The longer a girl does online dating, the finer-tuned her sense becomes of things she can live with in a potential suitor and things that are absolute, non-negotiable dealbreakers. I had no idea, really, for example, until I met Gene, the next fellow in my dating rotation, how much I appreciated a sarcastic, haughty sense of humor. I figured it out pretty quickly.
Gene initially seemed very, very cool. Based upon his first few emails, we had about a million things in common. He wrote well, read good books, took excellent vacations, was a technology geek and had a DVR full of television shows that was nearly identical to mine. He was also tall, had a shaved head, worked in IT management and had a house in a very cool area of Seattle. All systems were a definite go. Gene asked if I wanted to meet for a cocktail and, with no hesitation, I agreed to join him.
I got to our meeting location first and, when Gene walked in, it was clear that he was my date. Turns out there aren’t a lot of 6’4” bald guys walking around. I waved him down and, as he approached the table, my stomach sunk just a little bit. Some people look much better in photographs and Gene apparently fell into that category. He wasn’t horribly unattractive but he wasn’t nearly as cute as his picture had been online. At all. I felt a little bit of sadness but, once we got a cocktail and started talking, it abated just a bit. We had a perfectly decent conversation although it wasn’t fantastic. I wasn’t sure that we exactly ‘clicked’ but we had enough in common that, when Gene suggested we go to a Seahawks game that next weekend, before we even left the table, I again agreed to join him. Three hours in a packed football stadium ought to clear up my feelings just a bit.
Gene sent me an email suggesting I meet him at his house and we could drive together to the game. He had seemed pretty safe, had a convertible, it was one of the few hot days in Seattle – I was easily swayed. As Gene let me into his house, I looked around and, holy mother of god, there was some ugly, ugly art all over the place. I only saw the kitchen and living room as we walked to the garage but those two rooms were decked out apparently all by the same artist, an artist I never, ever wanted to give any of my money. Deep breath– art was not that big of a thing and there was football to watch. Good NFL can always distract me.
I have often told myself that baseball or football games are a bad idea in the early stages of dating because they go on for hours and hours and hours. That is a lot of time to make conversation if the chemistry turns out to be non-existent. Gene and I not only had to endure the pain of awkwardly talking but, lucky for me!, it was also about 95 degrees and we had seats directly in the sun. I was about to get an idea of what hell might feel like.
As I mopped the sweat from every part of my body, it hit me why talking to Gene was such a chore. He had absolutely no sense of humor and had never heard of sarcasm. I didn’t ‘get’ how funny worked for him at all. I would say something snarky and he would look at me in confusion and then, when he made a joke, he would turn completely in his seat to look at me and wait for me to laugh like I was some kind of monkey. Kill me, kill me, kill me. By halftime I was looking around for something to jam into my eyeballs. It was so hot and I so did not like him.
I made it through the second half, barely, and we headed back to Gene’s place. I could not wait to get out of that car. I figured that Gene had to have noticed our complete lack of chemistry but, when we pulled into his garage, he asked if I wanted a tour of, uh, well, the rest of his house. Since the only rooms left were bedrooms that were probably decorated by my favorite artist, I told Gene that I was sorry but I had to get up pretty early. He seemed totally fine, gave me a sweaty hug and I was gone in a flash. He was a nice guy but not…for…me.
I got an email from Gene the next day asking me if I wanted to go camping (!!!) the following weekend so he apparently felt a tad differently than I did. I told him that I was afraid that I didn’t feel that connection and he, very admirably, was absolutely cool, wished me the best of luck and made a lame joke about football being a romance killer. He probably stared at his computer screen to see if I was laughing but unfortunately for him, I was on to the next bachelor.