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.

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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)