"You should really try eHarmony" they said. "That's where my mother's friend's cousin found the guy she's married to now."
After a second go round of this online dating crap (first Miami and now here in the ATL) all I have to say is fuck your mother's friend's cousin AND the guy she's married to.
I'm sure we all remember Where's Waldo and the Children's Menu from the Miami episodes.
But I digress.
I'm going to dub the Atlanta episodes, The Dating Game because, like the TV game show of yesteryear, (some of you may remember the show and the rest of you can Google that shit) there were pretty much just 3 bachelors in the running.
I joined, this time around, on Halloween. This is what happens when you eat the entire bowl of candy yourself because you only had two damn trick-or-treaters.
The sugar high and low convinced me my friends were right and I should start dating again now that I'm feeling better. Also, the email offer to join for just 6 bucks a month for three months seemed reasonable. If I went on just one decent dinner date then it would pretty much pay for itself. Right? Right?
Well that's exactly what I should have done.
November first rolled around and with my Halloween sugar hangover, I decided to check my email. There were quite a few matches in my inbox right off the bat - these 3 among them.
So lets talk about the contenders.
- Bachelor number one (B1) seemed handsome enough and, for once, he was older than me. Those of you who know me, know that I have a propensity for gravitating toward the company of younger men. I have never dated or been in a long term relationship with anyone older than my self.
Dating an older man should be great. No drama. Comfortable with himself. Mature and communicative. These were my expectations of an older man. I'll consider him. Try something new.
- Bachelor number two (B2) was younger than me but the same age as my ex-husband so really no big deal I guess. He had a decent job and was cute. He had dimples. Throw him in there, too.
- Bachelor number three (B3) was also younger but only by a year or two so, pretty decent. He said he was into improv and he was cute. He was in the best physical shape of the three so into the mix he went.
These were the three main contenders - the minor contenders aren't worth mentioning in this forum.
Well here's what went down:
B1 was the first to respond and go through the "steps" or whatever the hell they call them pretty quickly. By the end of the week we were through all the steps and on our way to the email portion of the game.
B2 and B3 were a bit slower but had real desk jobs and so I'm sure they did not have the ease of access and time that B1 did.
Come the second week of November, I was already making a date with B1 who steamrolled through the entire screening process and what not. This is going rather well, I thought.
I was excited for my first date with an older guy.
We met at a small place in Midtown and it was an hilarious first meeting! The story would be a riot of a story to tell if this became something serious and lasting.
There were two characters, Douglas and David that made the date memorable, to say the least. B1 and I met in the afternoon and 5 hours, two tacos, four beers, one shot and several intense PDAs later, we called it a night.
B2 and B3 were still in the screening phases and I did the back and forth necessary to make it to the point of email and phone contact. It was slow going. About one step a week.
B1 and I had several more dates in the next week or so and they all seemed to be progressing nicely. We had a lot in common; both military brats, both children of a 5 child household, raised Catholic (hence all the siblings, I guess) technology geeks, art lovers etc etc etc. Eventually I had a toothbrush in the holder and his dog knew who I was. Dinners with his neighbors and colleagues as well as a few breakfasts and margaitas with his closest friend became the norm. This seemed easy.
Aren't there all kinds of colorful memes, quotes and sayings warning about this sort of thing?
B2 was the second to reach the email phase and he wrote a lot!
He was very charming and funny and forthcoming with all sorts of information about himself. I liked him being so open. B1 was not really open at all and B3 had not made it that far just yet.
I responded in kind to B2; sharing information and quips and humorous stories etc back and forth for a week or so.
B3 finally reached the email stage just before the Thanksgiving holiday and was very polite in his communication. Too polite perhaps? Maybe just cautious.
B2 had informed me that he would be spending the holidays out of town at his mother's and would not be back until after the New Year.
That was the last anyone heard from B2.
Good bye, B2 I'll remember you fondly.
We'll always have our emails.
B3 was also going away for the holidays but would be around just after Christmas.
I gave him my phone number and told him to give me a shout when he returned.
B1 remained in town for the holidays and we spent more time together. My friends seemed quite optimistic and couldn't believe I was actually in what appeared to be a healthy relationship with someone I met online. I was a bit surprised myself. He travelled quite a bit to come see me and took his chivalry quite seriously. Too seriously for my taste - it became a point of contention for him if it wasn't complied with. I began to notice that he was easily aggravated by little things but I let that slide knowing that he had never been married and apparently never in a relationship of any serious length. (and possibly never even a roommate)
The red flag should have slapped me in the face but his charm kept blowing it out of my eye line.
We had long conversations about his business and a good deal of sex. He had been quite sexually forward from the beginning and there definitely was a chemistry between us.
Christmas rolled around and all that stopped.
His demeanor changed.
He didn't want me to stay the night any longer. He did get me some really lovely gifts for Christmas however. We spent Christmas having dinner at his closest friends house where I met the family. They were all very awesome people and I had a really amazing time. Things appeared to be back on track. Perhaps B1 had been under some stress.
He had recently quit drinking which seemed odd considering the amount he drank during the first month we spent together. Like he was practicing to become a pro.
I did not spent Christmas night with him either, however.
I was confused by all the mixed messages I was receiving.
Something was weird and the shenanigans to follow confirmed my suspicions.
Friday we met for dinner and I had him pick me up on the way to the restaurant that was nearby.
I was dog-sitting for a friend over the holiday so I was on the way for B1. Considering that he drove half way to fucking Tennessee to get me when I didn't feel like driving into town - I didn't see where this would be a problem. It was on his way.
Once in the car I get the comment, "It's a two minute walk for you"
Dinner was fair - more of the same stories with less of the enthusiasm.
I drank for my own entertainment.
He was rude when he dropped me off and then just left.
I shot him a text letting him know that he never had to feel forced to have dinner with me.
We're just dating here. I mean, shit, son.
Everyone knows you can tell me anything and I am quite understanding
Everyone except for B1 who clearly had something going on.
When I asked about it I got "I'm not feeling social" whatever the fuck that meant.
This is an older man still, right?
What were those expectations I had up there at the top of this thing?
I went ahead and shot B3 an email so we could set up a date now that he was back in town and B1 was suddenly bipolar.
Saturday I received a text message that B1 was going out of town - would be back Monday and he would "hit me when I'm back"
That never happened.
I went out over the weekend with some friends and was able to use the opportunity to finish the varnish on the painting I had done for B1 for Christmas.
Tuesday there was an exchange of texts enough to garner that he had a friend in town.
Cool. Perhaps this would change his mood.
The next day was New Year's Eve.
We talked in the morning enough to decide to talk in the evening about plans.
At night it was determined I would go to B1's place.
And bring beer.
He made dinner for me.
Well this is quite intimate and lovely, I thought.
Things seemed back on track. We ate, watched the ball drop at midnight, made out some and decided to retire upstairs.
While he had been cleaning up after dinner, I had changed into yoga pants and a sweatshirt.
I liked to play with the dog and sit on the sofa with her.
B1 had informed me he provided a cover for the sofa so I wouldn't get dog hair on me.
I didn't bother since I had brought the change of clothes.
On our way upstairs he says to me: "You're covered in dog hair"
I didn't see the problem since these clothes were being worn for just that purpose.
I said it really wasn't a problem since I would not be wearing them to bed.
He became livid.
You're this pissed about me having dog hair on me?
ITS YOUR FUCKING DOG!!!
I reassured him it was not a problem and then he disappeared for about 15 minutes.
When he returned I began to ask if it really did bother him and was cut short with an unreasonable explosion of "you never let shit go.... blah blah blah stuff I quit listening to because it was ridiculous yelling and displaced anger" and he stormed into the bathroom.
I got into bed.
He came out shortly and got in beside me.
When I tried to apologize I was met with a
"Drop it! We'll talk in the morning! Go to sleep!"
I put in ear plugs, covered my head and moved as far away from him as I could without falling out of bed.
I had been tempted to leave and would have had I not had the beers.
Morning came and was tense. He walked the dog and I scrambled to get dressed and was going to leave but decided I should stay and see what the hell was going on with him.
"I'm out of coffee filters. Wanna go to Kroger with me?"
On the way back to the car after procuring the filters, I stopped to turn and ask if he wanted me to take the bag.
It never got that far.
As soon as I had stopped to turn he took it as an assault to his chivalry and went off on another tirade
"What the fuck is so hard about this? I'm just trying to open the door for you! It's not that complicated! Open your own fucking door!"
Okay. I will. And I guess you have the bag, then?
A tense ride followed
I finally asked why he had been so tense and irritable the last week
He confused me by saying things like "It's too much work" and "I don't have patience" and other vague statements shouted quite loudly at me.
This is an older guy still, right?
I explained that I had been alone for quite a while and the door thing wasn't really that serious and I was still getting used to someone being around.
Something else I cant recall was shouted at me and I responded with
"So what then?..."
Silence as we sat at the world's longest fucking stoplight half a block from his driveway.
I found it kind of comical in my head but was not going to express that shit out loud.
The tension was amazing.
Why didn't he take the out I just laid in front of him?
A temper tantrum, maybe?
Just needed to let off some steam?
I say again "So what now?..."
The light finally changes and we park.
Inside his house things are back to normal.
I'm just standing there dumbfounded wondering what the fuck was going on.
This New Year's Day sucks.
"Am I staying for coffee?"
He informs me its not decaf but since I'm not working I decide to stay and have coffee and see if something more will be discussed regarding what transpired after Kroger.
Things went back to normal.
We drank coffee. Talked about what was on TV.
I asked about his visit with his friend. Blah Blah Blah. "Would you like more coffee?"
I decide to say yes still waiting for some sort of explanation.
I decide to leave.
"Did you want to take some leftovers with you, my dear?"
I take the food and he walks me to the door and kisses me like the normal routine.
He says "I'll give you a call later"
I looked at him quizzically and said,
He reassures me he will.
I wondered seriously if B1 had started using cocaine.
I also wondered if we just broke up and if so what kind of douche does that shit on a holiday.
After making dinner for you the night before?
Were you purposely making sure my New Year started off shitty?
That was Thursday.
I had a date with B3 on Sunday.
We met at the Pub at Perimeter.
I like that place. Lots of good food options and tons of beer.
B3 is already there when I arrive.
We order drinks. He's not drinking.
Well shit, now I gotta get something normal.
Arnold Palmer it is.
Here's how I described the rest of the date to my niece:
You go to say, a doctor's office, and there's a cute single guy in the waiting room.
You sit next to him and start to make small talk.
You talk for a while until one of you is called into the office and then on your way out, you say "Good-bye. It was nice talking to you."
That's how that went.
B2 is still MIA.
B1 has proven to be even more immature than any younger guy I ever dated.
B3 sent a polite text saying it was nice to meet me.
I have cancelled my subscription to eHarmony.
I bought a bag of Dove "Lonely Girl" chocolates yesterday.
My message read "Be your own Valentine"
Fuck you, Dove.