Disastrous Dates with Dell: the Importance of Honesty and Attraction

There was a time, when a truly awful date for me was a delightful blog post. Lately, though, I’ve noticed a shift in my thinking. I suppose it started with Engineer 114, around the New Year. After he bailed on me for no reason, after weeks of texting while he was out of the country, I was both furious and completely done with him. So, I got back on PoF and, by chance, reconnected with Politician, who I happened to have just begun messaging before I got involved with 114.

Politician and I met after a few weeks of messaging He was 35, had never been married, worked at the state capitol, was protestant and didn’t appear to take issue with my Catholicism. But… he was 35 and unmarried and he hadn’t been engaged, or in extensive schooling, or serving his country. When he talked about settling down, it was in a vague sense, like a man 10 years younger. “One day”, he might like to get married and have children. I’m sorry dude, but if you’re from a small town in the South and you’re saying “one day” at 35, it’s just not something you want. That’s cool and all, but don’t date the gal who’s aiming for that. Perhaps he realized this mistake, though, because I never heard from him after our date. We didn’t have a bad time. We talked. It was nice. I left on the thought that I’d be willing to go on another date, if he asked, but knew I wouldn’t be disappointed if he didn’t. I was right. I wasn’t.

After Politician came Oil. Oil and I had chatted on Tinder last fall. We’d been texting and I dropped off the face of the earth, because seriously, dude, it’s Tinder. I recently found him on Match, and although he looked familiar, I couldn’t recall where I’d seen him and sent a message. When Oil explained that we’d talked before, we quickly set a date to meet. This time, I thought things went really well. We met for coffee at the Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble and walked around talking and looking at books. He’d gained some weight since his pictures were taken, but he wore it well. We laughed and seemed to get along. I left with a good feeling about the whole thing. Then, he began the Fade Away. For realz, yo, if you don’t intend to see someone after a first meeting, just shut the hell up. Don’t string them along. It’s worse than just never talking to them again. I quickly realized what he was doing and responded just enough that he could build on it and sent no more when he didn’t. If a man’s not interested in me, I’m sure as hell not chasing after him. I was disappointed, though. I mean, he’d gained at least 20 pounds, so any issues with my appearance would’ve been downright hypocritical. The conversation flowed. Why was that not at least worth a second meeting?

…. aaaaaand there it is. I’ve officially reached the point I’ve been trying to force myself to reach for the last year. I am finally to a place where I’m willing to go on a second date with anyone who wasn’t a mountain troll or a complete ass. Therefore, when someone else isn’t, that’s a bad date, because what could he possibly be seeking, beyond laughter and surprisingly few awkward pauses? Did we just not have that “spark”? Because that’s bullshit. The “spark” is another word for Love at First Sight or Soulmates. It’s pretend. It was crafted to sell YA novels about teenagers dying of cancer. The only real connection one can hope to have with a stranger is conversational. If that exists and you aren’t willing to pursue it, then have fun dying alone… which is exactly the sentiment that lead me to the other extreme in my absolutely disastrous dates with Dell.

Dell was 33 years old and not very attractive in his photos. He was successful and had a lot of nerdy hobbies mixed with a lot of country hobbies. He was sociable and seemed to be putting in a real effort. I told myself that appearance was secondary to these characteristics and I still feel that that was correct. The man wasn’t hideous in his photos. He was shorter than I’d prefer, but taller than I am, at 5’7″. He was stocky and appeared to be a little heavy, but mentioned a lot of active hobbies. Almost every photo had his niece in it, so he was clearly close to his family and liked kids. I had high hopes that personality would ultimately take over and then I would find him attractive.

Dell and I first met for dinner at the same restaurant where I met Politician. I got out of the car, headed for the door, and my first thought was that it couldn’t be him.

Y’all, there have not been a lot of dates where I’ve considered just turning around and leaving. This was probably only the second… because this man was not “a little heavy.” He was easily 40 pounds heavier than his least flattering photo… at 5’7″. I’m 5’6″, so 40 pounds on him is the equivalent to 40 pounds on me, and it was all in his belly. I wasn’t going to be shallow, though. It wasn’t even Gaily’s voice this time that asked me if I was really going to write this guy off over something trivial. I mean, clearly, I was just focused on appearance because it was our first meeting. If I wasn’t going to give him a chance, then I needed to leave right then and not let him buy me dinner.

As we took our seats and I fervently told myself that I was being too critical, Dell struggled to slide into the booth and, I am ashamed to admit, the first thing that popped into my mind was…

I wonder if his erect penis even clears his belly.

I felt horrible for even thinking that, but my ex-husband was morbidly obese and it’s a thing, folks. I spent four years with someone who had to ask to be seated at a table every time we went out and that’s all I could think about for the first 10 minutes of our conversation as I distractedly answered so many questions it felt like I was being quizzed. Finally, I realized that Dell wouldn’t be playing Quizmaster if I’d join the fucking conversation and I pulled my irreparably damaged by divorce head out of my ass. From that point on, I was a delight. I asked questions about his life and his former career as a policeman. I told him about my career and was pleased that he was respectful and interested. The conversation felt a little forced, but I blamed my lack of physical attraction. We talked about our hobbies and ironically, staying in shape came up.

Dell: “I’ve actually gained 20 pounds in the last few months.”

Um… yeah. I noticed. Apparently, so did he. It, however, was still not only 20 pounds since his photos. I would not be surprised to discover that the man was just barely into the morbidly obese category. Now, I’ve been morbidly obese, y’all. A few years ago, I lost over 90 pounds. It’s not that I hate fat people. I’ve been fat people. I’m still not skinny people at a size 8/10. I have also never lied about it. He clearly knew that his photos were not an accurate representation of him. After all was said and done, I even showed Gail.

Gail: “Well, yeah. You can kind of tell he’s heavy in this one. He looks pretty big there.”
Me: “No, no, no. I saw that one. I was prepared for that one. It was that plus 40 pounds.”
Gail: “Oh. Wow.”

At this point, I was legitimately frustrated with him. I was in a really awkward place, because he wasn’t honest. I didn’t want to blow off what was otherwise a very nice guy just because of his size, though, so I agreed to a second date the following week.

Over the next week, I ended up convincing myself that I’d exaggerated the entire thing. It wouldn’t be the first time. I mean, the guy was nice and chivalrous and successful. Surely, I was just being a bitch and I’d realize the error of my ways when we met again. Spoiler alert: no.

We met last Friday at a local sushi restaurant and I was actually looking forward to realizing how wrong I was. Dell was going to walk up and I was going to see that, although he was slightly heavier than his photos depicted, it was nothing so drastic. Then, I saw him walking to the door and thought that his size just couldn’t be healthy. He looked physically uncomfortable and was visibly sweating. At 33 years old, I was already looking at this guy and worried about his physical well-being. It’s not just appearance. I want to be able to chase my children around the backyard. I want to be able to go to Disney World and not stop every 30 minutes for a rest, because the cardio of leisurely walking is just overwhelming. I know what that’s like, because I’ve fucking done it. I’m not going to lie, either. It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to explain to someone that your reasonably young husband is breathing so hard because of walking. It’s upsetting to never be able to go on a roller coaster because the belt won’t fit across his lap. It’s embarrassing to watch your date’s booth slide across the floor from the table as he sits, because the seat isn’t bolted down and he doesn’t fit.

This time, the conversation did not flow, at all. It was much more obvious that we were forcing it along. I wished I hadn’t come. I felt just as lied to as I did on the first date and I felt like a horrible person for the fact that this was such a deal breaker for me. I’m not delusional. I know that pretty much everyone looks better with clothes on. I even prefer a slightly overweight man to a slender one. I just wasn’t attracted to Dell at all and felt genuine resentment at his blatant dishonesty. Again, I was sociable and fun and polite. I tried. I really did try, but when Dell asked if I needed to get back to my niece (where I’d been before the date) or if I still wanted to go do something together, I bailed. I couldn’t let the man spend another dime on me, when I knew I was done. I told him I’d promised Catherine I’d meet her at the bar for her birthday. He walked me to my car and we talked about going minigolfing this week, as a third date. We made tentative plans. He leaned in for a hug….

… went to kiss me…

… I turned away…

… and it was the most uncomfortable thing that has ever happened in time. 

I went to the bar that night, where Catherine and our friend Laura both asked how the date went.

Me: “Um. It was fine.”
Laura: “Fine?”
Me: “He was really nice. There just isn’t really anything there. He wasn’t very honest in his photos and there’s really no physical attraction. I don’t know how important that is.”
Laura: “It’s important. It may not be the most important thing, but it is important.”

Dell didn’t message me after that.

Me: “He went in for a kiss and I… um… may have turned it into an awkward hug.”
Gail: “Yeah. THAT’S why he hasn’t messaged you.”

I told Gail about the guilt I felt over not continuing to see him.

Gail: “It’s not as if you were married to this man and then ditched him when he gained weight. You’re just not willing to date a man who lives an unhealthy lifestyle. You’re not willing to start a relationship with all of the problems that come with that and that’s okay. You don’t owe him anything after two dates.”

So, obviously he picked up on my lack of interest, which is most definitely for the best. I hope he realizes why, even subconsciously. I hope he gets the spontaneous urge to upload some honest and recent photos, so that the next date he goes on goes better. So many stereotypes about online dating focus on women lying about their weight, but never (straight) men. It is equally and quite fairly frustrating to a member of either gender, though, to be shown a picture of someone to whom they think they can develop an attraction and be faced with a completely different person. I stand by both the man and the woman who feels angry or misled, because it really is an awkward place to be. We insist that appearance doesn’t matter at all and while I do believe we over emphasize it, if you can’t imagine wanting to see someone naked at 33, it’s unlikely to be any better at 43. I don’t regret that second date, because I’m left with no doubts that there wasn’t anything there; but also because I realize that while it’s great to put aside aside the trivial and meet the guy who’s 5’7″ or losing his hair or doesn’t have model good looks, ultimately attraction cannot be forced. I maintain my policy of going on a second date unless absolutely certain it’s not happening. I just may need to be a little more accepting of the latter. There were certainly less substantial reasons not to consider him.

Me: “I know it’s stupid and I would never blow someone off for just this, but… he said he loves Christmas Vacation. You know how much I hate Christmas Vacation.”

If I’m gonna sit through that terrible fucking movie, he’d better be even the slightest bit attractive to me.

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The Time I Wasn’t Overreacting: Update on Stabby McStabberson

So last week, I had a pretty terrifying online dating experience… or at least I was pretty sure it qualified as one, when I wrote The Time I Almost Got Shankraped by Online Dating. Bee tea double ewe, the day someone slips “shankraped” into casual conversation or a presidential speech, you heard it here first, so you’re welcome.

As my original post indicated, I immediately called Gaily and told her everything. As is her way, she flipped the fuck out and started talking about protection orders and staying at her house for a little while.

I figured it was all good, though. I mean, surely he didn’t think I was interested after all of that awkwardness, right? Then I got a message on Plenty of Fish, after I deleted my OKCupid account.

05-01-15 1

“A little while back”?!?! Dude, this was two fucking days later!

Okay. So he didn’t understand it the first time. There’s no way he could’ve missed the point after that message. Until he did. Unfortunately, I don’t have that screenshot, because I was so freaked out that I immediately blocked him and the message was erased. It went a little something like this, though:

Stabby McStabberson: “Hey, I can’t read your message for some reason. Just text me and maybe we can get to know each other a little better.”

Shetland’s not Mayberry, y’all, but it’s not exactly Chicago either. I could see this guy anywhere, but most especially at my gym. So, I was literally shaking with fear… hence the typos when I responded.

05-01-15 2He “dropped the whole thing awhile ago.” I mean, sure I’d gotten that message, literally 20 minutes earlier, but that was “awhile ago.” I am soooo sorry, Stabby McStabberson, for making you uncomfortable. I’m aware that my response was aggressive and downright mean, but I was terrified and I wanted a response to clarify that he understood. I was way beyond letting him save face, at this point. Perhaps he was less crazy and just not that bright, but it’s also not like a dimwitted man can’t still skin me and wear me.

I tried to be polite and subtle. I tried to be polite and direct. Both attempts failed. So for now, it seems that Leatherface considers me a complete bitch, which is fine by me… as long as he doesn’t seek revenge. Keep an eye out for that news story, though.

“Whatever happened to the last engineer?”

… not to be confused with The Last Engineer. I’m sure I’ll date more, seeing as how that’s all that exists among men, but this is the dating story I never really told, despite once regular hints that things were going well.

If you’ll recall, I first met Engineer 114 (we’re numbering by tens now) around Christmas break… in person, that is. We’d been texting for well over a month, because he’d been working a job in Texas. While I don’t normally chat with men for so long before a first meeting, E114 was super apologetic about how long he’d been gone, insisting that he almost never works out of state. Since Christmas was nearing and I was buried under piles of burlap and nursing hot glue burns, I figured I didn’t have anyone else pursuing me, nor the time to pursue anyone else, so why the hell not?

By the night of our first date, however, Christmas was only days away and I had run myself ragged with substitute teaching, working at the library, crocheting four Olaf hats, two Elsa hats, a football beanie, and crafting four personalized burlap wreaths. I knew I’d agreed to dinner, but I just… didn’t wanna.

On my thirty minute commute from work, I gave myself the usual pep talk, which is almost always in the voice of Gaily.

Be nice. Give him a chance or cancel now and don’t waste his time. The worst that can possibly happen is you pay for your own meal and you go home. You will meet someone new. You will be pleasant. You will not die alone. 

Despite said pep talk, though, I was exhausted and postponed the date by about 30 minutes. E114 was perfectly fine with that and it gave me some time to decompress from what is a surprisingly stressful job and get a little cuter. Even more convenient, the restaurant E114 had suggested was directly behind my apartment, so the commute was minimal. Not surprisingly I arrived first… and was absolutely convinced I’d been stood up again. Finally, my date walked through the door and he looked just like his picture and didn’t seem disappointed in me. We all know that’s the first test.

E114 was friendly and just opinionated enough to manage a conversation with me, without it turning into an argument. He didn’t seem to mind my awkwardness and laughed at my jokes. That’s a rare find, folks. I’m funny, but I’m not exactly P.C. I told him about being a librarian and he told me about the commercial pumpkin farm he ran with his dad. What can I say? It’s the South, y’all. In general, it really was a great date. It was a dinner that lasted three hours and he seemed eager to meet again, when he walked me to my car. While I, of course, told Gail everything, I wasn’t up to blogging about it. I was pleasantly surprised and I’ll admit, I had my hopes up.

Our next date didn’t happen right away, but E114 kept messaging and asking about my Christmas. We shared pictures of family get togethers and planned to meet again before he went out of the country after the new year. He assured me, once again, that this wasn’t the norm and I figured I couldn’t very well complain that a man hadn’t turned up an opportunity to make bank just so he could get to know the girl from Plenty of Fish. I even assured him that my divorce was primarily caused by a refusal to work, so I truly didn’t mind his schedule. Finally, we set a plan. We would do something the Sunday after Christmas. It was vague, but he was willing to commute, so I wasn’t too upset that he wasn’t willing to be the one who made the plans in an unfamiliar city. So, Sunday morning we messaged back and forth with a touch of “what do you want to do?” and seemed to have settled on a movie at the mall, followed by dinner. I went to Mass and the gym and then received a message explaining that E114 had to help his dad with taxes involving the pumpkin farm and he needed to postpone “if you don’t mind.”

“If you don’t mind”, at this point in a relationship, is a total throwaway comment. If I mind, I’m clingy and crazy and I don’t understand familial obligations. As annoyed as I was with being ditched at the literal last minute, I texted Gaily and Catherine about it, and was perfectly polite to E114, figuring a one time occurrence was forgivable. My coworker even made the point that he might have been uncomfortable explaining to family that he was seeing someone he’d met online so soon. Fair enough.  A couple of days later, however, he still hadn’t suggested new plans, so I had to inform him that if he wanted to do something before his trip, we needed to set something up, so I could plan my week. We settled on dinner in Springfield, just north of Shetland and bowling in the city. I wore jeans. I was appalled at the idea of wearing jeans in general, let alone on a date.

Dinner and bowling went great. During dinner, I caught myself searching for flaws (read: being a judgmental bitch). While even in hindsight, I still think blowing your nose at the dinner table is unforgivably disgusting, The Voice of Gail intervened and asked if I was really going to let something so minor keep me from getting to know this guy.

I loosened up a bit over bowling. We laughed and talked and really had a great time. It was a fantastic activity to share with someone you’re considering in a romantic capacity. I can be extremely competitive, but with sports, it’s always in jest… because I suck at them. I don’t want someone coaching me on bowling, because I don’t care that I suck. I don’t care if I lose. I enjoy ridiculously over-the-top smack talk if I win. It’s just fun. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while E114 was a former athlete and had a strong work ethic, he didn’t seem put off by my “meh” sports mentality. It was a good night and I hoped we’d get together again when he got back from Aruba.

Over the next few weeks, E114 messaged daily. Early on, I asked point blank if he wanted to do something when he got back. I wasn’t interested in being entertainment while he was bored in another country. He said definitely and when he received a wayward text to Gail, accidentally demanding his presence at a local bar and grill in 15 minutes, he said he’d love to when he got back. Finally, the week of his return, nearly a month after our second date, E114 eagerly made plans. He’d get back on Thursday, spend time with his family on Friday and Saturday and we’d go to a museum on Sunday. What a fun date… that that would have been.

E114’s flight was delayed until Friday, about which he was texting me up until he landed at our local airport. At no point did he mention changing Sunday’s plans, so I didn’t think to ask. It was his idea. On Saturday, though, I sent a text to confirm. When I didn’t get a response, two hours later, I sent another.

stood up again

So, that was the end of E114. There was no apology, not even the throwaway “if you don’t mind” and I never heard from him again. It turns out “women just can’t handle my schedule” really meant that they can’t handle being such a low priority that they get stood up without reason or apology. I love a hard worker, don’t get me wrong. I made an effort to keep in contact for nearly a month in order to get to know this guy, not once complaining about the fact that his return date kept getting pushed back. We’re not kids anymore, though. This isn’t just another day with no responsibilities or plans. I cleared my schedule for him, on my only day off, at his request. Not only did I not get a response when I asked, but his only reason was that he made better plans. Seriously, dude? Go suck a bag of dicks. I’m not a show on your fucking DVR, there to entertain you when you’re ready. We had plans.

Gail is… well, she’s just the perfect best friend. She was rightfully outraged and has declared E114 to be her least favorite of the menbecause he led me on for a month. Looking back, I realize now that while E114 mentioned children numerous times, he never seemed interested in the wife part of that equation. Maybe he claimed he’d be willing to move from his hometown, but considering the fact that I was ditched twice for non-urgent family plans, I don’t see that happening. He doesn’t want a wife. He wants an incubator.

I wish now, that I’d been more forthright in my response to that last text message. The next woman will just get a story about how women can’t handle E114’s commitment to his family. I wish I’d been clear and told him how disrespectful that was to my time and feelings, how I’m no longer interested in getting to know him because he’s inconsiderate and has poor time management skills. I don’t want to date the guy who’s gonna bail on me two hours before my Gramma’s birthday party, because he has to help his brother move a sofa. He’d even mentioned the fact that planting season was nearing anyway, so I can’t imagine how he thought he’d fit in dating a few months later. I’m not even gonna lie. I totally fantasized about getting Catherine to find E114 on Plenty of Fish, make plans, and cancel at the last minute for a ridiculous reason. “I’m so sorry. I have to drive my roommate’s sister to get her dog groomed.” The only reason I didn’t ask is that she probably would have done it.

That is why I never told my beloved readers about E114. He wasn’t very nice and it hurt. I felt embarrassed and very much like I’d been used to ease his boredom while he was in Aruba. I cried and I’m not really a crier. Fortunately, God gives us what we need when we need it and just an hour or two later, Andy messaged me. That relationship has become as platonic as it can possibly be, with me giggling like mad over the misunderstanding that led Andy to have sex with a woman who’d slept with his brother and Andy explaining that that he “levels up” with every woman he dates. He calls it “Pokemoning.” So E114 ditched me hours before our museum  date. Whatevs. I got to zoo with Andy.

Engineer 104: The Date I’ve Already Forgotten

I’m just numbering the engineers by tens now.

Gail: “Judging by the men you skip over, that’s probably pretty accurate.”

For some time, I’ve been operating under the rule that if a man meets no deal breakers, I’ll give him a shot. I know I haven’t written about a date since the night I was stood up downtown, ultimately ending up crying over a bag of jelly beans, but that’s not because I’ve vowed to recruit my gal pals in some sort of eventual Golden Girls arrangement. There’s just nobody left. Every man I meet in person and online is perpetually 12 years old. I’m dating in The Children of the Fucking Corn and there is not a grown up to be found. Thanks a heap, Generation X, for raising a society of men who can’t put down the XBOX controller long enough to fill out a job application.

I jest, of course… sort of… at least about the choices and laziness of grown men still being the responsibility of their parents. Everyone in the dating world, though, has that one stat that they look at before all others. For some, it’s physical attractiveness. For others, it’s whether or not they have children. For me, it’s career. I’ll respond to a man with an otherwise blank profile if he has a legitimate and promising career. It’s not about money. I make my own money, proudly. It’s about security and knowing that I won’t be the sole bread winner, pretty much ever. What can I say? Young divorce broke me.

 

In 2014, when the Peter Pan Generation reigns supreme, it seems the number one profession for men under 35 is “student.” In the South, second to that is “oil.” Finally, at least in my experience, it’s “engineer.” I won’t, under any circumstances, even respond to the first. The second, rarely, because no further specification usually means blue collar rig worker who likely won’t have a job in 10 years, because the oil field just sort of works that way. So, I date engineers. Apparently exclusively.

Engineer number 104 had messaged me multiple times over several different dating sites. He wasn’t especially pushy, doing so with a significant amount of time between each, but he was persistent in his interest. I… wasn’t.

Gail: “What’s going on in your dating world, by the way?”
Me: “Meh. There’s this one guy who keeps messaging me, but there’s really not much there. He’s also too old for me, built like Uncle Fester, and has scary teeth.”

uncle festerNot one time, have I claimed to be sweet.

Ultimately, I decided I was being shallow, because I totally was, and I should give this guy a shot. He didn’t meet any of my deal breakers and I did say I would actually start trying, so as to lessen my chances of getting a Daddy in a Jar at 32 and raising a child alone. I finally responded to his offer to text, with some lie about why it took so long, and tried to get a conversation going. There still wasn’t anything there, but whatevs, in for a penny…

Engineer 104 told me to choose a place to meet, which obviously lost him some points right away, but I was pretty adamant that I was going to give the guy a chance and not go in with any assumptions that the night would be a disaster. I chose a local sports bar and ate beforehand, because however dedicated I was, I knew I’d felt little connection in our digital communications and didn’t want him to buy me dinner if there was no spark in person.

I got to the bar first and, after my tearful night of jelly beans, I most definitely thought I might be stood up again. Engineer 104 was about 15 minutes late, with no text message, but had told me he was on his way earlier. I mentally calculated the money in my bank account and planned to leave and buy a cat at 30 minutes after. No joke, because that is definitely an impulse buy to make after a bad date. When he finally arrived, I realized that Engineer’s pictures didn’t really do him justice, as is often the case with men. They suck at selfies and he’d only posted a single very unflattering one. He wasn’t a Winchester, but he also wasn’t an Addams, so woot. We chose a high top table in the middle of the bar and he started talking… about himself… and didn’t stop.

In all fairness, 104 wasn’t awful, but he also wasn’t interested in engaging me in the conversation in the least. I make an effort to ask questions on a first date, so as to avoid a a nervous Buffy the Vampire Slayer fangirl rant, and did so this time as well, but it really wasn’t necessary. Engineer was happy to tell me all about his father/sons camping trip, his problems with deceased family estate drama, the dog his ex-girlfriend kept in the breakup. He even did a few racist impressions of the past clients he name dropped. Let me tell you, you don’t know romance until you hear a Southern white man’s imitation of the Sultan of Dubai.

Now, I like to exaggerate, y’all. It’s kind of my thing.

Gail: :: shivering in the cold grocery store ::
Me: “No one has ever been this cold. I feel like I’m in the hedge maze at the end of The Shining.”

I must clarify, however, that I do not exaggerate when I say that this man checked his phone at least 10 times in the hour we spent together. He explained that his dad was sending him score updates for the high school game his brother was coaching, but dude, you are on a date. Either this is important enough that you need to leave, or you can put away the fucking phone for one hour. I thought my generation was supposed to be the iGeneration. Which brings me to his age. Engineer was only 34, but to listen to him, you’d think he was nearing 40. I’m 27 years old. I do not feel old and I’m not going to for some time, so the last thing I want is to be with a man who is constantly talking about burial plots. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but he did keep saying things like “now that I’m older” and talking about how hard it was to get around these days. I’d rather be with a 35-year-old, who realizes he has all the time in the world, than a 28-year-old who talks nonstop about the dreaded 30. The golden ticket with 104, however, was when he got out of his seat to stand next to the table for a moment.

104: “I’ve gotta stand for a minute. My butt’s asleep.”

Engineer 104 just may not have been that interested in me and felt no need to impress or engage. I can’t imagine this was his best behavior. Maybe I was too young and spry. Possibly, I just didn’t do a great Arabian impersonation. I don’t know, but after just an hour, I told him I had to get up early the next morning and he didn’t seem particularly disappointed. I feel no need to leave a date with false hopes and simply told him to have a good night. He moved in for a hug and told me we should do it again sometime. I likely just looked confused, because I didn’t think the date went all that well. He either agreed or I’m not great at hiding my emotions (I am so not great at hiding my emotions), because I never heard from him again and I was not sad.

Engineer 104 was… forgettable. You know what, though? That was kind of nice. It wasn’t a good date, but I also didn’t leave in tears, which is, sadly, an accomplishment after these last few months. He did not insult my religion. He did not drink five beers in one hour. He actually showed up. He was just some guy and I assume I was just some girl. Sometimes, it’s kind of nice to have a forgettable date, as it reassures me that I’m not just overly critical and eager to buy myself some sperm for my 32nd birthday. Had he asked, I might have gone on a second date with 104, just to give him another chance. In hindsight, I realize it would’ve been a disaster, but I’m proud of myself for not letting his incorrect usage of the word “literally” write him off as a person. No, it was definitely the racism.

So, here’s hoping that things might go more smoothly with the new guy I’m texting. He’s an engineer, y’all!

Pretend Poise: The Time I Got Stood Up

Me: “Ugh! I’m so tired of being alone, but all the men are losers!”
Gail: 

That pretty much sums up my dating attitude over the last few months: lots of hyperbole from me and put-upon sighs from Gail. I haven’t actually been trying since the disaster that was Assistant Manager giggling over my breakfast pastry Savior, though. I’ve mostly been enjoying the single life, that is drinking entire pots of coffee by myself, staying up all night to create dance routines with the dog, and having Once Upon a Time marathons for days on end.

Single life.

Once the shock that was another solo birthday had passed, I felt a lot less pressure to fall in love right now, right now, right now. Again, I vowed that, if I reached a point in my life where I felt like my chance for family was slipping away, I’d just have children on my own. After all, why would I pass up one of life’s great joys just because some stupid boy couldn’t follow a schedule? So, I was enjoying my time alone. I was absolutely not in Panic Dating Mode when Corrections Officer came along.

Gramma: “A corrections officer? Oh, that means he’s mean.”

“When my Gran tells me to run, I run.” – Sookie Stackhouse

Sigh. The one time Sookie Stackhouse had something useful to say.

Corrections Officer was an OKCupid user with a blank profile. He’d messaged me once before and I’d ignored him, because he was military and that’s all his profile really said. Then, he messaged again, about a month later, clarifying that he wasn’t in the service any longer and that he worked for the government. Men are usually terrible at choosing photos and his weren’t half bad, so I messaged back and asked him to tell me a little about himself. For the next couple of weeks, he’d text me briefly each day, letting me know he was interested, but not sitting outside my apartment with his hands down his pants. It was a nice balance, because clinginess freaks me out like Chandler Bing.

“Three text messages in two days?!??! Dude, crawl out of my ass! I have a life!” 

While no longer a true military man, Corrections Officer was still in the Reserves, so the first weekend we chatted, he had to go out of town, or we would have met then. Instead, we talked for an additional week, with the intention to meet last Saturday. I texted a day before to tell him that I thought we should probably make some more specific plans, so we decided on 7:00 and he asked what I liked to eat. Not wanting to be pushy, I again waited until about 1:00 on Saturday to ask exactly what he wanted to do. After a touch of “What do you want to do?/I really don’t care” – Dude, just let your testicles drop and make a fucking plan – he said to meet him downtown at the outdoor store and that we’d walk to a popular restaurant from there. The last time I heard from him was around 4:30, when I was still at the library.

stood up

I was excited, y’all… like legitimately reminding myself that we might not hit it off, excited. I even told all of my coworkers that I had a date. Despite the fact that Saturdays at the library are rough, I rushed home, redid my makeup, put on one of my many, many, Zooey Deschanel costumes (pretty much all I own), straightened my hair, and headed out. I arrived at the outdoor store five minutes ahead of time, stowed my purse in the trunk, and found a visible bench to sit on out front and waited…

… and waited…

At 7:10, I sent a text asking if I was in the right place…

… and waited…

At 7:20, I sent…

So, I’m not sure what happened, but without a response, I think I’m gonna head home.

Just to be certain, I tried calling Corrections Officer and got voicemail, doing a quick walk through inside, just to make sure he wasn’t browsing boats with his phone on silent. After trying to call a couple more times, I headed to my car, just ready to go home and plot my blog post over this horrendous event. Then my phone rang.

Y’all, I have a predate prayer. It goes a little something like this:

Jesus, please let this go well. Let this be someone worth my time and maybe even someone I could fall in love with… I mean, ‘with whom I could fall in love.’ I’m sorry ’bout that. If that’s not possible, could you please just let it not be awful? I’m so tired of terrible date stories. Finally, if it is awful, could you please give me the strength to conduct myself with grace and poise, no matter how horrifying things are? Thank you.

The above prayer is exactly why I’m proud of the way I responded when I heard Correction Officer’s cartoon redneck voice for the first time. I’m not even being petty. My daddy has spoken the words “That bobcat come flyin’ out from underneath” and I thought this guy’s accent was over the top.

Me: “Hello?”
CO: “Hey. What are you doing?”
Me: “Excuse me?” I was genuinely confused, not being sassy.
CO: “What are you up to?”
Me: “Ummm. I’m waiting outside the store for you.”
CO: “Oh. Yeah… I just got off work.”
Me: ::silence::
CO: “I got called in. It was like, a mandatory thing. There was a riot at the prison.”
Me: “Um. You could’ve told me.”
CO: “Yeah… I uh… didn’t have a phone.”
Me: “Okay. Well, I’m gonna go home now.”
CO: “Um. Okay.”
Me: “Have a good night.”

I get that things happen, folks. I do. But this guy could not have been less apologetic about the fact that I’d been waiting downtown (which is about 20 miles away), all dressed up, for over 30 minutes. I’m not even accusing him of lying. However, he’d texted me at 4:30. I know he isn’t allowed a phone inside the prison, but he absolutely had access to one before he entered. I deserved, at the very least, an “I just got called into work. I don’t know when I’ll be out and I won’t have a phone. Let’s postpone until 8:00.” Instead, he left me to feel more and more dejected by the minute, waiting for some kind of call. When he did call, I didn’t even get an apology… except as an afterthought.

stood up 2

I am really not a dramatic person, folks. I make wildly exaggerative declarations, as a joke, all the time; but short of insisting that eating the candy on the break room table was the worst thing that’s every happened to me, I’m pretty low-maintenance… until I crack. I’m not gonna lie, either. The poise totally ended with that text.

Me: “I’m gonna die alone!”
Gramma: “What happened?!”
Me: “I just got stood up! Now I’m gonna go home and eat cotton candy jelly beans for dinner and suck my thumb and start the process of dying alone!”
Gramma: “Well, who was it?”
Me: “The corrections officer that you said was mean, because he was a corrections officer, and you were right! It’s never gonna happen! I’m never gonna meet anyone and I can’t even be a cat lady, because the apartments won’t even let me have a cat! I’m never going to be able to have babies!”

Gramma: “Well, if he’s not more considerate than that, Belle, it’s for the best that you didn’t waste your time on him.”
Me: “I’m not crying over one stupid boy I’ve never even met, Gramma! I’m crying because they’re all stupid boys and I’m not gonna be able to have children!”
Gramma: “Oh, stop it. You are, too. When you least expect it…”
Me: “Oh, Gramma, I can promise you that sitting alone in front of an outdoor supply store, slowly realizing that you’ve been stood up, is exactly when you least expect it.”

The conversation didn’t exactly improve from there. It was pretty much just a lot of me exclaiming that there was no one left and my ovaries were rotting, with my Gramma offering to call Corrections Officer up and “give him a piece of [her] mind!” Eventually, I let her go, took off my makeup and set the dress aside for church in the morning. I curled up on the couch and ate my Jelly Belly dinner…

I took out a cheesy romance novel…

… and I cuddled the dog and told him all about how he was the only boy I’d ever need.

Me: “I’m so tired of awful dates.”
Gail: “Yeah… this one was exceptionally bad.”

How the Word “Biscuit” Made Me Cry: the Beginning of a Dating Hiatus

I’ve had some really bad dates, y’all. You know this. You were there for them. There have even been a few that have left me crying in frustration, because I’m convinced that “I am going to die alone!” Just as Gaily knows that “I wish Kitty Foreman were my mom!” means a mommy issues day, the above sentence is code for “ask me about my bad date.” That’s all the tears have ever been, though: the product of frustration. I’ve never actually been so hurt or offended as to cry… until my last date with Assistant Manager.

Assistant Manager was the 34-year-old Catholic, with whom I had a decent first date last Thursday. We chatted at Starbuck’s and seemed to get along well. As much as I wanted to take some time off from the dating world, the situation seemed promising, so I made a second date. Once again, I’d talked myself into dreading meeting up with him. He’d seemed a bit over eager (wanting to plan multiple dates at a time) and had some mildly irritating mannerisms and habits, like calling every time I texted him. Dude, if I wanted to talk to you, I’d call. You pretty much have to be related by blood or offering me a job to get me on the phone.

However, I knew I was being ridiculous. I prayed about it and tried to get myself into a good mindset, since the plans had already been made. When Assistant Manager asked what I wanted to do, because men are incapable of making plans anymore, I just said that getting a drink would be fine, because I had somewhere to be the next morning at 9:30. I even got cute and actually put on shoes, despite the fact that it’s summer.

On the phone, Assistant Manager had mentioned that he’d been working all day and was “nasty,” because it’s so hot. Way to turn a gal on, dude. I gave him plenty of time to shower and even mentioned that that’s what I was doing, but he still showed up to the bar looking disheveled and unwashed. He didn’t smell much better, but I felt like I was being shallow to fixate, though he’d been quite polished on our first date. He asked where I wanted to sit and seemed put out when I chose a table instead of a booth. So far, he’d done a complete 180 from our first date, but I sat and we talked, as I breathed through my nose and sipped my Diet Pepsi. We chatted about what jobs he’d held before his current one and he essentially gave me his life story, which was fine, because I’d wondered why he wasn’t further in his company at 34 if that was his goal. Then, I brought up another issue I felt was important: religion.

Y’all, I have atheist friends, Protestant friends, Christian friends who don’t call themselves Protestant, Jewish friends, et cetera. I legitimately do not care what other people believe, but this man’s main attraction was Catholicism and the fact that he was specifically seeking a devout Catholic woman. I’m also not raising kids with my atheist and Jewish friends and think I could accomplish doing so with someone who was any of the others. I just feel that any major theological disagreements, such as The Jesus Thing, are too big of an issue for a romantic relationship. End disclaimer.

On our first date, Assistant Manager had made a quick comment about disagreeing with a lot of ideas and practices within the Catholic Church. As someone who is pretty Catholic and has few to zero problems with the Church doctrine, I wanted to know more about this. Does he resent the Church? What exactly does he think should be changed? Well, in addition to admitting he didn’t even own a bible, the short answer is… yes and everything. Here are just a few problems he has with the Catholic Church:

Women can’t be priests.
Priests can’t marry.
You must confess mortal sins to a Priest to receive Absolution.
Homosexuality is a sin.
You must receive six months of marital preparation to receive the Sacrament of Marriage, or it’s not a Sacrament and is not recognized by the Church.

Assistant Manager: “So, have I made you mad yet?”
Me: “I’m not mad or offended. Most of my friends don’t agree with those things. I just don’t understand why you identify so strongly as Catholic, if you disagree with everything the Church teaches. The main thing that sets Catholicism apart from Protestantism is the acceptance of the authority of the Pope and all of those things are under his authority.”
Assistant Manager: “Well, I don’t disagree with everything.”
Me: “Do you believe in transubstantiation? Do you believe that the bread actually becomes the Body of Christ?”
Assistant Manager: “It’s just symbolism. Everybody does it. They all take Communion, but it’s just symbolism.”
Me: “But that’s like the defining feature of the Catholic Church. It’s one of the primary teachings.”
Assistant Manager: “It’s still just symbolism. Do you seriously believe that a biscuit becomes the Body of Christ?” :laughingly:
Me: “Yes. I do.”

Ass: “Well, um… those are your beliefs and that’s fine, of course.”

Um, dude, that would hold a lot more weight, if you hadn’t guffawed at one of the fundamentals of my faith. He laughed y’all! He called the Eucharist a biscuit and laughed at me! Texan Engineer unwittingly implied that I was unintelligent for believing in Christ, but as an atheist, he did not laugh in my face. I could actually deal with the fact that Assistant Manager didn’t believe in Transubstantiation. I just didn’t understand why he still considered himself Catholic, if that were the case. In fact, the only answer he ever gave to that was that he likes traditional service. When I pointed out that many Protestant churches offer traditional service and described Janet’s church, he mocked her for believing the earth was only 6,000 years old. You don’t have to agree with someone (unless it’s the Pope, the issue is Transubstantiation, and you call yourself Catholic), but you don’t get to openly mock them. You sure as heck don’t get to giggle about my spell casting and call Christ a biscuit!!!!!!

biscuitThe Second Coming.

Assistant Manager: “How do we even know he ever existed? What proof do we have?”
Me: “We don’t. That’s what faith is.”
Assistant Manager: “Fine. You have all the faith in the world. What if, when you die, you close your eyes and there’s just nothing?”
Me: “Then I’ve lived a good life. I’ve helped people and done as little harm as possible. The flipside of that is ‘what if, when you die, you burn in Hell for not accepting Christ?’ That’s obviously not a reason to believe, but that’s the counterargument.”
Assistant Manager: “Well, people will accept him when they get there and they see him. I don’t believe Jesus is enough of a dick to do that… to cast them into Hell just because they don’t believe. If he wanted them to believe, he should’ve proven he was real when they asked.”

…. anaaaand now I wanna know how you identify as Christian, when you open a conversation with debating whether or not Christ ever existed. Once again, I don’t care what other people believe, but this guy made it clear that he wanted a devout Catholic. The Church teaches that the only way into heaven is through the acceptance of Christ. You know what, though? I could deal with his disagreement on that. Most Catholics have one or two teachings they don’t fully accept. If he believes that being a good person will get someone into heaven, regardless of their acceptance or denial of Christ, fine. He’d hardly be alone in that. But this man disagreed with every issue I mentioned, which makes him, by definition, not Catholic. If you do not recognize the teachings or doctrines of the Catholic Church, it doesn’t matter how you were raised. You aren’t Catholic. I can date a non-Catholic (who is aware of this fact), though. That’s fine. We’ll do Wednesday night Protestant service and Sunday morning Mass. I cannot emphasize enough, though, that Assistant Manager called Christ a biscuit and laughed in my face.

Ultimately, I changed the subject. He told me about how great his people skills are and how wonderful of a communicator he is, after offending the waitress with the way he told her that his beer was warm. We spoke on that topic for about 10 minutes and then I sort of just gracelessly got up and left. I have never left a date more offended or upset, and that includes the guy who had five beers in one hour

Ass: Well shall we go out again?
Me: I don’t think so. I’m really just not feeling it. I think I’m gonna take a break from dating for awhile. It was nice meeting you, though, and I wish you luck.
Ass: I figured you just bolted
Me: Well, I actually do have to be up tomorrow. Honestly, I deleted my free profiles a little while ago. I really do just need a break. 
Ass: So if I may ask what was it
Me: It really wasn’t anything. About a week into talking, I decided I wanted to delete all my profiles, but I felt like I should give it a shot.
Ass: You really are a great girl. I hope you find what you are looking for.

Part of what I’d prayed for was to be kind, no matter how the date went. So, I did not respond with “SERIOUSLY?” when he asked why. I did not tell him that I hope he realizes what he’s looking for, because it ain’t a devout Catholic… or even just a semi-serious Christian. I lied. If I’d have told the truth, he’d have continued with his pathetic backtracking efforts and nothing he could have possibly said would have made up for cackling about my pastry worship.

Through my tears, I told several friends what had happened, none of whom are Catholic or believe in Transubstantiation.

Never-Swears Karol: Sounds like a douche.

Catherine: How are you going to SPECIFY that you are a Catholic and that you WANT A CATHOLIC GIRL and then blaspheme the entire concept of Catholicism?!?!?!?! And I’m not even Catholic!!!

Lacy: I am sorry he laughed at you. I realize we have some instances where our faiths/denominations differ, but I would never laugh at someone it’s disrespectful and cruel.

Gail:

gail text 07-24-14

Three and a Half Men: One Half and Civil Engineer

So, my winter dating hiatus has ended and once again, I’ve gifted you with a cliffhanger series chronicling why I’m about to just delete all of my profiles and buy a bucket of cats. A few weeks ago, I jumped right in with Engineer No. 94. He was nice. He wasn’t particularly attractive. He was successful. The conversation flowed. Then he ignored me all weekend and, after two weeks (a fortnight, y’all!) of regular texting, it came off as game playing. I tried to get back into the idea of him, but I couldn’t shake the thought that he’d had another date lined up and I was his second choice… or that he was following some lame three day rule. I want someone who’s interested in me and I’m past the game playing age. Also, he looked a little like Ward. I love Ward like the little brother I never wanted, but I think of him about as sexually as I do…

I am literally looking around my living room to find something that I think of with as little sexual interest as my good pal Ward… huh… apparently he’s the yardstick by which to measure all things asexual. Good to know.

So, from Engineer No. 94, we move on to my one half.

One Half/Andy

What the hell is a half date? Wait. Why does this one have a name

If you’ve read any of my dating posts, or like, the introduction to this one, you’ve realized that I don’t give actual names to the men I date. Part of that is anonymity. Part of it is a refusal to acknowledge that they’re real people, wielding real rejection and/or disappointment. Part of it is that my ex-husband refused to work and I value employment that much. Mostly, it’s a lot easier to remember their professions, than their names, likely because of the previous reason. So, I call them by their job titles… and now there’s Andy.

Andy gets a name, because he’s not Auto Parts Manager. He’s Andy. I’ve known the guy my whole life and I mean that literally. There are many facets of growing up Catholic in the South; so many, actually, that I have a post I’ve yet to write, titled “Catholic in the South.” One of these is knowing every single Catholic kid in town… because there’s only the one church. So, Andy and I shared preschool, first communion, our 5th grade class, confirmation, and junior year Biology II together. He’s just… Andy.

So what earns him a whopping .5? Well, it wasn’t actually a date. Andy and I have been chatting on Facebook, for the past few months, about our faith, dating mishaps, Netflix recommendations, dogs… the works. Having grown up in the same church, we both eventually gravitated toward the parish in a neighboring town, because we didn’t like the priest at our childhood church. So, when said priest retired, Andy asked if I’d been to the new guy’s Mass yet. I said no and he asked if I’d like to go.

You know, to be fair, this isn’t really a thing people do, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t really a date. Andy and I didn’t hang out in high school. We got along. He was a band nerd and I was just a nerd. Our friends hung out, but not once did Andy and I ever spend time alone. So, he gets a .5, for this thing that’s not really a thing.

Why was it noteworthy, then? Well, we had a great time. I enjoyed hearing about Andy’s job, family, and what he’s been doing since high school. We found out we were both downtown for similarly crazy New Year’s Eves in 2011. He’s a mile tall and wasn’t bad to look at, with his scruff and church clothes. It was just… pleasant. It was also a reminder of what it’s supposed to be like, spending time with someone of the opposite sex. It wasn’t awkward, and no one yelled at me about The Walking Dead, or had furry hands, or told me I was a dumbass if I spent less than $2,000 on a bike… because it was with Andy. I don’t know if I’ll ever find quite the same connection and comfort on a first date, as I did with a man who attended all of those confirmation retreats with me, but that sort of camaraderie… it’s nice to occasionally have someone correct my aim. As I’ve said before, every date (or .5 date, as it may be) has served some purpose in my life. Andy, the reminder that fun could be had with a man, got me through my date with Civil Engineer.

Civil Engineer

I met Civil Engineer on Plenty of Fish and we progressed to texting fairly quickly. Too late, I realized he was a year younger than I, but Jane is always insisting I’m going to miss out on the man of my dreams, if I let something so superficial stop me. So, I persevered, telling myself that one year, does not a man make.

After texting for a bit, I realized that Civil Engineer was, indeed, just really… young. It was just the tone of his text messages and his only stated hobbies of TV and video games. I told myself, however, that unless a potential date actually did something to turn me away, like asking if I like to be rubbed (true story), I’d continue contact and see where it went.

Now, in the past I haven’t accepted dinner from men. I don’t know if we’re going to like each other. I don’t want to feel like he’s invested both time and funds, if it’s not going anywhere. Men, however, don’t seem to get that. Every single one of them wants to meet for dinner, so I’ve just stopped fighting it. If they want to spend $20 on a stranger they may never see again, whatevs. So, when Civil Engineer suggested dinner at one of the more expensive chain restaurants in the city, I just went with it. I dressed appropriately, in the same dress I’d worn to church with Andy, just a few hours earlier. I looked pretty danged cute, if I do say so myself. So, I gave myself the usual you will not die alone pep talk as I walked into the restaurant and gave the hostess Civil Engineer’s name.

Now, in addition to his emotional age, I had one other suspicion about Civil Engineer: that he was somewhat effeminate. The night I texted him while waiting for my dad to change my tire, he responded with…

Oh, that sucks girl. 

Again, unless he clearly did something to turn me off, I was going to keep talking to the guy. Besides, my dad calls me “girl” sometimes… like he does Bea. The man has literally spoken the words “that bobcat come flyin’ out from underneath.” He’s as far from effeminate as they come. I told myself it was the same.

No, y’all. It was not the damned same. My daddy calls my stepsister and I “girl”, because we’re his girls. Civil Engineer called me “girl” because…

Oh. Em. Jingles. Remember that time I went out with the geologist, who looked like Gollum? I didn’t realize it, until I wrote the blog about our dates and posted a picture of Gollum? Zetus lapetus. I should’ve gotten an autograph.

I can say one thing in Civil Engineer’s defense. One fucking thing. He did not lie. He had the job he claimed to have and he looked like his photos. So, when I introduced myself and he gave me an oddly loud, “heeeeey”, I told myself to stop being such a superficial bitch and ignore the tenor of his voice. I sat down and he continued to talk very loudly. I am not a quiet person, y’all. My dad is mostly deaf in one ear. I’ve got a high tolerance for volume and thought this dude was loud. Again, I decided to ignore the trivial first impression stuff. So we started talking… and it all went downhill from there.

Me: “I hate to drive. I don’t know why. It just stresses me out.”
CE: “Oh, I know what you’re sayin’. It’s bad news bears out there.”

It’s what now? Okay. I know. I just quoted Zenon: Girl of the Twenty-First Century, like a paragraph ago. I’m also a chick and I didn’t say it in the voice of Herbert the Pervert.

herbert the pervert

At this point, I still had both Jane and Gail in my head telling to be nice, so I said nothing each time the man exclaimed that something was “bad news bears.” However, I started to think about how I could never introduce this man to my family. My dad is Jed freaking Clampett. Even if I could bring myself to be attracted to someone so effeminate, I could not even picture sitting down and introducing my dad to him. The same goes for pretty much every other person in my family, as the man would be the butt of every joke.

When I’d arrived, CE already had a beer in front of him, which I took as an indicator of nerves. That’s fine. I’ve nothing against a little alcohol. As the date progressed, however, CE… appeared to have a problem. Our date lasted approximately an hour and a half. In that time, CE had five beers. I counted. Not only is that a ton of alcohol, but a lot of cash as well. This wasn’t a cheap restaurant. His stories didn’t make this sound like any less of a regular thing, either, as he shouted tale after tale of his grad school binge drinking. The man was practically performing the vitameatavegamin commercial by the time the check came.

Perhaps, that’s why he was such an ass.

CE: “Wait. What year did you graduate high school?”
Me: “2006.”
CE: “Wooooooooow. You’re like a whole year older than me. How do you feel about that?” -winces-

He fucking winced. Now, after my date with this metrosexual frat boy, I won’t be dating anyone below the age of 28, ever again. That’s my personal preference. If, however, it was his personal preference to date someone younger, he should have done so. My age is no secret. It’s on my profile. You can search by age. If it’s an important enough issue to get drunk and insult me, you should probably do some better weeding, douche nugget.

Gail: “Wait. Go back. You forgot to tell me how you responded to that.”

Me: “Well, when’s your birthday?”
CE: “September 12th.”
Me: “Woooow. You’re a year and three days younger than I am.”

As most first meetings go, the conversation led to a brief discussion of our online dating history. I told CE that one of the problems I have, is that most men seem to want to leave my home state. I’m not game, because my whole family and career are here, so it’s hard to find common ground on this issue.

CE: “Yeah, I don’t want to leave the state. I mean, sometimes I do. Like, sometimes I think it would be great to just pick up and leave the country.”
I’d decided, at this point, that I was going to be polite, but I was never going to see this man again.
Me: “Well, now’s your chance. You’re single… no wife, no kids.”
CE: “Yeah. I’ve got friends with wives and kids and they’re just stuck. Like, they’re trapped. Forever. The old ball and chain.

Dude, why are you here?!?!

After CE missed the fact that I was trying to get him to leave the country, we moved on to discuss TV shows.

Me: “Well, I like True Blood and-”
CE: “Oooooh, you’re a Twilight fan aren’t you? You watched all the movies and loved ’em.”
Me: “Well, I did read the books and I liked them well enough, but-”
CE: “Oh, don’t lie. You know you loved ’em. I’ll bet you went to all the midnight releases.”
Me: “Actually, I didn’t really care for-”
CE: “Oh, that’s what they all say. Every girl I dated was like ‘I don’t like them that much,’ but then when the movie came out, guess who had to sit through them.”


I’m sorry. Was that permission to speak? 

CE: “So what’s in Shetland? Are your girlfriends there? Your gee effs?”
I shit you not. He phonetically pronounced GF’s, either stereotyping all women (I am so wet right now) or being über gay. I lean toward the former.
Me: “Well, um, my best friend lives there.”
CE: “Oh, yeah? What’s she do?”
Me: “She’s a mail carrier.”
CE: “Well… …. …. it’s a job.”

Listen, you drunken elitist asshole, not everyone wants to be an engineer, teacher, librarian, nurse, or scientist. Not everyone needs to go to college and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to find a career they love. Some people are lucky enough to find that without a degree and it’s pompous bags of dicks like you that are making those degrees redundant in our society anyway, by suggesting everyone needs one to be of value. Someone has to deliver your reminder postcard from AA and enjoying doing so does not make her any less intelligent, worthwhile, or pleasant. Asshat.

At this point, the date was pretty much over, though CE yammered on about how much more successful he was than anyone else in high school, after ordering dessert… because obviously the date was going so well. I had reached that point, where all I could think was…

I want to be home. I want to not be here. I don’t want to go through the awkwardness of leaving, when he’s clearly enjoying his own company (as everyone can hear), but I want to be gone

So, I subtly… pssshhh. I can’t even type out the lie. I was subtle as a pipe bomb when I cut him off mid-sentence as he announced how badly he had to pee (again), because the beer was “flowing right through” him, to declare…

Me: “I actually have to go.”
CE: surprised “Oh. I’m sorry to keep you. I didn’t mean to make you stay longer than you wanted.”
Ooooh. Guilt tripping. Haaaawt.
Me: “It’s fine. I just have to work tomorrow. Thank you for dinner.”

He insisted on a hug and I turned my head away. I quickly walked to my car and realized that I’d just used the excuse “I have to work tomorrow” to leave a date at 7:30.

Jane: You didn’t! That’s as bad as flat out rejection!
Me: Psh. Whatev. I’m sure he was too drunk to notice.
Jane: Be nice.
Me: What can I say? It’s bad news bears out there.
Jane: Oh, that’s just really bad. 

If I can get get Jane Give-Him-Another-Chance Williams to tell me it was a bad date…