In online dating you risk facing disappointment when the façade is revealed and an interaction is taken into reality. Sam, my date from last night, is an excellent example of this. I didn’t just have his OKCupid profile to work with; he even sent me a link to his Facebook page prior to meeting for additional stalking opportunities.
I liked his quick-witted answers and choice photos in his dating profile. Although I’ve heard of online daters choosing to check out FB before a date, I opt not to. I feel it takes out the last shreds of mystery that I prefer to maintain. I don’t want to see you in Jamaica with some girl who made the mistake of getting cornrows, I’m not interested in looking at you and your bros out celebrating St. Patrick’s day, and it’s too soon for me to know that you’re listening to Chris Brown this very moment on Spotify.
That said, I probably should have checked out his page before the date.
When Sam sent me a message on OKCupid that complimented my style and “vibe”, I liked the direction he was heading in. Go ahead, blow up my ego.
Last night was chilly so we made the romantic decision to bundle up with some hot toddies at a West Village bar. I know I sound like an asshole always knocking short guys, but my inner measuring stick rarely lies; this guy was at best 5’6. His profile clocked him in at a solid 5’9. I’ll say it, I’m shallow. If I’m bigger than you it’s going to be hard for me to be attracted to you. I like large men because they make me feel small, it’s my own body complex. No more false advertising. I’ve surrendered my Booty Pop and accepted my God-given behind (most of the time), men need to accept their height and move forward.
In his messages Sam came across super confident which is a quality that attracts me in a man. However, in person he struggled to make eye contact and referred to me several times as “dude” and/or “man”, which I assume meant either he was super nervous by my stunning presence or he thought I resembled a guy (perhaps because I outsized him) and it made him uncomfortable.
He stared straight ahead at the bar so I took it upon myself to get the conversation rolling. “Do you live near here?” He shifted, then stiffly nodded. “Where?” I asked.
“Just across the river, man.” His profile lists him as a New Yorker. Across the river is New Jersey, not New York, and certainly not the West Village. “Dude, I like it out there because I have a lot of space, a whole floor actually.”
That sounded kind of cool, I started picturing a high rise with Manhattan views, modern architecture, and slick marble counter tops. “Any roommates?” I asked.
“Just my mom, dude,” he said, “She lives downstairs, it’s her house. But I have the whole upstairs.” If I were in high school this would have sounded like a pretty sweet set up, but as a self-sufficient modern lady, this wasn’t the most appealing of living scenarios for a potential beau.
He told me he’s taken up aviation classes with hopes to fly planes as a hobby. I had to give him points for that; it’s an interesting passion to follow. “I don’t do it to score girls,” he told me. I didn’t suspect he did in the first place. Flight classes are cool but not exactly sexy. He then began to tell a story of a fight he got into with his instructor in the air. Unable to make eye contact with me, he yelled straight ahead of him, reenacting the scene with the same fury he felt in the sky. It was uncomfortable for both the bartender he was facing and me.
“Any other hobbies?” I persisted. He told me about playing the guitar, but also mentioned that his musical inclinations were not driven by the desire for female attention either. To bust his balls I brought up the fact that his profile picture is of him holding his guitar. He didn’t appreciate this reminder.
“I’m on the Youtube,” he told me, “But I don’t have too many hits, I’m mainly trying to keep my stuff on the DL for now, man.”
This dude/man was not for me. I wrapped it up after one drink and wished him luck in the air and stage.
He texted me after, “That was a good time dude.”
Granny was more than tickled to hear about Matthew. When I mentioned that he’s published several children’s books she straight up squealed from delight. Like our date, Granny did a rapid fire question and answer with me to get all the dirt on the dude. “He’s from Chicago? He’s a cosmopolitan,” she cooed.
I knew that when I revealed his Jewish roots she’d be tickled but I didn’t know it would send her over the edge. “He’s a keeper,” she instructed, “Hang around him a bit, when I come to New York I’ll meet him or you can bring him home to visit in Florida after three months, if he’s hot shit, two months.” I reminded her that we only had a twenty-minute date, suggesting that she might be getting ahead of herself.
LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATON: convo.mp3
She warned me not to screw it up. “You don’t chase him. Let him pursue you, in a modern, contemporary way.” Then of course she blew some steam up my ass to remind me whose team she’s playing on, “You’re very attractive, he likes what he saw or he’s blind and he needs glasses.” I couldn’t find an argument there.
When it comes to getting frisky, she warned, “Don’t experiment in the bed so fast, he may want a nice Jewish girl.” I’m not sure if anyone has considered me a nice Jewish girl since my Bat Mitzvah, even then it might have been a stretch.
I asked how long she thought was appropriate to wait for sex, “A couple of months?” I laughed. “You can’t wait a couple of months? What’s on your schedule? Two dates, three dates?” Let’s not confine ourselves to the number of dates; it depends on the man.
“You could get some real mileage out of this guy, play your cards right,” she urged. Although I appreciate Granny’s enthusiasm, I think she may have gotten a little carried away. Although I enjoyed Matthew’s company, twenty minutes is only enough time to have a drink, not enough to make plans for experimenting in the bedroom or bringing him home to meet Granny.
Last week I received a persuasive message from a man named Matthew:
12 great reasons to message me back:
1. Good at making lists.
2. Also works in several industries.
3. Two words: animal magnetism
5. Accurate profile photos (and only one with no shirt on)
5. Asks insightful questions: Were you at the LCD sound system farewell show last year?
6 . Excellent at counting.
11. Tall, dark and mysterious…
Numbers three and six were particularly attractive qualities to me, but the cliffhanger of number 12 was what really got me.
We began sending some messages back and forth. “How nerdy were you in high school?” he asked. Nerdy? I was probably at my peak of coolness in high school. I danced in a cage at a foam party during spring break in Daytona. How many nerds do that? Geez. (In retrospect, I may have been quite nerdy.)
We tried setting up a date but ran into several scheduling difficulties. First he couldn’t make it because he had plans to go see an opera at The Met. The next time I couldn’t make it because I had plans to see the Lorax in 3D. Although our contrasting choices of entertainment might have been a telling sign about our compatibility we still charged forward and arranged to meet for a drink last night.
We chose a bar through texts. “I’m the girl in the cool tie-dyed shirt,” I texted when I arrived. He didn’t see me. As it often happens with modern day communication, there was a miscommunication and we ended up at different bars. By the time we finally rendezvoused we only had twenty minutes to grab a drink. Apparently we were both expert online daters, arranging plans for after our drink so there could be a natural cut-off point.
It was a full on speed date. We did a rapid-fire question and answer session as we pounded our beers. He published several children’s books. That is a secret fantasy of mine. Vegan Vampires. The Panda Goes to Pilates. Spaghetti Sauce in Space. So many ideas, so little time.
We talked a bit about the pros and cons of online dating. He said he enjoyed it because it got him out of his immediate social circle. Great point, Matthew. He also said it saved him from going to a bar, getting drunk enough to ask a girl out, then dealing with either the rejection or the sloppy make out. Who doesn’t love a sloppy make out?
I’m not sure if it was because of the condensed time period or because we actually had a connection but it was an entertaining twenty-minute date.
He walked me out of the bar and I caught him eyeing my white bike as I unlocked it. “Are you jealous of my bike?” I asked.
“No,” he said, clearly lying. My bike is gorgeous.
He said he had a cooler bike (doubt it) and suggested we take a bike ride sometime. A bike ride with a published children’s book author who prides himself on his animal magnetism and ability to count? Perhaps I’ll go along for the ride.
After conferring with some gal pals Granny called me back to discuss further what she learned from date three with Tim, “There are definite differences between dating at 25 and 75,” she began, “This seems to be the standard. Men will take you out twice, the third time you take them out or better yet invite them home for a lovely home cooked meal.”
Although she was happy to have learned a new tip in the dating game she still won’t conform to the standard, “I’m not cooking dinner for any man,” she said.
I reminded her that she actually won’t cook dinner for anyone, including me. I have no memories of Granny in the kitchen doing anything more than arranging a shrimp cocktail from Whole Foods or making a bowl of ice cream. She insists that she used to be a big cook, “It was only later that I started buying things and putting them on the table.”
After guilt tripping her, she promised to prepare a nice meal for me when I go home, “You like chicken? Yes or no?” she asked. “I have a nice chicken dish, I’ll make it for you and you’ll like it.”
LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION: cooking convo
Granny got quite a kick out of the concept of a “panini special”. After explaining the happy hour deal three times she finally got it. “Okay, okay, so you get the panini for nothing with the drinks ya paid for? Unbelievable,” she huffed.
When I explained his job description she told me, “When they have nothing else to say, they’re entrepreneurs,” she giggled, “They’re just entreprenuring.”
We both agreed it was impossible to know for sure Wayne’s story, background, and profession. “I go back to the old adage that a shrink told me 100 years ago,” she said, “‘What you really know, is that you don’t know.’ That you can count on.”
LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION: old adage.mp3
“Meet me at 6 for the happy hour panini special,” Wayne, my date, texted me.
I figured that Wayne was either a deal-hunter, panini enthusiast, or joking, but there was only one way to find out. Wayne’s affinity for food was what attracted me to him in the first place. On the “6 things I could not do without” list he put:
1. milk chocolate
2. dark chocolate
3. chocolate chip cookies
4. gianduja chocolate
5. chocolate fondue
6. flourless chocolate cake
It was clear we were going to have at least five things in common. I didn’t know what gianduja was, but I wanted to find out.
In Wayne’s profile it also mentioned that he liked to “sniff and swirl” wine so I wasn’t surprised when I walked in the bar to find his nose deep in a glass of Tempranillo. After we greeted he welcomed me to a smell of his drink.
I reached for it, he pulled it back and swirled it three times in each direction, then slid it back to me. “It needs to breath,” he cooed. I commented on its leathery aroma. “Continue…” he urged me.
I know a bit about wine, I’ve even gone to some vineyards in Bordeaux but this was wine in a dive bar that didn’t seem worthy of an in depth description. I looked up above the bar at the game on the flat screen TVs and over at the prominent Jaeger chiller, “Spicy?” I gave it a shot to humor him. He nodded like a proud teacher.
When I ordered a beer I felt the disappointment in Wayne’s eyes, It turned out there really was a free panini “special”, with any drink you get a panini of your choice between the hours of 5-7. Wayne suggested we go “half-sies”, the creative term he explained, that he uses with his friends when they split meals.
Wayne was laid off from his corporate job last year and has taken to being an “entrepreneur”, apparently this is a growing job title. When I asked what he was working on he told me he couldn’t share those details because it’s in the “top secret stages” of development. I told him I had a business idea too, this is supposed to be under wraps also, but seeing as the insurance for my business plan might be too high to ever pull off I shared it with him:
Zipsters. Zip-lines that connect Brooklyn to Manhattan. The speedy and fun alternative to the subway for hipsters. Harnesses would be as cool as skinny jeans and facial hair. This is a billion dollar idea. Right? Wayne didn’t think so. He pointed out all the holes in my plan and told me it would never happen. Pssshhhh, we’ll see.
With the uncomfortable business conversation in the air, it was a relief when our paninis came so our attention could be turned back to our shared interest, food. Like the wine, the panini also had notes of leather in it. We both tried to enjoy our sandwiches but there was no denying that they were free for a reason and our only true connection was based on chocolate.
Message I received on OKCupid:
Hey what’s up, I am truly mesmerized by your beauty, so I decided to write a song for you, hope you like it:
twinkle twinkle beautiful star
how I wonder what you are
up above the clouds so high
like a bracelet in the sky
twinkle twinkle beautiful star
how I wonder what you aaarrrreeee
original song for an original lady, what do you think 🙂
Not sure how to take this. Does he want to give me a bracelet? Is he being sarcastic when he calls me original? Has this poem ever worked for him on anyone over the age of five?
Under favorite books he wrote: “BOOKS – I would need to read to have a favorite.”