I dated the guy from the eHarmony commercial. You know the guy that says, “Maybe by the time this commercial airs, I won’t be single any more…” Well, he is – still single. Probably because he has b.o. so bad you can taste it. But the commercial doesn”t mention that part. No, I had the pleasure of finding that one out the hard way. And then somehow winding up in a heated argument over it. Yes, we were actually yelling about his armpits. This was my entrée into the wonderful, rewarding world of online dating.
I had ended my on-again/off-again with my ex in March, determining if we wanted a fair shot at moving on, we couldn’t even be friends (although, we’ve since wavered on that but at the time, that was the verdict) and I was ready to thrust myself in a new direction. The following Friday, after a fruitless night out, a little too much wine and my 30th tumbling towards me like an avalanche – I tipsily decided at 2am I was ready to “thrust myself in that new direction” by joining eHarmony. I made it through 75% of the world’s longest personality quiz before passing out on top of my covers. I awoke the next morning to two new emails – suitors responding to my drunk, half profile that I’d typed with two fingers and one eye open. “Joe from LA has Questions for you!” I panicked, I hadn’t even paid yet and they could already see me?! I scanned my mortifying self-description, cringing, “I enjoy the beauty of my health and youth.” What the hell? I immediately deactivated. I called my friend and she advised I try the site she was on. She said it was free – thus, less of a pride swallower, and supposed to be the hip, young site with a more casual approach. For privacy reasons, we”ll call it OkStupid.
I decided to give it a dabble and soon, to my pleasant surprise, found myself loving it. Cute, witty guys bantering with me over email, everyone telling me what a great catch I am. What’s not to like? I don’t know why I hadn’t done this sooner! One 37-year-old gentleman, HUSKY101, quickly rose to the top of the heap with his clever and flirty exchanges. (I didn”t yet realize he was in a commercial for the rival dating site.) Within a couple days, we were exchanging more and more emails, and by the third night, we escalated to a six-hour gchat. It was one of those magical connections that I would later learn is not common online. I would also later learn that magical connections online don’t mean shit.
We agreed to meet the next day, both hopeful and nervous how our connection would play out in person. I hadn’t even heard his voice – what if it was whiny or effeminate… or what if it was great? What if this was it? He said this was the most excited he’s been about someone in a long time. Before we met, he texted that he had a rule that he has to sit next to the girl on first dates. I found it odd he had a “rule,” it seemed like awkwardly close talking-quarters for a perfect stranger and a creepy way of forcing intimacy… But I brushed off the concern of why this was a rule or just how many of these online dates he’d been on to create such a rule, and went with it. As I excitedly walked up to the restaurant and saw him waiting for me, my heart sank. It suddenly hit me why his profile was mostly in shadow. Let”s just say it”s not because his nose was too small. My next lesson in online dating: Assume their photos are the best ones they’ve ever taken. But I just smiled and gave him a hug. We sat down at the bar, side by side as requested, and he kept giving me these long smoldering stares, inches from my face, taking in all of me with his eyes. I could tell he was hoping I was the one he”d been waiting for. And I was just hoping he”d blink. He told me, “Girls like you aren’t single. I have to hope some guy fucks up in order for me to even find someone like you.” In all honesty, it felt kind of nice to be desired by someone new. But for the most part, the banter, the excitement, the magic of the night before was not translating here. The man I was so eager to meet did not exist. I kept uncomfortably leaning back on my stool, trying to get perspective on what this one even looked like. This might have been the casino genius reason behind his barstool rule – I was too close to see him. But despite that the date wasn’t living up to my hopes, and that he wasn’t my type physically, and that he brought way too much pressure to our first encounter, and really, against all odds and better judgment, there was chemistry. I’m sure it was in part just carry-over from our connection the night before but at the end of the date, I let him kiss me. After nearly three years of kissing the same guy, I was curious. And maybe it was my red wine talking, but I actually liked it. We had that inexplicable, impossible-to-find je ne sais quoi. Sparks.
He texted me the following day and apologized for being so “intense.” I hadn’t planned on talking to him again, ready to see what was behind virtual Door#2, but since he nailed it, in tune enough to be dead-on with where we went awry, I decided to respond. I got on gchat and we soon found ourselves in another hilarious, amazing conversation. The banter was back and better than ever. He had dinner plans that night but when I agreed to see him, he immediately cancelled with her and took me out instead.
Per my one stipulation, he acted much more casual this time around and we ended up having a great time. We started seeing each other more nights than not. And though it had the red flags of rebound all over it, we got serious pretty quickly. But I started noticing more and more of his social oddities and I began to wonder just how many weird things you dismiss about a guy until you determine the guy’s just weird? For future reference, I’ve decided six. Whenever Husky would pick me up, he’d let me choose the radio stations because he didn’t know any songs (unless it had been on American Idol), which was a sweet gesture, except that he would then start to manically bang his palms against the steering wheel in beat with the music, triple snapping along like he was having a grand mal fucking seizure. Now I pride myself on being easy-going but this was annoying as FUCKING SHIT. I noticed the body odor issue pretty soon in and I kept giving him passes, thinking maybe he was having a bad moment, maybe it was me or the homeless guy or the broccoli. But a couple weeks in, his benefit of the doubt had expired and both my nasal passages and I were ready to call it quits. He was surprised by my abrupt ending and asked what went wrong. I decided to tell him the truth. I figured no one had before. I gathered up all my courage and broke it to him that he had a hygiene issue. He responded with dead silence – yeah, since the moment wasn’t awkward enough. I didn’t know what else to say so I just stayed quiet. After an eternity passes, he says, “THAT’S why you’re breaking up with me?” Shit, I thought I’d started with the easy one. I mumbled a few other problems, all of which he convinced me he could fix, never addressing the b.o. issue again, but I figured he was probably embarrassed and would resolve this as well. So, we continued seeing each other. But the problem kept rearing it”s pungent head, not all the time, but enough to piss off my nose. And then one day, as I watched him do his daily routine, I learned he doesn’t wear deodorant – he wears hand sanitizer – yes, hand sanitizer on his armpits. Please go ahead and respond with the same shock and bewilderment I did. Hand sanitizer doesn’t do anything to fight odor. But he could not be swayed that it doesn’t work. Even though there should have been no contest, it definitely did not work. Everyone in a six foot parameter could agree to that.
One day – the day I broke it off for good – we went to play paddle tennis and the courts were full so he wanted to just sit in his truck and wait. But after another episode of him banging his hands against the wheel and triple snapping along with the music on our drive there, I had already almost jumped out at a red light and ran home. So, when he rolled the windows up in the parking lot, trapping me in with the stench of his angry underarms, my eyes started to sting and I was pretty sure even my tongue was repulsed – and I decided this was it. I couldn’t take any more. I told him I didn’t want to wait for a court and he said I was impatient. I didn’t care what he called me as long as we were headed home. He reluctantly started up his truck and when we were only a few minutes away from the safety of my place and dear beloved fresh air, I decided now was the time to end things, and perhaps try one last time to be helpful. I wracked my brain for the most delicate way to broach the topic, but as it turns out, there’s no delicate way to tell someone they smell. I couldn’t believe I was in this situation again. When I brought it up, he said he was wearing a dirty shirt, but I was ready for him, saying that if he’s courting me, he should be putting in more of an effort, and besides, I persisted, it’s a recurring problem. He got angry, suddenly revealing, “You think I don’t know I have B.O.?! You think you’re the first person to tell me?! I’ve had a problem since I turned thirty.” “So, wear deodorant,” I reply as gently as I can. But I was growing furious, thinking back to how he had responded with silence the first time I told him, as if I was the crazy one, and all this time he knew. He spits back, “You don’t know! I’ve tried everything. This is what works best for me.” I was officially livid. “I”m saying this for your own benefit, for the future (which would not be including me). You know how much time I put into getting ready to see you? An hour. And you”re not showering and you”re putting on dirty shirts?! You”re 37, you need to step up your game.” “I”m not going to sit and argue this with you.” I realized he didn’t want my help, he wanted to wear his hand sanitizer and feel sorry for himself that he’s doing everything he can when there’s so much more he could be doing, carrying around wipes, wearing real deodorant, getting botox in his asshole armpits, whatever. I backed off, he can live with his own fumes. I was out.
Yes, ladies, this guy is the face of eHarmony’s nationwide campaign. Proof there really is no truth in advertising. My friends keep texting me, saying, “I just saw Husky101 on a commercial!” I had already known about it because they actually shot it a few years ago and now are re-airing it. I’m sure it’s like salt in the wound for him, hearing his optimistic claim that he might not be single by the time it airs and now three years and four online dating services later, he still is. He has a good heart and truly is ready for love but he’s been left out on the market too long, now too set in his bad habits. I’ll refrain from naming the litany of his other social and hygienic weirdnesses but trust me when I say, it way surpassed six. I guess the joke”s on me. I”m the one who dated him for a month and a half.