I’ve been roaming around, always looking down at all I see
Painted faces fill the places I can’t reach
You know that I could use somebody

 -Kings of Leon

My sister, (you’ll probably see her referenced here often), part bullied, part cajoled, part dared me to join an internet dating service where many of her friends found the loves of their lives, got married and are currently living happily ever.

Now, before I go in to why I only used up three weeks of my one month ($40!!) membership, I figured I should give you a little background just in case you stumbled on this blog and don’t know my history.

I was once married.

Two years ago, my husband passed away after an eighteen month battle with cancer. It’s a story for another time, but suffice it to say, the past two years have been all about me trying to get my life back together and back on track. I’m guessing this blog maybe a part of the process. Who knows?

So it’s been two years and I haven’t dated anyone. I’m not sure if that’s by choice or by design, but the fact is, I’m ready. It’s time.

After a long heart to heart with a musician friend of mine, about how there was no way I was going to find anyone decent by doing the one thing I love most, going to their shows (actually, I believe his exact words were “Look it’s mostly women at our shows, and the guys with them are usually their boyfriends… Dude, it’s not like you’re going to find the man of your dreams on the fucking Rock Boat, ya know?”), I decide to take my sister’s dare.

I join this magical matchmaking site that my sister has been yammering on about for a year. I answer a bunch of inane questions that are supposed to attract that ‘perfect’ match. How they figure out if you’re a perfect match from such probing questions like “what’s your favorite color?” baffles me, but okay.

Here’s the thing. When I was younger, I was less picky. These days, I’m a bit more discerning. However, I’m not particularly shallow. For me, more often, brains, ability to make conversation and more importantly the ability to make me laugh tend to trump physical appearance. I mean I do have SOME qualities that are a must, (for example: taller than me please, which given that I am 5’4” and rarely wear anything higher than a 3″ heel shouldn’t be difficult, but you’d be surprised).  I mean I guess growing up I had some kind of image of what my dream man would look like or some such nonsense, but I’m going to have to say that what usually attracts me physically, does not necessarily attract me once I’ve actually had a conversation with a guy.

Anyone who knows my ‘type’ (you know, you walk into a bar, there HE is.. OMG.. he’s HOT!!.. yadda yadda), knows that I’ve rarely actually dated my ‘type’. Hell, I didn’t even marry my ‘type’.  My husband was way better looking than my ‘type.’ I kid you not. I can honestly say that in my 38 years of life thus far, I’ve only ever actually met one man who I found attractive at first glance and still actually found attractive after our first conversation. And as it turns out, he just likes me as a friend. Apparently, I’m not HIS type. Go figure.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I’m realistic. I know that first impressions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be so I wasn’t going to just write off a guy who tried to talk to me on the site because his picture didn’t resemble Sawyer or Sayid from “Lost.”

But I wasn’t expecting the plethora of crazy that I ended up encountering. Seriously.

First of all, I’m 38 years old. That’s my chronological age. Anyone who knows me, knows that I neither act it, nor do I look it. I’m very young at heart (basically, while I have the knowledge and maturity of a person my age, it may not always be evident in my attitude. I sincerely hope that makes sense).  I also managed to inherit amazing genes from my mom and grandmother (at my sweet 16 folks thought my mom was my sister and my grandmother was our mother…).  So basically for age requirement I figured 35-42 was a good age range for whatever guy I’d consider dating.

The first few ‘flirts’ I received, but didn’t respond to, were from guys who claimed to be 45-48 (oh yeah, I prefer literate men… clearly these guys couldn’t read). They made the mistake of posting their pictures which either revealed they’d had some pretty rough lives, or they hadn’t been in their 40’s since I’d been in my 20’s –early 20’s.

But eventually, there was that one that seemed, well, if I’m being honest, too good to be true… so of course, I decided, to go for it…

 Mismatch #1

It ain’t me, babe,
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe,
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

 -Bob Dylan

First actual contact I made was with this guy who decided to contact me using the IM system on the sight.  I looked at his profile. He was 35, good looking, good job, emphasized his love of music and dancing. I responded.  He was funny, intelligent, had an awesome, dry sense of humor.  I agreed to meet up with him.

In person, he was even better looking than in his pictures. We had an amazing time, just chatting and realizing we had a lot in common. There were a few people at the bar, and one other guy decided to join us for a bit. He was really good looking too and he and internet service guy seemed to get along really well, while both simultaneously flirting with me. Holy ego boost, I though. Seriously!

Towards the end of the evening, he said:“You know, you’re really awesome, I had such a great time, I’d really like to take you out sometime.”

Before I could respond with the “absolutely” that was about to come out of my mouth, he added: “But I do need to ask you a question first, how would you feel about dating a guy who was bi-sexual?” Without pause, he added: “See, I really like women, and I don’t fool around, but I also like to play with men once in a while.”

My internal monologue went something like this: “While I often find men with beards attractive, I’d prefer not to actually BE the beard.”

My actual response was something along the lines of:  “The way you just phrased that question, makes me believe that you might be interested in dating me but would want permission to see other people, specifically, guys, when the desire hits you.  And while I DO think you’re a fantastic guy, I really don’t like to share. Even if I’m the only woman you’d be dating, messing around with a guy once in a while would still be cheating.”

He didn’t deny that that was what he’d been implying. So that was that. Internet Dating site match up #1—FAIL. I wished him the best (and secretly hoped he’d hook up with that guy that had been talking to us both earlier on) and left.

 Mismatch #2

 I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me
Hangin’ out the passenger side, of his best friend’s ride
Tryin’ to holler at me

 -TLC

I really promised my sister I’d give this thing a shot. So instead of following my instincts and deleting my profile after that one, I stayed on.  When this 48 year old guy, who seemed interesting enough based on his profile e-mailed me, I e-mailed him back.  We exchanged two more e-mails before he sent me his phone number. I decided that he should call me. Not because I’m the girl, but because if I think he’s a psycho or a jerk or some combo of both, I could just block his number on my phone (I love technology).

 Phone rings, I pick up:

 Me: “Hello

 #2: “You know if you and I are going to be together, you’re going to have to quit smoking.” (I was very honest in my profile—go figure).

Now, I get that wanting someone to quit smoking is a GOOD thing, but he could have said “you should wear a pink dress on our first date” and I still wouldn’t have been happy.  I mean come on. The guy doesn’t know me, hasn’t said two words to me yet and he’s already a) assuming I’m going to ‘be’ with him, and b) making demands -Strike one.

We continue the ‘getting to know you’ conversation. He tells me that he’s been unemployed for two years and is currently living with his parents. I ask him what kind of job search has he been making, I mean I know it’s a recession and it’s tough out there, so I didn’t want to seem like a complete bitch. Basically, he’d been looking in his chosen field (which for the life of me I can’t remember), but that he’s been offered jobs that were, to paraphrase, ‘beneath’ him. He goes on to explain that he was married and he and his wife essentially got divorced because of financial issues.  But that he really wants to have kids- Like yesterday.

My internal monologue was spitting out rapid retorts to this statement, and yet, I managed to be way nicer than any of the “Are you fucking kidding me, babies? Really? How about getting a job first?” responses that were flooding my brain. I instead said, very calmly: “Kids? Really? How are you planning on paying for them? I mean raising them costs money.”

#2 (I shit you not this was his response – and he was DEAD SERIOUS): “Well, you have a city job, I mean, that’s about as stable as you get, right? (wrong) If we were together…”

I cut him off with: “Wow, no offense (not that I cared if he took any at this point ), but one of my major requirements is that the guy I’m with has a job, or at least some form of ambition that goes beyond having babies. I mean dreams are really nice, but if you were really serious about having a family, you’d take any job you were offered for the time being until something that interests you more came along.” –Strike two.

His response (again, no doo-doo):  “Well, just so you know, I’m amazing in bed, and if nothing else I could take you places sexually you have never been before.”

I almost choked on my latte (and FYI, that really was the death knell for him in my book. ANY guy who has to brag about how ‘good’ he is in bed, is really NOT good at all—for those of you who didn’t know that already… trust me. It’s true).

Before I could recover he goes on to tell me that he noticed that on my profile I state my political beliefs as being “liberal.” I said, “yes, I am.”

His response: “Oh so you voted for Obama, huh?”

Me: “yes, I did.”

He said: “oh so you’re okay with the United states turning in to a Socialist country” and then begins to, again, I shit you not, word for word, regurgitate every Fox News talking point ever made against the current administration.

I mean anyone who knows me, knows, I’ll listen to an opinion whether I agree or not. I’ll debate, intelligently, with anyone with an opposing view – not in an effort to make them agree with me, but to at least let them see why I believe what I believe. But this guy? Holy friggen Glen Beck meets Rush Limbaugh at a pep rally for Sarah Palin! – Yeah- Strike three.

I tell him I’ve got to go finish cleaning my apartment. He said he’d like to meet me in person, that, he decided I was “worth the $11 toll on the Verrazano.” I told him to keep the cash.  I didn’t think we’d work out. As he was giving me his spiel about how I shouldn’t write him off, that it’s at least worth a meet up, and then again starts rambling about his prowess in bed and how he could help me with my oral fixation… I hung up.

No shit, he e-mailed me five days later asking me if I was free for lunch. I said ‘no.’ I think/hope he might have gotten the message? In any case, his number is blocked on my phone.

 Mismatch #3

 Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun

 -Cyndi Lauper (although really, I’m in love with the Greg Laswell version)

At this point, you might be wondering why I didn’t just take my profile off the site and go running for the hills, but a) I really wanted to make sure I could say I tried, and b) I like baseball – I figured the site had one more chance at bat.

 Enter bachelor #3. This guy was really one of those “looks good on paper” deals. I mean he was 43; owned his own business; he was definitely close enough to my ‘type’ physically to pique my interest – at least enough for me to give him my e-mail address.

 We e-mailed for about a week.  The first few exchanges were friendly enough. Just your basic facts – you know – what we like to do in our spare time; what we do for a living; family dynamics; past dating experiences; people and places that are important to us and why – stuff like that.

At the beginning of week two of e-mail exchanges, I receive this from him: “My girlfriend, who I was going to marry, (oh English is NOT his first language – but what woman doesn’t love an accent, right?), she cheat on me with friend of mine. Now I just want to find the love of my life, get married, have childrens. I want to find best friend who will want to be with me always”.

Okay… so I try to explain to him that falling in love takes time. That anything THAT instant isn’t really love – I mean how soon did he think he’d go from talking to someone via e-mail to that ultimate dream of his?

#3:  “I don’t know how long it takes, but I’m anxious to meet the love of my life. And I really think you sound like possible. But I have a few questions.”  And then he writes: “you told me two of your closest friends are men you’ve known your whole life and one of them is your ex-boyfriend who was your first love… do you ever see them?”

Me: “Well, one is married and lives in Israel. The guy who was my first love is divorced and lives in New Orleans. Why?”

#3: “Because first love and you’re both single, maybe not so good for me. But the guy who’s married and in Israel, that’s okay.” And then, as if this were remotely normal, continued with:  “I notice you say you like music and have friends who play music – are they men or women? If it’s women singers, that’s good.  I guess I can go with you when you go see your male friends play their music. I don’t want to have to worry. Musicians are sneaky. Even if you don’t want to cheat – they can make you.”

Strike three.

After laughing for a solid five minutes at his description of musicians, I composed myself and responded with:

“Look the guy in New Orleans and I broke up 20 years ago. If we wanted to be together, we would be. My husband liked him very much and never felt threatened by our past because he was secure enough in our relationship to know that fact. This guy knows me better than any non-related human being on this planet, and there is no way I’d give up a friendship I’ve had for most of my life for a guy I just met on the internet.  And while I’m glad that you’re okay with me being friends with a guy who’s been like a brother to me since I was 15 because he lives in another country, I really wouldn’t need or want permission from you to continue that friendship either. As for the musicians I am friends with, you don’t know them. Don’t make assumptions based on stereotypes.  And I wouldn’t want you there with me if all you’d do is act like a watch dog trying to mark his territory.”

Two days later I get an e-mail from him:

“I removed my profile from the site, because I want to focus on you and see how things going to be. You can email me on here and let continue to know each other better.”

I responded – a week later with:

“I removed my profile from the site too. After our exchange, I realized that the person I’m looking for does not exist there.  I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m afraid, however, that it isn’t me- Best of luck.”

Yeah, I think my sister owes me $40. Just sayin’. ;P

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