One Hour of Passion

Matt had the sarcastic charm that I typically giggle at in his J-Date profile. He had light hair, blue eyes, a smile with a child-like quality and was totally unapologetic about liking reality TV shows. He spoke my language so I gave it a whirl. After about two e-mails in one day, I handed over my digits and Matt called me later that evening:

Me: “Hello?”

Matt: “Hey, it’s Matt.”

Me: “Oh hi. How are you?”

Matt: “Good. Okay, I won’t waste either of our time by having a long phone conversation. Are you free this Thursday after work?”

Me: “Tee hee… Um, yep, I think so.”

Matt: “Okay want to meet at Flanagan’s* on 7th at like 6 – 6:30? I’ll text you when I’m on my way.”

I dug Matt’s style. It really is logical. Why waste time going back and forth online or on the phone before meeting in person and knowing if there is any chemistry or not? I added “not beating around the bush” to my mental list of Matt’s attributes.

On Thursday evening, I sat at the bar sipping a drink while waiting for my charming, blue-eyed dreamboat to walk into the bar and sweep me off my feet. Every few seconds, I would glance at the door waiting for him to walk in, quickly looking down at my phone again, to make sure I kept up my breezy appearance. And then a crouched dude with a comb-over in a grass green polo shirt and khakis who looked generally annoyed at life walked in. I couldn’t help but stare at him obviously. I was once again mystified by online profile photos. Sure, the images of Matt I had checked out could have translated into a confident and good-looking guy with a good vibe. But in this case, the real-life Matt was a bitter, hollowed version of his photographs. I suppose his face was the same, but angrier-looking, and surrounded by a lot less hair. We exchanged greetings and got a table toward the front of the bar.

I am not the world’s best conversationalist by any means, but I can certainly hold my own and keep things interesting with the general population, and I have never had a problem on dates. Without even thinking of any sort of meaning behind it, I asked Matt how work was. You know, since most of us spend a large portion of our lives earning our keep, and we had both just come from our offices, that topic just came naturally.

Matt: “Oh, I’m not talking about work. I was there all day, and now I’m not.”

Amused by the angry leprechaun, I asked him what he would like to talk about.

With a deadpan look on his face and the several dozen hairs he had left glistening with gel sweeping over his head, Matt said he wanted to discuss “our passions.” So I flipped the dialogue back in his court and asked him what he is passionate about.

Matt: “Reality TV shows!”

Again, I thought he was kidding, but his diatribe about people being crazy enough to go on television with their eccentricities proved that this was a topic he was certainly zealous about. He went on for a few minutes about some of his favorite shows and though I tried to chime in a few times, I couldn’t keep up.

The ongoing serious look on his face caused me to look elsewhere, and while I didn’t even notice that I kept glancing away from Matt, he declared that I had horrible eye contact, which just made me more paranoid. About 15 minutes into this date, I assumed that I was sitting with a gay guy who had an unhealthy obsession with “Survivor.” What’s worse is that I realized that I couldn’t even be friends with him because he seemed to not have a friendly bone in his body.

At some point, Matt decided to switch topics. Rest assured, he was still focused on being passionate about nothing and indirectly insulting me.

Matt: “So, you’re alone in a room that is 12 feet by 12 feet. You have an old ladder, no light source, a horse and a small window with bars over it. How do you find a meal?”

Ah yes, the ol’ psychological study performed by those who like to find strangers online, pretend they are looking for heterosexual companionship and truly know how to get to hold eye contact throughout a romantic conversation. Whatever my answer to Matt’s hypothetical situation was, he wasn’t satisfied with it and told me that a psychologist would say I am insecure, negative and basically sucked at life.

So, no, there certainly wasn’t a love connection with Matt. The only sign of human warmth he demonstrated during that evening was that he walked me to the train station. And that was only because his train would be stopping at the same station.

I often wonder if Matt ever found the masochist who is able to look him in the eye and discuss episodes of “The Real World” for hours. That is one lucky man.

*For the life of me, I can’t think of the name of the place. It’s a dive bar – that’s all you need to know anyway. Nosey-pants!

My New Lover, Smart Goose

With the exception of his phone number and my actual screen name on Match.com, this is the exact message I received two weeks ago from “SmartGoose1974.”

Subject: Hey

Hey [my screen name],

I am Austin a 37 year old guy who is very friendly,tall,down to earth
and I am alot of fun to be with.I am well over 6 ft but I have a good heart.
I love the fact that you are Jewish and you sound cool.I am writing to you from Florida.
How is the weather in Brooklyn NY?

I like to get to know you better as a person.I like dining out,salsa dancing,movies,love dogs,
working out,bowling,cooking and traveling.The woman in Florida are very rude.
I am not into mind game,drama or texting.I love to invite you down to Florida once you are feeling comfy.

Please feel free to call me at anytime at (123) 456- 7890.
Please dont be shy because I dont bite.Hope to hear back from ya soon.

Austin Powers 🙂 Groovy Baby
w/b or call me

When do you guys want to celebrate my move?

I am Necklace

Just the other day, I received an e-mail from my match.com account from a virtual suitor with the screen name “Nicholas2334.” (I changed the numbers in his exact name a bit so you don’t try to steal him). The e-mail read as follows:

“You are very attractive. I am Necklace.”

And that was it. I’m going to assume that his real name is “Nicholas” and either his phone or another device he was writing from had auto-corrected. That’s no excuse – even if you find me attractive.

Am I putting too much emphasis on an error made in an introductory e-mail before I even know the person? Nope. You know why? In my opinion, anyone that doesn’t read a 7 word e-mail to a stranger before they hit “send” is not all there. I might be missing out on some good date stories with “Necklace” but I suppose that is my loss.

Get Away from my Chair: Creepy Phone Conversation

A few years back, during one of my J-date subscriptions, I came upon Ryan’s profile. I don’t really remember who reached out to whom first, but I do remember that he lived in the tri-state area, was reasonably good-looking and everything was spelled correctly in his profile. This was probably at the point in my life when those three characteristics were all I needed to see a future with anyone.

One thing led to another, and Ryan called me for the first time. Being a white boy from Queens that worked in the financial industry, I didn’t expect him to speak like he had grandiose swagger. It was like his thuggish-ego grew as the conversation progressed. And then…this happened:

Ryan: So yeh…u wanna chill on Saturday afternoon?

Me: That could work, what time were you thinking?

Ryan: Well I got practice in Queens at 2…so…

Me: What kind of practice?

Ryan: Oh, I do music…kind of like a hip hop spoken word thing over these tight-ass beats…

Me: Wow, that’s cool…

Ryan: Yeah, Imma make ya listen to it and you’re gonna need to put a towel on the seat of your chair, you’ll like it so much…

Me: ….towel? Oh.

Ryan: Yeah, it’s hot, yo…So I’ll text ya after 4 on Saturday, aight?

So he texted, and I never answered. Probably because I was scrubbing down all my chairs, still nauseated by his metaphor.

Follow-up: As I was perusing J-date for more productive dates, I noticed Ryan’s photo on more than one profile. As a matter of fact, in a period of 3 minutes, I found him listed on 3 different profiles, with different ages, occupations and vague descriptions in each one. I put in a complaint to the J-date support team to stop Ryan’s abuse of the profile system. If I put a stop to just one girl from having to speak with him, I had done my job.

Cursed Out

I don’t think I had met anyone from Yonkers before I met Tommy. He looked happy and well-balanced in his photos, with a shaved head and an earring. Tommy was a big sports fan and seemed to possess some of the traditional notions that many of my Italian-American friends did. I liked the fact that he was easy to talk to on the phone, sounded like a complete gentleman with a street-smart manner.

After a couple of phone conversations, we decided to meet for a drink. At the time, both of us were in school and I was working full-time as well, so while it is always nerve-wracking to meet someone face-to-face for the first time, it would be a fun way to break up the week.

I got to the bar first and when Tommy walked in a few minutes later, I knew it was him but my heart pretty much sank. Yes, there was a resemblance to his photos but you just never get the full idea of someone’s presence until you meet in person. His teeth were not the greatest and the Cosby sweater he was wearing didn’t help matters.

Tommy and I got along fairly well. The conversation flowed naturally, and that’s mostly because the vodka tonics kept flowing as well. I certainly was not attracted to him and since I’ve never possessed the power of flirtation, I don’t think I led him to believe that I was at all. We touched on a topic at one point that is a commonly-understood “no-no” for first dates and that was exes. Tommy said some fairly rude things about his most recent girlfriend, which led me to believe (among a few other comments) that he was of the angry persuasion. I smiled and politely continued listening and communicating. We even had a moment outside the bar where we smooched a bit. Hey, I’m only human. Things happen. But it was certainly no big deal and we eventually walked to the closest train station and said our goodbyes.

Unless it is an experience like my second ever online first date*, my feeling is that you can never know for sure how the other person felt about it and if you will ever communicate with them again.
Tommy ended up sending me a text message the evening after we met. I had just walked into a class and was settling in when he wrote, “When can I see you again?”

“Crap,” I thought. I knew we weren’t going to see one another again, and wanted to be truthful, but polite. I don’t deal very well when my feelings are ignored, so I opt to be straightforward the majority of the time in situations like these.

As my professor began the evening’s lecture, I messaged Tommy back, typing, “Hey there. It was great meeting you. I just don’t think we are a good match. Take care!” Incidentally, the last guy I had gone on a date with before Tommy had written something like that to me. I was interested in him, but he didn’t feel the same. His answer stung a little, but I appreciated the fact that he answered me honestly.

Tommy didn’t share that opinion. “Wow, are you fucking kidding me?!? You’re one crazy-ass bitch!”

Shaken a bit (and sitting in a tiny silent classroom), I responded nicely by saying, “I just don’t think it would work out. Thanks for understanding.”

Tommy: “You kiss all your dates? No wonder you’re single – you’re fucking nuts!”

Me: “You take care now.”

Tommy: “Fuck you, you crazy bitch.”

Me: “Thanks!”

Thankfully, I didn’t hear from Tommy again, but that experience definitely unnerved me. I really hope that Tommy’s future dates were attracted to him. Otherwise, these women were definitely in for a treat.

*This was one of the most amazing days of my life so far. I hope to discuss this at a later date without shedding a nostalgic tear. Fat chance.

And here we go!

Welcome to my first blog. I have decided to take the enormous amount of stories I have about blind dates I have endured during the past few years and document them for posterity. The majority of these experiences occurred with people that I met online, and I will most likely point out which site we met on, in case you are interested yourself.

Make sure you check out the “No First Date for You” section fairly often. The tales noted there are about people I am lucky enough to communicate with, but for one reason, or another, do not meet in person.

For years, I had these stories that I would only share with close friends. I never really wanted to be “that single girl” who has all the funny stories about online dating. I felt pathetic for continuously experiencing the crazy on my own. My feelings have gradually changed and I decided to share. Thus – sharing the crazy with everyone.

From time to time, I go through slumps and hide from the world, thinking that finding a good person online is an impossibility. And I always tell myself two things. For one, that is actually not true, since I have met some great people in the past. And two, like people always say,”you never know who you will find.”

That, my friends, is the understatement of the century.