Ryan

My dad told me once that the thought of my going into a bar or restaurant and meeting someone for the first time made him feel sick to his stomach. Ryan would be a good reason for anyone to be ill.  Because of it’s proximity to his workplace (likely excuse!), Ryan suggested we meet at The Cheesecake Factory at Bellevue Square. For those of you not familiar with the Seattle vs. Eastside debate, let me just say that there is a bit of a consensus that the Eastside has a bit of a lack of soul and a taint of fakery to it. I grew up there so I can’t really say too much but it is kind of true. Bellevue Square, and The Cheesecake Factory, no less, might not be described as the most original of choices. I didn’t want to be snobby bitch girl, though, so I agreed. I should have run for the hills.

Ryan was my first of many, many, many gentlemen in the tech-related field. I think I have dated half of the guys at Microsoft. There is something about online dating that geeky computer guys (and girls) really dig. Ryan worked for a company that is probably now out of business that did some sort of live movie streaming. I know this because I got to hear all about his co-workers, the product, the poor Fed-Ex girl that got harassed every day because she was the first female these geeks had seen all day, all of the movies he got for free, their awesome new office space… all of this before we even ordered. I was already charmed.

So the Cheesecake Factory has the biggest menu ever but I played it safe and got the spring rolls, aka what is possibly the smallest thing on the menu. Ryan, who I could tell even from sitting down, was a slight guy, maybe a little taller than me but small of frame. It may be important to note that I am 5’8″ and fairly thin. I am not a big girl which is important to know for the lovely comments about to come from this asshat. He ordered the chicken strips and fries and ate about 1/3 of it. I finished my rolls but they were TINY and there was only two of them. And they weren’t fried! This clown looked down at my plate and put his hands to his face in mock horror and says, “I don’t think I have ever been with someone eating at The Cheesecake Factory and seen them eat all of their food! I can’t believe you finished it!” It took every single iota of manners I possessed not to get up and leave right then. What kind of idiot makes a comment to a girl on a first date about what a pig she is??? I was silent with shock.

But the fun wasn’t done yet. Apparently our friend, Ryan, had lived in Texas at one time where he had been married. Why, pray tell, had he decided to move to WA? Oh, that would be because he used to be a binge drinker and had totaled a car and gotten arrested for drunk driving and “needed to get out of the state”. What the f*ck did that mean? Was he wanted by the law? Am I dining with a wanted felon? Oh, and he also had gotten divorced and wanted a “fresh start”. Got it. He must not have seen the look of horror on my face because he then asked me if I wanted to go get some tea. I asked if he had something against coffee, ha ha, and he said, why yes, he hates coffee, can’t stand the smell of it and he made his ex-wife brew her java in the garage. Oh.My.God. This guy was a total freak show mess. I declined his offer, other plans you know, and he insisted on driving me to my car in his new convertible. What a creep.

I got an email from this fine fellow wanting to meet up again to continue the nightmare for another date but I told him that, sorry, I was afraid I didn’t feel that spark. I was getting better at being honest but not good enough that I didn’t offer the awful ‘we can still be friends’ bit. I am now heartless and realistic enough to  know that being honest is not the same thing as being mean so I don’t need to offer friendship as a way to make nice.  We are all adults, allegedly, and sometimes things just don’t work out.  Ryan wrote me back that, sorry, he didn’t join Match to make friends. Fair enough. Good luck, you coffee-hating, food phobic fugitive.

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Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 7:55 pm  Comments (2)  

Scott

This guy had huge teeth. Very nice, decent guy but he had some serious Mr. Ed action going on. I met him in the bar at  Canyon’s Restaurant where alcoholic drinks were imbibed. This was the start of my  guideline that alcohol is a great social lubricant and should be consumed on a first meeting if at all possible. I have had to add an addendum, though, that there is a two-drink maximum because, any  more than that, and anyone becomes more attractive. I need to have a little bit of good judgement left standing.

Aside from his choppers, Scott was very decent. He was easy to talk to, took great pleasure in ordering the corn fritters with honey and butter and had been around the dating block. I have no idea how many ladies had come before me but it sounded like he had some experience with the ‘trying to find a girlfriend’ bit. He mentioned that he belonged to a group of Seattle Singles that did different activities and that he had recently been to Costa Rica (!!!) with a group of singletons. He was definitely no rube. He also mentioned that he loved to bake, owned his own house and had a fairly good job with city government. So, he was decent enough that I decided another date was in order.

For some reason we decided to meet for coffee on a workday which I vowed never to repeat. I have to answer my cell phone for work so it and my message book sat on the table and it just cast a bad shadow over the whole thing. Weekend coffee dates are fine but during the workday? Not again. I am not a huge coffee or food snob but I do make a note of what someone orders. Scott got coffee cake and an iced mocha. Sugar rush! I am a healthy eater, more or less, so that didn’t impress me much. He then proceeded to complain about how expensive Starbucks was and that he had to break the habit before he went broke, blah, blah, blah… My cheapskate flags started to go up. Neither of us could stay long (another reason not to do a date during work hours) so he threw out going to a Mariners game together. I LOVE baseball and the Mariners but a game is a loooong time to have to talk to someone if it is at all awkward. I would never, ever, ever go to that long of event for a first date but a third…. hmmm….. I told him I would look at my schedule and get back to him. After this second meeting I was feeling a little wary. He was still nice and decent but I was not feelin’ the sparks and the cheap talk had gotten to me a little bit. While I was mulling over what to do he sent me an email about the Mariners game and how we would take the bus there because parking at the stadium is so expensive. Uhhhh, it really isn’t that expensive, at all, and definitely not enough to make us take a bus trip on a date. I am not an elitist or a snob or a prima donna but this was a little too much. Scott’s spendthrift ways combined with the lack of spark and those big teeth was a deadly combination. I wrote Scott the same sort of email that I would eventually learn to not send, i.e. I am not ready to date, and he was pretty cool about it. He sent me an email back that he was disappointed but understood. I was caught, again, by him when he saw me still on Match a few months later and sent another wink. Note to self – if you say you aren’t ready to date it is best not to remain active on a dating website.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm  Comments (2)  

Robert

Officially this was Bachelor #1. I was not at all feeling comfortable being back in the dating world after being in a relationship for almost six years with a cool guy I was still friends with. As I drove to meet Mr. Robert I felt like I was cheating on the ex even though we had been broken up for almost 3 months. It might say something that I called the ex on the way to the rendezvous spot to let him know who and where I was meeting this strange man just in case I was chopped up into little pieces. There is a reason we called it “Best Breakup Ever”. Even still, I was nervous as hell walking into that Starbucks.

** Aside (the first of what I am sure will be many) – There are a few spots in my neck of the woods that I am sure think I am some sort of librarian-looking prostitute. These spots, and the people that work there, have seen me parade in with a stream of men. When the number of people that you have met creeps into the double-digits you run out of places-to-meet options. I am picky about where I will make the initial contact. It has to be public, obviously, easy to find and a place I am familiar with. I am not walking into a restaurant or tavern or coffee shop or wine bar that I have never been before while trying to locate someone I have never met. That is simply too much sensory overload to manage at once. I like to know the lay of the land so the only thing that could possibly surprise me is how ghastly my date is.

The first thing I notice about Robert is that he looks nothing like his picture. I am expecting a guy that has a hat and glasses and fairly sizable sideburns but what walks up to me has a shaved head and no glasses. He is my height, 5’8″, and fairly stout. I am not overwhelmed with hot lust for him but he is pleasant to look at. We met on a weekend day so he was appropriately dressed – cargo shorts, t-shirt, cool sneaks. We had a pleasant conversation where he expressed a strong affinity for watching female roller girls. I have not been to such an event so it was cool to hear a little about that. Besides the fact that the conversation didn’t totally suck or stall awkwardly it also didn’t really light my fire. I could tell that I wasn’t going to be interested in seeing this guy again. I can’t say too much else about him besides he was ‘my first’ and that was it wasn’t horrible. Robert does have the distinction of initiating my long-time rule of NO PHONE CALL BEFORE MEETING. I am not a huge phone person in general and trying to carry on a conversation totally removed of any physical cues sucks ass. I was careful to brush up on my facts-about-Robert before placing the call but it was just awkward. Long silences, awkward pauses – what fun. There is just something about seeing someone in person and whiffing their pheromones that cannot be replaced. How horrible can anyone be that I can’t suffer through one cup of coffee or cocktail? Granted, there have been some fine men that had me thinking the whole time we met what a great freaking story I was going to tell about this knob, but nothing horrendous. They are just people, after all.

I did get the fishing follow-up email from Robert (it was great to meet me, want to get together again, etc.) but I was not interested in seeing him again. Just not exciting. I emailed him back and told him that I had thought I was ready to get back into the dating fray but I had been mistaken. This taught me another rule. DON’T EVER TELL AN ONLINE DATING CANDIDATE SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN FIND TO BE UNTRUE. Besides the fact that lying is evil and bad it just sets up an awkward situation if you are caught. For instance, I got several more emails and winks from Robert after I gave him the brush-off email. Why, he wanted to know, was I still on Match.com if I was not ready to date? Valid question although I don’t know what guilting me into a date was supposed to accomplish.

Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm  Comments (1)