As the last official days of summer come to an inevitably melancholic end, punctuated by the return of obnoxious adolescents on public transit after a blissful, three month reprieve, I fondly recall the hopeful burst of energy it started with last May.
When it’s nice outside, I’m often greeted by a sweet friend on my way home from work. Her house is just across from the metro station, and when she spots me now, she gets up and starts wagging her tail as I make my way up the driveway to see her on the balcony. She gives me kisses and I give her pats and tell her what a sweet girl she is. Her name is Roxy – and I think her humans suspect that I want to dog-nap her….
So, at the start of summer, after such a meeting with Roxy, I came across an extremely unusual encounter. People around here rarely make eye contact with passing strangers, let alone acknowledge their presence – probably because this city is densely populated with assholes and psychos. I have no quantifiable, statistical proof to back this statement up- but I DO have a Psychology Today subscription, and fairly good intuition and observational skills. So when this incredibly handsome fella with thick, dark waves on his head, his tie stuffed into his shirt pocket, smiled and nodded at me while eating his DQ ice-cream, I was completely taken by surprise. Who was this wizard who could see through my invisibility cloak??? The only rational explanation was that he picked up on the happy vibe emanating from my encounter with Roxy – friendly encounters beget friendly encounters, I suppose.
Regardless, I suddenly felt a rush of encouragement – something I hadn’t felt in quite a long time. The handsome stranger gave me that little bit of confidence – a ‘ballsiness,’ if you will – to start emotionally prostituting myself to the masses online once again .
And so, without further ado, I took a few realistic selfies. No more washing out my facial features with a bright flash, or taking the shot from a flattering angle… after a glass of sexy wine. No trickery. No más! In the past, I probably misled a few dates into thinking they caught themselves a real honey, and I decided it was high time to stop with the false advertising.
Next, the profile. I decided to KISS it – Keep It Simple, Stupid. A light and vague enough profile so as not to box me in, yet clear enough to hopefully minimize the creeps looking for a sex toy. If you ain’t got hope, you ain’t got nothin’….
Deciding on which site to go on wasn’t that difficult. I think I’ve pretty much done them all – with the exception of Christian Mingle and Tinder. Christian Mingle would not only depress me with its hypocritical wholesomeness, but also, I would probably spontaneously combust… and ‘charred’ is not a good look for me. This didn’t stop me from crashing JDate, though – but that’s a story for another time. Going on Tinder would make me feel like that old side of beef at the butcher shop. The one at 75% off. The one that looks like it’s violating the health code. So, I picked the last one I was on: OkStupid. Apparently, it was designed by mathematicians, so I kept my fingers crossed, and hoped for a mathemaGical experience.
Oh, the naivete!
Within the first half hour of being ‘live,’ I got into a little electronic kerfuffle with some macho who obviously thought he was the bee’s knees. In the very first message he sent, he wanted my name and to Skype with me. Getting off of a dating site (to, say, regular email) right away to communicate with someone is very suspicious. And Skype with that person? Please… I don’t even Skype with good friends overseas, why would I Skype with a stranger I ‘met’ online two seconds ago? If you’re too lazy and impatient to haul your ass downtown to a public place where one or both of us can be thoroughly humiliated through awkward conversation, in front of witnesses, then the discussion is closed.
But I was bored. So I told him that mama told me to never Skype with strangers and asked if there really were women stupid enough to do something like that with him. He responded with, “oh… you have ‘a little extra’… it figures.” Whaaaa? Apparently, only skinny bitches Skype with strangers on the internet. Plumper gals, such as myself, are too ashamed. *roll eyes* “Yes, having a few extra pounds is EXACTLY why I don’t want to Skype with you. Not because I think you’re creepy, or desperate, or living in your mama’s moldy basement, wanking off to pictures of your cousin Gina’s baby pictures….” And Block.
I also ‘weighed heavily’ on the mind of another fella, who was apparently very proud of the fact that the first thing people noticed about him was his hair… probably because they’re thinking, ‘you look homeless’:
He: “Hi, i like your picture
i’ll be back to [city] next week
you look thin, why did you write a little extra weight ?”
Me: “I’m actually the size of a water buffalo from the waist down…”
He: “you’re serious ?”
Me:”Don’t you like fuller figured women?”
He: “depends on the overall look
you’re 5′-7″ and how much you weigh these days ?”
But before I could reply with a description of my 317 pound kiester and my club foot (that’s the foot that likes to party!), he blocked me. Heart = crushed… I really wanted to tell him about the time my club foot got plastered at a German rave in ’95….
As a rule, I try to avoid religious people and vegetarians. Not because I think they’re wrong, but because they think I’m wrong – and feel perfectly entitled to mention this (and force their lifestyles on me) at every given opportunity. They kind of annoy the shit out of me – if I ever consider undergoing a ‘colon cleanse,’ I’ll just go on a date with a Religious Vegetarian.
Religion not being an issue with my next online encounter, I was, however, a bit concerned about the enthusiastic vegetarianism. I made sure to make it perfectly clear that I’m old enough to make my own food choices and, sometimes, those choices involve animals. Although his messages were fairly humourous, I did sometimes feel like he was trying to manipulate me with his ‘down-on-his-luck-in-love’ tone – not to mention trying to convince me that he wasn’t a pig and that he’s never had a one-night-stand in his life. Red Flag Alert. People who repeatedly try to convince you of their ‘wholesomeness’ oftentimes have something to hide.
I’ll call him Embryonic Vegetarian.
I met him at a cafe at the market on the canal. As expected, he was shorter than he claimed – men always do that. I don’t get it – don’t they think I’m capable of noticing this measurable physical characteristic? The actual height isn’t even the issue; rather, if you’re lying about something as concrete and obvious as your height, what kinds of other things are you lying about that I can’t see? Because I was late (I was checking out the cute doggies on their walks and completely missed my exit), and he was whining like a pre-menstrual bitch, I treated him to his tartelette and juice as a little ‘sorry-for-making-you-wait,’ conciliatory gesture.
Despite mentioning several times how he found it offensive towards women to discuss things of a sexual nature prior to actually dating the person, he would subtly make remarks with sexual connotations at every given opportunity. The one that comes to mind was when we were cycling and heading towards a dip and hill on the path. I said something like, “oh, great… I hate going uphill… love going down, but hate going up….” To which he snorted, “ohhhh, you love going down… that could be taken the wrong way… you probably said it innocently, but….” So I said, “next time your mum says she’s going down somewhere, make the same observation and let me know how funny she thinks you are….” Pre-pubescent comments like that, coupled with the fact that he was constantly popping wheelies on his bike (“look what I can do!”) and the fact that he high-fived me when we parted ways, is why he earned the nickname, ‘Embryonic Vegetarian’. I’m going to coin a new term for guys like that: moys. Not quite men, not quite boys. Moys™. Does it already exist? If not: you heard it here first, folks.
When I got home, I was taking things out of my bag when I noticed a 5 dollar bill floating around inside. That wasn’t there before. Now, your first thought might be, “what a nice guy – he didn’t want you to pay, so he slipped it in your bag when you weren’t looking.” BUT… the creepy thing is: I never left it out of my sight, so how the hell did he get it in there? Was I on a date with David Blane disguised as an embryonic vegetarian? If he could slip a fiver into a zipped, cross-body bag, imagine what he could do with a roofie. I’m sure he was perfectly normal and safe, but… why take a chance? There were too many things about this guy that made me think, “I don’t want to be interviewed by the show, Dates from Hell.” For instance, when I joked that I texted my friend his name and cell number, for safety reasons, he icily said, “I would be concerned about your intelligence if you weren’t worried about your safety….” Duly noted.
You’d think that, after a couple of weeks of this kind of shit, I’d have thrown in the towel and admitted defeat. It just wasn’t as entertaining as the first two rounds of internet dating – round 1 in 2013, round 2 in 2014. But this was early summer, don’t forget. Hope sprung eternal, and, like the Illuminati*, I was willing to self-flagellate myself emotionally by exploring the possibilities….
*: minus the obsessive, religious zeal, and conspiracy theories. It should be noted that the original Illuminati, the Bavarian Illuminati, were actually composed of a group of rational men (for that time) who opposed the control of the church over people and the abuse of power. But for the purposes of my exaggerations, I’m referring to the crazy Da Vinci Code Illuminati. Reference:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati
(…to be continued…)