About two years ago I got dumped, at least in my version where I am the victim I got dumped, but whatever. After moping and sulking for a few months I decided to “get back out there”! I decided to try Match.com bolstered by the fact that my friend had recently met and fell in love with a man whom she met via this internet website and he seemed like a pretty normal guy. So I wrote out my pithy and articulate profile all about me and all about the man I’d like to meet. I didn’t lie about my age and I didn’t claim to be a slim/slender when I have average body. At least in LA it’s average, other places in this country my body is a TEN. I was very honest about who I am and what I like to do. I had my friend take pictures of me with her digital camera and somehow figured out how to get them posted via the Match.com site. I paid my money and got ready to meet all the wonderful men out there looking for their match in me.
The first day I checked my e-mail there were 24 responses! Whee! I’m so popular!! When I started opening the e-mails from my prospective suitors I started to feel like I had hopped up on a barstool in some nightmare fern bar. Apparently the majority of the guys on Match.com do not actually read the profiles, they look at the picture and respond on pretty much just that alone. Over four months my profile was hit on over 2,000 times just from guys who were browsing. So there were guys e-mailing me from all over the country despite the fact that I clearly stated I was interested in meeting men who lived within 10 miles of me. This probably should’ve been the first sign that I wasn’t all that desperate to date. I was very specific about age and yet there were men of all ages, who wanted to correspond with me. One unforgettable gentleman was a doctor who claimed to be 55, but looked closer to 70, and in the very stern photo that he posted with his profile he seemed to be sporting some kind of hair piece that looked like a fur hat. He wanted someone who was TALL. Financially well off and TALL. TALL, TALL, TALL! He included a picture of himself in full black leather motorcycle regalia (still with the fur hairpiece). It made me wonder about his romantic history – was he recently divorced from a short woman who took all his money after years of turning down his requests for kinky SMDB kinky leather sexcapades?
Everyday it was more of the same, lots and lots of guys who were interested in me, but I couldn’t really understand why. I made some really unpleasant discoveries like not only did the majority of men that responded to my profile not read it, but they also couldn’t spell or form coherent sentences. One of my favorite responses went like this, “for the furst time in my lif I hav no wif no girlfrend no frends.” What was he thinking that I was going to read that and go, “ooooh yeah baby – let’s get together and I’ll be your whole world”. The guys I did go meet were nice enough, but I felt no chemistry. The first one was a very wealthy art dealer who I could’ve sworn was gay. You know those guys that you’re just not sure about, most likely because they’re not sure either. He really liked me and wanted to go out again right away, but I came down with a horrible cold the next day – I am so not making it up – and I was in bed for a couple of weeks which sent him into a huffy snit. After that there were several others, but no connection.
I’m a person who believes it’s either there or it’s not. One day I got an e-mail that was clever, articulate, funny and the guy in the pictures looked cute! Woo-hoo, maybe there is someone out there for me. Unfortunately he lived in Milwaukee. At this point though I was so thrilled to find someone who not only read my profile, but wrote a great one himself so I was willing to relax my 10 mile rule. Slim pickins makes you do crazy things. We started talking on the phone - he had the greatest voice and we could talk for hours. I hate talking on the phone – you have no idea, I usually read or watch television when I talk to people on the phone. Rude, I know, but it’s very hard for me to stay focused without something or someone to focus on. But Lance and I talked for hours. As the holidays got closer I decided to do something wild and crazy. I decided to go visit him!! Meet face to face! An excellent distracting adventure to take me out of town for New Year’s Eve so I wouldn’t have to think about the guy who dumped me because he didn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship, and how he would be going out with the woman that he dumped me for – so he could be in an exclusive relationship. A bruised ego can make you do really crazy things.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds though. I bought my own ticket so there would be no feelings of beholdenness. I had a friend who was going to be with her family in Chicago on ready alert. If I wanted to leave I could always head to her house and celebrate with them. Plus, I really felt a connection with Lance, he seemed so sweet and he had a great voice over the phone, a wonderful laugh. I felt like I already knew him. So what the fuck – off I went.
And here is the e-mail I sent to my friend A. who was cheering me on through the whole adventure. After I told her there was no love connection she wanted to know if I’d told HIM that:
No. I didn't tell him "it wasn't there", though it's becoming clear that I may have to. The distance thing allows me to be just that - distant, yet still remain connected. I like him very much just as a soul. He likes me a lot more than that. We still talk everyday and lately he has begun to fish so I will probably take the opportunity the next time to tell him that I don't really see this as having a "known" long term potential for me as far as a romantic relationship. I just don't want to have to come right out and say - you don't rock my world when it comes to sex.
Because yes, Virginia, I did have sex with him. Hell I went all the way out there I had to sample at the smorgasbord (more about that later). Unfortunately he is taking some kind of medication for an enlarged prostate (at 44?) which he told me messes with erections. This may be so and perhaps I only got half the picture but even then - it was hardly a half. I'm not a size queen and I understand that firmness fades with age and use, at least in white guys (my Latino boyfriends never had a problem) Add to that the fact that when I got off the plane I didn't recognize him because he'd added an extra chin since he submitted the photo on match and he and Santa are carrying the same kind of belly, well...what it mostly comes down to though is that, in my experience, our bodies don't fit and his smell isn't one I want to roll around in - I wouldn't want to wear his t-shirt around after he spent the night sleeping in it. He kissed with extremely pursed lips - similar to the way you might kiss a downy chick that you held reverently in your hands. I can't stand that. And when I initiated "making out" his tongue stayed in his mouth like an eel in its cave - very passive. If he had kissed me and rocked my world and the smell was right it wouldn't have mattered that he was carrying 30 extra pounds and wearing ugly shoes.
I am an alpha female and I need an alpha male or I will go out and find one. This guy ain't that. I understand why the women in 2 out of the last 3 relationships he's had both cheated on him. That's not nice, but I even tried giving gentle suggestions - we don't have matching libidos. If I were post menopausal - and never wanted to have sex or fun make out sessions - he would be a great companion. Of course there is the fact that he may be dead before he hits 50 (his cholesterol is 262, his dad died at 57 on the table and his 53 year old brother had 7 bypass surgery 3 months ago - though he's back to eating and drinking a lot). The people of the Midwest are peculiar in that 1) they are the nicest group of folks you'd ever want to meet 2) they all look the same, e.g. round, white and doughy with mousy brown or bad dye job blonde hair 3) they all wear ugly shoes 4) they are able to eat and drink copious amounts of food and alcohol. The first night we went to dinner I was amazed at how he could put it away (we were in Chicago at Cocopazzo - great restaurant) my understanding of this phenomenon grew when we reached Milwaukee and went to dinner with his friends on Saturday night. I ordered off the "lighter appetites" menu so my prime rib was only 16oz. instead of the usual 32oz. Lance ordered chicken Vesuvio which was basically 1 and a HALF chickens breaded and fried and soaked in butter and served with capers on it. His friend Bob ordered ribs and I swear they were over 2 feet long. This was just the main course. These people EAT! And potatoes are vegetables right? So why bother with green beans or spinach? I am surprised that anyone in Wisconsin lives past the age of 65. Come to think of it they might not because the people I met who were in their 40s looked like they were in their 50s. Now perhaps all of this changes as spring comes around and they can go outside again. Maybe they start to eat vegetables and exercise, but I kinda don't think so. If I lived there I would weigh an extra 50 pounds and be an alcoholic (drinks are cheap, like $4).
I know this makes it sound like it wasn't fun, which is wrong - it was. I went to the Calatrava art museum on the lake. He drove me out to Paoli, near Madison, on my cheese quest for my friend Catherine. He drove back and forth on the highway so I could get a picture of this one particular barn. Milwaukee is a cool little city and Lance has really great friends. Part of the reason I wanted to go out there and spend the time was to get a sense of how compatible we were. I know that we can have great conversation on the phone and, now I know that we can do that in person, but that chemistry isn't there. And I know myself really well from being in other relationships with nice guys, but without "chemistry thing". I'll cheat. And I'll want out before too long and then I lose that guy because I can't stand being around him anymore.
There's also an area of incompatibility in how we relate to money. Now this plays out in the fact that he lives in a house that is paid for (the fact that it's the house he grew up in is telling) and I rent. But my sense is that we would also travel very differently, one harbinger of this fact would be the budget travel magazine on his coffee table - that's the actual title, and he’s been on lots of Club Med type vacations. We also don't relate to food the same way indicated by the fact that he's not big on eating breakfast or lunch though he does spend lots of money on coffee at Starbucks. Now I buy Sumatra Mandehling and drink my coffee at home and I like to have a light breakfast and definitely enjoy lunching, keeping dinner a light meal.
On New Year's Eve day when we were out in the quaint little town of Paoli, I asked the lady behind the counter in the cheese cottage where a good place to have lunch would be and she recommended this charming little restaurant. As we were walking in he said, "Since I'm buying dinner tonight, how about you get this?" Now I don't have a problem with that when I'm out with a friend, or in an established relationship, but this man is supposed to be wooing me, and that just doesn't blow my skirt up. AND this comes just a couple of hours after we had been in a camera store so I could get some time-zero film and he had said he was going to buy the $2000 dollar digital camera he looked at. I had already been paying my way because he doesn't go for his wallet very quickly and if I wanted to have that glass of Duckhorn at the wine bar in the pizza place (such a cool little place it was too), I knew I was going to have to buy it myself. Granted it was $19.25 a glass – but every sip was worth it. The killer was that on New Year's Eve his buddy John picked up the whole tab. So Lance got to eat for free that day. This girl wants a man who 1) can not only afford to court her, but WANTS to and 2) isn't tight with a dollar. It's not like we were out every night blowing a big wad on dinner. When we went out with his brother and sister in law he used a 2/1 coupon (at which point my future flashed before me and I saw myself fat and on Prozac) and other than that we had Mexican food ($5.95 entrees). He did spend a lot of money on cocktails, but he's the one who was drinking them, not me. He could down 4 for every margarita I drank which was about one because they don’t know how to make Margaritas in Milwaukee. At least not at any place he took me too. Okay so he came down to Chicago and spent a couple hundred on dinner and the room - but geez, I flew my ass out there and paid for about half our good time. Not the way I want to start. The day I left I had to take a shuttle from the Milwaukee airport back to Chicago. It was $20, do you think he offered to pay? If you guessed, not even, you’d be right.
By the way I left out the part about his psycho ex-girlfriend showing up on New Year's Eve morning and having a screaming fit on his driveway because the fact that he wouldn't marry her forced her to marry someone else (3 weeks ago) and now she's unhappy and it's his fault and he has to talk to her because he owes her that and he had to call the police. And that's pretty much the whole Jerry Springer episode in a nutshell.
Not a total debacle, but he still hasn’t returned my Allman Bros. soundboard recordings so I think it’s safe to say he’s harboring some resentment that I didn’t want to continue our relationship. In looking at what I learned it would have to be this: I will never again even hold hands with a guy unless I am attracted to him and interested in intimacy. Ever! Sadly for me Match.com came out with their “compatibility” test last year, after I got back. I took it and it turns out that I am compatible with only 6% of the men currently registered there. Had I known that going in I would’ve passed on all the dates where I sat there thinking, “I’d rather be home giving myself a bikini wax and watching really bad reality television”. All those hours that I can never get back.
Lance is still on Match.com – I occasionally go do a user name search to see if he’s there because I hold out hope that I may one day get those irreplaceable tapes back. Yep, he’s now two years younger and he describes himself as “athletic and toned” though the pictures he has posted are over two years old and I didn’t recognize him from those photos – there was a slight resemblance, but I had to hear his voice and even then I did a cartoon double take. I have heard from lots and lots of my friends who are out there on the internet that it’s not unusual for people to lie about their age and what they look like. Which seems stupid unless you really don't want to meet anyone - I mean when they see you they're going to figure it out! I kept it up for another year, and I met a really great guy. He was exactly as he described himself, but there was no chemistry. I never wanted to kiss him, not even after a martini and a glass of wine. Serious.
I do know people that have met and fallen in love and gotten married after meeting on an internet dating website. And I am thrilled for them. But after all my experience what I come away with is the feeling that the Universe is trying to tell me that I should just be happy that I’m happy – single or in love.