Seeing as how it is Valentine’s Day, most of you are enjoying romantic dates with your cherished significant others.
I, being insignificant, am single. And as such, I thought I would take this opportunity to regale you with some horror stories from the single side of life.
I am of course referring to online dating! Now, to be clear, I’m not online dating because I’m “on a mission.” I’m not desperate, I’m not lonely, but sometimes, going on dates with strangers can be really fun.
Other times, not so much.
Like the guy I met for lunch (always try to meet for lunch – much less pressure than dinner) who assured me multiple times (protesting too much, mayhaps?) that he did, in fact, have a job. Congratulations! He also informed me that women “lose their looks” after 23. My, my. He was, of course, made aware that I am an old biddy of 28, and thus well past my “good looks” era. I paid for my lunch. He didn’t even offer. Casting even more suspicion on those “job” claims.
Another time, I met up with someone after work to grab a bite. It was hard to find something to eat, however, because not only was my dining companion an avowed vegan — which I can support, though I cannot begin to understand — he confessed a pathological fear for all “round” foods. Ladies and gentlemen, take a moment here to think of all the foods that are round. Starting with “peas,” bypassing “falafel,” and going all the way up to “cantaloupe.” I was so exhausted at the prospect of dealing with someone whose food issues surpassed my own, that I cut the date short after only an hour. An hour during which I nearly starved to death.
So I figured, maybe next time I should try to get to know someone a bit better before agreeing to meet them for lunch. Take two, new guy, new date. He seemed nice enough on the internet – we had similar politics, religious beliefs, and tastes. I agreed to meet him after several weeks of messaging back and forth and we seemed to jive fairly well until we started discussing our shared passion for recycling. I mentioned that I loved recycling because of the pride attached to fulfilling my civic duty. He concurred, adding that he wanted to leave the planet clean for his “future children.” I casually dropped into conversation that I had no desire to ever have children of my own. “Oh you must!” my date gasped. “It’s important for smart people like us to breed and have children to counter-act all the idiots breeding out there!” Wait. Talking about “breeding” on a first date? Hinting at eugenics? Needless to say, this guy did not merit a second date, based on those two strikes alone. He did, however, send me a terse missive several days later criticizing my choice of restaurant on our one and ONLY date and wishing me a sarcastic “good luck” on the dating site. Good luck? Good luck finding someone as worthy to “breed” superior children with me? Thanks, I think I’ll be fine.
But it did get me thinking. Maybe the way to meet someone is not online, but in person? Perhaps not. My (youthful) looks can be deceiving. I once gave my phone number to a gentleman I met at work and met him later for coffee, during which the awkward question had to be asked:
“So, just how old are you anyway? I’m 28.”
The colour drained from my date’s face. “I’m 23.”
He tried to pull it together, but even the strongest amount of caffeine couldn’t revive a man after that shock.
There were other dates that went downhill fast that don’t even merit recounting. The singles scene in New York has spawned so many television shows and movies that you don’t need me to tell you that all the stories are true. We really don’t need to make this stuff up because it just makes itself up. But no matter how old – or ageist – or bizarre – you are, one thing is for certain when you go on a date with me:
I will beat you at Pop-A-Shot.