Friday, January 28, 2011

Date#42 - The Hot Chocolate Incident

This man sent me a message, inviting me to a deluxe coffee shop deep in the heart of the suburbs. Driving at night on country roads in mid-January is less that thrilling but it reminded me of good times driving to visit friends for massive house parties some years ago, so I cranked the heat, turned on the CBC and put my foot to the floor. At least there was no traffic.
As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that it was right beside a quaint motel with a vacancy sign flashing. Obviously this motel pre-existed the shiny strip mall. This gave me pause. A motel? Was this man a creepy lecher or a dashing opportunist? Actually, neither.
He was a gently person who was freshly separated from his wife and very young child. In the new year, he had stopped drinking, joined a gym and Well, 2 out of three. He may not have stopped drinking, but he certainly had some funny reactions around it. At first he told me he wasn't drinking. When I said I would have a glass of white wine he clearly stated that he did not like wine. When the waitress arrived he said that he would like some wine but then changed his mind as I stared in bewilderment as he ordered a B52. The last I checked, both of these had alcohol in them. But a Rules Girl says nothing, she simply observes.
Then we stated to talk.
Full Disclosure: Dating men who have had a recent serious breakups is like dating the walking wounded. It's a complete mistake. Not only because his heart belongs to another woman, not only because he is about to be broke and bitter, not only because his relationship with his child should be paramount but all of these things result in there being nothing left for you. It either wasn't clear, or I didn't see his status on (forgive me, I am new) otherwise I would never have met with him.
Take Heart! Single Girl, divorced men are often catches.
In my experience, they are great guys who got married for good (not great) reasons in their twenties, and then grew apart from their spouses. The vast majority claim they were cheated on and abandoned. This may or may not be true, but I remain deeply touched by how many claimed to have wanted to work it out, to get over it. When it comes to divorced men, a good rule for myself is, wait until 12 months after the divorce decree was actually signed. This means that "separated" men are off limits (because often he is still living with her) and this means that newly divorced men are off limits too. If I walked away from a terrible traffic accident that I had just caused, would you hand me the keys to your new Bentley? No. You are the Bentley, your heart is the keys and the driver at fault is a man going through the break up. Steer around the incident, you are not qualified to help, his injuries are not life threatening and it's not your problem.
But back to the date.
The waitress arrived to ask if we would like to have another drink. I said, No thank you and he said "She will have a hot chocolate."
No thank you, I said
Didn't you say you would like to have a hot chocolate?
The waitress left, flummoxed.
I thought I heard you say you wanted a hot chocolate.
Sarcastically: Ok, so I guess it must have been somebody else.
Guess so.
This break in reality was interesting to me, so I asked:
What did it sound like when I said I wanted a hot chocolate? What words did I use?
You said...I ... to have a hot chocolate!
No. But I did notice that you said you weren't drinking alcohol and then ordered an alcoholic drink.
I know. I am bad, right?
No, you are not bad. I am just wondering why you said one thing and did another?
I know. I am bad, right?
Given that I was sitting in a really comfortable chair, I decided to play psychologist.
No. You are not bad. But what's going on?
He responded: What are you? Are you some kind of detective?
I got up and left. It was the only time he smiled.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Date #41-January 20

There were two men texting me like crazy on the weekend. Both wanted a last minute date, and both were surprised when I politely advised that I was busy. This only intensified the texting: "When are you free?" infinitum.

Neither man interested me that much and so I decided to try a little experiment to see which man was the most eager. I figure that the more eager the man, the better the date. The first man was kind of plain, the other a gorgeous working actor. I sent the same text to both men on Monday at noon: "Call me after 5" and I promised I would go out with the first one that called.
Mr. Plain texted back right away: "Will do! Have a good day! :)"
He called at 5:45pm, asked me about my family, told me about his and closed the deal in under 5 minutes. My man! We agreed to meet at a place close to my house and he even offered to buy my a steak.
Mr. Gorgeous took a couple of hours to respond to my text and when he did, it was to re-negotiate a non-negotiable: "Ok it'll be at 6:45 when I get off work" Very dismissive. In actual fact, Mr. Gorgeous called at 8:45 and probably had something really amazing to tell me and somewhere really awesome to take me, but I wouldn't know because I turn off my phone at 7pm.
Mr. Plain was sincere, eager and kind. This was not a simple drinks date (i.e. "Date Zero"). This was a REAL date. He grabbed a table, ordered me a steak and proceeded to tell me his entire life story. While interesting, it was a little intense...okay, make that a lot intense. He had everything that a man his age should have and now he was actively looking for a girlfriend to make into his wife. That's a rare thing. As my mother says, He has his light on. There is nothing wrong with that, but he wasn't right for me. He was like a female trying to get married, it seemed like it didn't matter who. I might have liked him, but the hard sell was tough to swallow, and it seemed a little insecure. Maybe he was just nervous. I hope so, because I want to introduce him to a friend I know...
In contrast, Mr. Gorgeous continues to text without actually saying anything.
So, Dear Reader, who has more Game? Which one was the Real Man?
I think you already know the answer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Date #39 - January 4, 2011

This man wrote a message a week in advance, inviting me to meet at The Keg after work.
I accepted, but instead of showing up he sent a text at the last minute advising he would be 30 minutes late. Of course, I advised that I needed to cancel. Funny how that always sets off the fireworks. Cowards never want to call until you don't need then anymore, then they can't leave you alone.
It is to be expected that a full grown man knows enough not to leave a woman waiting at a restaurant. He choose the place and suggested to the time. It is also to be expected that a full grown man has the necessary coping skills to deal with a change in plans. So when I texted that a time change wasn't going to work for me and that I needed to cancel, it is fair to say that he went insane.
He sent 3 texts which I didn't read (more than one indicates insanity), and then called me. He started by telling a series of fibs:
1. He sent the text 20 minutes earlier than my phone indicated.
2. There was a terrible accident far away and he had been stopped for 20 minutes.
3. But! Now he was barreling down the highway and would be there soon. (?)
It is important to note the repeated use of "20 minutes". Liars use the same phrase over again to keep their lies "straight". I told him not to bother. He said "Have a good night" and hung up.
Then he sent a final text: "You are a bitter biter bitter woman. What if someone found out". I deleted it.
Full Disclosure: He was older and very sad because he wanted this to fail. In good faith I showed up and he did not keep his word to do the same. Instead he allowed himself to be late, advised me at the last minute preventing us from re-scheduling like adults and told me non-verbally that he held me in such disregard that it didn't matter what kind of impression he made. His cowardice manifested this reality. Then rather than salvage it he called me names by text when he didn't have the courage to say it on the phone. He is a coward and he hates himself so much - rather, he is so convinced that no one will like him - that he did this instead. This is the risk of Internet dating. You may unwittingly be the cross upon which others choose to crucify themselves.