Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh goodie. More words that will bring the Googlers here. Can't wait.

All right. So we're 12 days into NaBlo here, which is only a few days shy of halfway (Whoo; I can totally do this. Surely I can.), and it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I should be making some sort of list to recall which dates I still want to write about. I don't know why it took me until Day 12 to think about this. Obviously I do love me a list. As evidence, I will tell you about the list I just found in my desk drawer tonight. Long, long ago, near the end of my first stint on meMarmony, I decided to make a list of all the men I had dated from that site thus far. I think I envisioned some sort of meMarmony recap but then abandoned the idea either because I knew it would be an unreadably long post or it was simply too depressing to recount all of them (or possibly I just got distracted by something shiny).

So anyway, I have this list. And since I had started the list, apparently I decided to continue it, meMarmony match or not. There are no months or days assigned to any of the names on the list, but I am pretty sure it comprises all of the men I went on dates with in 2006 and the first part of 2007. There are 22 names on the list, which seems like a lot, and yet I'm not entirely sure the list is accurate, because I don't see Index Card Guy's name on there, and wasn't he during that time frame? (Let's see... Yes, he was.) Then again, it suddenly occurred to me that I don't even remember Index Card Guy's name. Was it Tom? Tom doesn't sound familiar... and yet, there's a Tom on the list. Who the heck was Tom? Also, what was the "Nonfiction Means Not-True?" guy's name? Could he be Tom? People, why don't I remember this stuff??

Ahem. Anyway. The list. Numbers in parentheses are the number of dates I had with each. (See? I'm not just a one-date girl!) Comments in italics are confessions and various memories as I perused this list for the first time in forever tonight.

Stephan (3)
Judd (1) (stone-faced gun-toting liberal who asked me to move to Canada with him)
Jeff R. (1) (possibly The Virgin, though I'd never tell you for sure)
Jeff H. (3) (dude I used as an excuse to ditch The Virgin; ditched me for another girl one date later)
Grant (1) (boring, and the worst kind of arrogant--the kind with no reason to BE arrogant at all)
Tim (1 non-date/maybe-date)
Adam (4)
Ken (2)
Kevin (2)
Jason (1)
Niles (2) (Oh my. Niles. See? I KNEW there was a reason for making this list! I MUST write about him this month yet.)
Mike R. (2)
Mike M. (1) (Two-Mike week! I remember that...)
Tom (1) (Tom?? Seriously, who was Tom? I'm telling you: Bells? Not ringing. AT. ALL.)
Jason (1) (Wait a minute. There were TWO Jasons? I remember only the Jewish one. Who was this?)
Joe (1) (Behind his name, I have written "The Mute," which is the only way I remembered who this one was.)
Ted (1) (Oh, like you guys didn't know that was his real name.)
Joe L. (8)
Jeremiah (2)
Quinn (1)
Jeff H. (again) (1) (Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.)
David (1)

You're exhausted and small-talked out just thinking about that list, aren't you? Me too. Also, still can't remember Index Card Guy's name. That one's going to bug me for days.

Wait! TIM! I think it was Tim. No idea why he didn't make the list.

So. Plenty of material there, I suppose. Today, however, I pick Ken.

As I may have mentioned or you may have surmised, I'm back online again, signed up for a one-month stint at the site that's probably best known in Internet dating but which I'd yet to try myself thus far. This time around I'm approaching it a little differently... or, trying to, anyway. Though it may sound backwards or closed-minded, I'm being pickier than I ever have before. Namely? No more "benefit of the doubt." If there is nothing whatsoever of interest in a profile, I'm ignoring or clicking "Not Interested" on any messages or winks. If I look at a guy's picture and honestly cannot imagine kissing him, he gets no attention from me. Shallow? Perhaps. But physical attraction means something, whether you want to admit so or not. Can a guy I'm not attracted to initially grow on me, if his personality, wit, and intellect are above par? Absolutely. But unfortunately, that is not the way online dating works. You introduce yourselves online; you go on a date. There is no casual, "getting to know you" phase before that "Date" label is applied. I have done this enough to know that if I'm not attracted to a man initially, I won't be attracted to him two dates in, so I've decided, for this trial month anyway, not to try.

Let the judgy, chastising comments begin, if you must. This is just how I'm rolling this time.

That wasn't always the way I approached this, however. I promise you: I have TRIED to be Open-Mind Girl. Case in point: Ken.

I knew from my first look at Ken's picture that I wasn't going to be attracted to him. But he was smart! Well-traveled! Interesting! He had a picture of himself surrounded by a flock of penguins at the South Pole! Who else has a photo of themselves surrounded by penguins? Hell, who else has been to the South Pole?

And so I decided to give Ken a chance. I thought that if his personality was as interesting as his resume, surely I could overcome the strange-shaped face and protruding teeth. Naturally, neither of those things panned out. He actually grew less attractive to me the more I listened to him talk. By all means, I am a friend to the nerds, but Ken was the worst kind of nerd: the kind who thinks he's overcome the awkwardness of his youth, but in fact, has only augmented his nerd status with unjustified overconfidence and misformed social skills. There is "nerd" in a good way and nerd in the "drive people away" way. Ken was unfortunately the latter.

I'm not sure exactly why I went on a second date with him. Stranger still, I don't even remember where our first date took place. What I do remember was sitting at St. Paul's Happy Gnome and deciding halfway through my burger that I would not be seeing this man again. I don't even remember how we got on the topic, but for some reason, he mentioned eggs, and I casually said that I've never liked them. It was a random piece of information that he could or could not have commented or asked further questions on. Instead of any normal, casual follow-up words, however, he looked at me, eyebrows raised, and smirked, "You don't like eggs? Well, I guess I'll have to come up with something else to make to impress you when you wake up at my house."

I'm no huge prude, but it's important to mention that up to that point, we'd had NO physical contact whatsoever. No kiss, no hug, no handshake. Not even a casual touch of the forearm to emphasize a point. There was no context to warrant that presumption. I had already decided I was not attracted to this man, but the visceral reaction I felt when he spoke those words... the way my body involuntarily shuddered and I nearly choked on a bite of burger... that reflex only solidified it.

I'd actually been feeling under the weather all day, and I'd mentioned it to Ken when we first arrived. From that point on, I decided my cough should quickly and inexplicably grow worse. My head should hurt more and my nasal passages should become even more clogged. In short, I hurried things along in the name of illness and left within the half-hour.

I was just trying to come up with a neat and tidy ending for this post when I remembered that I did allude to this date once before. A quick search for the word "visceral" in my archives found it, and I remembered! My word, Ken was "Sheep Testicles Guy"! I have no idea how I momentarily forgot that, but I think that about wraps this one up, don't you agree?


3carnations said...

"When you wake up at my house"...Yeah, nothing would have turned me off faster than a guy referencing the possibility of waking up at his house before I had even seen his house.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Shuddering at the thought of kissing is probably at the top of the list of reasons not to date a guy. Good call on this one, Stef.

lizgwiz said...

You weren't tempted for a minute to wink and say "Oh, there won't be any SLEEPING, hot stuff." No? Heh.

I'm with you. When it comes to dating, judgmental is the way to go. Otherwise you could end up on a second date with a guy who doesn't believe in evolution.

Noelle said...

Maybe this dude just likes to drug girls and then feed them breakfast in the morning. Either way, I'd stay away.

Alice said...

SHUDDER. i was trying to escape from a similar 2nd-date situation once - crappy date, no interest on my part, and we'd had NO PHYSICAL CONTACT yet - and i was trying to gracefully exit, but he was trying to move venues. he kept asking if i knew any "quieter" or "more intimate" places and i kept going "nope! none! nothing of the sort! sorry!" until finally he paused, shrugged, and said:

"so.. should we just get a hotel room, then?"


Courtney said...

Oooohhh. Bad move, Ken. It's a fine line between cute-nerdy and unbearably nerdy-nerdy, and I think he ended up on the wrong side.

-R- said...

Oh, not good.

It would have been funny if he were being really silly, but as a serious line? No.

Neurotic Grad Student said...

I stand in utter AWE of your dating skillzzzzzzzzzzzz. I don't think if you addded up ALL the guys I've ever dated, it would add up to 22. How do you do it? I mean, I guess the point of this month is to tell us how you do it, but you are totally awesome. In the literal creating awe kind of way!!

flurrious said...

I can't decide if I'm cringing because I'm embarrassed for Ken or if I'm cringing because I'm grossed out by Ken. In other news, I would love to date a mute. It would save me from having to say, "shut up" all the time.

Mickey said...

I'm constantly amazed at how differently two people on a date can percieve how things are going. I guess that's the problem for most of the Kens of the world: they just can't put it together.

Sauntering Soul said...

Have I mentioned how many crazy memories of my own your theme has brought up as I've read your dating tales? I had a guy hand me a sex toy in a grocery bag on a second date when there had been no touching on the first date. Weird. And very, very awkward.

Stefanie said...

3Cs--I know, right? It still sort of makes me shudder to think about it. OH! I didn't tell you guys the best part! (OK, maybe not the best part, but an equally absurd part.) After we acknowledged via email that we would not be going out again, he actually asked if I had any single friends who might be interested in him. He was looking for referrals! Gah. I can't think of anybody I like that little.

NPW--Thanks. I do like to trust my instincts at least once in a while. ;-)

Liz--Aaaggghhh! NOOOO! No, it did not even occur to me to say that. He probably would have taken it seriously.

Noelle--Despite my not-so-favorable recap of this one, I will concede that this guy was probably a fine, upstanding, law-abiding citizen. Hence, no drugging. Creepy thought, though.

Alice--OH. MY. GOD. You have GOT to be kidding. You're not kidding?? That actually happens?? That beats any bad date story I have, hands down. As a side note, have you seen "Burn After Reading"? Do the Coen Brothers think people actually have sex as just a "given" after bad first dates with Internet matches? Wait. DO people actually have sex after bad first dates with Internet matches?? If so, I don't know about it (and don't want to).

Courtney--He totally ended up on the wrong side. It's a shame, because like I said: I'm a friend to nerds. There is "good nerd" and "bad nerd," though, and he was not on the good side.

R--Not good indeed. Also, hi! How's motherhood going? Are you exhausted yet?

NGS--How do I do it? I joined meMarmony. Seriously--I may not have met my soul mate there, but I had no trouble whatsoever getting dates. If we are going strictly by number of men interested, meMarmony is by far my most successful venture thus far. It's quality, not quantity, that matters, of course, so that's really a moot point, but still.

Flurrious--Good point, but you see, I have this babbling thing when the other person isn't contributing their fair share of the conversation. It's not pretty.

Mickey--I know, right? Were we even on the same date? I don't get it.

SS--Are you kidding me? First Alice's story and now that... Who ARE these guys??

Aaron said...

I learned the hard way when internet dating to listen to my attraction. If it isn't there, it never will be.

Then again, I could list all my dates on one hand; I'm impressed with your list!