My friend Fiona is my sounding board for all my foibles with men. Every time I tell her of about someone odd who contacted me or a strange first date her first words to me are “That’s going in the book!”. I’m not sure at this point if this book will ever be written, but certainly I give her fodder for her character development. Sadly some of the people I’ve come across and even dated would likely seem unbelievable to most readers. Case in point a recent date with a man who seemed kind, intelligent, maybe a little goofy in the humour department, but overall a good prospect. I suggested we meet for a coffee and when he suggested that he could just come to my house I reminded him that I needed to be safe because he could be a psycho killer. I always have that conversation with men and I try to keep it light, but for reals people this is the internet, we’ve all read the horror stories, I’m not giving you my address until we’ve established that you’re safe. We agreed to meet at a Starbucks nearby and I did suggest that we go for a drive since it was cold and we seemed to be hitting it off and I didn’t feel physically threatened by him. I know Fiona is screaming “Stranger Danger” right now, but I felt safe and I had a cell phone. We headed out in his car and he told me we were going to drive down to the lake. In my mind I jokingly thought “hmm good place to dump my body” and no sooner had I thought it than he laughed and said the same. We shared a giggle, it broke the ice and we drove on. Unfortunately he was one of those people who doesn’t know when a joke is over and done and so for the next thirty minutes or so he pointed out wooded areas, abandoned lots, and creeks which would also be good spots to dispose of a body…After a few requests and finally a stern request he stopped with that particular flavour humour, but not before telling me that I’m too sensitive and need to relax. The rest of the date was pleasant enough and I was delivered back to the Starbucks parking lot in one piece and so I agreed to a second date. We would meet at my place the following weekend and he would bring lunch. We texted a fair bit, making plans, becoming more familiar with each other and I asked for his surname. He had mine since it was part of my email address. He ignored my text and popped up a few hours later chit chatting about this and that. In the course of the text conversation I asked him again and again he disappeared and a few hours later he called. We bantered a bit and again I asked his surname, still trying to believe that he was just busy and had “missed” my previous text questions. It was made clear to me that his surname was none of my concern. This man who wanted to come to my house, who was already assuming that he would be invited to my bed, felt that his personal information was none of my business. I objected, he retreated and finally he told me his name. The damage however was already done. I was uneasy that night, I was uneasy all the next day and the next morning I said I wanted to cancel our date. He was shocked. He was confused. He demanded to know why so I told him. He insisted that he had, in the end, told me his name, but as I pointed out it was only under pressure and it made me feel very uncomfortable. And then it got really good. He told me I was playing games, he told me that obviously I was seeing someone else, he told me that he now understood why I was single. A couple of weeks later he asked if I wanted to try again. I said that I didn’t think so since his last words to me had been so unkind. He didn’t apologize or offer an excuse, he said “Fair enough.” and he was gone. Ladies, if you’d like his number, I’m pretty sure he’s still single.
My next date fared much better. As is seldom the case he was better looking than his profile picture, he was tall, dark and handsome, with Indian and Portuguese heritage. Again we went to Starbucks, again we went for a drive, but he took me on a tour of the not so distant countryside and we looked at scenic sites and golf courses and talked about our love of nature. He was athletic, into golfing and hiking and camping and I joked that I hoped my enthusiasm would make up for my lack of physical prowess. I daydreamed about him hiking up a craggy hill, long gliding strides taking him closer and closer to the sky, and me like a cross between a tortoise and a corgi puffing happily behind him. We stopped in the parking lot of a little country store that was closed and he kissed me. Long and slow and sweet, just the way a girl wants to be kissed. We giggled and groped for a few minutes and all smiles we headed back making plans for our next meeting. I floated home from Starbucks, flushed with anticipation and, dare I say, a little lust. But, by three pm our relationship came to a crashing end. He called to tell me that he missed me already and to see if we could meet any earlier the next day since he just couldn’t wait to cuddle with me. I was pretty sure that was a euphemism and I felt it only fair to clarify that it would just be cuddling as I was um well being touched by the Goddess, so to speak. The conversation went something like this:
HIM: Oh you’re getting your period?
HIM: Ya know I’ve been thinking and this isn’t going to work out between us. We’re not kids and we’re very different people.
ME: Oh. I thought you were kidding.
What followed was a profusion of reasons for why we’d be better off not dating. I finally cut him off and said that if this conversation was just going to be a laundry list of why I’m not right for him then I might as well just go. We said our goodbyes and that was it. I lay on my bed pondering what had just happened. He changed his mind about me mid-sentence. I wondered if perhaps he didn’t understand the female menstrual cycle, I mean it’s chronic, but not life threatening. And then it dawned on me. Mother Nature had screwed with his weekend. He had no interest in dating me long term. He wanted a dirty weekend with a chubby girl and then come Monday I would be on the curb with the recycling. I can’t say it didn’t hurt, but it would have hurt more if I’d trusted him and been nekkid with him and then gotten the heave ho.
So now fast forward a few weeks and a new prospect is in the arena. He’s a little younger, but not so much so that people will point and stare, he has a good job, he’s well educated, he has a couple of kids, he’s tall dark and handsome and says all the right things. He was understanding and supportive during the two weeks my mom was in hospital this spring where every day was a blur of worrying about her and dividing my time between the hospital and looking after my elderly stepfather and trying to work full time. I understand that time with his kids is sacred so he just isn’t available the three days of the week he has them. And now two people who are very well suited for each other, who like each other, who want to spend time together are having trouble finding time for even a coffee together. When people have careers and houses and commutes and appointments and most importantly dependents there is very little time left over for relationship building. At this point it’s become comical, in a sad funny sort of way, that we can’t find a time to connect. This guy isn’t for Fiona’s book, this guy is one of the good ones and we can’t connect. We tried one night to get together after hospital visiting hours and I had to admit that I was just too tired. My drive home had been scary because I realized I was just too tired to be on the road even with a healthy supply of caffeine. I’ve kissed my toads, I’ve paid my dues, this is my guy and I’m damned if I’m going to let him go without a fight, but I’m starting to lose hope. We’ve had a couple of near misses, but we can’t seem to follow through, each of us being pulled by family and work responsibilities. I can see a future where we carve out time together by doing chores and grocery shopping together, where I schedule my appointments or my visits to my mom when he has his kids so we are free at the same time, I can even imagine creating a life with this person and we work together on all of the chores and child rearing and caring for parents….I just can’t seem to imagine a time where we can grab some coffee.
– the Goddess