Sunday, May 31, 2009, just o o o o...

I met Marcy out for dinner on a first date. She was easy to please...she only wanted corn dogs. Who even knew they had corn dogs at a normal restaurant. But, to my surprise, they did! But, let's back up a little, so we can get to the good part of the story. I was waiting inside the door for her at the restaurant. After only being about 15 minutes late (quite early by female standards in DC), she walked in. I attempted to give her my standard "half-hug" greeting. She was having none of that. She put both arms around me and almost squeezed all the air out of me. It was a little odd. Soon after she said she wasn't used to dating. (Maybe that was the reason for the hug like she thought I was dead, but just found out that I was actually only stranded on an island for years.)

During the date...oh screw it...none of the date matters. Let's jump ahead to the end of the date. We walked outside to the parking lot. We did some awkward chit-chat and I went to give her another half-hug. (Meanwhile bracing my feet in case she decided she would tackle me with a hug.) She pulled away from my half-hug, paused, and said, "oh, I'm not really much of a hugger."

??? When I went to the restroom during dinner (well, by dinner, I mean my meal and her carnival food), did her twin sister take her place?

She was undressing me with her eyes...

MaryAnn and I went to burger night at a local place. A lot of times it's hard to tell what a person really looks like from their photo online. But this girl was like Rachel Ray. (Was she skinny? Was she fat? No one can tell!) Anyhoo...I guess I don't look at all like my photos because even though I introduced myself, so must not have believed me. She spent the entire hour plus scanning the room and looking at everyone there except for me. (There are plenty of explanations for this...she got a tip earlier in the day that she might be assassinated, so she was keeping a careful eye. Or maybe, one of her parents is one of those lizards where the eyeballs move independently of each other.) Whatever the reason for this, it was pretty annoying. Then the bill came and she sat there like a bump on a log (maybe the lizard thing again) and never offered to pay at all. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a nice guy. I should have excused myself and left her with the bill and the waiter. (After all, she would not have been able to identify me to the waitstaff at all.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You tell me...

I don't know. Maybe I'm the freak in this particular post. You decide.

Whitley and I went to dinner on Friday night. I was in the midst of telling a story (no, not a freakish dating story) when the check arrived. Before I even saw the waitress, Whitley has given her credit card. I jokingly said, "uh-oh." "Uh-oh what?" "When a girl pays the bill, it means she doesn't want to feel obligated to another date." (See one of my past blogs for the full scoop.)

Nevertheless, we continued with the date and went on to tour the DC Monuments at night. We had a good time. So, I started to believe that she didn't pay to get out of seeing me again. At the end of the date, she said she wanted to do something again. Cool.

So, on Saturday I called her. As I was leaving a voicemail, she text'd: "Can't talk. What's up?" I text'd back the same thing I left on the voicemail, "Hey since I have surgery on Wednesday, how about we get together on Tuesday night?" No immediate text response like a few minutes ago. The night passed. Sunday passed. Monday passed. Around 1am Monday night I had to take a couple of narcotics to kill my pain.

About an hour later I emailed Whitley. (Probably not the greatest idea while on narcotics.) "Like I said on Friday, my experience tells me that when a girl picks up the check, she doesn't want to go out again. So, I'll let you make the call and I won't bother you again if you don't contact me. But I did have a lot of fun with you on Friday." I didn't think this sounded too bad. I mean, it was obvious that she wasn't going to call me, but on the off chance that she wanted to, I gave her the option to contact me. Or so I thought.

She emailed back: "I was stuck with my three cousins all weekend and I just got home this morning. I was going to give you a call today to see if that was still available, but I don't think that's a good idea anymore. I had a really great time on Friday too, but this is just a little too much for me. If my style makes you upset then we aren't compatible, no matter how cool and cute I thought you were."

I'm so cool and cute that she waited 2.5 days to call me and hope that I was still available that night for a date. (I do that, too. If I want tickets to a sporting event really badly, I wait until the day of and hope tickets are remaining.) But, I did like the girl, so I did what guys have to do. I apologized for no apparent reason. You know..."yes, dear."

"I'm sorry. My narcotics are making me really moody. I hope to be off of them soon. That is so NOT me. My friends would laugh if I asked if they thought I was mean. But, I was last night. It's not the narcotics alone, though. I'm fed up with surgeries recently. Ugh. Can I have a do-over when I'm not doped up, please? I'll make it up to you."

What came next is a collection of ramblings that I cannot make much sense of. But, somehow I think the summary is that I'm to blame and she really wanted to see me badly, but I screwed it up by assuming she didn't want to see me when she didn't respond to me at all.

"Sugar, I don't mean to sound nasty here AT ALL, so please, please, please don't read it that way. I'm just trying to explain my thought processes here. People are different and just because they don't fit doesn't mean that there's anything wrong about that. I just think my neuroses don't match yours.

I can totally handle yelling or snippiness/snottiness when I know you're really stressed and going through a ton of shit -- and I realize what an understatement "ton of shit" here is. I know that that yelling and stuff is never directed at the person to whom you're talking - it's frustration at something that you CAN'T yet at - like surgeries and constant pain and constant limitations of your activities. And like I said, I can see that for what it is, and I can handle it. But no offense, that email wasn't blowing off steam, it was just spiteful. You deliberately tried to make me feel bad. If you really wanted to know (and hoped) that I would give you a call -- which, by the way, I would have -- would you really have started by saying "I knew I was right about you, that you would engaged in this negative behavior?"

I know your friends will say I'm being overly sensitive or dramatic and I am, they're definitely right. But I've already dated the type of guy who when he's mad or frustrated has no problem hitting below the belt and saying the meanest thing possible, so that's on my deal breaker list, and I'm very sensitive about that. And I KNOW that isn't the real you - you're too sweet and caring. Nevertheless, this was that kind of behavior, to a lesser degree, of course, but still there. And I know it was the result of incredibly unusual circumstances, but I don't know you well enough to have any context .

And it sucks, but sometimes mistakes hit a sore spot you didn't know was there. In the law, we call it the "egg shell plaintiff" - you had no idea that, for a stupid example, someone had brittle bones, and you hit them. Just because the breaks are worse than those that a normal person would have sustained doesn't mean you're only liable for part of it - you have to take care of the whole deal.

God, I'm so sorry - I'm totally being the un-understanding and uncaring bitch here. I don't mean to be. I'm just trying to so hard to be honest and as kind as possible because you deserve that. And I'm sorry if I'm just being stupid, but it's how I feel - stupid or not. I still think you're an awesome guy - to the point that if my female friends weren't all married, I'd totally set you up with them. : )

I really hope that your surgery goes well."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do you have an appointment?

Harriot worked unusual hours, so pinning down a day and time to meet was an adventure. Eventually, it all worked out. I had to be near her place for an event in the early evening one night and I could meet her next door to my event at a bar for a drink. Perfect! So, we talked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Thursday arrived and I went to my event. The plan was to call her from the event to see if she was out of work.

So, I did...and I got her voicemail. I left a message and she called back.

Me: "Hey there. How's it going?" I greeted her.
Harriot: "Were we still getting together tonight?"
Me: "That was the plan."
Harriot: "Well, you didn't call to confirm, so I made other plans. I'm out to dinner with a friend now, but I'll call you when I'm done."
Me: "Okay, we'll get together afterwards."

I knew full-well that she wouldn't call me back, so I left Maryland and drove home to Virginia. Sure enough, no phone call at all that night.

Allow me to translate what just happened. I was her plan as long as "stud boy" didn't call her. He did, so she automatically said yes to dinner with him. Then it was a matter of finding an excuse to give to me. Oh! I didn't call her the night before to confirm (never mind that we talked every day except yesterday about the date.) She wasn't sure if stud boy would be a stud in person, so she left it open to meet me later. She hit it off with him and never bothered to call.

Well, that's not true. She did call...SIX MONTHS later. "Hey, how are you?" she asked. I made fake plans to meet her out. She never called to confirm, so I didn't go (not that I would have gone even had she confirmed.) I doubt she showed up, either. Stud Boy # 2 probably called...

You are great! Well, not really...

Leigh and I decided to meet out at a bar with friends for the first meeting. That's not something I usually do (I did it in the past and the girl asked me for my friend's number, so I thought better of bringing other guys to first dates.) But, she seemed scared to be alone with me (I'm pretty scary with all my scars, now.) Things actually went really well, though. She seemed to be having a lot of fun...laughing a lot. (Maybe she was drunk.)

She spoke my language...softball. Out of the blue, she said she was looking for a team. She came to the right place...I got her on one of my teams. Later in the week, I asked her out again. She accepted. (Was she drinking at work, this time?) That date went very well, also, as did the third. After the 3rd, I was walking her back to my car and I leaned in to kiss her cheek. She turned. Did I get the ear again? NO! She must have screwed up because she turned the wrong way and gave me her lips. That was weird. I told her that I was only going for the cheek and she got all embarrassed. It was cute.

The fourth date was another good one. During it, she remarked how she was stressed at work. I said I'd rub her shoulders sometime. After dropping her off, she text'd me: "Thanks again. I had another great time. You are great. I'm going to take you up on that back rub soon." That's a good sign, you're thinking. Yeah, well, you'd be wrong. (Have you not been paying attention to my dating luck throughout all my stories?)

We set up a fifth date. About an hour before it she text'd: "I have to cancel tonight. Family issues." Okay, whatever. She was then "online now" the entire night on (I guess her family consists of a lot of single people, but you would think a "friends and family" cell plan would be better than online dating IMs to work out family issues.)

Later in the week, I emailed and said I hoped everything worked out. She said yes. Weeks passed and no word from her. Finally, I wrote: "Are you at least going to play softball? We need a girl. Don't worry, I won't ask you out again."

She replied: "I feel like I owe you an explanation. (Ya think???) You are a wonderful person who I am so thankful for meeting. I want to talk to you about where I am at because I know you deserve my honesty. When I went home, I saw my ex-boyfriend and it threw me off. I think he wants to work things out. I know this is so trite, but this honestly, genuinely has nothing to do with you. I am in a tough place right now and am trying to figure things out and I don't think it's fair to you to keep you in limbo. I still want to play on the team and I know you are a mature and awesome person who I can definitely see being friends with. I had a great time with you. Thank you for everything."

A week passed and she emailed again: "I was thinking about it a lot and I think, realistically, I am not going to be able to dedicate enough time to a team. I want to play, but the way work has been, it's hard for me to get out before 6 or 7 much of the time."

I wrote: "Okay. I feel like I did something to offend you. I see you are active on while you're supposedly getting back with your ex."

Leigh's reply: "You didn't do anything. I promise. I mean it that I am going through a tough time and am just trying to figure things out. It's hard for me to really explain my situation so you would understand it. I don't want you to take it personally. I didn't take my match profile down because I still feel like it is wise for me to remain open to meeting people on there. (So, you remain open to meeting new guys online...just not open to seeing the one that you told "you are great" to a few weeks back. That's not confusing at all.) I had a long, complicated relationship with someone who recently came back into my life. I don't know where it is going but I am trying to figure it out. (Yeah, by all means...go back to your complicated relationship because it worked so well the first time that you had to break up. Did I mention that I don't understand girls?)

Btw, it's months later now and she's still on I guess her ex is one heck of a precious GEM!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Love I tell ya...

My mom always tells people that I'm single because I'm looking for my Jennifer Love Hewitt. Well, I met the spitting image of her. It was scary how much they looked alike. The only difference (besides the millions of dollars and the tabloid appearances) was that "Rania" was Arabic. Give JLH olive skin and a nose stud and they are identical. Rania didn't know who JLH was until I told her to google her. She was amazed, too.

Needless to say, I asked out Rania a few times. Eventually, I leaned in to kiss her goodnight and she pulled away. As you know, I've been down this road many a time. I did ask her out again a couple of times, but she always had something going on. So, I laid off the asking out. Rania called me every day. I let it up to her to ask me out, but that never happened. During one phone call, she asked "so how are your dates?" I thought that was odd, so I blew it off. The next time she called, she asked the same thing. "Alright," I thought. "If you want to know...two girls cancelled on me this week." Rania got all quiet. Finally she said, "I can't talk to you right now" and she hung up. A few minutes later, I got a text: "Have fun with your other girls." (Was I just dumped by a girl I didn't even know I was dating?)

I quickly responded, "Hey, you asked. What was I supposed to think? You wouldn't kiss me and you wouldn't commit to another date. I thought you just wanted to be friends."

She apologized, "you're right. I'm sorry."

A couple of days later she called and we had a long talk. It turns out that we have different cultures. Usually in the US, you go out with someone for a while and then commit. Apparently, in Morocco, you commit to someone and THEN figure out if you like them. I could not continue to see her. I mean, in our culture it's polite to open a door for a girl. What if in her culture that is a sign of engagement? I couldn't risk it. I wasn't ready to get engaged to her just yet!

Mother's Day...

I wrote to Willow and got a response:

"Hey Shawn. Thanks for the email. You are too funny! And cute, too. A lot of the profiles on match are the same, but yours stands out. You seem like a really good guy. I'm not Willow. I'm Willow's mom. She would kill me if she knew I had a profile on here for her. But she got out of a bad relationship and she needs this. She has a profile on jdate that she checks sometimes. You should write to her there." (Oh, okay. I'll join another dating site -- for another religion -- on the off chance your messed-up-over-her-ex daughter might reply to me.)

"I'm washing my hair" doesn't cut it...

Maggie was kind of mysterious online. She didn't like to email or talk on the phone...only text. To each her own... We made plans to get together on a Sunday night. She was a little put off because I didn't offer a Friday or Saturday night for the first date. What the heck does it matter? Anyhoo...I got a call a couple hours before the date. "My car won't start. I have AAA coming to tow me. I can't make it." Okay, cool. I don't buy it, but okay.

The date was rescheduled a couple of weeks later. A text came, "I'm stuck in Buffalo at my Dad's place in the snow storm." I know a snowstorm in Buffalo could be bad. I wanted to see what she was going through, so I went to There was no snow in Buffalo. Or New York State. Or the NE portion of the United States. Oh yeah, there was no precipitation in the North American continent!!!! The entire radar was blank. That's odd.

Once again, we rescheduled. I gave her a Friday this time like she asked. I told her that we could meet for dinner and then go to this club to dance. Meanwhile, I scheduled another date with someone I thought might actually show up. While I was on my date, she texted, "There's been a fire." "A fire? Really?" I thought with a chuckle. Alright. "Remember to stop, drop and roll," I responded. I didn't hear from her for weeks.

About a month later, we set up another Friday date. (Wow...our 4th date!) I went to the movies. When I got out of the movies I had a few texts: "I'm stuck at a work meeting. I'll let you know when I get out." "Still at meeting." "It's probably too late for dinner now." I wrote back, "That's okay. Just come meet me at such-and-such for a drink," as I drove home to go to bed.

I still hear from her every few weeks. I think I'll set up another date with her for when I'm having surgery. It'll give me something to do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hoop it up...

I met...ummm...let's call her "Dukie," for no particular reason. She was a basketball fan and grad of a certain school that I love to cheer against. I won't bother naming the school here. Anyhoo...she never missed watching a game and I never missed watching one of Pitt's games. That could take up 4 nights a week between us in the winter. The obvious thing to do was to invite her out to a game-watching with my alumni friends.

This particular game was on a Monday night. I had just ended chemo and wasn't really energetic enough to be out, but I toughed it out. She had to work late, so she would meet me at half-time. The game started. No one in my alumni group was there. That's the luck of the draw...some nights it's packed, some nights it's scarce. But no one? Oh well, I ordered food and ate myself at a bar on a Monday night. (That's a pathetic visual.) Halftime came and I got a phone call. She had to work later, so let's reschedule. I went home to watch the rest of the game.

Dukie and I tried again and again, but nothing ever worked out because of conflicting schedules. Finally we decided to meet after the season ended. We'd have a lot of free nights then. I wasn't complaining...I think I would like a girl that into college hoops!

So there you have it...we are going to meet after the college season ends. Wait. Didn't that end seven weeks ago? I have emailed and text'd but no reply. And soon it's going to be football season...oh god, it never ends!

Is that a stop sign?

I was out with Becca for some drinks and then a show. We were having a fun time. (But as you are aware from earlier posts, what the hell do I know? Maybe it was an awful date. Who knows for sure?) While driving her home, she asked if I was hungry and said there was a pizza place on the way to her place. Sure, why not.

Then the unthinkable happened at the pizza joint. She said, "we can get it to go and eat back at my place." What? Was this actually a sign from a girl that I'm able to read? Outside of the girl saying "I like you," I've never been able to pick up on signs or realize what they mean even when I think it is one. Now, I'm not a typical guy by any stretch of the imagination. So, I was not taking it as permission to attack her at her place. I simply read it as "I'm comfortable enough with you to allow the date to last longer tonight and maybe I'll be up for more dates."

So, back at her place we ate and talked some more. She recycled the box and soda cans, so she got points for that in my book. (That's not relevant to the story...I'm just saying.) The layout of her townhouse was such that when you walked in, you could go all the way to the back of the townhouse (the kitchen) via one continuous hallway. I put on my coat and walked with her back to the front door. As I went to hug her goodbye, she wet her pants. (No, not in the sexual way and not in the lack of bladder control way.) You see, she gave me a "butt-out hug" that was probably a world record. Her butt was so far back, I know it was in the kitchen sink soaking up sudsy water.

The butt-out hug usually means I don't want to touch you so don't waste your time calling me again. But this one seemed to mean, "I wish I could take back this date and all the emails we exchanged, too!"

Maybe I should start looking for girls with wet butts. That probably is a sign that they are single and looking...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why didn't *I* want *you*?

I received an email from "PUGLY_PSU." She said, "I see that you viewed my profile. Why didn't you write to me?" (Maybe I should try that approach on the metro. "Hey, you saw me walk onto the train. Why didn't you ask me out?") She went on to ask, "was it because I'm from Penn State?"

I responded, "Well the Penn State thing didn't help matters, but I looked at your criteria for guys. I wasn't in your age range or in your height range and I didn't match most of what you are looking for in a guy." Hmmm...maybe she couldn't read my profile and was only looking at the photos. (You know, like other PSU grads at a McDonald's menu.)

You don't look African...

I like the profiles online that you know are fake. They have one photo that is cut and pasted from a modeling or porn site. In the profile, the girl says she is seeking a man "age 18-100" "3 feet to 8 feet tall" and within 5000 miles of her local. (Why are all the hot girls always so damn picky?!!)

Once in a while, a clever person will write a realistic profile for these "girls." You'll receive an email saying to catch her on instant message on Yahoo under "sexygurl123." Hey, I was off work for 13 months, so I had time to play around. As soon as you add them to IM, they act just like any normal girl. "Hi. When can we marry and have children?" Or "I want to grow old with you and have meaningful relationship." (You know...typical first contact dialogue.)

If you leave your IM screen for more than 10 seconds, you'll get a message "Where did you go? Are you not in love with me any more?" (No, I am. But I also love this ham sandwich and needed to take a bite.)

Eventually, you'll ask, "hey can we meet up?" "Yes, as soon as I get back to town." "Where are you?" "In Ghana." "Oh, most of my friends love the party scene there, too." "I'm a buyer of jewelry and they won't let me leave without paying taxes. Can you send me money?" (Thinking about it...this is somewhat easier than most first dates where I give the money to the waiter, instead. But this way I don't have to sit through long, boring conversation.) I said I would send money as soon as I could return to work and pay all my medical bills from cancer. She disconnected. (Damn cancer thing scares girls away right and left!)

The next time I got an IM from a Ghana girl, (Ghana is like a restroom...girls travel there in groups, apparently) I beat her to the punch and said I was in jail in DC and needed bail money. She must have been startled by that because she didn't reply right away. So, naturally, I had to ask if she didn't love me anymore!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Not tonight, I have a headache...

Gia was a high school science teacher and also an avid swing dancer. I swing dance and I love science so the emails were great. There was a show at the Smithsonian's Planetarium, so I invited her to that. We got there a little early and sat on a bench to talk. If you are sitting on a bench, I realize it's constructed to face forward, but wouldn't you position your body towards the other person? Not her. She sat staring straight ahead. Was she people watching? Maybe. (But only if she had x-ray vision because we were facing the closed doors to the planetarium.)

After we got to our seats for the show, she still didn't look at me. (Wow. How hideous am I???)

The lack of eye contact wasn't the amusing part, though. She spent every chance she had complaining about her head and feet hurting from working all day. Yeah, that must suck to be on your feet and have the students giving you a headache. Much harder than the chemo treatment I received 3 days prior that made me constantly queasy, unbelievably tired, and took away most of my short term memory. I had to concentrate just to remember who she was. I'm sure she had a bad headache, but if I wasn't complaining, did she have to?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

An oldie, but was she a goodie?

I normally stick with girls who are younger than I am. I guess that is true for most guys, but in my case I almost have to. Whenever I go out with someone my age or older, the girl says I make her feel old. That's because I look a lot younger and I also act young (I'm very immature). One time (at band camp), I attended some function with a girl who was 3 years older than me. My friend asked, "is that your aunt?" Oh boy...

So, when Rachel emailed me, I was skeptical about going out. She was 6 years older and didn't have a photo posted. That's not a great combo. I went out anyway. What the heck, right?

She turned out to be in great shape and didn't look like grandma. Throughout the date I couldn't figure out if I wanted to see her again or not. Oddly enough, she kept coming up with ideas for date number two. (All the dating books say to never ask for a 2nd date while on the first, so I'm sure that PLANNING the next date is taboo, too.) It made me think, "if she really wants a 2nd date, then I should give her a chance."

The place we met was a few blocks from her house, so I walked her home and kissed on the cheek. (No ear this time -- see previous post from years ago). I headed home. The next day or the day after that, I emailed her (she never gave me her number). No reply. I did it again later. Still nothing.

She probably went on the date she planned but found someone else to play the part of me.

A little sensative?

Sometimes I run into freaks and I'm lucky enough to find out before even going on a date. For instance, I received an email from Sue. After some chatting back and forth, I wrote, "Hey, we should talk on the phone. Here's my number..." One thing I learned online is that girls rarely, if ever, make the initial call. So, her response was either going to be "I'm getting offline because I'm getting married next weekend" or "here is my number."

Sure enough, Sue emailed me her number. I joked, "I knew you would give me your number and make me call. It's not a problem...just cute. :-)"

She replied, "You KNEW I would MAKE you call? Nevermind. Take care and good luck with your search."

What? Hmmm... Oh, I see what happened. She gave her number to me, so she could tell me over the phone that she's getting married next weekend. But, she saw this as an easier "out" without having to feel guilty about not inviting me to the ceremony.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Finally, an honest one...

I'm always arguing that girls SAY they want nice guys, but really don't. I could be wrong, but that's the way I see it. It could be for any number of reasons...bad boys are sexier, girls like the challenge of changing someone, girls perceive "nice" as "weak," or whatever.

I went out with Julia and things were okay (from my perspective) for both dates. We got along fabulously...2 hours on the first dates talking about both of our intestinal issues! Afterwards, Julia said that she couldn't date me because I was a nice guy and she's not use to dealing with nice guys. "I know how to deal with (censored)." Finally, someone telling it like it is!

Here's the funny she's dating someone nice. (But I'm sure there is a jerk quality in there somewhere that she secretly likes.)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Bizarre Foods with...

Have you ever seen the show on the Travel Channel, "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern?" It's a pretty cool, yet disgusting, show. He travels the world and eats whatever the people of that region do...scorpions, snake hearts (while still beating), etc.

Well, I was out for ice cream with Ricki. (And no, she didn't order the goat's blood flavor. It was normal vanilla.) We were chatting about Ricki's childhood in South America. She still goes to visit pretty frequently. One of her favorite things to eat there is ants. Yeah, those small, exoskeleton insects that you hate to have in your kitchen. After the initial shock of hearing this, I concentrated on one thing...what the heck I would do if she tried to kiss me goodnight!?!

I mean, I like Andrew Zimmern and I would love to hang out with him sometime, but I would never kiss him! All I could picture was an antenna stuck between Ricki's teeth that could get into my mouth. After the ice cream (well, I am not sure I ate any more after hearing the ant story), I gave Ricki a half-hug and was on my way home to brush my teeth immediately -- just in case the restaurant didn't pay for an exterminator this month.

I thought about asking Ricki over to my place for a second date. After all, in the spring, I do have ant problems at my house.