Thursday, June 12, 2014

I Am Undateable – The Prequel, Part I

So after I blogged last time about my uncomfortable venture into the dating world, I got to thinkin’….the writing was on the wall long ago but apparently through time and ill-correcting glasses, I could no longer read it.  I’ve been undateable pretty much my entire adult life.  Joining Match last December was my second foray into online dating.  Back in 2001, I had a brief but eventful membership to eHarmony.  I thought it might be fun to relive those dates via a #TBT blog post about my first attempt at online dating.  Here we go!  (Did anyone else say that in their heads in the voice of Mario in Super Nintendo Super Mario Kart?)

I’ll set the scene…..it was the spring of 2001.  Texting hadn’t really caught on yet, Netzero internet connection was dial-up and Napster was still a legal place to get free music, even if it did take three hours to add “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack to your WinAmp playlist.  I was 25, recently divorced and single-parenting the boy, who was a rambunctious 6 years old.  I found myself wondering if I would ever find a good guy.  Enter eHarmony.

Undateable #1:
Expecto Patro...ugh, whatever (photo courtesy of collider.com)
 

I’ll call him “Lego Man” because, well...you’ll see.  He was a normal looking guy, successful at a young age, even owing his very own house in the same suburb where I rented my apartment at the time.  He even had a projection TV….wow, cool.  We exchanged a number of messages on the website because the way eHarmony worked (maybe it still does, I'll never know), you had to get through several levels of structured “communication” before you were allowed to exchange regular, personal messages with someone.  He was very nice, sweet even.  I agreed that it was time to meet and he suggested that we take the boy to go see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  My infatuation with all things Harry Potter was in its infancy at the time but I thought that sounded like a nice idea, so I agreed.  He picked me up at my apartment (apparently I was completely unconcerned about safety at the time?) and he drove the three of us to the theater.  The movie had only been out a week or so and the theater was completely full but we were able to find three seats together and got comfy for the two and a half hour movie.  Now, I hadn’t read the book yet, but Lego Man had and he was truly excited to see the big screen interpretation.  He was a bit too chatty, but at least he was quiet about it….until he laughed….loudly and at seemingly inappropriate times during the film.  Seriously, there were a number of occasions where he was the only one laughing – loudly – and people were turning around in their seats to look (embarrassing).  At least the boy was young enough not to sink down in his seat, mortified by the disproportionate outbursts of his mother’s date.
 
So, the movie ended and he drove us home and asked if he could use the bathroom.  Sure, what’s the harm in that, c’mon in, awkward laughing guy.  He used the bathroom and came out to see the boy building with Lego in the living room as I sat on the plush forest green loveseat.  He proclaims, “I LOVE Lego!” and then sits on the floor to join in the plasticky building fun.  The boy shot me a quick glance, I kind of shrugged and for the next hour, they played with Lego – on my living room floor – while I sat there wondering how I could politely ask him to leave. 

By this time, it was getting late, probably close to 11:00 PM, so I told the boy it was time to go to bed.  I was so hopeful that Lego Man would take that opportunity to get a clue and ready himself for an exit upon my return.  No such luck.  I got back into the living room and he had made himself comfortable on the loveseat.  I sat down next to him.  For the love of Pete, I don’t know why I didn’t just stay standing, thank him for the movie, walk him over to the door and say good night.  But I didn’t.  He was suddenly all over me like an 8 year old boy on Pokémon cards (ok, it was a relevant simile at the time).  He was attempting to initiate a make-out session worthy of a high school freshman left alone in his parents’ basement with his girlfriend, unsure of how long they’d be gone.  It felt hurried and awkward and it was yucky.  I ended it just as he shot for second base by pulling away and saying, “If you think you’re about to get lucky, you’re not.”  He laughed uncomfortably and mumbled something about feeling tired anyway and he finally left.

Of course, that wasn’t the last time I heard from him.  I was apparently irresistible because he started a chain of phone calls the next day.  Thank goodness for caller ID.  I am ashamed (albeit only a tiny bit) to admit that I just never spoke to him again.  I guess I wasn’t woman enough to just tell him that I wasn’t interested.  The calls died off after a couple of weeks.  That was the end of that.
See, there really wasn’t anything wrong with him, in the grand scheme of life but all it took was a little inappropriate laughter in a public place for me to mentally cross him off my list of potential life-mates.  Am I picky?  Probably.  But sometimes, maybe not picky enough….but that’s a story for another time.  Stay tuned for Part II of the Undateable – The Prequel, a Trilogy.

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