Failed First Dates:
This Train is Leaving the Station

Thursday, December 30, 2010
lounge car conductor
high on chatter, low on teeth
not stable enough

When I got an email from OK stating that The Conductor and I had rated each other with high marks, I thought he’d be a great match for my plan to skip the get-to-know-you phase and go straight to dinner.

I wrote him a very direct email about wanting to grab sushi and he responded in the positive, although he made me do the math to figure out when he was available (he works 2 ½ days and off 2 ½ days). It wasn’t until this week, and despite having started communicating before the holidays we didn’t really chat until we actually met up for dinner last night. I considered the date basically blind.

He started off looking quite attractive - good height, nice eyes, potentially sexy facial hair - but as I was diligently paying attention to his chatting I noticed he seemed to be lacking several teeth. In a row. Possibly on two sides of his mouth. As someone who paid for her orthodontic work as an adult, bad teeth are a huge turn off for me. They’re also very confusing, certainly something you might consider explaining to the pretty lady sitting across from you.

It’s not all about looks, though, and I thought he had some great boyfriend qualities – close with family, interested in cycling (motor and bike), chef quality cooking skills. As I learned more about him I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe he wasn’t as stable as I’d expect (or want) someone 5 years my senior to be. He seemed fairly intelligent, and clearly employable - he’d been in the Army reserves, restaurant kitchens, data processing, the Army again and currently two plus years into his lounge car job serving snacks to passengers on trains – but nothing that seemed like he’d settled on a career. In fact he mentioned possibly wanting to get his bachelors. In what, he didn’t say.

Which is odd, because he was the one doing all the chatting. I did get the opportunity to talk about my job a bit (like that’s what I want to talk about) and I inserted a few comments about myself here and there, but mostly, he talked and I tried to stay interested in hearing him.

I'm happy to give him some leeway for nerves, and I can even overlook that he spit a few pieces of rice at me while talking (although I'd rather not), but he actually cut me off twice mid-sentence when I was attempting to contribute my own story amidst his.

I have a thing for common courtesy. And a full set of teeth. And the movie White Christmas, which is unfortunate, since now my visions of a cross country train adventure have been dashed.

Really, Santa?

Sunday, December 26, 2010
All I wanted for Christmas was a boyfriend who would arrive in the stylings of all those Lifetime holiday movies I’ve been watching. I thought for sure I would get one. I mean, I was super nice this year, and that includes being honest with all the guys it wasn’t working out with. Plus, per my favorite holiday pop song by Mariah Carey, I did not wish for snow.

You can imagine my disappointment last night as I realized he would not be arriving.

What I did get was an email from the Non-Drinker (see Failed First Dates: Batter Up). He hoped I was well and wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas. Oh, and he also said that as soon as he starts drinking, I’m the first call he’s going to make.

Now it’s not a lump of coal, but either Santa didn’t get my letter, or he couldn’t quite bump me from the naughty list. I hardly think that's where I belong, but I guess it is a bit flattering to have made someone's holiday email list after only one date.

At least New Years is right around the corner.

On the Fence (part 2 of 2)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Well the good news is that the run gave me my decision. I was up for meeting The Performer, even on a school night. I was sure I’d like him, and then discover to no one’s surprise that it wouldn’t work out between us because we have no schedule overlap, but you know what? Who cares. I didn’t have anything else to do that night and I like comedy shows, even though I rarely go to them.

The bad news is that even a few hours after I had emailed (on OK Cupid) and texted him my acceptance of the date - should it still be available to me - I hadn’t heard back. I was pretty sure the show was still a few hours from then, so I left the window open and even showered on the off chance that I’d hear back in the positive. I officially threw in the towel around 8p, after hearing nothing despite noticing that The Performer had been on OK Cupid about half an hour after my email had been sent.

Perhaps I had waited too long? Technically I had seen the invite early morning Saturday (sent in the wee hours) but I had had a really busy day and truthfully didn’t get around to thinking about it until Sunday. He had asked about my weekend plans days earlier, like Tuesday of last week, so I got the impression he was a more laid back kind of planner. It’s not like I sat on the invite for several days.

Perhaps he too had been on the fence about me? I did receive a late night text from him on Sunday stating that he hadn’t had his phone with him, although I know he had been on OK Cupid much, much earlier that day. It ended with “next time, I guess”. Well, if that isn’t a clear indication that he wasn’t that interested… I don’t know what is.

I didn’t even bother replying to the text. And next time, I guess I won't bother saying yes to guys I'm on the fence about!

On the Fence (part 1 of 2)

Sunday, December 19, 2010
Should you go out on a date with someone you pretty much know it won’t work out with? Not because he doesn’t look decently attractive or because you don’t think you’ll have anything to talk about, but because of one of those likely insurmountable issues that you know about in advance. Like he lives in Canada. I’m sure the answer depends on the particular situation.
So here’s mine.

I’ve exchanged a few emails with a guy on OK Cupid, and he’s one of those performer types, which means we have completely opposite schedules. He actually put in his profile that he’s run into trouble with 9-5 gals, who won’t stay out past 10p. He’s proposed going to a comedy show followed by his buddy’s bar. Tonight. Sunday night.

My immediate thought was that it sounded like a late night, for a school night. I’m normally sleeping around 10p on Sundays, plus I’ve been trying to get up and work out in the morning. And then I thought, that’s exactly what he had written in is profile. I'm a 9-5 gal.

I probably shouldn’t have even responded to The Performer's first email, because I’m a realist, and I’ve dated this type before. I remember it being sort of impossible to spend time with that guy, because as a musician he was always at work during my free time, and I was always sleeping (or working) during his. We didn’t have enough schedule overlap and it wasn’t something that could be fixed without one of us drastically changing our lifestyle.

I did engage in conversing with this new guy, though, because there’s always that voice in the back of my head (or maybe it’s coming from my friends) saying that “this could be the one” or “what would it hurt to just go meet him and see”.

I am surprisingly torn. I would like to meet him and I’ve been wanting someone to hang out with (although I was hoping for sushi snacks). Maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. But let's say I stay out late(r) than I would normally to see if we have a connection. What then? I hate to end something before it starts, but I like going to bed early. I don’t send emails at 4:50am, which is when I got his date invite. The last time I saw that time it was Tuesday morning, and I was heading to spin class, not heading back from the bars.

Had I thought of this earlier I could have used a blog poll and solicited feedback from you, dear readers. As it stands, I should have already decided. Guess I’m headed out for a run. It’s the best self-deciding mechanism I have.

Ants in my Pants

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Whenever I clear my dance card I like to wipe out any and all reminders of the guy from my email, phone, etc. I purge; it’s the best way to take control and create a clean slate.

After the exhilaration of all that deleting has worn off, though, I get a little antsy about what’s next for my dating scene. And as busy as the holidays are I find myself with some extra time on my hands and no one to spend it with. If I could keep a boyfriend around just for holiday time, I totally would.

Oh sure, I’m chatting with a few guys online and may have some dates lined up soon, but sometimes I just want to skip past all that introductory crap and go right to having someone to go out to dinner with. Like tonight.

It's not that I don’t like the getting to know you stage, especially the butterflies that go with all that hopefulness and promise early dates can have, but I think I just get tired of the formality of it all. Well, I like the formality of actually being invited to do something, just not always the planning in advance part.

I want dating to be spontaneous! And I want to waste less time! And I really, really want to go out for dinner with someone new!

As much as I think a CL post would be ideal for locating a guy with a similar sense of throwing caution to the wind (after all, dinner with someone you've barely chatted with could easily spell disaster), I must admit I'm a bit gun shy to put something out there on the off chance that Summer Boy is still lurking around. I'm not sure if he reads women's posts or just writes his own, but the thought of him reading one of mine makes me squirm.

I can’t sit still, though, so maybe I could try being more forward on OK Cupid. Find a nice gentleman who included sushi in his profile and see if he'd be up for a meet and greet. Take him somewhere with mistletoe over the door.

Which reminds me, I haven't gotten my wish list out to Santa. He better come through this year, I've been very, very good.

"Love Me or Hate Me, but Spare Me Your Indifference." Libbie Fudim

Sunday, December 12, 2010
As I thought about what to write about the 2nd ending for myself and Marathon Guy I decided to read the post I had written about our original demise. Truth be told it’s just as accurate today as it was over a year ago when I wrote it so rather than try to make it new and fresh, I’m just going to link you to it: False Starts: Marathon Guy

I wish I had more to say, but I’d have to feel something about Marathon Guy to be able to write about him. Ah, there it is.

Mutual indifference. That’s what happened between us before (and again). Neither of us was interested enough to get a relationship going. It feels satisfying to put a reason to the failed attempt, and even better to stop wasting time even thinking about it. Next!

Good Luck Chuck

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Way back at the beginning of our tryst Summer Boy had told me he was a “Good Luck Chuck”. I hadn’t seen the film but was aware of the concept. Basically a curse had been put on this guy such that all of his relationships ended, but any girl he dated (actually, had sex with) met her future husband directly after ending things with him.

Bizarre Sidenote: Duder had also thought he was a Good Luck Chuck. It never fails; the moment I hear something, it starts popping up everywhere.

Like most of the random things Summer Boy had felt like telling me, I wasn’t sure what the purpose of sharing this tidbit of personal information was. Was it more of an FYI? As in, when you’re ready to meet “the one”, end things with me? Or a suggestion that after sending several women (I think he said seven) on to their husbands that he thought he had found someone he wanted to stick with? Or was it presented as an option to me, to choose between the movie characters I wanted to be?

Well let's see... I could be one of the random women, who, after ending things (or having them ended for her) gets married to whomever I dated next, or I could be a blonde and hopefully less clumsy version of Jessica Alba's character that gets slightly stalked by Chuck. And then stuck with him in Antarctica studying penguins. Not sure either option is all that great.

Turns out I wasn’t either of the ladies in that movie, and neither Duder nor Summer Boy was the Good Luck Chuck they proclaimed to be. At least not for me... followed by The Bowler and Marathon Guy, respectively, and we know how things are going for the latter. Or not going, I should say.

Ultimately I think the Good Luck Chuck phenomenon was presented more like a silver lining, floated to me as a way of apologizing for being someone I didn’t see things working with. Or even worse, as a way of apologizing for oneself in that self-deprecating manner I simply cannot stand. Summer Boy even brought it up again when I officially re-ended our communication. His exact words included “toast to the fact that you were able to rid yourself of me” and “if your past history plays true at all you will probably be falling in love within the next couple of months anyway”. Ugh, good riddance I say.

As to falling in love in the next few months, I hope I do.

The Answer to Your Question is Yes.

Friday, December 3, 2010
Yes, I still have feelings for Summer Boy. Yes, I still talk to him (although I haven’t seen him). Yes, I think my indifference to Marathon Guy’s declining interest in me is being made possible by this chatting. Yes, I know I should cut if off. Again.

I know what you’re thinking. You didn’t ask those questions, did you? You should have, dear readers, for you should know as well as I do that there’s no such thing as a clean break in matters of the heart. For all my bravado in the face of Summer Boy’s rejection I had really fallen for him. I really thought things could have worked out, and possibly still would.

They won’t, of course, I know that now (read: am still working to convince myself this is true). And although I’ve appreciated the Fantasy Football advice he’s given me, it’s clear that he’s on the receiving end of this relationship. That man needs friends like I need a tight end that consistently gets into the endzone.

I do sort of feel bad for him, he’s obviously missing the part of one’s social scene where one has people to talk to about their lives with, to ask advice and bounce ideas off of. I myself don’t need a new friend, I very fortunately am blessed in that area, but I sense a trend in my dating life: MEN WHO NEED WOMEN TO LISTEN TO THEM.

I can rattle off a string of men who want to talk to me all the time but not actually date me… Summer Boy, Marathon Guy, Surf Dude. They like to tell me about their day, about their friends, about what they had for dinner. They are happy to text about sports and they want my opinion on work situations. They often want to know what my plans are, but they don’t ever suggest that they be part of those plans. What am I doing to keep finding myself in this situation?

I am a lot of things, but a therapist isn’t one of them. I don’t have the patience for it, and honestly, I’m not even that good of a listener. I do take a pretty hard line on personal boundaries and standing up for one’s self, and I’ve often been able to find a socially acceptable way to call people out on their inappropriate behavior. It’s been helpful to my engaged girlfriends, so why not single men missing an intelligent, decisive female in their lives?

Yes, that’s exactly what Summer Boy had needed. Someone to encourage him to move if that’s what would make him happy. Someone to support him in removing himself from the crazy, dangerous situation his friends kept dragging him into. Someone who understood him and thought about his best interests when responding.

I can see how someone like that would be someone you’d want to keep around. I can see, too, that I need to stop being that someone, until I find someone who is capable of playing the same role for me.

I hope he got everything off his chest, though, because yes, he’ll now be getting the swift kick to the curb that he deserves.