So now that everyone is caught up with the positive developments in my professional life, let’s turn to the social side for a quick update. All in all, the gory details (maybe not that gory) can be summed up with one interesting email that I received a few days back. It read…“Hey Ron…Sorry I am just getting back to you from your message. Thanks again for the dinner at Lupe Tortillas. I had a nice time, but I should tell you that I am not interested in pursuing a relationship with you. I think it’s best if we don’t go out again. Take care.” (I guess stopping off at the jewelers on the way home that night to look at engagement rings may have been a little premature.)
I had to read and analyze (and reread and overanalyze) the message over and over again to seek out the hidden meanings. Surely, there were some? Truth be told, I thought the dinner at Lupe Tortillas had gone just fine. Good food; good drink; good conversation. What could have possibly gone wrong? Should I maybe have not eaten that fourth fajita and then loosened my belt at the table? Is Zima really not a cool drink anymore? Should I have toned down the sarcasm after realizing that she didn’t laugh once despite a barrage of incredibly humorous quips at her expense? Or was she just simply playing hard to get?
And just when did the direct approach become so fashionable in the dating world? Typically, blind dates “not interested in pursuing a relationship” (I’m sure this was the first) will simply not return my repeated phone calls (emails, faxes, letters, etc.). At least, I can then “assume” that she went back with her old boyfriend or got transferred to another city for work or was simply too intimidated by me to go out again. (It could happen.) I would have called to ask the person who set us up, but she happened to be another past blind date who “went back with her old boyfriend or got transferred to another city for work or was simply too intimidated by me to go out again.”
Interestingly enough, that girl had called me after we had been out six months before to fix me up with this friend of hers she thought I would be perfect for. How should I have interpreted that call? Why was I not good enough for her, but perfect for her friend? Maybe she was acknowledging a personal character flaw in herself? Or was she trying to secretly tell me she wants to go out with me again and is just using her friend as the go-between? My over-analysis determined many potential hidden meanings. In the end, I was actually flattered as I assumed she was saying “you’re a good guy, just not the guy for me.” I can only anticipate that this new girl will contact me in another six months to set me up with one of her friends as well. (I’ll keep you posted.)
AS IF THAT STORY WAS NOT EMBARRASSING ENOUGH…
That email reminded me of another equally “humorous” dating experience I recently encountered. A few months back, I sunk to a level that I never imagined sinking to. On a dare, as a joke, in a moment of weakness, or for some other unbeknownst reason, I did the unthinkable. I filled out a profile for an Internet dating services, a Jewish Internet dating service, no less. The mere process of answering the application questions totally cracked me up. I thought it would have made for a great Seinfeld episode with George and Jerry bantering over how to properly describe themselves.
I noticed that many people use aliases to protect their true identities. (I recognized their pictures so the aliases were generally not very effective). I used my real name (no last name) but did not submit a picture. I don’t even know how to do that over the computer (plus, it would be too embarrassing to be recognized using this service). Some of the criteria and personality traits required considerable thought: astrological sign (I’m serious), body type (what does “voluptuous” mean as compared to “shapely toned”? “pleasantly plump” was not an option), religious background (Orthodox Baal Teshuva really threw me off), smoker/non-smoker – drinker/non-drinker, favorite activities (no one loves the theater and intimate conversations more than me), favorite music (though I do not even have FM stations programmed on my car radio, I somehow became a huge Blues and Jazz fan), favorite cuisine (I was in trouble because fast food was not an option). Then there were insightful questions like “This is what I consider my perfect date…” (I went with “A casual stroll along a babbling brook under a moonlit sky), and “This is what I’ve learned from past relationships…” (Shoot, if I had really learned something, I wouldn’t be joining a stupid dating service…That was actually my answer.)
The first few times I got picked (yes, despite the babbling brook response, I did get picked), I was not comfortable enough to go through with it. (I would simply respond that I had gone back with my girlfriend or was being transferred to another city for work.) Finally, one of the “profiles” actually sounded interesting. Though she did not have a picture on the web site, she quickly agreed during our email banter to send me some recent photos (not that I would have required something so superficial). A couple of decent emails led to a couple of decent phone calls. Finally, despite my reluctance, we agreed to meet. Unfortunately, the first few scheduled get-togethers had to be cancelled (usually by her). Once she had to go out of town for work; another time she had had a really tiring day at the office and needed to go work out. I was somewhat expecting, “I need to wash my hair” as her next excuse.
Finally, the day arrived that we were supposed to actually meet, but lo and behold, I got another last minute email from her. It read… “Hi there. I have something to tell you. About nine months ago my fiancée moved. Of course a long distance relationship is doomed. Well we split because of the distance and other things. He moved back and contacted me the other day. I am not sure where my feelings are at this point and trust that he will not leave again. It would not be fare (sic) to date anyone including him until I figure it out. He really messed my head up. Take care.” (I guess stopping off at the florist that afternoon in anticipation of the meeting/date may have been a little premature.)
That was a first. I received the infamous “Dear Ron” letter before even meeting this woman. And it included both the “past boyfriend” and the “out of town” explanations. (So much for the direct approach.) In any case, you’re now caught up with my social life and I’m successfully moving on from these “traumatic” incidents. I am certain that I am a smarter stronger person because of them (whatever). Needless to say that was my first and only experience from the Internet dating service. In fact, I’ve decided to stick with more conventional methods of meeting people (like set ups from past blind dates who did not call me back six months before…you know who you are).