Really?

I got an email last night. The title of which, made me cringe. The title of the email was the name of the dating service I used more than five years ago. This service still bothers me with phone calls and emails. They always sound excited and have a great opportunity and they must speak with me before the end of the day! The emails are usually about a speed dating event. I can’t imagine what they’d charge for something like that given their normal cost. So back to the email…

The email wasn’t from the service. It was from #15. Who was #15, you ask? Here’s what I wrote way back when…

15. Ray – nice guy and interesting. Persistent. I figured out that Indian men (East not Native) just don’t do it for me. Plus, it’s really hard to have a phone conversation because you’re missing the visual cues.

I find it quite interesting that I used the word persistent. If emailing someone after five years isn’t persistent, I don’t know what is. For the sake of privacy, I’ll just say that he hasn’t met anyone in the last five years and apparently I left quite an impression. He’s wondering if I’d be interested in giving him another shot.

I can tell that I used my “standard” break-up line. You’re a great guy and I had a nice time. But I just don’t see this going any further. Good luck in the future. I wish you well. Or some version very similar… He said that I told him that “he would do well,” but he hasn’t met anyone like me since. As a non-native speaker, I can see how he would misinterpret the standard break-up spiel. The sort of scary part of the email is that he thinks he still remembers my phone number. Let’s hope not.

To get an email like this is this strange mix of being flattered, creeped out and a little freaked out. Now that I’ve gotten the email, I sure hope I’ve never done that to someone. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that relationships are a two-way street. It’s got to go both ways for it to work. And if you’re on a one-way, it’s not happening. I’m not on the same street as #15. It’s unfortunate. But it is what it is. I’m not sure if I should respond or if it’s better to leave it be. I don’t have to decide that yet. So for now, I’ll just let it go.

The Worst Date. Ever.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As a single person, on this special day, I thought I’d share the story of my very worst date. I purposely didn’t write about it when it happened. But it has been probably close to 5 years ago that it happened. So I’m probably safe to write about it. Hopefully I can remember enough details to do the story justice.

Do any of you have a standard location to meet potential dates? A particular Starbuck’s is mine. I call it the bad date Starbuck’s. I’ve had a few of them there. When I need a place to meet that is an easy location for the other party, this is my standard spot. So one early December, several years ago, I agreed to meet a co-worker of my cousin. When someone offers to set me up, I usually accept. It’s only a cup of coffee and you never know where it might lead. What have you got to lose, right?

At this point, I don’t even remember the guy’s name. We’ll call him Todd, just for the heck of it. We met on a Saturday afternoon. We did the usual thing of getting coffee and chatting. I found out that he had a son. But the son lived with his mother. But this woman wasn’t an ex-wife or anything. She was just the mother of his child. Hmm… During the chat, Todd was doing the “lean forward” thing. I could tell he was interested. For me, the verdict was still out. I know I tend to make decisions rather quickly when I first meet a guy. So I was trying to keep an open mind.

After a little while, Todd asks what I’ve got planned for the rest of the day. Note to self: always have a plan even if you have nothing to do but your laundry. I’m a horrible liar and I wasn’t prepared to come up with an excuse on the spot. Since it’s still early enough in the afternoon, he suggests we go to a movie at a nearby theater. So we get into his SUV and drive over to the local mall with a movie theater. It’s December and during the height of Christmas shopping season. Navigating and finding a parking spot proved to be a challenge. At one point he was going the wrong way down a one way. Yikes!

We get to the theater and end up seeing something like, The Golden Compass. Does that sound like a movie that came out a while ago? I just checked. That’s the movie and the year was 2007. He gets the tickets and we find some seats. I’m sure I used the restroom at some point there and had a moment to myself to think, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?” I go back to the theater and find Todd. The movie starts.

Not to far into it, I feel him leaning in and murmuring to me, “Do you mind if I hold your hand, I’m an affectionate kind of guy.” Hell yes I mind! But I’m too nice and polite to shoot down your ego at this time. I was not at a point in my life where I knew how to handle it when a man puts me in that situation. So, he proceeds to reach down and hold my hand and do the little circle thing with his thumb on my hand. Are you creeped out? I sure was. To this day, I jokingly do that move on my friends to purposely creep them out. It was the longest 2 hours of my life. After the movie he drove me back to my car at the bad date Starbuck’s and I never saw him again.

Later in the weekend he did call and want to go out again. In the meantime, I had called my cousin and she felt absolutely awful that she didn’t see that one coming. She’s quite the wordsmith and coached me on how to turn him down and “break it off,” even though it had never actually started. You’re a great guy and I had a nice time, but I just don’t see it going any further. Thanks for the movie. Good Luck! Hang up. I’m sure it wasn’t quite that short. But that’s the gist of it.

So on this Valentine’s Day, I may be single, but I like it. I’ll take single over creepy guys any day.

Dating Sites

Yes, I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine.  That’s what it usually takes for me to venture onto a dating site.  I think I’d like to date.  But I haven’t had one in several years.  Ok…  just filled up on glass #3 – Graffigna Malbec is the wine of choice tonight.

How do people meet up these days?  If you don’t do a dating site, how do you meet people?  I certainly don’t meet anyone at work.  My profession is primarily female and my “clients” are teenagers.

My logical self tells me that I’m quite a catch.  I’m financially independent, attractive, self-assured, intelligent, and have little to no baggage.  At the age of 41, what should I expect?

What are the prospects of finding a guy that doesn’t have kids by now?  In the past few years I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not having them.  I’m ok with that.  I get to be the totally cool, awesome aunt.  If the guy has kids, where exactly would I fit in?  They should be his top priority.  But where does that leave me?

I really have to wonder about the guys that are separated.  C’mon!  Get your shit together.  Get your divorce done with before you bring someone else into the equation.  If a dating site offers “separated” as a status they should come with some device that boots you out the minute you check it.  If you can’t handle being alone for the time it takes for your divorce to happen, you need to be a little more introspective.  Take the time.  Get over your past relationship before you jump into your next one.  I don’t want to be the girl that helps you get over the last one.  Been there, done that.

There’s usually a spot for your political beliefs.  What the hell do they believe if they check “non-partisan?”  How can you not have an opinion on what is happening in today’s political climate?  I know I’m breaking it down to very simplistic terms, but you are either for the rich getting richer or you’re for the underdog.  And I have very strong opinions on that one.  You cannot be living in this world and not have an opinion on politics.  Don’t be a chicken-shit and say “non-partisan.”

And what is the deal with age?  Overwhelmingly, when you look at the age preferences of men, they want to date a woman who is either their age or younger.  Very rarely do you see a man with an age range that includes women more than 5 years older than himself.  Since I look and feel younger than 41, I am again, screwed.

I realize that I probably am pretty particular in what I want.  But then again, you have to be when it comes to something like this.  I’m sure I sound completely cynical about this process.  But look at the reality.  I’m not a damsel in distress that needs to be rescued.  I’m a completely competent woman who is just looking for someone to share her life with.  It shouldn’t be this difficult.

You just never know…

what they’ll say…

I’m in my groove, standing up on my little plywood stage, smackin’ my math examples on my Promethean Board (sometimes you really have to smack that board to get the pen to work)…

do-da-do (musical tone that my computer makes to alert me to email)

A few of them look around.  The thought bubbles appear, “Whose phone made that noise?”

Me: My email must be open in another window.  It’s the computer.

Student (slyly shaking his head):  It’s your boyfriend.  Right?

Me (with an eye-roll speaking to said student): No…  I’m single.  It’s just an email.

Student (trying to capitalize on getting me off task and makes a combo statement/question):  But you’ve got a friend with benefits.

At this point I’m a bit stunned about what this student is saying and also wanting to laugh.  I realize that I walked right into that one.  The student has succeeded in getting me off task.  But the problem is, he doesn’t get it that his joke needs to stop.  It would have been nice if there was time and I could take him off to the side and explain that he’s inappropriate in his efforts to be funny and needs to learn when to stop.  But it didn’t work out that way and I had to send him out.

I have to chuckle at the whole thing.  If any of you have read about my dating experiences on here, you know that I’ve pretty much bombed out in that area.  I’m trying to remember my last date and I’ll admit that I can’t even think of it.  I bet the whole incident would have gone differently if I would have said, “yep, it’s probably him.”

(Your age/2) + 7

Several years ago I was chaperoning students during a winter camping trip.  Part of what makes these trips interesting is the interaction with the students.  There were only a handful of girls on this trip.  During some of the free time we would have some eye-opening conversations.  One conversation had to do with dating.

The parent of one of the girls was dating someone quite a bit younger.  So I asked what their definition was of being too young to date.  To my surprise, they gave me a mathematical equation: (your age/2) + 7.   I was quite impressed.  y= .5x + 7 seems like a pretty good equation to me, provided that x is greater than or equal to 15 or so.  Would that mean that the inverse is true for how much older one can date?  The inverse works out to: twice your age – 14.  If I work this out for my age, it means I can date in the range between 27 and 66.  When putting this in perspective, I have many former students in the range from 27 – 31.  Creepy.  Sixty-six would be just shy of my parents’ ages.  Even more creepy.

I kind of have a thing with age.  I know, people say that age is just a number.  Yeah, yeah.  But honestly, why would I date someone in their sixties?  What is the intention of someone in their sixties asking me out?  Even if it is just to chat, I’ll go hang out with my parents or aunts and uncles if I want to hang with that generation.

I know there are people who would disagree with me.  But we are not in an age where a woman is dependent on a man for her survival.  I don’t need another father figure.  I like the one I’ve got.

So what do you think is the appropriate equation?  I know a lot depends on the individual and if they’re young at heart or an old soul.  Right now, I’m thinking that your age plus or minus ten is a pretty good range.  From there, evaluate on a case by case basis.

Some People…

Every once in awhile I am struck by how truly stupid some people are. I had a situation happen on Monday and I still have no idea how to write about it. Part of me wonders if I should. I can’t even come up with the proper adjectives to describe just how bone-head this was…

Here goes…

There really is an art to social skills. Knowing how to read people, putting someone at ease, being able to carry on an interesting conversation, politeness, and very importantly, knowing the boundaries of appropriate and inappropriate conversation are skills that many do not possess. Like anything else, people run the gamut of the spectrum of abilities. I had an encounter with a new low.

Monday night I got a phone call. A friend had passed my number off to a single guy that her husband knew from work. I had agreed that it was ok for them to give this guy my number. So I at least knew this was coming.

After the intro, he says, “I hope it’s not too late to call.” What are you supposed to say to that when it’s almost 9pm? Technically, I suppose he just made it under the 9 o’clock wire. But honestly, yes, it is too late to call for a “get to know you” call.

We do the usual conversation about where you are from, family, holiday activities and then move on to the job questions. This guy is a project manager. I asked him about his current contract. He proceeds to tell me… now you should have the voice of the Charlie Brown teacher in your head. I make a mental note to never ask him any details about his job ever again.

Now it’s his turn to ask me about my job. I think the only thing he knew about me is that I’m a teacher. Where do you teach? What do you teach? After I say that I teach math, I get the standard response of whether or not the person listening likes math or not. This case – not. What does he ask me next? Before you go on, make sure you set any liquid down and can’t mess up your computer with your reaction to this one…

So… Have you ever had sex with a student?

I am not making this up.

I wish I were quick-witted and had snappy responses. It usually takes me a couple of days to come up with what I should have said. Have you shut your mouth yet? I know most of you just had your mouth open at that jaw-dropper.

I was so shocked that I didn’t know how to respond. I think I said something like, “Are you seriously asking me that?” To which he digs the hole even deeper and says something to the effect of, “Doesn’t it happen all the time? You see it on the news. Older woman, young guy….” and he keeps going about some news story that was just on, even though it had nothing to do with a teacher and it was an older man. Then he makes some reference to the one well-known case that was news years ago nowhere near here. I know that I said, “The idea of that is so appalling that I don’t even know what to say.” This doofus still didn’t understand that he should just shut the fuck up. I made my exit and said that I had had a long day and still needed to do some lesson planning for the next day and got off the phone.

After making a phone call to a different girlfriend and describing this unbelievably horrifying conversation I had to find something to do so I could calm down and try to go to sleep. So what am I doing to take my mind off of this? Calculating the variance and standard deviation for the homework problems for that day.

What this guy did is wrong on so many different levels. Even if he did think he was making a joke, it’s still inexcusable. It’s not something to ever joke about. And if he thinks it’s ok to make that kind of a joke, there is something very wrong with him.

My friend was extremely sorry that I had to endure that half hour conversation with a guy she had never met. Hey, I was just glad that it was only a phone call and I shouldn’t have to worry about ever meeting the guy. I must say, it has given me the most jaw-dropping story that I’ve told in a long time.

Some people…

Dating Service Stalkers

Message on my machine today:

Hi Lori.  This is Tiffany.  I’m just calling to make sure you got my invitation.  Call me at …

I listened to the number and started running through the list in my head of people that I know that are getting married or having babies.  Was I supposed to RSVP to someone about a shower?

After awhile, I picked up my phone and looked at the caller ID.  When I saw the number, the pieces fell into place.  It was the dating service.  No doubt, they’re calling because they have some wonderful client and thought I would be a perfect match.  Eye roll.

The thing that bothers me about this call is that they’re acting like they sent me some invitation when they didn’t.  If you have to lie to get someone to call you, something isn’t quite right.  We’ll see how many times they call back and what lines they feed me this time.  It’s always good for a little laugh.