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The Dating Game

2002 Archive

2003 Archive

I had been dating "Bill" for a few months when I got a wedding invitation from a law school friend of mine. The wedding was for a Saturday a few months down the road, and although it seemed like a bit of a stretch, I asked Bill if he would like to join me and whether I should RSVP for one or two. Bill said to RSVP for two and if he couldn't make it, then he just wouldn’t come. I tried to educate Bill as to the point of an RSVP and that my friend will be spending money to receive him at her reception. He seemed to understand this and said to count him in.

A week later, Bill and I had plans to get together on a Friday. I rang him up around 6 when I hadn't heard from him and left a message. I rang him up at 7:30 (by which time I am starving) and finally reached him. After about a half an hour listening to Bill tell me he didn't feel well all day and that he already had dinner at 6, and no, he wouldn't join me while I ate dinner but what about having a drink. I finally realize that he has no intention of leaving his house but can’t just come around and say that, so I tell him that it is incredibly unfair to leave me hanging like that, please refrain from doing it again, and that I am hanging up the phone. After hashing it out two days later and seeming to come to an agreement that he should cancel as soon as he realizes he won’t be able to make it (i.e., earlier in the day when he felt ill) and not make me chase him down and then waste 30 minutes when he knows I'm hungry, he pulls the same nonsense not 2 weeks later. We had plans to get together, and I left a message around 6 again. This time he doesn’t call me until 10:30 that night. I had given up on him and had already gone out with other friends by then. In his message he apologized for "getting back to me so late" and said he had to work late, and then had to deal with some banking.

The next day is the 4th of July and we had had plans to go hiking. He called at 7 am to see if I was ready to go, but I let the machine pick up. I called back him back an hour later. His excuse this time was that his cell phone wasn't working, so he couldn't call me. I remind him we live in a city with a thousand pay phones on every corner and that he could have borrowed someone's phone. I then said I didn't feel like hanging out that day, which shocked and upset him. I spent a lovely day at the beach. I have no idea what he did, since he never called me again. Good thing I modified my RSVP the first time he stood me up (before the RSVP deadline). How embarrassing it might have been.

Dating 0816-03

I was on a first date with Chris. Our emails and phone conversations painted a picture of a very nice, interesting, fun man.

His wife (he told me by email and over the phone) had discovered she is a lesbian, thus leading to the end of their marriage. This isn't an issue with me. What IS an issue is that on our first (and only) date, he talked about how great sex was with his wife, and how it got better once she started pretending she was having sex with women when they had sex. This is when I started drinking wine. He proceeded to pretend he was throwing a knife into a waiter's back. He argued with me about my slight hearing loss, as to whether a hearing aid would help ("What do doctors know?" he asked. "Get a hearing aid."). When I looked out the window and commented casually that it seemed strange that while they seemed a bit short staffed in the restaurant, workers were setting up for Sunday brunch when they could be inside helping out, he came back with a very snotty tone and said, "I don't care about that!" When our appetizer of bruschetta came, he quickly scooped up all the shaved parmesan cheese and put it on his plate, leaving me with none. He used his fork, which he'd already used, to scoop up food and put it on my plate, even though I had plenty of food left.

When talking about what we planned to order, he indicated he'd just get a good appetizer. The menu was pricey (appetizers around $10, entrees over $20). Based on that, I followed his lead and ordered something similarly priced. Then he actually placed his order, and got a very expensive item on the menu (and thus got more food, while I had a smaller amount, trying to accommodate him financially).

He insisted we try each other's wine. I refused. He drank mine anyway, then complained about how the different bottles of wine tasted exactly the same. When the food came, he said something about splitting each plate of food so we each get half of what the other ordered. I absolutely refused to do this. I didn't even like what he had ordered, and splitting my meal would have left me famished!

Half-way through our two-hour evening, I started to politely yawn and look tired, just so I could easily get out of this painful evening. He commented on how tired I was and seemed sympathetic (the first nice thing about him).

Knowing I was "tired," he insisted on ordering a dessert, asking the water/busboy for direction. He ordered what the kid suggested, and it was perfect. The food was wonderful all night long, the service was perfect--attentive but not clingy. It's a place I go to often and like a lot. But when I happened to glance down while he filled out the credit card receipt, I noticed that for a bill of $65, he tipped her $5!!!! I immediately excused myself to the bathroom, grabbed a waitress and took her in with me, explained what he was doing, told her to tell our waitress not to worry or make a scene, that I'd make it right the next day. This waitress seemed grateful that I'd not let one of her own get screwed like that!

When we left, our waitress looked like she was going to cry (I suppose that other waitress hadn't talked to her yet? or maybe she took his tip as a sign that her service was poor?). I was home and in pajamas by 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. The next thing I did was to call the restaurant, and arranged with the bartender, whom I know by name, to charge my credit card to pay her enough to make the tip 20%. Like the waitress, the bartender was thankful that I was making this situation right.

To those out there who do not tip appropriately, shame on them. It's part of dining out. Plan accordingly. If you only have $30 to spend, take that into consideration when you choose a restaurant and its price range.

Dating 0827-03

It had been about a month since I had met this particular man, I'll call him Luke, before we could plan a date. (It was a very busy period in both our lives.) We'd spoken a few times on the phone, and set up a date. He worked at a very hip club, so he invited me down on a night where there was an incredible performance. We had a good time; a few drinks, dancing, conversation outside. As we leave the club, we both feel pretty hungry, so I drove us to an all night restaurant. Over dinner, he tells me that I need to drive him home, as he is without his car for the time being. (I thought he left his car at the club.) Then, he reveals to me that he lives an hour from where we are, in the opposite direction of my house!!! (Where we were was a half hour from my place. So that makes the total distance from his house to mine an hour and a half!!)

So now, I'm stuck. I start to drive this guy home, but it's really late, I am really tired, and my vision was getting very blurry. I pulled over, and he drove the rest of the way to his place. I am in no condition to drive. I explain my situation, and ask him if I could sleep on his couch. (I made it clear my only intention was to sleep.) He and I begin to walk towards his house, but then he opens the back of a van. I asked him what he thought he was doing. He 'explained' to me that he lives with his sister, and didn't want to wake her up by us entering the house. I was so exhausted, I knew I couldn't drive, so, in spite of my indignation, anger, and disgust, that I didn't have many options. While it was a bit sleazy, I felt it was pretty safe. He didn't seem like he had any violent tendencies, and, being a trained fighter, I felt that I could take him if there was any sort of altercation. I enter the van. It was cold. I start to shiver and Luke says he's going to go get a blanket from inside!!! (Not going inside was the whole point of this debacle.) I am furious, but too exhausted to voice my fury. He returns. Instead of a blanket, however, he brings me a fitted cotton sheet!! It was mind-boggling.

I slept for a few hours, very uncomfortable, and woke up in time to catch some rush hour traffic. It took me about three hours to drive home.

He still occasionally calls. I decline to speak with him, or see him again. Ever.

Dating 0901-03

I was 16 or 17, and was invited to my godparent's daughter's wedding, along with my family. When we got to the reception, we were seated with a couple of the bride's cousins, one of whom was a young woman who had brought a good-looking young man with her. While I thought he was cute, I kept that to myself, since he was with someone else. However, later in the evening, he approached me, and asked me to dance. I accepted, and as we chatted, he explained that the girl he was with was just a friend, and he accompanied her to the wedding so she would have someone to hang out with. As the evening progressed, we danced a few more times, and we chatted more. Unfortunately, I left without getting his phone number or anything (I was to shy to ask him for it).

A few days later "Jack" stopped by the video store I worked at. He remembered where I said I worked from one of our conversations at the reception, so he came to see me. I was flattered that he liked me enough to make that effort, and we exchanged phone numbers. He called me and asked me out, and I accepted. He explained that it couldn't be a fancy date, as he had just finished at his job the previous weekend, and wouldn't be starting his new job until Monday. I was fine with low key. He had told me about the new job at the reception, and how fabulous it was (it was a desk job with a local major utility company). I suggested that we go to a local county fair. It wouldn't be too costly, and there would be enough things to do and see, that if we weren't hitting it off, we could still have a good time. We chatted for a bit longer, and I should have noticed at least one red flag in the conversation. I happened to mention I was a cheerleader. He then jumps into how dumb cheerleaders are, and starts using blonde jokes as part of the conversation (I am a redhead, and finished as salutatorian for my class). I laughed it off as poor judgment on his part.

The date rolls around. Jack arrives to pick me up. I go out to his car, and get in. When I try to close the door, the inside of the door starts to come off. Jack says, "Oh, you have to roll down the window, and pull on the outside of the door to get it closed." Okay. Then as he is pulling out of my driveway, I am trying to figure out the seatbelt. He says, "Don't worry, this car is big enough, that if we get in an accident, you should be fine." Believe me, I never buckled up so fast in my life. We drive out to the fair. He is driving past parking area after parking area. I mentioned that any of them would be fine. He said he was trying to find free parking (the parking places charged $2 for parking). I had brought some cash, just in case he was planning on each of us paying our share. I said, "Oh, if you need me to get the parking, I will." He gets excited, starts pulling into a parking lot, and informs me he has NO MONEY. He said that he had been borrowing a lot of money from his mom, and didn't want to ask her for more to take me out. I say, as politely as possible, that I didn't have enough to pay for everything for both of us. (Never mind, that since he asked me, I didn't realize I was expected to). He turns around and suggests we instead go sit on the water somewhere (we lived in a state with lots of shore access). Instead of going to one of the nearby shores, he insists we have to go to one that is about 45 minutes to an hour away. Fine.

On the way, he gets pulled over, and freaks out because if he gets one more ticket, his license would be revoked (fortunately he just got a warning). He started weaving into the neighboring lane of traffic later, and started yelling at the driver in that lane who honked at him. He was bragging about how he and his friends would go out in the middle of the night and steal the plastic beer banners off of convenience stores. He talks about a concert he went to with his sister and BIL, and how disappointed he was that he felt like he couldn't get drunk with them around. It is becoming pretty clear to me that this is not the guy for me. We get to the water, and sit and talk. On top of everything else, he is a malaprop. I spent most of the conversation trying to figure out what he really meant to say. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, I looked at my watch and said, "We really should get going, I can't be late for my curfew, or my dad will be really mad." We go back to the car. First thing, he pulls his pager out from the glove compartment to see who called him. No one...what a surprise.

Our painful conversation continues all the way to my house. We pull in the driveway. I notice my mom wasn't home yet from her commitment that evening, and mention that she must be due home any minute. Jack shuts off the ignition, and unbuckles. Silly me, I think he is going to walk me to my door. Nope. He leans over, I figure, I can give him a quick hug. He also apparently expected a kiss. I give him a quick peck, and turn my head to finish the hug. Ummm...he had a different kind of kiss in mind, and wound up *licking* the side of my face, as he wasn't expecting me to turn my head! He pulled back quickly, started up the car, and said a very terse "goodnight." I got out and went for the house as quickly as possible.

I came home from work a few nights later to a phone message from Jack. My mom gave me the message and said, "I'm not saying you have to call him, I am just giving you the message." Needless to say, I never called him, and prayed that I wouldn't run into him. I also realized why his wedding date was "just a friend!"
Dating 0905-03

A couple of years ago I met a man at an after-work social event at a local bar. We hit it off right away. He was funny, charming, a get the drift. We dated casually for about two months. I liked him. He seemed to like me. Things were progressing well.

I had won a party to a local comedy club and invited him along, with several of my friends. At the last minute he had to back out due to unexpected travel for work. Okay, no big deal. The next week, I gave him a call, as I hadn't heard from him for a few days. I left a return call. It was strange, but again, no big deal. The following week, I called him again. I left another message, but no return call on this one either. Okay, I can take the hint. I was disappointed, but being the independent, woman-of-the-world I am, I shrugged it off and went about my merry way. However, the fact that he just fell off the face of the earth was puzzling. He didn't seem like the type that would pull a stunt like this. I even checked the obits for awhile, thinking maybe he died and I wasn't aware of it (so I'm a little morbid as well as independent).

Fast forward to a few months later. It's summertime. My sister and I go to a local festival where I run into, guess who, Mr. Fell Off The Face Of The Earth. I mean, I literally ran RIGHT INTO HIM. And it was like I just saw Elvis....I was that shocked. He however, greets me as he would a long-lost buddy ("Hey, it's soooo good to see you! How are you? Wow, you look great!"). He acted like nothing had happened, and made no excuse or apology for the abrupt ending of contact. He made small talk about his job (I was too dumbfounded to contribute to the conversation) then said he should get going as his friend wanted to go visit some exhibit. His parting shot to me? "Give me a call sometime...we'll have to get together!". My sister couldn't believe it, when I told her who he was. We had a good laugh over that one, and no, I didn't call him.

I recently saw him at a local movie theater (my sister was with me for this one as well). I saw him, he saw me, I smiled and gave a small wave, and he turned away really quick, like he was embarrassed to see me. Again, my sister and I had a good laugh. What a strange, strange man.

Dating 0911-03

Right after high school, I got a job working at a local movie theatre, and within 9 months had moved up to management. One day a guy I had gone to school with, let's call him Paul, came in to see me and invited me to a wedding of another former classmate. Now Paul was a very nice guy, not exactly a looker, but he had been very considerate during school and would save me seats and give me his jacket if I were cold. I had never felt romantic toward him, but now I was wondering if there were anything between us, because he was the kind of guy any woman would be very lucky to marry.

On the day of the wedding he picked me up at work and we ate out, attended the wedding, and afterward I suggested seeing a movie since I got free tickets and it seemed like a nice neutral thing to do together without feeling too date-like. Before the movie we ran to a local Wal-Mart and picked up some Hershey Hugs (remember those? Are they still around?) which I smuggled in my purse. (Even employees have to pay for concessions at the movies.) Before the movie started Paul took off his suit jacket, spread it across his lap, and dumped the bag of candy into it so we wouldn't be making a lot of noise rattling the bag during the movie. About halfway through the movie I reached over to get another Hug and instead grabbed his, uh, privates. I was so shocked at first that I continued to squeeze them, thinking, huh, this sure doesn't feel like a Hug, then suddenly it dawned on me what I was grabbing and I yanked my hand away. I didn't know what to say to him; he sat very still and stared straight ahead for the rest of the movie, as did I. When the movie was over he walked me to my car and told me goodnight, then left. We never spoke of the uh, incident, and the next time I saw him was at my 5-year reunion when he had his fiancée with him so I sure didn't bring it up then! My husband loves this story and makes me tell it to everyone -- "Tell them about the time you squeezed that poor guy's nuts during a movie!"

Dating 0913-03

I met Dufus at a restaurant/bar where I was watching a football game with some friends. My first clue should have been when Dufus got my attention by standing behind my friend and yelling "Hey!" Anyway, we introduced ourselves and he sat down. Maybe it was the beer but, he seemed cute and I gave him my phone number. We made tentative plans to go over to my friend and her husband's house the next day.

Dufus calls several times during the day and keeps pushing the time back in hour increments - I figured he was just busy - and he finally picked me up. We go to my friends' house, and there is just no spark between Dufus and myself. He drops me off saying that he'll call me. Chicken that I am, I wait for him to call before I tell him that I'm not interested in dating him. He begins to question my decision and I just inform him that I have a right to decide who I do and don't go out with and please, let's just leave it at that. I have to tell him this a few times, but he seems to finally get the picture and hangs up. He calls me again a week later to see if I want to go to a movie and I decline. We have the same conversation AGAIN, except that I now add I would rather not hear from him in the future (he's beginning to freak me out a bit).

Fast forward to a few weeks later, and I have clients in town. My boss, co-workers and I take the clients to the same establishment where I had met Dufus. Guess who's there! Dufus, of course. No biggie, right? We're all adults, right? WRONG! First thing Dufus does is hit on one of my married co-workers while she went to use the restroom. When she gets back to the table and points out who hit on her, I give them the basic background of why I know him. A little while later, I have to use the restroom and so did one of the clients and off we go. Along the way, Dufus begins to walk towards me and I pretend that I don't see him and enter the restroom. When I leave the restroom, Dufus is standing right outside waiting! He says he wants to talk to me. I tell him I don't want to talk to him and keep on going. Remember, my client is right behind me and SHE has to turn around and tell Dufus to go away because he began following us. Dufus says "I can't talk to her?" and my client responds in the affirmative.

This night is just too weird, and we all decide to leave. I'm a little freaked out and call my father to see if I can spend the night after explaining the situation. Dad of course has no problem with this. I stay with Dad, and the next day return to my house to listen to two rambling messages from Dufus going on and on and on about how he thought I was rude, he just wanted to talk, still didn't understand why I didn't want to go out with him. That seems to be the last I hear from him until a month later when he calls to ask if I'd like to go to a movie(!!). I say "I thought I asked you quite some time ago not to call me again." His response was "Oh, you meant ever?". Hello! Haven't seen him around lately - I sure hope he found someone to date - lol!

Dating 0915-03

I had been dating "Pill" for several months and while it hadn't all been rosy, I thought things were on the up and up when he invited me away with his old school friends (who I had never met before) for a long weekend water skiing trip. I had never been water skiing but thought it would be a good opportunity to get our act together.

It was a disaster the moment we got to the camp site. I was a bit 'alternative' in personal style at the time, and all his friends had belonged to the 'in crowd' at school and still felt they were firmly there, five years later. Their disdain for me was palpable. Shamed by his lowly choice of girlfriend, Pill told me I was dumped when we'd been there a matter of hours. He refused to speak to me and I was forced to try to make conversation with a group of bikini-clad harpies who were just laughing at me without waiting for my back to be turned. I was stuck there for three days with no means of returning home, and I never did learn how to water ski.

Dating 0926-03

During the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college, I stayed on campus. For certain security reasons, for my safety, the college decided that I should live in the empty (but double-locked) dormitory instead of the usual "summer housing". I became intensely depressed and only rarely ventured out to actually attend classes. It was a very VERY difficult summer.

During a visit to the Computer Lab (where I held a work-study job), I met Steve. Steve would be an incoming freshman in a few weeks. Steve was into the Piers Anthony "Xanth" series. That's cool; I'd read a few of the books (though after about 10 I thought they all sounded the same after a while). But at least we had something to talk about. It was nice to see another human being, after all, especially one who likes similar books. I extended an invitation to Steve to rent a movie and come up to the dorm lounge. I just wanted someone to hang out with. He said he couldn't, he has a girlfriend. ("OK, bring her, too!" I think I said.) We parted ways and I went "home" to my lonely dorm.

At 9AM the next morning (when I was oh-so-very-asleep), my phone rings. It's Steve.

"D'ya wanna be my girlfriend?" he chirps. Then he giggles. Like a criminally insane 8-year-old girl. (keep in mind, I've heard some dumb pickup lines but "D'ya wanna be my girlfriend?" was the most puerile.)

I said, "Steve, don't you have a girlfriend???" I had no respect for someone who tried to start up a new relationship without ending the old one. (wrong thing to say). We hang up.

I could not fall asleep again, so I went to take a shower. 20 minutes later (it's now about 9:40 AM or so), I get back to my room to find my pager going nuts with two messages, and my phone-message light blinking, indicating another message. Who? Well, Steve of course. All 3 messages. Suddenly my phone rings again. Steve again. Very excited. Giggling like a 10-year-old on speed. "ok-i-broke-up-with-my-girlfriend-d'ya-
wanna-be-my-girlfriend NOW?" (HUH??) I couldn't believe it! He'd just called his girlfriend of 2 years, dumped her in a 5-minute conversation over the phone, (which I later learned went: "ok-I've-met-somebody-else-so-we're-breaking-up-now."). . . and now he wants to date me?

So I re-extended my invitation to see a movie. He explains that he can't - Blockbuster is closed right now. (RIGHT NOW?!?!? I think maybe AFTER NOON might be more appropriate! I still want to go back to bed!!!)

Fast forward to the movie evening (not a date). I was recovering from a sinus infection, and wasn't really interested in watching a movie. He wants to skip the movie, too. Wants to see my room. I don't care - My room isn't really decorated, but so what? I have some cool books he might like to borrow. Somehow we start kissing (remember: I was lonely!! And bored!! and probably clinically insane!). He catches sight of a pair of leather wrist-bracers I have from a Renaissance faire. Puts them on. Insists I tie them for him. Then it gets weird. He starts growling, pinning me down, and biting me. (love-nips are one thing, but he was actually digging his teeth into the swollen, painful glands in my neck. I'm sure he's tearing tendons out.) I kind of LIKE soft love-nips, but this was crazy. He was TOO inexperienced. I finally get him out of my room, out of my bracers, and into the parking lot where I explain that I'm tired and he needs to go home.

I don't know why any more, but we kept seeing each other. (Although I kept him away from my bracers by claiming my sister needed them for her costume so I mailed them to her.) Friends of mine (a former roommate and her boyfriend) were living off-campus nearby. They suggest that we have a nice dinner at their apartment. "Bring Steve!" they say. "We'd like to meet him." This doesn't sound like such a bad thing. A double-date, a real home-cooked meal. Beckah (my former roommate) and I conspire to serve spaghetti.

Steve picks me up on the appointed day, about a half-hour early. We get to the apartment early, but hey, we're friends. Beckah and I start cooking dinner. Brian tries to engage Steve in some sort of conversation. It goes nowhere. Brian comes into the kitchen and quietly explains that Steve has his nose buried in the newest Xanth book. I'm embarrassed. Brian hugs Beckah from behind (a nice. loving gesture). Steve magically appears behind me, and hugs me REALLY REALLY HARD. I'm thinking my lung is punctured. And then he stands on his tippy-toes, giggles like a maniacal schoolgirl, and bites me squarely on the shoulder. (OW!!!!!) Brian looks at me like, "What the HELL is he doing??" I try to shoo Steve out of the kitchen. He insists on standing directly behind me, arms around me, pinning one of my arms down, not letting me move away from the stove (where the sauce has begun to boil). Beckah and Brian finally get him to go back into the living room to tell Brian about the new book. Which Steve begins reading again.

You have to understand that he wasn't being malicious, he was just an immature 10-year-old trapped in the body of a 20-year-old. (I was getting pretty fed up with it all). Dinner passed uneventfully until we were all finished and lingering over our empty plates. Steve pipes up: "Ok-thank-you-for-the-nice-dinner-I-am-finished-now-
may-I-please-be-excused?" Brian can only humor him by clearing the plates. . . .I turn all shades of red and start considering how much I like my life and whether my parents will miss me after I jump out of Brian's 3rd-story window. I'm sure they'd understand, though. ANYONE would.

A few other Steve-related issues surfaced through the rest of my college career:

1) He followed me like a lovesick dog. Everywhere. Tried to follow me into the bathroom one time. (He did this to other people too, so it wasn't just me.)

2) The long rambling emails full of misspellings that made me crazy. (Vaxinashon = vaccination. . . . you get the picture)

3) The random unannounced visits at all hours of the day and night to my dorm room to cry on me about why nobody likes him except me. (He proceeded to put his head in my lap. I wanted to barf.)

4) His clinging whenever I had a boyfriend. Apparently, there was a line. And he was first.

Why did I stay friends with him? Well, I felt guilty. I was insecure, so having my very own one-boy-fan-club was flattering. I thought (wrong) that more time with me (read: Blue fairy) might turn him into a *REAL BOY* (instead of that giggling weird puppy). And his mom couldn't get enough of me. LOOOOOVED me. Offered that I live with them (oh, no, thank you, I've got a car I'd rather sleep in.)

After I graduated, Steve met a nice freshman girl ("Poor Girlfriend") from a neighboring college. Fine. YEAY. He finally starts getting some, which I hope will tone down his giggling. (It doesn't. In fact, it's worse.)

He wants to hang out on a Friday; begs me for WEEKS. Can't seem to understand that I now have my own apartment, a job I care about, and a boyfriend I'm living with. . . but "ok FINE," I finally agreed. We go to the mall. Whenever I turn around, Steve and Poor Girlfriend are leaning against a wall and playing tonsil-hockey. I haven't seen PDA's so disgusting since high school. It all ends up with Steve and Poor Girlfriend necking in my backseat. (***MY*** BACKSEAT!!!!!!) I started yelling, "STEVE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY WE ARE IN PUBLIC COULD YOU PLEASE DO THIS IN YOUR **OWN** CAR?!?!?" He didn't see the problem. She, being 5 years younger than he, was still basically *IN* high school, so thought it was OK. I unceremoniously dumped them at Steve's house and drove away. I have never returned another phone call. Rumor has it he made her drop out of school to be his housewife. I just hope the kids take after *HER*. At least I saved his first girlfriend from further agony.

Dating 1004-03

I will preface this by saying that I am a divorced mother of 3 and live in a very small town. I don’t have time to get out and meet people, so a friend of mine suggested an online dating service, explaining that as long as you are safe about the way you meet people, there are many interesting people out there that you would never meet under conventional circumstances. Always being one for adventure, I decided to give it a whirl.

I soon found that she was right, and I met many interesting men, many of whom remain dear friends to this day. I am fortunate that I can usually tell within the first one or two e-mails or within 10 minutes of a phone conversation whether I am interested in someone. Enter ‘Don’…

I received an e-mail from "Don," stating he had seen my profile, was duly impressed and would be interested in corresponding. Over about a 3-week period of corresponding, there were no red flags. He seemed to be a very intelligent, well-spoken professional, and he eventually asked if he could call. I gave him my cell number, as there is no way he could trace my address from it, and having been stalked by someone I had met years previously in the ‘conventional’ manner, I had no intention of repeating the experience.

He calls and sounds as intelligent in person as he reads on paper. We communicate this way for about two additional weeks, during which he mentions that he is a professional ballroom dancer, training for competition. Now, I have done many musicals at our community theatre, and have always had an interest in learning ballroom dance. He eventually asks if I would like to meet, I agree, and he suggests dinner then dancing. I explain that I am NOT a professional dancer, so not to get his expectations up. He laughs and says we’ll have fun.

I always insist on driving myself to first dates, and we agreed to meet at a popular restaurant in his town, about 40 minutes from mine. I am a stickler for being on time, and as usual, arrive 15 minutes early. I receive a call from him 5 minutes before he is to arrive, stating that he was caught in traffic and would be about 10 minutes late. He tells me to go in, get myself a drink, and he would be there shortly.

I am not a drinker, but decided to have one glass of white wine while I waited. While I am there, I give the hostess his name that the reservations were made under, and am given the nifty keen vibrating and flashing deal that is so popular now days that will let us know when the table is ready. He finally arrives, and as we had not traded photos, I had only his description to go on. He was tall, and yes, nice looking, just as described. He says hi, shakes my hand, and asks if I have already notified them we are here. I explain that I had, showed him the flasher thing, and he grabs it, goes up to the Hostess again and says we are both here now and are ready to be seated. She explained that I had already been up, and that when the object in his hand vibrates and flashes, our table is ready. That wasn’t good enough for him. He demanded that the table be prepared NOW. (As I crawl between the floorboards…)

We are finally seated, and I don’t know if a space alien invaded his body on the way to the restaurant or what, but the previously talkative person I had been expecting is suddenly like a clam. It’s like pulling teeth to get any kind of conversation out of him. Now, I have been told by many of my male friends that I am above average in looks (I only consider myself average on a good day) so I didn’t believe that was the issue. I ask if something is wrong, and he stated that his brother just passed away last week (which he never mentioned previously) and that he was just a bit depressed. Okay. I can understand that.

He finally starts to talk a bit more, then, for whatever reason, he leans back in his chair and starts rubbing his arms and chest and looking at me in what I’m sure he feels is a seductive manner. I am mortified as people at the surrounding tables are staring at this spectacle. (I will note that at this point I knew the guy was a total loser, that I would NEVER see, speak or write to him again, but I am not someone who would ever just get up and walk out on someone.)

But wait!! It gets WORSE!! We order dinner, and I don’t recall what I ordered, but I recall what HE ordered ALL TOO WELL! He ordered a Tostitos\salsa type platter, where you dip the chips in the salsa then eat them. Not only did he eat WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN…he TALKED while eating!!! Tostitos were flying EVERYWHERE!! I swear, about halfway into the platter, he had chips all over the table, on my plate, all over the floor…MY 3 KIDS could never have made that big a mess!!!!

The waiter, bless his heart, could tell this was a first date and that I was totally mortified (probably because my face turns bright red when I am embarrassed even slightly; I’m sure I looked as if I had been in the tropics without suntan lotion for about a week at this point.!!). He would just roll his eyes and wink behind this guy, which made the situation rather humorous. Seeing the humor in it at that point, I decided it couldn’t get any worse………..WRONG!!!!

The waiter brings the check over and leaves explaining he would be back for it. "Don" leans over and has the NERVE to say, "If you tell them it’s my birthday, I get a free piece of cake." I was totally speechless. I couldn’t believe I just heard him say that. I asked him to repeat it, which he did. I told him his birthday wasn’t for another 2 weeks, and he repeated, "But if you tell them it’s today, I get a free piece of cake." At this point, all I could do was just laugh. I couldn’t believe this whole situation. I was ready for someone to say, "SMILE!! YOU’RE ON CANDID CAMERA!"

So, the waiter comes over to pick up the check and I say nothing. "Don" prompts me, and says, "Isn’t there something you want to tell him?" I look at the waiter who just grins, stifling a laugh I believe, and I say nothing, because I still can’t believe he’s put me on the spot like this. He says, "Well?" I tell the waiter, "Would you please bring him a piece of free cake for his birthday?" The waiter winks and says, "Sure." When the waiter returns, he brings another waitress with him. He tells "Don" he has to stand up, which he does. He then hands him a bright red cloth napkin and tells him that he has to wave it over his head. "Don" just looks at him. The waiter tells him, "No wave, no cake". At this point I start to laugh out loud. Well, he starts waving this napkin over his head in a circle, and the girl starts singing to him, LOUDLY, in OPERA!!!!! I could have KISSED them both!!! I was laughing so hard at this point that there were tears running down my face. "Don" was given the cake, but his appetite mysteriously disappeared!! LOL!!!!!

He then asked if I would still like to go dancing. At this point, I figured I had been totally embarrassed beyond belief and had been vindicated by my dear waiter. I figured that there would be other people at this dance who I could meet, dance with, and could possibly salvage this horrible evening. So, I agreed. Like I said, I knew I would never see this jerk again, and now I was beyond embarrassed and was simply amused that one person could be so totally lacking in both manners and taste and not even have a clue they were that way!!! LOL!!

I tell him I will follow him, and we drive thru this trailer park, to a ‘lodge’. I am fearing the worst, but these people were DEFINITELY professional dancers. OH MY!! They could DANCE!! Now remember, he is supposedly Mr. Ballroom Dancer in training for competition? Well, he leaves me at the door and makes a beeline for some girl there, and I could tell by her expression she was thinking, "OH GOD, NO!" They start to dance, and I could tell that there is no way this man was a dancer, maybe in his mind but not in the real world.

(I will interrupt here to say that my best friend was a ballroom dancer, and I went to her house before the date for a ‘crash course’. We have been dancing together in our local theater for years, but I wanted a refresher. He had mentioned that he liked the Hustle. My friend, whom we shall call "Darling", asked me if he said he did the Hustle, or the Syncopated Hustle. I told her I had no clue and asked why. She told me the Hustle is very straight forward, but the Syncopated Hustle was just plain UGLY. She showed me both and she was right…)

Back to the dance floor. He finally finds me and asks if I want to dance. I ask what dance we’re going to dance, and you guessed it, the SYNCOPATED HUSTLE!!! For those of you who are ballroom dancers, you know that stiff arms are a must. A good lead has a firm arm and ANYONE can follow them. This guy's arms were MUSH!!! We attempt to dance and he just suddenly stops and shakes his arms. We start again, and he stops again and in an exasperated voice says, "I just can’t dance with you!!" I told him that was fine, that I was starting to feel pretty ill from dinner and that I was going to leave. I told him that I believed the food I had eaten was bad, but that he should enjoy the take-home (yes, he insisted on taking my portion that went left un-eaten due to his chips flying into it)!!! On a bright note, I have NEVER heard from that jerk again, nor have I ever had that horrible an experience since. I have since met many additional people through this service, including my present significant other, and am happy to report that we look forward to the future together!!

Dating 1015-03

Several years ago, I was dating an actor named Matt. It wasn't serious, but it was indeed going well and had lasted several weeks. I went away for a weekend, and when I returned I gave him a call to say hi, asked if anything exciting happened while I was gone. His first reply was, "Not really," then "Well, I had a good audition and I think I got the part." I asked him if anything else had gone on. He said, "No. Wait, oh yeah, I got married." !!!!! Apparently he and an ex got together over the weekend and decided that they couldn't live without each other, so they got hitched.

The best part of the story is that we'd had a date for that week; I was going to cook him dinner. He asked if I was still going to come over and cook dinner for him! I told him, "Um, I don't think so," and hung up.

Dating 1103-03

I met a very nice, smart, attractive man on an online dating service. We hit it off on our first few dates and started to see each other more regularly. It turned into the relationship that I thought I had been waiting to find all my life. The first problem came about four months later.

My brother received a large bonus from his job and rented a beautiful house for my immediate family in one of our favorite vacation destinations. Since he was bringing his girlfriend, I checked with my family to see if it would be appropriate to invite my boyfriend. They had all met Donald before this and encouraged me to invite him for the week. When I invited Donald, I tried to let him know what to expect from this week-long vacation with my family. I explained that it was not a romantic vacation for the two of us, but a family vacation. I let him know that my family was looking forward to spending time with us, but would also respect our privacy (we would have our own bedroom in a separate part of the house). My mother even encouraged us to take off on our own for a 2-night mini-vacation to get some alone time. The rest of the time would be spent in mainly group activities with my family and our friends nearby. Since this trip had been in the works for nearly two years, I told him that if he didn't think he would feel comfortable, that he could not come and I would understand.

Anyway, he came. Unfortunately, he DID think it would be a romantic vacation for the two of us. He spent a lot of time sulking and complaining to me about having to spend time with my family. I had pretty much told him exactly what to expect, but I guess he either didn't listen or didn't believe me. It was difficult for me, but I tried as best as I could to make the trip fulfilling for him while still enjoying the company of my family and friends we had come such a long way to see. After flying home with my family, Donald left the airport without saying goodbye to anyone, and never thanked my brother for providing us with such nice accommodations or my parents who paid for almost everything else (food, transportation, etc.). I was embarrassed about this, especially when my brother mentioned it to me several months later, but I was still very much in love and willing to look beyond it.

Several months later, and a few weeks before Valentine's Day, Donald told me he wanted to buy me a certain piece of outdoor gear as a gift. I'm not really a gift person when it comes to Valentine's Day, and this gear was not something I thought I would ever use. I let him know that spending a nice evening with him was all I needed, but he insisted that he wanted to give me this gift, and so to please him, I accepted it graciously. It turns out that he gave it to me so I would have the necessary gear to spend a weekend with him doing outdoor activities which were somewhat beyond my abilities. It wasn't really my thing, but I went along and tried to make the best of it.

After another 6 months, there had been enough other problems that I decided to end the relationship. Donald wanted us to stay together and work on things, but I let him know that we both needed to move on. A week later he emailed me to let me know that he already had a date with a woman he'd met online. This hurt a bit to hear, but I had broken up with him and he was welcome to move on as soon as he needed to. About two months later, I got an email from him asking if I was planning on using that piece of gear again. If not, he had a new female friend that needed this particular piece of gear. He suggested that, if I could use the cash, he would be willing to buy it back from me. I was so stunned I didn't know how to respond. At first I wondered why he did not just purchase this same item from a store, rather than bother me (his ex-girlfriend) to retrieve it. Several friends pointed out that he probably just wanted to make sure I knew he was seeing someone new. In any case, I responded very politely and told him I was happy that he had found someone who shared his interest in these outdoor activities, but that I would like to keep the gear in case I ever had a chance to use it again. To tell the truth, I was hoping to limit my contact with him, and arranging for him to buy back a present he gave me would have necessitated meeting up again in person. My other guess is that he thought I would be bothered by the fact that he was seeing someone new. I WAS bothered by his email, but only because I couldn't believe I spent nearly a year with him! I don't think THAT was what he intended!

Dating 1117-03

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007