I am going to write a book for guys who are trying to date online. I am going to write this book because there are things that you simply DON’T TALK ABOUT on the first few dates. For instance, Doug needed to be advised that it is a bit of a turn-off to hear a man talk about how skilled he is at stalking. Oh, you are really good at finding out a girl’s every activity on Match even though “she is trying to hide from” you? Those are reassuring words to hear. Really.

Things started off a little less scary with Doug. We emailed a bit back and forth and agreed to meet up for a drink at a restaurant I had never been to. The place was charming, dimly-lit and somewhat intimate. That is the only reason I can come up with for why I thought a second date, at his house no less, was a good idea with this guy. In my defense, Doug was a good conversationalist, had excellent taste in movies and music and seemed to be witty and somewhat on the ball. I like a guy that is a little bit cocky and Doug fit that bill but I just underestimated by how much. The restaurant was on a steep hill and, when we both drove away after the first meeting, his tires totally squealed as he sped away. I thought that was…interesting…but I just chalked it up to a stick shift and the incline and not that fact that he was a swaggering douchebag. When Doug sent me an email asking if I wanted to watch a Seahawks game with him it didn’t seem like such an awful idea. I almost reconsidered when he offered up his big-screen television for our viewing pleasure instead of the neighborhood bar. He seemed safe, though, so I made my way the next Sunday to his house.

Doug’s place was a charming little bungalow, in a good part of Seattle, which I took to be a good sign. What I should have taken as a bad sign was the big bottle of Chartreuse that was sitting on his counter, soon to be poured, over an hour before the game began. I won’t lie – I was a willing participant in consuming it – but I had never had it before and was a little taken aback by how strong it was. I was feeling a little giddy by the time the game even started and, surprise, surprise; Doug didn’t have any food in the house to soak up any of the alcohol. This would be fun.

The second quarter had just started when Doug first mentioned his ex-girlfriend that he had originally met on Match. Right away I could smell ‘asshole’ in everything he said about her. He was practically sneering as he told me that she had just up and decided that she didn’t want to be dating anymore but, heh!, he knew she was lying. Then Doug just went silent. I asked him exactly how he knew that she was deceptive and he proceeded to fill me in on all of the ways that he had found to follow her every move online without her even knowing. She was so stupid! He was so crafty! I was about to die in this guy’s basement! The way he was talking was bitter and full of vitriol and it was scaring the crap out of me. Issues didn’t even come close to describing what this guy was carrying around and I still had almost three quarters left in which to not get killed.

Luckily I was able to change the subject to Doug’s other favorite topic besides stalking – cars! He loved to drive, collect classic auto books, baby his motorcycle and, oh, he wouldn’t even go into how many speeding tickets he had in his past. Hell, he told me, he shouldn’t even be allowed to drive he had so many. He couldn’t even remember them all! Boy, this guy was turning out to be a real class act. How had this gone from a date with a palatable guy to an absolute horror of a freak show? I was seriously starting to doubt my judgment of character if I had let this guy get anywhere close to a second date. How dense could I be?

I made it to the middle of the third quarter before I had to start fighting off Doug’s physical advances. He had a huge L-shaped couch but, somehow, he wanted us to sit on exactly one foot of it. He wasn’t overly obnoxious or dangerous but he just kept eyeing me with what he obviously thought was his brooding and swarthy look and trying to rub my leg and pull me into his lap. And the sweat, oh, the sweat. It was not hot in the basement of horror but the perspiration was *dripping* off of Doug and I could see the underarm pit stains already seeping down towards his midsection. I was going to be sick. One more quarter until I could split.

I threw out topic after topic after topic for discussion so Doug had no choice but to talk and leave me alone. I am probably alive today because he was so cocky and loved to expound on anything I brought up. As soon as the game clock read ’00:00′, I was jumping up and out of my seat. I made up something on the fly that I was running late for and asked for Doug to walk me to my car. He looked wounded and pouty and said something about being no fun but he was talking to my back because I was up those stairs in a flash. He gave me a (sweaty) hug and asked when he could see me again. “Lie, Kate, lie so you can live!”, was buzzing through my brain so I told him just to send me an email and we could work something out. He did try to email and text me several more times but I gave a very curt brush-off the first time and then not a word more. It is only by sheer luck I didn’t end up stashed in his crawl space.

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 1:37 am  Comments (4)  

Mike Part II

The day I headed to Mike’s house for the first time was sunny and beautiful in Seattle and I was filled with hope that maybe, just maybe, I had been wrong about his sexual orientation. I arrived at his house, got a welcome hug (of course!) and then a tour of his house. It was immaculate, beautifully furnished and full of cookbooks – volumes and volumes of cookbooks. The house was beautiful and I was definitely impressed although my mind was not being changed. I am not sure what I would have to have seen  – bear skin rug? a beer stein collection? – but the amazing decorating wasn’t doing the trick. Our dinner and movie were enjoyable but, again, I went home without anything more than a hug.

I really liked spending time with Mike but I seemed to be getting a tour of great restaurants and viewing lots of movies but generating absolutely no spark. We both seemed to be dancing around the *idea* of something beyond platonic but that was the extent of it. One night we went to a Thai restaurant near Mike’s house. I was perusing the drink menu and saw several beverages that included an African herb that, according to the description, had an aphrodisiac effect. Mike said, without missing a beat, “You should get one of those!” and I immediately did. I am quick like that. I thought he would join me but, no, he got tea. Tea! I don’t know if the aphrodisiac qualities were greatly exaggerated by the restaurant or my company was harshing the buzz but I felt absolutely nothing. Another time we went to a supposedly scary movie and I literally said, “If I get too spooked you might have to hold my hand!” Nothing. What did a girl have to do? After the movie Mike told me he had a tattoo on his upper back and seemingly flirtatiously said, “I will show you but I have to take my shirt off.” Ok, ok, ok! He invited me his house the next week to watch football and have dinner. That sounded very heterosexual. I was going to get past first base!

I showed up at Mike’s house the next week and he answered the door in an apron. With ruffles. Was he messing with me? Oh, no,  it wasn’t a joke. I convinced myself that it wasn’t too feminine (who was I kidding????) and we ate a delicious dinner and hunkered down for football. We held hands and I decided to be a total whore and ask him to take his clothes off, er, to see his tattoo. He immediately pulled his shirt over his head and I kind of wished I hadn’t thrown that offer out on the table. For a guy that was supposedly Mr. Athlete I was really, really underwhelmed. He wasn’t hideous but he was kind of flabby and unexciting. The tattoo was cool. There was that. I left Mike’s house that night still having only hit a single. This was not looking good.

Mike and his family were headed out of town for the following week and I took the opportunity to really mull over what the hell I felt about the whole ‘thing’ we had going on. I quite liked hanging out with Mike but being just friends was getting old. I honestly could not tell how he felt about me. He would make comments about aphrodisiacs and disrobing but then he would shoot me a disapproving look if I cursed in front of him. He liked football but he served the game-time eats in a pretty apron. This guy was all over the place. I got an email from Mike from his family vacation and it included a picture of the amazing cake he had prepared and frosted for everyone. He had even brought his own cake knives (!!!) so it would be perfect. Sweet lord. I had to get out  and in a hurry.

My break-up with Mike was a good example of why, like ripping off a Band-Aid, it is best to do it as fast as possible. No good comes from dragging it out.  The actual ending of things wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. When I called Mike and told him how I was feeling, he said that was he was very disappointed but that he understood. I unfortunately came to this brilliant conclusion a week before Christmas so both of us had gifts for each other and I agreed for a meet-up and present exchange. My presents were very simple and unexciting – wine, salt and pepper shakers – but he had gone way overboard and bought me some first-edition Wizard of Oz books on eBay since it was my favorite movie. Those still remain probably one of the best gifts I have ever received. I loved them, of course, but I felt so awkward and awful and like a total jerk. Mike and I decided that we wanted to be friends but that petered out after a couple of dinners. Harry might have been right when he told Sally men and women can’t be friends.

I did look Mike up on Facebook less than a year after I ended things and he had already gotten married, to a GIRL. That made it his two heterosexual marriages to my none so I have to ask myself  – who really ended up ‘scoring’?

Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment