I Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Online Dating | Point and Laugh No Comments

I began online dating about 4 years ago and have met several guys over the last few years. When you start online dating your family and friends who aren’t used to that do all they can to make it awkward and to assure you that you will be abducted and murdered if you meet a guy through this method. The media doesn’t help with that notion.

Online dating can be difficult to traverse all on its own due to the ambiguity and lack of interpersonal interactions, but should you actually establish a connection the hope is you get together in real life.

There are all kind of publications about first-meeting jitters and how to keep the moment interesting; however, should you choose to meet a fella in the real world there are some basic, yet vital, safety rules to follow to keep yourself safe now that you are venturing in to the world of ACTUAL dating (aka certain abduction and possible murder. I say possible because if you follow the rules you may escape with your life):

1) Meet in a public place
Never have this person you’ve never met (nor properly vetted) pick you up at your house nor should you go to his house. When you each drive your own vehicle to meet at a mutually agreed upon bar, coffee shop, or park, the hope is it will discourage the man from abducting and murdering you because of all the people around.

2) Tell people where you’re going
This is so your family and friends will know where to tell law enforcement to start looking for your body when they realize you’re missing. Hopefully you will be located soon enough that you are identifiable and can maybe be presentable for your funeral viewing. No body wants to pay for a closed casket service.

3) Know your exit strategy
Having a plan for escape is helpful in case the guy has terrible breath OR you get a glimpse into his gym bag and spot ropes and trash bags. You’ll want to make not of your exits when you arrive at your designated meeting space. Other critical elements of a strategy could range from simply having a friend call to check on you to excusing yourself to the restroom in order to escape through the window or run out of the back of the restaurant.

Ok, ok. Although those 3 rules are actually really good advice for meeting someone who is essentially a stranger, perhaps I was a bit overboard with my explanations.

To be honest, I learned how essential it was to follow those rules after I broke all of them the first time I met a guy, and I will NEVER break them again. Although this story is very humorous to tell now, it was a little stressful and VERY WEIRD when it was happening.

Here’s the story of the time I didn’t get abducted and murdered on my first date with a guy from the internet.

4 years ago I joined the online dating site that was the most advertised on social media. On this site there was no real scientific method for matching. It was based upon age, sex, location, and income.

One morning, after I had been browsing my matches the night before, I received a message from a guy saying something like this:
“I saw you checked me out. Do you like what you see?”

Barf. I should’ve known right then and there to get away, but I was so new to the experience and someone sent me a message! It was exciting. Honestly, I couldn’t see the guy in his pictures at all because he was so far away in them. What I couldn’t tell was that he was younger version of Paul Giamatti, the actor.

giamatti

This is Paul Giamatti.

This is PG in Planet of the Apes. The guy looked like a combination of both of them but less attractive...

This is PG in Planet of the Apes. The guy looked like a combination of both of them but less attractive…

Eventually I wound up talking with (we’ll just call him) “Paul” on the phone and learned we grew up in the same neighborhood and knew some of the same people. Apparently in my mind that meant he must be ok. We decided to meet and he asked if I would accompany him to with some of his friends. I thought meeting his friends was a little strange, but again, I didn’t know what I was doing, so I said ok. Meeting new people is a good thing, right? Ermmm…..

I got my hair done that afternoon and my friend Kassey did my hair to make me look extra sexy. The night of the date came and Paul kept saying it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t pick me up. Against everything I had read I let him pick me up and I even made him come to the door and meet my folks. As soon as I opened the door there was another red flag; he smelled like smoke. He told me he was a non-smoker….

After briefly chatting with my parents we walked out the front door to his truck. His Chevy truck. The night before my best friend Katie told me her theory that all guys who drive Chevy trucks are d-bags, so when I saw his truck (with a crack all the way across the windshield), I chuckled. I got into the truck and it wreaked of smoke. Before we backed out of the driveway he retrieved his cigarettes from the visor and began to light up. He paused, looked over at me and said, “Oh yeah. I smoke.” He lied and he knew it….and here we were backing out of the driveway. Sh*t.

d bag apocalypse

As we drove down the highway he was getting passed by other cars and I thought everyone was driving crazy. I glanced at his speedometer to see we were going  Zero miles an hour….that wasn’t possible. We were definitely moving on the highway. He said “Oh yeah. My speedometer’s broken.” Classy.

We were less than 5 miles from my house and still less than 15 minutes into our first meeting and he asked, “So you were married. What happened with that? Why didn’t you guys have kids?” Again, I was a rookie. I didn’t tell him to eff off…I actually answered as briefly as I could even explaining that I’d had a miscarriage earlier that year right before the marriage ended. I bet all the articles say “don’t talk about your miscarriage and subsequent failed marriage on your first date,” but he must not have read the articles that said “Don’t ask incredibly personal question before even arriving at the location for your date.”

Eventually we arrived at Zona Rosa, but as it was a Saturday evening it was very crowded. He was squeezing his large truck through very tight spaces, and at one point he was window to window with a woman in an SUV who was too close to his truck. He was in closer proximity to the operator of this vehicle than he was to me in the passenger seat. It was intense. He rolled down his window and began to yell at this poor woman. I am certain I was making the big eyes. Was this really happening? “Paul” looked at me and said “I don’t usually do stuff like that…who am I kidding…yeah I do.” Sweet baby Jesus…what was going on?

Coincidentally, as we made our way to a parking spot I noticed my best friend Laura was leaving another parking lot. I wanted to scream out to her. I really should have, but I didn’t want to be rude and had already decided I could make it through for the free dinner.

vodka

As we parked he told me we had actually gotten there a little earlier than his friends so we could walk around and get to know each other better. Awesome. Oh, I’m failing to mention he was chain-smoking the entire time. As we walked he asked me, AGAIN, “So why didn’t you and your husband have kids?” Ok, not only did I already go through the painful scenario earlier in his busted up truck, now you mean to tell me he wasn’t even listening???? I think I made up some generic statement about timing and didn’t re-explain.

We continued walking and he asked if I liked purses….whaaaa??? I said, “Sure.” He said, “Let’s go to Dillard’s and look at purses. Which kind do you like; Gucci, Dooney & Burke, Prada?”
I told him I normally just pick something out at Target.
“I see. Well, what about perfume? Do you have a scent you like?”
I replied that I’m more a Bath & Body works kind of gal.
Dejected he stated, “Oh, well I like to buy my girlfriends stuff.”

What in the world? Did I miss the secret sign that meant I was his girlfriend? Was Jareth going to appear out of thin air and tell me about the consequences of making wishes?

We went into Dillard’s and he kept trying to get me to pick out a purse, but I just couldn’t do it. After maybe 5 minutes I steered us back out of the store and we went to sit and wait for his friends.

The entire time he was very complimentary about my beauty and would tell me I looked just like my pictures, and he was so relieved that I did.

All I thought was “Your tiny pictures gave no indication you were a Giamatti-esque liar-face.”

Just before we walked inside the restaurant to meet his friends he told me it was actually a 30th birthday party celebration for his buddy and that he had told all of his friends we’d been dating a while, so he really didn’t want me to let on that it was our first date.

Hopefully you can see ALL the reasons why you take your own car and plan an emergency phone call at this point. I needed out, but I didn’t know what to do.

His friends came, all 15 of them (not kidding), and we were seated. Mercifully his friends seemed like nice people, so I talked to them and ignored the HELL out of his ass through the main course…..

Until…

He put his hand on my leg.

Oh hellllll no! I immediately excused myself to the restroom WITH my cell phone.

Once in the restroom I texted Katie saying I would be at her house shortly. I couldn’t even stand to have this guy take me back home and KT lived a mile or so away. While in there I struck up a conversation with a total stranger about Johnny Depp and his recent movie choices. ANYTHING to keep me away from this guy.

When I finally returned to the table he asked if I was alright and mentioned I had been gone for a while. I would not be surprised if he had actually timed me. I didn’t have to answer because his friends began talking about where they were going next to really get the party started.

We left and I had him drop me at Katie’s place. I said goodbye and hopped out of his truck. He sped away so fast he squealed his tires. He didn’t even wait to make sure I got inside (why was I surprised?).

Katie took me home while I told her all that had transpired. You would think the story was finished.

The next morning I was chatting with my friend Jen on Facebook and telling her how awful the date had been. As I was regaling her “Paul” sent me a message asking “What went wrong last night?”

I really wanted to ignore him, but felt that would be tactless and disrespectful. As nicely as I could I told him that although I enjoyed dinner and his friends were very nice, I didn’t feel any chemistry between us.

He asked what that meant…. REALLY DUDE?!?!? Sheesh.

crazy

I attempted to rephrase it in a similarly tactful way, but he still didn’t like what I had to say and immediately unfriended me.

Good riddance!

So, I didn’t get abducted and/or murdered, but really, there were many moments during that evening where they seemed like the better option. 🙂

bright side

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