Saturday, February 22, 2014

More on the Dating Front

Sit down.  Make yourself comfortable.  This may take awhile.

Before I get into the story of my horrible date and expand on why the prospect of meeting someone new is occupying way more mental space than is rational, let me first say that San Francisco was lovely.  The weather was impeccable, the sea lions adorable (and smelly), and Alcatraz creepy.  Minus some small glitches, it was a great week.  Once I'm home and have downloaded all of my photos, I'll try to share some of them with you all*.

Anyway...back to dating.  Over the Christmas holidays, I found myself experiencing prolonged moments of boredom and loneliness, so against my better judgment, I returned to the online dating site.  Not surprisingly, there were plenty of other bored and/or lonely people on the site, so it didn't take long for me to find someone to meet.  Not someone of quality, of course....someone with very little in common with me and with a number of red flags that should've sent me running screaming in the opposite direction.  But they didn't.  And so the universe rewarded my lack of judgment with literally the worst date I've ever been on.  (In case you needed reminding, taking over the number one spot in my dating world is a major challenge.)

In order to understand why this was the worst date ever, you'll need a bit of back story.  See...ever since I was about 16, I've been losing my hair.  Gradual, progressive, unstoppable hair loss.  Basically the female equivalent of male pattern baldness.  There isn't anything medical behind it; it's just one of those little bits of cosmic bad luck that everyone gets stuck with in their life.  For me, it's not surprisingly been a huge blow to my self esteem, and it's particularly annoying when it comes to meeting people online.

So back to the date.  We met later in the evening at a quiet coffee shop, and it took me about seven seconds to realize that I'd made a terrible mistake.  My date was a loud talker, had absolutely nothing even remotely interesting to talk about, and put her gum ON THE TABLE.  (Not her pack of gum.  Her already been chewed gum.)  Not the love of my life, or even someone who exists in the same universe as the love of my life.  But, I'm a polite human being, so I resigned myself to exactly one hour of awkward conversation before I could excuse myself and return home to my pjamas and wine.

About 15 minutes into the date, the conversation was getting really strained, and both of us were desperately searching for something to talk about.  At which point she said to me "Your hair is really thin."

Ummm....yes?  Thanks for pointing that out?  I hadn't noticed?  

I mumbled something about genetics and bad luck, assuming that she'd drop it.  But of course not.  She followed her first comment up with a second one for emphasis:  "'s like.....reeeealy thin."
One of my friends, who is very experienced with the online dating world, told me afterwards that this was the point where I was allowed to say to hell with being polite and extricate myself from the date.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize this, so I stuck around for another 45 of the most excruciatingly painful minutes of my life.  To add to the experience, the coffee shop had a singer-guitarist who was performing sappy Beatles love songs right next to us.  Think Yesterday and All You Need is Love and In My Life to get a sense of what it was like.  At one point, I was so struck by the absurdity of it all that I started laughing and couldn't stop myself. 

And then I went home and cried.  Because honestly, there are few things that make a person feel as low as being on a date and having the other person point out the thing that you're most insecure about.  Particularly when you know that you have to keep putting yourself out there, thereby leaving yourself vulnerable to exactly the same thing happening again.

Which is where I am now.  I'm in transit from San Francisco, thirteen hours away from my next online date, and there's a huge part of me that wants to back out so that I don't risk a repeat of my last date.  Instead of being excited that I'm meeting someone who seems intelligent and kind and interesting, I'm feeling nauseated and uncertain.

Stupid online dating.  If anyone has any dating mojo to spare, please send some my way.  I could use it right about now.

(One photo of sea lions in love.  Awwwww.)

*I say that now, but I think I'm probably being too optimistic.  Crazy work mode takes over as soon as my plane lands, so I likely won't have time for posting photos.  But I will think of it!  And that counts, right?


Ann said...

poopy! Good luck :) There are loving caring people all around. A huge virtual hug your way.

OMDG said...

Why is it that the stupid things strangers say to us have the power to make us feel like TOTAL CRAP.

I'm sorry she was such an insensitive bitch. I probably would have sat there too (actually, I know I would have since I've done the same thing in the past). Maybe it would help to imagine all the witty comebacks you *could* have said, but didn't. Then you can pat yourself on the back for being above all of that, and practice reframing what happened.

God. What a bitch.

Have fun today!

physician activist in training said...

I hope today is as excellent as that date was horrible! Can't wait to hear more.

Kate P said...

Glad your trip was good! And let's face it, that horrible date person will eventually find her own level and it's gonna be way, way down there with the Stupids. Good luck!

Kate P said...

Glad your trip was good! And let's face it, that horrible date person will eventually find her own level and it's gonna be way, way down there with the Stupids. Good luck!

Kate P said...

Sorry, the cat jumped on the keyboard and re-posted my comment. Maybe she wanted to drive the point home there. :)

dolce vita said...

What a terrible person! I know it's easy to say "Well, I SHOULD have left", but really, I don't know how easy it is to do...I know I've stayed through horrible dates because it's just the polite thing to do.

So, kudos to you for not calling her out on it. You're a better person than her and karma WILL reward you. (And her. Preferably humiliatingly)

Anonymous said...

Jeez, she sounds dumb! And mean in a dumb-ignorant way. Urgh!

I've met four people for internet dates. I did not feel instant chemistry with any of them. With at least two, within 1 minute I knew it wouldn't work out, but I stuck around out of politeness and the hope I could at least make a friend out of them (I didn't!). I think the trouble with messaging beforehand is that you feel you've already established a slight relationship and obligation to therefore put in a certain amount of time in person.

Still, I only felt the first sparks of chemistry with the one who is now my lovely boyfriend (fingers crossed it lasts...) about 30 mins into the date, at least. And there actually were a few times during the date when I had my doubts about him. Sometimes people surprise you in a nice, very good, excellent way :)

Shannon said...

Wait, was this the one you were hopeful about the other day?

Kate said...

I've emptied my pockets of mojo and it's sent your way. Kudos to you for dealing with a mean-spirited little soul with grace. I have confidence that you'll meet someone with enough depth to recognize all that you offer.

thelesbiannextdoor said...

I'm late throwing in good date vibes as it seems you already had the date you were waiting for. I hope it went well and I'm excited to hear about it!

I will send you some good luck vibes now, in case it was a great date, to keep the great ones coming :)