, honestly, I didn’t care. I was too enamored. Danger, what danger?

I did not end up getting killed but rather had an excellent time listening to music, laughing, having a wrestling match and just totally digging being with Trent. I kept insisting that I was not a loose girl so I was absolutely not going to spend the night with him on the first date so I finally made myself, a test of true will, get in my car and head home at 5 a.m. It may have been a drive of shame but I didn’t care, not one bit.

I spent the next day grinning like an idiot. I could not wait to see Trent again. We exchanged a couple of emails and Trent suggested we become friends on Facebook. Again, I don’t believe in rules but, besides not going home with a guy on a first date, I would definitely add  ‘No Facebook’ to the list. It seems innocent enough but it is, in fact, the exact opposite. It is too much information too soon and is nothing but an invitation for disaster. But, as with my only other rule, I ignored the Facebook one and accepted Trent’s request. I went to his page, started to look around and, immediately, wished that I had not.

I started by looking at some of his photos and, sweet lord, they were almost all of Trent and his family and friends hunting. He had picture after picture that included him and bloody, dead animals! I thought I was going to be sick. The pictures that did not include carcasses were all of Trent and his friends in various states of inebriation, including beer bongs and at least five where Trent was full-on passed out. What, what, what? Was this the same guy? To get the awful pictures out of my head, I went to Trent’s main page and read some of the posts from him and his friends. Once again, bad idea. They were all about drinking and hunting with so much bad grammar and spelling and ‘Dude!’s” that my head wanted to explode. It was time to quit spending time on Trent’s Facebook page.

I didn’t want to rush to judgment but Trent had wanted me to see his pictures and read his posts. He was obviously not trying to hide anything and I was feeling almost instantly unattracted to him. If that was really how Trent was we were not going to ultimately be a match. Trent sent me an email asking if I wanted to meet him for coffee the next day before work and I agreed. It would be a good chance to reassess my Trent feelings without the cover of night and the influence of alcohol.

I arrived at our coffee destination first and waited for Trent who showed up, no joke, in camouflage cargo pants and big, black hiking boots. I almost gathered my stuff and walked right out. I am not against being able to blend in with the woods but wasn’t he on his way to work? This is what he wore just walking around? No, no, no – this was not the guy for me. We drank our coffee and kind of chatted but it was pretty awkward. It was pretty clear that whatever attraction we had initially felt was a one-time thing.

Trent walked me to my car and we exchanged a brief hug before we both left for work. Neither of us mentioned seeing each other again and, as a total sign, I was totally relieved. I was happy to see that we appeared to be in agreement on our now non-attraction.  I am still not sure how exactly Trent went from hero to zero but I was now adding a new rule to my short list. No first-date sleepovers, no Facebook and no getting excited until I had seen a guy in the sobering light of day.  If nothing else, it would keep me from dating vampires.

 

 

 

Published in: Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 at 5:22 am  Comments (7)  

Aaron

With some online dating candidates, there is an obvious and clear reason why a hope of any kind of further relationship is null and void. For example, as I have dated, I have added ‘still married’, ‘alarmingly bad teeth’, ‘inappropriate removal of clothing items’ and ‘gross misrepresentation of actual age’, among other things, to the list. But, more frustrating, there are the guys that have nothing obnoxiously wrong with them, they don’t, for example, kick dogs or still live at home, but there is just nothing…there. Something doesn’t click although, on the surface, the guy seems like a decent enough prospect.

Aaron, from the very start, seemed like a great catch. He was my age, worked at a huge technology company in Seattle (don’t they all?), lived within 10 minutes of me, had two kids and was, allegedly, happily divorced. I could tell he was whip smart and he sent me crazy fun emails, links and internet meanderings that always made me laugh. I definitely looked forward to his dispatches and, when he asked if he could buy me a drink at a local bar so we could meet in person, I was totally game.

I arrived before Aaron by a good ten minutes so I ordered a cocktail to loosen up. I was excited to meet this guy, a little more than usual. When he did arrive, I was more than happy with the results. Aaron was a little taller than me, had kind of reddish hair, glasses and, much to my appreciation, a very nice physique. And the teeth. When he smiled, Aaron had quite possibly the nicest dental presentation I have come across. Good, good, this was going to be good! The teeth don’t lie.

The bartender came over to get Aaron’s order and, kind of oddly, he ordered a Diet Coke.  I asked him if he didn’t drink on work nights or if he was just warming up but, kind of curtly, he responded that he didn’t drink. I thought that was kind of odd since he had suggested we meet at a place whose primary function was dispensing alcohol but Aaron did not look the least bit interested in talking any more about it. That was fine because he didn’t seem to care if I drank and we had a pretty decent conversation. He was kind of shy and withdrawn at first but then he totally opened up and we were laughing and having a great time. It was a work night so we didn’t stay out too late, one more drink for me and one more Diet Coke for Aaron, before he walked me to my car. Hugs were exchanged and, as I drove home, I was crossing my fingers I would hear from him again.

I got an email from Aaron the next day asking what I was doing the following Tuesday. As he had mentioned on our first date, he was a former Mormon and he was part of a group of people from work that got together and talked about not being religious anymore. Was I interested in going with him to the next one? Hmmm…big group setting with his co-workers along with heated religious discussion? What could go wrong?

As apprehensive as I was, the dinner went amazingly well. Everyone there was cool, it wasn’t strange that Aaron had brought a seemingly random girl along and the conversation was not heavy or heated, at all. Until we left. Aaron walked me out to my car and, somehow, we started talking about high school. When I mentioned the name of my school in a Seattle suburb, Aaron stopped dead in his tracks. In the next twenty minutes, as we stood next to our cars in the empty, cold parking lot, Aaron disclosed that his marriage had ended because his wife had cheated with a guy I knew from my high school who was, coincidentally, now dating a girl that had written me from Match for dating advice (see Sandra). It made my head hurt to try and even make sense of the tangled web but I started laughing because, what the hell? What were the chances of that? A bazillion to one?

The laughing was all on my part because Aaron did not find this crazy coincidence funny or entertaining or interesting, not one bit. I could understand, extra-marital cheating is rarely a hoot, but we could at least talk about it, right? Apparently not. Aaron gave me a quick kiss on the cheek, a hug and was off. I really thought that was the last I would hear from him. My knowledge of people involved with the end of his marriage could quite plausibly be the ultimate dealbreaker. It was a bummer ending to a pretty stellar evening.

I was surprised the next morning to find an email from Aaron asking me to go to a cabaret show that Friday at a bar in Seattle known for their absinthe cocktails. Did my ex-wife taint not matter to him? Was he positive he didn’t drink? Did he just like being tempted? Either way, it sounded like fun and he surprisingly seemed to want to continue to hang out with me. The show was fantastic, the club was dark and intimate, the cocktails (enjoyed by me) were excellent and, admittedly, I was crushing on Aaron for suggesting such a fun outing. He offered to buy me one more drink at a bar next door (he was really a glutton for punishment) so I agreed.

 

As I ordered my third adult beverage, I got up the nerve to ask how a guy our age came to absolutely not drink. There usually seems to be a story that goes along with that decision. And there was. Aaron proceeded to tell me about his awful heroin and alcohol addiction, his long stint in rehab and his daily struggle to keep completely clean. I totally appreciated his candor but I was curious why he wanted to keep hanging out in bars? Wasn’t that a horrible temptation? I did not get an answer because, as soon as I started to try and talk about it, he was done. Subject closed.  He motioned for the bill, paid it and headed for the door. The ride home was uncomfortably quiet and I got another cursory peck on the cheek when he dropped me off

What was with this guy? He had all of these monumental events in his life but, when we started to even scratch the surface, Aaron turned off and shut me out. I felt like I knew more details and facts about him than we first met but I had no clue as to the emotion that went along with them. I wanted to know the real guy. We had all of these things in common but I wasn’t online dating to make friends. That was not what I was in it for, to be a professional companion.

I went out one more time with Aaron. We went and saw a great concert and then had some sushi afterward. While we were eating, he tried to get into debates about theological beliefs and moral compasses and competing explanations of fate and…nothing at all personal. On the drive home, Aaron revealed he was leaving in a few weeks to go to Thailand for a couple of months. What??? Is that not something you would possibly mention to someone that you are kind of dating? Might that not come up in one of our conversations? I half-hardheartedly said something about missing him while he was gone and he just turned and smiled at me and then continued talking about how awful the food would be there. Done, done, done.

I was not interested in dating a talking robot. I knew, or guessed, that Aaron had thoughts and emotions like a human being but I had yet to see them. He seemed so cool and we had so much in common, on paper, that I really, really wanted it to work but, alas, he was not going to let me see the man behind the green curtain so I clicked my heels three times, went home and never talked to him again.

 

 

Published in: Uncategorized on September 2, 2011 at 3:46 am  Comments (3)  

Adam

I like to think of myself as a girl that is not completely and totally obsessed with appearance – a bad haircut is not going to repel me – but sometimes looks do matter and, in the case of Adam, I was not just simply unattracted to him but borderline repulsed by his appearance. Sounds like a great start for a long and fruitful relationship, right? No, no, no and no.

Online, Adam looked like an extremely promising dating candidate. He had a shaved head, one of my favorite things, loved to travel, liked to explore the urban sights in Seattle and was an avid reader. We had even eaten at the same restaurant in Kauai within two weeks of each other. What were the odds? That had to be a sign, I just knew it! Adam was also a successful architect and he sent me several photos of spaces he had designed in Seattle and San Francisco that I found incredibly impressive. After a few emails, he suggested driving to meet me in his new sports car for dinner. Adam could only be more perfect if he arrived wearing a cape. I was eagerly anticipating meeting my new superhero.

I arrived at the restaurant after Adam and he was already sitting at the table. I could see the back of him as the hostess walked me to the table and I got even more excited. He didn’t appear to be wearing a cape but he was indeed bald and seemed to be snappily dressed with a very acceptable shape to his torso. It could be good, it could be good…

I got to the table and Adam stood up to meet me. He extended his right hand to shake mine but he kept his left hand kind of over his mouth so I couldn’t see the lower part of his face. I thought maybe he had dipped into the breadbasket and was finishing chewing but, no, he sat back down, propped his elbow on the bread-less table and kept his hand in front of his face as we started to talk. What the hell? He was not a soft talker so I could at least hear him but, really? I wanted to ask him to let me see his whole face but that seemed kind of rude so I perused the menu instead.

Adam kept up the hiding act even while we ordered – I saw the waiter kind of give him a weird look and bend down so he could hear him speak – but, when our cocktails arrived, I thought the game had to be up. He couldn’t drink through his hand. But, I was wrong. He managed to move his hand out and slip the glass up behind it, take a sip and extricate it without me even seeing his lips. I could not look away and I cannot even tell you what we initially talked about. I thought I had seen almost everything in a date but Adam was raising the bar.

By the time our entrees had arrived and our cocktails had been finished, Adam seemed to be getting more relaxed and, as we started to eat, his hand went into his lap and I finally saw what he was hiding. He had braces, not so weird, but his teeth were the smallest things I had ever seen, as in smaller than the brackets of the braces, and he appeared to only have about five of them. I am not even sure how the braces didn’t just fall out of his mouth. Sweet lord. As a girl that is quite particular about a good oral presentation, this was not looking promising.

Not surprisingly, things did not improve once we started eating. Adam got a spinach salad and it took about two minutes for huge pieces of it to get stuck in his braces. He was talking on and on about his ex-girlfriend, which normally in and of itself would have been extremely unattractive, but I didn’t even notice because I was trying so hard not to look at his mouth. I swear he had a whole garden in his teeth. Finally, mercifully, we were done eating. Adam swilled a bunch of water and excused himself to use the bathroom, and please, please, I hoped, clean out his teeth.

When he returned, Adam sat back down and, once again, the hand was my conversation partner. He did put it down to laugh a couple of times but he did so with his mouth completely closed in a kind of snorting fashion. I felt like I was on a date with Dr. Evil. I tried to let the mouth and the teeth and the hand stuff go because Adam seemed like an ok guy, although still clearly obsessed with his last relationship. But I couldn’t. It was obviously not his fault but I was absolutely, 100%, no doubt, not attracted to him, at all, not one bit.

I went to the bathroom and mulled over whether I was being the biggest jerk on the planet. Adam couldn’t help his teeth, he was obviously aware of their appearance and he was trying to do something about it. But I had to be honest with myself. Did I ever see myself not noticing Adam’s teeth? Was I going to want to kiss him with my mouth? Was it possible to have a relationship with someone and just let the attraction thing go? With a sick feeling in my stomach, jerk or no jerk, I knew what my answer was going to have to be. I was kind of fond of wanting to kiss someone.

Luckily enough, when I returned to the table, Adam was already standing, waiting, with his coat on and, of course, his hand over his mouth. Maybe this was going to be easier than I thought. He offered to walk me to my car and, once we were there, he gave me a side hug – only one arm needed!, thanked me for the night and was off. I stood by my car for a minute in a little bit of a daze. That was one of the weirdest dates I had ever, ever been on. It seemed almost like a dream, a really bad dream.

I did get an email, almost a week later, from Adam telling me that he had had a good time and would interested in meeting for coffee if I wanted to. I politely declined and that was the last I ever heard from him. At least I was learning something about what I could and could not live with. Bad haircut? Workable. A mouth that resembled a jack-a-lantern? Maybe not so much. We all have our standards.

Published in: Uncategorized on August 15, 2011 at 4:27 am  Comments (8)  

David

When looking back on my dating career there are some guys that I am so glad I never, ever had to see again and then there are those that make me question my dating judgment. When I go back and read my emails from David and recall our short time together, I kind of want to kick myself. Was I being stupid and silly? Was I being impossibly picky? If there weren’t twenty other guys in the Match.com queue would I be so quick to dismiss such a worthy candidate? A girl starts to wonder.

David emailed me first and it was soon clear that we were two peas in the proverbial pod. We were both politically minded, word snobs, dining-out aficionados and NPR geeks. I could tell, too, that he was a flirty dude even before I met him. He just had a…way. When David asked to take me out for a weekend lunch at a hip Pike Place restaurant, I jumped at the chance. He did then say that he was a big ‘green guy’ so he would be riding his bike in hence, don’t mind the perspiration, which gave me a bit of pause but was that such a big deal? He would be wearing funny shoes and might need some deodorant but I could live with that.

I liked David right away. He had brought a change of clothes and didn’t look sweaty but rather very fit and very charming. He was obviously a guy that knew his food and was extremely confident and at-ease. I felt comfortable with him right away. I did worry, though, that I was out of my league. He had two masters degrees, taught skiing lessons in his spare time, ran his own environmental consulting firm, was raising two kids from a very amicable marriage, loved to cook extravagantly-prepared meals (but only from local farms with sustainably raised vegetables and meat) and had a wine room in his rooftop condo. Oh, was that all? Yawn. How average.

David was the most eligible bachelor I had come across and, amazingly, he didn’t seem too full of himself. He was assured but not cocky and brilliant but not an ass but, over a two-month period of dating him, it  all just became too much. We had a whirlwind dating adventure that included a trip to the art museum (where he gave me an idiot’s guide to appreciating Renaissance Art), to the snowstorm where he drove to my house, whisked me away to coffee only to take me back and cook me a meal from groceries he brought along to the dinner he made at his house, complete with a freshly-butchered goat and a whole trout he smoked on his patio in the snow. David did not know the meaning of halfway. It was all or nothing, baby.

I will admit that I swooned over David something fierce for quite a bit of time. He was attentive, full of compliments, had his massage license (!!!), could make a mean Campari cocktail and would email me Radiohead lyrics because it was a Tuesday and he was thinking of me. How could I not be swayed? But, unfortunately, it soon got to be just a tad excessive. David seemed to be some kind of uber-human. He never had a day that wasn’t ‘fantastic’, he never ate cereal for dinner, everything he owned was environmentally friendly, his children were brilliant and he really, really liked me, I think too much.

Was that it? Did I just think that someone so wonderfully wonderful couldn’t really dig someone so average as I thought myself to be? Or was it just that I was more attracted to a guy with at least one or two really good flaws? After all, I liked macaroni and cheese from a box every once in awhile. And he just seemed to like me too much. After our second date he sent me a text message signed, ‘xoxo David’ which seemed a bit premature but did earn a new nickname amongst my friends.

I went away for a long weekend without David and mulled over the state of our affair. He sent me numerous emails, texts and left a couple of messages on my voicemail about the fabulous foie gras he had picked up for us for to enjoy before he took me out to the opera and the snowshoeing we were going to do and the accelerated class his kid had gotten into and I was just done, done, done. David was smart and he was attractive and, on paper, the ultimate man, but I just wanted to catch my breath and be a real person for a minute. I took my time responding to David when I got back into town and he sensed my hesitancy like a hawk. Was there anything this guy wasn’t good at? He was very cordial but it was kind of clear that we were not going to go any further.

I never heard from David again, he even broke up like an expert, but I did run into him, while on a date at an expensive restaurant with another man, almost a year and a half later. I saw a hot guy with a shaved head walk in the door, took a second look, and it was David, arriving with another woman. I wasn’t sure he saw me until, when I got up to use the restroom, he was waiting in the hallway when I came out. Sweet lord – I had forgotten how cute he was. “Why, good evening, Kate, it is excellent to see you and, well, you look amazingly fantastic this evening. I hope you have a wonderful evening.” And , with that, Mr. Perfection was off.  I stood in the hallway and, for a moment, kicked myself, until I remembered that my date had promised we could stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. How average, how boring, how pedestrian and how wonderful.

 

 

Published in: Uncategorized on July 26, 2011 at 4:14 am  Comments (12)  

Gene

The longer a girl does online dating, the finer-tuned her sense becomes of things she can live with in a potential suitor and things that are absolute, non-negotiable dealbreakers. I had no idea, really, for example, until I met Gene, the next fellow in my dating rotation, how much I appreciated a sarcastic, haughty sense of humor. I figured it out pretty quickly.

Gene initially seemed very, very cool. Based upon his first few emails, we had about a million things in common. He wrote well, read good books, took excellent vacations, was a technology geek and had a DVR full of television shows that was nearly identical to mine. He was also tall, had a shaved head, worked in IT management and had a house in a very cool area of Seattle. All systems were a definite go. Gene asked if I wanted to meet for a cocktail and, with no hesitation, I agreed to join him.

I got to our meeting location first and, when Gene walked in, it was clear that he was my date. Turns out there aren’t a lot of 6’4” bald guys walking around. I waved him down and, as he approached the table, my stomach sunk just a little bit. Some people look much better in photographs and Gene apparently fell into that category. He wasn’t horribly unattractive but he wasn’t nearly as cute as his picture had been online. At all. I felt a little bit of sadness but, once we got a cocktail and started talking, it abated just a bit. We had a perfectly decent conversation although it wasn’t fantastic. I wasn’t sure that we exactly ‘clicked’ but we had enough in common that, when Gene suggested we go to a Seahawks game that next weekend, before we even left the table, I again agreed to join him. Three hours in a packed football stadium ought to clear up my feelings just a bit.

Gene sent me an email suggesting I meet him at his house and we could drive together to the game. He had seemed pretty safe, had a convertible, it was one of the few hot days in Seattle – I was easily swayed. As Gene let me into his house, I looked around and, holy mother of god, there was some ugly, ugly art all over the place. I only saw the kitchen and living room as we walked to the garage but those two rooms were decked out apparently all by the same artist, an artist I never, ever wanted to give any of my money. Deep breath– art was not that big of a thing and there was football to watch. Good NFL can always distract me.

I have often told myself that baseball or football games are a bad idea in the early stages of dating because they go on for hours and hours and hours. That is a lot of time to make conversation if the chemistry turns out to be non-existent. Gene and I not only had to endure the pain of awkwardly talking but, lucky for me!, it was also about 95 degrees and we had seats directly in the sun. I was about to get an idea of what hell might feel like.

As I mopped the sweat from every part of my body, it hit me why talking to Gene was such a chore. He had absolutely no sense of humor and had never heard of sarcasm. I didn’t ‘get’ how funny worked for him at all. I would say something snarky and he would look at me in confusion and then, when he made a joke, he would turn completely in his seat to look at me and wait for me to laugh like I was some kind of monkey. Kill me, kill me, kill me. By halftime I was looking around for something to jam into my eyeballs. It was so hot and I so did not like him.

I made it through the second half, barely, and we headed back to Gene’s place. I could not wait to get out of that car. I figured that Gene had to have noticed our complete lack of chemistry but, when we pulled into his garage, he asked if I wanted a tour of, uh, well, the rest of his house. Since the only rooms left were bedrooms that were probably decorated by my favorite artist, I told Gene that I was sorry but I had to get up pretty early. He seemed totally fine, gave me a sweaty hug and I was gone in a flash. He was a nice guy but not…for…me.

I got an email from Gene the next day asking me if I wanted to go camping (!!!) the following weekend so he apparently felt a tad differently than I did. I told him that I was afraid that I didn’t feel that connection and he, very admirably, was absolutely cool, wished me the best of luck and made a lame joke about football being a romance killer. He probably stared at his computer screen to see if I was laughing but unfortunately for him, I was on to the next bachelor.

 

Published in: Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 4:44 am  Comments (2)  

Jason and Chris

It is one thing to have a bad date, an uneventful evening or a disappointing encounter but it is a bit of a kick to the gut to have two of them within 24 hours. I was able to experience this wonderful rare occurrence one weekend when I met Jason on a Saturday evening and Chris for a Sunday beer.  A huge letdown of a night followed by a frightfest of an afternoon. How could a girl get so lucky?

Jason sent me an email, I checked out his profile and I was immediately impressed. He had a Cake song lyric as his headline, he had traveled all over the world and he was a neurologist at a hospital in Seattle. I liked, I liked! We exchanged a few emails back and forth and we then agreed to meet at a local brewery the next weekend for a drink. I started counting the days in anticipation.

I walked into the bar and looked around for my strapping doctor of a date but there was no one that looked really anything like Jason’s photos. A guy at a table near the bar stood up and waved at me and my stomach suddenly sank. He was so not what I thought he was going to look like. He was at least six inches shorter than me and just…tiny. He was a small shadow of a man. Crap. I sat down and Jason and I had what was at best a decent conversation. He was shy, but cool, and we did manage to piece together some semblance of a discussion.

The trouble came when I asked about Jason’s job. He hadn’t said which hospital he worked at and, when he told me, I got my second bad feeling of the night. I have a medical condition that is totally manageable but that I don’t mention on first dates – it can be a bit of a buzzkill in that situation – and, it turned out, Jason worked in the same hospital as my doctor. I tried to be casual and ask if he by chance knew her and, oh, no, he told me that he worked two doors down from her and they were actually great friends. Crap, crap. And, lucky me, I had an appointment with her in two days. What were the odds of this lucky coincidence?

I briefly mulled over lying or not saying anything else but what was the point? The truth was going to come out sooner or later and, as I thought it might, any chance I had with Jason disappeared as soon as I mentioned my appointment. Was it the condition he maybe thought I had? Was it a professional guideline that he couldn’t date me? Or maybe was it that he sensed that I wasn’t attracted to his troll-like appearance? Either way, the air went right out of that balloon of an evening. We finished our drinks, said our goodbyes and that was that. It seemed we both knew the outcome of this adventure. But there was still hope! I had Chris to meet the next day!

I had only exchanged about two emails with Chris when he asked if, by chance, I had time to meet him for a drink that Sunday. From what little I knew about him he seemed fun, relatively harmless and there was a sunny day in the Seattle forecast. How bad could a drink on a patio be?

I realized as I drove to meet Chris that I knew really nothing about him other than his age and his height and that he was reasonably cute from his one picture. He had expressed interest in me, a good sign but, other than that, I was a little clueless. What the hell?

What the hell was right when a guy that seemed to be Chris drove up in the biggest truck I had ever seen pulling a trailer with another obnoxious vehicle behind it. What, what, what? I was still trying to figure out what was going on when Chris jumped about six feet to the ground from the cab of his monster truck. Sweet mother of god – please tell me that was not my date! He had on huge black boots, a silver ring on every finger, a belt buckle that I wouldn’t be able to lift and huge black, spiky gelled hair. It was like some kind of country Motley Crue nightmare. But he was waving! It was him!

What followed was perhaps the shortest and most cringe-inducing 45 minutes of my life. It turned out Chris lived in Canada, an, oh, different country, but he came down to Seattle every weekend to buy cars for his used car lot. There were more girls, eh?, in Seattle so he just chose to list that city as his hometown. I gulped my drink in a bit of a fugue state as Chris talked for half an hour about, of all things, the gloriousness that was Cuba which, maybe I didn’t know, you could fly directly to from that country north of the border. Was he serious??? What exactly was I supposed to find attractive about this international, cigar-smoking car salesman?

Even though it was only 5:00 p.m., I told Chris that I had to go since it was a work night and all. He said something about Sunday nights at the border being a nightmare but I was already halfway out the door.  I did get an email three days later asking if I would interested in coming up to Vancouver to catch a hockey game with him but I, surprisingly, politely declined that tempting offer.

What could be worse than that weekend of dating hell? I figured the only place to go from that point was up, right? Foolish, foolish girl.

Published in: Uncategorized on June 8, 2011 at 4:10 am  Comments (4)  

Brian

I admire and hold in high esteem people that don’t eat animals, adhere to Buddhist principles and are able to withstand the urge to pollute themselves with alcohol. I can find nothing bad to say about those attributes in a human being. I did discover, though, through my next date, Brian, that they are absolutely not qualities I should look for in a man. In fact, quite possibly, I should be on the lookout for the polar opposite.

Brian sent me a very nice, friendly, opening email with excellent spelling and grammar. He seemed to love the overuse of smiley faces, but emoticons aside, he seemed like a decent guy. He worked in the IT field for a local company, lived in a cool neighborhood in Seattle and had an impressive taste in television. Brian and I were also both total book nerds so, when he suggested a first date at a local bookstore in their food court, I agreed to meet up after work. I was a little hesitant at the date options in a bookstore but they did have a funky café and restaurant that served wine if I got desperate. Life preservers were available.

Brian was waiting in the café when I arrived and was sitting by himself with a bottle of water. I decided to be crazy and get some tea and a cookie so I offered to pick up an equally tasty baked morsel for Brian while I was at the counter, to complement his water and all. “No, there isn’t anything here, actually, that I can have.” He laughed and said, “But go ahead, go ahead.” I suddenly felt dirty for wanting something besides tea but maybe he was just gluten intolerant or hated sugar. These weren’t fantastic options but I could work with that. I had seen worse.

When I got back to the table, I got the full explanation. Brian was pretty cute – he had slicked back curly hair, glasses, a nice build – not too bad. It turned out, however, that he couldn’t have any of the food at the bakery because he was vegan, die-hard vegan, as in didn’t-eat-honey vegan. I tried to block the memories of the bacon I had eaten for lunch while he talked. Ok, ok – vegan, we lived in Seattle – how limiting could that be? I tried to change the subject so we talked about books and vacations and working out. Brian was funny, easy to be with and I had almost forgotten about the meat issue until I asked him where his favorite place was to grab a cocktail.

“Well, I don’t drink,” was his reply. I was racking my brain to think how animals were harmed in the making of my cocktails when Brian explained that he ‘just didn’t do alcohol.’ He was ok with other people drinking, hey, he would even buy me a drink, but he was just absolutely opposed to chemically altering the human body. Since I altered my chemicals as often as possible, it was looking like we were maybe not lifestyle-compatible.

Brian, though, despite our differences, was a pretty charming guy. I just liked him – I felt totally comfortable in his presence. Was it that big a deal if he wasn’t going to grill me up a nice steak and enjoy some wine with me while we cooked it? Maybe it wasn’t so, when Brian asked me if I would meet him for dinner the next week, I agreed. I hadn’t met such a warm guy in quite some time so I felt I had to give it at least a bit of a chance.

Trouble once again arose, however, when, a couple of days later, we tried to figure out where we were going to meet for dinner. I thought eating out as a vegan in Seattle would be a relatively easy affair, similar to being a vegetarian, but I was sorely mistaken. He couldn’t eat hardly anywhere! I suggested pizza but there were only a couple of places in the city, at that time, that served vegan crusts and cheese was out of the question. Brian finally a suggested a vegan restaurant near his house so I met him at his apartment and we walked to our dinner.

Dinner was…fine. I eat soy and tempeh and veggie foods all of the time so I was game to try that for dinner. The restaurant, though, was a hole in the wall that was dirty and full of flies and the food was not good. But vegan, it was vegan! We had a decent conversation – Brian was nothing if not talkative, easy and down-to-earth – but the thing I remember most was his 10-minute description of the vegan cheesecake that he made with soy this and tofu that and, well, it was fantastic! Really, he could fool me into thinking it was real! Honestly, though, the idea of being fooled was becoming less and less appealing.

It was a rare nice night in Seattle so we decided to walk around a popular local lake. There was a slight lapse in conversation so I asked Brian what he thought of the Seahawks’ chances for that next season. “Oh, I don’t watch football. Not at all. I abhor violence. The NFL should be outlawed.” In my stunned silence, Brian explained that he had been in the military prior to his current employment and he had done things he literally could not discuss. It changed him, he was now a Buddhist and football just went against his moral code. What could I say to that? I was a girl that played fantasy football, for the love of mankind, but I couldn’t argue with his position. How could I knock peace, love and understanding?

We came to the end of our walk and I started to suggest a drink at a nearby bar. Oh, wait. Alcohol was not an option. I suggested going to Baskin Robbins and Brian said, “Well, no, there isn’t one thing I can eat there, not even the cone. They use eggs in everything!” The curtain officially closed, at that moment, on the dating adventure that was Brian. I am all about saving the planet, being a responsible citizen and even not eating animal flesh but Brian’s beliefs and practices absolutely defined him and they were way, way, WAY different than mine. Apparently my type of guy was more the meat-loving, football-watching, Manhattan-swilling ‘Mad Men’ type of man. Was a nicer, friendlier, more trustworthy and emotionally available Don Draper out there? Did such a man even exist? A girl could dream.

Published in: Uncategorized on May 24, 2011 at 3:34 am  Comments (1)  

James

Just as it is in all things, a girl should listen to her sixth sense when it tries to tell her something about her newest online date. If it tells her that there is just something creepy about him, she should listen. If it tells her that he isn’t just assertive but is really an aggressive jerk, she should listen. And, as I have learned more than once, if a girl’s gut tells her it thinks her date is absolutely and completely gay, no matter how nice and cool he is otherwise, she should listen because he quite probably plays for the other team.

James first emailed me because we both lived in the same small town north of Seattle and he was a teacher at the local high school. He seemed pretty cool and, after only exchanging a couple of emails, we decided to meet for a quick drink on the water the next Sunday night.

I knew from when I first saw him that James wasn’t really my type. He was really tall, pretty skinny, had thin, long fingers, bad skin and huge teeth. My socks were not exactly blown off but looks aren’t everything and, just as in his emails, James seemed pretty fun. He was just about to have the whole summer off (if nothing else teachers have a great schedule), seemed to be on great terms with the mother of his kids, liked to travel and was a similar fan of live music. All signs with James were a go aside from a little nagging feminine trait that I seemed to be noticing about him. I couldn’t figure out if it was how he talked, or his hand gestures or the fact that he was drinking white wine (it could have been white zinfandel!), but James just was not a raging ball of testosterone. But, we had enough in common and got along well enough that when James asked me to go catch a show that next Wednesday, I agreed. What the hell, right?

“What the hell was I thinking?” was what was going through my head on the whole drive to the club in Seattle. James picked me up in his station wagon and we were on our way. I tried not to cringe while we talked on the drive and he described the fabulously scrumptious egg dish he had made that day and the precious thing his student had said to him the other morning and the new duvet he had just bought that was just priceless. He was so, so not heterosexual. I have met many a gay man and none of them were even close to being as flamboyant as James. But, then, as I was reeling, to emphasize a point, he put his hand on my knee and gave a flirty squeeze. What was the deal with this guy? I needed a drink and stat!

The music had not started by the time we arrived so James and I were able to sit at the bar so I could have my pain relief in a glass. He had been to see this band a few times and his friend that lived nearby, Grant, was going to join us in a few minutes. I just wanted to get this date over. Not only was James the most effeminate man I had ever been on a date with but he was also completely self-absorbed. With not a word contributed on my behalf, James gave me his whole life story in the ten minutes before Grant showed up. It turned out he hadn’t always been a teacher but had, for ten years, had a promising career as a flight attendant. Was he freaking messing with me? A flight attendant? I have met a few men in the airline industry that were absolutely heterosexual but I would have to say that they were in the definite, definite minority. When I added that job choice to all of James’ other, uh, feminine characteristics, there was only one conclusion that I could draw. I was on a date with a gay man. Where was this Grant character so we could get some distraction??

Grant arrived and things went from bad to absolutely awful within about 20 minutes. “Grant, there you are, you cad!” sang James and I turned around to see one of most attractive men I have ever seen in my life. And, unlike my date, he seemed to absolutely be a fan of the ladies. He ordered a stiff drink, checked out the baseball score in the corner and pulled up a stool next to me. I liked him immediately. Finally a man had arrived! Grant also happened to be smooth, witty and a great conversationalist. I tried not to be rude to my date, but I was having a hard, hard time. Talk about fabulous! Grant apparently felt something similar because, when James headed off to ‘use the loo’, Grant leaned in to tell me that he wished I wasn’t there on a date with his friend. Me neither, me neither, me neither but what could I do? There was no way that this was going to end well.

Luckily it was a work night so I mentioned at the end of the first set that I absolutely had to get home. Did I want my date with James to end? Couldn’t happen fast enough. Was I crying inside that I had run in to Grant while on date with another man? Hell yes. Hell yes! But one has to be polite as karma is a real bitch.

James drove me home, talking and wildly gesturing the whole way, and tried to lean in for a big kiss when he dropped me off at my door. I gave him a quick peck and darted out of the car. The whole rest of the evening and the next day, when I got an email from James asking for another date, I wanted to punch myself. I should have never gone out on a second date with a guy my gut knew was gay because, as fate would have it, of course that would be the time I would meet the most fantastic man I had encountered in some time. This online dating business was teaching me all kinds of life lessons and, well, some them were simply not that fabulous.

Published in: Uncategorized on May 9, 2011 at 4:21 am  Comments (2)  

Tim

It always happens, without fail, that when I mention that I do online dating, people will often look shocked, horrified or otherwise aghast in horror. “Oh, my god, I could never, ever do that! It would be awful and horrifying and, well, I don’t have the balls to do that kind of thing!” They then want to hear all of the grisly details of the nightmare dates that I have been on and, well, honestly, there have been a few. But what they are looking for, and what they assume is the worst possible scenario, are stories of the men that are crazy creepy or so different from their profile as to be offensive. What I have found far worse, however, are the men that were that close to being my Prince Charming but just…weren’t. Those dates, like Tim, are scarier in a whole different way.

Tim’s profile and email were noteworthy right from the start. He was an architect, lived in Seattle, had recently bought a house that he was renovating himself and moored his boat in the town where I lived. He was very cute, funny and my stomach always dropped when I saw an email from him in my inbox. When Tim suggested that we meet for a drink late one Sunday after he tied off his boat, I was more than happy to oblige.

I got to the bar first and, when Tim walked in, I muttered under my breath, “Please be him. Please be him.” He was CUTE and, as luck had it, he was walking towards my table. Score! Tim didn’t disappoint, either, once we started talking. He was charming, laid-back, totally at ease, and well, really, really cute. We discussed boating, house-renovation, my recent trip to California – the talk was easy and very comfortable.

“Thank you for not smelling like garbage.” When Tim dropped that ‘compliment’, I almost spit out my drink. The confusion I felt must have shown on my face because Tim explained that he was new to online dating, was not sure at all how he felt about the whole thing and had nightmare visions of what meeting someone new might entail, i.e., that they were so horrible as to smell like trash. It may have come out in a strange fashion but it was one of the best things anyone has ever said to me on a date. I didn’t smell like rot!

Neither Tim nor I could stay out late so we had to cut the date short but, as we walked to our cars, he asked if he could give me a call. “Yes, yes, yes!” I wanted to shout but I tried to play it low-key and instead said, “Yea, sure. That sounds cool.” The day and a half I waited for him to call were some of the longest hours of my dating career. Tim was quirky cool, he was successful, he was funny and he seemed to think the same about me (or at least that I didn’t stink). This girl was excited!

When Tim called two days later the conversation was short, only five minutes, and was mediocre at best. He asked me, almost as soon as I answered, if I could grab a pizza and beer with him some day after work, I agreed and then there was a bit of uncomfortable silence before we chose the time and place to meet. I don’t love talking on the phone but that was a particularly awkward conversation and I couldn’t say why.  I didn’t know where the comfortable rapport had gone but it had certainly disappeared for that phone call. Fine, that was fine.  It was just one conversation. In person it would all be better again.

Almost as soon as I sat down, I could tell that something was just…off with Tim and me. We tried to get a pizza together but our tastes in toppings were so different that we had to just get our own separate halves. Tim started to order a pitcher of beer and, when I said that I would get wine because I just really didn’t like beer, he looked almost disgusted. While we waited for the pizza, Tim started to talk about his true passion in life – scuba diving. He had not brought this up when we first met or I would have told him about my absolutely crippling fear of deep water. I had already offended him with my stance on brew so I tried to keep quiet about my lack of underwater experience. But, when he point-blank asked me if I would be willing to get my SCUBA certification, well, I couldn’t lie.

“I actually am not a huge fan of the water or boating but I can handle those in small does. But, putting a tank on my back and going deep, deep down under the surface, well, not going to happen. I would sooner eat glass.”  I couldn’t help saying it – water and I do not particularly get along. I knew he had a boat, which I could handle, but Tim was talking about dive weekends and decompression sickness and running out of oxygen – I was having a panic attack just listening to him. My response was obviously not pleasing to Tim and I could tell that I had somehow failed a very important test. Crap, crap, crap! I liked this guy! We finished our pizza and beer (and wine) and, by 8:00 p.m., we decided to call it a night and exchanged an awkward hug in the parking lot. I knew as I drove home that I would be lucky to hear from Tim and, as I predicted, he didn’t call or write again.

Tim was a hard pill to swallow. He was cool and right for me in SO many ways but, truth be told, the chances of us making it long-term with our diametrically-opposed views of water were not good. But that was all it took to kill things? Really? He didn’t drink like a fish, wasn’t horribly rude, still had possession of all of his teeth – I should have been able to make it work with such a cool guy. But, alas, it wasn’t enough for a girl just to smell better than garbage. There was a deeper (perhaps underwater?) connection that was still eluding me and that was a very frightening realization. Not frightening in a crazy-stalker kind of way but still very scary, very scary, indeed.

 

Published in: Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 at 3:56 am  Comments (4)  

Scott

After my last date had ended up with a guy naked on my bed with absolutely no encouragement on my end, I was more than ready for a fellow that was a just a tad less eager to accelerate the dating process. My next date, Scott, though, could barely summon up the motivation to lift his hand up to shake mine when we met. I would say that he maybe smiled twice during our conversation but that would probably be overstating things. How exciting! A guy that had chosen to have a drink with me instead of jumping off the top of a building! Fantastic.

In our first couple of emails, I did not become aware of Scott’s wish for his own early demise. He was actually extremely smart and witty and he had me laughing out loud several times.  Scott was different than the average Match.com guy and I was getting excited. There was someone out in the dating universe that could hold a decent conversation, seemed very cute and used words that I had to look up in the dictionary? It was looking promising…

It was June and it turned out that Scott had just moved to Seattle from San Diego in March for a job. On our third email, he asked, “Is it always so cloudy and rainy here? Do you have sun in this city? Ever? I mean, really. If it is like this for much longer I am going to kill myself.” Uh, oh. I asked if he had been on an exploratory trip to Seattle before he moved and, if so, what had the weather been like? Even though I asked the question, I already knew the answer. “Yes, I did come for a weekend but it was back in July. It was beautiful. When does it get like that again?” I had to break the news to Scott that Seattle had about five nice weekends a year, and well, trying to be optimistic, those were just around the corner! It wasn’t long! The sun would come out in…late July!

I didn’t hear from Scott after that email for three days. I thought maybe the Seasonal Affective Disorder had gotten him but I finally got an email. He wanted to meet for a drink but he needed to wait for a week or so because he needed to buy a car. Apparently he had broken down and, even though he was dying inside, he realized he couldn’t have a motorcycle in Seattle. It killed him but he just had to face the truth. Hmmm…maybe the SAD was still lurking around after all but we did agree to meet for a drink the following week. I wasn’t confident that Scott wouldn’t drive his car off a bridge on the way to meet me but, again, I was trying to be optimistic.

I walked into the bar and there was a white blob of a guy in the back corner that perhaps, if I squinted, looked like the photos I had seen of Scott. The blob saw me and made an attempt at standing up and half-heartedly waving at me. Seriously???? Nothing like his pictures, he looked nothing like his pictures, but I couldn’t turn around and walk out even though it was very, very, very tempting.

“Hey, Kate, nice to meet you. Did you find somewhere close to park or did you get f*cking soaked on your way in here? Because I am f*cking soaked.” This was the first sentence that the ball-of-joy that was my date uttered to me. Charming, really, charming. I am no fan of the weather in Seattle, don’t get me wrong, but his opening salvo just seemed like the wrong way to start a date. Shouldn’t some note of positivity be maintained? Really?

It didn’t get better from there. Hating the weather in Seattle was only item #1 on the reasons why Scott wanted to end it all. The rain sucked, his job was a waste of his time, his hometown team the Celtics made him feel like a ‘Masshole’, he missed San Diego something fierce and he had hurt has back. Scott had gained 50 pounds and, even though he used to be a ‘bodybuilder’ (he had pictures!), he could now barely get off the couch. “I don’t know why I get out of bed, I mean, really, why bother?”

My feelings of empathy and sympathy were quickly outweighed by my overwhelming irritation at this guy for even dragging me out on a date. Ok, fine, I understood that sometimes there is a perfect storm of awfulness in one’s life but it was really not fair to load all of that on me, within the first 15 minutes!, and not pay me an hourly rate to be his psychiatrist. I was only one girl. We finished our drinks and I made up some reason on the fly that I just couldn’t stick around for another round. Scott told me that I was really ‘harshing his buzz’ but, really, at that point, I didn’t think that there was much that didn’t. I paid for my drink and made for the exit. I moved toward Scott to at least give him a hug goodbye but he didn’t even get out of his chair.

I got an email from Scott two days later asking me to go to a movie and dinner. “I was going to ask you to go on a ride on the ferry but, well, I think the rain and clouds might make me jump off of the side of the boat.” As tempting as that offer sounded, I couldn’t take another downer of a date with Scott. I wrote him back that, I was sorry, but I just didn’t feel a connection. I never heard from him again after that. I am hoping that he made it out of Seattle and didn’t stick around to keep going on therapy dates. A guy should pay an hourly rate for that, I mean, really.

Published in: Uncategorized on March 23, 2011 at 3:43 am  Comments (10)  

Chuck

After the soul-crushing disaster that was Marcus, my psyche needed a month or so to repair itself. When I decided that my skin was thick enough to again dip my feet into the online dating pool, I went out of my way to make sure that my first candidate was going to be nice and safe with only a slight chance of being a total jerk. Chuck, a single dad that was a little older than me and from the Midwest, seemed like the type of guy who wouldn’t do mean things like surprise me with emails itemizing everything that was wrong with me. Chuck did end up giving me what is perhaps the biggest surprise in my online dating career but he was really, really nice about it.

The first email that I got from Chuck was very funny, harmless and kind. He worked in a management position for the largest technology company in Seattle and lived in one of the outlying suburbs. He had a 9 year-old son from a previous marriage that had ended over five years ago. He was tall, fairly cute and could put together complete and pretty entertaining emails. And he seemed really nice. I didn’t sense one bit of sarcasm or mean-spiritedness, which, after the caustic Marcus, seemed like a pleasant change of pace. Safe, I was going to be safe, so I agreed to a meeting at a local wine bar with Chuck for the following week.

Chuck was waiting at the bar when I arrived and my first impression was that he was really, really not my idea of handsome. He was…pleasant looking but just pretty much the opposite of what I normally found attractive. My judgment had proved to be lacking, though, recently so I sat down and decided to give Chuck a fair shake.

He was pleasant, really pleasant and kind of really, really boring. The conversation struggled pretty badly at first but, if there is one thing that internet dating has given me, it is the skill to be able to talk to people that bear striking resemblances to rocks. Chuck did open up and, as he let loose and started to joke around, I found myself liking him more. It could have had something to do with the wine we were consuming but, when Chuck asked if he could pick me up that weekend and take me to dinner, I didn’t find myself thinking it was such a horrible idea. I can’t say that he was wowing me exactly but I didn’t think seeing him again would be torture, either. With that ringing endorsement, the date was set.

Chuck looked pretty nice when he arrived at the front door of my condo but, in a once again sober state, I was now really quite confident that I did not find him attractive, not even the littlest bit. Crap, crap, crap. Was it too late to change our dinner plans? Yes, it was. I vowed I could make it through an Italian dinner with a nice guy even if it killed me. We had a pleasant dinner and the conversation was fine but it was like we were just friends or acquaintances – there seemed to be absolutely no spark between us and I kind of got the feeling that Chuck felt the exact same way. That is why I was surprised and shocked when, as he drove me home, he asked if he could come in my place for one more glass of wine. He had an extra bottle in his back seat and everything.

It says something about Chuck that I was absolutely not at all threatened or nervous about letting him into my condo. My fear was not that he was going to chop me into pieces but rather that he was going to try a romantic play which was absolutely not something I was interested in. I was truthfully kind of surprised that he was even interested in making a move. He seemed about as excited about me as I was about him. But what was I supposed to say? He had just bought me dinner, he was as scary as toast and one more glass of wine would be fine before I sent him on his way, this time for good.

We got into my condo and I pulled out some glasses and found the wine opener for Chuck. He started to open the bottle and I excused myself to use the restroom. When I returned, I headed into the kitchen and Chuck was gone. My place was tiny so, if he wasn’t there and he hadn’t just up and darted out of the condo altogether, the only other place he could be was in the bedroom. Oh, no. Oh, NO! I went into the bedroom and, yep, I had found him. Chuck was posed on my bed, completely buck naked, and holding his glass of Cabernet. “You told me to make myself comfortable, Kate, and well, I did.” It looked like I really was going to need another glass of wine.

I was so shocked that I had a hard time not showing it on my face and Chuck quickly realized the error of his ways. Even though this guy was quite possibly breaking all kinds of rules of dating etiquette – we had not even kissed! – I felt really, really bad for him. He had put himself out there, so to speak, and that took a lot of courage. But, sympathy aside, sharing a glass of wine with someone you are not interested in is one thing but it is *quite* another if they don’t have any clothes on, even if they are incredibly nice. It was time to put an end to this evening. I am a kind and polite girl but I am not that kind and polite.

Chuck recovered quite well, actually, and, after he put back on all of his clothes, we finished our glasses of wine, in the *kitchen*. I can’t say it was the most comfortable of times but it wasn’t awful, either. Chuck did have some skills and personality after all. He corked up his bottle, I walked him out to his car, he gave me an awkward hug and off he went. As he drove away I couldn’t help but laugh. Half an hour ago that guy had been naked on my BED! What the hell? How did this stuff happen to me? Even though things had ended a bit, uh, abruptly, Chuck had surprisingly restored my faith in online dating. Guys sending me rude and awful emails or lounging in their birthday suit in my condo? No problem. I could handle that. This was as bad as it could get, right? This had to be the bottom of the dating barrel, right? Right???

Published in: Uncategorized on March 11, 2011 at 3:43 am  Comments (16)  

Marcus

“I have your real email – scared yet?” The subject line of Marcus’ first personal message to me should have perhaps been a red flag about his mental stability but, not having had the pleasure of meeting him yet in person, it seemed like harmless, flirting fun. Hindsight is always 20/20, especially with online dating, and I will give Marcus props because, yes, indeed, he did end up scaring me.

Marcus seemed extremely cool at first. His picture showed a very attractive clean-cut guy in a suit and his emails were pretty smart, clever and funny. I did notice that he seemed to answer any email that I sent him within about five minutes, tops, but, eagerness aside, he was an intriguing guy. Marcus told me that he was moving in a month to the town I lived in, worked in the same city as me, loved sports, had ‘hit it big’ recently in the mortgage business and was new to trying internet dating as an antidote to meeting girls in bars. Check, check check – he seemed to pass initial muster with flying colors.

Within a week of our first email, Marcus asked if I would be willing to meet him for a drink at a bar that was right between his office and mine. My initial reaction was to throw out an alternate cocktail location. As the great George Costanza would have said, meeting Marcus three blocks from I spent all of my working hours was a little too much of my “world’s colliding”. If things didn’t work out I didn’t want to always be looking out or be running the risk of running into him. But, unfortunately, he really did work and live that close to me so I was kind of stuck. I agreed to his offer and the meeting was on.

In case he was late, he day before we were to meet, Marcus offered me his phone number and, being a nice girl, I gave him mine. Within ten minutes of sending him my number, my phone buzzed with a new text message. “I’ll bet you are counting the minutes until you get to meet me finally.” Whhhhaaaaaat? Smelling crazy, I almost texted him back an immediate cancellation but the rest of his texts, even though I got about 20 that day, seemed harmless enough. At least I would die in a familiar neighborhood. There was that.

When Marcus walked into the bar, I knew it was him but he definitely was smaller than his picture, and profile, implied. I probably had about six inches on him but… maybe a cocktail would help. No such luck. Within about five minutes of the start of our conversation I knew I was in for it. This guy was a liar and pretty nuts. My chat with Marcus was the first time I really encountered crazy eyes. He just stared directly at my face for our entire meeting. He may have blinked but I am placing my money on no lid action. Intense, he was very, very, very intense. And he liked to stretch the truth.

Within the hour that I spent with him, Marcus took back almost every single thing that he told me. No, he wasn’t moving to the town I lived in, he just wanted to but couldn’t afford it. No, he wasn’t a mortgage broker but actually worked for the TSA at the airport and had applied for an entry-level job at a mortgage office. He wasn’t new to the dating scene but had been doing it steadily for five years and seemed to really hate anything resembling a female. This didn’t bode well for me. None of these details bothered me in and of themselves but he had totally and completely lied about every detail of his life. The only consolation I had was that he didn’t actually work right near me but had only applied there. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I finished my drink and started to gather my things. I could not get out of there fast enough. Marcus reached across the table, grabbed my hands and said, “There is no way I am letting you leave yet. No way.” Die, I was going to die. This guy was off of his rocker. I mumbled something about needing to get home and he dropped my hands, sat back and said, “Well, fine. We get to do this again, right?” Oh, my GOD, dude, could you make this more awkward? Not wanting to get permanently maimed, I told Marcus to shoot me an email and we could go from there. He started to get up like he wanted to walk me to my car but, sensing grave bodily injury, I darted out of the bar.

By the time I got home, I had an email from Marcus asking for a second date. Hmmm…how did I want to put it…HELL no. That seemed a tad rude, though, so I said as nicely as I could that I didn’t think there was a connection with us but thanked him for meeting me for a drink. I got his email immediately in reply:

_____________

Kate:

Synopsis of The Rock:

a) Too skinny

b) I asked what you do in your free time, and you really don’t do anything.  Makes me wonder what we would do together besides mindblowing sex.

c) Totally turned off by the “I almost didn’t write you because you didn’t put your income.”

d) Check your profile hon, you didn’t put yours either, even though you claimed you did.

e) Think you are better than you really are

f)  Turned off by the “I usually date older guys because they are more stable” comment

You were great on the phone and email, I guess I was looking for that person and got someone else.  Good luck.

Marcus

______________

Well. I guess he wasn’t interested in meeting again after all and what was this about income? We had never even mentioned income. Holy crap. Were there any normal guys out in the internet dating universe? Really? Anywhere? A break, I needed a break. Marcus did scare me and he turned me off of internet dating for a good few months but well, how could I continually give up the opportunity for mind-blowing sex with guys like Marcus? I mean, really. I would be a fool, right?

Published in: Uncategorized on February 22, 2011 at 3:42 am  Comments (2)  

Gregg

The first thing I noticed about Gregg’s profile is that he actually appeared to be a girl. Or, at least, in his main picture, Gregg was wearing a skirt. I thought maybe Match had gotten confused about whether I liked men or women but, when I investigated further, Gregg was just wearing a kilt, or as he informed me when I emailed him to ask about it, an Utilikilt. This was new territory for me! And he wasn’t even Scottish! Very intriguing. Gregg’s profile also mentioned that he had recently moved to Seattle from Texas where had grown up and gone to college. A guy that was comfortable wearing a skirt that hailed from one of the most conservative states in the country? I definitely had to find out more about this guy.

Gregg and I only emailed back and forth a couple of times before we met but I was impressed all over the place. He was witty, funny, seemed to be incredibly smart and he was “in grad school”. Gregg didn’t clarify his schooling situation, which I thought a bit…odd but it was the only red flag among lots of very cool traits. Gregg asked me to meet him for a drink and I was very excited to take him up on the offer. We chose a bar, picked a time and we were on.

I got a text message from Gregg as I pulled into the parking lot telling me that he was there, waiting in the bar. I walked in the door and looked for him and, uhhh…, he wasn’t there. I took another look and, nope, there wasn’t anyone around that looked like my date. I was standing there, looking confused, about to text Gregg, when the guy in the corner started waving me down. THAT was Gregg? Holy crap. He looked absolutely nothing like his photos. He had gained probably 75 pounds, hadn’t cut his hair in probably a year and had also decided, apparently, to quit shaving. I was on a date with one of the members of ZZ Top! Sweet!

Even though I knew right away that Gregg was not what I considered physically attractive, he was such a cool guy, from his emails, that I still wanted to have a drink with the guy. It soon became very, very clear, though, that Gregg had not only seriously misrepresented what he looked like but also how cool he was. He was one of the most self-possessed guys I had ever met. We hadn’t even made it through our first drink before I heard the story of Gregg moving to Seattle, his five top bands of all time, his favorite college football team, why he had decided to go back to college and how he didn’t really mind that he was back living with his parents even though he was almost 40. Another round of drinks, please!

Several times during Gregg’s monologue I tried to interject, make a comment, or otherwise pretend that we are having a conversation but he talked right over me. It was almost unbelievable. I would start to say something and he would immediately just resume his diatribe. It was like I was not even there. He had some interesting things to say but I didn’t think it was too much to ask to, you know, be able to utter more than two words. I thought maybe he would wind down eventually and notice that I was there but, after two drinks, I hadn’t said more than two sentences. I was done fishing – it was time to cut bait and get out of there.

Gregg paused for five seconds and I took the opportunity to wave down our waitress. As she started to walk over, Gregg said, “Oh, thanks for getting her. Their second happy hour starts at 10 p.m. and I am dying, absolutely dying, for some macaroni and cheese. It is only $2! I can get two orders!” I just looked at him and shook my head. It was a work night, I had already endured two hours with this gas bag and he was now deciding to keep me hostage for at least another hour? No, no. I didn’t think so. I explained that, wow, sorry, it was kind of late and I really had to be going. I put down a $20 and stood up.

Gregg barely even looked at me as I got ready to go and, when I offered my hand to him so we could at least have a handshake goodbye, he looked at it for at least ten seconds before he shook it back. This guy was just wowing me with his social skills. Really, they were amazing. By this time the coveted macaroni and cheese had arrived and he barely even looked up from shoveling it in his mouth to say goodbye to me.

I got an email from Gregg two days later asking if I would be interested in going to a movie with him that weekend. I almost answered that I would if he could come up with even one unique detail about me from our first meeting. I wanted proof that he actually even remembered who I was. What was he doing going out on dates? Was he just looking for a warm body to talk to? As far as I could tell he was just doing his best to give online dating a really horrible reputation. An ‘A’ for effort in that department, Gregg, an ‘A’ for effort.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 24, 2011 at 1:29 am  Comments (4)  

Jonathon

After fending off the aging Cassanova Wild John and the schizophrenic Johnny, the last thing I was even remotely interested in was a guy whose name started with a ‘J’. It just did not seem to be working out for me. It was clearly time for another letter of the alphabet for my dating pool.  Wouldn’t luck have it, then, that I soon got an email from Jonathon and, dang it, he was pretty attractive.  Some rules seemed to be made to be broken.

Jonathon had a shaved head, wrote fun, non-cookie-cutter-type emails, was a Seattle native and I was just impressed with his…vibe. We wrote a few messages back and forth and, just for kicks, I asked him if he would be up for meeting for a drink sometime. I usually wait for a guy to ask me out, another one of those strange, antiquated dating rules that most people seem to go by, but I was by no means opposed to being the instigator and, well, Jonathon was kind of floating my boat. I wanted to see if he was as fetching in person.

I sent the email inviting Jonathon out for a drink late morning on a Monday and, when I hadn’t heard anything back from him by Tuesday afternoon, I figured I had officially been dissed. Some people like the thrill of the email chase but, when it comes down to actually meeting face-to-face, they are no longer so brave or interested. If there is anything to learn from online dating it is that people come to the table with infinite amounts of baggage and issues that will get you your feelings hurt in short order if you are not careful. I had counted Jonathon out of the rotation when, on Wednesday, I got what turned out to be an ominous email.

“So, Kate,” it began, “I have a couple of prerequisites and standards for dating that I am kind of picky about and I would like to clear them up before we meet.” Well, this was new. When I have talked to men about what went wrong in their failed internet dates it oftentimes involves misleading statements regarding physical appearance. I have heard time and time again that women lie about their weight and men lie about their height. This is a very broad stereotype, of course, but, in my experience, I wouldn’t say it was far from the truth, at all, which made Jonathon’s insistence on having a phone meeting before an in-person meeting all the more unusual. How very interesting. I gave him my number and he said he would call me soon.

I left work the next day, where the guy who employs me was my boyfriend for five years, to go feed the cat of another ex-boyfriend, Aaron, since he was out of town. If at all possible I try to stay on good terms with guys I have dated because it is just better that way. Some of my best friends are guys I used to date and, to me, that has always been a cool way to roll. I was sitting on Aaron’s back porch, petting his cat, when my phone rang. It was time for the Jonathon interview! Sitting on my exes’ porch! Well, this was excellent timing!

The conversation with Jonathon started out a little stiff and awkwardly but, after a few minutes, we were both kind of laughing and things got a little easier. That is, they were easier before my test started. There was a pause in the conversation, Jonathon cleared his throat and said, “So, are you ready? I have about five questions to ask you and I would like you to be able to concentrate on the answers.” What? Sorry? Had I been arrested and someone hadn’t told me? Was he about to read me my Miranda rights? Exactly five questions and they were hard enough that I would really have to mull them over? This was not going the way I had anticipated.

“Ok. First question. If you and I were seriously dating and a guy asked you to go out for dinner, would you go?” As much as Jonathon’s first question raised warning flags, it was a pretty easy answer. “If we had decided to not date other people, then, of course, I wouldn’t go,” I replied. Jonathon approved with that response and I moved on to round two. “What if he was just a friend and he wanted to go have coffee? Would you agree to that?” Uh-oh. I think I saw where this was heading.

I apparently had a jealous freak on my hands. Before I answered I really did use that concentration Jonathon thought that I needed. I could either lie to this guy and tell him what he wanted to hear which was that I would never dream of associating in any way with other men or I could tell him the truth and save us both a lot of time and pain. Hell, I had just left one-ex boyfriend’s office and had another one’s cat in my lap. The time for the truth had come. “Well, yes, if we were just friends, then, yes, I would have coffee with a guy. Not as a date, of course, but as friends. I am ok with that.”

I could tell right away that I had failed the test. Jonathon, being a good sport, gave me question number three but I could tell from his voice that he was so not going to take me up on that offer for a drink. “Well, if I told you that it was completely, and I do mean completely, unacceptable for you to see other men if I was not present, how would you feel about that? I mean, as in I would forbid it?” Hmmm, control-freak much, Jonathon? I almost lied just so, out of complete curiosity, I could see what he would possibly ask me on the next two questions. Jonathon obviously had some money he needed to spend on therapy but I was not interested going along for the ride.

“That would not be ok with me, Jonathon. I am sorry. I have guy friends and I am a trust-worthy girl so, well, that wouldn’t fly.” The phone line went absolutely silent. It appeared we had come to a bit of an impasse. “Well, Kate, it seems like our standards are extremely different and I don’t know that we would make a good match. I hope you find someone who is more like…you.” I felt like I had been insulted, and I probably had, but I didn’t notice because I was too busy thanking my lucky stars I hadn’t encountered this dude in a bar. The universe was obviously trying to tell me something and I vowed that this would be my last ‘J’ date for a long time. Lucky (?) for me there were still 25 other letters in the dating alphabet.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 5:01 am  Comments (4)  

Johnny

Trying to date a geriatric liar was mentally exhausting and it did not get any easier when I found myself with not one but two more men on the scene named John. Keeping the details straight on three different guys was hard enough without them all going by the exact same name. I was going to have to put some sort of classification system in place. That much was clear. Wild John earned his moniker because, well, he was crazy, but Johnny made it easy by telling me that was the nickname his friends gave him because he could be a little ‘out of control’. Excellent. I was going to be lucky enough to date two mentally unstable guys! John number three, however, ‘Jonathan’, despite his boring nickname, turned out to be so obnoxious I declined the chance to even meet him.

I got an email from Johnny, an engineer for one of the biggest companies in Seattle, and, even though he was a bit out of my age range, it was only by a year and he seemed pretty cool. He was well traveled, had good taste in music and movies and was, like myself, a bit of a sports freak. We emailed quite a bit before we actually met and I formed a mental image of what he looked like in person. Johnny told me he was ‘kind of crazy’ but responsible and his emails backed him up. He would often make dirty jokes and swear but he also seemed very kind and considerate. He appeared to be, in a lot of ways, like my perfect balance.

The first time Johnny and I met, I thought the wrong guy had walked up to my table. I looked back down at my book and almost chocked on my Americano when he stuck out his hand and said, “Kate? Johnny. At last we meet.” He looked barely anything like his pictures – I never would have guessed they were the same guy. Sometimes personality really comes through in pictures and I thought I had accurately gauged Johnny, but, in person, he seemed totally, totally different. He wouldn’t look me in the eye and I had to keep asking him to speak up and, when he did, he barely said more than two words in reply to anything I asked. I was on a date with a wallflower! After some time, though, he did loosen up and I had a pretty decent time. He must have enjoyed himself, as well, because he asked me to take a walk with him around a nearby lake.

Johnny did seem to relax but, man, trying to get conversation out of him was almost a chore. He may have been the only guy I have ever seen laugh without moving any part of his body. He just kind of… shook. Was he just incredibly, painfully, awfully shy? Socially awkward to an exponential degree? When he did talk, I really did like what he said so, when we finished our walk and he asked to meet me again, I agreed. I walked back to my car wondering what the hell I was doing. I went from a guy that seemed determined to kill me on a motorcycle to a guy that I wasn’t absolutely positively sure had a pulse. But maybe Johnny just seemed boring after the sheer insanity that was my previous date. When Johnny emailed me with plans to go to a showing at the International Film Festival followed by a barbecue with his friends, I almost got excited. Friends! He had friends! He must be somewhat socially engaged! There was hope.

Johnny and I agreed to meet near his house and carpool to the movie. I knew that the film festival was very popular so I suggested that we get there early since we didn’t have tickets. Johnny insisted, with the most passion I had heard him express, that it would definitely not be crowded and, if we were there 30 minutes before the movie started, that would be plenty of time. I thought he was probably wrong but he seemed to have very strong feelings about the subject so I let it go. We arrived at the theater and I just laughed to myself because, guess what, Sherlock aka Johnny? The line stretched and stretched and stretched. We finally got in the theater about five minutes before the movie started and the only two seats left were in the very front row. And the movie was in subtitles. I kept waiting for Johnny to somehow acknowledge that he had messed up, maybe even apologize or show some remorse for my sore neck, but he didn’t even seem to notice. Ok, fine. Fine. Perhaps I was a movie-going snob. There was a barbecue in my future that quite possibly involved copious amounts of alcohol so maybe not all was lost.

We were in the car, headed to the party, when Johnny mentioned that we were responsible for providing dessert. He swung into the parking lot of Whole Foods and, as we walked in, told me his plan was to get the makings for strawberry shortcake – strawberries, whipped cream, sponge cake. It was summer and that seemed like the perfect warm-weather dessert. We got the strawberries and the shortcake and then headed to the dairy aisle for the whipped cream. I saw a can and went to grab it when Johnny barked, “No. No. I want Cool Whip. Only Cool Whip,” and went rushing off. Uh, did he remember what store we were in? Cool Whip contains pretty much nothing but chemicals and I didn’t think Whole Foods would let it within a mile of their store. I found Johnny in the frozen food section, looking around desperately, and I told him the same thing, that we were probably not going to be in luck in this store. “Well, you are wrong,” he said as he walked over to a store employee. I just stood there in a daze as that same employee haughtily explained to him that Whole Foods did not carry that type of product. Johnny stalked back to the dairy section where he picked up two cans of whipped cream. What the hell? Johnny apparently didn’t take well to alternate theories, which, since I was only trying to be helpful, did not really sit well with me. This barbecue was going to be SO fun.

Johnny chilled out a little as we headed to the party and I actually had a fantastic time with his friends. I couldn’t really say how my time was with Johnny because he was all but silent. Had I misunderstood? He did know these people, right? He wasn’t talking to them at all. They were a funny, engaging, cool, awesome crowd but yet another red flag was raised when I went into the kitchen to grab some more wine. The hostess filled my glass and said, “You know, it is so great that you came with Johnny. He is on my softball team and, well, no one has ever seen him with or mention a girl. He is so quiet but, well, he is a tad bullheaded. Well, more than a tad. Ha!” I stood there a bit speechless but, before I could form a sentence, Johnny came rushing in. “Kate. I am ready to go. Let’s go.” What was WITH this dude? He almost seemed mad that I was trying to socialize with his friends. The hostess caught my eye as we rushed out and just shook her head and whispered, “Good luck.”

I tried to make conversation with Johnny on the return trip about his friends, the movie, our awesome shortcake – anything –but he just remained quiet. I had somehow gotten on his bad side and he just dropped me off at my car, said a terse goodbye and drove away. The whole drive home I just laughed at the absolutely unbelievably bad day I’d had. I was shocked when, not an hour after I got home, I got an email from Johnny telling me what an excellent time he had and when could he see me again? He was insane. He was obviously insane. I sent him an email back telling him, thank you, but I didn’t think we were probably a good match and that was the last I ever heard from him. Looking back it is a little hard to even believe he existed. Sometimes online dating seems to take place in the Twilight Zone – too bizarre to be believed.

Up next – Jonathon, the only guy who has required a phone interview before he would meet me. And, lucky me, I didn’t pass.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 14, 2010 at 6:02 am  Comments (2)  

Wild John – The Retirement

Certain mind-control techniques and a massive amount of charm need to attributed to Wild John because I hopped right back on his motorcycle, almost perished once again on the return trip over the West Seattle Bridge and even agreed to keep seeing him. Looking back I can almost be impressed by the web he wove and the spells he cast but I am also baffled that I fell for it. It is not an experience I am incredibly proud of, falling for a 47-year-old, swaggering liar but such is the fun that is internet dating.

Wild John spent our next few dates keeping me distracted. He took me to some of his favorite dive bars on Capitol Hill and made me homemade meatballs. We laughed while we struggled to carry the massive painting of Charles Bukowski that he impulsively bought at a gallery up three flights of stairs in his house. We watched the sun set from his balcony while we sipped mojitos made with mint he grew in his garden.  There was so much that was charming and likeable about Wild John but along with that main course of cool was a big side of psychotic.

One of the first signs I saw of the dark side of Wild John was at one of his favorite bars in Seattle. He introduced me, just as his friend, to both the owner and his wife. We sat at the bar, ordered a couple of cocktails and then Wild John left to use the restroom. After about twenty-five minutes went by and he still hadn’t returned, I wondered if I needed to send out a search party. I craned my head to look to the back of the bar and there, standing chatting with the owner, was Wild John. What the hell? He did remember that he was there with me and that our drinks weren’t getting any colder, right? Another ten minutes went by but I didn’t want to give up our seats because the place was packed and…what the hell? Where was my date? I noticed a guy a few stools down looking my way and, next thing I knew, he was sitting down on Wild John’s stool trying to start up a little chat about the band we were all there to see. I had said about two sentences to the guy when I felt Wild John right at my back, addressing my new friend. “Hey, partner, you trying to steal my drink or my girl?” The guy looked justifiably horrified, stood up and walked away.

I started to say something to Wild John about making me a bar widow when I noticed he looked pissed. “What were you doing talking to that guy? Didn’t you tell him you were here with me? Didn’t you tell him you were my girlfriend?” What, what, what? His girlfriend? And, sorry, he wasn’t the one that left me totally stranded, dude. I am not a fan of public drama and a scene was imminent so I handed Wild John his drink and told him he should be flattered, his date being hit on by another guy and all. I almost made myself gag but Wild John fell for it.

The rest of the evening actually went well. We enjoyed the band and he didn’t randomly disappear again for an extended period of time. Things went south, though, when we got back to his house. We were looking at the lights over the water when Wild John said, “Just so we are clear, I am not going to support you. I know a lot of girls are looking for a meal ticket but I am not that guy. Just so you know. I want to be up front about that.” I racked my brain trying to think of the time in conversation that I had even remotely hinted about wanting a sugar daddy but, nope, I had said nothing of the sort because that wasn’t what I was looking for. I guess a guy as old as Wild John has to be concerned about his retirement funds but I had reached my crazy guy threshold for the evening. It was time to get out of Wild John’s trap.

Luck was on my side because Wild John left for a business trip to Chicago a day later. I wanted some time to think about what exactly I was doing with this guy. I got a call from him right after he landed while he waited for his baggage. “You will never believe who I just saw. Barack Obama.” A presidential candidate! How exciting! Was he by himself or were there a ton of men with guns creating a human shield? Was Michelle there? I was full of questions but I soon noticed there was dead silence at the other end of the line. “Are you there?” I asked. I thought our cell connection had been dropped but no. “Oh, yeah, I am here but you wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I am just waiting for you to, uh, simmer down. I mean, why don’t you just officially freak out? I mean, really.”

Congratulations to Wild John were in order. He had officially been upgraded to ‘Grade A’ asshole. Giving me grief for being too engaged in a story he was telling? Enough, that was enough of Wild John’s controlling, manipulating, cocky ways. He called me when he got back into Seattle but I didn’t answer and instead wrote him an email the next day telling him that I didn’t think that we were a good match. I wanted to write that I was not looking for a narcissistic, jerk of a guy but I held my tongue because, really, someone had to be the adult in the conversation.  You would think it would be the guy that was old enough to be my dad, but, well that was not the case.  I got several emails from Wild John accusing me of being wishy-washy, immature and a ‘cocktease’ but I just didn’t reply. It seemed I would have to look elsewhere for a sugar daddy. Daddy. How appropriate.

Published in: Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 6:21 am  Comments (1)  

Wild John Part II

When Wild John offered me the chance to ride in the ‘Batmobile’ I knew it was probably a dangerous idea but I was also thrilled to take a ride with a superhero. When would I get that chance again? What followed was the most exciting car experience of my life and, not counting the ride Wild John took me on across the West Seattle Bridge on his motorcycle, the closest I have come to dying. We only sped around for about five minutes but, just like methamphetamine, I was hooked with that first hit. Wild John was dangerous, didn’t believe in rules and he was the closest I would ever come to dating a racecar driver. What wasn’t to love?

Wild John took me back to my car and asked if he could see me again. I collected myself and agreed right away. We hugged and he promised to email me the next day. Seriously? A crazy, cocksure Italian man that didn’t try to kiss me while I was sitting in his car on the first date? That was classy, indeed. Wild John wrote the next day and asked if he could make me dinner at his house and, when we were done, we could take his motorcycle and go get a drink at a bar he liked nearby. Well, at least this evening would provide me with the choice of dying in his house or dying on his bike. I do like options.

If nothing else, Wild John was an outstanding cook. He made me a delicious dinner, poured great wine and had a beautiful house on the water. I hung out in the kitchen while he cooked and I noticed, as we talked, that he was not just a little cocky but actually a lot cocky.  I was talking about Barack Obama and the presidential election, a subject he was supposedly interested in, when I noticed he wasn’t replying. He looked up from his pan of asparagus and said, “Oh, I am sorry. I was waiting for you to be quiet for a second so I could actually hear the music.” I must have stood there with my jaw on the ground because Wild John quickly laughed, pulled me in, and said, “Only because I want to dance with you. Of course.” It was a good cover and I tried to shake it off. It was a little too high on the jerk scale for me, however, to just forget  but luckily it was then time to eat.

We were enjoying our second course when Wild John decided to change up the playlist on his computer. I nearly choked on my risotto when he rustled around in his pocket and pulled out a pair of bifocals. Bifocals??? My parents wear bifocals but I don’t date people that are my parents’ age. Generally. I tried to sound very neutral and asked him how long he had needed to wear bifocals to read because, you know, what a pain, right? Wild John filled up my wine glass and said, “Well, it depends. Do you want the truth or do you want to tell me what you want to hear?” I have to admit that was a baffling question. How the hell was I supposed to answer that? I didn’t think there was any way to respond that ended well for me so I just asked him to tell me the truth.

Wild John hopped up and went into the kitchen and grabbed his wallet. He came back to the table and handed me his driver’s license. Did he want to prove to me that he was an organ donor? No such luck. I glanced at the license and, sweet lord, I did some quick calculations and Wild John was 47 years old. He was closer to my dad’s age than he was to mine. Again, for the second time in an hour, I was speechless, and again I wondered how this situation could end up at all in my favor.

Wild John proceeded to tell me that he had to lie on his age because otherwise I wouldn’t go out with him because, for example, I almost didn’t date him when I thought that he was only 42, correct? I tried to explain that, yes, of course I wouldn’t have gone out with him if I knew he was 47 because that was my policy. A 15-year age difference was, in my mind, simply too much. I was trying to think how I could win the argument when Wild John leaned in, kissed me, and said, “It seems to me we are having an excellent time. Let’s finish dinner, go have that drink and then, if you think I am too ancient, you don’t ever have to see me again. I will completely understand and we will just go our separate ways. No harm, no foul.” Man, he was a good kisser. Focus, I had to focus. What could be wrong with spending a couple of more hours with this guy, right, and then I could just walk away? What was the harm in that?

The harm in that, it turned out, was that Wild John realized I was susceptible to his charm and I think he made a note of it. He turned it on something fierce as we finished dinner, cleaned up and got on his motorcycle. I had never been on a bike before and it wasn’t until I climbed on, grabbed onto Wild John and we tore out of the driveway that my head cleared up enough to realize that I did not like it, I did not like it, I did not like it. I held on for dear life as we roared across the bridge into downtown Seattle. As we swooped around corners, sped up hills and roared in between cars, I seriously thought I was going to die. My mom was going to be so mad at me, meeting my maker on a motorcycle with a strange old man.

When we pulled into a space in front of the bar, I almost kissed the pavement in relief. Wild John took my helmet, kissed me again and said, “You seem like you have been riding motorcycles your whole life. You are a professional.” Gag! How did I fall for that line? How was I going to get home since the thought of getting on that bike made me want to cry? How was this aged, swaggering Italian guy managing to charm and scare me all at once? And, to think, I had not seen anything yet.

The cockiness and danger will return in Wild John – The Retirement…

Published in: Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 5:57 am  Comments (1)  

Wild John Part I

One of the hardest things to manage while being an online dater is remembering which details belong to which guy. It was rare that I actively dated more than three guys at once but, even then, trying to remember who had a masters degree and who had never been to college, who had five siblings and who had none, who had a shrimp allergy and who couldn’t eat peanuts – it was not an easy thing to keep all of these things straight. After some time, I did manage to hone the skill fairly well but even I was challenged when I ended up dating three men named ‘John’ at the same time. I was forced to come up with nicknames for each so that I could keep track of them in my head. John #1 became ‘Wild John’ and he lived up to that moniker and then some.

I got an email from Wild John after he saw me looking at his profile. Match.com has a fun feature that will let you see who has perused your profile. This is both fun and incredibly frustrating all at once. If I want to check someone out, I want to be able to do anonymously and not while knowing that the guy knows that I looked at it. The whole thing makes me feel like I am in junior high again. The next step is to pass a man a note that says “Do you like me? Circle yes or no.” Either way – Wild John saw that I had glanced at him and took the first step and sent me an email.

Wild John sparked my interest right from the start although he was a tad older than the typical guy I would go for. He could be the first man I dated that was in his 40’s! Exciting! He was witty, political and I could tell that he had actually read my profile, which wasn’t always the case. I am pretty into politics and Wild John informed me that he had to cut his email short to go knock on doors for Obama. It crossed my mind that he was perhaps, oh, maybe, making that part up to get on my good side but I asked him about it later and he seemed to legitimately be politically involved. Impressive. We exchanged a couple of emails back and forth and Wild John asked if he could give me a call. Even though I told him that I worked during the week, he insisted on calling me on my lunch break the next day. Charming? Perhaps. A tad too insistent? Quite possibly.

As far as phone conversations go, I have to say that my first one with Wild John was one of the better that I have had. He had a great voice, there were no awkward pauses and he gave me a good laugh a number of times. He seemed to also be a veteran of sorts in the dating wars. I found myself telling him about the guy who had emailed me earlier that day who had a Hummer and promised to just park his beast around the corner so I wouldn’t see it. When Wild John asked if he could buy me a drink at his neighborhood bar, I was very interested and agreed to the sharing of a beverage a couple of days later. Just before we hung up, though, Wild John said he wanted to email me a picture of his car. I am sorry – his car? I was a little taken aback but, hell, what could it hurt? But it was strange, very strange.

I got back to the office and, sure enough, Wild John had sent me photos of his beloved Corvette. Well, at least it wasn’t a Hummer and it wasn’t a Camaro.  There was that. I wrote back that his ride was smokin’ (what was I supposed to say about a car???) and confirmed our rendezvous spot. On the day that we met, I showed up at the bar before Wild John and waited for his arrival. It was dimly lit which is what I am giving as the reason I didn’t quite notice, at first, how…old Wild John was. He arrived a couple of minutes after I did and I was pleasantly, very pleasantly, surprised. He had already told me that he was a large percentage Italian which explained the tall, dark and handsome. Ok, ok – (over) 40, wasn’t so bad after all.

I have said before that I like a little bit of cockiness and a lack of it did not seem to be a problem for Wild John. He started off our conversation with a pretty bad joke (a rabbi and priest walked into a bar…), which normally wouldn’t make me swoon, but he carried it off with aplomb. After the lame attempt at being funny, the conversation got a little less cheesy and I actually started enjoying myself. Over a couple of Mai Tai’s, Wild John revealed himself to be into scuba diving, pharmaceutical sales and not owning a television. He was also funny, sharp and really, really flirtatious. Not two hours later (I am going to blame the Mai Tai’s), he was somehow sitting next to me, holding my hand and I was agreeing to go take a ride in his Corvette. I am not proud. I guess I have a thing for older, adventurous Italian men. In what turned out to be the first of many bad decisions involving Wild John, smooth-talking and dangerous vehicles, I agreed to go for a ride in his little, black Corvette.

The Wild John adventure will continue in Part II…

 

Published in: Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 at 3:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Jace

In the online dating community, especially in Seattle, there is a bit of a preconceived notion about the demographic of the majority of the men that are out looking for ladies. White male, late-20’s/early 30’s, working in a tech-related field, perhaps not a lot of experience dating and a fairly decent income to go with that geeky career. He might also have a house or condominium with three or more bedrooms only one of which is furnished and used. I am making rash generalizations but probably 90% of the men that I have met online have at least 75% of those characteristics. That is obviously probably due in large part to what kind of guy I like and go for – geeks rule! – but I have talked to a few girls that don’t go for that type and have had a hard time finding men that fall outside those parameters. That works – more guys for me! – but even I sometimes reach my nerd-boy limit. Jace unfortunately pushed me over that edge.

Jace sent me a short, nice, funny email and he seemed like a cool guy. He was a little younger than me but only by a couple of years. He was tall, blond, had grown up locally and worked as a video game designer for the largest Seattle computer company. Interesting.  I decided to take a wild guess and ask Jace if he worked with any women and, shockingly enough, he didn’t. Nothing is gained by living by stereotypes so I just let that go. Jace and I exchanged about 50 more emails and, looking back at them, I think the sheer number convinced me that I needed to meet him for a drink. I had invested a lot of typing! The emails were like instant messages – very brief, not exactly scintillating and definitely not anything to start off a good conversation. “What is the best sushi in Bellevue?” or “I love the NBA and watching volleyball on TV!” just aren’t going to tell me much about the man that is Jace. Now that I have become a bit of an online dating veteran I would never have sent those kinds of emails for over a week without insisting on an in-the-flesh rendezvous but, at that time, I was green. So, finally a meeting was hatched.

I suggested, finally, meeting Jace for a drink. We went back and forth about our favorite bars, how the traffic was going to treat us both, what time worked, was there going to be Easter holiday traffic (???) before I just told him to give me three options and I would choose. For the love of mankind – it shouldn’t be so hard, right? Right. I chose one of Jace’s suggestions, a bar, when he told me, “I hope they have good Diet Coke because I don’t drink! Never have and never will!” Whaaaaaaat? I almost called it off right there. I enjoy a good cocktail and drinking as much as the next girl, if not more, but I wouldn’t say it is a dealbreaker for dating a guy. Close, because I enjoy it so much, but not necessarily a definite no go. But for him to go on and on and on about selecting a meeting place and not say something? I would have totally gone with a restaurant so we could both eat and it wouldn’t be a big deal and I wouldn’t feel like a jerk. It looked like I was going to do enough drinking for us both. Not a problem, Jace, not a problem.

I arrived and Jace was already sitting at the bar, Diet Coke with lime at the ready. He was cute enough but he looked like he had rolled out of bed just in time to head out to meet me. He was wearing a flannel shirt, dirty wrinkled jeans and old tennis shoes and his hair was pointing all over the place. I looked above his head to see if he had a cloud of dust hanging out there a la Linus from ‘Peanuts’ but it was dim in the bar so it was hard to tell. I got a drink, he got a soda refill and I tried to make conversation. We didn’t have a lot in common and he was just young, really young. He was only two years younger than me but it could have been fifteen. I asked about his job and I got the (not very) abbreviated history of the video gaming industry. I played Nintendo when I was a kid but that was about all I could contribute and he didn’t look impressed by my limited ‘Super Mario Brothers’ experience. I asked him what he did for fun, other than work, and he gave me the lowdown on the ‘Rock Band’ league that he and 20 guys from work had started. Jace apparently played a bitchin’ video guitar. That sounded kind of fun and endearingly wacky but, really, did he know any girls? Softball! He said he was on a team. It might be co-ed, right? No luck. His rotation consisted solely of guys from work. Well, he did get props for being very active but Jace seemed more and more like a boy than a man. Another indication he wasn’t quite mature? Not once, during over an hour of conversation and two drinks (sweet lord – could I have three???) did Jace ask me a question. Not one. If I would have stopped lobbing him conversational softballs the talk would have screeched to a grinding halt. He wasn’t mean or a jerk but I didn’t really feel any desire to sit there longer or talk to him further.

I think I had the feeling that I would maybe not want to hang out with Jace for hours and hours so I had told him before we met that I had to pick up a friend at the airport. A night that I had to do that would not be my first choice for an initial meeting but my sixth sense had told me I would probably want a good reason to get the hell out of that bar. Jace was not a bad guy but I was running out of things to ask him and it was clearly, very clearly, not in the cards for us to have a dating future. Jace walked me out to my car, but as we walked through the parking lot, he got a big grin on his face and said, “You have ten minutes which means you have to come see my new ride!” He walked me over to his new Saturn SKY convertible and walked around it, stroking the curves. Creepy, just a little creepy. But I had five more minutes so I had to get inside and listen to the new sound system he installed! So, this is how I would die – in a Saturn.

I looked around and there were enough people in the parking lot for me to feel safe so I climbed inside. Jace then proceeded to try and make me permanently deaf by turning up his stereo as loud as it could go. I literally clamped my hands over my ears and shrieked so he mercifully turned it down. Once the pain subsided it took all I had not to laugh. Customers were walking by our bumping ride and looking at each other but Jace just closed his eyes and drummed away on his steering wheel. The song finally ended and, wow, I HAD to get to the airport. Jace walked me to my car, gave me a hug and off we went. I would have been surprised if he even remembered my name so I was a little shocked to get an email the next day asking to meet up again. I wrote him back and told him, sorry, but I just had not felt the connection. “Cool! No worries!”, in true Jace fashion, was all he wrote back. Cheers.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 4:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Sven

One of the bigger lessons I have had to learn while internet dating, and I am not sure I have completely gotten it down, is that there is a big difference between coincidence and karmic destiny. Sometimes it seems that the universe was trying to prove that a guy was the perfect match for me but, in the end, fate wasn’t really trying to tell me anything at all. Sven and I seemed to have a cosmic connection but, as disappointing as it was, really we just had a few things in common. And he gave such good presents…Damn it all.

Sven first emailed me because he recognized a picture on my profile taken in Kauai as somewhere that he had been. I looked him up and checked out his photos and immediately got kind of excited. He had a photo of a hibiscus that was, down to the color, the exact same as one that I had taken, framed and was currently sitting on my bedside table. Ok, that was kind of weird. I wrote Sven back an introductory email and, among other things, mentioned our similar love of flowering plants. He wrote right back to tell me that he had taken that at a hotel in Kauai and gave me the name of the place.  It sounded familiar because I had stayed at that very accommodation several times and, what do you know, it was where I had snapped my picture! Now I was really getting excited. What were the chances of that happening? The only obvious answer was that Sven and I were meant to be together! Of course!

Once I stopped jumping up and down about that message from the dating heavens, I proceeded to learn a few more things about Sven. Not only had he grown up in the town I was currently living but he had lived only 100 yards away. He still lived so close that I had maybe passed him at the grocery store. Actually, I was sure that had happened since we were meant to be together. Sven eventually saw my last name and we learned that our grandfathers had both come over from neighboring countries – his from Norway, mine from Sweden. Well, our children would have fair skin and we would probably end up living in Ballard, a Norwegian Seattle neighborhood, but, fine, that was fine. Sven was divorced and a single dad which, albeit kind of big things, were the only differences I could find between us. Meet. We had to meet. Sven felt the same way so we attempted to find a time to introduce ourselves.

The very first opportunity Sven and I had to meet up for a drink was, unfortunately, that next weekend which was my birthday. Next to Christmas and Valentine’s Day, birthdays are the worst for creating some kind of weird dating expectation. I had never even met Sven so I didn’t want to feel like he had to take me to some swank dinner or get me presents or even a card, for that matter. I was meeting my parents for an early dinner the night before my birthday so Sven and I agreed to meet up for a cocktail after we were done. Perfect. He couldn’t buy me dinner since I would have already eaten. We were both off of the weirdness hook.

I walked into the bar at 10:00 p.m. and there was Sven and, sitting in my chair, was a birthday gift. I didn’t know whether to hug him, shake his hand, open the gift – it was a little awkward – but it was SO nice. We sat down and ordered a drink and, very low-pressure, I opened the gift and the card. I was very impressed. He had gotten a very neutral card, written a friendly message inside and the gift bag contained chocolates and some lotion. Sven had played it even better than I could have imagined. It was incredibly thoughtful to get me a present and card but he hadn’t written or bought anything that made me feel weird. That was an incredibly thin tightrope he walked and I was touched that he had managed to not fall off.

Once the introductions and gift-giving were taken care of, Sven and I were left with nothing to do but talk and sip cocktails. It kind of hit me at that point that I really didn’t know much about Sven at all. Our emails had been pretty brief and you can really only say so much about hibiscus plants and Kauai. We were able to make conversation but all I can really say about it was that it was fine and, likewise, Sven was fine. He was cute but not exciting-cute and he was funny but not sarcastic/witty-funny. I was kind of getting the feeling, too, that he felt the same way about me and I didn’t blame him. It was turning out that Sven and I had almost nothing in common.

Sven walked me to my car, gave me a hug and asked if I would be interested in having dinner with him sometime. I swear I could tell from the way that he asked that he wasn’t exactly sure that was what he wanted to do but he was thinking it could be kind of an ok idea. I said sure and he said he would get in touch with me that next week and we could work something out. I honestly did not want to see him again – there was nothing wrong with him but there was nothing really outstanding, either – but I thought of that Kauai photo and our close living proximity and decided to go for it. Take that, fate! I see how you work!

The next week, Sven and I met at a local Italian restaurant and, I feel comfortable speaking for him, had a very boring and unremarkable dinner. Whatever spark is necessary to turn friends into more-than-friends was definitely not present in that restaurant. Our second meeting was causing that to become very clear. It was so disappointing! We had seemed so destined! The cosmos were so obviously trying to align us! But, sadly, that was not the case. Sven and I finished our dinner, headed separately to our respective cars and that was the last I heard from him. I did see him and his daughter at the local farmer’s market three months later and almost laughed out loud. He and I were both carrying one bag of kettle corn and one bag with exactly three apples. It did cross my mind that this was another sign, right? It had to be! But then I remembered those drinks and that uncomfortable dinner and just kept walking. Sometimes a hibiscus is just a hibiscus.

 

 

 

Pierre R. Delafleur

Mal. Misc. 3 – 5144A-10D

Everett Dist. – 07-29-10

Published in: Uncategorized on October 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm  Comments (3)  

Kevin

Kareem Abdul J.D. seemed an apt nickname for Kevin, an extremely tall and also incredibly intelligent lawyer who came up next in the dating rotation. Kevin remains one of the smartest, wittiest guys I have dated yet also one of the most baffling. I still shake my head and I still do not know what exactly happened.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned during this whole internet dating debacle is that a girl has no way of knowing what has happened to her prospective date in the six months before he met her. Everyone brings baggage and history to that first date and I have found it to be very essential to maintaining any self-esteem to not take anything too personally. Who knows what wackiness has preceded your arrival.

Kevin sent me the first email and, right away, I could tell that I was going to like him. The email was smart, snappy and it was clear that he had actually read my profile (definitely not always the case). He asked me specifically about several of my vacation photos and made a couple of political and sports cracks that were right up my alley. I could not wait to write him back.

When I go back and read the emails that Kevin and I exchanged, I am surprised I didn’t ask him to marry me before we even met. He was funny, he was sarcastic in a cool way, he obviously paid attention to what I said and he seemed equally as smitten and impressed by me as I was by him. Both of our names started with a ‘K’ and we got into a pattern where we would start each email off with a variation on the theme. I was soon known as K-Licious, K-Diddy, Katiedyd and Katie B. It seems a bit corny but I was smitten as a kitten. We talked politics, sports, traveling, family history, work – we seem to have written volumes. I started to get worried that meeting Kevin in person was going to be no match to this most awesome of dudes I had fallen for in the internet ether. I do not particularly enjoy being wrong but I was elated to be incorrect after my first meeting with the so-called ‘K-Fed’.

Kevin figured out that I had just celebrated my birthday and he planned our first meeting to be exactly one week later. I actually got a ‘Kevin’s Wine List’ with several options from which to choose so we could celebrate in style. He emailed me at noon the day of our meeting just to say how excited he was to finally get to meet the real K.B. in person. Was this guy for real? I was incredibly excited to meet the actual guy but I was also incredibly nervous that there would be no spark and I would want to cry in my Cabernet out of disappointment.

All of my worry was for naught. Kevin was waiting at our table when I arrived (He was early! Good sign!) and he stood up to shake my hand as I walked up. Oh, my, and how. Kevin passed the spark test within about, oh, two seconds. He was indeed tall, about 6’6”, and he was slim but not skinny, had amazing hands and very attractive facial hair. I am sucker for very attractive facial hair. He had on a suit coat which was a tad more formal than I was used to but he had come right from the office and he pulled it off quite nicely. I sat down and Kevin immediately poured me a glass of my pre-selected wine and said a toast to my birthday and to finally getting to meet K-Licious. Could you fall in love within five minutes? Maybe?

The rest of the night went as well as the first five minutes. Kevin and I got along smashingly and we laughed and talked for about 3 hours. There were no lapses in conversation and Kevin just felt…familiar. We shared our food, drank more wine and he even grabbed my hand a couple of times across the table. Swoon. It was a weeknight but, when Kevin suggested walking to a nearby tavern to talk more and have a beer, I didn’t hesitate for a second. Sleep, who needed sleep? I was a little worried that Kevin might find the local tavern to be a little seedy what with his wine-loving and suit coat-wearing, but I need not have worried. We grabbed a table, ordered a couple of drinks and discussed sports for about an hour. Could he be more perfect? We did have a disagreement, though, about, of all things, the coaching history of the coach of the Seattle Sonics. Such problems. We made a friendly bet and agreed that the loser had to buy the winner dinner at the restaurant of their choosing. I would be happy both with winning and losing this bet. Kevin and I finally, at about midnight, decided we had better be good and head home. Kevin walked me to my car and, when we got up to it, he seemed to almost squat and lean against it. What was he doing? Some kind of strength exercise? Did he have a sudden need to build muscle in his legs? My question was answered when he grabbed me and pulled me to him. He wanted to hug me at my height. Again, oh my. This guy was too much in a very, very good way. I was on cloud nine on that drive home and I went to sleep with a big, goofy grin on my face.

First thing the next morning, an email arrived from Kevin saying what an amazing time he had with me and he could not wait to do it again. Speaking of, he also had found proof that I had lost the bet (and he was right) and he would like to collect his winnings with me that Friday at one of the swankier Italian restaurants in my neighborhood. He wanted to see me again – hooray! He had picked a place that could set me back well over $100 – uh, hooray? Screw it. Life is short. I was enamored with Kevin and a little cash was the least of my concerns.

Once again, the evening started off amazingly. Kevin picked me up and he looked as good as he did the first time. We got our table and Kevin perused the wine list. I knew that he had excellent taste in the grapes so I let him do the choosing. He picked a bottle and, as we looked over the menu, I glanced at his choice on the list. Holy crap. The bottle he had selected was $90 and the entrees all started at about $30 each. I was still doing the math in my head when Kevin flagged down the waitress and ordered the escargot to start. So, if there is one thing I absolutely cannot stand it is any animal that comes in a shell and tastes like rubber. The fact that this particular appetizer that I would eat none of cost $25 was just icing on the cake. Was I supposed to say something? Let it go? The wine arrived just then and it was fantastic. I quickly drank a few slugs and took a deep breath. It was just money.

I am not sure if it was because of his cocky ordering, off-putting both in the cost and lack of consulting me on my food opinion, or the half-hour monologue I got on his most recent trial, but I could feel the bloom wearing off the Kevin rose just a little. I was still very attracted to him and we had a very enjoyable evening but his self-assuredness now seemed a little aggressive and Kevin just seemed more like kind of a…jerk. I was not alone in my feelings, either. As the dinner wore on, I was getting the feeling that he was finding me less than thrilling. He wanted to do all of the talking, and ordering, and, when I did start to say something, he would just start to talk over me. I didn’t want to drink much more (pricey) wine but I did, I did.

I was really at a loss to what had happened until I brought up dating histories. I know that this is not good form in most situations but I have found that, with online dating, this is common discussion and kind of the pink elephant of topics. How do you *not* talk about it when that is what has brought you both to the table? Kevin had not mentioned her before, but he now brought up Lisa, the girlfriend he had broken up with three weeks prior (!!!) that he had been with for five years. Oh, ok, things were now becoming a little clearer. Kevin started talking, and talking, and talking about Lisa and I could tell that he was so not over her. She had a kid that was like his own and not seeing him was as hard as not seeing her and he kept finding their stuff at his condo and they were supposed to go on a trip but he supposed it was now off and…this was a hurting guy. Aside from the fact that I was the unfortunate person that got to now be on a date with him, Kevin was obviously still very emotional. After about 45 minutes of Lisa talk, Kevin seemed to realize he should not be out dating and we awkwardly wrapped things up. The bill arrived and it was over $200. Kevin made no move to help me with any of it so I just settled up and vowed to never, ever make a sports bet on a first date. If I would have waited for one more conversation I would have never been so foolish.

Kevin drove me home and it was an incredibly awkward trip. I felt bad for him that he was still so hurt but I was also kind of peeved that he was out making girls like me fall for him when he was so obviously not ready to be dating. The next morning I got a very courteous, albeit short, thank you email from Kevin. He made no mention of seeing me again so I did not push the issue. I would wait for him to contact me again if he was so inclined. I didn’t hear from him for a month and a half and , when it did arrive, it was an extremely weird email. His tone made it seem like no time had passed and we were still in the wooing stages. He asked me to go out to dinner that same night, and maybe a movie, but the whole thing just felt a little desperate to me. I told him I had plans that night but perhaps we could do it another night? I never heard from him again. Was he just not ready to be dating? Was Lisa still so much on his mind that no girl would have a chance? I thought (and hoped) so and I tried not to take it personally. Stupid Kareem Abdul J.D. , aka K-Fed, aka K-Smooth. He was so kool and so klose.

Published in: Uncategorized on September 20, 2010 at 5:08 am  Comments (1)  

Ethan

One of the negatives of online dating is that a girl meets so many, uh, interesting and unique personalities that when a nice, normal guy comes along, he can seem a little dull and unexciting. When I first met Ethan I wanted to bang my forehead on the table rather than continue our conversation but I was too afraid my perspective was off. There was a strong possibility that I didn’t know what normal meant anymore so I decided to give the whole Ethan and Kate thing a chance.

When I darted from the disastrous second date with Matthew and immediately called up Ethan, it was not the first time that we had met. Initially, Ethan had sent me an email that was friendly and he sounded somewhat fun so, after a few messages back and forth, we agreed to meet for a drink. Ethan was there when I arrived and my first impression was that he was very, very square. His shirt was perfectly pressed, his jeans were ironed with a crease and his hair was almost what I would call the military ‘high and tight’. He politely stood, shook my hand and said, “Kate. It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Ethan.” The introduction threw me off. I thought for a minute I had the wrong person and this guy was going to try to interest me in a pyramid scheme or try to get me to come to his church, but he quickly followed it up with, “You are much better looking in person than in your photos.” I wasn’t sure that was necessarily a compliment but he followed it with a nice smile so I took it to be flattering. We both ordered drinks and Ethan turned out to be less formal than I first thought but he was definitely not Mr. Gregarious. We both had to struggle a couple of times to find something to talk about but we did have enough in common to make it a decent conversation. Ethan had moved to the area recently to go to medical school, worked a few shifts at a hospital while he was in school, loved the outdoors and was not sure how he felt about the match.com thing. You and me both, Ethan.

We finished one drink and Ethan said that he was sorry but he had to go so he could make it to his study group. It had only been about 45 minutes, a bit brief, so my first thought was Ethan thought I was vile and was trying to get the hell out of there. Game recognize game. Ethan picked up on it, though, and immediately asked if he could see me again. While this was an obviously flattering question, I kind of hate being put on the spot like that. What am I supposed to say? “Hey, that is cool, Ethan, but I am going to decline that offer. Check, please? Go Seahawks!” But, hell, he was being assertive and he got points for that so I agreed to another meeting. I did feel like we had barely broken the ice so maybe the next time Ethan would get crazy and loosen one of the buttons on his (perfectly wrinkle-free) shirt. A girl can dream.

Before we left the bar, we of course had to pay for our drinks. This is always the time in a first date where I feel like a giant hypocrite. I am all about standing up for my gender, equal pay for equal work, etc., but I won’t lie and say that I don’t notice if a guy doesn’t pick at least the first check. I have yet to meet a girl that doesn’t feel like that but it makes me ashamed to even say it. It is not a black mark or an absolute but, if I am being truthful, it is something that I note. It isn’t that I feel I am owed a drink or a guy is lucky to be out with me. I am not a prostitute (most days). Almost every single decent guy I have known or dated, though, shudders at the thought of splitting the tab on the first outing and would take offense at a girl offering to pay her half. I wish this part of the date could just be skipped because it always leaves me conflicted. Ethan grabbed the bill, studied it for a solid minute, and told me, “Kate, looks like your half, with tip, is $6.75.” Well, he was good at math. At least he had that going for him. I luckily had exact change so we were soon out in the parking lot, exchanging very chaste handshakes and agreeing to meet again soon.

Well, great. I wanted to go on another date with this guy like I wanted a hole in my head. But was it just me? He was nice! He was in medical school! He didn’t get drunk and talk about demons and regale me with stories of all the ladies he had to hit off with a stick! But if ever there was a personality I would call vanilla, it was Ethan. I am pretty sure he had a pulse and a heartbeat but I would not put a lot of money on it. But, fine, I had said I would go out with him again, there was another $6.75 burning a hole in my pocket and I was going to like someone nice if it killed me. Ethan emailed the next day and asked to meet at a local brewhouse for happy hour the next weekend for some drinks and dinner. There looked to be promise on the horizon. Drinks, a weekend night, more than an hour to converse – all good signs that Ethan did indeed have a wild side.

I walked in the restaurant and there was Ethan. He looked exactly the same except for his immaculate shirt was a different shade of blue. He stood to greet me, again, shook my hand, and said, “Kate. You look lovely this evening. It is very pleasant to see you again.” Very pleasant? Don’t get crazy on me, Ethan! We are in a public place! Again, he was being extremely polite and gracious, perhaps even pleasant, but I felt more like I was on a job interview than a date. My hopes for the rest of the evening were not high but, over the next couple of hours, Ethan did loosen up, a little. He had a few drinks, said a curse word or two and we actually had an interesting conversation. Maybe he was just shy or nervous at being on an online date. Perfectly understandable. I was still having fun so when, as we finished our second round, Ethan asked if I wanted to rent a movie and watch it at his house, conveniently only about 5 minutes away, I agreed. Right on cue, the bill then arrived. Ethan snagged the check right up, started doing his mental calculations and informed me I owed $19.25. It was becoming clear I was going to have to keep change handy for my dates with this guy.

Ethan told me once we got in his car that he had a credit at a Blockbuster that we could use but, he hoped I didn’t mind, the store was 20 minutes away. 40 minutes round-trip for a rental seemed like a bit much but Ethan look horrified when I offered to just pay for a movie closer to his house. Ok, he really, really wanted to use that credit. An hour, and many pauses in conversation later, we made it back to his place. It was nice – very clean, there were pictures of his family hanging on the wall and he had a very friendly, cute cat – but, by that time, I just wanted this date to be over. There was no way I could not watch the movie without being totally rude – we had worked so hard for it! – so we settled down on the couch to watch.

I purposefully sat a friendly distance from Ethan but he scooted over right next to me. Damn. Five minutes in, very slowly as if to not alarm me, Ethan started moving his hand towards mine. It literally took him 15 minutes to get to my hand. 20 minutes later, I could feel Ethan staring at me intently so I glanced over at him to make sure things were cool. He was not slow this time and went in for a kiss. I have never kissed my brother but, if I had, I imagine that it would resemble my first with Ethan. I had absolutely no interest in continuing or repeating that encounter ever, ever again. The time had come to stop being nice. I waited five minutes and then gave a big yawn and told Ethan I was sorry but I could not stay awake. I had to go. I felt awful for hurting his feelings but I was not doing either of us any favors by sticking around. The five minutes it took to get back to my car were the definition of awkward but the relief that I felt at being off of that couch was so overwhelming that I knew I had done the right thing.

As I drove home that night I considered throwing in the online dating towel. I felt like Goldilocks – either the men were so nice as to be without personality or they were attractively cocky and also complete jerks. Just a girl in a fairy tale, I wanted one that was just right. Maybe that guy wasn’t out there and maybe, and this had to be acknowledged, it was me. As disheartening as both of those options were, I did not want to give up. Onward and upward! The next guy in the rotation, Kevin, was, according to his profile, 6’6”, so upward it would turn out to be…

Published in: Uncategorized on September 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm  Comments (2)  

Matthew

There are absolute down sides and up sides to internet dating. A definite drawback is that a person can seem totally cool on the phone and by email and then be a presumptuous ass in person.  Dating with less personal investment does mean, though, that you can be on a date, realize that said date is a presumptuous ass and be on another outing within an hour. Sometimes it is all about speed and efficiency.

Matthew seemed very, very attractive by email. He had moved to Seattle from LA about a month prior and was looking to meet more people, preferably of the female variety. While living in LA, Matthew had worked for a very popular national music venue and his musical taste therefore, in my opinion, was top notch. Huge points. The company consolidated and Matthew got laid off but he had enough savings to travel around the world and play golf for a year. He finally got bored (it happens, right?) and got a job in Seattle working for the biggest software company in town developing their newest mp3 player. On top of being well-travelled, musically-inclined and seemingly wealthy, Matthew was a season ticket holder for the Seattle Mariners, Seahawks and Sonics. This was my kind of guy. He suggested talking by phone before meeting and, even though I am not a huge fan of a first meeting by phone, I agreed. I was already charmed by this guy.

Given a choice between meeting in person and talking on the phone I will *always* choose the former. Face-to-face is the full-meal deal and you are able to tell pretty quickly whether there is any attraction, any chemistry. Talking on the phone removes the whole aspect of whether a guy’s pheromones are going to work for you. I was green then, I tell you, so I was a little foolish. A phone call it was. Matthew called me on a Sunday night and, surprisingly, the conversation went very well. He was quick, easy, smart, had a good vocabulary and there were no awkward pauses or lapses in conversation. Matthew was an interesting guy. We talked about our families, careers, music, sports – the well of topics didn’t seem to run dry. While we were chatting, though, Matthew did suddenly gasp and swear. He had recently moved into a company-rented apartment in a trendy albeit sketchy neighborhood and  had, mid-conversation, stepped on a hypodermic needle in the carpet. Holy shit. This was a situation that I had not encountered. Matthew rolled with it, though, and asked, “Well, I was thinking of moving to a different location. I hope the Hepatitis I just contracted doesn’t make it hard to look at new places.”  Nice. I liked this guy. He asked if I wanted to meet for drinks, his treat, and I was totally, totally game.

Matthew was not that familiar with the Seattle area so I suggested a local bar/bistro for us to meet. I got there first and grabbed a table. Matthew soon walked up and I was not unhappy with the presentation. He was tall – probably 6’4” –, pretty cute and very nicely dressed. Check, check, check. He was a little heavy-set but he was able to pull it off with his height. He sat down and I could tell right away that something was…off. He disclosed, first thing, that he was sick, really sick, and had almost called to tell me he couldn’t make it. Lucky me, though, he decided to stick it out and make our date. Seriously? He looked like he was about to throw up. He was pasty and holding firmly onto the side of the table like he was on a keeling boat. Cool. This would be fun. I had experienced some pretty awful dating experiences but I had yet to have someone hurl in my lap. Internet dating – good times! Matthew was a trooper, though, and ordered a drink right off and asked to see a menu. Before I had even said more than five words, he flagged down the waitress and ordered macaroni and cheese and an order of mozzarella sticks. Well, this guy obviously had a way of dealing with nausea that was new to me. Grease! Cheese! Alcohol! Oh, my.

Regardless of the dairy, fat and carbohydrate overload, with a drink for the kicker, Matthew and I had a great conversation. Looking back I am not sure how he managed to pull it off. He was witty, funny, a little bit cocky and I was sorry to have to end the night. He managed to eat every single bit of pasta, too, and not a cheese stick was spared. In some way I was impressed. This guy didn’t mess around. Matthew walked me to my car, gave me a big hug (he also smelled fantastic) and asked if we could meet again that Sunday to watch a little football. Yes and yes. And yes. If he was this charming when he was sick I couldn’t wait to see him recuperated. And there would be NFL in the background? This was turning out quite well. Sunday could not come fast enough.

Matthew and I decided to meet at a local sports bar around 1 p.m. and, again, my experience with drinking early on a Sunday did not go well (see Trent).  From the moment I sat down there was nothing but awkwardness. I tried to make some conversation but it was clear that Matthew did not want to be there. He kept looking everywhere but at me and his replies were never more than five words. What was I missing? Was this the same guy? We both ordered drinks and I waited for the alcohol to set in. Maybe he just needed to loosen up, get a little relaxed. The libations did help him talk but it only succeeded in making him show himself to be a complete jerk. Within ten minutes, he proceeded to brag about all his fantasy football successes, the amazing amount of money he was making, the five cars that he was going to buy and the five cougars he had recently had to fend off at the Ruth Chris. This was early 2008 and the term for ‘middle-aged lady on the prowl for young man meat’ hadn’t yet come into the popular lexicon. I wasn’t sure how he had encountered jungle cats at a steakhouse but he quickly cleared it up. “I cannot go ANYWHERE without those old bitches swooping in on me from every angle!” I started to laugh because he clearly had to be joking but, no, no, he was serious. “Jesus Christ. They are like a plague. A guy has a little success, some money, good looks – I am just doomed.” Had this guy forgotten he was on a date? With a girl? I was absolutely speechless. To this day I think Matthew had multiple personalities. I know he was ill the first time we met but that simply did not explain this shift in behavior. Again, silence fell on the table and I quickly finished my drink and stood up to go. I thought I was going to have to come up with some reason for my hasty departure but Matthew didn’t even look at me. I said something about helping pay the tab and he, not even glancing my direction, said, “Don’t worry about it. That’s cool. Later.” I made a beeline for the exit and that was the last I ever saw of Matthew. He never called or emailed and I never saw him active on Match again. Maybe that Hepatitis did eventually take him down and was, maybe, responsible for the Jekyll and Hyde performance. That is what I tell myself.

If there is one thing that dating online is good for it is giving a girl some thick skin. Did I want to cry as I left that sports bar? Yes. Did I wonder if there was something inherently wrong with me that made it impossible for a guy to find me attractive or endearing? It may have crossed my mind. But the thing is you never, ever know what a prospective date is dragging along as baggage when they come into your life. Taking anything too personally is a sure way to end up in very lonely and bitter place that I did not want to be. So what is the answer? Move on, and quickly, and try not to get hurt feelings. Ethan, a medical resident at the University of Washington, had sent me a couple of emails and, just that morning, he had included his cell phone number along with a request for a cocktail with me sometime. I got in the car, erased Matthew’s number from my phone and gave Ethan a call. I asked if he would be up for that drink in about an hour and he agreed. Matthew? Matthew who? Maybe the cougars did get him in the end.

Published in: Uncategorized on August 25, 2010 at 4:42 am  Comments (1)  

Trent

In going out on dates with over 100 guys, I have met some socially-questionable and awkward people. Trent was the first guy that I encountered that I really thought was insane. I am still not convinced that he didn’t escape from a local mental hospital just so he could have a date with me.

I got my first email from Trent while I was out of town for Christmas. I was visiting a friend’s family in Nebraska which is the only explanation I have for why I answered Trent in the first place. The Midwest is very flat, very slow and I needed something to occupy my time. His picture passed muster. Shaved head, attractive facial hair, slim and fit from the mid-torso up – nothing too objectionable. Trent’s email was very enthusiastic with lots of smiley faces and exclamation points. He also liked parentheses and would follow every comment he made with an aside (almost like he was having a conversation with himself). He did have some interesting things to say, though, about sports and books and movies so, after a few more almost-one-sided emails, I agreed to meet Trent for a drink.

Almost as if I was subconsciously trying to continue the trend of bad decisions, I agreed to meet Trent at 2:00 p.m. on a Sunday because, obviously, that is a perfect time for drinking. I am not sure what I was thinking. When I walked into the bar, Trent stood up from a booth and shook my hand. Oh, my goodness. I think that he found a GQ from 1985 that advised a guy how to dress on a first date because Trent was about 20 years behind. He had on a smokin’ leather bomber jacket, pressed acid-washed jeans and a loud-patterned sweater. Even though I felt like I was maybe unwittingly in a ‘Back to the Future’ movie, I sat down across from Trent. Those first few minutes, before the alcohol arrived, were quite possibly the most awkward I have ever endured. Trent looked so nervous I was waiting for him to throw up at any minute. He sat there, with his jacket still on, furtively looking to the left and the right and tapping his fingers over and over on the table. He also repeatedly, perhaps 20 times, cleared his throat, shaking his head vigorously each time. I think some words were exchanged but I seem to have blocked what they were from my memory. A drink, please, waitress, to get me through?

Watching Trent drink his first cocktail I was reminded of footage I had seen of marathon runners hydrating during a race. He practically threw it in his face almost as if getting some in his mouth was second to splashing some over himself so he could cool down. The waitress walked by literally a minute after dropping off the drinks and looked down at Trent’s glass. She looked at the table, at his lap, then the floor as if trying to figure out where the liquid could have possibly gone. Oh, lucky me, my date was going to be drunk in about five minutes. Trent tapped his glass on the table and asked for another round.

The alcohol did seem to loosen Trent up. In the ten minutes I had before he blacked out we managed to have a little conversation.  Even though his profile said that he was a ‘product developer’, he actually worked part-time as a mail sorter at the local post office. Easy mistake – I can see how he got confused as the professions are almost interchangeable, right? Trent also still lived with is ex-girlfriend although, he assured me, it had been a long time since there had been any hanky-panky, heh heh. He actually winked at me as he said this.

Trent had actually done a fair bit of travel so, during his fourth round, we managed to talk a little about places we had been. I had recently been to Ireland and, when I mentioned that, I got to see the crazy up close. Trent’s eyes got wide, he poked his head up, scanned the bar and then leaned in close. In a whisper, he asked, “Did you see any demons?” Taken a bit aback I asked if he meant ghosts. “No, no, no,” he said, “Not ghosts! Demons! Demons!” I didn’t know how to respond as this conversation had suddenly gone into territory I had not yet explored. Was he serious? Was he putting me on? Was I about to get chopped into tiny pieces? Because I was in a bar with lots of people I felt it was safe to ask the difference between demons and ghosts. At that point I was just curious and fascinated and horrified, almost like driving by a car accident. Trent leaned in again and, talking behind his hand in a furtive whisper, informed me that ghosts are dead people still hanging around whereas demons are just malevolent spirits that were never alive but exist solely to perpetrate evil. How did I not *know* that? He went on to explain the whole history of demons in Europe, how they walked among us, etc.; Trent was a demon expert.

Sensing imminent disaster, when Trent paused in his lecture to order a fifth drink, I looked at my cell phone and feigned disappointment. “Oh, no,” I told him, “I am going to have to go. I need to go take care of something at the office. Right away.” Normally, this is not how I roll. I don’t have girlfriends call me saying they are at the hospital or set up phantom texts so that I have an excuse to get out of a date in a hurry. I always make sure I have an activity planned after our date so, even if it is going well, I have a set time I have to leave. That technique has saved my bacon more than once and it eliminated the need for me to be rude. Trent, though, was obviously a special case. I needed to get out of there and fast. His face fell and he looked crushed that I had to go but he stood up, gave me a hug and refused to take money to help with our (now quite substantial) bar tab. He asked if he could see me again and, desperate to not create a scene or end up injured, I hastily said yes and darted out of there. Trent sent me an email that night, very exclamation point-heavy, about how much he had enjoyed meeting me. I very politely told him that I was afraid that I just didn’t feel a connection but I wished him luck. I never heard from him again. I went back and read through Trent’s profile and emails thinking that I had missed some glaring indication of insanity but there was nothing that stood out. Apparently, just like demons, crazy potential dates just walk unnoticed among the rest of us.

Published in: Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm  Comments (1)