Ed

With prose this charming, how could I possibly have let Ed go? Dating by force is always such a turn-on.  When I turned down his request to join him for a Tom Petty concert, I got this lovely email:

“That’s interesting (not really).  The way I see it, either you’re not into me and are too nice to say it directly, or you’re truly undecided (unlikely).  Either way, nothing in it for me.

If I’m wrong and there really might be some potential, let’s not waste any more time.  Let’s go out again soon, in the next week or so assuming schedules allow.  Otherwise, we can delete each other’s e-mail addresses.”

I have come to determine that I like a little ‘cock in the walk’. A guy that is assured and confident is very, very attractive. There is a fine, fine line, though, between assured and asshole and Ed unfortunately fell on the wrong side of the divide.

Ed’s profile showed up in my daily ‘you might be interested’ email from Match and I was immediately intrigued. His photo was in black and white (very rare) and he had the user name ‘TheRealSteveNash’. I am a big sports fan so his NBA-name-dropping was attractive in that way but it was also a bit ballsy. There aren’t a whole lot of girls that know who Steve Nash is but he wasn’t going to worry about that. If they didn’t know who Mr. Nash was they could figure it out. Cocky? Cool? Fine, fine line, I tell you. I was even more impressed by Ed’s profile. He was an attorney, lived fairly close to me and we had similar political and religious views. His profile was snappy, smart and he was really, really cute. He ran a basketball league for under-privileged kids and had excellent taste in music, movies and books. He shoots, he scores!  I decided to take the chance and shoot him an email.

Warning sign #1 was that Ed didn’t seem too interested in the wonderfulness that is Kate. I am biased, of course, but I think I can put together a decent email and writing one to Ed was like knocking a softball out of the park. We had so much in common that I had to stop myself from just listing all of the numerous ways we were alike. I played it cool, not too eager, and sent my correspondence out into the ether. Ed didn’t answer me for 3 days and his response was barely lukewarm. I understand that, just because we both exalt in the gloriousness that is ‘Fight Club’, I can’t assume Ed thinks I am an attractive girl. Men don’t always make passes at girls that wear glasses. Fair enough. His email, though, made it seem like he wanted to talk further. We emailed back and forth but his responses were always kind of terse and not very flirty. I had decided that I was not going to beat a dead horse when, seemingly out of nowhere, Ed asked if I wanted to meet. It wasn’t the most eager of invites but, fine, I would at least meet the true Mr. Ed.

Mr. Ed was kind of an apt moniker because this guy had pretty big chompers. I must have a thing  and somehow had not realized it (see Scott, Bachelor #2). Other than his large teeth, Ed scored pretty high on the hotness charts. He was tall, well-dressed and had a very nice physique. The basketball was paying off for him. We had decided to watch a NBA game for our first outing and met at a local brewery. We had a better-than-average conversation but I noticed that Ed was a very loud talker and he was a bit of a conversational bully. I would start to say something and he would just start talking over me, and loudly.  I also noticed that he did not take well to opinions different than his own. He mentioned a movie that he had seen and I honestly said that I didn’t really care for it. I wasn’t rude or a jerk about it and didn’t spit on the table but Ed acted like I had. I guess I was lucky that we agreed on most things. The thing that stands out in my mind most about the date was that Ed got almost belligerent about, of all things, sports-betting. He threw out of some fact that I *knew* to be false and, again, very politely, I asked him to further clarify because I thought I had heard something different. Jerk switch = turned on. I think he *did* spit on the table he was so disgusted at my utter stupidity. I didn’t want to end up in a fist fight so I quickly changed the subject. Thinking I was walking around misinformed, I later checked and that jerk was totally wrong. If you are going to go totally ape over something, asshat, you had better at least be right. What is worse than a cocky jerk? A cocky jerk that isn’t even accurate.

I managed to stick it out for the rest of the game and Ed walked me to my car. He had chilled out a little during the second half but I still knew that I was not going to want to see him again. I didn’t want to incur his wrath, though, in a dark parking lot so I gave him a hug and didn’t slug him when he asked if he could call me sometime so we could go out again. He didn’t call but rather emailed and told me, to say he asked would be more than generous, that we were going to a Tom Petty concert. I declined the offer, very graciously, saying that I had other plans, and Ed sent me the oh-so-charming email above. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that an attorney would lay out his case in a very factual way but where was all of the razzle dazzle, the smooth-talking? Nowhere that Ed could find. I sent him a very short, unfriendly reply saying that I was not interested and I hoped he had luck in his future endeavors. That brute actually emailed me several months later. I was still on Match so he stated that I had obviously a) not found anyone and b) would give him another chance if I was at all smart. After that disaster of a date, Ed, I a) was absolutely still looking and b) a very wise, wise girl.

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Published in: Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 4:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Rick

Spitting is really gross. Watching your prospective date, unbeknownst to him, launch a throat-clearing wad into the parking lot, twice, on his way to meet you, is really, really gross. Rick was a decent guy but his lack of oral manners, in all regards, was not really something I could get past.

Rick emailed me a couple of times and he sounded interesting enough. He traveled to fun places, had a good career at the big computer company in town and could put together a decent email. There were no spelling mistakes, the grammar was decent – I could tell that my online-dating correspondence bar was being lowered day by day – so, when Rick suggested meeting for a drink, I didn’t turn him down.  I arrived a little early so I was able to score a seat at the bar that looked out into the parking lot which is how I was able to personally witness Rick sign his death warrant.

I saw a nice Audi pull in and I could see that the driver vaguely resembled Rick so I sat up a little straighter in my seat so I could watch him walk in. He got out of the car and I felt a little relief, a little excitement, because he was pretty cute. Nice haircut, well-dressed, good shoes  – these were all positive signs. Then I saw Rick kind of cough, put his hand to his chest and then he turned and, clearing his throat really well first, spit about six feet to his right. The bartender glanced my way because I audibly let out a sound of disgust. Oh, nooooo, that was really, really unattractive. I watched him keep walking and he did get a little cute again and then, sweet mother of god, he did it again. He cleared at least ten feet on the second attempt. I can’t be sure because it landed outside of my field of vision. I made sure to order another drink in the short amount of time before Rick walked into the bar. I was going to need the assistance of alcohol.

I know that there are lots of reasons that people may feel the desire to spit but I just don’t buy it that, unless you are choking to death, there is ever a need to immediately expectorate. Go to the bathroom, use a handkerchief – whatever – but don’t put your bodily fluids on the surface everyone uses to walk.  It is just wrong, wrong, wrong. I guess that I think that anyone that has a mother would know that is bad form.

Rick walked right up to me at the bar and, dang it, he was a good-looking guy. Damn it all. He asked if I wanted to move to a table so we did, he got a drink and we had a pretty decent conversation aside from the fact that I couldn’t stop looking at his teeth. I have learned through this whole dating odyssey that I am a sucker for a nice dental presentation. I am not some kind of tooth Nazi or anything but I appreciate a nice smile that is taken care of. Rick just was not one of those guys. He had really, really bad teeth but, and it is saying something for his personality, I kind of let it go. He was very sharp, pretty funny and seemed to be on the ball. He walked me to my car (I thought about trying to dodge his spit), gave me a hug and asked if I wanted to see him again. Even that close to his mouth I said yes. He was a pretty cool guy.

For our next outing, Rick suggested going to dinner and a movie. Not the most original of plans but the place that he suggested for dinner was a place that had been on my radar and was very hip and unique.  I was impressed. The food and restaurant were exceptional but the conversation just kind of…stalled. I kept trying to bring up things to talk about and he was just not bringing anything to the table. I can’t remember a thing that we talked about except that he mentioned, more than once, his good friends who were in their sixties. I don’t have any problem with hanging out with the older folk but it sounded like he did everything social with these people. I tried to ask him what else he did besides golf with his aged friend and he just looked at me like I was speaking another language. At this point I was almost angry that I had to do all of the conversational work so I just said, “Younger people. Not golf. What else makes you smile?” Again, nothing. He just laughed and shook his head. How had I thought this guy was interesting? He must have used up all of his conversation on our first meeting. Luckily there was a movie next so I didn’t have to stab myself with a fork so I could go home.

The drive to the movie theater was very long and very quiet. I normally don’t have any trouble finding something to talk about, with anyone, but this guy was like being on a date with a corpse. I knew for sure after the *longest* 10-minute car ride in my life that this would be the last I saw of Rick. So how did the most quiet dinner companion ever behave while watching a movie, a place where it is polite to be silent? Like a total obnoxious ass. We were seeing a comedy but Rick must have thought that I wouldn’t know when the funny parts were. He would poke me and hit my arm whenever there was a part I was supposed to laugh at. I could see him out of the corner of my eye constantly looking my way to make sure I was catching all of the funny parts. I was getting so irritated at his forcible enjoyment that I purposefully stopped laughing at all. Not even this stopped Rick because then he just started repeating back the lines (out loud!) that were funny as if I had maybe missed them. Was this guy for real? I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode. Longest…movie…ever.

As soon as the credits hit the screen I was out of my seat. Rick suggested maybe getting a drink somewhere but, man, I told him, I was sorry, but I had to get up early the next morning. Take me home, take me home, take me home. Where were my ruby slippers? The drive back to my house was, of course, all but silent. I patted Rick on the leg before he could try to give me a goodnight kiss and thanked him for a nice evening. He did email me to ask if I wanted to go play golf with him and his old pal but, shockingly enough, I declined the invite. Rick must have gotten the hint because I never heard from him again. Lesson learned: a girl can live with bad teeth and random spitting but a guy has to at least have a conversation with that mouth.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 at 3:55 am  Comments (1)  

Rob Part II

I always say that I will try anything once – fly fishing, sweetbreads, men with kids – but I draw the line at sleeping in a car. I am not homeless, I am not destitute, they have come up with a crazy invention called a bed…nope, I don’t need to sleep in a vehicle. I know that technically camping is sleeping in the dirt, more or less, but that is more about roasting marshmallows and drinking around a campfire. I knew that Rob and I were probably not going to be soul mates when he suggested, almost insisted, that we ‘save money’ and sleep in his car on a future trip.  For multiple nights. It took a lot of self-control to not yell, “NEXT!” when he threw out that idea. But, before that, we did have some good times.

Rob called me up again when he decided that he and Crystal were just not going to work out. She was fine, he said, but he kept thinking of me and wanting to give it a go. I was flattered and decided to give Rob a whirl. Almost immediately he was ‘in it to win it’. Rob obviously didn’t have a very demanding job because he would write me these incredibly long, long, long, long emails every day, multiple in number, about his workout, what he ate for breakfast, what trips he wanted to take, helping me lose my kayak virginity and on and on. I like to write but, man, I need to do my job every now and again and I couldn’t keep up in correspondence with him. I could tell that he got irritated, slightly, but I couldn’t help that. I started to notice that Rob really hated his accounting-type job and was not at all concerned that he might lose it if he went on his adventure race or wrote  me the equivalent of several novels every day. When I asked what he would do instead, he replied, “Oh, I don’t know. I think I would be a good firefighter or cop.” I am sorry? You are in your late 30’s, dude. You had better have a better plan than that. I was just not that impressed with his future planning. His current planning was beyond reproach, though, and I did learn to kayak, tolerate jogging and start a fire. I could compete with a Boy Scout any day of the week.

I will say that Rob was one of the more thoughtful guys that I have ever dated. He was constantly getting me little gifts or just doing things that showed he was paying attention. He knew that I spoke a lot of Spanish so he translated a whole poem by a Mexican poet for Valentine’s Day after making my favorite dinner. He constantly brought me flowers, left me notes or pretended to like what I baked. I took a trip to Kauai and, when I arrived back home, he had somehow gotten into my apartment and left me a card and flowers. Incredibly thoughtful? Yes. Borderline stalker behavior? Hell yes.

Rob was really, really intense and extremely earnest. It was not coincidental that he looked like a very cute Ron Howard. Golly, gee, he really did mean well about everything. One night we were watching a documentary about the Iron Man race and I noticed that Rob kept sniffing and sniffing. I thought he might be getting a cold, but no, he was practically sobbing that ‘these really decent people had reached their dream’. I am not a total heartless wretch but sometimes corny is just corny and saccharin is just saccharin and Rob didn’t ‘get’ that. Half the stuff that came out of his mouth sounded like a bad Hallmark card and it was never meant as a joke. When I travelled to Kauai with a friend, I went with the knowledge that Rob was just a little too intense and not nearly sarcastic enough for me. I did call and/or email him almost every day but, apparently, that was not sufficient. I remember standing in a bikini on a beautiful beach while he told me over the phone that, wow, he really thought I would miss him more and, geez, I didn’t sound like I wanted to talk to him and, boy, he was hurt I didn’t want to discuss his 30 mile run in minute detail. Back off, Rob, back off, back off. It wasn’t like I went 9 days and just dropped off the face of the earth but that is what he was acting like and I do not like that game. I spent the whole flight back thinking how I was going to end things and, wham-o!, there was a note and a vase of flowers waiting on my counter.  Shit.

I knew I didn’t want to see Rob again so I called him the next day and told him that I didn’t think it was going to work out and I was really sorry. And I was sorry. He was a decent guy, he had met my parents and he would be able to help me survive in the woods in the event of a natural disaster but that didn’t make him the right guy for this girl. That was one of the most awful phone calls I have ever made. He cried, he pleaded, he wanted an explanation and he simply did not accept my decision. Wow. Uh, ok. I wasn’t sure how to ‘make’ him accept my decision and by the end of the conversation I was literally holding the phone away from my ear while he talked and pleaded and tried to cajole. Any conflict I had about the breakup disappeared up in smoke. Hasta la vista, Rob. I heard from him a couple of times after that call but he seemed to not be able to handle being friends. I can only hope he has found a real nice gal with whom he can revel in nature’s playground.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm  Comments (3)  

Rob Part I

One of the many things that online dating has taught me is that I am sucker for big muscles and a nice physique. I have forsaken a lot of other important qualities in a guy if I like the way his shirt hugs his well-defined arms.  I am not proud of this focus-on-a-physical-attribute trait of mine, but at least I know it now and can try to use my brain to think around it. The first step is admitting I am powerless. This is a work in progress, though, which is why I ever started dating Rob in the first place and why he stuck around for a couple of months. Oh, the muscles.

When I got an email from Rob, I liked his profile although it was a bit verbose. Most guys and girls tend to sum things up in less than, oh, ten paragraphs, but I got the idea maybe Rob was trying to write a book. It was quite a lot of information on one guy in a single sitting but I liked his pictures and most of what he said was funny and intelligent. We emailed back and forth a bit – boy, this guy liked to *write* – before we decided to meet for coffee. I wanted to find out if he was chatty in person as he was over email.

Rob walked in and I thought he was cute, cute, cute right from the start. He was tall, had a close-shaved head, nice hands and was in very, very good shape. Yes, I could have coffee with him without a problem. Someone has to suffer.  He did turn out to like to talk but it wasn’t in a bad way necessarily. The conversation was very easy, we laughed a lot and we even figured out that Rob had worked with my cousin just out of high school. That took me aback just a little as, like George Costanza, I am very uncomfortable with worlds colliding. I asked some more questions and it seemed that Rob and my cousin no longer kept in touch so I didn’t have to worry about my dating secrets spreading through the family like wildfire. Fingers crossed.

From that first conversation I could tell that Rob was quite the athlete and lover of all things outside. I try to keep in shape and won’t always turn down a wilderness trek but I can’t say being outside is my very favorite place to be. I like to think I went to college so I can afford to buy a hotel room and not have to sleep in the dirt. But – I am open to most things so I didn’t consider his love of the outdoors to be a dealbreaker. Rob also disclosed that he was in training for an insane wilderness adventure race that was three months away so he was kind of focused on that. This thing was going to be over a week long and would require him to run, camp, mountain-climb, river-raft, bike ride and learn navigational skills. Every year people competed in this nastiness and every year someone had to be almost airlifted out due to some medical disaster. Oh, and he had to pay thousands of dollars to even compete and the description of the training was enough to make me want to cry. Rob would get up at 5 a.m., ride his bike into work, spend his morning carbo-loading, go for a 10 mile run at lunch and then bike home where he would lift weights in his garage. I could see why Rob looked like such a physical specimen; keeping in shape seemed to be all he did. Even still, though, I was not deterred. I was a bit fascinated by his obsession with this race and, what the hell? It was only for three months. How bad could it be to put up with it for such a short amount of time? I thought differently about this wacky race in the next few months after Rob almost lost his job to compete. I won’t even mention that, on Super Bowl Sunday, he woke up at my house, ran 12 miles to his house, got on his stationary bike and rode for an hour and then ran 12 miles back to my place. All by kick-off. He was so exhausted he could barely lift the nachos and beer to his lips.  It was freaking insane. I should have run for the hills (or biked or cross-country skied) but, at this point, the whole thing was like a car wreck. I couldn’t look away.

As crazy as the workout regimen was, Rob seemed to be interested in dating me and he carved time out of his crazy schedule to take me out to dinner. We met for pizza and I actually had a really good time. He was fun to talk to, very cute, willing to talk politics with me and had no problem answering any question I threw at him about his family, dating life – anything. I found out at that dinner that someone in his step-family had somehow been involved in a murder where a guy ended up rolled up in a carpet, for example. Very salacious and interesting to drop on a second date but, still, I liked the fact that he was forthright. At that dinner, he also got into his history with the ladies. He had been dating a couple of girls recently, nothing serious, but he started discussing a girl that he had dated for a long, long time before they broke up and she had a kid with another guy. At the time, she wasn’t sure who the father was (WTF?!?) so Rob had to take a DNA test to make sure the little guy wasn’t his. It wasn’t his but the real sperm-donor turned to be a total jerk so Rob had stepped in and kind of helped raise this boy. As Rob was telling this story, I felt like I was at a racetrack and guys with caution flags were coming out and waving them right in front of my face. I am not a big fan of drama and Rob seemed to be in it up to his (well-defined) neck.

We finished up our dinner and I had kind of made up my mind that this would quite likely be the last I saw of Rob. I could tell he liked me and I liked hanging out with him but athletic-training and dead people in carpets and mentoring poor fatherless kids – oh my! That is a lot of drama in one guy but, I admit, I was a tad disappointed to come to this conclusion. There was something about him I liked. So, imagine my shock when I got an email from Rob the next day saying that he was afraid he couldn’t see me anymore. I kept reading, waiting to hear that the training or his commitment to being a surrogate dad were too time-consuming for him to be able to try and start dating. But, NO! Rob went on to explain that he had gotten a call from Crystal, a woman he had barely even mentioned, and she wanted to try and work things out with him. He felt that, in his heart, he needed to give that an honest go and, shucks, it was too bad because he really liked me. Wait just a minute, Rob! I was going to be the one to break things off with you, not the other way around. It was a bit of a knock to the old self-confidence, really. I picked up my ego, though, and decided to move on.

But, Rob and I were not yet finished. Crystal lived up to her stripper-like name and soon moved on to another guy. I got another chance with the self-professed lover of ‘nature’s playground’. Lucky, lucky me. More Rob to come…

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm  Comments (5)  

Doug

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  

Mike

I could probably write a book on psychoanalyzing someone based on their choice of coffee beverage.  Mike ordered a tall chamomile tea, unsweetened, with two cups. How…exciting. I could probably also write a book on the awkward time between when your date orders a beverage and is waiting for it to be made while you wait at the table trying to appear as if you are not watching them. Do they come and sit with you while they wait? Do they check their cell phone? Do they pretend to be fascinated reading the Starbucks nutritional brochure? That can be the longest three minutes ever. Mike at least came over to me before he ordered and introduced himself so I didn’t sit and wonder if that was him waiting in line. He was very cute – blue eyes, black hair and nicely dressed. I thought I detected a hint of a lisp when he was talking but it was pretty faint so I had to wait for him to come back with his lively drink to find out for sure.

Mike turned out to be a pretty cool guy. He was really into sports, owned a house in a nice neighborhood in Seattle, had a great job at a huge local computer company – all signs were a solid go. There were a couple of not-so-cool things, though. Mike didn’t drink, at all, because he was training for a triathlon. He also didn’t consume much caffeine and was pretty strict with his diet because he was in ‘training’. Don’t get me wrong – I admire athletes and the sacrifices that they make but I don’t want to date them.  I like less constrictions in life, not more, and eating out, with cocktails, is something I find very enjoyable. His workout schedule, also, seemed insane. He got up every morning at the crack of dawn – before 5 a.m.! – to work out for an hour and a half before work. Mike turned out to be one of my many athletically-obsessed paramours and it took me a long time to learn my lesson. Lots of exercise = a nice physique but it also = a little bit cuckoo. I was still learning with Mike, though, so I found his commitment exciting.

Mike, as well, seemed to be, quite possibly, gay or he was at least very much in the metrosexual camp. He did indeed talk with a lisp which, of course, is not indicative of sexual preference but it was slightly feminine in nature. He also revealed a love of cooking and baking and he was very smartly dressed. His shoes were also very stylish and pointy which, by my personal experience only, is a bit of a red flag. Mike, in addition to being one of my ‘first’ athletes, was one of my ‘first’ sexually questionable boyfriends. I have a huge fondness for gay men, but, this may come as shocking, they don’t want to have sex with me. They are so fun to hang out with, though! Damn it all! But, regardless, they don’t make good boyfriends.

Mike did say that he had been married previously (I won’t mention that he had a Scottish wedding so he attended in a skirt, er, kilt) and we vaguely discussed our online dating. He at least seemed straight enough for a second date so, when I got an email from him telling me what a good time he had on our coffee date and asking me out again, I said yes. In addition to being a gourmet cook and baker, Mike had revealed an excellent taste in restaurants. We agreed that I would meet him at his house the following Saturday and we would drive into Seattle for a movie and dinner date. Excellent! I could see how he lived. Would his house be meticulous and fantastically decorated? Could I get more stereotypical in my generalizations about gay men? Would I go on ten dates, one of which involved a drink allegedly containing a Thai aphrodisiac, and *still* never go beyond first base?

Mike II coming soon…

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 4:47 am  Comments (2)  

David

Before I met Mike, the excellent-cooking, marathon-running, fine-dining, non-cussing, quite-possibly gay man, I had a date with David.  This date was soon followed by what is quite possibly the most awkward conversation I have ever had in a parking lot.

I decided to meet David because he wooed me with goats. He noticed from my profile that I lived in Edmonds and, news to me, there was a big piece of property that was being ‘sustainably maintained’ by a herd of goats. After he mentioned it to me I went and took a look and, sure enough, he was right. I was not sure how I had missed a large pack of farm animals in my neighborhood but I was impressed that he could point out something new. I asked David why he happened to be in my neck of the woods since his profile stated that he lived and worked in Seattle. He was pretty vague in his answer which should have maybe been a clue but I decided to meet him anyway. David suggested his favorite coffee shop so I agreed for a caffeinated first meeting.

My first impression of David was that he was pretty cute although he was a tad pasty, slight and wearing a Mr. Rogers sweater vest. He bore a strong resemblance to Michael Ian Black which was probably what redeemed him. We got our coffee, started to chat and it quickly became clear that I was not going to want to see David again. The guy didn’t smile during our whole conversation and he was a big pile of gloom and sadness. We started talking about work and he revealed he was employed at a hospital in the IT department which he hated. I asked if he was looking for something else and he replied that he worked at the hospital still because that is where he was ‘treated’ and it was convenient since he had appointments almost every day. I wasn’t sure what to ask since he hadn’t revealed anything previously about a horrible ailment. Luckily I was spared having to ask an awkward question because David jumped right in with the whole story. He had been on a vacation with his ex-wife, gone diving and managed to break his neck on the bottom of the ocean. Hmmm. Pretty shitty. But there was more. He had broken his spine in three places, had ten surgeries, still had trouble walking and, for some reason he didn’t explain, had suffered horribly from depression since it happened. He was still trying to get his medication calibrated and had at least two more surgeries to go. I did not know what to say. It was obviously an awful story and I felt for the guy. This, too, was the first time I had heard about an ex-wife so I asked him about that. What the hell. They had only been separated (not even divorced!) for two months and she was still living in the house they owned which happened to be located in the town I lived in, i.e. why he was driving by the goat field. He wanted to sell the house but he couldn’t because his soon-to-be-ex-wife still lived there and couldn’t leave because her manic depression had rendered her unable to work or leave the house. Oh…my…god. I felt for this guy but what the hell was he doing out dating? He hadn’t asked one question about me but I didn’t blame him. Talk about a lot going on. It sounded like getting out of bed in the morning was a struggle for him and, as sorry as I felt for him, I didn’t want to date him.

Luckily our coffee cups were about empty and I could make a graceful exit. As we were walking to our cars David turned to me and asked if I liked chocolate. Kind of a weird thing to ask as his first and only question but I answered that, yes, I was fond of the cocoa bean. So, good, then, David, said, our second date could be at a specialty dessert restaurant near his house. Sorry? Had I agreed to a date and didn’t remember? Here I had been thinking that you were supposed to *ask* someone if they wanted to go out with you again not *tell* them. I wanted out of there. Fast. I shook David’s hand, told him to email me and ran for it. I got an email from him within an hour saying how much he enjoyed meeting me and when were we going to get our sugar fix? I answered that I was afraid there wasn’t that ‘connection’ between us but I wished him luck with all of the things he had going on. He never replied back and I just thanked my lucky stars that I had averted that disaster.

Apparently I didn’t thank my stars hard enough. About two months after our coffee date, I went to China for 9 days. I had been up for about 30 hours by the time I made it home on the return trip and I realized I had nothing resembling food in my house. Even though I was totally travel-weary and looked like death warmed over, I stopped at the store near my house. I was walking through the aisles when I saw a guy out of the corner of my eye and did a double-take. It was David. Oh, NO. It was pretty late and there were only a handful of people in the store. I had to escape him! I took my time shopping and hung back until I saw that he had paid and left. He hadn’t seen me as far as I could tell so I paid and walked out to the parking lot and there was David, standing by my car. I didn’t know whether to feel scared or just socially awkward. He said, “Hey, Kate, how are you? Long time, no see.” I told him I was just getting back from China and was totally out of it but, other than that, doing well. “So, Kate, are you dating anyone yet? I see you are still on Match? Are you sure you don’t want a second date with me?” Holy f*ck. What was I supposed to say to that? Was he serious? This was an awful situation even when my mind wasn’t totally foggy and I was wondering if I needed to start getting frightened, being in a dark parking lot with stalker boy and all. Luckily I was with it enough to tell him that, yes, I was still on Match but I was taking a big, big break for the time being. I didn’t even give him a chance to respond, told him it was good to see him, take care, and hopped in my car. I felt a bit rude but fear of personal harm trumped being polite. Seeing David in my rearview mirror as I peeled away was the last I ever saw of him but I quit going to that grocery store and started thanking my lucky stars a little bit harder.

Published in: on December 14, 2009 at 2:13 am  Comments (1)  

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.

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)  

Lloyd Part III

If you ever want to do a fast-track relationship check, go on a road trip. There is nothing like being in a confined space trying to navigate around unfamiliar territory looking for another confined space to sleep in that really makes things crystal clear. My first and only road trip with Lloyd ended on a Sunday and I broke up with him on Monday.

Even though Lloyd was fairly recently divorced, paying child support and living in an apartment, he thought it was a good time to buy a piece of property in Eastern Washington. He was an avid fly fisherman and there was a rare spot opening up right on the river. He wanted to go check it out in person and thought it might be fun to make it a trip and take me along. I should have known things would not end well when part of my pre-trip planning included getting a fishing license. When the guy at the outdoors store asked if I wanted a ‘salmon endorsement’ I almost turned around and ran. Fishing was so not my thing but, what the hell, I would try anything once. Somehow it also worked out that I was driving since I had the more reliable car. Yep, signs everywhere.

Lloyd met me at my place and told me that he was bringing his lunch as he could not afford to stop and get something on the road. This was a bummer because he knew an ‘excellent’ burger joint on the way, but, oh well…I felt kind of bad the guy was going to miss out on some good beef so I offered to treat us both which Lloyd quickly took me up on. This was not a good sign since he had made the room reservations. My fears were confirmed when we pulled up to the Rest-A-While Motel. The room was very clean, granted, but it was a little sketchy, too. We arrived in the early afternoon so – yay! – there was still time to fish except that Lloyd had forgotten his fishing license. We were able to run into town to procure another one which also afforded us the chance to get some beverages. Lloyd had brought along a huge cooler and bought enough beer to fill it up. I don’t like beer so I got a vintage $5.99 screw-top white wine to enjoy by the water. Luckily I had remembered to steal a plastic cup from our fine motel room so I didn’t have to drink right from the bottle. Classy.

Fly fishing in September is cold and boring. Really boring. I didn’t bring my hip-waders like Lloyd so I just had to sit on the rocky beach and watch him cast over and over and over and drink my wine. Luckily it was almost dark so we weren’t able to stay long. We headed to a fun little local brew house and had some good eats and drinks. By this time Lloyd was about 10 beers in, at least. His bar tab was twice the cost of our food but he still politely offered to split the bill with me when it arrived. How kind! We headed back to the room and were watching a movie when I looked over and Lloyd was asleep. I am thinking it was more like passed out since he didn’t flinch when I took the remote from his hand and turned the light off. I discovered I don’t like wondering if my boyfriend is asleep or passed out at 9 p.m.

It didn’t get any better from there. There were moments of fun at some of the local eateries (popular, it seems, with bikers) and the scenery was beautiful but Lloyd was proving to not have a lot of financial sense or interest in sobriety. He drank the whole time and also brought along a little pot to even out the drinking. It didn’t seem to faze him that I was obviously not too hip on getting stoned and fishing. I was trying to be a good sport but it just was not my idea of a good time and I was concerned that he didn’t seem to really mind if I was enjoying myself.

We headed home and made it back in time to my place to watch some football but not before stopping so Lloyd could buy more beer. It was 8:30 p.m. on a work night and, when I looked over at Lloyd and he was ‘falling asleep’ again, I was done. I knew when he left that night that a future together was not going to happen. This guy had a lot of growing up to do and I didn’t feel like being the only adult around.

I mentioned to my boss, a criminal lawyer, later about Lloyd packing some weed for our trip. He looked at me, aghast, and asked, “Wait – he drove, right?” It is a testament to my cloudy judgment at the time that I somehow seemed to forget that Lloyd was required, by law, to only drive with an ignition interlock device which, funny enough, my car doesn’t have. If we would have gotten pulled over while Lloyd was taking his turn driving, WITH POT IN THE CAR, my vehicle could have been impounded and Lloyd put into jail. That would have been just fabulous. Again – is there an adult around?

There is a reason why someone wrote a song ‘Breaking Up is Hard to Do’. Like a bad cold, or a venereal disease, Lloyd was hard to get rid of. Next up, the final Lloyd chapter – The Breakup.

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 8:52 pm  Comments (8)  

Lloyd Part II

When I look back at my brief yet thrilling whirlwind of a time with Lloyd I can’t help but think that the whole thing was about getting my ya-yas out. Everything about him and our time together was the exact opposite of how I usually did things and I needed to rebel. That is the only explanation I have for my behavior.

The second time I met Lloyd I ended up making out in a car in a random restaurant parking lot. He was out of town for the weekend with his kids for a class field trip so we had to meet as he was on his way there. We chose a chain restaurant that was right near the freeway and a grocery store so he could grab his groceries when we were done. As I walked in to meet him I kept reminding myself that Lloyd was a dad. With kids. That he took on field trips. What was I thinking? Then, next thing I know, there is he is and I am attracted to him all over again. We had a couple of drinks and I decided not to ask how he was going to operate his interlock after he had a couple. Details, details. We had a great time with lots of laughing and I noticed that Lloyd sat next to me and made sure to touch me frequently and I was not complaining.

Lloyd still needed to get his groceries and get on the road so he asked if I wanted to walk over with him to the store. What is so fun about doing a mundane, everyday chore when you have had a couple of drinks and you are with someone you like? That shopping trip was one of the most fun that I have had. We chatted to other shoppers, giggled over crazy food items – it was a hoot. We walked back to our cars and Lloyd asked if I wanted to get in his car for a minute before I left. Hmmm… I think I could see where this was headed.  I must admit that I didn’t turn him down. There was something about him that was so dangerous! I had never had inappropriate displays of affection in a parking lot! Before he left he asked if he could see me Sunday when he got back from camping. Apparently that was the day that Jill, the kid’s mom, had the kids. It just so happened to be the day the NFL season was starting so we decided to watch the games at my house. My memory is foggy as to who suggested it but I am thinking it was probably Lloyd with ulterior motives. Either way – the date was set.

Lloyd was only gone two days but I missed him and his emails and calls. I had known this guy for about a week and somehow I couldn’t remember what it had been like before he had come on the scene. I thought it was exciting at the time but I now think that it was a giant warning sign. Lloyd called me on his way home and I gave him directions to my place. The football game was fun for about five minutes but then we got somewhat distracted. We decided later in the afternoon that we needed some sustenance so we walked downtown for some Mexican food. The whole time we were walking Lloyd was holding my hand, grabbing my arm, stopping to kiss me – I definitely felt like I was being wooed. As we were headed back from dinner he stopped me and asked what I thought about being exclusive. This was our third date! I wasn’t sure what to say. My socks were definitely being knocked off but that seemed to be a huge, huge step when it had been less than two weeks since I had even known he existed. Lloyd grabbed my face, gave me a big kiss, and said, “I just can’t stand the thought of you with anyone else.” Sigh. I am embarrassed that I gave in so easily.

Now that we had been together a whole two weeks, Lloyd thought I should meet his kids. I am all about making stupid decisions for myself but there was no way I wanted to be responsible for messing up kids. Lloyd assured me he had thought of this so we met for dinner at his place, with the kids, and I was introduced as his ‘good friend’, Kate. Kids are not stupid so I am sure they realized something was going on but we were pretty careful about showing no obvious affection. Stuart and Anna were charming and smart and they were fun to be around. It was like an instant family and I didn’t even have to get pregnant. Our first meeting went exceptionally well and I was giddy about this little lake of domesticity I had managed to fall into.

The thing that was intoxicating about Lloyd was that he had the responsible-dad side but he also had the drummer-in-a-punk-band part, all in one convenient package. The week after meeting Stuart and Anna, I was in a dark, dirty club in Seattle, watching Lloyd and his band and swilling drinks. That is where I met his sister and her husband, very cool, and his hip band mates. Of course, in true Lloyd-drama fashion, his sister’s husband allegedly had a fairly bad cocaine habit and the other band members were in various stages of addiction and joblessness. These people were unlike anyone I had spent time with before and my head was constantly spinning. I think I really started to worry when I noticed the two worlds of Lloyd colliding. He convinced me to stay the night at his place after Stuart and Anna had gone to bed. I could just leave in the a.m. before they woke up and they would never know I was there. That was a fine and dandy plan until 3 a.m. when Stuart had a nightmare and burst into the bedroom. A not-fully-clothed Lloyd jumped out of bed as fast as I had ever seen someone move and caught him before he saw me. After he got him back into bed, I headed to the bathroom just as Anna decided she needed to go, as well. I sat in the hallway, in the dark, quiet as I could, until she finished. As I drove back home that morning at 5:30 a.m., the real Kate, the one that usually governed how I did things, started to point out how not cool all of this was. It was fun acting like I was in high school but not when there was a family and kids involved. Irresponsibility can only be so attractive.

There was a road-trip coming up the next weekend that proved to be the end of the Lloyd tornado. The best I can say about it is that I got to eat with bikers, drink screw-top wine from a plastic cup by the river and managed to not get arrested. There is that.

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Lloyd Part I

I knew from the first time I saw him that Lloyd was going to be an important part of my dating story. His picture on Match was very cute so I clicked on his profile. He was a scientist, played drums in a band and said he liked Mitch Hedburg, one of my very favorite comics of all time (r.i.p.). He sounded fantastic until I got to the part about him having two kids. Damnation!! My rules at the time were no kids, no republicans, no christians – no way. As cool as he sounded it was just a no go so I moved on and didn’t ‘wink’ or send him an email.

A quick note on the wink. Match has two options to let someone know that you are interested. You can send an email to their Match account or wink at them. The difference between the two is that the email requires a person to actually type something, put words into a sentence and actually give some indication that they read even two words of your profile. The wink, on the other hand, requires nothing more than clicking the ‘wink to show them you are interested!’ link. I have heard stories of guys that send winks to 50 women at a time and then just wait to see who is stupid enough to wink or write back. It quickly became my policy that all winks were deleted upon receipt. Can’t even find the energy to write two sentences to me in an email? Move on, my friend.

Another fun Match feature is that the site will tell you who has clicked on your profile. I have mixed feelings on this. It is fun to look at whose eye you have caught and I have sent emails to men who I could tell had ‘looked’ at me. On the flip side, I don’t like knowing that my every move can be watched. I want to browse the merchandise, if you will, without being seen doing it. It is possible to hide your profile so you can’t be seen while you look but, when you unhide it again so it is once again open to the public, the lovely site reveals everywhere you have been *even while you were hidden*. Smart. Good thing their specialty is dating and not internet security.

So, I got an email from Lloyd that he had seen me checking him out and he thought I looked pretty cool. I thought it best to be nice and email him back so I did and told him that I was sorry but I didn’t do the ‘single dad’ thing, in a nice way, of course. He wrote me back and thanked me for my honesty but he thought he deserved a second chance. He was indeed a dad but a cool one that wasn’t defined by being a parent. I admired his pluck and decided that a drink wouldn’t kill me so I agreed to meet him.

I arrived at the bar before Lloyd did and sat down at the bar. I saw him come in from the corner of my eye and thought, “Oooohhh… cute guy entering stage left!” Then I realized that was Lloyd. He was pretty much everything I find attractive all in one package. He was taller than me, had a shaved head (shaved short not shaved bald), glasses, was snappishly dressed and tan. He also had very nice arms and hands. He walked up to me, introduced himself and then gave me hug. Sooo… he also smelled fantastic. He suggested we get a table so I grabbed my drink and headed after him. I was getting very excited.

What followed was a most excellent conversation. There are people that are a chore to talk to, where making chit chat is work, and then there are those lucky times where you just want to talk and talk and it is easy and fun and delightful. I have had great talks with girls, too, so it isn’t even a chemistry thing but more of a common vibe situation. I felt instantly comfortable with Lloyd and we ate and drank and laughed. We talked about Match, his kids, my past dating, his past dating, food, music, his band, my job and on and on. I told him things that I didn’t usually drop until at least date number three. He was just easy and I didn’t feel like he was going to hold anything I said against me. The longer we sat there the more I started to get the crush buzz of attraction. I was already getting butterflies and wondering if he was going to ask to see me again. He seemed to be having as much fun as I was so I thought the chances were in my favor. It was a work night so, after a few hours, we walked to our cars. We got to his first which is where the first wrinkle presented itself.

I have to give it to Lloyd that he decided to tell me the truth right then. He could have just gotten in his car and waited for me to walk on or he could have escorted me to my car. He didn’t, though, and got in his driver’s seat and got out his ignition interlock device and blew. Holy shit. I had never seen a ‘blow and go’ in person. I happen to work for a defense attorney and a big part of our business comes from DUI’s so, in abstract, I knew that they existed. To see my very first one in person in the car of a guy I was very much digging took me a bit aback. I didn’t know what to think. Lloyd jumped out of the car and gave me a huge hug and explained that he had the stupid interlock for another year and it was a total pain in the ass. He had gotten the DUI the night his ex-wife had told him she had cheated on him and wanted a divorce. Wow. This was a lot to digest while saying goodbye. He was pretty frank about it and didn’t make any apologies. He said that he had absolutely loved meeting me and would love to get together again. I agreed, hugged him, and headed to my car.

As I drove home warning bells were going off in my head. Kids? A recent DUI? Divorce? Cheating? Danger, danger! I knew in my gut, however, that I liked him – a lot. Lloyd was a very, very attractive man to this girl. Part of me hoped that he wouldn’t call so I could play it safe but the louder part was checking my email as soon as I got in the door. He emailed me first thing in the morning saying he hadn’t met someone so awesome in years and he was thrilled. I felt excited and sick at the same time. For once I decided to think with the other side of my brain and throw logic to the wind. I was doing it! I was going on another date with the ‘bad choice’!

Next: Lloyd Part II

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Wes/Jim

An email to Grandma:

“Just after I emailed you about Lloyd I got a text from Artie. Lord. And an invite from Wes that I met today for a date this weekend. And an email from David asking for my phone # since he lost it. Too…many…men. And Matthew called me today from New York!”

Too many men was right. I definitely needed a break from all of the dating. I couldn’t keep all of the details straight from guy to guy and that is just not very classy. Poor Wes and Jim were two new guys that, unfortunately, came along while I was getting very interested in Lloyd (entry to come), trying not to care anymore about Artie and feeling very bad about ditching Matthew while he was out of town. Even still, I am quite confident that neither of them had a chance.

At first I thought Wes was a spammer or that I was going to end up in his crawl space. He came out of nowhere. His very first email mentioned that we both lived in the same city, liked animals and were single. True, true but I have that in common with about 1500 men, right? He just so happened to be taking his dog for a walk at the dog park in ‘our’ town that evening and would love to have me join him. His eagerness was definitely not attractive but I have to admit that the thought of getting to meet someone and make a determination in less than 24 hours had an appeal. So – at the dog park we met. Wes’ dog was very cute but he was, unfortunately,  not. He was a very nice guy and very into his dog but just not for me. He went on and on about his family of oil riggers and how he had lost 75 pounds by going on a crash diet. He was a small guy (shorter than me – boo) and his jeans looked like they were going to crash to his ankles without his belt so this was a little surprising. He stopped us mid-walk to show me his old driver’s license and, yes, he had formerly been fat. I thought of mentioning that he had kind of gone a little too far in the skinny direction but thought better of it.  He was an average conversationalist but, by the time the walk was over, I didn’t want to go have a drink or extend the outing. At all. He sent me an email that night asking to meet again- for food! he eats! – but I politely declined. It was almost like Wes never happened. In my life and out in less than 24 hours.

Jim and I at least had a little bit of email contact before we met which, of course, is essential. We were both sports fans, he lived in North Seattle and we had similar reading tastes. After about the fifth email he asked if I would meet him for coffee. Jim’s profile only had one picture and it was not the clearest of shots so I got there early so he could find me upon arrival. Good thinking on my part because he looked nothing like his fuzzy picture. I thought I was meeting youngish guy in a Mariners hat and instead upper middle-age bald guy sat down with his jumbo size Mocha Frappucino. His picture apparently was taken about 15 years, 30 pounds and a lot of hair prior to our meeting. I don’t mean to sound shallow but I strongly advocate truth-in-advertising on these dating sites. It is not fair to put up old pictures or shots that are totally unrepresentative of how you look in the day-to-day. I think that is totally playing dirty. The last thing I would ever want is a guy showing up and wanting to run out the back door because I look nothing like my photos. Pleasant surprise is a much nicer alternative.

Once I got over my shock at how different he looked versus what I expected, Jim and I had a somewhat pleasant chat. He was friendly but the conversation was not flowing and I had to reach for something to talk about several times. Really reach. I was just not attracted to him in any way. He had recently gotten divorced, a detail he had omitted, and a good amount of time was spent discussing all of the ways his ex had done him wrong. There is nothing like some bitter vitriol to make someone who is kind of cute turn very ugly.  I sucked down my iced coffee as fast as I could and made up some event that I had to get to. Jim must have gotten the hint because I didn’t hear from him again.

I was slowly learning my rules of internet dating. Some kind of email conversation had to occur and more than one picture had to be viewed. Not that someone couldn’t put some good emails together while remaining a bad catch or put up more than one old, old photo but I had to start somewhere.

There is such thing as a perfect storm, when several harmless-seeming things all happen at once to make the ultimate bad situation, and that is what I had set up for the appearance of Lloyd. I had bitter Matthew still in my rearview, Artie was still randomly texting me and then Wes and Jim made me never want to meet someone on a blind date again. Lloyd came onto the scene at the absolute best, or worst, time depending on how I look at it. I was weak, I tell you, weak.

Next up: Lloyd.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 8:05 pm  Comments (1)  

Tim

A girl should question a guy that doesn’t drink but makes sure to supply her with plenty of champagne that is sipped through a straw.

Tim had a very witty profile so I sent him a quick little email saying hello. He didn’t answer me right away but, when he did, he explained that the delay was because he had been in Spain for nine days, drinking and eating tapas. There are worse ways to spend a week. Our initial emails didn’t tell me much except that he worked for a huge local tech company, wasn’t that into sports (hmmm….) and loved to travel. Aside from his lack of sports knowledge he seemed decent so we decided to meet at a Starbucks in Seattle. I got there first and waited for someone to approach me. I recognized Tim from his profile and thought it interesting that he walked in, stood 10 minutes in line, got his drink and then came to introduce himself. Way to make it awkward, guy. Once he finally sat down, though, we had a very cool chat. Tim was well-traveled, liked the same kind of music as I did and he seemed pretty cute. He revealed that his reason for going to Europe was to test-drive fast cars and that he was a car nut. I hadn’t met a guy into that yet but, as long as it wasn’t Nascar, that wasn’t a problem. He also revealed that he was back on his ‘plan’ after going crazy in Spain. The company that Tim worked for paid for his fancy gym membership and had also ‘sponsored’ him on some hard-core diet and exercise program. 40 pounds was gone from his frame but he had gone off the wagon on his trip. I like a guy that cares about his physique but this seemed a little around the bend. Regardless, Tim seemed at least worth a second chance so, when he asked at the end of the coffee date if he could see me again, I agreed.

I got an email from Tim that night asking when we could make the second date. We decided on Friday and I said that I could come down to Seattle since there was more to do in the big city. He gave me his address and asked what I thought about dinner and a comedy club. I liked the date plan but was a little nervous to go to his house so soon but agreed anyway. Not a good idea, ladies, and I don’t do that anymore. I showed up at his place at 6:30 p.m. thinking that I would get the tour and then we would be off. Tim told me at that point that we were actually seeing the 9:00 p.m. show and would be eating at the club. I was already starving so this was not good. Tim was ‘back on plan’ so he had no food in his house. None. What he had procured for me, though, were little cans of champagne that came with little straws like grown-up juice boxes. Oh, and because he was dieting again, he wasn’t drinking alcohol so he would be sticking to sparkling water. So, no food for a few hours, lots of champagne and a guy that was stone cold sober? This was not looking good. It was clear I was going to have to pace myself. To kill some time, I asked for a tour.

Tim wasted no time and started with his bedroom. “This is where the magic happens,” he said as he strolled in. I started to laugh but then realized he wasn’t smiling or laughing. No, no, no – he couldn’t be serious! The MAGIC happens? Gag! Luckily we moved on quickly or I would have lost my composure. He then took me to his den which was covered in Porsches. There were Porsche portraits, a Porsche lamp, Porsche figurines – this guy was definitely a Porsche fan. How did I get so lucky as to meet a guy that had a magic room *and* a car room? This was going downhill fast.

Just about then our cab arrived. Tim wasn’t drinking so I am not sure why he couldn’t drive us but I wasn’t asking any questions. The driver just happened to be insane and I wanted to kiss the ground when we finally made it to the club. Tim got us seats right next to the stage and handed me a menu. There wasn’t anything that wasn’t fried or covered in cheese so I wasn’t sure what Tim was going to order. He apparently decided to go balls to the wall because he got a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a drink. Plan, what plan? I was just happy to have food! The show was pretty funny and Tim was cool about meeting the comics afterward to tell them he liked their sets.

When the show was over Tim hailed a cab and we headed back to his lovely pad. I should not have gone back inside because I didn’t want to send any mixed signals. I was not digging Tim and already knew I didn’t want to see him again. My plan was to go in, use the bathroom, give him a peck (preferably on the cheek) and get the hell out of there. But, as soon as I stepped out of the bathroom, Tim swooped. He had dimmed all of the lights, lit candles and turned on some cool jazz. Holy crap! Was this guy living in the 1980’s? I somehow ended up agreeing to sit and talk with him a little bit before I left and he was all over me. I didn’t want to totally reject him so I sat with him for a few minutes and then told him I had to get home. I don’t remember what excuse I used for having to get out of there before midnight but he agreed to walk me to my car. We were almost out of his building before I realized I wasn’t wearing my glasses. He was so aggressive that they had been knocked off in our embrace and I wanted out of there so fast I didn’t even realize I couldn’t see anything. We retrieved my specs, he gave me one last smooch and I was free. Tim did call me the next day asking me to meet him for drinks (trying to get me drunk again!) but I didn’t answer. I sent him an email that I didn’t think there was a connection there but thanked him for the “lovely” evening. He thanked me and that was the last I heard from him. I guess I missed my chance to see where the magic happens.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Matthew

I should have known things would not go well with a professed Yankee
fan. Once again, I had found myself another guy who loved to talk
sports. Matthew had grown up in New York and was therefore a huge
Yankees and New York Giants fan. He mentioned both of these facts in
his initial email and, while I thought I might have an allergic
reaction to someone who supported my least favorite baseball team,
Matthew seemed funny and could put a decent email together. I found
out that he worked in database management for a local company,
traveled frequently and was a huge sports nut. He said he didn’t like
to read much – boo – but he seemed cool enough to at least meet for a
drink. He was a little older than I usually went for but I was thinking it might not hurt to relax my age restrictions.

Matthew and I met for a cocktail at one of my local restaurants. He
was pretty cute with blond, short hair and nice eyes but he was kind
of small. He had a wiry build and I would be lucky if he was as tall
as me. I kind of like the east-coast personality and Matthew seemed to
have it in spades. He was very talkative and had a cute New York
accent. We watched the baseball game and had a drink and Matthew asked
if I wanted to stay for dinner. He seemed decent enough to share a
meal with so we moved to a table. I ordered a salad and Matthew
ordered the seafood pesto fettuccine and he ate every single bite. This guy obviously had a fast metabolism. We exchanged a pleasant
hug in the parking lot and called it a night.

There must have been something about Matthew I liked because I sent
him an email saying I appreciated him driving up and treating me to
dinner. He took that as the invitation that it was and extended an
offer for brunch on Sunday. I was going to be near his house so he
suggested one of the nicest places to have brunch in Seattle. It was
an impressive restaurant – a chocolate fountain! – so I was pretty
excited. Matthew had been talking up his new house, new to him, so we
decided to meet there and then drive together. His house was very cool
and he had done a ton of work on it. The hardwood floors were amazing
and he had photos all over the house that he had taken. This guy loved
to hike and do home improvement, obviously.

The brunch layout was everything that I had heard and more. We were
seated, got our drinks and then got up to get our first plate. I had
my purse and, being a really crowded place, I picked it up to carry it
with me. Matthew looked at my purse and said, “What are you doing with
that?” I was momentarily baffled and asked what he meant. “Your purse.
Why are you bringing it? It will be hard to get food on your plate if
you are carrying a purse.” I explained that there were a ton of people
in this huge dining room and it would be easy for someone to walk away
with it if I left it at the table. This was said in my nice voice but
I was not too happy. What was I? Five years old? I had carried a purse
before and I didn’t need to be told how to operate it. He looked very
irritated but agreed to let me hang it on my arm. How kind.

The food was excellent and I settled down after the purse incident. We were talking about
favorite restaurants and Matthew announced that he hated Mexican food.
That is a pretty broad generalization so I asked him to elaborate. Was it beans that he hated? Spiciness? Tortillas? Shredded cheese? Oh, he hated it all, every last bit of it, and refused to even enter a Mexican restaurant. I asked him if something had happened with a burrito in his childhood but he didn’t think that was very funny. He also admitted to hating tomatoes, including those in sauces, cucumbers, wheat bread and any kind of cooked vegetable. He looked a little embarrassed and said that was just the start of his list.

Despite Matthew’s apparent food and purse phobias, we had a fun time so I agreed to see him before he left for a week to go to New York. I drove down to his neighborhood for some pizza and board games and a local pub. It was a good thing we could order separately because he got *nothing* on his pizza besides cheese. No sauce, no vegetables (cooked!) and no meat. This guy was pretty wild. While we were eating, Matthew started in on rock-climbing. I admitted that I had no desire to go hang off a cliff but I admired those, including him, that did. Matthew seemed to take this as a challenge and insisted I let him take me up a mountain. When I told him, no, I really don’t want to go climb rocks, he got very irritated. I somehow had managed to piss him off by not agreeing to let him teach me to rappel. “What about hiking? Do you refuse to do that, too? And I am sure you don’t like to camp?” All of the sudden I felt like I had to defend my outdoor preferences and I didn’t like it. I suggested it might be time to head out for some fun and games and Matthew huffily cleared our table.

Matthew and I had fun playing cribbage at the pub but I was pretty much done with him. He seemed so angry and, if he was this bossy now, it wasn’t going to get better. After cribbage he finally told me about his recent relationships and, surprise, surprise, his recent girlfriend had cheated and broken up with him.  Ahhh, the source of anger and bitterness.  While I used the restroom, I checked my phone and there was a text from Artie (see previous posts) and an email from a interesting new guy. The sense of excitement I felt at both told me I was definitely done with this guy. We drove back to his house where he gave me a very chaste hug and kiss. He told me he would call me when he got back from New York. When he did call, I fibbed and told him that I was afraid that I had been seeing someone else and had decided to try and give that a go. He spat out, right before we hung up, “Well, as long as it isn’t that jerk you had been talking about. That wouldn’t be ok with me.” He was talking about Artie, who I had briefly mentioned, and I told him, no, it wasn’t, and goodbye. Even while I was breaking it off with this guy I was still defending myself! Good riddance. Go climb a rock, pal.

Published in: on June 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Randy

Randy provided me with two new internet dating rules in one convenient package.

Rule #1 – Talking about sports is very fun but not if it is the only thing you discuss.

Rule # 2- Meeting sooner rather than later is a must.

There might be a third rule here, too. Even if a guy says that he is straight, if he is more feminine than I am, it is probably not going to work.

I am embarrassed to admit it but I first emailed Randy because he had a picture of his dog wearing sunglasses. They were actually goggles, or Doggles, and the shot was so freaking cute I couldn’t help myself. How bad could a guy be if he put that up on his profile? I told him as much in my first contact and also, innocently, asked if he liked sports. Oh, boy, did he ever. He had season tickets to both the Mariners and the Seahawks and was still pissed at the Sonics for leaving town. All of those games sounded like quite a commitment but I was impressed nonetheless. Randy had grown up in the city I now lived, his mom still had a house there and he took his dog for walks in our local dog park.

I soon discovered Randy was a prolific emailer. He wrote frequently and in large, large amounts. Mostly what he wrote about was sports. The Mariners were in a race to win their division so he wrote to remind me of a game, during the game and then with post-game analysis. I enjoyed discussing this all with him, being a bit of a sports nut, but it was really all we talked about. Occasionally a random detail would make it through the sports barrier. I learned Randy worked on the water for a company that restored boats, he had been married for over 5 years but divorced when they realized they were ‘just friends’ and had a huge fondness for spaghetti. All relevant details, of course, but not enough to really establish an accurate idea about someone. We had probably exchanged more than 20 emails before we decided to meet. We chose a local restaurant and decided to meet in the bar so we could, of course, watch the Mariners game.

It is a good thing Randy recognized me because I never would have known it was him from his profile picture. Maybe I should have noticed that he was wearing sunglasses in all of his photos. Not that Randy was horrible looking but he just looked…different than I expected. The first thing he said when I walked up was, “Girl! Get up and give me a hug! I think it is just fabulous that we are finally meeting!” Uh, did I miss something? This guy seemed totally, totally gay. My gaydar was going off like crazy. I love gay men but dating them usually doesn’t work out. I gave him a hug and then we ordered a drink. The conversation was very pleasant but, much to my disappointment, Randy did not get more heterosexual as we drank. We talked about sports, of course, and his side of the conversation included lots of hand-waving and ‘Oh, girls!’. Once the game ended we kind of ran out of things to say so I called it a night. I could tell that he liked me as a person to have a drink with but I so did not get the feeling he was at all attracted to me as a female.

I got an email from Randy that night that said, “So? What did you think? Not about the game but about me?” Was this really the guy I had just met? Really? I think he had split personalities. I wrote him back that I had enjoyed our time together but I didn’t think there was a spark there. He wrote back, thanked me for being honest and then kept emailing me about sports for another few weeks. He didn’t even seem to care that I didn’t dig him. Maybe he was just putting up a brave face but he didn’t seem fazed at all. It was a tiny bit of an insult that he was not bothered. Just a tiny bit.

No matter how much I click with someone over email *nothing* beats meeting face-to-face. I can tell within a couple of minutes if there is at least something I find attractive. I am not shy and I can find anyone interesting for an hour, and a drink, so I have found it best just to meet. There is no better way to find out if there is something we have in common besides a love of Seattle sports. It also gives me some idea if I think my date would rather play for the other team. Oh, girl! Behave!

Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 3:22 am  Comments (1)  

Sandra

Random – not from a lesbian – please read!!!

Random is right. When an email with this subject line first showed up in my inbox I was very skeptical and almost didn’t open it. But, there is a not a lot of spam in Matchville so, my curiosity piqued,  I decided to open it.  The message was from Sandra, a woman that lived in the same town as I do, and she was new to the online dating scene.  She had two young kids and was going through a nasty divorce and scared to death to meet someone on a blind date. Her parents were convinced that she should just give up on the man idea, put on her chastity belt and raise her kids. There was no one for her to talk to and she was really desperate for some advice.  Would I mind meeting her for coffee so she could pick my brain and get some guidelines? My first inclination was to run for the hills. This seemed kind of…messy but I decided the right thing to do would be to help a sister out. I had, after all, been on four dates in the last four days so I had a little bit of experience. I answered her back that, if she didn’t try to sell me something or get me to come to her church, I would be more than happy to counsel her.  I was kind of dying to know what this girl was like. It takes some balls to make such a request of another woman you don’t know. So – we set a date at the local playground. Her kids could climb the gym equipment while we chatted. I was going on my first date with a woman!

The first couple of moments with Sandra were a little awkward. There are a lot of moms at playgrounds with kids so it took me a few moments to pick her out. Her kids were very cute and were soon off to climb and throw things. It then got very quiet. Where to start THIS conversation? She led off with the story of her soon-to-be-ex husband. He sounded like a real prize. She was a stay-at-home mom and he called her, from her family’s basement on Thanksgiving in another state (while on a business trip), to tell her that he was leaving and wanted a divorce. Oh, and he didn’t have any money and wasn’t going to so she would have to get a job. Nice guy, eh?  He had since made her life a living hell by forcing her to leap back into the working world so she could support their kids while fighting her for custody. It was becoming clear why she was a little afraid of the males.  I gave her the low-down on my dating history and assured her that all men were not evil and conniving and that she might actually have some fun. She wasn’t telling anyone else what she was doing so she gave me the name of her first meet and greet. I had a co-hort in the my dating debacles and Sandra seemed pretty cool. The whole thing wasn’t nearly as awful as I had envisioned.

Sandra’s first date was not stellar. The guy was a single parent, as well, but he neglected to mention that his ex-wife had declared herself a lesbian and moved into the basement of their house. He also dropped f***-bombs like it was going out of style. This was not good! I did not want her to be scared off but she was a trooper and made another date. She asked if I would come to her house some night after work to have dinner with her and the kids so we could discuss my dates and her progress. Sandra turned out to live three minutes from me which was just too bizarre. We had a very pleasant dinner with the kids and the animals and wine and boy talk. I was very happy how this was all turning out.

The next time I went to have dinner at Sandra’s house she was very excited about a new prospect.  Alex was also a parent going through a divorce and he worked at the same tech company she did. They talked on the phone, had a great conversation and were meeting the next day. I came over a few nights after their date and she was totally jazzed with a silly little lovesick grin and everything. She started to talk about Alex and little bells started to go off in my head. He sounded so familiar but I hadn’t dated anyone by that name. Then it came to me.  I asked her a few details, like his last name, and I realized that Alex, his wife, Trina, and I had gone to junior high and high school together. I had sat with Alex and Trina at a wedding and, because Trina was still friends with some of my friends, I knew a few details about Alex’s marriage. Unfortunately, because I was sitting at that moment with Sandra, most of the details were not favorable to Alex. Shit. What was I supposed to do? Tell the truth and burst Sandra’s bubble? I was afraid, though, if I didn’t spill it then, she would find out eventually that Alex and I knew each other and she would be pissed that I hadn’t been honest. So, I kind of laughed, took another gulp of wine, and told her that I knew him and was kind of friends with his whole former social circle. It was so awkward. Sandra’s face kind of fell and she tried to look ok with this new bit of info but I could tell she was not pleasantly surprised.  We laughed about strange coincidences – what else could we do? – and I went home not long after that.

Sandra and Alex were soon hot and heavy and it became clear it was going to become a little close for comfort. She was coyly discussing their love life and I was trying not to think of the stories I heard about him being unfaithful. These tales were not substantiated but, as a friend, I didn’t know what to say. A few weeks later, Sandra called me and said that Alex remembered me, of course, and they wanted me to come to dinner so he could see me again. I hadn’t seen this guy in 14 years and, from what I heard, he hadn’t been the greatest in his marriage. Dinner didn’t sound so wonderful but I went anyway. It was not as bad as I thought but it was still weird. I didn’t know how to reminisce with Alex without mentioning his soon-to-be ex. He was obviously smitten, though, with Sandra which made me very happy.

I didn’t hear much from Sandra for a long, long time but that made sense. She and Alex were now officially an item, he had met her kids and it was just strange to have me hanging around. We were Facebook friends, though, so I was able to see that they were still together. I ran into her and the kids at the grocery store almost a year later and she kind of let on that things were a little rough. She asked if I wanted to come over for some drinks. I agreed and she ended up crying and telling me that she and Alex were probably breaking up. Ack.  I listened and tried to give her positive reinforcement but I felt a little weird being close after not hearing from her for a year. That was the last time I saw her but, through the miracle of Facebook, I see that she and Alex are still going strong. She is a great mom and cool girl so I wish her luck. But, oh yes, the world is very small, indeed.

Published in: on May 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm  Comments (2)  

Artie Part II

“You know we will both regret it if we sleep together.”

Artie dropped this little nugget of wisdom on what was probably our 6th or 7th date. We had done the usual ‘date activities’ including a Mariners game, dinner, a movie and bbq-ing at his house. I had even invited him up to my condo and he didn’t get weird or stalker-like. Things were going well and I quite liked him but something just wasn’t clicking. Every once in a great while he would disclose something fairly personal about himself but it was rare. I discovered Artie had a weak spot for ice cream covered in Magic Shell. He knew more celebrity gossip than any heterosexual man I had met in my life and wanted my old copies of ‘Us’ magazine. ‘The Hills’ was strangely fascinating to him. He cried every time he saw ‘Rudy’. I practically had to fight him so I could take a look at his iPod playlist and, once we swapped units and perused, I realized how intensely personal that is. Now you have to know me a little bit to get to a look at my musical selections.

I felt like I was slowly getting to know Artie but I still didn’t feel totally relaxed around him. He never mentioned any past relationships or dating until, after a glass of wine or two, I worked up the courage to ask him what the story was. He begrudgingly told me that he had been in a long relationship for seven years that had just ended six months ago. I am not sure who broke up with who but I could tell from his demeanor that it had been rough. But, I am guessing because he told me that much and no more and we were on to another topic. That was the night he told me about the shame that could come from any serious physical contact. I did not know what to say. Was he calling me a slut? Did he have a thing against pre-marital sex? I hadn’t been attacking him – it kind of came out of nowhere and I considered myself warned. This guy was really not ready to be out in the dating world.

I am a glutton for punishment and I *liked* Artie so we saw each other a couple more times. I was so confused that I asked him, by email, if he was really interested in me. By email. How embarrassing. I must have sensed the answer and didn’t want to get dissed in person. He replied that he did like spending time with me but wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. Ok, then. Glad I asked. He didn’t ask for another date so I just decided to let it go but it wasn’t easy. He was so…close. Maybe if I would have met him a year later?

Artie got on my grandma’s, and my, shit list because, even though he obviously didn’t want to date, he kept texting me about the Mariners of all things. There is a lot, A LOT, to be said for out of sight, out of mind. Just when I started to forget about him, a text would arrive and my stomach would drop and all it would be was moaning about our awful pitching rotation. I knew I had to put an end to it when, on a date with another guy, I answered one of his stupid messages while I was on a bathroom break. Twice. I emailed him that night and told him that, while I enjoyed discussing baseball with him, I thought we needed to call it a day. He wrote back that he understood and appreciated my honesty. That was the end of Artie and to think I let him look at my iPod.  I do regret that.

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Artie Part I

Artie was the fourth date that I had in four days and I was pretty man-exhausted. I was having a hard time remembering who worked where,  how many siblings they had, if they had been married, had they reproduced… I needed a rest. I met Artie at my favorite local Starbucks and I even sat at the same table that I had two dates before. I didn’t take that as a good sign.

What a pleasant surprise Artie turned out to be. He was tall and very attractive and his clothes were clean and matched each other. I could tell that he was in pretty good shape which was explained when he admitted to having a weakness for marathons and long-distance swimming. Is that what you call it? A weakness? I liked his conversational style right away. I am not shy and it is easy for me to take control over the talking. Artie set me my back on my heels which I liked. This guy could hold his own. There was a little cock in his walk, if you will. He asked me all kinds of questions about my job, exercise routine, travel habits and dating history. I answered them all and, to his credit, he did the same although he was kind of vague on the dating details. Danger, danger. We talked for a couple of hours and then called it a date.

I could tell right away that I liked this guy. A friend came to visit from out-of-town and wanted to hear the dirty details on all of my dates. When I told her about Artie, she said, “Girl, I can tell you like him.” I decided to do the initiation for once and emailed Artie the next morning thanking him for coming to have coffee on a random Sunday. So forward of me! A day later he emailed me back that he would like to get together for dinner. Score! This was the first time I was nervous and excited and keeping watch on my email like a hawk. He was headed out of town for the weekend to do a swim to Alcatraz but wanted to meet when he got back. Yes, he was swimming in the cold ocean, with SHARKS, from San Francisco to the old prison and back. Just a wee bit hard-core, this one. I didn’t hear from him before he left but he did text me when he finished the race. Artie seemed to be playing hard-to-get and that was keeping me interested. I was pretty confident that he liked me – I didn’t think the offer of another date was out of pity – but whether he was really interested was a mystery. I still didn’t know much about his dating history but he seemed safe. He offered to come pick me up for our next date and I gave him my address and the date was set. I was way excited. Hard to believe that this was the guy my grandma soon said she would like to castrate with a dull kitchen knife.

Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Daniel

You know what is fun? Going to a Mariners game. You know what is not fun? Going to a Mariners game with a guy and having him not utter more than one-word replies for the whole game. In case you are not a sports fan, baseball games are 3 hours long.

I had my highest hopes yet for Daniel. His profile was witty and written like one of those ‘choose your own adventure’ books I used to dig in elementary school. If you want to fight the tiger in the cave, turn to page 56. If you want to take on the tribe of cannibalistic warriors instead, turn to page 88. Daniel used that idea and wrote a really fun adventure for dating. If you want to take long walks on the beach, snuggle and dine by candlelight, scroll to the next profile. If you want to have a decent conversation, catch a cool flick and explore Seattle, Daniel just might be your guy. His photos were black-and-white shots of himself holding cue cards that said fun things like, “Nice guy who brushes and flosses regularly. Maybe.” He definitely stood out from the ‘here-I-am-on-a-northwest hike’ crowd. I sent him the initial email which was not my normal modus operandi. My fancy was definitely tickled.

Daniel emailed me right back and his emails were articulate, contained no spelling errors and made me laugh out loud. We both loved sports, Keith Olbermann and Thai food. He worked at Microsoft, the first of MANY of my dates, and had recently moved to Seattle from the east coast. I was intrigued that he and his brother had made the trip west in a car even though he brought next to nothing with him. What is that saying about hindsight being 20/20?

We both agreed that the best next step was to meet in person. Daniel offered to come my way and I suggested a tasty local Thai restaurant. This was before I had my rule about no meals on the first date. We met at the restaurant and he was very cute and had no obvious deformities. As we perused the menu I got the strong impression he had bluffed about loving Thai food. The only thing he would even consider ordering was the phad thai with no stars. Did they make negative stars and could he get it without sprouts or broccoli? Ok, so we were not going to be sharing dishes. I had never heard Daniel speak before and he had a strong east coast accent and was a HUGE Steelers fan. There were two things I wasn’t used to but I was able to roll with it.

After we ate, his treat, very nice, we strolled down along the waterfront and then went to Starbucks for a cool beverage. We started to talk about traveling and Daniel confessed to a dislike of flying. I *love* to travel so I asked him to clarify this a little bit. Oh, not only did he not do cartwheels over air travel but he hadn’t flown since pre-September 11th, 2001, and intended to keep it that way. We were sitting with our coffee in late 2007. It looked like we had less in common than I originally thought. I got home from that date and, unbeknownst to me, I had mascara smeared all over my face and he had not said a word. I think my overwhelming sense of embarrassment caused me to say yes to his offer of a baseball game the next week.

The game turned out to be on a weeknight so we thought it best to meet at the stadium after work instead of driving in together. He was very gracious and bought the tickets and we headed to the seats with our beers. Everything started well ,  the spark was there and he began talking about his parents. They had been married for almost 50 years but seemed to hate each other. I stupidly (must have been the alcohol) offered up that it was sad when people settled for living with someone they didn’t truly love. Why, the ex and I were so lucky because we had decided to call it quits while we were still friends and had managed to remain really close. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Daniel tense up and take a big swig. In fact, the ex was at that very baseball game with his new girlfriend. I wonder if I could see him from where we were sitting! At the time I didn’t see saying this as any big deal – the ex was there with his *girlfriend* and I was on a date with another man. It was quite clear we had moved on. Daniel didn’t seem to see it that way.

This train wreck happened in the bottom of the first inning. Daniel went completely silent for a good inning and a half. I kept talking and he didn’t utter a word of reply. F*ck. By then I had realized the error of my ways but I didn’t, and still don’t, think what I said was any big deal. I became so incredibly uncomfortable that I told him that I saw he was obviously upset and asked if he wanted to talk about the ex. “No, I am fine. I just want to watch the game.” That was the longest freaking game I have ever sat through in my life. Daniel then insisted on walking me to my car – what a gentleman! – and even went for the hug goodbye. Hello? He hadn’t talked to me in 3 hours. A hug? I think he needed to hug a counselor.

I was so relieved, yet disappointed, to have that date over. Imagine my surprise when he emailed the next day and wanted me to go golfing with him that weekend. Come again? Did he have split personalities? Daniel knew I had never been golfing and I now know it is one of the hardest sports on the planet. I am quite sure he just wanted to humiliate me on the links. I declined his offer – duh! – and told him I just wasn’t ready to date. This, again, came back to bite me in the ass two months later. I got an email from Darren at midnight, probably post-drinking, after he had seen my profile still online. Wasn’t I lonely? Was being alone really better than giving him a third date? No to the first and hell, yes!, to the second.

Published in: on May 8, 2009 at 3:36 am  Comments (1)  

Jim

Jim may win the prize for being the guy that, in person, turned out to be absolutely nothing like the guy I had pictured in my head. He first emailed me because there is a photo on my profile of me wearing a Wisconsin  hat at a Badgers football game. The ex was an alumni so we visited and went to a game and it is all very sporty.  I have gotten a ton of emails that mention that photo. A girl at a football game? That is worlds colliding in a good way for most men. Apparently Jim was from Wisconsin so he recognized the stadium but had to move out to Seattle for work and was now a Mariners/Seahawks/Sonics (r.i.p.)  fan. The main picture on his profile, and the only one that was any kind of close-up, showed Jim in a red Nebraska Huskers hat. Based on all of these details,  I pictured Jim as a total corn-fed, Midwest sports guy. I should have been tipped off when he mentioned a love of pho which I don’t think has even made an appearance in the red states.

We sent a couple of emails back and forth and decided to meet up. He suggested dinner so  we could, jokingly, feed each other steak and be romantic but I went for coffee instead. Long dinner on a first date = not a good idea. Appetizers are acceptable but I want to be able to cut and run if it is an awful situtation. We met at my old, familiar Starbucks on a Friday evening (such a ‘date’ night that I should have reconsidered) and I got there first. Jim walked up to my table and I thought he had the wrong Kate because he looked *nothing* like what I was expecting. My supposed big lug was about 5’5″ with slicked-back black hair and was wearing very hip, trendy clothes and a few rings on his fingers. I am glad he had to go order a beverage so I had time to pick my jaw up off of the floor.

Even though I knew I was not attracted to him, at all, Jim and I had a very cool conversation. He was a video game designer and taught classes at the local technical school. He was into rock-climbing and loved to hit the indoor rock wall at the nearby REI. He had also spent some time living in CA and had managed to wrangle a guest spot on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. I got all of the dirty details of life on a Hollywood set. For being a straight man, Jim was pretty bitchy which made him very fun to talk to but not someone I wanted to date. We finished our drinks and walked out to our cars where we exchanged the awkward-end-of-date hug. This guy was about 4 inches shorter than  me and his car was totally all tricked out. I still shake my head.

I got an email from Jim that night saying how much he had enjoyed meeting me, what a great talk we had, how I was smart, beautiful, sexy and someone he wanted to take out again. All very nice to hear but he also managed to call me ‘gal’ three times in one email. Gal? Isn’t that kind of like ‘broad’ and something that I don’t want to be called until I am 60 and smoked a lot of cigarettes? I think he meant it as a compliment since everything else he said was nice but…weird nonetheless. He mentioned that he had felt a spark with me which gave me the perfect excuse for not accepting the offer of date #2. There wasn’t same said spark for me and I told him so in a nice way. He wrote back a one-sentence reply saying that was cool, he understood, and it was better anyway since he was looking for someone that was a size 14. That took me a little aback. Was he saying I was too skinny? Was he trying to make a joke? Was this the bitchy side of him coming out again? I didn’t reply since I was getting the idea I had been insulted but he must have not meant it that way. The next day he forwarded me some links to shows we had discussed so he must not have been too angry. Buffy would approve.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jeremy

If you ever want to make yourself crazy, try to meet four new online dating prospects in four consecutive days. I didn’t think when I was setting the dates that it would be a problem but it really was an awful idea. Anyone that has had any serious online action will tell you that sometimes it is difficult to keep the contestants straight in your head. It is hard to remember all the careers, hometowns, undergrad college, pets, parents, siblings, locations lived, favorite restaurants, past relationships, etc., about a number of  people at once and not set yourself for some kind embarrassing gaffe. “So what are you getting your mom for Mother’s Day? Ohhhhh, that is right. You did tell me she was dead. My bad. Sorry about that.” I don’t like being a jerk so I try and remember things like deceased relatives but it can get to be tricky. A friend of mine is keeping a notebook with print-outs of emails and pictures and profiles of all of his paramours so he can brush up at a moments notice. I have learned that doing a quick email-history and profile review before the initial meet and greet to be very beneficial.  Online dating = just like school. There will be homework.

Jeremy first emailed me because there is a photo on my profile of me carrying a tray of cheeseburgers at my favorite spot in Kauai. He said he could appreciate a girl that could pack away a burger or two. Well, I can appreciate someone that can appreciate a good appetite. We were going to get along just fine. I decided to stay with the Starbucks theme but I did agree to meet at one closer to his neck of the woods. I got there early which I was starting to realize was the best plan of attack. I like being able to get myself comfortable, use the restroom and have the guy be the one that walks in and has that awkward moment of wondering, hmmmm, does this person look anything like who I am supposed to meet? Are they looking at me expectantly?

Jeremy walked in a few minutes late but was very, very cute. Tall, very nice physique, glasses, snappily dressed – all good signs. I did notice as he was ordering his drink that he seemed to be a little…overheated. I saw a little sweat on his brow and there were possible signs of pit sweat through is t-shirt. Hmmmm… He earned some points, though, when he explained immediately after sitting down that he was still hot from a 10-mile run. He had, though, taken a shower. No need to worry. I find a guy that works out and takes care of himself to be very, very attractive. We were also meeting at 4:30 on a weekday which meant that he had a good enough job that they allowed him to exercise during normal work hours. Either that or he was unemployed but I definitely remember a job being mentioned. My fingers were crossed.

We had a very, very fun conversation. We were both into working out, good food, music, sports… I definitely felt a spark with him. We finished our coffee and said that he would be interested in meeting up again. Yay! Jeremy lived in West Seattle which is a cool area so we tentatively decided on that with details to be worked out online. I was excited as I drove away although the awkward ‘driving right behind me’ did occur. I hate it when someone you like or want to impress is in the car right behind yours and you have to pretend to be ‘nonchalant cool driver’. I did look back once and he was singing along to the radio. Nice, nice.

Jeremy emailed me the next day about coming down for dinner and/or drinks in a week or so and I happily agreed. We even had a pleasant phone conversation discussing our dining and recreational options. Things looked very promising so it was a bit of a surprise when, the day before we were supposed to hook up, I got a call from Jeremy. He had really enjoyed meeting me, he thought I was a great girl but he and his ex had been talking more and they had decided to give their relationship another go. Oh. Ok. I was taken a little aback but what could I say? I wished him luck, told him it was cool of him to call and he said that he would definitely be in touch should things change. I have to say that it was very admirable for him to man up and make the call. Most people, and I include myself in this group, would have felt totally appropriate doing that by email. Since this phone call with Jeremy I have used his line, not usually true, that I am trying to ‘take it to another level’ with someone as a reason for why no more dates can be had. Because of this, looking back, a large part of me thinks Jeremy was fibbing but why did he make the date with me in the first place if he wasn’t interested? He could have left it at coffee. I didn’t hear from him again so maybe he worked it out with his ex and they are living happily ever after or at least that is what I tell myself over a plate of cheeseburgers.

Published in: on May 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thomas

Thomas gets the lone distinction of being the only person that has made me afraid that he knows where I live. After meeting 70+ men, I have come up with some general guidelines about the dating process. Because I like being alive and there are some weird people out there, I never, ever, ever invite someone over to my condo on a first date. That would be just plain stupid. But, starting out, I didn’t see any harm in inviting someone over on a second or third date. Oh, how naive I was. There are so many hidden meanings to having someone over that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I was unaware, for instance, that inviting a man to your house or agreeing to go to his place is the same as saying, “Yes, I will have sex with you.” Granted, I don’t think that and I know there are men that wouldn’t cop to thinking that but you kind of know the thought is there. It is the elephant in the bedroom, if you will.

The reason Thomas freaked me out wasn’t that I was fighting off his advances but that he turned out to be emotionally unstable. I met him for the first time at a fairly nice seafood restaurant which I had never been to. Thomas suggested the ceviche which I was not so sure would be something I would like. It turned out to be delicious so he at least gets some props for introducing me. He was a good conversationalist and seemed to have a good job as a database engineer at a fairly big company. I remember that he wooed me most with his traveling tales which is why I must have agreed to meet him again before we even left. I kind of regretted it when, on the goodbye hug, I realized I was a couple of inches taller than him. In flats. Shit. New rule = never agree to anything before seeing someone stand up. I should also mention that he had braces. They were clear and unobtrusive but, combined with his height and spiky hair, they made him look a bit like a teenager.

For the second date, we met at another seafood restaurant in the town I live in. He insisted on picking me up so I had to spill my address. Since I live in a secured condo complex, the worst thing he could know is I am one of 400 units. How bad could that be, right? I met him at his car and we headed out to eat. Somehow, on the previous outing, I had failed to notice that Thomas had some severe food issues. This became clear when he ordered his steak and potatoes but hold the potatoes. I asked if he was low-carbing (even though he was a skinny, small guy) but he just said that he doesn’t eat any white carbs. At all. At his house, he continued, there was nothing that wasn’t organic. He looked down at his steak and shuddered at the thought of all the hormones in his beef. He ate about half of it. He also assured me that the only thing he would even touch for breakfast is a cup of blueberries, organic of course. I love, love, love to eat and go out to restaurants and eat food full of chemicals and pesticides so this discourse was a serious red flag. We managed to get through our disgusting dinner, though, and he then proceeded to invite himself back to my house.

The hardened dating veteran that I am now would never agree to such a thing and would certainly not feel obligated or rude for not agreeing to let Thomas come over. I was new to the game, though, and felt somehow impolite for taking two meals from this guy and then telling him to just go home. So I agreed which was a bad, bad move. It all started out fine as we sat down to watch some Sopranos but then Thomas spit out, “That Tony Soprano is a FAT PIG!” Uhhhh, got some fat issues do we, buddy? I was totally realizing at this point that I was so not into this guy and that kissing a guy with braces, for this girl, was seriously unpleasant. Luckily it was a work night so I was able to get him out fairly early. As he kissed me goodbye (please no!), he offered to cook me dinner at his house sometime. Nothing good can come from turning down someone in person so I always wait for a phone call or email to finish things off. It sounds selfish of me but I always think that getting the brush-off is easier over a phone line or internet cable than face-to-face. Easier on the ego, I believe.

The official dinner invite arrived via email the next day and, if I wasn’t sure before (I was!), this would have done it. He had planned a whole menu, with wine pairings and then an itinerary for the five things we were going to do after eating. I am not kidding that the list included both a museum and art gallery – in one date! After dinner and wine! I sent back a very nice and polite email explaining that I had enjoyed our dates but I just didn’t think that the connection was there. Not 5 minutes after I hit the ‘send’ button, my phone rang and it was Thomas. Why did I answer?? I did and it was him, calling from the aisles of Home Depot. He had just gotten my email and he was soooo bummed! Was I sure that I didn’t want to at least try *one* more date? He had bought all of the food! He had cleaned the house! He was at Home Depot getting supplies to finish up his bathroom remodel so it would be perfect for me! Why? Why did this keep happening to him? Why? I pictured him wailing on his knees in the plumbing department and just told him that I was sorry but, yes, I was sure. I felt awful but so relieved I hadn’t gone to this psycho’s house. I got several more pleading ‘if-you-change-your-mind’ emails from him which made me very concerned that he knew where I lived. I was lucky, this time, but I didn’t make that mistake again.

Published in: on May 1, 2009 at 8:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Ryan

My dad told me once that the thought of my going into a bar or restaurant and meeting someone for the first time made him feel sick to his stomach. Ryan would be a good reason for anyone to be ill.  Because of it’s proximity to his workplace (likely excuse!), Ryan suggested we meet at The Cheesecake Factory at Bellevue Square. For those of you not familiar with the Seattle vs. Eastside debate, let me just say that there is a bit of a consensus that the Eastside has a bit of a lack of soul and a taint of fakery to it. I grew up there so I can’t really say too much but it is kind of true. Bellevue Square, and The Cheesecake Factory, no less, might not be described as the most original of choices. I didn’t want to be snobby bitch girl, though, so I agreed. I should have run for the hills.

Ryan was my first of many, many, many gentlemen in the tech-related field. I think I have dated half of the guys at Microsoft. There is something about online dating that geeky computer guys (and girls) really dig. Ryan worked for a company that is probably now out of business that did some sort of live movie streaming. I know this because I got to hear all about his co-workers, the product, the poor Fed-Ex girl that got harassed every day because she was the first female these geeks had seen all day, all of the movies he got for free, their awesome new office space… all of this before we even ordered. I was already charmed.

So the Cheesecake Factory has the biggest menu ever but I played it safe and got the spring rolls, aka what is possibly the smallest thing on the menu. Ryan, who I could tell even from sitting down, was a slight guy, maybe a little taller than me but small of frame. It may be important to note that I am 5’8″ and fairly thin. I am not a big girl which is important to know for the lovely comments about to come from this asshat. He ordered the chicken strips and fries and ate about 1/3 of it. I finished my rolls but they were TINY and there was only two of them. And they weren’t fried! This clown looked down at my plate and put his hands to his face in mock horror and says, “I don’t think I have ever been with someone eating at The Cheesecake Factory and seen them eat all of their food! I can’t believe you finished it!” It took every single iota of manners I possessed not to get up and leave right then. What kind of idiot makes a comment to a girl on a first date about what a pig she is??? I was silent with shock.

But the fun wasn’t done yet. Apparently our friend, Ryan, had lived in Texas at one time where he had been married. Why, pray tell, had he decided to move to WA? Oh, that would be because he used to be a binge drinker and had totaled a car and gotten arrested for drunk driving and “needed to get out of the state”. What the f*ck did that mean? Was he wanted by the law? Am I dining with a wanted felon? Oh, and he also had gotten divorced and wanted a “fresh start”. Got it. He must not have seen the look of horror on my face because he then asked me if I wanted to go get some tea. I asked if he had something against coffee, ha ha, and he said, why yes, he hates coffee, can’t stand the smell of it and he made his ex-wife brew her java in the garage. Oh.My.God. This guy was a total freak show mess. I declined his offer, other plans you know, and he insisted on driving me to my car in his new convertible. What a creep.

I got an email from this fine fellow wanting to meet up again to continue the nightmare for another date but I told him that, sorry, I was afraid I didn’t feel that spark. I was getting better at being honest but not good enough that I didn’t offer the awful ‘we can still be friends’ bit. I am now heartless and realistic enough to  know that being honest is not the same thing as being mean so I don’t need to offer friendship as a way to make nice.  We are all adults, allegedly, and sometimes things just don’t work out.  Ryan wrote me back that, sorry, he didn’t join Match to make friends. Fair enough. Good luck, you coffee-hating, food phobic fugitive.

Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 7:55 pm  Comments (2)  

Scott

This guy had huge teeth. Very nice, decent guy but he had some serious Mr. Ed action going on. I met him in the bar at  Canyon’s Restaurant where alcoholic drinks were imbibed. This was the start of my  guideline that alcohol is a great social lubricant and should be consumed on a first meeting if at all possible. I have had to add an addendum, though, that there is a two-drink maximum because, any  more than that, and anyone becomes more attractive. I need to have a little bit of good judgement left standing.

Aside from his choppers, Scott was very decent. He was easy to talk to, took great pleasure in ordering the corn fritters with honey and butter and had been around the dating block. I have no idea how many ladies had come before me but it sounded like he had some experience with the ‘trying to find a girlfriend’ bit. He mentioned that he belonged to a group of Seattle Singles that did different activities and that he had recently been to Costa Rica (!!!) with a group of singletons. He was definitely no rube. He also mentioned that he loved to bake, owned his own house and had a fairly good job with city government. So, he was decent enough that I decided another date was in order.

For some reason we decided to meet for coffee on a workday which I vowed never to repeat. I have to answer my cell phone for work so it and my message book sat on the table and it just cast a bad shadow over the whole thing. Weekend coffee dates are fine but during the workday? Not again. I am not a huge coffee or food snob but I do make a note of what someone orders. Scott got coffee cake and an iced mocha. Sugar rush! I am a healthy eater, more or less, so that didn’t impress me much. He then proceeded to complain about how expensive Starbucks was and that he had to break the habit before he went broke, blah, blah, blah… My cheapskate flags started to go up. Neither of us could stay long (another reason not to do a date during work hours) so he threw out going to a Mariners game together. I LOVE baseball and the Mariners but a game is a loooong time to have to talk to someone if it is at all awkward. I would never, ever, ever go to that long of event for a first date but a third…. hmmm….. I told him I would look at my schedule and get back to him. After this second meeting I was feeling a little wary. He was still nice and decent but I was not feelin’ the sparks and the cheap talk had gotten to me a little bit. While I was mulling over what to do he sent me an email about the Mariners game and how we would take the bus there because parking at the stadium is so expensive. Uhhhh, it really isn’t that expensive, at all, and definitely not enough to make us take a bus trip on a date. I am not an elitist or a snob or a prima donna but this was a little too much. Scott’s spendthrift ways combined with the lack of spark and those big teeth was a deadly combination. I wrote Scott the same sort of email that I would eventually learn to not send, i.e. I am not ready to date, and he was pretty cool about it. He sent me an email back that he was disappointed but understood. I was caught, again, by him when he saw me still on Match a few months later and sent another wink. Note to self – if you say you aren’t ready to date it is best not to remain active on a dating website.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm  Comments (2)  

Robert

Officially this was Bachelor #1. I was not at all feeling comfortable being back in the dating world after being in a relationship for almost six years with a cool guy I was still friends with. As I drove to meet Mr. Robert I felt like I was cheating on the ex even though we had been broken up for almost 3 months. It might say something that I called the ex on the way to the rendezvous spot to let him know who and where I was meeting this strange man just in case I was chopped up into little pieces. There is a reason we called it “Best Breakup Ever”. Even still, I was nervous as hell walking into that Starbucks.

** Aside (the first of what I am sure will be many) – There are a few spots in my neck of the woods that I am sure think I am some sort of librarian-looking prostitute. These spots, and the people that work there, have seen me parade in with a stream of men. When the number of people that you have met creeps into the double-digits you run out of places-to-meet options. I am picky about where I will make the initial contact. It has to be public, obviously, easy to find and a place I am familiar with. I am not walking into a restaurant or tavern or coffee shop or wine bar that I have never been before while trying to locate someone I have never met. That is simply too much sensory overload to manage at once. I like to know the lay of the land so the only thing that could possibly surprise me is how ghastly my date is.

The first thing I notice about Robert is that he looks nothing like his picture. I am expecting a guy that has a hat and glasses and fairly sizable sideburns but what walks up to me has a shaved head and no glasses. He is my height, 5’8″, and fairly stout. I am not overwhelmed with hot lust for him but he is pleasant to look at. We met on a weekend day so he was appropriately dressed – cargo shorts, t-shirt, cool sneaks. We had a pleasant conversation where he expressed a strong affinity for watching female roller girls. I have not been to such an event so it was cool to hear a little about that. Besides the fact that the conversation didn’t totally suck or stall awkwardly it also didn’t really light my fire. I could tell that I wasn’t going to be interested in seeing this guy again. I can’t say too much else about him besides he was ‘my first’ and that was it wasn’t horrible. Robert does have the distinction of initiating my long-time rule of NO PHONE CALL BEFORE MEETING. I am not a huge phone person in general and trying to carry on a conversation totally removed of any physical cues sucks ass. I was careful to brush up on my facts-about-Robert before placing the call but it was just awkward. Long silences, awkward pauses – what fun. There is just something about seeing someone in person and whiffing their pheromones that cannot be replaced. How horrible can anyone be that I can’t suffer through one cup of coffee or cocktail? Granted, there have been some fine men that had me thinking the whole time we met what a great freaking story I was going to tell about this knob, but nothing horrendous. They are just people, after all.

I did get the fishing follow-up email from Robert (it was great to meet me, want to get together again, etc.) but I was not interested in seeing him again. Just not exciting. I emailed him back and told him that I had thought I was ready to get back into the dating fray but I had been mistaken. This taught me another rule. DON’T EVER TELL AN ONLINE DATING CANDIDATE SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN FIND TO BE UNTRUE. Besides the fact that lying is evil and bad it just sets up an awkward situation if you are caught. For instance, I got several more emails and winks from Robert after I gave him the brush-off email. Why, he wanted to know, was I still on Match.com if I was not ready to date? Valid question although I don’t know what guilting me into a date was supposed to accomplish.

Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm  Comments (1)