Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting a Foot in the Door

This past Friday morning I was greeted with a really normal funny email in my OkCupid mailbox. The guy was charming and clever and his profile (though lacking a proper sized photo) was lush with details and well written – BONUS! We exchanged 2 rounds of witty emails then began IMing.

After a few IM exchanges Mr. Friday lobbed over an unexpected invitation, “What are you doing at 2:30 today? Want to meet me and my friends for a movie at the Ziegfeld?” My knee jerk response was “No Way I don’t know you” but then as the gears turned in my head I thought WTF, just go the movies. This is what the summer is for, meeting a stranger for an afternoon flick, calm the F down and just GO! But before I could accept this blind matinee invitation he addended his offer with “We can hold hands and kiss in the dark” – OH GOOD LORD! Now you are on the creepy side of the Mr. Milk Toast to Robert Chambers continuum. Great. I ignored the quip, hoping that he too realized the oddness of the request after sending it out into the www and was embarrassed by his misplaced prepubescent blurt. I instead inquired about the feature presentation BUT he responded with, “Ok, we could just meet after the movie.” Hmmm, I didn’t remember saying no to the movie, I guess we are moving on.

I agreed to meet Mr. Friday after the movie but because of my very popular Friday night schedule (Fresh Direct order arriving at 8pm) I could only meet for a few drinks. He suggested going for a cup of tea then holding hands and kissing on my couch. Really? What is it with this holding hands and kissing? And on MY couch, who the F are you? I attempted to stay on the humorous side of the request by assuming that he too was ummmm… just kidding (as the kids say). But my “easy killer, let’s keep my couch out of this” reply butted up against his response suggesting that I was uptight and prudish… oh no you didn’t. The gauntlet was thrown.

To keep this guy out of my apartment but show him that I was “up for fun” I suggested two establishments located in LIC where we could either get a drink or a cup of tea (insert eye roll) followed by a stroll along The East River and snogging to our heart’s content. He was nonplussed at my suggestions and stated that he would call me later to discuss the evening’s details.

Not feeling all that confident with this pushy lothario I turned to my dating guru Lola. I shot her an email outlining the pertinent facts then asked if I should “Calm the F down or shut this guy down?” Lola responded with, “Meet Him! If he's creeptastic, shut it down, If he's super cute and funny and the rest -- do it”. Yes of course that is what I should do, I’m freaking 39 years old and it’s the summer, why am I getting all wacko?

About an hour later my phone rang, it was Mr. Friday. He sounded charming, he liked my voice, we exchanged pleasantries then he asked, “So what are we doing tonight?” I repeated my proposal of public establishment followed by “we’ll see”, Mr. Friday was not happy with that arrangement at all. He repeated several times that he wasn’t looking to have sex but he was not a guy who sits in bars or clubs or kisses in public, he would rather sit on my couch, watch TV, hold hands, and makeout. Ok people fess up WHO told this guy about my new 32” TV and my most amazing red couch? I laughed him off, still trying to stay light and humorous explaining that we didn’t know each other so why not just agree to meet up for “a cup of tea” (don’t know if this guy had a tea or a couch fetish) THEN after that see what happens. He pushed back explaining that he was “type A” and needed to know the entire plan for the evening and that he would not agree to meet me unless I promised that after one drink we would be snuggled up in my apartment (of course no sex). I kept hearing my guru’s voice in my head, just do it, don’t be so uptight, have some fun. So with a carefree sigh I agreed and asked where and when we were meeting. Mr. Friday only could give me time, 6:30pm and he would text me later with location. Ughhh…

The envelop of down time between 3 – 5 pm afforded me the opportunity of clarity of thought. I ran analogies through my pea brain such as; If I had a pile of $200,000 in small bills and placed it on a table in front of a stranger then asked them to guard it until I returned, would I trust them? No way! But I am going to blindly trust this Mr. Friday with my life? Is my life worth less than $200,000? If I open the door to this man I am basically saying, “Hi welcome to my home, please don’t kill, rape or mutilate me, OK? I am putting all my trust in you, for no other reason than the fact you had perfect grammar in your OkCupid email.” And this whole kissing thing, good lord, just post an “Intimate Connections” add on Craig’s list, I am sure there is some fetishist that would be totally into this, however this is NOT a date. There are a number of men I would love to canoodle on my couch in the coolness of my AC on a Friday night, men that I KNOW, why would I invite a stranger over to hold my hand and neck?

Long story longer he texted me at 6:10 (nice since we were supposed to meet at 6:30) asking, “What’s the plan?” I replied, “I thought we were meeting for a drink and btw my apt. is off the menu.” He quickly retorted, “Sounds like our intentions are different. Good Night”.

Two hours later Swason and I were tossing back beers and eating a smorgasbord of finger foods with me on my couch and her curled up in my big chair, watching my huge new TV in the sub zero temps of my kick butt air conditioners, it could not have been a better Friday night.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Line Dating Update or A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Haven’t blogged in a long time and haven’t dated in a long time either however not to fear I have not been sitting on the side lines waiting for a hunky temp to cover vacation leave for our UPS dude, no I have been quietly dabbling online within the free OKCupid universe where I sadly average a 40:1 ratio. I send out 40 charming witty emails, I receive one unsolicited illiterate email. However a few weeks ago I received an email from a gent that was extremely well written and shockingly entertaining. Hmm…. interesting.

I have been burnt before by a well written email (remember Vet Tech, Summer 2009?), so I wasn’t gonna fall for that crap again. Modern day faceless/ voiceless electronic communication has given a voice to those men/ boys who have never masterred real world socialization. With the use of millions of tiny zeros and ones flying through the World Wide Web these knobs have finely crafted a universe where they are actually charismatic and charming, luring me with promises of sarcastic wit, lively banter, and hearty belly laughs. This dear readers is a lie. For in the RW (real world) these electronic Cyranos are a pile of sludge unable to dress themselves, complete a sentence, or in Vet Tech’s case, have enough self confidence to order me a drink. Therefore when I received this well crafted email several weeks ago my bull shit meter was engaged. I countered immediately with a very direct response hoping I would thwart a repeat of my past over confidence in the written word to woo.

It has now been a several weeks since the first email plopped into my inbox and he has yet to ask me out for a cup of coffee, really? As I sit here in my empty office about to pull the plug on this ever increasingly boring ping pong of endless email exchanges I reach out to you, the cheering throngs, forever hopping that one day I will have a second date with a man NOT wearing belted leather sports jacket and ask for your input. Maybe I am jaded? Maybe I am self sabotaging? Maybe I’m not being open enough to the universe? Because of all these internal monologs, and many more, I am handing over the power for you to decide HOW and IF I continue this relentless electronic courtship. Below please find excerpts from our OKCupid private messaging sessions and let me know if you would like to see me pursue this mystery man or call his bluff.

June 22nd
Message from Agrumpyman
Your profile is truly fantastic, well written and passionately presented. In fact, it is superb…. film and music buff, loves sarcasm almost as much as food and wine and good conversation, and is in a giddy state because of your truly lovely profile…..

Me - Your “OKC” handle combined with your lack of photo are a bit disconcerting… however I could not resist replying to your most complimentary electronic missive…

Agrumpyman - I am sorry to hear you find my humourous profile name disconcerting; it is but merely to evoke mirth and merriment upon the OKC elite. … apologise for the lack of picture; it is a choice not to be available for perusal by the OKC unwashed masses during their moments of boredom… offer a view…to those who are interested and more than a little intrigued by my resemblance to abominable snowmen and horned quadripeds……

(we exchanged two more rounds of well written banter)

June 24th
Me -
….I have decided that I can no longer ping pong this email banter until I see photos…

Agrumpyman …..(link to private site with tightly cropped head shot) you will see my carefully coiffed beardedness and scream in horror. Once you have absorbed the initial shock and resigned yourself to despondency, please feel free to pen a short missive describing the scars left by the big reveal…..

Me - These emails are a fun distraction however I do have to mention your propensity for self deprecation is a bit unflattering…… Your withholding of photos (the one you released is smaller than my passport photo) combined with your continuous self loathing gives an impression that you either have body issues and or self esteem issues, neither of these qualities is something I am looking for in a cohort…. By stating (even jokingly) that I would be repulsed by the sight of you, you are deliberately under valuating yourself and assuming that I am shallow – I am not shallow but I know what I like; confidence and power, not victim passivity.

Agrumpyman - … So what you perceive as a propensity to self flog is nothing of the kind, it all serves to create witty banter, tamp down on the excesses of raging egomania and helps position oneself in relation the world's absurdities…. I maintain a healthy, perhaps even overdeveloped, sense of worth, self and my position in the world. Now, I admit I do not know how to present that through here, as I thought that self deprecation is the correct way...Other than meeting you for a coffee when I return from vacation, please do suggest what else might be appropriate. You mentioned my picture being too small… I look exactly the same in all other photographs…perhaps another picture showing the exact same things at different size would work?...I think you have put a somewhat impossible task on me…so, pointers please…

(some days later after a pleading email from agrumpyman)

July 1
Re photo: It’s the cropping that is miniscule, not the size…. I have publically posted a good deal of photos in different situations and even a full body shot and all I get from you is a TIGHTLY cropped face shot. In this age of the www dating when so many wack-a doodles are flooding the market it is a bit of a red flag when a dude is really cagey about presenting an image (or several) that fully expresses his persona. It’s part of the package, brains plus the physical, and it does makes a statement when one withholds a big chunk of the a comprehensive illustration.

Agrumpyman - … As I am in my beloved European homeland right now and not coming back for a couple of weeks I would urge your patience till I can either get back home…and reach for the digital vaults or conjure up a new photo here… I can assure you that you will be amply rewarded as soon as feasible on this end.

Agrumpyman - I have returned to deafening silence…

Me- According to my home scoring sheet the ball is still on your side of the court. You may want to review your last communication for I believe you will see a proposed promise….

(Last email received yesterday)
Agrumpyman - You remain funny but it is customary… to reply to one's missive, whether it is bearing gifts or not…so what kind of restitution should be exacted in order for the cosmic balance to be upheld?

Ok Kids start your judging – is it a red flag that he persistently refuses to post a full detailed photo after I have repeatedly stated that this is an issue (he could be married and hiding his identity or worse has the propensity for wearing a masters of the universe neck tie) or do I throw caution to the wind?