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.

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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