Far be it for me to judge the size of a man’s penis being a mere 5’1” however this particular situation was a shocker like none I could have ever imagined. It’s really too bad because he was a good-looking, talented cartoonist who dressed cool but alas, he was a biological freak show, a genetic mutation that I only learned through Web MD is medically defined as a “micropenis”. That is, an ‘unusually small penis.’ Little did I know when I met him…
We were just messing around like high school kids on the couch after a few drinks when one thing led to another. We were touching each other over our clothes in a very juvenile way until he took the first step and unbuttoned his own jeans. Not feeling prude that day, I figured, “Okay either this will be another one night stand or something will come of it.” No pun intended. And by the way nothing did come of it – pun intended. When I saw his penis, I was nothing short of stunned. I wanted to believe it wasn’t fully erect at a measly two inches but I’m afraid to say it was.
One would think that a guy with this condition might have prepped me a little bit beforehand. Perhaps he could have mentioned or even hinted at a potential inadequacy and then let me be the judge of its severity. But to just lay it on the table (or on the couch in this case) without warning, either he had more chutzpah than a guy with a raging twelve incher or figured he had nothing to lose.
Naturally I stopped the whole make-out session because I was turned off. I was also endlessly appalled but forced to put on my best theatrical front and fake like I felt things were “moving too fast and we should stop.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Wrong? What’s wrong?” I wanted to ask him the very same question! But I didn’t. How does one even approach the issue without being overtly blunt about it?
“Excuse me, what’s wrong with your penis?” Or, “Is that it? Is that really all you’ve got there?” Perhaps I could have just made a statement about it. “That’s really interesting. Never seen one like that before.”
I stuck with the “moving too fast” story and told him it was getting late. He seemed upset and I couldn’t tell if it was because I’d stopped short or if he might be sexually frustrated. Blue balls, I believe is the proper term. Most oddly, his balls were perfectly sized which made me wonder if his version of blue balls would be incrementally smaller given the disproportionate size of his penis or did size not even matter at that point?
I never spoke to the guy again. On my way home, I couldn’t stop singing “Don’t want no short dick man” by that one hit wonder Fingers that I had to look up on Wikipedia just now to remember who sang it so I could write it in this article. I know it’s rude but I sing it like I see it.
It all made me think deeply about what I was looking for out of JDate. When it comes to finding the perfect man, I decided I was ready to make some sacrifices in personal appearance, financial well being and some other general quirks but I realized after this particular encounter, I would not submit to a Guinness World Book of Records for smallest penis size. Does that make me superficial?
The guy’s job was a bit more “blue collar” than I felt ideal for a potential future husband but he was a cute plumber. Besides, I’d heard plumbers make a pretty decent living so I further rationalized, it’s not like he worked at McDonalds or anything. By now, you’ve probably figured out I’ve got high standards but considering I was giving this toilet-fixer guy a chance you shouldn’t hold my snobbishness against me. I know plenty of girls who wouldn’t even give a plumber the time of day so with all fairness, I do believe I’m quite open-minded.
He picked me up in his rust-encrusted Acura Integra. I don’t know cars that well but I think they stopped making the Integra a few years ago. This led me to believe his career as a plumber wasn’t really thriving or he just didn’t care about what kind of car he was driving. Thus ignited the workings of my inner critiquing voice.
Sometimes I wish I could just turn off my mind and stop analyzing people so I could give them a decent chance without judging them but like all humans, I’m predisposed to having an opinion. As such, I couldn’t help but notice not only the lack of care on outside of this guy’s vehicle but the stale odor inside further prompting me to break down some other not so nice aspects about him.
In the back seat, there as a helmet small enough to fit an eight year-old. “Is that your helmet?” I asked. “Nope,” he said and just left it at that. One would think a question like this would have elicited a more detailed response, but no.
So now I was insatiably curious about this helmet and pondered its possibilities. Was this guy married? Could he have a kid who plays hockey? How old was this kid anyway? Then I started sizing this guy up and deducing that perhaps his head was rather small in which case this could belong to him.
“Do you play any sports” I asked. “Nope,” he answered. What was up with the one-word answers, I wondered.
Then, he changed the topic on me. “Why do you like living downtown? It’s so congested and dirty.”
“I love downtown,” I told him. How could you not? I was thinking this guy had some nerve to talk to me about dirtiness when there was a used tissue on the floor at my feet and it wasn’t mine.
‘Stop judging him,’ I repeated to myself internally. “It’s not nice.”
“I’m a suburban type of guy,” he said.
“Uh huh,” I mumbled but I was only appeasing him because really, I don’t understand the whole suburbanite mentality at all.
“Oh, pull over! Stop right here!” I directed. “This is the restaurant I was talking to you about!” This was the destination we’d agreed upon meeting when discussing where to have a date in our online communiques.
He seemed a bit agitated at being brought to an abrupt halt. “You couldn’t have told me earlier?” To his defense, I did ask him to pull over without much warning. His tires screeched and he seemed to display a tense and heavy-handed control of his car.
“There’s a space right there. You can just parallel park,” I felt like a lucky genius for being so fortunate and quick-sighted at spotting a coveted meter right there in front of the restaurant. I tooted my own horn. “VIP parking whut whut!”
Gritting his teeth beside me, he didn’t seem to feel fortunate or lucky but rather paranoid and full of angst.
“I’m not the greatest parallel parker,” he admitted. “The city kind of makes me nervous.”
Suddenly, I was in a scene straight out of Austin Powers. This guy took the three-point turn to a whole new exponential level – try more like a fifty-three point turn and then some. All the while I kept my mouth silent but my brain was on overdrive.
“Is this guy retarded?” I wondered and then my angelic inner voice chimed in to fight with me, “Stop it. That’s not right. The word “retarded” is terrible. You should use a different word like ‘stupid’. Fine. Is this guy stupid or what?”
So there we were, moving forward an inch. Then backward an inch. Sideways an inch. You get what I’m saying?
Finally, after fifty-something inches in every direction, we managed to parallel park. “Mazel tov!” I said to him. He didn’t find it very funny.
Inside the restaurant, the date seemed to be going just okay. There wasn’t any spark between us. This was evermore clear if it hadn’t been already during the drive here. The hour unraveled in a polite series of questions and answers on both our parts. Neither of us seemed very interested in the other. But we were pummeling along, going through the motions to be well, polite.
All was mediocre between us until our date took a big turn for the worse. I was telling him about a recent gig I had teaching special needs kids how to dance at a summer camp except I didn’t call them ‘special needs kids’. In a politically incorrect manner, I accidentally called them ‘retarded’ and I knew better.
“I just finished a gig teaching retarded kids how to dance,” I told him without thinking.
He stared at me with a blatant look of disapproval. “Oh yeah? My brother is retarded.”
“Your brother?” I was stumped. “You mean your biological one or are you in that after school Big Brother type program?”
“There’s no program. He’s my brother.”
I couldn’t have felt like a bigger jerk.
If I could have put a literal foot in my mouth I would have right then but I’m just not that flexible. All I had was a spoonful of Kung Pao chicken which I shoveled in and swallowed my words at the same time.
With my mouth full, I said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that word.”
“You should know for the future that the politically correct term is mentally challenged.”
I knew that, obviously. I just couldn’t help curb a long-ingrained force of habit. Years of name-calling on the elementary school playground had firmly entrenched this horrible word in my vocabulary which was proving impossible to eradicate. But what was I going to tell this guy now? “Sorry, it’s just I’ve been using the word ‘retarded’ since fourth grade and it’s not so easy to rid from my personal vernacular?”
Instead, I just said “I’m really sorry” again.
The rest of our meal transpired in silence with a few necessary verbal exchanges like, “Can you please pass the soy sauce” and whatnot.
Afterwards, I suggested I take the bus back home as I was embarrassed for my lack of decorum.
I told myself, “Never again will you call mentally challenged people ‘retarded’, nor will you use the word ‘retarded’ to define anything or any person in the future.”
“It’s okay. I can take you home. It’s on my way anyway,” he offered.
Back at the car, I witnessed another fifty-three point turn until he managed to maneuver his way back onto the busy downtown street to drive me home. While inching forward and backward and sideways again, I had to stop my automatic inner voice from thinking, “This guy is so ret – I mean stupid.”
Over my shoulder, I glanced at the helmet in the backseat and finally knew the answer to that question. But it didn’t make me feel any better.
I’d learned a harsh lesson. Always be politically correct until you know it’s safe to be otherwise. And even then, it doesn’t make uttering politically incorrect terms okay. Consequently, I’m still working on retraining my mind not to use the word “retarded” and I’m doing a whole lot better with it. It’s a tough task but perhaps my inability to erase the word completely from my discourse makes me a bit retarded, doesn’t it?
MATCH.COM 2006, Toronto.
D. warned me he’s a terrible dancer. But I happen to love terrible dancers. I find them incredibly endearing and cute, plus they’re the most entertaining to watch on the dancefloor. Having grown up taking dance lessons, to me, every pose and posture is taken into serious account. Sometimes I care too much that I sacrifice fully enjoying myself at the mercy of appearing to be a prima ballerina in the eyes of others. If only I could dangle my arms like a monkey, knowing that’s the best I could do, it would be so liberating. I’d become that ridiculous-looking person having a carefree time all the while amusing others at my own free-spirited expense. I wouldn’t mind being called “monkey girl” for a night. But others aren’t so inclined to let their simian side shine.
“Let’s go dancing!” I suggested to who D. blatantly replied, “No way.” “Why not?” I whined. “It’ll be so fun!” “No f’ing way” he protested. “Nobody dances in clubs anymore…” he rolled his eyes. This is quite true, I had to admit. Ever since my raver days ended well over a decade ago, I don’t really see all that many people let loose in any of the more cordial, upscale club venues. In dingy dive bars, sure everyone still head-bangs to the latest beats. But now that I’ve grown up and fine-tuned my tastes for better things, there’s nothing more tawdry than a drunken ditz dribbling her Cosmopolitan all over the place, soiling other patrons’ stiffly-priced Barneys’ britches. So I’ve learned to retain a certain poise, one that involves head-nodding in conjunction to the music I’m appreciating as a backdrop to an event that’s more about socializing versus getting full-on schnockered.
“I’ll go dancing with you on one condition: you don’t force me to dance when I get there,” D. bargained. “Fine with me,” I accepted his provision.
Two cocktails down for me and two Glenlivet-on-the-rocks later for him, I’m ready to bust out of my conservative stance and show the dancefloor what I’m truly made of. I start off with small steps accompanied by my signature head-nod, nothing too crazy. I’m being more reserved than usual which is a direct result of hanging out with a certain stiff someone who doesn’t like dancing altogether. In my mind, I hope he realizes how much effort I’ve been putting in thus far at conducting myself more modestly. But when I glance over at D., I’m suddenly disturbed at what seems like the opposite of appreciation and recognition of my efforts. I see a condescending, cold stare. I have to remind myself, he’s an uptight guy. He’s not into dancing. He’s an anti-dancer. I decide it’s just the way it is and continue doing my thing, paying no mind to my objector.
The next song is Lady Gaga and although I can hardly tolerate her music when I’m sober, after a few drinks and hearing her full blast in a crowd full of people cheering and singing along to “Bad Romance”, I’m all in it. (You tell me harmonizing with “Rah-Rah-Rah-Rah-Rah! isn’t contagious). I throw my arms up and dance sexy like Gaga would, sauntering up to D, brushing up against him. He inches away and adjusts his collar. “Ahem, uhh, I don’t dance, remember?” he reminds me. “I knowwwww!” I said. “You don’t have to dance!” I tease him while dancing circles around him. “What?! I can’t hear you!” he yells in a raised voice, over the loud music.
At this point, I know for certain D. is definitely not the one for me. He’s a total buzz kill. And not because I’m looking for a guy who can dance or anything but for someone to be so intolerant and detest it so much, to me, that’s intolerable.
A few songs later, D. taps me on the shoulder. “You ready to leave yet?” Truthfully, I’d had a long week and was ready to go – but not with him. “Nah, I think I’m gonna stay,” I tell him. “Okay…” he says, seemingly uncomfortable. “I hope you had a good time!” he yells over the music. And I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not so I said, “Yeah I did, but not because of you…” It was only then I realized I actually said this loud enough for him to hear. “Excuse me?” D. asked. “What did you just say to me?” I knew he’d heard exactly what I said and was only asking me to repeat it to make sure I was actually that rude of a person. And so I owned up to it. “Look, I’m sorry. No offense. But you’ve been giving me cut-eye all evening,” I told him. “So no. I didn’t really have a great time with you… We’re incompatible.” I shrugged, semi-smiled and headed back toward the dance floor but D. reeled me in by my shirt sleeve.
Fully enraged, he retorted, “What cut eye? I didn’t give you any cut-eye! You’re just mad because I’m not a dancer! And I told you I don’t dance!” He was really letting me have it in the club, in public.
“Let’s not make a big scene here,” I tried to reason with him. “Why don’t you go home and I’ll stay and we’ll call a spade a spade. Alright?” But there was no reasoning with D. He was incensed.
“I told you that I don’t like dancing! And this is what I get?” he yelled. Trying to diffuse the eyes on us, I smiled at our onlookers and told D., “It’s okay, honey!” I patted him playfully on the shoulder. “Go home!”
As if we were in a long-term committed relationship and he had suddenly become an abusive, possessive, freakish boyfriend, he grabbed my arm and persisted to antagonize me. “I just wanna know. What did you expect when I told you I wouldn’t dance at the club with you? Huh? Huh?” Shocked, I took a few seconds to digest the fact that he had a really firm grip on my arm. “What’s your problem, buddy? Let me go!” I struggled to wriggle free but he was unrelenting.
Looking around frantic, in search of security, he continued berating me. While I’m typically a ballsy person who can handle herself in the worst case scenarios, this guy’s behavior was really frightening me at this point. And then, as if the cosmos were instinctively on my side at that precise millisecond, a seriously drunk girl happened to pass by us, dancing with her Cosmo fluttering in the air. Then, in the most magical way possible, she tripped on her heels propelling her drink to soar high in the air only to end up splashing D. right in the face. D’s reaction involved a head-shake, full body twist and knee-jerk. And I just stood there and laughed so hard, not because D. got a drink splattered in the face but because watching him wave his arms and move his body around like that was the best demonstration of dancing I saw him do all night.
Photo credit: Piano Bar, New York
User Submitted Entry
I’m a 20-something who lives in a college town – an Ivy college town to be exact. While I’m not an Ivy graduate, I do believe I should score extra points for being an honors graduate from a great school, for being someone well traveled and who has done a lot of work for her college. All these things combined should make me a good match for some of these Ivy scholars… One would think, right?
That’s why I was shocked when I read your entry about “Rambling Ron” who felt like such a literary genius merely because he reads Ayn Rand. When I was on a dating site, I listed one of Ayn Rand’s books as one of my favorites. You would be surprised by how many blatantly rude rejections I got from potential matches (mostly from grad students) about my literary preferences deemed a “naivety” by many of them.
I was called “unintelligent”, “narrow-minded” and accused of “worshipping objectivism” not to mention, being a “poseur.” I mean, come on! Just because a person likes Jay-Z’s music per say doesn’t mean that they believe in everything he raps about. Moreover, who would be dumb enough to judge someone completely off their profile? How about meeting me first before making any assumptions?
Finally, I did manage to pique the interest of one grad student who did me the “honors” of going on a date with me. He was probably one of the nicest guys I’ve met on campus in my two years of living in this town. There was no spark however, but I must say, I had some great conversations about art and technology with this guy. The thing is, everybody has likes and dislikes and we’re never going to agree on absolutely everything. But am I going to completely judge a person based on me not liking one of their many interests? I’m not. But that doesn’t mean that somewhere on some dating site, someone else isn’t casting judgments on others’ likes and dislikes at this very precise second.
I’m guilty of being overly-excited before some dates. While getting ready, I turn up my music, dance like I’m on “Dance Party USA” in its prime and maybe even have a glass of wine to ease up if I wasn’t eased up already.
But to show up to someone’s house completely lit, that I would never do. Which is why, when “Steve” rolled up to my house completely wrecked, not only was I insulted a date with me insinuated it’s okay to be stoned but I was afraid to get in the car once I felt his state of mind was dubious.
“Steve” parked his fancy new Corvette in my driveway and started honking his horn incessantly to get my attention. I was a little taken aback at his approach for letting me know he’d arrived but I thought maybe he’d been there for a while and I hadn’t heard him beep the first ten times over the Yeah Yeah Yeahs blasting from my stereo.
I skipped outside to meet him only to find he was still beeping his horn, not even looking up to see if I was coming. I knocked on his car window to let him know I was there and his greeting hello basically consisted of a chin tilt upwards and a button click to unlock the power door locks.
I stepped inside his car and beamed, “Hey! Nice car!” He said, “I know.” “Where are we going?” I asked, excited. I’d barely gotten in the car and closed the door when he answered my question by peeling out of my driveway, tires screeching, “You’ll see!” he yelled over his revving engine.
Speeding down my little residential street with his music blaring, alerting every neighbor of our presence and his pricey Corvette, my eyes widened as I feared for my life. All the while, I struggled to find the seatbelt and clip myself in since he hadn’t given me the opportunity to do this before going all Mario Andretti on me.
“I love the sound of this engine, listen to it!” he proclaimed, excited. Listen to it? I could hear it without even trying to listen to it! He pulled a sharp turn and got on the freeway, speeding, naturally. My hands clipped on the door and dashboard for balance, I asked him to please slow down. “What? I can’t hear you!” he yelled. “Please slow down,” I requested. “What?” he asked again. “SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!” I ordered him now.
Laughing maniacally, he started to make fun of me. “You’re scared of a little speed?” This was a no-brainer. “Yes, I don’t fucking like it at all!” Couldn’t he tell I wasn’t having fun?
He got off the freeway, pulled into a side street and put the car in park. “Do you mind if I do then?” I didn’t quite understand. “Do I mind if you do what?” I asked. “Speed,” he answered as if I were the idiot. “Speed? Are you fucking joking me?” He pulled out a bag of white powder and clearly, he wasn’t joking.
“What did you think I was talking about?” And he was serious. He saw nothing wrong with his driving nor with offering me narcotics after I’d told him I was “scared of speed” – whether “speed” entailed driving like a maniac or snorting drugs like one.
“Can you please take me home? I don’t really feel all that well,” I said. “Sure,” he replied, taking the parking brake off. “Uh, actually wait a sec!” I wasn’t going to drive anywhere else with this asshole.
“Let me drive,” I insisted. He started with a chuckle as if what I said was the most ridiculous thing in the world as his chortle turned into a full bellied laugh at my expense. “You’re joking! You want to drive my car? My car?” No, buddy. That fucker over there who I’m not a on a date with. “Whose car did you think I meant?” Idiot.
“You’re funny, you know that,” he said. “Drive my car, what a joker!” Laughing all the while, I felt no need to be around this jerk anymore and so I got out of his car and slammed the door. Without looking back, I heard him yell, “Where are you going?” but I didn’t bother answering.
I knew the area well, luckily and just made my way to the main street, found a Subway Sandwich shop, ate a sub and waited for my girlfriend to come pick me up. She showed up a lot sooner than I thought.
“What happened to you this time?” she asked me. “Don’t ask,” I told her. And then I wondered, “Hey, how’d you get here so fast?” She answered, “Speeding. I sped the whole way.” And I was like, “What kind of speed?” Raised eyebrow, she looked at me, perplexed. “What do you mean?” “Nothing, don’t worry about it. Thanks for coming to my rescue.”
The night ended with my girlfriend and I sharing a sub in the moonlight.
Do you think I was overreacting?
There’s a fine line between metrosexuals and homosexuals but it’s really not clear through the interchange of emails or between instant chat texts. You really have to meet someone face to face to find out their true colors – and exactly how many fabulous colors their personality is a propos.
“B” seemed like a regular guy at first except for the fact that he mentioned that he completely loathes sports and admitted to having a secret soft spot for the Jerry Springer Show because “you never know what kind of kooky people will be on it.”
Right there I should have raised a warning rainbow flag – what straight male uses the word “kooky” in reference to what is clearly “redneck” and “white trash” folks appearing on a depraved talk show? I could almost hear him giggle at the utterance of “kooky” behind his computer screen. On an aside, to be fair, the word “kooky” might only subjectively rub me the wrong way and sound flamboyant to my ears in its reminding me of the pet name my gay friend Joe uses for something that comes out of his ass but I regress from the topic at hand.
Admittedly, it was “B’s” fondness for Jerry Springer that drew me to him. I completely understood his fascination with the hicks I love watching on the show too. I love the freaks and lowlifes that strut the stage as if there’s nothing wrong with incest or being a KKK leader. I love how you’re guaranteed to see someone expose themselves in a fit of passion and excitement, as if they can’t help but be so revved up on national TV.
Based on our mutual reverence for a crass daytime talk show TV parading the scum of society, I figured we’d have a lot to talk about in person so I put on the pants in our non-existent relationship, adopted a pair of balls and gathered up the courage to ask “B” out.
He suggested a wine bar in Chelsea. Wine was fine with me so I agreed. Days later, I went to meet him at his “favorite” bar. When I walked in, it was hard to figure out who “B” was because I was the only girl in there. And it didn’t help that no man looked my way so I couldn’t really make eye contact with anyone I even thought might possibly be “B”.
“Great,” I thought to myself. “This isn’t uncomfortable in the least bit.” Scanning the room, the only single guy I could see was seated on a stool at the bar which made me think this was who I came to meet. I made a beeline toward him, and then standing beside him, tilted my head to get a better frontal look and realized this was not “B”. To my horror, the guy spoke loud enough to embarrass me, “Excuse me? Do I know you?”
Just then, in the knick of time, I heard someone sing my name behind me. “Hello, helloooo!” A voice said, approaching. Then I see a man skipping. Waving his arm in the air, it was painfully clear, he was gay and I was in a gay bar with a gay man who had drawn me into the depths of his closeted cellar. “Well throw me a friggin’ corkscrew,” I thought to myself with disdain.
“B!” I leaped up and greeted him in return trying to parlay as sincere a smile as I could. “It’s…. You!” I stumbled for words which was proving more difficult as my eyes scanned his outfit. His attire, Ryan Seacrest would revere. His shirt was far tighter and his designer jeans much skinnier than mine. His skin glowed of self-tanner and I could swear I smelled exotic flowers in my midst. The ultimate clincher and deal breaker was a pinky ring glistening in the light that pretty much solidified I was brought here to be this guy’s beard.
While he chattered away about Liberace knows what, I rationalized to myself how I’ve been in plenty of scenarios I didn’t want to be in and have always come out on top – okay, poor wording in this case but anyway. So I ordered a Pinot Noir, following “B’s” highly endorsed lead. We clinked glasses and toasted to the discomfort of JDate and the whole protocol behind meeting someone online and then face-to-face. Then “B” began motor-mouthing with stories about his recent trip to Europe. This continued into a tirade on how, in his opinion, guys in America dress like vagrants whereas Italians have flair.
This invoked a deep internal debate for me. Could “B” just be emanating Euro-flair with attire I only perceived as gay? Or was he really and truly gay but not yet out of the closet?
I decided, I have no fucking clue. I’ve never had such a hard time telling or not telling if someone was gay. This forced me to concur that there’s no clear cut between what Americans call “metrosexual” these days and what is conceivably, strictly homosexual. Given that conclusion, the only thing I could think of doing to clarify “B’s” sexual orientation was to flat out ask him one question.
“How did things end with your ex-girlfriend?” I probed.
He seemed to have slight trouble swallowing his wine as if I was coming straight out of left field. After clearing his throat, he replied with a question, “Which ex-girlfriend?”
“Your most recent one, I guess,” I continued, firm, waiting for an answer.
“She cheated on me,” he shrugged and looked deep in his wine glass.
“How long were you two together?” I further inquired.
“Two months,” he bit his lower lip and looked away, as if he wasn’t interested in having this conversation but too bad because I was.
“I’m sorry,” I sympathized. “Where did you meet her?”
“On JDate,” he responded.
I was really curious now. This was getting interesting. “So how many dates did you go on before you established you two were an item?”
“What do you mean? We were like, dating for two months in total,” he said, defensive. “I mean, I wasn’t dating anyone else at the time. And she just like one day told me she doesn’t want to see me anymore because she met someone else.” He paused. And then continued, “To be honest, it’s for the best. We’re total opposites. Turns out, she lied on her profile and saying likes art and foreign films but I think she just did it to look smart.”
It was becoming clear to me now. This guy was a serial beard-hunter. Truthfully, I felt bad for him. I wanted to hug him and tell him it’s okay to be gay. Instead, I did what any good beard would do. I changed topics.
“So what do you think of yesterday’s Jerry Springer Show? The transsexual couple who adopted a baby from Vietnam?” I asked.
“Oh. My. God!!!” he accentuated each syllable and squeaked. “So wrong. But then again, so amazing! Like, look at the world we live in!”
We ordered another glass and continued to talk in hushed voices about the déclassé subject matter.
As I got progressively tipsier, I couldn’t help but spew, “Hey B. What’s with the pinky ring?”
He chuckled and covered his mouth like a schoolgirl. “I know. You think it’s gay, right?”
“You don’t say,” I joked, sarcastic.
We both laughed. “B” put his head on my shoulder as if we we’ve been friends forever. And I was totally cool with that. I dug him as a person. Because of that, I didn’t want to bug him anymore about his sexuality. Whatever he was, was fine with me.
A month later, after we’d hung out as just friends a few times, without any conversation about romantic possibilities ever arising between us, “B” came out of the closet. I was the first person he told. He expected me to be a little more shocked and when I wasn’t, he wondered why not.
I tapped my pinky finger on his knee, playfully and smiled. At that, we both laughed.
“Really?” he asked. “Is that what gave it away?”
“That’s not the only thing…”
There was a moment of comfortable, all-knowing silence between us as we sipped our lattes in Central Park that afternoon.
But secretly, I couldn’t help but resent him for being gay. If only he were straight, we’d be a perfect couple. But isn’t that the old common adage? The best ones are always gay? I wonder who said it first and why did they jinx the rest of us with that statement?
Photo credit: Fifth Ave, Gay Pride Parade New York.
Whitney is the type of girl who likes to have a good time. Never one to shy away from a hot after party on the weekend, she’s the type of girl that regards two cocktails with dinner as a mandatory daily ritual rather than an aperitif after a long day’s work. She filled me in on this quirky side to her personality at a hip spot on the Upper West Side, all the while insisting I do just one shot of Goldschlager with her.
It thus shouldn’t come as a surprise that Whitney got completely wrecked on our Wednesday after-work date. And “completely wrecked” is actually an understatement. “Trashed” more accurately defines the state of having to carry a stone-cold passed-out stranger of a girl home.
People in the street eyed me with scrutiny as I walked by with this young woman draped over my shoulder, trying to hail a cab with my free hand. One cabbie refused to take us. “I don’t want any puke inside my vehicle,” the East Indian man so brashly disregarded us. Another cab driver insisted I pay him double for the trouble of having him help me get this girl into the back seat. I agreed without any argument. Anything to get out of public view with waste case Whitney.
On the drive back to her apartment, Whitney mumbled a series of incomprehensible mutterings, all of which led me to believe she felt some kind of remorse for her alcoholic display. That’s nice and all but I’m not one to sympathize with those who could easily subscribe to AA meetings and be done with their demons. “It was the whiskey after the Goldschlager, I swear. I don’t normally get this tipsy,” she slurred. Tipsy? Is that what she thinks she was? I wanted to tell her she surpassed tipsy about four drinks ago but instead I said, “That’s okay, go to sleep.” Then, I pet her head to get her to shut up but if she thought I was consoling her, that was fine too.
When we arrived at her apartment, she asked me to come up with her. Most guys would welcome the opportunity to bone a chick who won’t remember it the next day but I pride myself on my technique and actually want to be remembered the next day. Furthermore, I’m not like the average guy who’s just out for sex and maybe this is why this particular date with Whitney was so eye-opening for me.
If I just wanted sex, then why bother going to the trouble of meeting someone over dinner and drinks which could potentially run me the same cost of hiring someone to suck my cock? I’m looking for the right girl and let me tell you, it’s fucking tough.
On the one hand, I can understand Whitney’s desire have a drink or two. There’s a lot of pressure on first dates. She was a little uptight and wanted to make a good impression. At least that’s what I thought at first until I discovered she’s a severe alcoholic. Generally speaking however, when it comes to other girls who don’t have a similar drinking problem and who opt to have a drink or two on a date to loosen up, I understand how a stiff cocktail can come in handy. It helps them relax. Or in Whitney’s case, go ape-wild.
To tell you the truth, I prefer going out with a girl who has likes to share a couple drinks with me rather than the ones who stick to virgin cocktails. They’re the ones you really have to worry about. If they control themselves so much that they can’t step outside their element to get a mild buzz going on, imagine the type of control they’d exercise on me, given the opportunity. No thank you. I already have a mom who tells me what to do and what’s right, when and where and how and whatnot.
Whitney phoned me the next day as if there was nothing wrong and asked me if I thought she was pretty. Did I think she was pretty? “Sure,” I said. “Why do you ask?” She replied, “Because I remember asking you to, you know, come upstairs to my place last night and you didn’t want to. So I just wanted to know if you think there’s something wrong with me.”
Diplomacy has never been a strong trait of mine and beating around the bush always seems like a waste of time before the inevitable truth comes out so I just flat out asked her, “Do you realize you’re a raging alcoholic?” Quick on the defensive which is so typical of alcoholics from what I gather on all the TV shows and movies that portray alcoholics as always denying they have a problem, she responded, “Are you joking? Drinking problem? I don’t think so. Not me.” Instead of arguing with her which I thought was futile, I wanted off the phone with her fast so I said. “You’re right. It’s not you. It’s me.” And I hung up. Just like that.
I mean, had I known her for an extended period of time, I probably would have cared more about her general well-being but having just met her for a few hours, I didn’t feel I needed the responsibility of having an alcoholic acquaintance. I know it might sound rude but I’m just being honest. And can you really blame me for feeling this way?
Nothing about the world wide web should come as a surprise anymore. Porn is abundant. You can shop for anything your heart desires, 24/7. There are infinite opinions on millions of topics, catering to every whim.
When it comes to online dating, a person whose online profile picture doesn’t match up in real life has become the norm. A polite, considerate first-time chat on the ‘net eventually leads to a rude person in the flesh. Men lie about their height. Women lie about their weight. Everyone lies about their financial status, past relationships, sexual history and whatnot. What you see is almost never what you get. And I say “almost never” only because I believe there’s an anomaly for everything. Consequently, I’m still waiting to find that anomaly. But until that day, I have to trust that every experience along the way is just one step closer to that person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I have no choice but to have full faith the next person will be nothing like the last. Even if my gut instinct warns me otherwise, at the very least, I’ve got to give the present guy at question a chance.
When “David’s” profile seemed to be a great match for me at face value, I sent him a little “poke” to pique his interest. Instantly, he replied, “I poke you back” and I smiled because we were off to a great flirtatious start. “I poke you harder”, I added fuel to the fire. “I’ll show you poking harder,” he replied. This was funny to me and I felt safe laughing behind the comfort of our invisible internet wall, separating us geographically. In real life I might have started getting a little nervous and looking over my shoulder to assure myself we were still in public, surrounded by witnesses should he attempt to “poke me” in any sort of physical capacity.
After a series of poking back and forth, “David” suggested we move over to Skype and have a webcam chat instead of typing incessantly. I’d never moved so quickly from conversing in a chat window to a face-to-face webcam meeting but I figured it would save me the stress of picking a first-date outfit and coming home disappointed if the date didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. “Let’s webcam chat,” I agreed.
I logged into Skype and immediately, within a millisecond, “David” was calling. I didn’t even have a chance to ensure that my hair was in place or whether I looked half-decent. Caught off guard, I had no choice but to click “ok” and accept his webcam call, all the while fumbling through my purse to find my compact mirror so I could fix myself up.
“Hello,” I heard a male voice say through the computer. Still not looking at my laptop screen, instead staring into my compact mirror coiffing my bangs I yelled over my shoulder, “Hold on, I’m just fixing my hair!” “Take your time,” he said in a droned-out, almost moaning voice.
I put my compact back in my purse and finally looked at the computer. Now, what do you think I saw? I can tell you exactly what he saw. A dropped jaw and look horror on my face. But me? Well, I was staring at a pair of cock and balls, close-up.
“Oh my God!” I thought aloud. “What are you doing?” I screamed. “What, you don’t like my dick?” He asked. I don’t know what shocked me more. The fact that I was staring at him stroking his penis or that he wanted to know if I liked it.
I instantly closed the webcam window, holding onto my dear beating heart to console it. And then, “David” had the further indecency to phone back. I didn’t answer, still trying to catch my breath and calm my pulse rate. Then I got a chat message pop up from him saying, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Thinking clearly? I wondered if he had any premeditative thoughts at all. Thinking clearly. Clearly he didn’t even think twice about pulling that strip show on me beforehand when he went ahead with his naked plan.
And I was unforgiving and unwilling to converse with him any further. It’s not like he could use the old “drunk excuse” to excuse his behavior. It’s not like he could say, “Sorry I was drunk a minute ago when I acted impulsively. But now I’m normal.” Nothing could excuse what he did.
Sure, we live in a time where modern technology often overrides our senses of boundaries but there’s no excuse for acting like a criminal. Just because the inkling to flash someone online feels safer than doing so in real life doesn’t mean it’s okay for people like “David” to cross standard, ethical boundaries. Yet, people seem to cross them more freely and frequently than ever before. They do so because it’s easy to disappear into the enigmatic vortex of cyberspace and never be seen or thought of again by the person whom they just violated.
It’s precisely the “invisible internet wall” that allows us to say and do things we wouldn’t in normal, ordinary life. We get cockier, more confident and sometimes more reckless with our modes of conduct. It’s easy to forget the real world exists beyond the “invisible wall” and we act out of line. And some of us act more out of line than others.
Yes, “David”, I’m talking to you. Wherever you are, please reconsider your future actions. For the sake of other women you hope to meet online, please put your pants back on.
I love to talk. I could go on and on. And I often do. But I usually only pull that kind of self-involved behavior with my closest friends who consequently happen to be the very same ones to shut me up when I’ve overstepped the acceptable amount of “talking about me” time. Far be it for me to complain about someone else monopolizing a conversation for once. Which is why I finally met my match with this guy “Ramblin’ Ron”. Not only did I barely get two words in edgewise for the duration of our coffee date but up until today, for the life of me, I can’t remember a single thing “Ron” said because he talked way too much about too many things. Esoteric, scholarly things. Basically our whole conversation thus remains a giant, hazy glaze in the depths of my lesser fond memories.
It could have been the caffeine making him drivel on incessantly or perhaps he was just over-excited about a million subjects all at once. Or, maybe he’s just socially-awkward and couldn’t care less about anything but himself. Either way, it was a painful rendezvous and as much as I’ve tried to block it out of my mind, this is the best I can come up with in attempts at replicating what transpired that afternoon in the Coffee Bean.
I should have known when he told me to “Look out for the guy reading Atlas Shrugged”, I’d be in for meeting a pretentious literary snob. At first I thought it was impressive for him to take on the acclaimed philosophical sci-fi novel on his own volition but then I realized he only did it as a means for self-aggrandizement, a reason to tout himself superior intellectually and mainly, because he’s one boring human being.
ME: You must be Ron.
RON: (puts down his book and smiles, smug.) How did you guess?
ME: The book. You told me you’d be reading Atlas Shrugged, remember?
RON: Oh, that’s right… I did. Have you ever read it?
ME: No. I haven’t. (Noticing his half-drunken coffee, I remain standing). You already have a drink. I’m going to get a coffee. I’ll be right back.
RON: That’s fine. Take your time. I’m at a crux point in this chapter that’s absolutely compelling…
At this point, I go get my coffee and return to find him consumed, reading.
ME: Do you want to just forge this whole meeting? I mean, you’re obviously busy reading and I could just go. That’s fine…
RON: Oh, no. No, no. I’m just… I need a sounding board for something. Please, sit. (I sit). See, I’m having this inner debate after reading this book and I wonder what you think about this theory that’s bugging me. It’s kind of abstract but I think I can explain it really well. So, the premise of this book is based upon objective ethics. Do you know anything about objective ethics?
ME: (I sigh). A little…
RON: I’ve always thought that there is such a thing as an objective truth. But then, the sum of objectivity’s parts is subjectivity, in each one of us, right? Which makes me wonder, as I read a book based on objectivity, could I possibly be soaking up the same principles that Ayn Rand insinuated when she was writing her book? Or am I interpreting her words in a completely different manner? Now, I came to the conclusion that it’s all an oxymoron, the whole notion of universality. To me, it’s a big hoax. And I wonder, what you think of this dilemma?
ME: You mean, if we’re both drinking coffee, do we taste the same thing? That sort of objectivity versus subjectivity dilemma? (I try to cover up my yawn).
RON: No. Not at all. Have you ever even taken a philosophy class?
ME: Yes and I didn’t like it because it’s all about arguing for no reason.
RON: It’s not like that at all. It’s about expanding the mind and finding ways to think about things in different lights. Not being so close-minded.
ME: (Insulted) Are you calling me closed-minded?
RON: I don’t know you yet so I can’t really judge. But I can tell you that I used to be very straight and narrow. I only saw things one way. And now I see things in all kinds of enlightened ways because I’m open to it.
ME: How about being open to the fact that you don’t even know me and here you are, talking about all kinds of book-based bullshit trying to show off your knowledge that no one who isn’t a philosophy major cares about?
RON: Wow. I wouldn’t have expected this from your profile. You portrayed yourself as someone who’s well-read and you’re obviously not interested in any sort of intellectual conversation. You girls are all alike. You go online and present yourself as being educated and erudite but really all you’re interested in is shopping and gossiping. I wonder, why bother even having gone to school if you’re not cerebrally-invigorated by the chance at having an intellectual conversation with another person?
ME: Actually I’m trying to have a conversation here but —
RON: (interrupts me) – But you’re not interested in anything literary. Remind me, what did you get your degree in again?
ME: Fine art.
RON: Now I remember. So what’s your favorite era?
RON: (Appearing displeased) Really? I think postmodern is okay but it pales in comparison to the impressionists. It’s much easier to create anew than it is to accurately depict something in its authenticity.
ME: I don’t think so at all but –
RON: (interrupts me again) –That’s why I think both jazz and blues is a waste of music. You can’t annotate that kind of freestyle on paper properly. Whereas classical music, in all its complexity can be played over and over again, handed down through the ages with sheet music.
ME: I really don’t agree with you at all. With anything you said actually.
RON: Not many people do. I’m a provocative thinker. I say things people don’t want to say or think about. But I say the truth. And the truth isn’t always innocuous but at least, it’s the truth. And —
ME: (interrupting Ron) – You know what I think?
RON: Excuse me but you just interrupted me. That’s really rude.
ME: (shocked). Excuse me but you think I’m being rude? Me? What about you, Mr. let’s talk about everything I want to talk about and I’m the only one allowed to talk in this conversation? Talk about subjectivity. Hmmpf!
RON: You’re making me lose my train of thought here…
ME: (standing up). You just lost more than your train of thought here. You also just lost a date, buddy. Why don’t you sit and have a conversation with your book and bore it to death? I’m out of here. See ya.
And with that, I left Ramblin’ Ron and his rambunctious thoughts behind. Walking away, for several city blocks, I swear I could still hear Ron talking and talking and talking. And talking.
When I got home, I called up my best friend and told her about the situation and she couldn’t stop laughing. “Now you know how it feels,” she said. And for once, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t argue.
Do you think the universe was trying to teach me a lesson about monopolizing conversations with people in general so I wouldn’t repeat that type of rude social manner in the future or was this guy just a narcissistic douche bag altogether?
PRO: You could (quite possibly) get a free meal.
CON: If you know you don’t like the guy by the time appetizers arrive, you’re stuck with him for the long haul, forcing very forced conversation. Add to that, a sense of guilt when the check comes and your conscience tells you to split the bill but your recession-minded frugal nature lets him cater to his sense of manhood when he insists on paying.
PRO: A night out at the movies is always fun – even if the movie sucks. Secondly, if you don’t like the guy within a few moments of meeting, you don’t have to talk much throughout the rest of the date.
CON: If you like the guy, it’s pretty hard to talk at the movies, especially when the guy behind you repeatedly tells you two to, “Shut the fuck up!”
PRO: Even when you meet up with a friend you haven’t see in a while, “coffee” implies a short rendezvous to get the catching up essential out of the way. Meeting a date for “coffee” is similarly, a lighthearted encounter where you basically have until you finish your cup to part ways.
CON: Sometimes meeting a person for the first time requires that additional kick you can only get from a stiff cocktail. You’re uptight and caffeine only amplifies that. Another no-no is, if you do coffee at your local haunt, you risk running into people you know. The baristas may think you’re a total slut or perhaps accidentally blow your cover and inform your new date you’re a girl about town when they inquire, “Weren’t you here an hour ago with another guy?” Rule of thumb is to choose your coffee shops wisely – that’s the way around this con.
WALK AROUND TOWN
PRO: If the date sucks, you get to window shop for the afternoon. Furthermore, you get to check out what kind of guy you’re on a date with. What kind of stores does he like? What’s his general style – not just how he presents himself at face value upon meeting.
CON: If the dude turns out ugly, that’s the man on your arm for the hour.
PRO: What can go wrong at a night club when there’s loud music playing, you’re dancing and dressed your best? Plus a few martinis doesn’t hurt.
CON: If he dances like a dork and dresses like a dork, then you’re out with a dork. Even worse, that dork may want to grind against you like a brick of Parmesan against a cheese grater.
What are some of your most and least favorite first date spots?
NICE JEWISH BOYS
This is a user submission from Janice Schulman. The excerpt is from an animated short that explores dating as seen through the eyes of a modern Jewish woman.
With so much cross-gentrification and intermarriage going on everywhere, it’s hard to tell who’s Jewish and who isn’t just by looking. Sure, there’s the obvious curly head of hair commonly known as the “Jew-fro” or the stereotypical big nose (not so tenderly referred as the “Jew-nose”). Today, the most unobvious people you think aren’t Jews, end up being Jews. Conversely, it’s the ones you’re absolutely, positive have zero Jewish blood in them turn out to be Jews in the flesh – or in the case of males, right down to their missing piece of flesh called foreskin.
More so today than ever, there are Asian-looking members of the tribe, black ones, Sephardic mixed with Ashkenazi type mulattos, you name it, they just might be a Jew. As it seems, we’re as diverse and colorful a religion as Christianity but alas, Jewish underneath.
Much in the way a truly devout Catholic would want to marry a Catholic or an Arab would want to marry another Arab, it’s not a completely unheard of concept for a Jew (like myself) to want to wed another Jew. Like the saying goes, “birds of a feather, stick together.” Now, far be it for me to deduce a reason as to why “birds of a feather stick together”. Let’s face it – everyone has their own explanation for why religion is important to them. Personally, for me it’s about being guaranteed a circumcised penis, someone who recognizes why a glass of milk alongside an Angus steak is a no-no and finding someone who speaks enough basic Yiddish to make me laugh. But I digress. It’s not just about me here.
When any Jew (like myself) signs up to meet a mate on JDate, they should expect to meet another Jew, right? Clearly, this is the same line of reasoning followed by a black person who posts their profile on Blackplanet.com – they’re out looking for some African American love. It’s a pretty straight forward anticipation that should be a sanction, really. Given the fact that enlisting in any particular dating service involves forking over cash, this precise transaction is done under the auspice that the type of person one is looking for has been filtered down. Otherwise, for me, if dating were a free-for-all, why wouldn’t I just go out and meet any old random non-Jews at the bar or laundromat or wherever?
The real kicker is this: there are so many free dating websites out there like PlentyOfFish or OkCupid and so forth. If I wanted to meet just anyone, religion aside, I’d be all over that free shit – after all, I am a Jew. But in order to find a Jew to love and marry, I had to pay for it. Therefore, after paying for it, I plan to date, meet and marry another Jew, no question about it.
So when “Chris” portrayed himself on JDate as a “reform” Jew who “never practices”, I thought to myself, “Hey, I prefer a guy with somewhat of a bigger attachment to Jewish practices and at the very least, someone who observes the high holidays but maybe if he were around someone like me, he’d find a reason to get into Judaism a little more.”
This theory of mine would work splendidly if “Chris” were in fact a Jew, but no. As the first five letters of his name indicate, “Chris” is Christian. He’s a “liberal Christian” as he explained to me on our web chat and he’s “someone who doesn’t really care about religion all that much.”
Naturally my question to him was this: “If you don’t care about religion, then why did you pay and sign up for a Jewish dating site?” His answer: “I like Jewish girls. I always have.”
What is it about Jewish girls that “Chris” likes so much? He says he doesn’t know and quite frankly, his unknowingness has me stumped because I haven’t been able to figure it out either.
I asked a good female friend of mine why she thinks a non-Jew would fancy a Jew in particular. She said to me, “Don’t take this the wrong way but I find Jewish men have more drive and ambition than non-Jews. And they tend to make more money.” How could I take this the wrong way when I’ve heard it my entire life? It’s a fairly well-known stereotype but it still didn’t answer my question. Why would a young, non-Jewish guy “really like” a Jewish girl?
I get the whole male stereotype of “rich Jew” from the female perspective but for the life of me, I can’t understand why “Chris loves Jewish girls”. The only stereotypes of Jewish girls I’ve ever heard people use are “JAPS” as in “Jewish American Princesses” who are “high maintenance” and inconsolable “whiners”.
I asked “Chris” if he would ever consider converting to Judaism to which he replied, “No way. I love Christmas too much.” That’s when I had to end the conversation. If the only reason “Chris” sticks to Christianity is because “Christmas rocks” and the only reason he wants to go out with Jewish girls is because he “likes them for no reason”, I was wasting time and he was wasting everyone’s time on the site. I told him this and I even wished him luck. And what did “Chris” do? He called me a “stupid bitch”. I asked him if he thought that’s something Jesus would have done or said and he exited our little chat bubble conversation thingy right then.
And I didn’t feel bad one bit for probing “Chris” with questions. Why? Because I wanted him to realize it’s waste of time to try to make a “square peg fit in a round hole” as the age-old saying goes.
It’s like this: When I go to the supermarket to buy skim milk, I don’t want 2% or homo. I want skim milk. I don’t want a 2% carton that wishes it were skim yet would never undergo the fat-to-skimming process. Likewise, I’m not into homo milk that was once 2% and now wants to become skim. I want skim milk pure and simple without any complication. I figure, if my life is here in America and day-to-day, I can’t live in the Holy Land aka the “land of milk and honey”, then at the very least, I just want my milk the way I like it. Is that too much to ask?
Given the billions of people living in this world, each with his or her own kind of preference, it’s not absurd that I have my own desire to marry a Jew. As such, I totally respect and highly value everyone else on Earth’s preferences in selecting their life mates too. Now that all is said and done, I wish everyone a little mazel (“luck”) on the way to finding true love.
Still, I wonder… Is it really all that unreasonable for me to expect to meet a Jew on JDate?
Canines Vs. Human Companions? The Eternal JDate Debate.
This is a user submission and we love it! We totally identify with the girl in the video. Thanks for sending this to us! A well-composed PoMo tale that resonates in the zeitgeist.
After breaking so many hearts and not even giving some hearts a chance to break, I knew I’d get my payback someday. I just didn’t think it would happen with “M”.
First of all, he was way older than me. Like fifteen years old “older” – definitely too age-old to play games with me. Initially, I didn’t want to go out with him because of the age factor. And, he also had some other flaws I was willing to overlook at the behest of my better judgment, urging my inner self to “Shut the fuck up and give the older guy a chance.”
My sister was visiting from NYC that weekend and the two of us were poking around JDate, trying to fix me up with the next best match when we stumbled upon a guy who calls himself, “THE PIANO MAN”. While perusing the site, I got an instant message “Hello” which always intrigues me enough to go poking around a person’s profile for more details.
At first, “Piano Man” proved to be not all that impressive. Despite showcasing a beautiful, shiny grand piano in the background of his photo, this accompanied his not-so-beautiful existence as a person in the foreground. Lanky, silver-haired and nerdy overall – I wasn’t interested.
“Okay! Next!” I ordered my sister. And so she closed the dialogue box. Minutes later, another message from “M.” popped up telling me he just read my profile and noticed I enjoy the symphony. Then, he asked if I’d like to go to the symphony the following night – he had two box seats. Already, he hit my soft spot. I love the symphony as much as cupcakes, flying first class on international flights and any other luxurious offering in life. I love how hundreds of people play the very same piece of sheet music at the same time for an audience. Of course I wanted to go!
He picked me up the in the nicest car I’d ever been in – a Maserati Quattroporte. I was impressed and wondered what he did for a living. That, he kept secret and I didn’t want to pry too much either. I was quite sure this guy was used to gold diggers going after him like he was the California Gold Rush which is probably why he’s so secretive about how he got all the gold to begin with. I came up with this line of reasoning in my head while driving on the way to hear Mozart. “Lay off the questions,” I decided.
Once in our seats at the symphony, I wasn’t having the best time. In fact, I couldn’t remember not enjoying the symphony the way I didn’t with him. I spent the entire hour and a half analyzing “M.’s” features, trying to convince myself he’s not too old for me. Every time he looked over, I smiled, pretending to be moved by the music but instead, I was making quick transitions from squishing my eyebrows inwards scrutinizing him entirely. Luckily I have sharp reflexes.
At the end of our date, “M.” drove me home and it was like being dropped off by a regular friend but an older one. No kiss or stoic hug goodbye. Just simply, “It was nice to meet you.” And it was nice to meet him too. I thanked him and he thanked me and it was just so, unromantic and civil like an organized friendship play date for adults. And I kind of liked it.
On my way back toward my apartment, I chalked the whole thing up to a date gone “okay”. I also didn’t expect to hear from him again since there was no spark from either one of us. Relaying the night’s events to my sister, she thought my encounter with “M.” was strictly casual too and I shouldn’t expect to see him again. “It was probably a one-time thing,” my sister forecasted and I agreed.
“Maybe he was just lonely,” she suggested. But I highly doubted that. Really, how could a guy with such a nice car and symphony box seat tickets be lonely? Since there was no easy answer, my date with this guy became an enigma or sorts, impossible to figure out and so I abandoned all attempts at rationalizing this one-time event of a date forevermore.
My sister left back for NYC the following morning and literally, minutes after her plane had taken off and I couldn’t text for help if I wanted to, “M.” phoned and asked me for supper that evening. I had to make a quick solo decision. “Sure,” I thought. Another platonic friendship date? “Sounds great!” I told him.
Surprisingly, dinner conversation ended up being fun. “M.” was hilarious. He had an amazing sense of humor and had me laughing uproariously the entire time. He seemed to have loosened up overnight. Or, perhaps he’d grown more comfortable around me, enough to get out of his shell. All reason aside, age and looks were no longer an issue for me. I actually liked this guy for who he was and who he was, was great.
After dinner, he drove me home again. Parked in my driveway, “M.” asked if it would be alright to kiss me. I’d never been asked that before. This was a whole new realm of gentlemanly behavior I never experienced. It was a just-like-in-the-movies kind of “nice” that made me excited to kiss him. And it was a nice first kiss. So soft and gentle. Not wanting to push things beyond an innocent level, we both left at that – a simple kiss.
On my way back inside, I decided that going out with guys my own age or a few years older was overrated by society’s conventions. I’d never known such sweet a kiss from a gentleman existed in this day and age.
But then, much to my dismay, I didn’t hear from “M.” for days. And then, for days after that. I started to feel bad about myself. Was I a bad kisser? What didn’t he like about me? With a bruised ego, I didn’t even want to call and ask him about anything just in case he’d confirm my worst suspicion – that I, a young and attractive, fertile and effervescent woman might not be good enough for him in his mind.
Days went by and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt such heartache over a boy. And this was a grown man! The worst part about it, we didn’t do anything but kiss. So why was I hurting like this?
I got my answer a few weeks later when “M.” called me out of the blue. He said he was out of town and he just got back. He also mentioned something about being distracted by the recent purchase of a new piano for his summer cottage. I didn’t quite understand the correlation but inquired, “A grand piano?” “But of course,” he answered. “Nothing less.” He wanted to know if I’d like to meet up with him for lunch in an hour. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other,” he reminded me.
After having hurt so badly over what now appeared to be a mere assumption on my part that he didn’t like me, I wanted to give him a little taste of his own medicine – to feel what it’s like to be inaccessible. I told him I had plans already but I’d call him back if it was possible to cancel and meet him instead. Truth is, I didn’t have any plans. And I didn’t call him back right away either. I took my time to make him sweat it. I took two hours to be exact. And then when I decided a considerable amount of time had elapsed, I phoned him to tell him I’d love to go out for lunch. But he didn’t answer my call.
Bored, with nothing to do that day, I went back on JDate to surf around. Then, I noticed he was online. Right there and then, in real time. Strange, I thought. I sent him a message but he didn’t respond to it. Was he ignoring me? I sent him one more message and he didn’t respond either. So I let it be. If he wanted me, he knew where to find me.
And that was that. It was the sweetest unfulfilled romance I’d had in a really long time and it made me realize that after being cautioned by the laws of karma for so long, heartbreak finally took its toll on me. It hurt. It hurt a lot, actually. But it made me think deeply and reevaluate things.
At first, I was resentful. I thought, “Here’s a guy with a beautiful car, box seat tickets to the symphony and several grand pianos – here’s a guy who figuratively shits pianos he’s so rich. He’s a piano shitter. Why am I hurt?” And then suddenly, it all made sense.
Here’s a guy who isn’t used to waiting for someone to say yes. It’s always yes to him. “Yes, I’ll have that piano over there!” or “Yes, I’ll meet you in five minutes!” This guy gets what he wants when he wants and I didn’t give it to him. Now neither of us got what we wanted from each other.
But I did get one thing out of the whole experience and that’s a major lesson: You win some and you lose some. You treat people one way and they’ll treat you another. Either way, as it happens, it’s unpredictable but it’s that very unpredictability that makes you feel alive and hopeful for the next one.
Do you think I took it too hard?
There are dog people and there are cat people. Sometimes, you get those who love both equally. Then there are those who don’t like either or. Quite frankly, I don’t trust a person who doesn’t like neither cats or dogs inasmuch as it creeps me out when a person likes their house pet just a little bit too much.
Now before you go calling me bitch for claiming there is such a thing as “liking one’s house pet too much”, I’ll have you know, I’ve had my own cats and dogs before and they all slept in my bed. I know what it means to love one’s own pet that much and I know that within due time, I’d be able to love someone else’s pet like my own. It just takes some warming up.
When I first came across “Mitchell’s” profile, I should have known we’d be incompatible. His main photo showed him decked out in camping gear. I’m the worst camper ever and I hate it a lot. Nonetheless, he had a catchy catch phrase that referenced my favorite Allen Ginsberg, poem, “Howl”. I’d later learn that he’s never read or even heard of Ginsberg but was actually alluding to his dog, Ralph whom he insisted was the absolute “best dog ever” and I had to meet them both immediately. Then he asked, “What are you up to today?”
It was a Saturday and I had no other plans except going to the movies solo so I thought, “Why not? Let’s meet in the West Village.” We picked a spot to convene an hour from then and planned to walk around for a while. It would be a lighthearted way for us all to get acquainted and besides, Ralph hadn’t gone out all morning.
I arrived at our agreed upon landmark a few minutes late and approaching, from the distance, Mitchell looked better in real life but Ralph was a disheveled mess whose eye crustaceans I could smell from miles away. Why bother even having a dog if you let it look like a homeless mutt? Immediately, I wasn’t happy about having to hang with rancid Ralph and worried I’d eventually have to pet him and make pretend I didn’t mind his dog hadn’t been bathed in years.
I played polite, knowing right away Mitchell wasn’t the guy for me, remembering his camping photos and catching whiff of his crusty canine. But he was nice and funny which made me stop myself from wishing that I’d never showed up. He could become a friend of mine. Then I thought, why does every date have to turn into something more than just a date? This epiphany was worth the stroll around town with this stranger and his stinky dog.
For months, I’d been internet dating, hoping to find “the perfect one” but never considered that maybe, before jumping into a heavy situation where we’d both officially be “dating”, the initial first encounter should be more like a friendship interview. I finally realized the only way this whole internet dating business could work is as a series of friendship interviews.
I looked at Mitchell and reminded myself he’s an exception – in his case, this was not a “friendship interview” since I’d already demoted him from having any possibility of becoming anything more than just a friend at all. As far as I was concerned, Mitchell was already a friend of mine, simple.
Nonetheless, Mitchell made it hard to forget we were on a “date” since he kept asking me all kinds of date-specific type questions like how many kids I’d want to have right down to wanting to know my blood type.
To prove I was just his “friend”, I wanted to show Mitchell that I wasn’t expecting anything from him whatsoever. Walking along, I asked him to stop at a hot dog vendor cart so I could get some water. He tried to pay but I’d already beat him to the chase. In a playful way, I punched his arm and said, “Don’t worry. I got it. Thanks, though.”
“You really should have let me pay for that,” he said to me after I cracked open my bottle of water and took a sip. “Since you’re keeping me company on my walk with Ralph, I wanted to do something nice for you.” I was little bit put off by this. Did he think I was just a friend of his too? And if so, what did I do to make him demote me from date to just a “friend who’s keeping him company while he’s walking his dog.” I wanted to ask but felt that might just raise a bunch of other issues which could turn a nice afternoon nasty. Besides, I didn’t want anything from Mitchell other than his friendship and clearly, I already had that.
“Can I have some water too?” Mitchell asked. I paused to think. Would I let my friends drink from the same bottle of water as me? Yes I would. And so, Mitchell could too.
Much to my dismay, instead of drinking water like a normal human being, Mitchell proceeded to pour water straight into his dog’s mouth, letting his dog’s tongue slurp droplets from the around the edge of my Evian bottle. I was completely in awe. “What do you think you’re doing?” I protested. “It’s a hot day and Ralph needs water too,” he answered. In shock, I demanded to know, “Why didn’t you buy him his own bottle of water?” “Because I didn’t think it would be a big deal if he had some of yours. Any humane person would let a thirsty animal drink their water.” He tried to make me feel bad but the only thing that would make me feel anything close to bad at his point would be drinking from that very polluted bottle where his dirty dog just slobbered about.
Before I could retort and defend myself, Mitchell crouched down and caressed Ralph by the face to talk to him. “You’re such a good boy. Yes, a good boy, you are.” And to my amazement, he sat there kissing Ralph repeatedly on the lips or mouth, whatever you want to call its anatomy. “Good boy, good boy.” Then, Mitchell turned with an outstretched arm, returning my water bottle to me. “Here. You can have your water back.”
I didn’t want my water back. “You keep it. Let Ralph keep it,” I insisted. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of germs,” he replied, choking back a laugh. “Yes, I mean no. I mean, would you look at the time?” I checked my watch in a smooth twist of the wrist. “You are!” he laughed even harder. “You’re afraid of dog germs.”
I was trying so hard to stick to the self-proclaimed vow I’d made with myself days earlier about trying to be nicer to people. This guy was really testing my threshold. I smiled, took a deep breath but all I could say was, “No, I’m going home to French kiss my own dog now. You inspired me.”
I think he knew I was joking or maybe he thought I was being serious. Either or, our friendship-interview-slash-date was over for good and I couldn’t be happier. For the first time in a while, there was no post-date follow-up phone call where I had to explain why it wasn’t going to work. He knew and I knew that we were a rough match from the start and luckily, we’re both going to survive. Some matches are rougher than others and in this case, at least from my perspective, he was a little too “ruff”.
Do you think he was overreacting? Are we?