Friday, November 21, 2008
Trying to figure out how to share my experiences with internet dating, without offending anyone (and risking possible internet stalking) proves to be more challenging than I'd anticipated. I've decided the wisest and kindest approach is that which Carly Simon took is writing "You're So Vain". To paraphrase: You probably think this entry is about you. You're so vain.
Hold on tight, folks...this IS a bumpy ride. While I am changing the names and other possibly identifying details, to protect the not-so-innocent, the events are 100% factual. As I have recounted my dating stories to close friends/ family, their responses have been laced with a touch of disbelief. Trust me when I say: I couldn't make this stuff up. I'm not that imaginative!
The whole concept of selling oneself (figuratively) to the masses of singles is disconcerting at best. By the time you've finished selecting the right pictures and describing yourself and your "ideal mate", you feel a bit like Bubba's prize heifer at the Topeka Grange Fair! Once you put it "out there", the waiting begins. Fortunately, the wait isn't long, as there are, apparently, people anticipating the arrival of the new kid on the block, with baited breath.
The first email response I received, admittedly, caused a stir of excitement. Enter Cheech, from the Bronx whose favorite way to spend a Saturday morning is to be served WARM beer and COLD pizza in bed. Nuff said...next! Perhaps I should have thrown in my Match towel then and there, but I am both: an eternal optimist and a glutton for punishment.
There was an almost immediate onslaught of emails & "winks", most of which weren't much more promising than that I received from my first contact. I was advised, by friends who had been down this path, to hang in there....so I did. Finally, I got an email from a man who looked great, on paper, but with whom I was casually acquainted via an organization we are affiliated with (dangling participle? Sorry, Mr. Looney...my 10th grade English teacher). I hesitate to mix "business" with pleasure, but accepted his invitation to dinner, after some persuasion on his end.
Dinner was lovely, conversation was stimulating...."this might be the beginning of something good", thought I. The awkward moments of saying "thank you for a most enjoyable evening....let's get together soon....I'll call you tomorrow...when are you free again?" were tolerable enough. The grand finale, however, left me standing like a deer in the headlights. Without so much as a kiss goodnight and before I could move to block, this articulate, well-educated, successful "gentleman" has swooped the down the front of my shirt and has my....ummm...."top half privacies" (my 7 year old's term) firmly cupped in his hands. Have I given any indication that this kind of romantic overture was welcomed, warranted or appreciated? Absolutely not! So, there we are: me standing with my arms straight at my sides, his hands...well, I've already covered where his hands are positioned; my perplexed gaze travelling from his hands, to the hopeful expression on his face, back to his hands, etc. For lack of a more eloquent manner, in which to express my confusion/ disgust, I calmly requested that, if he was done, would he please release my boobs! His response: "I guess that means you don't want to come back to my place". By the grace of God...and the fact that he out-sized me by a significant amount, this Bozo escaped unscathed, albeit with an over-inflated ego that had been, momentarily, put in check.
Determined to NOT have this be my one and only Match experience, I went home, thinking the next guy has to be an improvement on the Parking Lot Groper. It was and date #2 brought, to my life, the closest (male) friend I have ever had. I could write a novel on the story of our friendship, but that doesn't fit anywhere amongst my Match.com horror stories. Suffice it to say (and to give him appropriate airtime): he is the force that keeps me grounded, the voice of reason when I am perched on the precipitice of foolish decision making & the person who walks alongside me when I'm at my most irreverent!
Date #3...well, that tops the cake and should be the final chapter in the story. Alas, this will have to be continued. Have faith that the "Starbuck's Ankle Licker" segment is worth waiting for!