Friday, June 29, 2012

Who are you?

Blind dates.  Back in the stone ages, before I got married, blind dates were internet dating.  Of course without the pre-date emailing and texting or the ability to pour over pictures and inane answers to ridiculous questions posted on your potential dates profile.  But blind dates were just as terrifying.  Lots of times, there was only one incredibly awkward phone call prior to setting a meeting time.  All the information given about your potential date was that he was single, nice and prefect for you. Hence the blind part of the blind date.  Invariably you and your date did not jibe and the only think you had in common was that you were both single.  But before the date happened one thing that was for certain was that your blind date knew the person who set you both up.  This means that you were sure this person existed as they were promoted.  In the world of internet dating it would seem this would be true, but the fact is that anyone can create a dating profile with whatever photos and stats they want and lure you in.  Why people would do this is still beyond me but they do and I have experienced it.

Trolling any internet dating site is a surreal experience.  I do a lot of online shopping for things such as handbags, shoes and clothing.  It is a job shopping online.  You have to imagine what the product will look like on you.  Will it flatter?  Will it fit?  Will it make you feel insecure and stupid?  The same rings true for online dating.  You peruse the site, looking at pictures, reading bios and wondering, how will this guy look on you?  Then you have to take the plunge and possibly send a message to start the buying process.  But every once in a while a purchase finds you first.  That is what happened to me this time.

I received a message for a man a few years younger than me.  It was a sexy forthright message.  He told me he wanted to know more about me and asked me to dinner.  But he lived in New York City and I do not.  I responded that I was intrigued but that I thought we had a geographical issue.  He assured me that he comes to Philadelphia a lot for work.  After a few emails we exchanged phone numbers.  We spoke on the phone.  His voice was sexy.  His personality was sexy.  He seemed strong, self assured, commanding.  I was definitely interested.  We made a plan for when he came to Philly which was the following weekend.  While the plan included a restaurant in a hotel, time was never discussed.  Because he was so smooth on the phone I did not realize this until we had hung up.  I texted him to get a time and he said he would let me know as soon as he knew what time he was getting into Philly.  Fair enough.

We continued to talk on the phone up until the the day of the date.  According to this man, we will call Robert because that is the name he gave me, he is a successful attorney who works  in Philly and NYC and owns a house on Shelter Island.  He has never been married, has no kids but wants all of that.  He is suave, sophisticated and totally engaging.  And he is interested in me.  Wait a minute.  Why is he interested in me.  I am 43, single mother who lives in the burbs and drives her kids to soccer and baseball games.  Are there no appropriate women for Robert in NYC?  But then again, it is me we are talking about.  I let that one slide.

The date day arrives.  Robert calls to say he is leaving NYC around 11am and will text when he arrives.  The day moves forward.  I stress about what I will wear, how I will do my hair etc.  Now it is 5pm and I have heard nothing from Robert.  I text him.  I hear nothing.  It is now 6pm.  I am pretty sure I have been stood up.  I am pretty sure he is not who he says he is and therefore cannot meet me.  I am pretty sure he is dead because really that is the only reason to stand someone like me up. Nothing.  7pm and I am on my second glass of wine and I finally get a text from him.  His father fell down a flight of stairs.  He is at the ER with his mother.  He will call soon.  Now I feel terrible.  All those thoughts I was thinking about him just blowing me off and here this poor man was dealing with his father's injury.  Of course I tell him not to worry.  We can reschedule.

Two days later I hear from Robert.  His father is ok.  He had a cardiac episode.  But Robert wants to reschedule.  I am game.  Sexy, sophisticated, educated and loves his family.  The complete package, right?  Robert says he will be in Philly all week on business and is staying at a very fancy hotel.  I could come by, catch a drink, dinner and see what happens.  Absolutely I say.  We pick a night.  The day of the date arrives.  He calls in the morning to make sure we are still on.  Of course we are, I think I am already in love.  But once again no time for this dinner is set.  I am starting to hear that saying in my head.  How does it go?  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, I am a complete idiot.  Something like that.  5pm  I receive a text that he is 'stuck in a meeting in KOP and will call @ 7'.  KOP.  KOP!  For those of you outside the Philadelphia metro area, KOP stands for King Of Prussia which is basically a city eclipsed by a giant mall.  But only locals call it KOP.  Who the hell is this guy?  I am pretty sure he is not from New York.  I am now pretty sure he is not an attorney. I am definitely sure he does not look as good as the pictures on his dating profile. I bet he doesn't even have a father.  And if he does have a father, I bet he lives in a ranch house.

But the question then remains.  Why?  Are there men out there who get off on talking to a woman on the phone, planning dates and then bailing on them.  Is that some weird fetish that I have yet to discover?  Men who plan dates they never intend of going on.   I text Robert back.  No thank you.  We are done before we started.  I want to ask him a series of questions but then I really don't want to know the answers, do I?  I am pretty sure I don't.

Online dating is shopping.  I love the shoes I have found on Zappos.  I purchase the shoes and much to my delight, they arrive the next day.  But then when I take them out, I am dismayed.  The color is not the same as it seemed on my computer.  The heel is far shorter that I thought it would be.  And it is far too small, squeezing the hell out of my toes and annoying me.  The same is true for online dating.  You just cannot be sure what will show up at your door.  But since I just made a return, the lure of shopping drags me back in.  I will peruse the sites, make another purchase and hope for a better fit.  After all, I am 43 and single.

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