It always happens, without fail, that when I mention that I do online dating, people will often look shocked, horrified or otherwise aghast in horror. “Oh, my god, I could never, ever do that! It would be awful and horrifying and, well, I don’t have the balls to do that kind of thing!” They then want to hear all of the grisly details of the nightmare dates that I have been on and, well, honestly, there have been a few. But what they are looking for, and what they assume is the worst possible scenario, are stories of the men that are crazy creepy or so different from their profile as to be offensive. What I have found far worse, however, are the men that were that close to being my Prince Charming but just…weren’t. Those dates, like Tim, are scarier in a whole different way.

Tim’s profile and email were noteworthy right from the start. He was an architect, lived in Seattle, had recently bought a house that he was renovating himself and moored his boat in the town where I lived. He was very cute, funny and my stomach always dropped when I saw an email from him in my inbox. When Tim suggested that we meet for a drink late one Sunday after he tied off his boat, I was more than happy to oblige.

I got to the bar first and, when Tim walked in, I muttered under my breath, “Please be him. Please be him.” He was CUTE and, as luck had it, he was walking towards my table. Score! Tim didn’t disappoint, either, once we started talking. He was charming, laid-back, totally at ease, and well, really, really cute. We discussed boating, house-renovation, my recent trip to California – the talk was easy and very comfortable.

“Thank you for not smelling like garbage.” When Tim dropped that ‘compliment’, I almost spit out my drink. The confusion I felt must have shown on my face because Tim explained that he was new to online dating, was not sure at all how he felt about the whole thing and had nightmare visions of what meeting someone new might entail, i.e., that they were so horrible as to smell like trash. It may have come out in a strange fashion but it was one of the best things anyone has ever said to me on a date. I didn’t smell like rot!

Neither Tim nor I could stay out late so we had to cut the date short but, as we walked to our cars, he asked if he could give me a call. “Yes, yes, yes!” I wanted to shout but I tried to play it low-key and instead said, “Yea, sure. That sounds cool.” The day and a half I waited for him to call were some of the longest hours of my dating career. Tim was quirky cool, he was successful, he was funny and he seemed to think the same about me (or at least that I didn’t stink). This girl was excited!

When Tim called two days later the conversation was short, only five minutes, and was mediocre at best. He asked me, almost as soon as I answered, if I could grab a pizza and beer with him some day after work, I agreed and then there was a bit of uncomfortable silence before we chose the time and place to meet. I don’t love talking on the phone but that was a particularly awkward conversation and I couldn’t say why.  I didn’t know where the comfortable rapport had gone but it had certainly disappeared for that phone call. Fine, that was fine.  It was just one conversation. In person it would all be better again.

Almost as soon as I sat down, I could tell that something was just…off with Tim and me. We tried to get a pizza together but our tastes in toppings were so different that we had to just get our own separate halves. Tim started to order a pitcher of beer and, when I said that I would get wine because I just really didn’t like beer, he looked almost disgusted. While we waited for the pizza, Tim started to talk about his true passion in life – scuba diving. He had not brought this up when we first met or I would have told him about my absolutely crippling fear of deep water. I had already offended him with my stance on brew so I tried to keep quiet about my lack of underwater experience. But, when he point-blank asked me if I would be willing to get my SCUBA certification, well, I couldn’t lie.

“I actually am not a huge fan of the water or boating but I can handle those in small does. But, putting a tank on my back and going deep, deep down under the surface, well, not going to happen. I would sooner eat glass.”  I couldn’t help saying it – water and I do not particularly get along. I knew he had a boat, which I could handle, but Tim was talking about dive weekends and decompression sickness and running out of oxygen – I was having a panic attack just listening to him. My response was obviously not pleasing to Tim and I could tell that I had somehow failed a very important test. Crap, crap, crap! I liked this guy! We finished our pizza and beer (and wine) and, by 8:00 p.m., we decided to call it a night and exchanged an awkward hug in the parking lot. I knew as I drove home that I would be lucky to hear from Tim and, as I predicted, he didn’t call or write again.

Tim was a hard pill to swallow. He was cool and right for me in SO many ways but, truth be told, the chances of us making it long-term with our diametrically-opposed views of water were not good. But that was all it took to kill things? Really? He didn’t drink like a fish, wasn’t horribly rude, still had possession of all of his teeth – I should have been able to make it work with such a cool guy. But, alas, it wasn’t enough for a girl just to smell better than garbage. There was a deeper (perhaps underwater?) connection that was still eluding me and that was a very frightening realization. Not frightening in a crazy-stalker kind of way but still very scary, very scary, indeed.


Published in: Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 at 3:56 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kate, dear, I keep getting your profile sent to me by Match. Are you on there to find a relationship or to find material for the blog. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be snide. You look like a lovely woman who goes out with way too many idiotic men. Are your filters that bad?

    There are lots of normal, successful, attentive and well-adjusted men out there — maybe a little more discussion before going out.

    You’re a lovely woman (though I’m sorry to hear you ditched the glasses permanently — very sexy) and I have no doubt we could have a lovely time together. Are you open to that?

  2. Can be scary to see ourselves through another person’s eye … enough of Tim and his ilk – more blob stories please

  3. It’s normal, natural and reasonable for a schism on a major function like water play to present the end of a promising relationship.
    That’s what dates are for,
    however the participants happen to meet.
    But I woulda been gone with the smells like garbage crack – ever meet anybody for a date who smelled like garbage?

  4. From now on, I’m gonna try and sum up Kate’s date experience in 5 words or less so you won’t have to read through all that stuff, kind of a condensed Cliff notes. This one is easy:

    Tim – scuba diver. Next!

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