With the first one out of the way, I set off on a wild dating spree. It was like online shopping for men – you can search for and narrow down to all the traits you want – Sporty, handsome, witty, stable career, age-appropriate – and then he’s delivered at a time and place of your choosing. But unfortunately just like mail-ordering pants, they never seem the same in person. And as efficient as people think online dating is, I’ve found the opposite to be true – you waste so much time weeding through messages, selecting the best match, composing a string of witty getting-to-know-you emails, clearing hours of your schedule, getting ready, commuting through traffic and meeting up only to figure out in five seconds there’s no sparks. And then you have to sit there politely for the next painful hour and a half, knowing there’s no chance and counting the minutes until he takes his last sip, when to your horror, he goes and orders another round. The one common thread among all the guys I met online – and there have been fifteen in total – they are all weird in their own special way. But yet I keep on trying, keep responding to emails and meeting guys, putting myself out there, because it makes me feel like at least I’m doing something. And every time I drive myself to my next date, I can’t help but be hopeful that this time might be it.
So, without further ado, I present to you my highly entertaining dating life. Go ahead and laugh at it. I do.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I was so embarrassed by the following story that I never told anyone. But in full disclosure, I’ll tell it here. And I promise, friends, NEVER to make this mistake again.
Date #2 was a triathlete with a PHD and cute photos. I was extremely excited about this one. He’d sprained his something-or-other while training for an upcoming race so he couldn’t drive to see me, but he offered, if I’d be willing to come to his place in Pasadena, to cook for me. I was hesitant, I knew better than to say yes… but we talked on the phone and he seemed so normal (I can feel you judging me right now). I knew I was taking a risk but the hopeful romantic in me was already imagining the story we’d tell our grandchildren. So, I went for it. When I knocked on his apartment door, two Rottweiler’s came lunging at the screen and I was greeted by a guy who looked nothing like his photos … I wasn’t sure if it was fraudulent or he just had no self-awareness that times have changed. He was totally bald (his pics had a full head of hair) and a good 40 pounds had made their home on his ass. The only triathlon he’d done lately was the pizza roll/cheeseburger/ cupcake one-yard-dash.
This is when I learned the importance in asking, not “How long ago was that picture?” but “How MANY POUNDS ago?”
I stood at the doorway, in my dress and heels, afraid to enter, staring at his hefty track pants and Adidas sandals, as his enormous killer dogs jump and bark viciously at me. He ZAPS them with a remote that sends an electric bolt through their collar. They make a small whimper and quiet down. I debate whether I should make a run for it, but instead, like the girl in the horror movie, I go in (stop judging). He comments on how dressed up I am and asks if I’d like to take my shoes off and get comfortable. I say no. I was not taking anything off. I still had my eye on the door. He moves papers and books off the dinner table so that I can sit down and he asks if I want wine, I say no. I also was not drinking anything that might make me slightly less alert. I was, by all accounts, speechless. He limps into the kitchen (suspiciously, it didn”t seem like enough of a limp to keep him from driving), and makes some small talk as he starts pulling things from the fridge. He then calls out, “I know you mentioned you don’t like raw onions but what about if they’re cooked?” I try to keep my voice steady as I ask, “You haven’t started cooking, yet?” “No, I was waiting for you to get here.” Holy shit. He hadn’t even prepped, yet. I realized it was going to be another two hours at least. My mind flashed to the excruciating evening that lay ahead, an entire dinner (and dessert!) of awkward conversation mixed in with some awkward silences and capped off with an awkward hug at the end. Only minutes before I arrived, my Mom had called to say they had a roast in the oven. It sounded like the best thing in the world right now. I couldn’t take, anymore. I politely blurt out that we don”t have chemistry and that I didn”t want to waste his time. He was confused, “Are you staying for dinner?” I wasn”t sure what got lost in translation but I tell him, no. I apologetically rise to my feet and walk out the door. I was cringing how I could’ve been so stupid. I felt duped. I didn”t want to be unnecessarily mean to a guy, but if you post fraudulent photos of yourself, you’re asking to have your ass walked out on.
And yes, friends, I PROMISE, never to do that again.
I felt pretty gun shy after this experience. I realized just how little I know about these guys. To my relief, my next date looked exactly like his pictures. But…
Date #3, 36, said he writes cartoons for a living (so cute, right?) – but he failed to mention he also moonlights as a writer for porn (less cute.) He told me about how he goes between the naked film sets in San Fernando Valley to the animation online pokie boards on the Disney lot in a single day. I laughed and said he was livin’ the dream. But he didn’t have a chance. I was not bringing this guy home to meet my Mom. But since I’m not the kind of girl who walks out of every date, and because – who the F are these guys I keep meeting??? – I stayed just to hear more. He told me about his commitment to Cross Fit. For those who don’t know – “it”s not a gym, it”s a lifestyle” (*clears throat* – cult). He lives, breathes, sleeps fitness. I think he might’ve been doing ab exercises while sitting across from me. He took one obligatory sip from his whiskey and then never took another drink the rest of the conversation, heaven forbid he consume vacant calories. Note To Guys: if you are that ripped, women don’t want to get naked in front of you. He texted me the next day, “Would love to see you again. Hope I wasn’t another online dating horror story for you ;).” *Sigh, I didn’t respond.
Date #4 was 36, sweet, and worked in holistic medicine. He told me he could heal people with his energy. While an intriguing conversation and a great show for Oprah, I was also not bringing that home to Mom.
Date #5 – I went on a few dates with this one. He seemed pretty normal. He was a six-foot-four, 33-year-old attractive techie literary-nerd. He wore the Steve Jobs uniform of a black turtleneck and jeans, loved all things Apple, drove a Prius, was a foodie, and worked in development at a production company. Or he did work there but he eventually admitted he’d been fired – which isn’t a big deal – but as a couple dates unfolded and he’d drop more and more bits of information – I started to wonder just how long ago he was fired. Last month or last year? Nonetheless, this wasn’t the deal breaker. It’s a tough economy, a cruel business and unemployment can be embarrassing, particularly for a guy, to go around flaunting. The real problem was the lack of chemistry. I need a little more rough and tumble to my man. Since I wasn’t really feeling it and we hadn’t kissed yet, I wondered if I could set him up with my girl friend who might be a better fit for him. But our third date crashed and burned before I would get the opportunity to play matchmaker. He took me to a hip downtown restaurant and followed it up with drinks. I had already made my final determination that there was zero chemistry between us and this would be our last date but I politely accepted having the drink. He’d just thrown a hundred down on dinner, I didn’t want to be rude. But apparently my date wasn’t feeling the chemistry on his end either because partway through our drinks, I notice him starting to zone out, so I say lightly, “Looks like we’re both losing steam…” I meant because we both woke up early that morning, but he responded with, “I know. I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO BORED.” I was stunned. I’ve never had a guy say that. Wow. I’ll put him in the weird category just because… who says that? I was bored, too, but I wasn’t going to exclaim it with a bullhorn. After paying the bill, we walk to his car in silence. It was highly amusing to me that this just happened. Up to that point, I had been flooded with compliments by men and I was feeling like the best thing to hit the online market. This was life’s hilarious way of leveling me out.
Date #6 was a playwright; a cute divorcé with piercing blue eyes. He didn’t drink alcohol so we met for coffee. It was a stormy day and despite that there were no tables available and we were squeezed into two random chairs by the doorway, as customers bustled in and out between us, we found a connection. He only had an hour free before he had to head back to his play rehearsal, but we both felt something. When I got back to my place, there was already a voicemail waiting for me on my landline from him saying he’d like to continue our conversation and couldn”t wait to see me again. I smiled, excited. That night a Friend Request popped up on my Facebook. Despite my hesitation that it might be too soon for him to see everything about my life, I added him. The next morning, he texted to say that I have so many pictures, it could overwhelm even the best stalker. I apologized that I hadn’t “Feng Shui’d my Facebook, yet” by deleting old pictures of the ex. He said not to worry, I couldn’t scare him off, and then tried to make me feel better by saying the following: “In the opening scene of a play I wrote, the character playing me gets it in the ass with a dildo from the character of my ex-wife.” I stared at my blackberry in shock, did he really just say that? It was barely even 9am. After several minutes debating how to even respond to a text like that, I finally say lightly, “Haha. Is your play autobiographical?” He replies with a winky face and says that he’s an open book but some things are best discussed in person. Um, he’s the one that brought up getting it in the ass by his ex-wife, not me. For reasons beyond explanation, I still went on the date we had set up… I think I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t going because of his massive over-share. So his manhood has been compromised, no biggie… During our dinner, I found out pretty quickly what I missed in our hour coffee, he is a giant bonehead, the quintessential actor type – of which there are zillions in this city – the kind of guy that thinks he sounds so deep but just comes across as dumb. I must”ve mistaken my caffeine high for chemistry and failed to notice this. But it was blatantly obvious now. Whenever we’d fall into silence, he’d stare deeply into my eyes – much to my discomfort since he hadn’t earned the kind of intimacy to just watch me without speaking – and tell me that he’d only felt a connection like the one he did with me with five women in his life. A nice compliment (I guess) but he was certainly not in my top five. Later Husky101 asked me to a cool play he heard of… guess whose it was? It”s a small world online after all.
Date#7 –A 35-year-old psychotherapist. He was extremely tall, lanky and bald. We had an interesting and easy conversation and laughed a lot during our drink but I felt more of the friend vibe. Why is chemistry so hard to come by? Seriously, my smelly first date with Husky101 was the only one I felt sparks with??? I hated disappearing without so much as an explanation after what probably seemed to him to be a perfectly fun date so when he asked me out again, I decided to politely tell him the truth, the chemistry wasn’t there. And to my surprise, he loved the directness. He said he agreed, he felt it too, explaining that, “a guy”s gotta try, anyway.” I wrote back, “You want to be friends with me?! How dare you!” We’ve since invited each other to a few gatherings and he even set me up with his guy friend. That story is still pending.