eHarmony's claim to fame is their patented Compatibility Matching System. You're asked a series of questions about yourself, your personal habits, past relationships, etc. It's a gruelling task, but with the promises of in depth analysis and matching, how could it go wrong? I tried eHarmony many years ago when it first made an appearance online. I couldn't afford the membership; therefore, no matches could be found. How nice, eh? This year, I opted to try it again because there was a free weekend over Labor Day Holiday. I figured it was worth a shot if it wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg (and believe me, eHarmony isn't for a pauper's penny)! What it meant was that I was able to communicate with matches the system came up with for me.
I'm not often inclined to date men who are older. I don't know if I was left scarred over 20 years ago by falling for a man 10 yrs my senior or what. Once I was divorced, my eyes always seemed to be drawn to younger men. None were unlawfully younger, but at least 5 years my junior. Well, there was that one incident where I forgot my own rules and dated someone who was freshly awarded the ability to buy liquor legally.... I'll save that for another day.
The gods at eHarmony must have sensed my 'dating younger' failures and kept sending me possible matches who were more than 8 years older. That made me very hesitant, but what did I know? I'm still single and looking. Perhaps they were on to something I wasn't able to see. After all, I'd spent half a day filling out the bazillion point questionnaire. Surely they had more insight than I! The free weekend made it possible for me to jump the numerous hurdles necessary to have open communication where you are allowed to step out of the website and into your own email. Oooh, how exciting! Exciting like that first sniff of a new shower curtain.
Older men ... older men. You know, that idea was thrilling when I was a bright eyed 21 year old girl. The idea of dating an older man now just conjures up all sorts of imagery that I'm not sure my immaturity can handle. You know what I mean if you ever watched Sex in the City when Samantha dates an older man. Unhuh! That scene when his bare buttocks is walking toward the bathroom to take his Viagra. I don't want to offend anyone with my personal take on this, but seriously, I am having difficulty getting around that visual.
I pushed those horrid visions from my mind's eye and pursued communication with 5 men simultaneously. I got so confused. I had no photos in which to separate the men who were sending me wonderfully written messages. Receiving messages that conveyed well rounded literacy was truly awe inspiring. I'd had my fill of written exchanges with men who were incapable of forming a complete sentence. Their notes were filled with emoticons, innuendo and chatroom short hand. All in all, really more of a nuisance than charming. On a side note: I have a low tolerance for people who don't know the difference between your and you're, their, there, and they're, our and are. And I must insist that if you're going to brag about your cunnilingus skills, please spell tongue properly...not tounge. Is that the cross between a tongue and a lounge? Perhaps it is a hybrid word. I am unaware if it is. Thank you for allowing me that indulgence.
Back to my story. One man in particular was 50 years old, divorced, business owner, my height (5'11"), and lived within a hour's drive. His communication skills were impeccable. He added humor and sarcasm without use of Internet acronyms. He'd given me his work, home and cellular numbers. I was hesitant to call immediately. I waited a few days so not to appear overly anxious or desperate. Our first telephone conversation was polite, laughter filled and not too short, not too long. I'd say about 45 minutes in duration. He informed me that his work would take him out of town, but would love to have dinner, coffee, dessert in the near future. He continued to email me brief notes of acknowledgement. Our third at length phone conversation started to take a rather salacious flavor and it made me a little uneasy. Had I just been seeking a sexual conquest, that would not be an issue. However, this was an eHarmony match up and I had higher expectations for myself. I wanted to guide this on an ideal path for long term commitment. He had to know I wasn't looking for a playmate.
In that same call he suggested I might be a little uptight. I would never describe myself as such. I was on my guard and cautious. I'd allowed too much freedom of discussion early on in past pursuits. I decided a new pattern had to be set. He seemed to adapt to this format with some hesitation. He expressed that he was an open book and no questions were off limits. I asked him plenty about his marriage, companies, affiliations, etc... Because he had been so open with me, I welcomed his thoughts and questions.
Everything seemed to be going swimmingly until, out of the blue, he started discussing hygiene. He declared that personal hygiene was of utmost importance. I agreed that a smelly, unkempt individual leaves little to be desired. He chose to delve deeper into my own habits. I said I showered daily, sometimes twice if necessary (summertime sweat). I'm one of those people who needs to shampoo, rinse, repeat and condition everyday or I feel a major case of funk. It was then that he asked me this: When you use the bathroom, do you use a wet-wash towelette? I laughed heartily thinking he meant it as a joke. In a deadpan response he said, "I'm serious. Do you use a feminine towelette or wash cloth of some sort after using the bathroom?" I was speechless, and for those who know me, that doesn't happen often. I replied by asking, "what kind of question is that?!" He told me he was very oral and hygiene in that area was of utmost importance. UGH! I guess I ought not complain. Had we been communicating vie instant messenger, I am certain he would have spelled tongue correctly.
I felt that judging him based on the wet-wipes question was unfair. After that conversation we expressed a mutual desire to still meet in person. He informed me, again, he had to go out of town for a couple days, but upon his return would like to have a casual dinner. I told him my day off and said he'd get back in touch. I hadn't heard from him up until my day off. It was around 3:00 pm when the phone rang and it was him. "Hey! I just remembered I'd suggested dinner and it completely slipped my mind until now. Are you still up for it tonight?" That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I felt like an afterthought. I wasn't irritated that I hadn't heard back until that moment. I'm a fairly understanding person. I figured something had come up and his out of town business turned out to be more harried than expected. I just went on with my daily activities. I wasn't irritated until he seemed agitated that I couldn't just drop making dinner for my child and run to have a last minute dinner with him. This being our first face to face encounter, I felt it deserved to be more than a spontaneous thing. I knew I had to be the one to set a precedence. Needless to say, I never heard from him again. The delightfully composed emails came to a halt. His number never appeared on my caller ID again. And, for the record, I do keep moist towelettes in the lavatory.