Tag Archives: OkCupid

Your Father Isn’t… Elliot

7 May

I’m listening to my current guy aggressively drumming and shout/singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” while I’m writing this. It’s an all-around weird moment. Oh well, just go with it.

~~~

Elliot sends me an incredibly sweet, thoughtful message about what he likes in my profile and how much he thinks we’ll get along. There’s no bravado in it, no showmanship, which for DC is impossible. I actually work hard on my reply because I can’t easily match his level of sincerity.

We talk for what seems like an eternity each evening for about a week, one night until 2am. I’m amazed at how much we have in common. For every personal passion or hobby that I mention, even those things I only sheepishly admit, he shares the same excitement. Baseball? Big fan. Astronomy? He’s totally into it. Late 90s pop music? He responds with this gem.

 

Even the few things we don’t have in common he tells me he’s been dying to learn more or try out, like watching the Yankees or Korean barbeque. It’s incredible and I get swept up in the giddy idea that I have found my soulmate. If I’ve online dating has taught me anything, it’s that finding ‘the one’ should be that easy, right?

By the time I finally head to meet the world’s most perfect man, I’m an anxious mess. Even though I’m permanently behind the learning curve when it comes to this dating thing, I feel like may have made a fatal error somewhere along the line.

Our online personalities have become so close, so fast, and we’ve bonded so intensely that I feel this date will either end in an on-the-spot elopement or terrible disappointment. My stomach is in knots and I fight the urge to walk straight across the Metro platform to the train heading home instead of towards my potential Prince Charming, who I’m sure is patiently waiting for me at the trendy pizza place downtown.

Elliot is in fact waiting outside the restaurant, but that is where my expectations begin the crumble. He sort of shrugs his way up to me to introduce himself.  My heart sinks but I hold out hope. He doesn’t exude the energy I imagined for him based on hours of superficial online chats. I couldn’t have been THAT wrong though. He’s just nervous… that’s why he keeps ducking his head as he talks to me. That’s normal, right?

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We navigate the worst part of any pizza outing: deciding what to order. I’m surprised that Elliot is beyond thrilled to order every pizza I suggest. He positively gushes at each suggestion and my impeccable taste in pizza toppings. On a hunch, I pursue this line. I start saying increasingly ridiculous things to see if he’ll agree.

“I don’t like beer.” “Me either.”

“The only beer I like is Guinness.” “Wow, that’s so funny. Me too!”

“…when mixed with tequila and Diet Pepsi.” “I’ve never tried that but it sounds pretty good!”

“But I don’t really believe in drinking at all.” (as I sip my wine). “I actually didn’t drink at all for three years.”

“Oh? Why not? Bad experience? DUI? Religious conversion?” “My last girlfriend told me not to.”

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Elliott goes on to list the various things he gave up for his last girlfriend, including alcohol, red meat, and most of his friends. In exchange, he picked up her religion but is willing to change that for me.

I think back to our internet chemistry… Elliot wasn’t telling me we have so much in common, he was just telling me that we could. Soon. Once I tell him what to like.

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To my disappointment, I’m actually heartbroken. Watching this figment of my imagination dissolve, I feel like I’m going through a real break up. But with an imaginary person. Which makes it that much worse.

~~~

Kids, let this be a cautionary tale. After this experience I approached each new date with a perhaps aggressive level of skepticism, aware of the pitfalls of Internet-based rose-colored glasses. And I still managed to screw things up a few more times. It’s a jungle out there.

 

 

Your Father Isn’t…Danny

6 Sep

I should be working on grad school applications right now but I’m experiencing severe writers block. Consider this a writing exercise instead of the productive procrastination it really is.

~~~~

Danny messages me with the New Jersey standard introduction message: “Hey, what’s up?” I answer, mostly to keep my profile out of that “responds selectively” category. If he’s not putting any effort in, though, neither am I. A promising start.

Our conversations consist of him telling me something that went wrong and me responding cheerfully. That he responds always surprises me; the conversation seems on the verge of sputtering out and yet he casually persists.

I give him my number by mistake. I thought I was responding to another message, but oh well. Weeks go by before I receive an oddly specific question. No ‘hello, this is Danny.’ No ‘sorry it took me so long to get back to you.’ No ‘hi how are you?’ As usual, I go with it.

We continue these random spurts of emotionally-unbalanced conversation through the summer. Danny texts me a question. I answer, ask about his day/week/month. He replies that things could be better because of x, y, and z. About every third time he asks if I want to get together. I say sure… then we don’t talk for a few more days, sometimes weeks, as though the step of actually planning the date is just too daunting to tackle right away. Like something will probably go wrong anyway, so why bother?

I’m dying to know one thing about Danny: when will he have a good day? I’m sometimes annoyingly cheerful, more of the Tigger than Eeyore type, so Danny’s ability to find the negative in everything is morbidly fascinating for me. It’s like my own sad, dark reflection.3ors4m

I want to meet my online Eeyore, but that would a) break my rule about not using guys as blog fodder, b) be a waste of time and probably pretty miserable and c) require more patience that I currently possess. And I will not be able to cheer him up (accept it, Heather, and move on!).

So no, Danny and I will probably never meet. I’ve decided that I’ll have to tell him that I’m seeing someone else (yea yea calm down, I’ll get to that), whenever he decides to text me again. Poor guy.

~~~~

Cheer up kids! Even though your future mom is still stuck wading through the dating pool, Danny is definitely not your father!

Your Father Isn’t…Justin

29 Nov

Justin and I exchanged only a couple of emails before he suggested we get coffee… no, how about drinks? We should just do coffee…lunch… or maybe drinks? Let’s do dinner. That all came from him; I’m mostly passive in this process. Promising, no?

I nearly forget about this date, but somehow I make it to the hip sushi spot Justin chose in a timely manner. It’s on my always-wanted-try list, so I take the venue selection as a good omen.

The loud music fills the awkward pauses and dim lighting hides our fish-fumbling (remember back with Kevin when I swore off sushi as date food? Remind me next time). Even with the restaurant conspiring on our behalf like that scene in Lady & the Tramp, it’s still not enough to generate any real chemistry.

Justin and I agree on many things: we both love baseball and enjoy football between October and April. We both have great relationships with our dads. We’re both from Jersey. We share a few laughs but still nothing clicks.

Toward the end of the night, Justin has long ago finished his meal and I’m not touching my nearly full plate of sushi, which he’s not-so-subtly eyeing. So, I offer him the rest of my food. He’s gracious as he devours it, popping one roll in his mouth before he even puts the plate down. You would think he hadn’t eaten in weeks if you hadn’t just seen him calmly and reasonably eat his own plateful of food. Within seconds, Justin has demolished all but one piece, clearly on principle. I watch the dilemma play out on his face as he stares at the final sushi roll. He explains that if food is in front of him, he eats it, which makes me wonder how he’s still so skinny.

Something clicks in my mind. Some tiny warning light starts blinking. I’ve just told him how my brother was a picky eater (a date is going well when I’ve resorted to my brother’s childhood eating habits as conversation fodder), when he admits he was/is a picky eater himself. He reveals that he generally dislikes condiments, especially sour cream, ketchup, and mustard. He not only thinks bacon is overrated but actively dislikes it (too salty and crunchy?). I finish my wine. He also hates onions, at which point I stop trying to remember the list.

Justin lopes beside me as we make the endless three block trek from the restaurant to the Metro, listing other non-food items he seriously dislikes (winter, tv, Panera Bread restaurants, fun) before I can duck safely behind the train doors.

I realize on my ride home why my internal warning system was flipping out. Unfortunately he’s not some cannibal who wants to make me into an overpriced Panera sandwich (good story at least). No, it’s just that… I’ve dated him before. For two years.

Justin is exactly like my ex-boyfriend. He’s a shorter, less attractive, less fun version of him, but generally, they could play cloned versions of each other in a low-budget sci-fi flick.

Have I really dated so much that I’m cycling back through? Oh what joys I have to look forward to!

~~~~

Kids, find a way that isn’t detrimental to your psychological and emotional well-being to easily remember why you broke up with the people you’ve already dated. That way, when you date “them” again, you can quickly decide whether this person will mean more of the same or is different enough to be worth it. On that note, your father isn’t Justin.

Your Father Could Be… Ethan

27 Sep

After that second date, things have taken off with Ethan. We talk throughout most of each day and see each other nearly as often. Insert happy relationship montage here. Everything is rainbows and butterflies and giggles and kisses and… ok, even I’m feeling a little sick from all that. Still, that’s what it’s like. There are even a few times that I think, “Geez, I hate couples like us.”

Six weeks after that should-have-been-awful first date, Ethan looks deep into my eyes and says the words every girl longs to hear (and I honestly doubted I would ever hear from him)…

“So…we should put this on Facebook?”

Only, it doesn’t really come out as a question, so I do the only reasonable thing to do: I laugh in his face.

I don’t mean to do it, but the situation is just so absurd… so 21st century and yet also so middle school, that I just don’t know what else to do. Ethan changes the subject, but I’m still chuckling.

It takes me a good ten minutes to realize that I never actually gave him an answer. “Of course!” I say, with an added apology.
We spend the rest of the night fielding texts and comments from people we barely know interrupting our date time, but it’s ok because I smile each time I tell someone about my boyfriend.

~~~~

Kids, I worry for you. If this is what I’m dealing with, well, you’re in for weird relationship milestones.

Happy Birthday, How I Didn’t Meet Your Father!

25 Jul

Someone pointed out to me that tomorrow is my one year blogiversary! What better encouragement to post? Here’s the next installment in the story of Ethan and then I’m going to get myself a birthday cupcake to celebrate one year of deliciously bad dating stories!

~~~

I hear from Ethan the day after our date and proceed to float around with a stupid grin for at least a week. We chat each day and eventually make plans for the following week since he needs to play tour guide for a visiting friend that weekend. Our plans set, we chat remotely while he waits in the obligatory lines for museum security, overpriced cupcakes, and paper Metro passes.

It becomes clear when my phone dies from checking it every twenty seconds that Ethan has already become a highly distracting figure in my life, so I vow to back off and just wait patiently for our next date. This lasts approximately three hours, until Ethan texts me:

“Mmm Georgetown cupcakes and wine.”

To which I reply, without thinking about the possible interpretations or unintended consequences:

“That better be an offer or you’re just being mean.”

Within ten minutes, Ethan is on his way to my apartment, which I realize is a mess, as am I, and my roommate Jane is cooking dinner in pajamas. I stick my head around the door to the kitchen, tell her sheepishly that a boy is coming over, and then run to my room to clean and avoid her commentary as she frantically attempts to clean the kitchen and gather the remains of her dinner before running to her room. I’m going to need to apologize to her later.

I change outfits three times, trying too hard for a cute/casual look, while simultaneously throwing anything not nailed down into my closet. I have time to put on mascara and a pair of earrings before my phone buzzes that he’s downstairs, so I take a deep breath, avoid looking at myself in the mirror and run for the elevator.

The date itself is the most wonderfully awkward date I’ve ever been on, since it’s barely a real date, more of an impromptu meeting, but more intimate and casual than any restaurant could manage. Ethan brings with him a dark, sweet dessert wine and that famous pink box with four perfect looking cupcakes, just like he promised;  he even offers one to Jane, making her like him more than me at the moment. 

But once Jane leaves, we don’t really know what to do with ourselves. We stand facing each other, leaning against opposite counters, which in my Polly-Pocket kitchen are actually fairly close, and chat casually but haltingly.

This is what I hate about second dates: they are 40% interview (unlike a first date, which is all interview) and 60% pop quiz.  My mind is scattered, trying to remember what I asked him already, or if I’m thinking of him or another guy. Then I start wondering when I became the kind of woman who can’t keep all the men in her life straight.

I’m simultaneously sizing him up: he is one of those tall, sturdy guys that I have such a weakness for, has the palest blue eyes I’ve ever seen, and has a diamond earring I can’t decide if I should judge him for. Oh, and I’m listening to what he’s saying. Totally listening.

Eventually, we settle in to opposite ends of my couch, not touching, as we nibble our cupcakes and sip the wine. Slowly, I relax.

After talking, laughing and trading YouTube videos for a while, I’m surprised to realize that we’re sitting shoulder to shoulder, thigh to thigh, and I’m leaning slightly into him; I steal a glance at Ethan, who catches me. Embarrassed, I immediately begin to move away, trying to hide my face as I blush. In a move that I swear only works in movies, Ethan boldly slips his hand against my cheek and brings my face back towards his so he can kiss me. I swear, Clark Gable would be impressed by Ethan’s calm, suave move; I sure as hell am.

The rest of the date breezes easily by, now that the ice has been broken by the kiss, and before I know it, we’re kissing good night at my door. Something has been tickling the back of my mind all evening, and I finally realize what it was.

“Didn’t you have friends over tonight?” I ask.

“I did, but I wanted to see you.”

~~~

Kids, I’m 25 years old. What do I know about the future? Not a lot. I do know, however, that everyone deserves at least one kiss like that in their lifetime.

Your Father Is/Isn’t… Ethan

29 Jun

I get excited about big drinks too!

I notice Ethan’s profile picture because he is making a ridiculously excited face and holding up an oversized margarita, which proves that at the very least we can be friends. In our initial messages, he comes across as goofy but sweet and uses the word ridiculous a lot. We bond over our families’ misadventures with shots (his mom decided she wanted to try a buttery nipple. My cousins have been on a creative Jello shot kick) and decide to meet for dinner.

As we plan our date we realize that we only live a mile apart, so Ethan creepily generously offers to give me a ride to the restaurant. An involuntary flashback through all of my past dates proves this: the guys I like most online tend to rate the highest on the not-actually-dateable scale in person, so an escape route is an absolute must. Plus, getting a ride increases the awkwardness quotient significantly (as if it’s not high enough on its own. Case in point, this entire blog).

I’d be lying if said I didn’t consider the fact that this could play out like so many movies…. he’s actually a homicidal maniac and the only real question is whether I’m the dumb blonde killed off in the beginning or the surprisingly scrappy heroine who uses her wits to escape, then inevitably stumbles upon a much broader crime, and finally confronts said maniac later to take him down. I figure that any leading woman would make sure she has a vehicle, so I make up a lie about driving to work that day and tell Ethan I’ll meet him at the restaurant.

We’re meeting on a Wednesday after work and I commute via the ever-pleasant-and-timely public bus system, so I don’t foresee any kind of complications with my plan.  Of course, it just so happens that one of DC’s infamous rainstorms rolls in right at the end of the day and it’s a well known fact that metro DC residents are known to panic at the first sign of precipitation, to the extent that nearly every storm is given a apocalyptic pun name, such as Snowmageddon (it snowed), or Derechosaurus Wrecks (thunderstorm. I wish I was lying).

I try to leave work early, to no avail, and soon find myself standing at the bus stop, drenched despite my umbrella and cute Target raincoat that isn’t really water repellant, waiting for a bus that never comes. Traffic is awful anyway, so I text Ethan with a mostly true white lie about being stuck in traffic (I am, or at least my bus is, wherever that may be) and run for the Metro, which is also a disaster.

Nearly an hour after I was supposed to be at the restaurant, I finally reach my car and break land-speed records for a dysfunctional Audi on wet back roads getting to the restaurant. I weigh the value of trying to fix my makeup, brush my hair or even check myself in the mirror against being even more absurdly late. Instead I step through the door, fumbling with my sopping umbrella, still in flats, and pat down my frizzing hair in a feeble attempt to look less like a wet dog. Ethan is nearly finished with what may or may not be his first beer but hides any annoyance at my unfashionably late arrival… or my unfashion.

Four hours later, the cozy, firelit restaurant is closing and we’re still talking animatedly, flitting from topic to topic with the excitement of finding a surprisingly kindred spirit. We disagree on many things, but the argument is high-level, fast-paced and… exciting. I feel a little breathless by the end. I start to hope that maybe he’ll forget that I was an hour late- and look a hot mess- because of this witty repartee we have going. I never said I was rational.

As we both reluctantly agree that it’s time to go, I fish in my purse for my keys before heading back into the rain. Like many women, my purse is a bottomless pit containing more useless necessities than Mary Poppins’ magic bag, so the process of finding my keys can take an eternity and this time is no exception. In fact, this time is worse: imagine trying to catch a goldfish with your bare hands… and you’re missing two fingers… on each hand. The slippery little suckers get the best of me and I end up dumping my purse onto the table in my frustration.

I get so caught up in my futile battle with my possessions that I completely forget about Ethan for a minute, who is hovering over me with a concerned look on his face, most likely for my sanity more than the fruitless search for my keys. I’m red-faced and yammering excuses and apologies by the time I finally find them, which lends a certain symmetry to the date.

~~~

Kids, if Ethan calls me after this disaster of a date, it will be a complete miracle. Or, I could end up a post on HIS blog about how he didn’t meet his kids mother. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Your Father Isn’t…Tim

12 Jun

The first message I’ve received since returning to OkCupid that has less than five spelling errors, less than three cheap pick up lines and/or less than one proposal is from Tim. We’re a 99% match according to the magic algorithms of love and he’s wearing a tux in his profile picture that makes him look a little bit like James Bond.

I’m intrigued but skeptical, thanks to a year’s worth of bloggable dates and the fact that I’m fresh off the relationship boat. What are the odds of meeting “the one” (even saying that makes me cringe a little bit) on your first date back in the game? Hah! If only I was actually that reasonable, but in all honesty, I manage to convince myself this is a possibility.

We talk for a little bit online and he explains that he’ll be going out of town later this week, so would I be interested in getting together sooner rather than later? I hate dragging these things out virtually and I have plans with friends at 8pm on Monday (READ: escape plan. Not that I’ll need to. OkCupid says we’re perfect).

On Sunday, we set up the meeting for the next day via text, but he keeps trying to continue the conversation via text message. Now, I love texting as much as the next non-Justin-Beiber-fan, but trying to describe your ideal vacation in 160 characters or less doesn’t leave much space beyond “palm tree, beach, margarita.”  I subtly hint that conversing a la middle school isn’t the best way to reach me by just not answering.

Mid-morning on Monday I get a message via OkCupid:

“My phone is being weird, so I thought I’d try this. How’s your day going?”

Oh, that’s kind of sweet, I think. I also realize that he might have tried to text me or noticed that I stopped answering last night, so I check to see if he commented on my lack of responsiveness.

Lo and behold, his phone DOES seem to be working, but I think Siri might have gone on strike, like the commercial where the navigation system won’t let the guy be an idiot and forces him to a jewelry store. I think I received fewer texts on my birthday than I have from him, one after another, seemingly oblivious that they were just echoing off each other with no input from me. I would love to be flattered that he likes me so much, but even I can’t muster that strong of a delusion. He’s never even met me.

The time finally comes and I’m more emotional than I expected. Am I ready for this? Do I even remember how to do this? I remind myself of the 99% perfect Christian world-traveling James Bond that I’m meeting (he had mentioned he has a slight British accent from living in London for much of his childhood). Of course, I’m disappointed on all counts within a few minutes of meeting. In fact, I quickly realize, I’m on a date with DC.

Tim is the perfect summary of DC, from the power suit at happy hour to the twisting of a Texas-sized class ring while telling stories about “my time on the Hill.” He moved to DC to intern for his Congressman and now works in the broader realm of politics. He loves to tell me about his degree, his job, his clients, even his “good old days” in college. He recites his stories with a ‘top that’ attitude then sits uncomfortably when I do. He tells me how hard his day was because he only had one intern available, and explains that a “not for profit is a nonprofit.” I get silly from chugging my margarita, which he thinks is “adorable.”

Although I’ve worked hard to avoid all these traits during my time in this city, I can accept this as an inevitable risk of living here, the way you accept getting bitten by a lion if you live in the jungle. It’s bound to happen sooner or later. The DCishness was not the killer of the evening; it was something else I’ve seen plenty of times but never known a name for, so I just made one up.

neck muffin: 1. when a man wears a shirt with a neck that is much too tight for him and keeps it buttoned. 2. The muffin top as applied to the neck.

I leave the date by dodging a kiss and meet my friends to watch the Stanley Cup, where they promptly persuade me that ordering a round of shots is not the way to shake off the specter of this date. Smart ladies.

~~~

Kids, please promise me you will wear clothes that fit and I will promise you that your father isn’t Tim.