Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Adventures in Dating, Episode 10: The Boy Meets The Girl

This is the 12th installment of my Adventures in Dating series, and yet somehow only episode 10.  It's like I'm paying homage to my adorable inability to do math.  You can dig on episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 6, 7 , 7 revisited, 8 and 9 here.  

I've been teasing you for a very long time with the lead up to this story, which is probably why it has taken me so long to write it. I've built this blog post into something epic in my mind...and in reality, it's a simple and common little tale told the world over: Boy Meets Girl. Or in this telling, The Boy meets The Girl.

It might have escaped your notice, but I haven't posted a blog in a year. During that time, much like you, I haven't read any of my former entries, so I thought perhaps to get ourselves back into the groove we shared when I was a blogging fool, we'd rehash things a bit. In the late Summer of 2010, I was back on the dating scene for the first time since 1990. To say my dating skills were rusty would be tantamount to saying the Grand Canyon is a quaint little gulley. So I did 6 months of hard time on the absolute freak show that was match.com, had one date with a tangerine-colored man from eHarmony and had all but given up on ever finding love. Or the perfect pair of black pants.

But I digress.

And then in March 2011 I received an inquiry on eHarmony from a dimpled, blue-eyed software engineer with a profile photo that purported to show both a love of dogs and an interest in reading. It's not that the bar was set that low, because yes, there are a lot of men out there who love dogs and reading (and I'd dated most of the available ones in the Denver area), it's just that, I don't know, there was something there. It wasn't actually IN his profile, but his profile hinted at it. I'm a man of character. I will keep you safe. I will tolerate your ridiculous puns and outrageously cold feet.

My first glance: I will admit to being vaguely concerned about the sheep skin.

 So I did what any rational woman would do: I ignored him. For two weeks.

And then finally, after Yoda (my shrink) pushed a little harder than maybe a detached therapist should (people attach to me, dunno why), I responded to him. Unlike match.com, which allows you to IM with the grotesquely horny sort of stranger who invites you over right then "to watch football" the first time you ever have contact, eHarmony puts you through your paces. eHarmony cares not for your instant gratification, sort of like that abrasive Patti Stanger on "Millionaire Matchmaker" who is always screaming at rich people about "no sex before monogamy" but with less screaming and fewer strangely cheap-looking clothes. Seriously, rayon much?

So this supposed dream boat of a bookish dog lover sent me 5 questions to answer. They were multiple choice, but with the option to write in another answer. The only question I actually remember was an inquiry into the depths of my financial responsibility. And anyone who knows anything about me in 2010 would know that my idea of financial responsibility was to empty my paltry savings account because White House Black Market was having a pencil skirt sale and it would be irresponsible to miss out on all of those "savings."

Still, I was trying to become more responsible (or at least dress the part) and so I answered honestly by saying something like I was reformed grasshopper, learning to become an ant. Get it? Aesop's Fables... yep, I read too! Of course, that was one of my childhood books, but clearly the lesson had stuck with me. At least in principle, if not truly in practice. (I also remember that one of the stories had something to do with a fox trying to drink out of a wine glass, which honestly, explains a lot.) Pleased with myself, I sent him 5 questions too. Not because I was actually into that, but because I wanted to put him through the exercise. He replied with his answers, which were all perfectly fine, if perhaps not as poetic as mine, and then he sent me some other hoop through which to jump.

By this time, I had been on the dating scene for about 8 months and I was smack-dab out of patience. So I sent him an email in which I nicely said something like "Look, I really don't have time for this. If you want to talk to me, here is my home number." (It should be noted that to this day, he swears I didn't actually say it all that nicely.) And then I hit send.

About 10 minutes later, my phone rang. And of course I didn't answer. Seriously, I didn't mean NOW. He left a voice mail and I liked the sound of his voice-- so friendly and open, in the same way his eyes were so kind in that profile photo. So a respectable time later that clearly said "I'm busy, I've got a lot going on, but I'm happy to hear from you," I called him back.

I was about to write that it was a memorable conversation, but then I realized I don't really remember what we talked about. What I do remember is that the conversation flowed easily, he was obviously very intelligent, and his quick wit made me laugh. We agreed to chat again, and when I hung up the phone that night, I was feeling cautiously optimistic that I'd get to gaze directly into those kind blue eyes, and likely very soon. Considering that, days before, I had forecast a lifetime of traveling the world solo in a caftan like Mrs. Roper while regaling strangers with photos of my many costumed cats  (who would, no doubt, eat me when I died alone in my home)...this was a promising turn.

And that's where I'll leave you for now. Because maybe it is epic, after all.

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