Online Dating - Not A "How To" Guide!
Oh What Fun!
Way, Way back in October of 2004 I found myself in the process of divorcing for my third, and final, time. After two full months of moping around the house and feeling sorry for myself, and with a little help from my children’s wise words “you’re never going to meet anyone if you don’t leave the house,” I decided to try online dating.
Please do not misinterpret this as a guide to online dating, or as any kind of advice on relationships…I am not qualified to advise in those areas. However, if you would like help planning a wedding or finding the best divorce packages…I’M YOUR GIRL! This is simply a story about my experiences with online dating.
My first venture into the cyber-dating world was through Yahoo Messenger. I had already been in those chat rooms for years, but had yet to actually meet (in person) any of the people with whom I regularly chatted.
My (soon-to-be) ex-husband was “kind enough” to mail me a web-cam shortly after I gave him the boot. That nutcase was crazy enough to believe that I would use this thing to converse with him (online) after he got settled in Oregon. Well DUHH!!! I kicked him out for a reason…and it wasn’t so we could have cyber-sex!
Anyway…off I went, into the chat rooms, fully equipped with web-cam and microphone. Sort of like video-conferencing for the desperate! And boy was this a challenge! Do you have any idea how many crazies are out there? There are women pretending to be men, men pretending to be women, a whole lot of “not really sure what they are”, and let us not forget…the ones who really should be pretending (get a mirror and TURN OFF THOSE CAMERAS people!)
So I set up my first Yahoo date. I was not very brave, so I made it a lunch date. The guy looked, and seemed, decent enough (online,) and he wrote really sweet things to me. Something should have clicked when the guy asked me to PICK him up (for starters) then asked me to call him (from outside of his house) when I got there.
He wasn’t married and didn’t have a girlfriend (I asked him that repeatedly)…HE LIVED WITH HIS MOM! AND, he didn’t have a car…because his license had been taken away. This is all stuff that he forgot to mention during the two weeks that we chatted, never mind the fact that he lied about his age. Turns out those web-cams can be deceiving…he was ten years younger than he said he was. Something he couldn’t hide in person.
Anyone who knows me well enough can tell you that I do not have a POKER FACE. So this guy had to have seen the really annoyed look on my face…never mind the fact that I pretty much speak my mind. So what did he do “Want go out again sometime?” WELL, HELL NO! I like guys with jobs, cars, and no criminal records…also helps when you don’t live with mommy!
It took me a couple of weeks to conjure up enough courage to make my second “lunch” date with a fellow Yahooer. But this one had his own transportation! I had been chatting with him for over a month at this point. He really seemed like a nice guy, and, truth be told he really was.
My first little quirk with this guy was that he was about three inches shorter than he claimed to be. Guess he thought I wouldn’t notice…HUH???? That was okay though. I am only 5’3”, so it’s not a big deal if the guy is only 5’8”…I just prefer taller men. He did have a really nice Dodge Ram (with a HEMI)…not that I’m too materialistic.
Lunch went off without a hitch and I was invited over for dinner the following weekend. He asked me what I would like and I gave him the same answer I give everyone “a big fat steak, cooked medium-rare!”
The steak was about a half an inch thick and burnt to a crisp…I would have been better off stopping for beef jerky on my way over. I chewed my way through dinner (that took a while) and we decided to watch a movie together.
He had a really nice house, which he had remodeled on his own. That was another plus, BUT…along came the CAT!! I’m not much of a cat person, could take them or leave them, but I’ll tell you something…this guy loved his…CAT!!! That thing was crawling all over me, licking my face and pulling at my hair. All the while “Catman” (or so he was dubbed as of that night) was talking to this animal the same way parents talk to their newborn babies. Oh my Lord…we’re talking borderline gay here!
I went to his place two more times, but couldn’t deal with the whole competing “with a CAT” for attention thing. So I managed to come up with a doozie to get out of this situation…told the guy I had a nervous breakdown and needed to spend some time down south. GOOD ONE WENDI! I’m sure he bought that???
So I moved on to a date site called Match.com. Set up my account, loaded my pictures, and yes…actually told the truth about myself. Believe it or not, when people meet you “in real life” THEY CAN SEE YOU! If you tell someone that you are slim, toned or athletic, chances are they’ll notice that extra fifty pounds you’re carrying. And this one’s geared towards men (and possibly women) - thinning hair does not mean two strands of hair…that would be, flat-out, BALD!
I spent a few weeks exchanging emails and talking on the phone with the men I thought were interesting. Then I moved on to actually setting up dates…kept canceling those dates, but set them up nevertheless. Then I took the next step and decided to actually step out with one of them.
My first dinner date was with a “Maintenance Manager” from a couple of towns over. We met at a restaurant, I thought it would be safer if we went in separate cars…don’t know why, just did!
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on the phone with this guy. It seemed that every time I returned his calls, I would just miss him and get his answering machine. We did most of our communicating online, and he was a lousy typist…or so I thought.
He arrived at the restaurant in what he called an “antique car.” It was NOT an “antique car” it was an old beat up piece of crap…worth about as much as the shoes I was wearing! Then came time to order our meals. It took my a few minutes but that “Gee I should’ve had a V8” moment finally fell on top of my head when I realized HE COULDN’T READ.
Now that’s fine, not particularly what I’m interested in, but fine. However…seriously people??? Do you not think that someone’s going to notice the fact that you can’t read? Then, when I asked him what a “Maintenance Manager” does, he told me he cleaned a doctor’s office…ok, so you’re a JANITOR?
Then, out came the photo albums, which he ran outside to his car to retrieve. He proceeded to show me two photo albums filled with pictures of really nice motorcycles and cars. So he had my attention (for a second) and I asked if he collected them (nice way of saying “are they yours?”)…he answered “no, my brother owned these years ago!” HUH? Then why are WE sitting here looking THESE pictures right now?
I decided, at that point, that it would be a great idea to drink a few glasses of wine with dinner (in other words…get drunk.) Naturally, he didn’t have enough money and I paid for the whole meal. SEE YA!
To be perfectly honest, I’m pretty sure I would never have gone out with the man had I known he couldn’t read. But people need to be honest…things like short, fat and bow-legged, and not being able to read, are really noticeable.
I don’t know why, but I made a date with another one of acquaintances from Match.com. I set this one up for New Year’s Eve, knowing full well that I had to be at a friend’s party later that night. This date was with a really nice gentleman who owned a local Real Estate Agency.
We spoke on the phone quite a few times. We talked about our children (who happened to be the same ages) and our likes and dislikes. He was not shockingly handsome in his picture (I have been known to be somewhat shallow) but he seemed decent enough looking…had a great personality!
Then came date night! He told me what kind of car he drove, and I was running late getting ready, so I had the kids watching for him out the window. I heard my daughter hollering “Mom, a Mercedes just pulled in the driveway!” And immediately after that, my son yelled “There’s a really old guy getting out of the car mom….MOM…HE’S OLD!” “Great” I thought to myself. So I made my way down the stairs (very slowly,) turned the corner to the kitchen and there he was…a 110-YEAR OLD version of the guy I had been talking to, with two strands of (thinning) hair on his head. Boy can I pick em! I wasn’t nearly as late for that New Year’s Eve party as I thought I would be.
About a week after I had signed up with Match.com, a seemingly nice guy began to contact me. We started off exchanging emails for the first couple of weeks. His first email to me was actually quite cute. He explained to me that my birthday (which was coming up shortly…at that point) was on the same day as his brother’s and his birthday was three days after that. He thought it would be nice to celebrate all three birthdays by going out to dinner. I said “NO.”
We then began to talk on the phone a couple of times a week. Eventually, we talked every night. This guy made me laugh all of the time. He also had a lot of patience. My children (as with most children) felt the need to interrupt me every time I was on the phone. Most of the men I had spoken with, up until that point, did not seem to have a lot of tolerance for that. This guy was different…he seemed almost amused by it.
He asked me out to dinner a few times. I kept saying no at the beginning. I don’t know what made this guy different…but I was nervous for the first time! I finally accepted his invitation, but then chickened out at the last minute (with really lame excuses) two times in a row. Like I said…he had a lot of PATIENCE! Something absolutely necessary if one plans on dealing with ME “in any way!”
He decided to try a different approach…one that I had been using myself at the beginning of my cyber-dating adventures. He asked me out to lunch instead, and I said yes and meant it that time. So, on January 3rd, two days after my brief date with “Grandpa Realty” I met my Match.
We’ve been together ever since. Of course we started off slowly…just as slowly as our cyber-courtship. And don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but I can honestly say (today) “Life is Good!”
So, the difference between him and the other guys…HONESTY! He was almost (I’d say) 90% honest about himself (as was I)…that, and he didn’t have a CAT fetish, his hair is truly thinning, and here’s a big plus….HE WAS BORN IN THE SAME CENTURY AS I WAS!