Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Two hours of my life that I cannot get back

I was thinking I probably shouldn't write about my date last night. As I mentioned Monday, a suspicious search engine hit in my Sitemeter log had me paranoid that perhaps one of my prospective dates had found my blog, and if it was yesterday's guy, then it seems a bit rude to publish details about him on the Internet for anyone to read. I know it's my blog, but still. Last night was a particularly bad date, however. Mind-numbingly dull and even worse in retrospect, and as such, it hardly seems reasonable not to document it.

Besides that, I am pretty sure last night's guy has not found this site. Last night's guy has a computer-related job title, so presumably he should be savvy enough to Google a user name or an e-mail address in the interest of research. Despite whatever professional expertise he may claim, however, I have a hard time believing this particular man could navigate his way out of a walk-in closet without help, so I am just going to hope and guess he's none the wiser about this entry. Dude-who-shall-remain-nameless, if I'm wrong on this and you are actually reading this post, well then I'm sorry for taking the moral low ground. Feel free to tell all your friends about the classy girl who went out with you and then bad-mouthed you on the Internet. Or, you know, quietly internalize this, maybe take a few tips about social interaction, and buck up and move on with your life. Your way means admitting to your friends and loved ones that some girl you met on meMarmony ranked you in her top-five worst dates ever. My way lets you slink away anonymously with few identifying details. The choice is yours, OK?

I've probably set this up a tad too dramatically. It actually wasn't all that bad a date, I suppose. I mean, no one stole my purse, after all, and no one fell asleep (though it did occur to me more than once that a nap might be more fun). Still, when you're sitting in a coffee shop thinking, "I'm missing Gilmore Girls for this?" you know it's not a good sign. Keep in mind I'm talking about a seventh-season Gilmore Girls episode. Even the most devout fans (i.e., me) will admit the show's gone downhill. And yet? In front of my TV watching Lorelei and Rory (and even the maddeningly smarmy Logan) was an entirely more appealing place to be. Hell, being outside shoveling newly fallen snow on a -10 degree night was a more appealing place to be, and considering how much I truly hate being cold, that's really no small feat, I must say.

Bachelor #3 (we'll call him that because he's third of four this week, and because I really am all about limiting the personal details as much as possible) was a perfectly nice guy, I suppose. But when the "what's the most important quality you're looking for?" box on my profile clearly states I want someone smart and funny, I would like to think slack-jawed dull-wits need not apply.

I shouldn't have been expecting any mental giant, I suppose. The dude cannot spell, after all. Unfortunately, he's not even the type of bad speller who's just too lazy to run himself through spell check. Instead, he's the sort of bad speller who needs a yet-to-be-invented homophone-checker, as the little squiggly red lines won't suffice. You all know I am a word nerd and a grammar geek, so imagine the restraint it took not to correct his continued use of "collage" instead of "college." Or to refrain from pointing out that he probably meant "secret" instead of "secrete" in the last box of his profile. Still, I resolved to keep an open mind and to hope that someone who doesn't present well via e-mail can still be intelligent and interesting in person. I hope not to make that mistake again.

The whole date felt more like an interview than an actual normal, adult conversation. And I'm not even talking about an interview for some reputable, thought-provoking publication for clever, sharp-minded readers. No, this was more like an interview for Tiger Beat, given the mindless and trivial questions Bachelor #3 thought to ask. The conversation, for much of the date, went something like this:

Him: So, what's your favorite color?
Me: Um... purple?
Him: Really?
Me: Uh, I guess.

Repeat about 47 times, with 47 equally meaningless questions, and you about have the gist of the night. Bear in mind that each "Really?" was delivered with the same dumb, vacant tone, a response that got so tiresome that by this question, I'd nearly had enough...

Him: So, you went to Jamaica? Did you like it?
Me: No, it totally sucked.
Him: Really?
Me: No, you idiot, it was Jamaica. Of course I liked it, you fool. And can you maybe muster a response other than "Really?" for just one of these, you think??

OK, so I didn't actually say that. But I wanted to, of course.

I know that conversation is a two-way street, so I am not attempting to absolve myself of all blame. When the question-asker leaves no room for follow-up before launching into the next query, however, it's hard to steer things into any meaningful, deeper conversation on your own.

We actually did touch briefly on some more interesting topics, I guess. We managed to get to books and politics, after all, both fine topics on which I'd ordinarily have much to say. Since this wasn't an ordinary conversation, however, the exchange didn't go very far. Case in point:

Him: I think the next president is going to be either a woman or a black man.
Me: Hillary is unelectable. I'm not saying I don't like her or I wouldn't vote for her; I'm just saying, she's too polarizing. Too many people hate her. It makes her unelectable. Don't you think?
Him: Really? I didn't know people hated her... Why do they hate her?
Me: ... [trying to decide how to explain Republicans and conservative-minded women in a way that would make sense to a second-grader]
Him: OK, well then it's going to be a black man. You know... that one guy...?
Me: Barack Obama.
Him: Is that his name?
Me: Kill me now. Please.

OK, so I may be paraphrasing on that last part. Close enough, though, I say.

When he turned things to books, it wasn't any better, unfortunately. I hadn't read most of the titles he cited, but I'd at least heard of a few, anyway. That should have been a good start, until he mentioned some book about a bunch of guys trapped on an ice shelf somewhere...

Me: Was it fiction or nonfiction?
Uh... nonfiction. Or. Wait. Nonfiction means "not true"? No, nonfiction is true, right?
Me: Um... yeah. Nonfiction means true story.
Him: Fiction then. It was fiction.

I guess I shouldn't judge, considering I'm the girl who just last week admitted she's incapable of remembering the temperature at which freezing occurs. We all have our Achilles' heel, after all. (I'm actually hoping that by admitting that weakness to the Internet, I have finally somehow locked it in memory and I will hereafter have no trouble retaining the fact that 32 is the number of degrees in question. Time will tell, though, I suppose.)

Usually after a pleasant though uneventful date, I'll send a niceties type e-mail thanking the guy for his time before clicking that fateful "Close Match" button and vanquishing him from my list. I'll tell him how nice it was to meet him and say that I really think he has fine qualities that are undoubtedly well suited for some woman who isn't me, but that chemistry is a strange, unpredictable thing, and I'm unfortunately just not feeling it with him. With this guy, though, I couldn't say any of that with any sort of honesty at all. I wish him well, sure, but I can't say, "it was a pleasure" with even a virtual poker face. So I boldly clicked that "Close" button with no explanation aside from a Dr. Warren-sanctioned checkbox on the page.

I am truly hoping tomorrow's date is far less painful, but given my track record this week, it's hard to muster too much optimism. At least tomorrow is a drinks date rather than coffee, however. I'm all for incorporating alcohol into all dates, actually. Alcohol gives even the most boring guys at least a fighting chance. Unfortunately, it also makes me prone to the idle nonsensical rambling of which I'm apparently so fond, meaning Tomorrow Dude might be writing about me on his own blog come Friday morning, but that's a risk I'll have to take, I suppose.


Anniina said...

Oh man! Wow. How long did you say you stayed at this coffee house? 47 questions? You're a better person than I am. I'm too old and too cranky .

nabbalicious said...

Wow, that's pretty bad. Of course, I'll give the guy a break for the non-fiction/fiction thing, because for awhile, I had the hardest time remembering which was which. Sigh. At least I've finally gotten it straight, especially since nonfiction is my favorite type, but I don't hold out much hope for him.

Better luck tomorrow!

Also, can we veer slightly off-topic and talk about the latest "Gilmore Girls" for a moment? That episode was nearly an exact repeat of the last time that happened in season one, except that Logan flew in on a helicopter. What a waste of my time. Have the new writers never watched this show before?

3carnations said...

Wow. That one was pretty bad. But for spelling/grammar freaks like us, isn't bad spelling in his emails a warning sign? :)

This time of year it probably won't work for you, but on a similarly boring date I had when I was single, when the guy proposed taking a walk after dinner, I told him it was such a nice night that I should really mow my lawn. Just sayin'.

I did actually mow the lawn when he dropped me off. Oddly enough, he never called again. Thank goodness, because I probably only would have been less subtle with him from there.

Boy, that sounds mean now that I reread it...I'm really not mean...I'm just bad at pretending I like someone when I don't and figure why waste anyone's time.

stefanie said...

Anniina--Two hours. Two long, painful hours.

Nabb--Really?? You mix those two up, too? That seems weird to me, but, again... the freezing-temperature thing. Clearly I have no right to judge. ;-)

And yes, I was trying to remember if this was Grandpa's second heart attack or if it was something else that other time, but the Luke-coming-to-the-rescue thing was a weird repetitive twist that I thought didn't really make a lot of sense.

3Cs--See, I really do try to cut guys some slack since I know not everyone cares about grammar and spelling like I do. Sometimes the bad spellers are still perfectly interesting and intelligent in person. Not in this case, however. Ugh. Definitely not in this case.

Paisley said...

OMG that was unbearable to even read! I was cringing for you. How incredibly painful. I am SO GLAD I am married. SO GLAD! I think that if I did not meet my husband I would still be single for I am SO PICKY and not so great at meeting new people.


I agree with Nabbs. The episode was so FIRST SEASON. I also know what you mean about how it has gone downhill. I used to wait with bated breath for Thursday. Now not so much. The old GG episodes fill me with such joy. I am sad.

lizgwiz said...

Yowza. That sounds deadly. As horrible as it was having my purse stolen, at least it wasn't dull! Did you consider at any point leaning over and stealing his wallet, just to liven things up? Hee.

I think I'm going to stick to my ways and rule out all online prospects who can't pass the grammar/spelling test. I'm not going to think of it as judging, just as listening to a little warning sign from God. And honestly, if I met someone in person first, found them attractive, and THEN discovered they had bad spelling, I could probably go with it.

But a dating profile is like a resume--if you can't be bothered to spend some time tweaking something you're relying on to represent you, then why should I hire you? What, you think I'm desperate? You think this position needs to be filled so badly I'll overlook your complete lack of qualifications? Well, I won't. So there. (Okay, maybe I'm projecting a little bit there. Hee.)

-R- said...

I admit that I thought it was funny that you didn't know the temperature at which water freezes. As I was reading your post today, I realized that I have no idea what the temperature for boiling is! I am going to have to go Google that.

Do you want me to call you at a certain time and then if the date is horrible, you can pretend it is an emergency and leave? It always works on sitcoms!

stefanie said...

Paisley--Well, you know, that's why I'm here... to help you married folks appreciate what you have. ;-) Glad to be of service.

Liz--I have said the same thing about a profile being like a resume, too. And I agree with you: the position is not so crucial that I'm going to hire just anyone to fill it. Yay for your highly selective self!

R--Damn. I'm supposed to know the temperature of boiling point, too?? There is no hope for me.

Simone said...

Omg Stef! You could look at this positively and realize this puts other dates in perspective…like Index Card Guy? Looking pretty good right about now! I agree with the spelling/grammar thing. One error I can overlook; a page littered with misspellings is just a red flag. And is it just me or does someone who uses the word “lady” only instead of woman or girl just turn out to be a big, big dork? E.g.: “I’m looking for a special lady, a lady who knows what she wants.” This is another red flag in my mind. I met someone who did that and just thought: “If only I’d gone by my first impression, I wouldn’t have to be here right now.” Yes, a minor thing but more often than not, this gives me a good clue as to what they’re about.

L Sass said...

OMG, this is priceless! I have to be honest, I am far less open minded than you. The homophone issues would have made it dead in the water for me.

I agree on the alcohol thing. I generally have a beer in the shower prior to a first date, even if it isn't over drinks.

stefanie said...

Simone--Yes! The "lady" thing totally bugs me, too, though I can't really explain why. It should be flattering to be called a lady, right? So why does it just give me the willies?

L Sass--A beer in the shower?? That cracks me up. :-)

metalia said...

Good LORD. You poor thing! I hope tomorrow's date goes better. (Yay for drinking dates!)

The Other Girl said...

I can't stop picturing this guy as Chris Farley, running into you next week and saying, "you remember when we went on that date? And we had coffee? And I asked you your favorite color? And you said purple? That was awesome."

Maliavale said...

OMG. What a douchebag. Also, "secrete"? Ew, on so many levels.

stefanie said...

Metalia--Tomorrow's date was actually tonight's date by now, and it was... weird. Just one month back in the fray and already I'm thinking I need to take a hiatus again.

Other Girl--It's so funny you mentioned that, because I was thinking of that exact same sketch, and was trying to figure out a way to work it in, actually. Seriously, he totally sounded like that.

Malia--I know. Ick. Dude seriously needs a homophone-checker.

3carnations said...

"Weird"...please, tell us more!

Darren McLikeshimself said...

Sweet Jesus, this was hilarious! I read this imagining you being on a date with a fifteen year old boy. "Nonfiction means 'not real,' right?" Priceless!