After I nearly choked on the vanilla pudding that was Dana, I actually met a really cool guy, Alex, dated him for eight months, took a trip together to Italy and ultimately decided, after we returned from the trip, that we made way better friends than romantic partners. Alex still remains one of my best friends but, once it didn’t work out with him, I once again decided to jump back into the dating pool. My next two dates, Travis and Josh, weren’t awful but they were so not what I needed to woo me back into the online dating world. It is a good thing I am (foolishly) tenacious or they might have turned me off permanently.
Travis was my first reason for insisting that I could look at a minimum of two pictures of a prospective date. One photo is simply not enough to get a feel for a guy and, to make matters worse, Travis’ picture was unique and artsy, otherwise known as making it incredibly difficult to see what he really looked like. His emails, though, were funny and witty but both them and his profile were really brief. They were definitely lacking…detail. After only about two messages back and forth, Travis asked to meet me for a drink at a waterfront bar and I agreed but, as I was driving to meet him, it kind of hit me that I had almost no idea what he really looked like, what town he actually lived in or how he paid the bills. I had dropped the ball on pre-date investigation something fierce with Travis.
I got to the bar and just kind of stood at the entrance, waiting to be flagged down. I was now certain I wouldn’t recognize Travis without some initiation on his part. After only about ten seconds, I noticed a pre-pubescent boy waving furiously at me from the corner of the bar. No, no, no – please no. He looked like he was about ten years old! That couldn’t be Travis! He must have brought his little brother along for our date. I hadn’t even sat down and I thought I was going to be sick.
It should come as no surprise that things went downhill from there when the boy wonder turned out to be my date. We ordered our drinks and the waitress only carded Travis. I looked like some kind of classy pedophile. It turned out that Travis really was legal – but still seven years younger than me – lived at home and worked at a coffee shop. Oh, and he lived across the water, had no car, and would have to take the ferry to come see me, which he was *totally* willing to do. He was nice, in a talking-to-someone-in-high-school way, but there was no way in hell I was interested in Travis. He tried to kiss me goodbye in the parking lot and I all but shoved him away. That was the last time that I was so lax in my attention to detail in checking out a new boy. And boy was right. I kind of disgusted myself.
I next started emailing a guy named Josh and I looked over his profile about twenty times. He was my age, employed at a local tech company, lived on his own and seemed to have a mode of transportation that was not a boat. Things were looking up! We talked on the phone briefly after a number of emails. Josh seemed decent and, when he asked, I agreed to meet him the next night for a drink.
Josh texted me before I arrived to let me know that he was already there and waiting at the bar. Josh looked like his pictures, cute but not necessarily suave, but the thing that caught my attention more than his looks as I sat down was that he had three cell phones spread across the counter in front of him. Was he some kind of drug dealer that had moved up from pagers? I didn’t even know what to ask but that turned out to be fine because, before I had even taken my coat off, Josh launched into a twenty-minute presentation – complete with phone props! – of the new operating system he was working on and the different platforms it could be used on and the hours he and his ‘nerd boys’ had put into making happen and…Sweet lord! Breathe, Josh, breathe! I had sucked down my first cocktail before he seemed to inhale. He did pause to order another cranberry and vodka before launching into his next topic – the trials and tribulations of keeping an indoor fish tank! I wondered if it would be rude to put my head in my hands and cry right at the bar because that is what I wanted to do. I hadn’t rushed into this one! I had researched! I had talked on the phone! What more could I do?
Josh did calm down the slightest bit after his third cocktail but, seeing as how he was talking 95% of the time and didn’t even seem to know that I was there, I already knew that date number two was not going to happen. It was luckily a work night so I had a reason to escape at a reasonable time. I was kind of shocked when, as Josh walked me to my car, he leaned in, kissed my cheek and asked for another date. That was pretty much the first indication that Josh had given me that he knew he was on a date and I was taken completely by surprise. I didn’t see the point of lying and told Josh that I was sorry but I just didn’t think there was a connection between us. He turned away and, when he looked back after a few moments, he was crying, as in tears under his eyes. What in the world?
I had no idea what to do when your date first seems to not be aware that you are in the room but then is moved to tears at thought of not repeating the experience. Josh obviously had a few issues to work through and I did not stick around to find out what they were. I luckily did not hear from him again and, as I mulled over both the Travis and Josh experiences, I wondered whether I was meant to continue in my online dating adventures. It almost seemed like the universe was trying to give me hint after hint after hint that I should cut bait. But I am not a quitter so I didn’t remove my profile as soon as I could get near a computer. A glutton for punishment, ladies and gentlemen? Online dating just might be for you!