Officially this was Bachelor #1. I was not at all feeling comfortable being back in the dating world after being in a relationship for almost six years with a cool guy I was still friends with. As I drove to meet Mr. Robert I felt like I was cheating on the ex even though we had been broken up for almost 3 months. It might say something that I called the ex on the way to the rendezvous spot to let him know who and where I was meeting this strange man just in case I was chopped up into little pieces. There is a reason we called it “Best Breakup Ever”. Even still, I was nervous as hell walking into that Starbucks.
** Aside (the first of what I am sure will be many) – There are a few spots in my neck of the woods that I am sure think I am some sort of librarian-looking prostitute. These spots, and the people that work there, have seen me parade in with a stream of men. When the number of people that you have met creeps into the double-digits you run out of places-to-meet options. I am picky about where I will make the initial contact. It has to be public, obviously, easy to find and a place I am familiar with. I am not walking into a restaurant or tavern or coffee shop or wine bar that I have never been before while trying to locate someone I have never met. That is simply too much sensory overload to manage at once. I like to know the lay of the land so the only thing that could possibly surprise me is how ghastly my date is.
The first thing I notice about Robert is that he looks nothing like his picture. I am expecting a guy that has a hat and glasses and fairly sizable sideburns but what walks up to me has a shaved head and no glasses. He is my height, 5’8″, and fairly stout. I am not overwhelmed with hot lust for him but he is pleasant to look at. We met on a weekend day so he was appropriately dressed – cargo shorts, t-shirt, cool sneaks. We had a pleasant conversation where he expressed a strong affinity for watching female roller girls. I have not been to such an event so it was cool to hear a little about that. Besides the fact that the conversation didn’t totally suck or stall awkwardly it also didn’t really light my fire. I could tell that I wasn’t going to be interested in seeing this guy again. I can’t say too much else about him besides he was ‘my first’ and that was it wasn’t horrible. Robert does have the distinction of initiating my long-time rule of NO PHONE CALL BEFORE MEETING. I am not a huge phone person in general and trying to carry on a conversation totally removed of any physical cues sucks ass. I was careful to brush up on my facts-about-Robert before placing the call but it was just awkward. Long silences, awkward pauses – what fun. There is just something about seeing someone in person and whiffing their pheromones that cannot be replaced. How horrible can anyone be that I can’t suffer through one cup of coffee or cocktail? Granted, there have been some fine men that had me thinking the whole time we met what a great freaking story I was going to tell about this knob, but nothing horrendous. They are just people, after all.
I did get the fishing follow-up email from Robert (it was great to meet me, want to get together again, etc.) but I was not interested in seeing him again. Just not exciting. I emailed him back and told him that I had thought I was ready to get back into the dating fray but I had been mistaken. This taught me another rule. DON’T EVER TELL AN ONLINE DATING CANDIDATE SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN FIND TO BE UNTRUE. Besides the fact that lying is evil and bad it just sets up an awkward situation if you are caught. For instance, I got several more emails and winks from Robert after I gave him the brush-off email. Why, he wanted to know, was I still on Match.com if I was not ready to date? Valid question although I don’t know what guilting me into a date was supposed to accomplish.