Dan

Hmmm…what is worse? Having a date with a guy that didn’t care that his ex-girlfriend was quite possibly dead in a ditch somewhere or having a drink with a boooorrring frat boy wannabe? That is no kind of choice but, such is my luck, next up on the dating rotation – Dan!

Dan was my exact same age and Match.com recommended him to me in their daily ‘Match by Mail!’ email. He had traveled a fair amount, I didn’t want to date another 40+-year-old and he seemed nice. Perhaps a bit bland, but nice. If his profile had to be likened to an ice cream flavor it would be vanilla. This guy was not going to be wild but maybe that was ok after Marty. I needed to know there were still kind, considerate men out in the world.

Time is often at a premium in the online-dating world for a full-time working girl. Weeknights and weekends quickly get filled up and sometimes efficiency is required. I had already agreed to meet Bachelor Mike at 4:00 on a Sunday but, what the hell, the early afternoon was free so I didn’t see any reason not to meet Dan during the day. It felt kind of gross, like I was a match.com prostitute or something, but I went ahead with it anyway. I suggested to Dan that, if he was up for it, we could meet at a local restaurant that had a bar, football and food. I hoped he didn’t mind a girl that drank before noon – ha ha ha. He didn’t, go figure, and the date was set.

I arrived at the restaurant before Dan and it was packed. I had to grab the only two seats available at the bar and they were right on top of each other. I hoped he didn’t smell. Actually, I hoped I didn’t smell.  I ordered a cocktail; I was sitting at the bar after all, and watched some football while I waited for Dan to arrive. Where I was sitting happened to look out over the parking lot so I could see people walking up as they arrived. I saw a guy walking across the pavement and, once again, hoped, hoped, hoped that he was not my date. He looked 12! His pants were so short I swear I could see a flash of ankle over the top of his socks! But the hat was the worst. I think the proper term for this type of headgear is a ‘visor’ but all I know is that the only time I see them is on drunk college boys when the camera pans the fans at football games.  Well, and maybe golfers, on a golf course, driving golf carts. But, I was quite certain, I had never seen one on a guy, headed into a restaurant, for a first date. As he got closer to the door, I could tell the visor-wearer was Dan.  Another round, bartender, another round.

Dan came in and sat down and I managed to not get sloshed and have a conversation with him. He was fine, nice, polite – all good things. He didn’t order a drink which made me feel like a real lush since I had two cocktails on the bar in front of me. Dan did get some food so I wasn’t consuming alone which was considerate. It turned out that I was Dan’s very first online date. He didn’t elaborate much on what he had been doing woman-wise for the last 14 years but it seemed he had recently moved back to the area, reason unexplained. He lived with his younger brother and he spent a lot of time talking about him and their parents. A LOT of time. This date was two years ago and I can still remember all about his hypochondriac mom and passive-aggressive dad. I knew that Dan and I were the same age but he just seemed really young, like had just left the nest. Maybe he had? He didn’t say and I didn’t ask. That seemed like it could be a very involved explanation and I didn’t really feel like going there. He talked about his job, which he thought was really boring, and his upcoming travel schedule, which wasn’t thrilling, and his food allergies which were an awful mess.  As exciting as this chat was I was definitely becoming certain I was not interested in having another one. I didn’t think I could stay awake. Luckily I had told Dan previously that I had other plans that afternoon. I may not have mentioned that those plans were a date with another guy but, regardless, I had to leave. He was very nice, paid the bill, gave me a hug and we went our separate ways. I couldn’t really tell if he was interested or not. Dan was not exactly a ball of emotions. I did get an email from him the next day that he wanted to take me to a local concert so I guess he was a little interested. I told him that I was afraid that I wasn’t intrigued by him in that capacity and he sent me a nice, brief email back. I hoped that I hadn’t ruined his view of online dating but I think I was nice. I managed to not tell him that, if he wanted to ever have a second date, he had better lose that freaking visor. Maybe I should have? Either way, my past two dates had been on the opposite ends of the nice spectrum. I was hoping my next contestant, meeting time less than two hours away, would be more of a happy medium.

Next up: Mike, the excellent-cooking, marathon-running, fine-dining, non-cussing, quite-possibly gay date.

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Published in: on November 29, 2009 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Marty

Hey, Marty.  I feel like I should tell you that it is a turn-off when you talk about your ex-girlfriend within 10 minutes of first meeting me. It is a real turn-off when you tell me that she is missing, as in should be on a milk carton missing, and you don’t seem to care at all. Hmmm…can’t figure out why I didn’t want to go on another date.

Marty was the first guy that I met after the awful Lloyd break-up. I didn’t really think that I was ready to be out again in the dating world but I wanted to be distracted from the urge I had to drive over to Lloyd’s house and tell him that I was wrong, wrong, wrong to end things. Marty was an older guy, late-30’s, but he had some cool photos and I liked the vibe of his profile. We emailed back and forth a couple of times and I agreed to meet him for a drink. As I was driving to our meeting place I felt sick to my stomach. I so did not want to be out meeting a new guy, a much older one at that, and I missed Lloyd so much. My boss/ex-boyfriend must have been reading my mind from a distance because he sent me one of his ‘this is what a text from Lloyd would be like’.

“Hey, Kate. Have you seen my PBR bong? xoxo Lloyd.”

Yep, I had done the right thing. Time to move on. I got to the bar first before Marty and, when he walked in, I hoped he wasn’t who I was meeting. It wasn’t that he was unattractive, necessarily, but just not my type. He was short, small-boned, had spiky hair and very funky glasses. But, lucky me, he was my date. I had already ordered a drink and Marty made it clear that he did NOT drink before 6 p.m. and he was absolutely starving. Ok, dude. You are charming the pants off me already. Marty flagged the waiter over and ordered a burger, and it had better be rare, and dickered aggressively for a few minutes over whether he could substitute sweet potato fries for the regular. Having waited tables, this guy was definitely going to get some spit on those sweet potato fries. Marty was definitely starting to seem like an ass. He didn’t redeem himself.

Marty started off talking about the awful traffic that he had encountered on the drive over. I felt like I had to apologize he was so upset about it. His very next question to me was, “So. Match. What is your story?” Uhhh…I didn’t know what to say. That is kind of a loaded question within the first five minutes. I paused to collect my thoughts and Marty took that opportunity to tell me why he was doing online dating. He had been in a relationship with a woman for 10 years, and she was fantastic, but they had a messy fight and then she disappeared. Disappeared, as in they didn’t talk again? That in and of itself was a little weird but, no, she had literally disappeared. They had a disagreement, she packed up her stuff, left for her dad’s house and no one had talked to her since. What the hell? I had so many questions I didn’t know where to begin. This had been eight months prior. He said that he had talked to the ex’s dad but he didn’t know anything. Marty said none of their friends had talked to her, she hadn’t contacted him but, that was fine, she was obviously done with him. Or, I was thinking to myself, she was DEAD. Was he serious? Were there details he wasn’t spilling? He just shrugged and took a bite of his bloody burger. I finished my drink and I am sure we talked about something else but I was so horrified about his cavalier attitude that I don’t remember what was discussed. I made up some commitment that I had to get to and practically sprinted out of the restaurant.

Just my luck that the first date I went on after Lloyd was maybe the worst boyfriend I had ever encountered. He was so awful that I just laughed to myself on the drive home. That was maybe the most obvious, rude exit I had ever pulled but, omigod, Marty freaked me out. He emailed me later that night asking for a second date but I didn’t even answer him. Really? So I could date him, die in a horrible freak accident and have him not even raise an eyebrow? I think not. One thing Marty had mentioned that I recalled was that he was a district manager for a huge coffee chain. Just a week ago, over a year a half since we first met, I entered one of the chain’s stores and there was Marty behind the counter. Shit, shit, shit. I saw him look at me and kind of do a double-take and then he walked to the back of the store. He stayed back there while I ordered my drink and got out of there as fast as I could.

Dating. Such fun.

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 12:21 am  Comments (2)  

Lloyd – The Breakup

For whatever reason, Lloyd had a strange power over me and I knew trying to break up with him in person would be next to impossible. I could easily see him getting angry, breaking something, crying – none of it ended well. I resisted the urge to break up by text or email. It is so much easier, emotionally, but it is a pretty cold thing to do to a person who you supposedly care about just a little. I decided to call Lloyd the Monday night after our ill-fated road trip and I agonized all day about making the call. While I was driving back to the office after lunch Lloyd called. Or, I should say, his daughter called on his cell phone to tell me that she missed me and wanted me to come over for dinner that night. Talk about a dagger through the heart. I could hear Lloyd in the background and my stomach just dropped. I told her to tell her dad that I would call him after work. Making it through this debacle without throwing up was quickly looking to not be an option.

I called Lloyd when I got home and he could immediately tell something was amiss. I don’t remember how I stumbled through but I essentially said that, although we had a lot of fun, I did not think he was the guy for me. How, exactly, do you tell someone that their long-term potential is seriously limited by their drinking, drugging and overall lack of responsibility? I am all about telling the truth but I just couldn’t bring myself to say it. Lloyd just sat there in stunned silence. Say something, please! I think he was crying. He finally managed to say something like, “I can’t believe this. Why are you doing this to me?” I just mumbled something about being sorry, he said he had to go and that was it. End of conversation. I was relieved that it was so short but it was *not* an easy conversation. There may have been some crying on my end, as well.

Things did not get easier the next day when I got a text from Lloyd that said, “Why are you doing this? My heart is breaking.” He then sent a long email about how he thought we were perfect for each other, that I didn’t realize how perfect we were, etc. I felt awful, obviously, but I have to admit that I was starting to get a little irritated/concerned. I know that breaking up sucks but it happens and we are adults and it is what it is. I couldn’t blame him for being sad but to try to guilt me into staying together wasn’t going to work, either. His emotionality was scaring me a little bit. Lloyd knew where I lived and I kept waiting for him to show up at my door so he could make his plea in person.

The next stage of grief, for Lloyd, appeared to be anger. I got a very business-like email early Wednesday morning stating that he had left some stuff at my house and he wanted it back. He itemized his list and it included books, speakers, the PBR he had left in my fridge and an adult item he had purchased. The books and speakers I could of course understand. The other items… not so much. He also had some things of mine that he needed to return. He assumed that I didn’t want to meet (correct!!!) so came up with a good plan. He had to take the bus in to work so he would leave my items in the back of his car and I could come pick them up while he was gone. I liked this idea as it meant we didn’t have to meet. I did not like this idea as it meant that he could be waiting in the bushes or in his car or in the parking lot and ambush me. I mentioned my dilemma to my boss/ex-boyfriend and he insisted I not go alone. He would drive me. So that is how I ended up, at 11 a.m. on a Thursday, being driven by one ex-boyfriend to another ex-boyfriend’s parking lot to do a beer and book exchange. It was not one of the high moments of my dating career.

After I broke it off with Lloyd I would have moments of wondering if I did the right thing. My boss/ex-boyfriend would call me and say, “This is a collect call from Lloyd at the Snohomish County Jail,” or he would shoot me a text that said, “Hey, it is Lloyd. Have you seen my PBR bong?” It sounds kind of cold but that is exactly what I needed to hear to resist the pull that was Lloyd.

I heard from him a couple of more times the next week but then he seemed to forget about me, more or less. He would send me emails just to check in and see how I was doing and they were totally harmless. We did end up meeting for drinks (what was I thinking???) a few months later and it was very pleasant. We talked about online dating, his kids, his work, my vacation – it was fine. He walked me out to my car, though, and proceeded to try and kiss me when I went in for the goodbye hug. I must say I was tempted. He was and is an attractive guy to me. Getting over him was probably one of the harder things I have done. In so many ways he is a great guy for me but in more ways he is not. But, hell, at least I got to get my fishing license and drink wine from a plastic cup.

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 2:03 am  Comments (2)