[Note: Names except Ridewithlarry have been changed to protect the innocent. smh]
For about a month, I’ve undergone some soul-searching. I thought that I had been unfair to the men trying to find dates online who had the misfortune of communicating with me. I say “communicating” because some of it isn’t, technically, verbal. Although I clearly said in my profile that I wouldn’t respond to anything other than an email, I still received “winks”, “favorites”, and “interesteds.” In theory, I sort of understand what they mean, but in practice, they mean nothing. I conducted an experiment.
If someone “winked” at me, I wrote to them. If someone “favorited” me, I wrote to them. If they clicked on “interested”, I wrote to them. NONE of them wrote back. So, I asked myself, what is the meaning of this? Or, more specifically, what is the point of this?
Here’s the point: there is no point to any of it. I’ve played nice, to no avail, so now, the gloves are off. Here’s what’s been happening for the past month.
Big Bob claimed to be from Sarasota. He listed his favorite “Hot Spots” as all being in West Palm Beach (on the opposite side of the state, if you don’t know Florida) but claimed in an email that he was back in Maryland caring for his “aging parents.” All of his photos were either of him in sunglasses or pictures of his alleged grandchildren. He stopped writing after a couple days, but, about a month later, he sent a one sentence email, “Shouldn’t we meet for dinner?” I replied, “How about you send me a photo of yourself without sunglasses, first?” He still hasn’t answered. It’s been three weeks.
Ridewithlarry claimed to be from Roland Park, a well-to-do neighborhood in Baltimore City. His first email was well-written, and he claimed to be a “wine aficianado.” I wrote back with my test line, “What wine would you have with Thanksgiving dinner?” It took him a couple of days, but he responded, in broken English this time, with “pinot noir,” an acceptable wine choice, but a poor grammar choice. I googled his profile photo, and it came up “Beware: Photo used for scamming since 2009.” I wrote back, “Nice try, scammer. Take it somewhere else.” He did. He changed his city of residence to Burlington, Ontario, Canada. When I reported him to the fraud section of match.com, they did absolutely nothing. Ridewithlarry is still an active account.
A 53-year old guy who called himself “Jerry” wrote me a bunch of wacky emails. Now, I enjoy wacky humor, but your wackiness has to make a certain amount of sense to be appreciated by someone who isn’t actually living in the same body with you. He emailed me three silly questions, one of which was “Is your voice any good?” I checked out his profile, which showed him with disheveled hair, a loosened tie, and shaking hands with Henry Kissinger, the same Dr. Kissinger who was the Secretary of State of the entire nation back in the 1970s. Curious, I replied, “Yes, my voice is taking me to Carnegie Hall in January with my chorus, so, I guess it’s passable. What secrets were you passing to Dr. Kissinger?”
He answered with a lot of weird emails, until I finally said, “If you want to hear from me again, please answer my question about you and Dr. K.”
He replied, “He’s a friend of my mother’s, whose name is Suzanne. They share the same birthday.” I told him that his mother having my name was pretty creepy. I gave him the link to this blog and haven’t heard from him since. I keep saying that this blog is a date killer.
Mr. Terp, who said he was a widower, wrote to me that he enjoyed reading my profile and that he hoped we could “correspond.” His profile was entertaining, so I wrote back. Several days passed without a response, so I wrote to him again, “Sorry, I guess I misunderstood.” He wrote back that he’d been having “internet problems” at home and wasn’t comfortable using the University of Maryland-College Park’s system. Eventually, we exchanged phone numbers, and he asked me to call him. I did. I felt as if I was pulling his teeth. If I didn’t ask a question, he didn’t say anything. He, a man with a master’s degree, couldn’t carry on a conversation. (Of course, I couldn’t count the number of times The Veterinarian did that to me, too.)
Mr. Terp said he had lived in the Baltimore area and still returned regularly to see friends. In fact, he said, he would be in town in a few days and would call me. Thank God that I didn’t drop any plans and sit by the phone, because, of course, he hasn’t called. He’s a Steelers fan, so I’m not entirely surprised.
Blarney, aged 40 and looking for women 25-40, IM’d me (aged 63) one night with “Hey, gorgeous!” [Excuse me while I barf a little, again.] I was on the phone with The Daughter, so I clicked on “I’m busy.” Blarney, the fool, emailed me, “I did not think my picture was that bad.” I replied and apologized and explained that I was on the phone with my daughter the nurse who needed to vent about a difficult patient. I also wished him “happier connections!” He took the hint.
Seamus, divorced, wrote “I felt it was time to write to you instead of letting you remain in favs and possibly risk the chance of not meeting you.[sic]” I hadn’t replied to his “favorite” because he obviously hadn’t read my profile which said that I only respond to emails. So, we had a very brief email conversation, the gist of which was:
Me: I was married for 39 years. I know better than to expect fireworks. Right now, I’ll settle for getting to know someone, to share our stories, to join me at the movies or the theater or lunch or dinner…Suzanne
Him: Dear Susanne [sic] I have never viewed love relationships or marriage ( and yes I was also married for 28 years) as anything but a dedicated commitment to each other…perhaps a time together in a kitchen with an excellent bottle of wine would be a nice way to loosen up and communicate.
Me: …a glass of wine with you sounds like a good introduction. I could meet you somewhere halfway…Suzanne
Him: I welcome whatever conversation you’d like to broach with me that depicts the person you are and albeit some reservations are needed I never want you to feel as if you can’t talk about or discuss anything in a manner that’s not you. Okay… I look forward to meeting you as well Susanne [sic]
Me (suspecting that he is either a complete moron or a scammer): My mama told me to never lie, and I learned early in life that exaggerating and fabricating only lead to trouble. I have no secrets and answer any and all questions. 🙂 That being said, I am a discrete friend and know how to keep other people’s secrets. I also believe that truth and love go together, but sometimes telling someone the truth can be hurtful, as in “Yes, those pants make your hips look big.”
I’ve had no reply since, July 3. God is good!
Crab Lover approached me with gushing emails about my looks and the BFF and how he knows someone with whom I sing. Then, he invited me to lunch and inexplicably insulted my chorus. “Oh, I could never sing with them because they’re just an amateur group, and I have a degree in music.” (A bachelor’s degree, by the way.)
“Well, you’d be wrong about that,” I laughed at his sheer ignorance. “I think that a group that is repeatedly asked to perform at Carnegie Hall must be pretty good.” He wasn’t convinced. I think he was just pissed off that I don’t think Ocean City, Maryland, where he has a second home, is the be-all and end-all of travel. He has only been out of the country once, with his son’s college chorus on a trip to England. Then, he maligned the French (and you know how I feel about that). We did spend almost three hours together and laughed a lot. I could say some really uncomplimentary things about him, but I’m not that kind of person.
This brings me to my most recent dating fiasco. You may recall from a few weeks back that I listed the kind of men that I won’t respond to. Among them are guys who take photos of themselves in a mirror. So lazy. So lame.
I received an email from one such man. Although he appeared attractive, in a Ted Baxter sort of way (google “Mary Tyler Moore Show”), I had passed him by because he didn’t seem to know how to take a decent selfie (warning bell #1). Now, here he was in my in-box. He lives nearby, enjoyed my “levity,” blah, blah, blah.
We corresponded briefly, and, when he told me he was from Pittsburgh, I ignored warning bell #2, because he also said, “I relate better to fellow transients [sic] as we have actually travelled outside of Baltimore County and Ocean City, MD.” (If you aren’t from Maryland, see my comment about Crab Lover, above.) We exchanged phone numbers, and when he called me, we had a lovely chat and discovered some other things that we had in common besides being “Outlanders” in Baltimore. We agreed to meet at 6:30 pm for a drink at a restaurant that I only eat at if I have a gift certificate or someone else is paying (warning bell #3).
“We’ll see how it goes and maybe order an appetizer or two,” he said.
I thought 6:30 was a good time because I could eat a light dinner and not feel obligated to order a meal. (I hate these “one and done” meetings where the man pays.)
On the appointed day, I allowed myself plenty of time to get ready, choosing and ironing my outfit ahead of time, putting on make-up, and driving to the restaurant, which is about one mile from my house. I arrived at the restaurant at exactly 6:35. I don’t want to sit alone and wait for a man. It makes me feel like a tramp, especially because I’m usually over-dressed. I may look ordinary to most people, but when I use make-up, wear heels, and put on an outfit that is “tight enough to show that I’m a woman but loose enough to show I’m a lady,” I expect men to start throwing money at me.
I walked into the lounge area of the restaurant and sat at a table facing the main entrance. There was only one couple at the bar, so I knew my date wasn’t there. The waitress took my order for a glass of wine, and I waited. At 6:48, I heard my phone ringing in my purse. By the time I fished it out, the caller was leaving a message. When I played it back, it was my date, highly indignant that I had stood him up.
“I waited from 5:20 until 6:30,” he complained, “I don’t know what happened, but you can ask the cute little brunette waitress who will tell you that I was there.”
I searched my brain for the details of our one and only phone conversation. I was positive he had said 6:30, because 5:30 would have meant dinner and not just drinks, but, feeling guilty for the miscommunication, however it may have occurred, I called him back immediately and got his voice mail.
“I am so sorry for the miscommunication,” I apologized. “I thought we agreed on 6:30. I must have just missed you. Perhaps we can try some other time…or not.” By this time, I was thinking “or not” would be just fine. I ordered a small pepperoni pizza to go, because, who doesn’t need pizza when they’re upset? Even if they’d just eaten a light supper at 4?
I texted The Daughter.
“He should have called earlier,” she insisted.
“I guess so,” I agreed.
The waitress brought me my pizza, so I asked her.
“Was there a man here from about 5:20 to 6:30 tonight, waiting for someone?”
“Yes, there was. He said he was waiting for a lady,” she smiled. I explained what had happened.
“My daughter says he should have called earlier.”
“Of course he should have,” she replied. “He asked me if I thought it was socially acceptable to stand someone up, but he sat here for well over an hour. He should have called you.”
“I hate this online dating stuff.”
“Well, I’ll tell you this,” she leaned in. “You should be happy that you’re going home with pizza. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.” I was feeling somewhat relieved. After all, I had three warnings.
“I tell you what,” the waitress continued, “you should meet all your dates here, and you can call me, and I’ll tell you whether or not they’re worth meeting.”
Sounds like I dodged a bullet, so, who am I to complain? Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!