Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Blog Lives Again. . .

“So what Knight am I?”

“Excuse me?” I replied confused.  I was totally lost. . .

”What Knight am I?” the man’s voice on the phone repeated. 

My brain was processing what he was saying, but it was like I was translating the words in my head to fit contextually to what this wonderful, beautiful man was speaking of.

“I thought that we had a great time and I thought you liked me, and then I read your blog and wondered if you just went on a date to have material for your blog,” was the summary that followed. 

Ouch. Shit.

I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. This was my worst nightmare coming true. I finally meet someone, have an amazing time with them, really like them and my luck; they think I am just out with them to have material to write. 

I had mentioned that I had written a blog in passing at one point during a phone conversation when we were first talking. We were speaking for hours on the phone and I was trying to get to know him, and he me.  Like a smart guy sometimes does, he Google’d me and found everything from roller derby to the blog. 

I had wrapped up the blog dates nearly a year earlier, and hadn’t seen hide nor hare of a Knight in ages. Life had gotten busy; new job, traveling, band obligations, friends and family and I had just dropped the ball with finishing the blog.  I had spaced and then three months turned into six months, and then I just wondered if I was ever going to have time or have the spirit move me to finish the blog.  I had only written when I felt really compelled to write, and well, I wasn’t feeling creative these days to sum up the last two failed dates.  He and I were having such a great time, I wasn’t event thinking about my past dates.

The thing that was so funny to talk about, everyone seemed so happy to read, and offered me an outlet for the very odd and mysterious time of my life when I was “dating” was now rearing it’s head, and it wasn’t pretty. 

“Well Chris, you finally met a nice guy, of course, a nice guy isn’t going to want to think he’s part of an online blog,” was the counsel I was offered by the best friend.  I was horrified.  I really liked this guy. . and I by no means wanted him to think that I was writing about him!

I wrestled with what to do. Do I just take the blog down? I was two entries away (both were dates I had gone on ages ago) from completion. If I took it down before it was complete, I felt like I hadn’t completed by goal. I HAD gone on thirty dates.  Why not just create the write-ups and then put the sucker to bed.

After A LOT of dialogue with this new man about how the blog had not been written for a year. . .after apologizing profusely for having this wonderful man feel led astray, I knew I had to finish the blog. I had not been on a blog date for nearly a year.  In fact, after completing thirty first dates I took a break from dating.  For nearly a year. . . .I will explain further in my wrap up, but I was a bit threadbare from dating and the doozy that the Knight’s legacy left me with. 

I also explained to him that I too, really liked him, and wasn’t going to write a blog entry about our date/s.

This kind-hearted man accepted my explanation with no challenge.  He was willing to believe he wasn’t just  “statistic” and was going to give me another shot and I haven’t breathed a sigh of relief like that in a while. Finally, I had met someone that was willing to trust and believe me.  He became even more attractive to me than he already was.

So I pulled my act together and over two trips, I decided it’s time to put this sucker to bed. I wasn’t losing a perfectly great relationship over my brain dead musings. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Knight of Years Past

You know how sometimes you get a phone call or text that is unexpected and out of the blue from someone you haven't seen in a long while. . .

Perhaps you had worked together in the past, or maybe you had just known each other as friends of friends.  Then, out of no where, that person reaches out to you and you are happy to hear from them because you had a positive experience with them, and enjoyed their company.

This is exactly what happened to me.

I was knee deep into my dating experiences. I had enjoyed (?) a conga line of Knights but was fairly thread bare from doing the 'what do you do for work,' and  'what are your hobbies' convo. I had decided for a short break from dating so that I could re-focus on some of my relationships with friends I had not seen in a while due to this Death March of dating.   I longed for a break from the getting to know you conversation and having to try to muddle through a challenging evening that was otherwise not working out.

Nearly as soon as I had wished for it, wa-la, I got a text from someone from my past.  He and I had worked together nearly a decade ago, and I had always thought of him fondly as a good friend, and generally all-around good person.

His text warm and friendly as he had always been.  It was a "Hey you! How you doin?!?"

I happily returned a text of "hey, what's up man!"

He was always such a great guy. . .it was such a pleasure to hear from him!

I had been at his wedding, we shared mutual friends, and I thought that this was a call to report in about a new job or some other of wildly successful occasion that he was reaching out to share. He asked if we could meet up for a drink and I agreed.  This man had a great life, great wife and a beautiful new baby from what I had heard from friends.  I wanted to hear all about his successes. I looked forward to meeting for a drink.

We decided to grab a drink at the Shannon Rose on a Tuesday evening.  I threw on a pair of jeans and a sweater, wrapped my hair up into a bun and slid into my Converse sneakers.  I felt that this was proper friend attire.  Generally in the past we had met for lunch, but I imagined he had a full plate these days, and a quick drink after work was probably all he could fit in.

I headed down to the Shannon Rose and parked myself at the bar. I ordered up a Strongbow and patiently awaited my friend's arrival.

A few minutes after my arrival, he blew into the restaurant.  He looked a bit harried, with a phone to his ear and struggling to loosen his tie while walking towards the bar.

He saw me from a few feet away, smiled, waved, pointed to his phone and put up the 'just one minute' finger. I smiled back and nodded in agreement.

He had barely aged. He looked like the same 20 year old kid I had known way back when.  He was sharply dressed in a blue pinstripe suit, white shirt and navy tie. He had always been very fashion forward, and I recalled busting his balls about his keen fashion sense when we would see each other.

'Still a great dresser,' I thought to myself.

He hung up his call and then dashed over to join me at one of the only empty seats left at the bar. He gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.  He grabbed me by the shoulders and held me back to take a look at me.

"My God, you don't age do you?" he proclaimed.

"And this coming from a man who doesn't seem to age either!" I responded.

"How the hell have you been?"he asked,  "You look great!"

"Well I find that the Diet Coke and vodka have been the key to preserving my youthful glow," I giggled.

I hailed the bartender over for him and he ordered a Heineken Light.

He made fun of his own order. "You know we're aging when we can't have the regular beer anymore and light is the only option that doesn't make you all gross the following day."

I smiled warmly and toasted a cheers to old friends getting together.

"Seriously though," he asked. "How's life treating you?"

"Awe. I can't complain. Work is good, been traveling a ton over the last few years and well, no matter how far I move away. I just keep coming back to Jersey."

He shared that through mutual friends that he had heard about my travels and moving over seas from time to time.

We talked about where we used to work together, and shared stories of the fun we had had at happy hours and past occasions together.  He inquired as to how my ex was, having heard that we were no longer together.  I shared that he was now married, and doing well as far as I knew.  We ordered a second beer and some light bites to eat.

He asked if I had ever gotten married. To try to make light of the situation I shared that in my 20s all the wrong ones "kept asking and I kept saying 'no', and now into my 30s, no one seemed to be asking anymore."

Just slow your row there mister. . .

This made him laugh.  He asked if anyone new was in the picture, and I told him that I had had zero success on the dating front to this point.

I guess he could kind of read my disappointment with my perpetual single-hood and seemed to switch gears with the conversation.  I appreciated this.

"Still throwing 'bows?" he asked as he gestured with his elbows poking me in the side. He shared that he had seen me in the newspaper for roller derby a number of times, and had wanted to come and see me play.

"Ah, well it was a good run," I shared. "I am retired now. Got tired of the politics, and my body got tired of the regular beatings. It was lovely while it lasted, but retirement has been good to me."

"Well you look no worse for the wear," he shared.  "I had always thought you had a great figure."  This made me a bit uncomfortable coming from a married man. . .wasn't like him to come off as creepy. Odd.

"Looks like you have been staying fit," I mentioned pointing at him. "Chasing the babe is keeping you in shape I imagine? Still playing hockey?"

"Well," he began. "I barely have time for anything other than work and my kid. They moved me up in the company and I have had an insane schedule for the past three years. It's nuts."

"Oh man," I began. "You're wife must miss you terribly.  How is she? She is such a great woman! Is she still working for the same company?"

His demeanor changed. He shifted in his seat a bit.

"You didn't hear I guess. . ." He seemed confused.

"I didn't hear what?" I asked. Oh God, what had happened to his wife.

"She and I divorced about 18 months ago," he began.  "I don't know. I guess we just grew apart.  I was never around, she changed after we had the baby, and I guess it just fell apart from there."

"Oh, geez. I am so sorry," I said, feeling awful. I really didn't mean to bring up a painful situation for him. How could I have not known. I can't recall any of our mutual friends mentioning this to me.  Based upon the time frame, I must have been living in Australia at the time of his split.  I guess everyone figured that I knew??

"Oh don't be sorry," he continued.  She's getting re-married and he's actually a really good guy.  No bad feelings between us, we just grew apart.  It happens some times,  I guess.  I really thought you knew. . ."

Call me naive.  I had no idea.

To try to switch gears to make HIM feel less awkward, I asked about his kid. He was overjoyed to share stories about his child, and he pulled out his phone to show me pictures.  A LOT of pictures. He told me that every waking moment that he had available was spent with his child.  He spoke of his home now looking like a Toys'R'Us, and how his fridge was stocked full of kid snacks.  His idea of a great weekend was taking his child to Chuck E Cheese, and then to the zoo or the park, and crashing at 8pm.

His idea of a great weekend sounded like the ninth ring of hell for me.

He asked how I felt about not having kids, and if I thought that they were in my future.  I said "never say never," but as of right now, children were the furthest thing from my mind.  I still loved my evenings out, weekend trips away and mornings off reading in bed.  I told him I had a ton of respect for those who had children, because at this point of my life, knowing what I knew about the investment of time and energy a child takes, I didn't feel I was a good candidate. . .

"So you really don't have any interest in kids?" he asked seemingly befuddled.

"Honestly, I'm still a big kid myself. There is a lot that I would want to do with a partner before having children, and just think that jumping into having kids in the super near future with someone I just met, might not be the best idea."

He looked nearly disappointed.  Why did he look disappointed?

Wait, no way. . . I am such an idiot.

Oh God.  This wasn't a friendly drink/get-together. . . this was a date.  I just had no idea going into it that it was a date because I had no idea he was single! The questions about kids didn't have to do with my personal preferences per se; it had to do with whether or not I would be a good candidate to date HIM who had a child already.  Now I felt like a jerk. . . .How do I save this from being the awkward silence that it could possibly be.  OK make this less of a date. . .

"So have you been dating since your divorce?" I inquired.

He divulged that he had been on a few dates, but hadn't really connected with the women because of his hectic schedule with his work and trying to spend as much time as possible with his child.  I offered up perhaps trying to meet single Moms through the day care or in his neighborhood. I was trying to sound cheerful and helpful, and just was failing terribly.  Who was I to play dating counselor??

I think at this point in the evening the bubble had been burst for both of us.  I wasn't ready to date someone with a small child, that had very limited time, and he got the picture that I wasn't the best candidate for him.  We shared a few more stories of times past, finished our drinks and wished each other well on our quest for love.

I ran into him a few months later. He had met a great single Mom, and she and he were doing fantastic. I was so happy for him! In a lot of ways, it gave me hope to keep on going with this dating endeavor.  And so I did. . .

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Basketball Fanatic Knight

With each of these dates in the recent past, I had begun to lose more and more of my faith in humanity. Where do I begin. . .

So nearing the end of the thirty dates I thought I was doing a better job qualifying my Knights.  I found myself spending more time emailing, texting, and talking to these Knights on the phone to try to avoid your garden variety disaster date. I thought that this new tact would help and do a better job of weeding out those that might otherwise just add fodder for the blog, rather than being a great date. 

This particular gentleman reached out to me via my online dating site.  His letter was not remarkable in subject matter: It was a pretty standard introduction.  He was new to this online dating thing, he had run into my profile, liked what he read, and hoped I might see enough commonality to want to write him back.

As I always do, I checked out his dating profile page. He was in his mid-40s, never married, no children, and listed himself as "looking for a relationship".  He was over six foot, with blond hair and blue eyes and a baseball player physique.  He had a number of pictures of himself at sporting events, at the beach and even singing in what was either karaoke or with a band.  His profile said he had a masters, worked in finance and loved sports, the outdoors and was a history buff.

Perfect.  He seemed like Mr. All American. Maybe the universe was finally smiling on me.

I sent him back a message thanking him for the note.  To get the ping-pong going I asked him about his sports team preferences, how he was faring with the crazy weather we had been having, and inquired what his outdoor pursuits were.  Because of this blog,  I had become a professional ice breaker.

He emailed back his responses, and he was clearly a South Jersey guy. He loved the Philly teams, his family time at the Jersey shore, and time outdoors kayaking in Princeton.  He shared that he was ready for Spring; even though winter had just recently started.

We emailed back and forth without a phone call for weeks.  He was my Friday night email buddy.  On Friday nights I would end my evening, come home and email him to see how he was doing. Faithfully, he wrote back each evening.  One would think that a phone call would have been easier, but there is a certain mystery to just having a pen pal. I now, (due to this blog) love to see how others write.  I am no great grammatical whiz or cunning linguist, but I appreciate the written word.

Thru our emails back and forth he shared how skeptical he was, and even embarrassed that he was on an online dating site.  He was a traditionalist who believed that men and women should meet in bars and on-line in the food store, and saw this online dating "thing" as a desperate necessity to try to integrate dating into his otherwise busy world.  He volunteered time to charities, played in a number of sports leagues and adored his family and friends, who took up a large percentage of his time.  He relished the fact that I was willing to email him, and get to know him, unlike a number of the other women he met on the dating site.

He was an old soul who loved Oldies music, quiet nights at home and a good softball game. He seemed to me like someone who I could really be compatible with.  We both loved sports, outdoor activities, movies, charity work and travel.  He seemed to be a stand-up guy with a good head on his shoulders, and this was a rarity these days.

We decided after some texting back and forth and a couple of phone calls that we would meet for drinks somewhere halfway between his home in South Jersey, and mine up North. We picked a date and time but left the location up in the air till we got closer to the date.

The day before we were slated to get together we still had to decide on a place.  He had sent along a message asking if I had ever been to Sona 13.

I mentioned that I had been, and assumed that we were meeting there since this was the first time a question about location had been raised.

To confirm that this was indeed the place I then sent, "7pm still OK?"

He sent back "Let's make it 7:30 just to be safe."

Great. This location was closer than where we had originally talked about meeting in Bridgewater. I had been to Sona 13 innumerable times and was elated that we were meeting so much closer to my home. 

The following day I got ready to go on our date.  It had just snowed so I needed to wear something that would look normal with snow boots. I threw on a pair of cords, a long sleeved cotton tee shirt and snow boots. I was ready to begin my leisurely drive to Morristown.  I decided that I would text him that I was leaving so that he knew I was going to show.  He had mentioned he was concerned that I might not show up.  

I sent on a text that said,"See you at Sona 13 soon!"

I immediately received an incoming text from him. 


Ummm. What did 'what?' mean? I thought we were meeting there tonight? Hmmmmmm.

"Why are you going to Sona 13?" he replied.

"Because I thought that you mentioned that was where you wanted to go.  You asked if I knew where it was," I replied. 

"No, no, no," he replied.  "We're meeting in Bridgewater! I only asked if you knew where Sona was because it was near you."

Um. Ok.  I was totally confused.  Who makes plans like this?? Instead of getting discouraged, or upset, I just asked where he wanted to meet.  He sent back that he was cool with the Green Knoll or Char, both of which were in Bridgewater.  

I guess I was headed to Bridgewater after all.  Since I was driving and didn't want to text, I pulled over to try to call him to see if we could figure out where the heck we were going. 

The phone rang and rang.  I didn’t understand. He had just text me not but a few minutes ago.

After I thought the call was ringing to voicemail, someone suddenly picked up said “Helllllooooooo”. 

This was not the "hello" of a grown man- it sounded like a woman's voice

What was going on?

All kinds of thoughts went though my head.  Was this his elderly grandmother answering his phone?   Was this his assistant? Surely this wasn’t his wife or girlfriend? Whomever this was, she sounded like the crypt keeper.  

"Hellloooo. . . "

As I stammered "who is this?" I heard laughing on the other end. 

"Ha ha ha. It's me!" I could now hear that it was my Knight on the other end.  He was laughing hysterically.  I guess that he thought that impersonating an old lady was hysterical. I thought that this was sort of odd. . . 

"So where do you want to meet," he asked. 

"Well I know where Char is, so let's just head there." I was making the executive decision here.  If we were going to go somewhere, we were going somewhere I knew I could get to easily. 

"Um, well, OK.  That's sort of nice," he said.

"Well I'm a nice girl, so it's a good fit then," I replied. 

"Well, can we make it 8pm then?" he inquired.

"Um. OK," I responded.  I had already passed Morristown on 287 and was going to arrive way ahead of 8pm at our new destination. Not really much I could do other than find something to do in Bridgewater to kill time. 

"I'll see you at Char at 8pm," I said. I was about to hang up and he said, "Wait, wait!! One more thing. . . Um, if anyone asks, we know each other.  You know. Like this isn't a first date.  I don't want anyone knowing that we met online." 

Now this seemed even more odd to me.

"I assure you," I responded, "the bartender won't question us, and no one else cares."

"Well, OK, but I just don't want anyone to know that we met on an online dating site," he commented.

"No worries," I said. "See you in a bit."

I hung up and pulled into a gas station.  I figured I would get some gas, stop at the bank and do a few little errands to kill time now that I was so ahead of schedule. I also figured I would do a "sanity check" as I like to call them, with my bestie.  I rang her and explained to her the bizarre course of events that had transpired.  The strange woman's voice, the mix up with the location,  the "it's a nice place" comment, etc. 

Her response, and I quote was "I really think you need to be done with this online dating thing. It's really not working out for you." I had to agree.  It really wasn't. And here I was, slated for what looked like it was going to be another doozy of a night. 

I told her I was going to stick out the date because I was nearly at the destination.  I said I would call at some point during the date to let her know how it was going, and if I needed an "emergency phone call" from her. She agreed that she would keep her phone near her, and wished me well.  

I arrived at Char just before 8pm.  I made my way in and sat down next to the service bar.  There was a man my age sitting to my left and I put my handbag on the empty seat to my right.  I ordered a glass of Chenin Blanc and a water, and awaited my fate.  While I was waiting for my Knight to arrive, the man sitting next to me asked me what branzino was.  I told him it was a fish and giggled that he was satisfied that I not only knew the answer, but he trusted my answer.  We had a laugh, talked about some of the food they served, and eating no carbs (which was something he was apparently doing).  I giggled and pointed at his beer, asking where it fit in to his plan, and he laughed as well.  He said the food was easy to give up.  Good beer, not so much.  Just as we were beginning to really hit it off, I felt someone standing next to me.  I turned to see who it was and it was . . .

Tim Robbins!!! 

Well not the real Tim Robbins, but perhaps, his body double.  

I sat there in awe. 

I didn't find Tim Robbins particularly sexy or attractive.  How did I not see the resemblance in the pictures!!!

The Tim Robbins Knight leaned in and kissed me on the cheek and slid into the seat next to me. 

Not wanting to not be rude to the kind, and very attractive gentleman next to me who I had been speaking with, I turned to politely close out our conversation.  

In the time it took me to turn around and say some parting words to the man I had been speaking to, Tim Robbins had already engaged conversation with the bartender.  I could hear him negotiating for the remote control.  What the hell was going on next to me?

I turned around and my Tim Robbins Knight was now in possession of the remote that controlled to the TV just above us.  He was intently scrolling through channels in search of something.  . .

Really???? Who does this???

He stopped on the basket ball game and ordered himself a Bud Light.  

He then informed me that he had put on a crucial college basketball game that he really needed to watch.  I inquired if he had bet on the game (and that was why he was so darn interested in watching it on our date) and he replied that he had not.  But usually he did. 

To be polite, I introduced him to the man next to me that I had been speaking to.  Apparently the two of them were both big college basketball fans, and proceeded to talk basketball. . . for the next 15 minutes. 

After their opening chat about basketball, I think the man to my left, who I was not on the date with, finally declared that he had been taking my Knight away from me for long enough, and said that he should pay some attention to me for a bit. 

It was a bit sad that this patron had to let my Knight know that he should be paying attention to me.  

My Knight now didn't take this as an opportunity to talk to me, but rather he re focused on the ongoing basketball game.  Not wanting to disturb him I I now stared up at the TV and sipped my wine failing interest in what was going on.  I think I began to inventory the various liquors and wines behind the bar.  I ordered another glass of wine.  This was a nice atmosphere. I could just sit here and space out until I finish my wine and he can watch the game.  I can do this.  


While watching the game he was giving me play-by-plays of what was happening, even though I am sure I looked like I really didn't care. When his team was doing well, he would elbow me in excitement, which actually kind of hurt.  He had stretched out so he now, somehow, was sitting on both of our bar stools.  This was now driving me off the side of my bar stool and I was clinging to the bar so I didn't end up on the lap of the man next to me. 

At this point the Knight turned to me and asked me if I was going to order anything to eat.  I said that I had not had dinner and asked if he had eaten, hoping that he would say "no" so we could share something.  He told me that he wasn't going to order anything because he had made himself a Lean Cuisene at home before he came out. 

Great. I guess I was having wine for dinner. 

Just after this exchange he got up to go to the bathroom.  I had decided I was not feeling this dude at all.  He had barely spoken to me while he had his attention affixed to the basketball game.  He had already slogged back two beers and had ordered a third before he got up to head to the bathroom. 

I put my hands on my face and my elbows on the bar shaking my head wondering how I continued to end up on dates where I wanted to shoot myself.  

The guy next to me must have seen me crumple into my hands, and inquired how long the guy and I had been dating.  I told him it was our first date.  He remarked that my Knight had acted like we had known each other for some time. I told him that he didn't want anyone to know that we had met online so he is apparently acting like we have known each other for ages because of that.  

He looked stunned.  He then commented that he also couldn't believe that the Knight would come in and commandere the TV for the basketball game while on a first date.  I then shared that I couldn't believe it either. I think I commented that this was turning into another awful date.  

Just as I was going to ask him if he wanted to run away with me, somewhere, anywhere other than here, my Knight came back from the bathroom.  The Knight saw that I was talking to this man next to me again, and took this as an opportunity to strike up another conversation with him about the alumni basketball players from each of their respective universities.  I was now going to use this as my opportunity to go to the bathroom and call Kristina to tell her I needed the emergency call after all.  

While standing in the bathroom I noticed the restaurant had those chocolate covered individually wrapped mints.  I grabbed a handful and started feverishly opening them and slamming them down my throat.  I was STARVING. I had lunch at roughly 12 that day and not eaten since because he had spoken of dinner via text when we were setting up the plans. I was now a glass and a half of wine into my evening and if I didn't eat something I was going to end up on the floor. 

I got Kristina on the phone. 

"I am now in the ladies room, eating the mints and hating my life," I proclaimed. 

I told her about the in-restaurant events that had happened, and she asked if I was OK. I told her I was going to try to wrap this up because it was going no where.  She offered any help I needed and I told her I would text if I needed her to call.

I made my way back out of the bathroom and realize that these guys were STILL talking.  The other thing that I noticed was that the waitstaff were packing up and the bartenders were pulling the mats and glasses.  

YESSSS!!! They are closing soon. This highway to hell was going to end. 

This was sort of an amazing date.  This man had found a way to barely speak to me at all.  

I sat back down and commented that it looked like the wait staff was packing up to leave.  I told him that I always felt bad staying till the end of the night because it kept the staff there later than they would otherwise have had to work.  He agreed that it was polite to pay our tab and leave.  I offered to pay for my two glasses of wine and he said that he was happy to get them.  

I had gathered pretty much nothing about this man other than that he loved basketball.  I think that this was the first time I had sat with someone for over an hour, and learned absolutely nothing about them. Weird.  He walked me to my car, told me he had a good time, and wished me a safe ride home.  I asked him to text when he was home to make sure he was home safe.  We waved good bye and got into our respective cars.  

I got a "it was great meeting you and I hope we can get together again soon" text when I arrived home. I was not sure how to respond, because there was no chance I was going out with Mr. Basketball again, ever. I figured I would send something the following day when I had a chance to collect myself with a nights rest.  

Before I had a chance to send a text the following day I received the following texts:

1.  "Okay maybe not anyway it was great meeting you and I wish you all the best in the future :) Take care."

2.  "Old message there.  Not sure if it sh be disregarded LOL"

I was now not going to even bother texting him back. Those messages had got me a free pass for "I don't have to text you back ever again because this whole thing was weird."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The "Baffling Buffet" Knight

At the very beginning of this endeavor I wanted to make sure I was being diverse with who I was going on dates with.  Diversifying seems to be a strange word when talking about dating, but I wanted to leave no stone unturned in my dating endeavors.  I had recently gotten keen on reading about this whole investment diversifying thing, and felt that broadening my horizons with the Knights I dated should be no different. 

I was going to date men of all races, heights, sizes, hair colors and backgrounds. I was going to try to not just have "a type". Why pigeon hole myself? Why not try for a Heinz 57 selection. . .

With this theory in mind I decided that I was going to take a chance with a man that had emailed me on the dating site.  He had been very complimentary and cordial in his introduction, and I figured that this was a pleasant start. I found his niceties to be flattering and found myself smiling whilst reading his email.

I clicked on the link to his dating site profile.  He had a picture of him on a yacht out at sea, one of him at what looked like a Monte Carlo racetrack, and his third and final picture, was of a sunset over a tropical island.  All unique and beautiful locales.  He travels. Plus.

The thing that I thought was odd about all these pictures, was that the pictures looked like they could have been shot from space. I strained to see what this man looked like. He appeared to be in his mid 30s or 40s (who can really tell these days), well dressed, with longer wavy dark hair and what looked like a strapping physique. He had olive skin that had been tanned by the sun.  Fantastic! He wasn’t afraid of the beach!

His physical description was 5’ 11 “with a few extra pounds”. Hmph.  I didn’t see a few extra pounds.  But who cares anyway . . .

A “few extra pounds”, is a more than OK with me.  I prefer only that the men I date not be smaller than me.  Here is why. . .

My criteria for men and fitness is as follows: You need to look like you can carry me.

This may seem like an odd request. . .but here is my reasoning.

1.    I am one of the most accident-prone people you have ever met: In your life.  Or, for that matter, may ever hear of meeting.  I have fallen off curbs, (something that I have inherited from my mother apparently), injured myself while WATCHING a roller derby bout and have had the kind of freak accidents have the ER doctor looking at you like, ‘this is the worst story someone has ever made up’.

And sadly, it’s all true.

I generally look to my partner to help me hobble away or sometimes even chauffeur a piggy back ride or a fireman’s carry from one of my debacles to safety. 

2.   After a long night of drinking, some people get frisky; others are looking for a fight.  I just really want a nap. Wherever it is that we are, I am knocking out if the spirit, and spirits move me. Whether it be on public transport, after a long day touring, during the car ride home from the concert, or on the couch watching movies after a few glasses of wine: I am more than likely going to be toast. I have inherited my father’s ability to sleep ANYWHERE.  I’m not kidding. . .anywhere. 

My poor father would take us shopping for school clothes or prom dresses and fall asleep in the chair, next to the main walkway in department stores, minutes after we disappeared into a dressing room.  He slept as if he had been knocked out by Mike Tyson even in places like Grand Central Station. All he needed was some elevator music, the room temperature around 68 and no real moments of responsibility, and wa-la, he'd be out like a light. Following suit in this familial trait, I need only a few glasses of red wine or spirits and a comfortable chair, bench or even airport waiting area floor.  I’m out.
3.  When passed out for any reason, I am a 400 lb woman.  Whatever it is about me, men of yesteryear have all commented on how I somehow double in weight when  I am passed out asleep.  My otherwise small 5’3 frame now reconfigures itself into jumble resulting in the same affect as trying to carry the 50 Foot Woman.  Even the surefire fireman carry is a production. . .for two people. . . when I am in la-la land.

I think we can just let her sleep here. 
With these factors in mind, I am more than happy to take applicants from the “a few extra pounds” (as the dating website identifies this group) club. I like my men strapping, in whatever direcetion they strap? 

I emailed him back telling him that I was appreciative of the compliments.  I asked him if his race track pictures were from Monte Carlo, how he learned to sail, and where the lovely beach shot was from.  I figured that this was a good enough ice breaker. I gave it a C+

He emailed back nearly immediately. . 

His race track pictures, were in fact, from Monte Carlo.

I had been to Monaco but I had not seen the race track while I toured thru Monaco on a month long jaunt with an ex-boyfriend that took me through the Italian and French Rivieras.  I instead had opted to take my “free day” in Monte Carlo.  As any good traveler who travels for any duration with a partner, there is the day during, your long haul that both need a bit of head space from the other partner.  He and I had our “free day” of independence with him departing to the National Museum of Monaco and the beach. I chose to spend my day at the local chi-chi restaurant to blow my share the nights stay on chocolate mousse and champagne. That’s just how I roll.

I digress. 

He told me that he had been sailing with some friends, but didn’t go into detail.

‘Well at least he wasn’t afraid of the ocean,’ I thought.  Plus. Ideally he hadn't drown his cohorts either.

He shared that the picture of him on the beach was indeed from St. Maarten: The Dutch side, not the French side.  That seems to be very important to those who have been to St. Maarten.  I still need to go and see what all the crazy difference is.

He asked in closing his email, if I would be willing to meet up to have lunch.  I thought this suggestion was genius.  I could devote an hour of my life to this: I could do an hour standing on my head. I would conveniently have a “meeting” scheduled just after our lunch so that I only allotted an hour.  If it went great, it would leave us eager to spend more time, and if it went poorly, well, I had my out.

He asked if I wanted to meet for Indian food at a local buffet. I happen to adore Indian food! Even if I thought there was potential for my date becoming a scene from American Psycho, I said yes. Our date was slated for broad daylight, at 1:30 pm at a lovely Indian buffet.  What could go wrong?

"See you at lunch!"

We text a few brief times on the days leading up to the date.  There were your usual, “how was your day, what did you do this weekend, how was work” sort of questions. The day of our lunch I arrived promptly at 1:30 at the buffet spot.  The restaurant was pretty empty. I wandred through the front of the restaurant and saw no one.  I stuck my head in the back room and all I saw was a large man, face down shoveling down some Indian food, on what  I guessed was a short lunch break.  As I turned around to go talk to the maĆ®tre de I heard, “CHRISTINA!” from behind me. 

My name isn’t Christina, but for whatever reason I turned around.  Maybe because I was the only woman in the restaurant at this point?

As I turned back around the man who had been shoveling down his lunch was standing up from the table.  He was wiggling himself away from the table to unwedge himself from the booth.  He was waving his napkin at me.   As I strained to try to make out how this could possibly be the guy who I was meeting he approached me.  He had some sort of sauce all stuck in his beard, and his shirt had dribblings of what I can only imagine might have been Chicken Vindaloo. He was waving the napkin at me with one hand while wiping his mouth with the back of his other hand.  Which he then extended out for me to shake.  I kind of cringed as I extended my hand to shake his. 


With his mouth still full he started in "I didn't think you were coming!"

"Umm," I stammered.  "I thought we were set for 1.30.  Did I miss a message?" 

"Ohhhh," he replied.  "I thought it was for 1pm. I didn't think you were going to show."

Now I wasn't sure I should have. He still had a full mouth, and was half chewing, half conversing with me.  He gestured to the table where he had three plates full of Indian food.  These three dinner plates were stocked to the brim, teeming with Indian goodness. 

As I sat down I thanked him for grabbing me a plate of food.  He quickly waved his hands in a "no" gesture and swiped the plate away from in front of my seat.  He swallowed down the mass he was eating long enough to say "Oh no.  That's my lunch."

Um. Ok.  No worries.  I know that the food was bangin', and clearly he didn't think I was coming, so I guess these other plates were his too. No worries. I can get my own lunch.  

He wedged himself back in between the table and the banquet.  I was now looking at him trying to get a mental image of who the man in his online pictures was.  This man I was sitting across from was very very, large, with long stringy unkempt hair that was sort of greasy.  He was wearing running sneakers, track pants, a sweater and had a scarf wrapped around his neck.  He looked like he was going out to shovel a driveway, rather than to meet at a nice restaurant for lunch.  

He had definitely missed his mouth on a few occasions during the last half hour because he was wearing a number of brightly colored stains on his shirt and pants.  I hoped, at least that they were from THIS episode of eating. In addition, there seemed to be a little bit of food dangling from not only his beard, which was bushy and long, but his hair also seemed to have flecks of food in it.  Apparently this had been a full body event for him before I got there. . .

I now noticed that he was inhaling the food at an epic rate because he wasn't even using utensils. He had cupped his hand and was eating with what looked like giant paws.  He would shovel the food into his palm by using all five fingers, scoop it upside down and then slam it into his face.  

I have seen this eating technique used before when I was over-seas.  While eating with the Bedouin (an ancient nomadic tribe) in Egypt we ate like this.  It was expected. It was unique and enjoyable.  When you don't have utensils, this is a great way to eat.  Just wasn't expecting it on our date at this pretty nice place. 

He stopped stuffing his face long enough to gesture to the buffet behind us.  "Everything is amazing," he mumbled through his naan.  He then hailed the waiter over, ordered more naan and kept eating like a champ.  

This was not a date, this was a competitive food eating competition I had stumbled upon.  It must have been.  This man was not even remotely interested in my being there.  He was there for the buffet, period, the end.


I was starving at this point so I made my way to the buffet.  I had been kind-of turned off by some of the dishes because after seeing them as hair ornaments, I just couldn't feel excited about putting them in my mouth. I put some salad, a bit of Chicken Masala and rice on my plate, I took a deep breath and headed back towards the table.  

The one thing I had going for me was this date was supposed to be an hour long, I had showed up apparently a half an hour late: I could only hope he had some place to be at 2.

I sat back down across from him.  He told me in between bites I looked more attractive in person than in my pictures. "Thank you?" was all I could muster. 

I asked him if he had ever been to this restaurant before.  He said not really.  With his mouth still full, he told me that he usually spent most of his time out in Brooklyn in the Coney Island area.  He really like Russian girls and asked if I was Russian.  

I replied that I was not.  

"Oh, the blond hair was what made me think you might be Russian," he explained sounding disappointed. 

'The blond could be from a box, or a skilled stylist' I thought to myself. I was officially mentally checking out.

He went on to start this running monologue about how he liked Russian girls, but the ones he met out on Coney Island always seemed to want him to pay for everything. He assumed that they made enough dancing that they could pay for themselves, but they were always hitting him up for cash or to buy them things. 

I had a feeling the women he had been speaking of weren't here with the Russian Ballet.

Tutus are expensive I guess?

There was very little conversation to speak of. He pretty much talked at me. He went on and on about his traveling, his work (that didn't seem all too legitimate, now that I think about it), and the myriad of things he had to buy for these previous Russian dancing women.  I tried to eat my lunch pretending to listen and trying not to be grossed out by his gulping and sucking noises as he ate.  

I guess the time went by fairly quickly because next thing I knew it was 2pm! OH THANK GOD!

"Hey there," I said, "It's 2 and I don't want to hold you up since I know that you had planned on us only being out for an hour."

"Oh yeah!" he exclaimed.  

He quickly shot up out of his seat and began to shuffle for his wallet.  I reached into my wallet and held out my share of the buffet money. He scooped it out of my hand with a, "thanks" and added it to the crumpled bills he had taken out of his pocket and wallet.  He then gestured for the waiter to come over and wrap his fourth plate of food to go. 

As he was scooping up his phone and jacket, he turned to me and asked, "so for our next date, can we meet in Coney Island?"

I forced a smile and told him I would look at my schedule and get back to him. I told him to have a lovely afternoon.  He leaned in to try to kiss me on the cheek goodbye, and (out of instinct I think) I grabbed the linen napkin and pretended to sneeze into it.  He got me with the awkward one armed hug, that put me closer to his dingleberry food beard, which then caused me to kind of heave a bit.  Successfully stifling my heaving by covering my mouth with the napkin, I waved goodbye. 

That, whatever that was, I swore, could and would never happen again.