In my previous blog summarizing my Internet dating experiences, I promised a woeful; yet funny tale about my match.com experience. No one said Internet dating was easy. Much like anything else in life, you have to have patience, sort through the BS and hopefully, be wise enough to see blatant red-flags. By age 42 I figured I'd be savvy enough to manage wading through the fallacies men often toss out on their line in hopes of hooking a woman like a voracious salmon swimming upstream to mate.
The perusal of profiles ensued. My own profile delightful witty, but not daft. I revealed just enough to appear intriguing, but not mysterious. The perfect photo on display. Now, I just needed to sit back and wait for Mr. Right to send me a message. What a laughable thought that was. I was specific that I wanted someone who lived within a reasonable driving distance. I got responses from men in California, Oregon, Utah. The last time I checked, Illinois was not even close to bordering those states.
I had to take matters into my own hands (like I'm not accustomed to that!) and seek out someone nearby. The results were frightening: see previous entry for more on why that is. I was on the last hours of my free-trial period. I'm a miser when it comes to such things. Give me a sale at Bath and Body Works and I can easily drop $100. A girl has to have soft skin and smell delicious, after all! I started to dig a little deeper into the profiles.
Who is that my little eye spies? Is that someone I already know? Is that someone who made me laugh some twenty years ago? I had to ask. I sent this man a message asking if we knew one another already. After a couple of email exchanges he revealed that he was indeed the guy I had a writing class with years prior. He was fresh out of high school, and I was 21. I thought he was cute and funny, but clearly I wasn't going to chase after someone younger and unable to purchase his own liquor legally. Instead, I had a huge crush on this man who was brain and brawn. He'd even carry my books for me on occasion. We went out a couple times and after he didn't make a move on me, I assumed he didn't really like me that way. It turned out he respected me or something crazy like that. Another lesson learned; another regret. Oops! Sorry. My brain jumped tracks. I hope you enjoyed that trip down my memory lane.
Back to Mr. Match.com. We corresponded for a couple of days and finally exchanged phone numbers. I can't recall who called whom first. We'd talk often for a couple weeks until enough was enough. We met at a local eatery and caught up on 20 years. Five hours and, 30 gallons of Diet Coke later we realized our waitress was incredibly sick of us. We walked to our cars and had an awkward goodbye. He didn't see that I was safely in my car before he walked away from me after giving me this "our bodies can't really touch" kind of hug. Okay, maybe his allergies --which he revealed in previous conversations were out of control--kept him from wanting to get too close even though I promised not to wear perfume. No harm. We had a great time talking. I wasn't giddy like I normally get when I really dig someone, but I figured I had matured. Or, perhaps life had indeed jaded me.
Our nightly conversations continued. Early on he expressed how he wasn't seeking more female friends...you know, frieeeeeeeeeend. I was keen on that. He talked a lot about ex-girlfriends. That concerned me, but I passed it off as his need for complete disclosure. Weeks flew by and I felt it necessary to make the next move. It was clear he wasn't going to and I needed to know if he had any interests. We set another date. We had dinner and conversation. This time I skipped the Diet Coke and went for some crazy girly concoction with fruit and alcohol. He had beer. He'd also dosed up on anti-histamines. This means he was feeling slightly strung out and wasn't the best for conversation. At his suggestion we went for coffee; he was nearly falling asleep at Starbuck's. Meanwhile, I'm wired and hoping he'd snap out of it. Our date ended with yet another hug. This time it was more pathetic and it included a pat on the back. Chicks don't want a freakin' pat on the back at the end of the date followed up with "Hey! Thanks for agreeing to dinner tonight."
His regular calls continued. I sent a flirtatious email his way. I needed to feel him out. He responded like I was a leper. "sorry, I'm Teflon to flirting these days...you know, I'm not really looking for anything long term or serious." SHOCK! No, you dick! I was not aware of that considering you said you were LOOKING. I was angry, but not surprised.
He called me one day and again, discussed his allergies ad nauseam. This had become the theme of most calls. He updated me on how often he had to syphon or flush his sinuses. Romantic, eh? Remember, I thought I could spot a red flag miles away. I was being considerate and understanding to the plight of this man's allergic prison. Gag!
Cards were thrown on the table. He informs me that he had only viewed me as a friend from the start. "I'm not nor have I been interested in a dating situation. I am taking a break from all that. You knew that, right?" "So, tell me, why in God's name are you on a dating site if you're not looking for something along the lines of female companionship?" "OH, I guess my previous actions could be viewed as misleading. I'm sorry. You're sad. I didn't mean to make you sad. You're not crying are you? I feel like such an ass." "You ARE an ass." "We can be friends though. I'd like that." "You said you didn't WANT MORE FEMALE FRIENDS! Remember?" "Oh, you're right. I did say that. Yeah, I can see how you're confused. But I'd like to be a friend." "I can't really see you as a friend. My friends don't flirt with me and call me every single day to drone on about their allergies. I have friends. I was on a DATING SITE in hopes of finding a man who wanted to date me." "Well, the veggies in the garden are really beautiful and ripe. Let me bring you some to make up for this misunderstanding....can I drop them off at your work? You can share them with your co-workers."