Starbuck’s

This picture looks nothing like me, or the guy I had the date with today. We’re both about 20 years older than the people in the picture. But, hey, it’s at a coffee shop so it’s suitable for this blog post.

Today I had a coffee date with a guy from Match I just started talking to a couple of days ago. I  don’t usually try to meet people so early, but his profile seemed genuine and the communication we had by e-mail seemed sincere enough.  He had a nice face in his pictures.  A rugged, dark haired, dark-eyed guy who appeared to be Italian or Greek (turned out he was a combo of both).

He mentioned that he was heading to the beach and would be coming through my town on his way today, and wondered if we might meet for coffee.  His approach was very gentlemanly and I thought to myself, “Why the hell not?”  He suggested Starbuck’s, and we agreed to meet at 4:00 p.m.

I got there a little early, got a drink and sat down on the patio.  It was a gorgeous day–much too nice to be indoors.  I wanted to get settled and comfortable, and I also wanted to see him walk in and make sure he was what was in the pictures I had seen, and not somebody who was a lot older, or completely different!

He had told me he had a jacked-up step-side pick-up truck that he affectionately named “The Overcompensator” (I knew then he had a good sense of humor).  When I saw a big truck roll into the parking lot I knew right away it was him.

After he got out of the truck I waved to him and he came over to the table.  We shook hands, introduced ourselves, and sat down.  We talked non-stop, and found that we had a lot in common.  We both had found online dating to be very sketchy at best, filled with people who were … well, sketchy.  We both have a sibling we don’t have any use for (I know, family dysfunction is probably not a positive, but at least we have the same kind of dysfunction!).  One of the best things we had in common was our love for the beach.

A New York native (not just any New Yorker, but a Long Islander), he moved here years ago.  I love New Yorkers.  They are friendly, honest, real people, so the fact that he was from there did not bother me in the least.  His accent was really kind of cute.  And I was very impressed that he loves it here, rather than complaining about the south (which people from the north sometimes do).

He is gainfully employed with a reputable company, and considers himself a bit of a workaholic.  His younger daughter just graduated from high school, so his kids are pretty much grown.  He loves to travel.  He doesn’t like organized religion.  We both had some of the same questions about how the universe started, and what is really “out there” (or not out there, as the case may be).  He wants to take things slow, and just be friends first and see what happens.

He seemed genuinely interested in me, my career, my family, and my interests.  He asked good questions, shared some of his own anecdotes, and we had a lot of laughs.  He kept telling me how funny I was because he said I was really “dead-pan.” (I never knew I did that, but okay.  As long as he found it entertaining, that was a plus for me.)

In summary….I really enjoyed myself!  I didn’t even look at my watch until almost two hours had gone by.   I needed to get home to make dinner, and he needed to get on to the beach.  So we sort of concluded our get together, again with a handshake.

He said that I was very interesting, and a lot of fun, and that once he gets back from a business trip next week, would I like to get together again?  I said sure, I’d love to.  And, I really would!

So, perhaps there is intelligent, single life out there after all.  Only time will tell….

 

That Must Be Italian

5454hgr-w800h800z1-34550-fra-gee-layDating is perilous under the best of circumstances. Sometimes it just goes all kinds of wrong and you don’t even know why.  This weekend I had TWO first dates with two different people.  I cancelled one.  I should have cancelled the other one, too.

The one that I cancelled was a retired military guy.  Now I’m very pro-military and I love a man in uniform (Six Flags, as you’ll recall, was a retired Marine and smokin’ hot).  I had high hopes for this one as a result.  But, we’d talk on the phone and he would seem so into the conversation then BOOM!  He’d stop talking to me or calling me for a few days.  Then he’d text and say “Hey, are you still interested?”  Yes, I was.  I told him I thought he had lost interest, he said no, he was just giving me some space.  Okay.  Fair enough.

A few nights ago I was up late, I had slept part of the day away and also just simply felt better than I had in awhile.  We had talked earlier in the day and made a date for Saturday.  I texted him at about 3 am to say hello, since he told me he never sleeps.  He texted right back, and we texted back and forth for quite awhile.  We talked about why he can’t sleep, his PTSD, that kind of thing.  It is no surprise that he would have PTSD, having served in Afghanistan.

All of a sudden he says “How did you know I was online?”  I said, “Well, I didn’t know for sure.  I just took a chance.” He said “I have to go, I have a headache.” The next day I didn’t hear a peep out of him, and that night I texted and said, “Hey, is this a good time to call?”  No answer.  No response.  Friday morning I just decided this was too strange, so I cancelled.  He texted back and didn’t ask why, just said he understood.  When I went on Match.com tonight his profile is no longer visible so either he’s disappeared from the service or he’s blocked me.  Either way, I think I dodged a bullet.  The last thing I need is someone who is that moody and hypersensitive (and sensitive about WHAT I have no clue!)

So the date that I went on Saturday sounded okay at first.  A retired civil servant, I had a much better vibe about him on the phone.  We texted back and forth quite a bit that day and the day before, and he was chatty, personable, and didn’t seem to have major mood swings that necessitated medication.   He suggested we go eat at Olive Garden.  I thought okay, that’s a safe enough place.  Casual, etc.  I texted and asked if we were going in jeans and t-shirts or dolling up.  He said jeans.  Okay.

He showed up in a faded t-shirt, jeans, and a do-rag. Yes, a do-rag.  And he wasn’t on a motorcycle, either.  He just wore it to wear one.

So I’m thinking and saying to myself, “That’s no big deal, don’t be a snobby ass….”

We go in and sit down.  We agree on wine and I tell him to pick the flavor, because he was the one who suggested either wine or beer.  So he tells the waitress….

“We’ll have the mah-LOT.”

She says, “You want the mer-LOH?”  He said yes.

So I’m thinking and saying to myself, “That’s no big deal, don’t be a bitch….”

A little while later he wants to know how to pronounce “parmesan” because they had it spelled the italian way (parmagiana).    He wasn’t even close in his attempt, either.  “What is parm-ah… parm-a-GHEE….” (This man is almost 60 years old, chose an italian restaurant, but doesn’t know how to say that word?)

So I’m thinking and saying to myself, “You’re really a bitch for even pondering this stuff…. but isn’t this like the dad in the movie ‘Christmas Story’ who pronounced ‘fragile’ as ‘fra-gee-lay’?”  But, hey, it was spelled funny compared to what we’re used to.  I overlooked it.

Later he noticed that the menu was in spanish. I said “huh?” and he noted that it had some “spanish” words on it.  Like pollo and carne.  I then had to be the one to tell him that those words also exist in Italian, which would make sense since we were, after all, in an italian restaurant.

The worst part–the real deal breaker–is that I realized he had been talking non-stop for an hour about himself.  His family, his travels, his job, etc.  Never once asked me anything about me.  When he finally did I had to go to the restroom so I told him I’d tell him when I came back.  When I came back, guess who we talked about even more?   He never again asked me anything about me or what I wanted, except for this one awkward question….

…we hadn’t even finished dinner or gotten the check, and he says, “So, do you want to go out again?”  I’m thinking to myself, “No, I don’t…” but damn my mouth was full and I just felt awkward so I flat ass lied and said, “Oh sure.”

I hate it that I did that.  I didn’t know how to tactfully say, “No” and I’m not sure why.  I could have said it on the phone or in a text and I think I could have said if it we were standing out on the curb parting company.  But mid-bite into my pasta?  No.  Too awkward.

So my date began at 4 p.m.  I saw it going downhill by 5, and by 5:30 I was already talking about how much work I had to do to get ready to go on a business trip.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and I was home and in *my* t-shirt by 6:15.

And so it goes…. Later the next day I was on Match.com just looking around, wondering why I even bother.  I shall continue to ponder that question….