Be Here (or There) Now

During my recent two weeks in the Bay Area, I changed my location on OKCupid to “San Francisco.” I was, in fact, staying in Marin but what the hell? The Bay Area is the Bay Area, at least for dating within a 100 mile radius purposes.

First, let me say that the pickin’s out there are far superior to the pickin’s here. No idea why but I will venture one guess: guys can get easier exercise and perhaps care more about physical fitness. Secondly, I observed that the clichéd “laid back California vibe” carries over into online dating. Even though I only managed to meet up with one man, most seemed open to a casual date with an out-of-towner; their general reactions to my emails were more welcoming.


I wouldn’t say I was being dishonest by listing my location as California. But I suppose I wasn’t quite honest, either. I don’t live there. I was there for a visit and thought, what the hell, why not? One of my “Visitors” emailed me, “Weren’t you in SF yesterday?” Apparently people do pay attention, even to the whereabouts of strangers. I told him I was.

When I got back home I changed my location back to New York City. A guy whose profile picture was a sousaphone caught my eye. I KNOW! I have condemned men who don’t post photos but the brass instrument (heh) piqued my interest. I thought perhaps we’d met since, well, ’cause my social circle includes plenty of marching band members. Gah. Anyway, cutting to the chase, I emailed him but he isn’t in NYC at all. He is in Switzerland. SWITZERLAND! In his defense, he is, at least, planning a trip to New York in the very near future. But to make his wicket even stickier, he’s coming into town (well, not into town, but to the state of New York, anyway) to meet with a lover who doesn’t approve of his polyamory. She doesn’t want to be one of his many. He believes this visit might go south and, I guess, was hoping to perhaps actually go south himself and shop for a new polyamorous lover in Manhattan. Well, that ain’t gonna be me! I was so boggled by his multi-location, multi-lover lifestyle, not to mention how he thought I might actually fit into it, that I couldn’t quite compose myself enough to effectively communicate.

When OKC threw an interesting looking guy at me — I can’t recall if it was a “You might like” or if he popped up in “Activity” — I was intrigued by his screen name, “IamHeAsURme,” and visited his profile, which further intrigued. He was local and listed himself as 6’4″, so I enthusiastically emailed him. I must’ve hit a button by accident because my initial message went out with only one word in it: “Licentious.” It was a word he’d used in his profile. I tried again:

Shit. Why does technology always betray me? 
I was trying to say: 
Love that word. 
That is all…

He responded soon after:
I love it when I meet a woman for the first time and the first thing she says is, “Shit” 
I want to tell you right off, that I know exactly what you are doing. 
I too have been around the block my very beautiful sister. 
Every time that someone tells me they “love” something of mine they are really demanding that I give it to them. 
The people who resort to this method of acquiring things know exactly who to prey upon to achieve maximum success and get away with it. 
The good news is that I freely give away my possessions with great joy and you probably suspected that…didn’t you. 
I will give you LICENTIOUS 
But if you want to have it in conjunction with “kiss” 
it’s gonna cost you! 

Despite our match% numbers; when I meander into your bar someday…or run into you on the street or at Burning Man…I believe that we will be enthralled with each other. 
Just a hunch… 
And you are absolutely spectacular. 
That is all…

Again, nice. Very nice. Clever, playful. Smart. I was now beyond intrigued and flat out excited. But I played it cool. I wasn’t quite sure whether he was flirting or kinda blowing me off:
I think. 
Looking forward to the day that you meander in sometime soon. 
Very soon. 
And ideally in a licentious manner. 
The kiss? Perhaps down that random road…

I gave as good as I got. (Or at least I thought so.) And within 20 minutes he zapped right back at me:
Ah…I have won success! 
It is always good when I meet a women for the second time and her first word is, “Thanks” 
I must warn you that people have called the cops because of the licentious way in which I meander… 
I have since learned to keep it toned down when necessary. 

What is the name of “your bar” and where is it? 
if I may be so bold as to ask… 

Erik with a “k” 

Okay, so now that was flirty. I was even more excited. Not two minutes later he followed up with:
Dear God… 
Enchanted_Love just visited me.

Uh, not sure why he chose to share that with me, but I forged ahead:
Hello, Erik with a “k”, 
I am unable to view Enchanted_Love so I cannot empathize. Is she (he?) a horror? 
Shit and Thanks are both words I use often. Not always in immediate succession. 
Meander licentiously into the Double Down Saloon, 14 Avenue A (any time, but I’m only there on Wednesdays, noon till 8) and enjoy cheap drinks, a punk rock jukebox and seriously disturbing viewing material on the TVs. And me, of course. (Whether or not I am seriously disturbing remains to be seen…) 
Abby without an “e”

I realize that the internet makes seriously strange bedfellows and, well, I’m embarrassed to say that by this point I was really excited. It’s hard to find smart, quick and good looking tall guys in my age group. So yeah. I was already projecting myself into an actual date. True love! Licentious kisses! Ridiculous, I know. Another 20 minutes later he responded:

Dear Abby, (that has a familiar ring) 
Enchanted__Love turns out to be fine and dandy! 
Her name turned my stomach a bit…that’s all. 
I love everyone really…just some people I have to love from afar so I don’t get caught up in their craziness. 
Son of Sam, I would love from afar.. 

I am actually traveling at this time in a Kerouacian manner through the U.S., and I hope to get up to the Big Apple by Summer. 
Of course I know that you have a life and you do not put it on hold for anybody. 
I hope that we can stay in some kind of touch until we might actually meet and see if sparks fly. Two things I can guarantee are; my honesty and loyalty. 
But as always, as you wish… 
With utmost sincerity, 
( You said you were without an “e” so here is mine 🙂 

Okay, so there are a few things a little off about this. One is that he had already mentioned Enchanted_Love, for no apparent reason; the fact that he went on to elaborate that she was “fine and dandy” was kinda pushing it. His admission that he “loves everyone” was a bit odd and his qualification that he has to love some people “from afar” leads right into his following revelation. He’s traveling? And won’t be in New York City until summer? Um. What? But whatever, as I said earlier, I listed myself somewhere I didn’t live. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I decided to just play nice:
Hmm, okay. Might I ask why you’re even on a dating site if you’re itinerant? 
I leave every summer for three months in the desert, working for Burning Man. So when you (eventually) meander (licentiously or any other fashion) into Double Down I may not be there. 
Best of luck in your meanderings and whatever else! 

His response was genuine:
Why yes you can ask. 
This site not only has people looking for dates and relationships, but also accommodates people who want to find friends, activity partners and long distance pen-pals. I happened to check off all reasons for being on this site except for casual sex. 
I also have found that if I get to know a woman for the sole purpose of forming a relationship/partnership, it always ends up bad. 
That is the way it is for me anyways… 

“Always ends up bad.” Well, that’s telling it like it is. Thus forewarned, I thought I’d play along, you know, as a friend:
I guess the proper question to ask might’ve been Why list yourself in NYC if you aren’t here? I was just in CA for two weeks and similarly sought out “activity partners” so I get that. 

His response ventured a little further into Crazytown:
My profile, (and I have had one in different forms on and off since my divorce in late 2009) travels the English speaking World. My search for kindred souls is not limited to any one local. 
And I in fact am not limited to one place on this planet. Last year I relocated from MA to CA to make a life with someone I met online. 
Unfortunately this lovely woman died unexpectedly this past May. 
I have not been with anybody since. 
I see that you feel misled by me, so I in hopes that it does not happen again, will amend my profile to make things clearer as to my whereabouts or lack thereof. 
Actually, I am going to Burning Man this year for sure. 
I have never been, but have been wanting to go ever since I heard about it. I would love to arrange to meet you there…even if as a fellow tribe member 🙂 
Please forgive me for misleading you.

Died unexpectedly? Okay. And I wouldn’t want to limit anyone to one locale but you’re gonna have a tough time finding someone to have coffee with if you’ve listed yourself in, like, you know, a city where you actually aren’t. Even a pen pal needs to know where to send mail. But I was still willing to believe and be one of those pen pals. Though actually meeting up with him in whatever sort of future (or the chaos of Burning Man) seemed to be a bit of a stretch.
Yeah, passing yourself as someone in NYC when you’re not (at all) is kinda lame. Apology accepted though you have yet to amend your profile, thus continuing to mislead others. A shame, since you seem like an intriguing sort. 
Burning Man is months off. I go out there in July and stay till October. We can certainly attempt to meet up, though that’s a tough one even under the best of circumstances (as in two people who already know each other and are REALLY interested in getting together). With 60,000 people it can be difficult…. 
That said… 
Best of luck to you in your perigrinations! 

His response, a half hour later:
I actually added this paragraph immediately after I messaged you last. 

“Please know that I am likely not in the city my profile represents me to be in, as my search for kindred spirits takes me around the Globe. 
If I so desire, I can relocate anywhere in the free world.” 

I accept your opinion that my actions are lame, but I have had plenty of experiences in NYC to have as equal claim to the City as any who are not native born. 
I also always let people know as soon as a conversation starts where I actually am at the time…as I did with you. Moving my profile around saves me a lot of time as I have learned that my best prospects are those that find my profile, like it and make first contact…as you did. 
I am the kind of guy who stands out of a crowd of 60,000 so I will see you this Summer! 
Yours Truly, 
Erik the Tall 😉

The Tall? Oh, how I wanted this man to be real. Real and honest and close by!
You can have all the claim you want. But if you aren’t physically HERE why not say where you ARE? Which is WHERE? 
I’m sure you’re awesome. Making it all the more irritating that you aren’t here.

Was I being too enthusiastic? I mean, 6’4″? Was that too good to be true? Even if he was far away? Ten minutes later, he returned the compliment:
I am sure that you are awesome. 
Your awesomeness is inspiring me to finally get to Burning Man. 
I Must Go There.
My profile is now where I am…a lovely place!

So where was he? Alabama. Fucking Alabama.
Be here now. Or wherever you are. I said.
Of course Abby, 
Till when later is here now. 
he said. And a few hours later I noticed that he was no longer in Alabama. He was in LA. Wow, you made it from Alabama to LA in record time! I said to him. In four minutes he said: Ahhh…Thanks for noticing! 
I may make a hop to Honolulu later… 
I met some great Girls in London yesterday. 
I even proposed marriage to one. She said yes…but she called it off when she awakened and sobered up. I of course understand and was not too disappointed. 
I kid you not,

Ooooohkaaay. Okay! Cuckoo? Yup. Fuckin’ nuts. No surprise that the site now says “Sorry IamHeAsURme no longer has an account.” That’s probably a blessing to all the (other) susceptible and gullible gals from Honolulu to London, Alabama to LA and those of us who sincerely wish we could meet a handsome, witty, 6’4″ guy right here in ol’ Manhattan. Maybe he married one of his pen pals. Yup. Him and Manti Te’o.

2 responses to “Be Here (or There) Now

  1. OK, my take is that your expectations of online dating are way too high. If you want to find someone to marry, try catholicsingles or jdate or that e harmony site that advertises 24/7 everywhere. Otherwise . . . try my suggestions. Which I keep adding to. For example, I recently took the A train out to Aqueduct because I wanted to see some horses and some social strata different from what one encounters in Manhattan. I counted a random square of people and I’d say 98 percent — NINETY EIGHT PERCENT!– were male. True, not all tall and not all PhDs, but 50 to 1 are pretty good odds. Better than OKcupid.

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