Uh. I wanted the word “Charm” to have a “strike-through” but evidently I can only edit HTML for the body of the text (here) and not in my headline. Use your imaginations. See it? The word “Charm” crossed out and replaced with “Chore”? Okay, good. Shall we proceed?
This past Thursday I went on three dates. Yes, three. Sort of. The first guy said he wanted to meet for coffee but had a conference call at 7pm. So I made another date at 7:30 to meet guy #2 for a beer. Date #3 was an invitation to a party co-hosted by a guy who has been checking my profile on OKCupid (and randomly emailing me) for about two years.
I know, it sounds a bit overambitious but I figured once I was dressed up and date-ready, I might as well get as much mileage out of my night as possible. So how did they go? Well, hmmmm…
Date #1 was a little late. No big deal. But when he’d said we’d meet “outside” I kinda thought that there might be, you know, outside seating. Instead I leaned against a financial district high rise outside an Aroma coffee shop. He bought my chai, which was nice, and we had a pleasant enough conversation. He didn’t look quite as good in person as he did in his photo (could’ve been the boring business suit instead of the tight t-shirt) but his looks weren’t as problematic as his professional life. On his profile he’d professed to “a gypsy lifestyle” and “working too hard,” years without a day off, in fact, and admitted to seeking more “play.” I was obviously willing to take on that challenge. However, in our fairly brief conversation, I couldn’t figure out when he would be able to fit in that “play.” His “gypsy lifestyle” wasn’t as romantic in reality as it sounded in print; he commutes between Manhattan and Rochester and his home in Syracuse. For a government job. Erm… His time in NYC is on the gub-ment dime so even if he’d been up for some playing, he’d have to spring for a separate hotel room or pass out on a very long train ride home. Sigh. Though we both said it would be nice to see each other again, I don’t anticipate that actually happening.
Date #2 was much more my speed, a craftsman and sailor. I met him at one bar, where we had a few beers, and then we had a few more at another bar. He was tall and smart and funny and since his online photos didn’t reveal much due to a baseball cap and sunglasses, there wasn’t as much of that usual visual discrepancy. Yet this is where my problem with online dating becomes so pronounced: while enjoying myself — and his company — all I could think was “Could I kiss this guy?” And the answer was consistently, “No.” I can’t say why.
Whatever, I invited him along to the party that guy #3 had invited me to, saying that he wouldn’t have much time to talk since he’d be busy hosting. Which I thought was a perfect situation: I’d get to see him in action without that awkward one on one dynamic. I’d invited my friend Karen, too, who was there when we arrived. The party was at Taj, a horrible club I’ve been to before, with mandatory coat check and overpriced drinks. I promised date #2 we wouldn’t stay long as soon as I realized what we were in for. Well, nothing, my friends, I mean NOTHING had prepared me for what we were actually in for. All the $12 cocktails in the world paled in comparison to the guests at this event. Yes, I had read the fine print: Date #3′s “Back to the Beach Party” was sharing the evening with “BoomerParties.com.” Uh-huh. “Parties for ages 40s and 50s & up.” Oh yeah. Up. And UP!
Holychristonapogostick! This hellish party was like Heaven’s Waiting Room! There was even a clichéd crone with the dyed black hair and makeup scrawled over her face like an SNL skit. She was sportin’ enormous sneakers, hunched over a trés chic cane. There was “Fabio,” who I needed to see up close in order to properly appreciate his full glamor: Mr. Magoo glasses, too-tight acid washed jeans, a white button down barely containing his girth and bleached blond hair that he kept smoothing down. He had positioned himself by the dance floor, perhaps to catch one of the crones if she lost her orthopedic footing. The women were, quite literally, shuffling around! The exception were the few 50-ish “cougar” wanna-bes, with their streaked, over-sprayed hair, flirty cocktail dresses and high-pitched cackles, draped all over each other and no doubt hoping to meet a man who’ll pay for their (next) facelifts.
All this to a bangin’ top-40 dance beat that I’m sure no one in the room cared for. Or heard. Oy. To say this was depressing would be a gross understatement. It was a HORROR! Fortunately, date #3 slipped me a few fancy plastic drink tickets on his way out, so Karen, date #2 and I each enjoyed a free cocktail as we attempted to contain our guffaws. We stumbled out of there safe in the knowledge that, however bad it may be, it ain’t that bad yet!
After that debacle, date #2 insisted on getting something to eat, which I wasn’t really up for. But we wound up at a tacky retro diner where I got to slurp down one of the most amazing milkshakes of my life! Cotton Candy! Complete with real cotton candy garnish! I used it to wash down my chili cheese tater tots. After such an action-packed date I just wanted to get home and hide under the covers, so I gave date #2 a hug goodbye, saying yes, of course we should get together again. I couldn’t find a cab to save my life, so I bumbled home, cackling like a crone the whole way! Next step: KILL my OKCupid profile! Anyway….