Dog Eat Dog – or What Comes Around …..

This isn’t my story. In all fairness I know there are stories on both sides of the equation, but I don’t date women so I only know this side.  I’ve asked for my guy friends to spill and they have so I’ll integrate them as I go.  I’m going to tell this in first person, as it was relayed to me, it’s easier. 

This was from a guy who I was dating right after my split. He was in the same place so there was a tacit understanding we were seeing other people.  Well, it was tacit on his part, on my part I became part of that pact when it dawned on me that was the deal. After he told me this story I thought, good, that’s what you get for seeing other people. I was under the impression when he got tired of dating, which he did, and we had a history and good times under our belts, which we did, he would turn to me to be monogamous with, which he didn’t.  This was a fallacy I had to learn a few times the hard way – they don’t turn to one of the women  they’re seeing, they turn to someone new. Someone who hasn’t witnessed or been subject to what might be called ‘bad behaviour’ even if they agreed to it. “Sure honey, you need time and space, take it, I’m here.”  That kind of thing.  Don’t kid yourself  and trust me on this one.

Anyway. This one wasn’t about me, was it?  Oh yeah.  So here goes, his story.

(Short preface: this guy left his marriage but left the house to the wife and kids. As a result was couch surfing until the kids went to school or the house was otherwise sold, basically making himself a pauper so they could all stay in the house. So set up, he’s on a friend’s couch which is why he never had had me over…but he had over this other woman….ok, like I said, this isn’t about me.)

So this woman I was talking to online invites herself over to make dinner for me and I went grocery shopping and got what she told me [Ok, some obvious red flags here: yet to meet, invites herself over, makes you buy the groceries….just sayin’]  So she shows up and has a little dog with her.  I pour some wine, chatting her up while she’s making dinner but the dog wants to play.  And play.  Imagine a little head keeps popping up from the other side of the counter, yapping, wanting attention.  She says, oh play with him he’s jealous.  So now I’m trying to entertain the dog and chat her up at the same time.  She’s not noticing.  [Just like she didn’t notice how rude it is to bring a dog to someone’s home without asking.  Someone you don’t know.  Someone who you made buy groceries for your dinner.  Just sayin’]

So now the dog is running around like a maniac and I’m trying to pay attention to it to shut it up because otherwise it starts yapping and it’s a condo, you know? It gets worse to the point where she’s in the kitchen cooking and I’m literally just entertaining the dog.  Finally the dog kind of disappears.  No more yapping, no more little head popping up.  I return to the kitchen to see where I can get with the chef. Things are starting to simmer. At last.

[Aside: once when I was young I was babysitting an infant who was crying, crying, crying while I was changing her and suddenly she stopped. I thought, oh thank god, but then I noticed she was blue. I turned her upside and walloped on her back until she started crying again. I was 14, what did I know? The parents came home and took her out to dinner with them. Laissez faire, to say the least.  My point is silence is NOT always golden. Hang with me here.]

I think to myself, I’m going to just go check myself in the bathroom which is in the roommate’s bedroom.  As I enter the bedroom I see that the dog has peed on the bed.  Not my bed, but the bed of the nice guy who out of the goodness of his heart is letting me stay here for free.  ANGRY, YA THINK??!!!!  The chef just laughs and says, oh that Fido.  I am madly mopping it up with paper towels and Fido wants to play again.  Furious doesn’t begin to go there. [See what you get? Just sayin’]

At this point I’m less about getting her on the couch than just getting her out of the house, but there’s dinner to be had and Fido wants to play again.  This time I ignore him. He pees on the rug.  More mad cleaning, more oblivion from the owner.  Is this happening? [Yes Romeo, see what a good catch I am? I don’t even have a dog. Well, not here with me right now.] Finally she leaves, I don’t think she understood why the date ended after dinner.

[I understand. It’s because you get what you deserve for not hankering down with me and I’m so perfect.  Or at least dogless and I wouldn’t ask you to buy the groceries.]

So nuts go on both sides of the seesaw.  It didn’t stop him from internet dating but it was close to another 2 years before I got invited over. I think in fairness at that point, no one else was invited over either. When I finally got there he made me dinner. I brought the pot – not the kind you cook in. There were no dogs involved.  I thought it was a fair deal.

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I Got Issue with Issues

The summer of 2008 Was a tough time for dating. It was ok while it was McCain/Clinton/Obama but once Sarah Palin came onto the scene it became brutal. Suddenly men who you knew weren’t really politically inclined, suddenly had
their libido in the game and wanted to talk about it.

Now I don’t usually enter into discussions about politics or religion or other polarizing topics on the first date, partly because I try to be an efficient screener, saves time for everyone. If a person says that their god is very important to them or they’re Muslim and very serious about it or hunting is a big part of their life or they think global warming is a conspiracy, I just steer clear. A christian guy who said it was somewhat important to him said he couldn’t see me because I was an atheist. When I said, well that isn’t very christian of you, he
replied, well my friends and my social life are in the church and despite his being very cute, I had to give him the point. If it didn’t come up before it was certainly going to be a conflict at Festivus, so I let him go.

Likewise, I had a guy say to me so as an atheist you would murder someone and not think twice about it? Did I say I was an anarchist? Or the anti-christ? I mean I know they sound similar but I’m pretty sure that’s not what I said. However, if I WAS going to kill someone I think I just found my first victim. Too stupid isn’t a belief system it’s just a problem.

So the summer of 2008 the discussion of Ms. Palin’s attributes arose more often than you could believe or that politics has arisen since. It was more, I think, in defense of something one didn’t really believe, but there’s something about scanty beliefs which make people argue harder for them and I think this was the summer of cognitive dissonance. But I don’t argue. You are never going to change someone’s opinion and really if that was
their stance neither was it going to go far relationship-wise so what was the point? Once there was the great good looking good kisser guy who was Republican and I had to listen to the 2 demons on the shoulder. He’s so cute. But he thinks Sarah Palin is smart. But look at those biceps. But he’s not for women’s rights. But god, he looks like the Marlboro man. But he doesn’t think minors should be able to have access to birth control. Oh gosh, uncle,
ok…..check please.

Fast forward to December 2012.

I met up for coffee with this guy who had the odd habit of not looking at me. Now, I’m not so glaringly gorgeous
that it’s painful to cast your eyes upon my brilliance, nor am I so hideous that I turn men, Medusa-like, into
stone (although a few people have had to check to be sure my hair wasn’t snakes). This guy though couldn’t seem to look at me. It wasn’t the watching-the-ball-game-over-your-shoulder look, nor was it the checking-out-the-hot-blonde-sitting-behind you look, it was more the turning-his-head-and-looking-the-other-way-while-talking look. Or not-look as the case might be. I’ve met a few guys who do that. I attribute it to nerves.

Or mild autism.

Anyway he seemed ok and I agreed to meet him for dinner a few days later. See prior postings regarding boredom. So we meet up a few days later. The deal was he was having dinner with his brother so I would go have dinner someplace (my idea) and he would meet me there after for drinks. He shows up, hadn’t had dinner with his brother and orders a glass of wine and an appetizer. I pick up the tab because I had had dinner and a cocktail and I didn’t expect him to pay for that. This was a guy who had made it a point, repeatedly, of saying how his buddy was dating a gorgeous model and she ‘never put her hand in her pocket’ implying, I’m guessing, she should have been ponying up for something at some point. He could have meant she wasn’t into pocket pool but I don’t think that was the reference. So I know this is a guy for whom this is a bit of an issue and I certainly wasn’t going to have anyone pay for a meal I had eaten alone.

Now I’m not all about who pays but many guys are and the lines and rules are blurry at best. Since he was late for coffee the first time I had gotten my own. I didn’t, however, buy him one as he suggested, because it would have gotten cold – late as he was despite coming from around the corner on foot. I’m not splitting hairs, just setting the scene. No big. In this economy times are tough and I’m always sensitive to try to second guess who
wants to pay, who doesn’t, who can afford to, who can’t.

It’s exhausting.

This guy was a professional with a house in the ‘burbs and a place in the city so likely a date wasn’t going to break him, but it unrolled as it should have. I mention this now because it figures in later. Hang in with me here.

So we sit there chatting and somehow the conversation turns to gun control. Now usually this doesn’t come up and if it does it’s not a big problem on the upper west side of Manhattan where hunting for dinner means finding the name of the place you want to go to on Open Table. And take note it was about a week after Sandy Hook and I have
friends in Newtown. Which I pointed out. But he wanted to talk. So we did. And it started to get heated. And I kept trying to shut it down (how about ‘dem Mets). But as he was an attorney that wasn’t an option. So I said, fine, beyond a handgun for safety and rifle for hunting, what does one need a semi automatic for? He just kept throwing NRA platitudes
at me. This from a guy who doesn’t own a gun nor want one. Just stoking the fire? I was obviously getting pissed can we just drop it? No? Ok then can you just answer the question….counselor? Finally he pulls out Guns don’t kill people people kill people (and they’re not usually atheists, might I add) and I say, OK, I’m done here
and I put on my coat and walk out. After all, the bill had been taken care of, I was free to go. (Get it now?) As I hit the door I hear, Sure, you liberals, it’s my way or the highway. That was the comic relief I needed to bring down my blood pressure but it got better. As I was walking home I got a text “don’t contact me again”.

As if.

Had you been looking at my face when I left you would have seen that wasn’t going to be a problem.

I can’t wait for 2016. I hope Michele Bachmann runs. You conservatives, it’s my way or the highway. I’m biding my time until I can use it.

There is Such a Thing as Bad Press

I have a friend in charge of food safety and regulations at a large food store. Someone
posted a video on Youtube of rats coming and going freely in the store and in and out of
open food containers. I emailed him “You know the saying ‘no such thing as bad
publicity?’ I think you just became the exception to the rule.” The humor escaped him.

The reason I bring this up is because I don’t think people really think about what they
are saying or doing sometimes. Sometimes there IS such a thing as bad publicity and 2
photos and 2 emails come to mind; I will explain.

First off, I would never post a photo [plus while I kept one on my computer for a smile
when I needed one, I have since lost it] because that’s a breach of some sort of ethical
something which I have yet to pinpoint but know what it is. Like porn, you know it when
you see it.

I do however, have no ethical problem describing it to you.

I was out one night, I think at a comedy club or a funny show or something. It was one
of those nights when my humor had been stoked by whatever I was doing before. I got home and opened an email from someone who had contacted me from a dating site. The picture was of an small old man standing next to an even older man in a wheelchair with an eye patch and a breathing tube up his nose who seemed to be clinging to life’s last legs.
And I thought, ok, which guys is it? Because really, one can never be sure and with my
track record…..

Instead of thinking too hard on it, I just fell on the floor laughing. Not because some poor old guy was having a hard time in a wheelchair. Not because his son, I presume, was trying to show what a good son he was, it was just the thought that someone thought that THIS picture was going to be appealing to some inner empathy maybe? It bordered on exploitative but of course in my universe it just hit the funny bone.

I think it’s great people take care of their parents. I expect my kids will take me in
my wheelchair and put a note on my back and leave me at the dog track, ala Don Imus, so
bravo for this guy. I’m just not sure he shouldn’t get some new advice with regards to
hype on putting your best side on a dating site no less. Maybe he was trying to screen
out the jerks and I obviously fell short.

My other favorite picture was a guy standing in the background and his, I’m guessing
here again, mother was in the foreground. I mean really in the foreground. Think, you
take your camera out to photo your new puppy and they come to see what that is you’re
doing and you end up with a picture of their nose up close. On top of which this woman
looked like grandmamma from the Addams family. I had to google that to be sure the
picture matched and sure enough….it was pretty damn close. I always thought there was
some sexual tension between Uncle Fester and Grandmamma but that would be weird right? My bad. Back to reality. So this photo also just gave me the giggles. Is this really
what you want to portray on a dating site? Who said to this guy, Hey! put that picture
with your mom, you know the one where she’s looking directly into the camera! Women will
think you’re such a good guy for taking care of your mom! Unless of course it wasn’t a
woman at all NOR his mom. Maybe this was the guy and the guy in that background was just some guy there in the background.  It’s possible.The world of dating is a lot like the lottery – Hey, ha never know.

Emails are always clearer and my favorite 2 textual communications are these:

The first one, after a nice description of what sounded like a nice guy ended with – and
I quote – I have a very small dick and it doesn’t work well.

I’m not kidding.

Now I’ve gone out with guys with all kinds of builds, I myself am a smallish person and
didn’t even have boobs until well into 16 so I’m not a judger of body parts. You get
what you get.

In fact I once dated a guy who won the award for the smallest dick I’ve ever seen and
it’s not a particularly small sampling. He was a great guy, good looking, tall, broad
but literally I had to take note. In fact, because my brain tends to take things and
exxagerate them later for a funny story I actually compared it to my pinky finger for
remembrance sake and, barring my nail, it was the same appendage. But that wasn’t a hold
back. He had 4 kids and knew what to do to compensate and it was all good. In fact,
he said his son was built like a horse and he sure as hell didn’t get it from him. So
he got 3 brownie points for honesty, another 1 for humour but 5 demerits for being too
stupid to check the mailman’s johnson.

Anyway, he dumped me for a woman closer to home. I also remember his ex wife was pissed off we had gone to some nice restaurant she’d never been to and when I asked him how she knew he said, she’s my accountant she does my credit card bills. So maybe not the brightest bulb in the chandelier besides, although I chalk that up to beginner dating
error and I think also the woman closer to home he could pay for in cash.

My point is that that particular facet of one’s being is not necessarily a deal breaker.
However publicizing it to someone you’ve never even met, while I guess it’s slightly
proactive in weeding out shallow sex maniacs but it just felt like TMI. Why would you
admit that to someone who might never otherwise know? Wouldn’t maybe you rather keep
that for a few dates in or better yet …… learn to work around it? I thought, wow,
here’s a guy who needs  at a minimum a better slogan.

My most recent funny God I Need A New Press Agent was a guy who sent me an email saying – again I quote – Don’t email me back unless you don’t mind that I’m a bald man with a bad comb-over.  Almost like a dare.

Now, one can’t help having a small dick and one can’t help if the ravages of age make it
less than functional. One can’t either help being bald HOWEVER one CAN help having a
bad comb-over especially if one is aware of it! I mean, that’s like saying I have a big
nose and I pick it constantly. It is something you can NOT do!  Plus men,
golly, they have the option of being ultra cool by shaving their whole orb up there and
it’s kind of a hipster cool artist thing. You see a bald woman and you think, oh, poor
thing, I wonder when her chemo-therapy is going to end. Or, as a man, you can get a
toupee or plugs or just be bald. Just bald is ok too. Again, if you’re a man. So
dude……stop because you’re making me cry. And one step beyond, if really that’s your
schtick and you’re schticking to it, is it necessary to come right out and put that in
the first email? Brownie points for honesty or just demerits because you have a hat on
in your photo? The ubiquitous baseball cap (signal for: my hair isn’t what it used to
be) and sun glasses (signal for: neither are my eyes).

Let’s face it,  it’s hard to meet strangers, to meet with people you’ve only just seen virtually,
to introduce yourself best foot forward but if that’s the object, these folks need a new
PR agent and they shouldn’t use the guy who videoed the food store for reference.

Life’s Little Unanswered Questions

So people ask me why I’m single if I don’t want to be and I always respond “well do you know any men?” and after a pause
Blink
Blink
They say “What about Tom? Oh no, wait, he’s kind of a jerk. OR what about John, no I think after a messy divorce he became an alcoholic. Oh there’s Jack, he’s a great guy, tall smart, well off.” And then the husband chips in “Isn’t he married to your friend Nancy?”
“Oh yeah. Well what about … no …or maybe ….no, yeah I guess I don’t know anyone.”

That’s ok, I say, I already dated those other guys. And then of course your single female friends if they know of anyone worthwhile they’re certainly not going to pass them along. Of course there’s the, ‘hey I went out with this guy and he’s not right for ME but maybe you might get along’. Now usually one chooses one’s friends because you have a certain sameness in sensibility, tastes, lifestyle, humor etc. So chances are whatever she didn’t see in this guy you’re not going to see either, unless it was a height thing and you are different heights. That’s about all I can fathom. But in an attempt to leave no stone unturned I have taken up the occasional offer to meet someone that they themselves have rejected. Let me give an instance of how that goes.

So B (I’ve changed the names and even the initials to protect the unsuspecting innocents. Of course it’s possible I may have changed them back in an attempt to fool people – see the poison drinking scene in The Princess Bride if you are unfamiliar with this logic). So, B introduced me to F because we would get along so well. He comes over and we are all hanging around. He’s not my type, largely because I sense he’s gay, but nice enough and we do have a lot in common. When B pulls aside another friend who is there and says “let’s give them some time alone” he practically chokes up last night dinner and says ‘What? He’s not her type’ but she shushes him anyway because never deter a woman on a mission. The evening is fine but nothing to call the New York Times about and I agree to dinner with F because maybe with people around and whatever it was awkward. It doesn’t explain away the strange soft woman-like tone he has but I try not to make snap judgments.

More of the same the following evening so I call my friend the next day and say, “Hey you know thanks for introducing me to F. He is a great guy and we do have a lot in common but I don’t think we’re really a match.” To which she replies “What is he too gay?” Uhm, YEAH and if you thought that why were you setting me up with him? Well she wasn’t sure. She thought maybe it was his way because he was Canadian. Before I address that logic let me recount another story as way of explanation:
I once went out with an Australian and I asked a friend to swing by a restaurant where I was and give an gay-radar-opinion because my history is rife with and I had a feeling. The first time he got up to go to the bathroom she said “Well I just think he’s excited to be with you.” And the second time he got up she said “Well I think it’s because he’s Australian” and then the third time – and don’t ask me why he had gotten up so much during the dinner but this is a true story not a joke with the template 3 times thing – she said “Okay, he’s gay.”

Do women think that men from other countries are oddly feminine? And if so, would that apply, of all places, to Canadians or Australians? I mean when I think of Australia I picture hunky surfer dudes on the beach or husky he men slugging back pints of beer. I understand this makes my brain a subject of incredible stereotypes but still….I think you’ll find you’re thinking the same thing – don’t deny it! Or think of Canadians. There are the sort of thin nerdy Quebecois men, or the mounted police (ok, pause a minute here to run through your 4th grade jokes about ‘mounted’) or then there are lumberjacks, fellers of great trees. What part of that is feminine….ok….maybe a little bit the French Canadian guys but this guy wasn’t French. So how was being from Canada abooout being gay?

So that was the last time a friend set me up with a reject of her own. I still owe her one. I’m just looking for the right guy.

Then there are the men my own age who are married and ask me that same question. After we go through the list of what losers their friends are they kind of shrug their shoulders and turn to their wives imploringly. Their 2nd wife. The trophy one. These guys are in their 50s and their wife is not. She’s 35, blonde, not too bright but amenable enough and they both look at me and say again, why can’t you find a guy? I recently had a man who looked like a keebler elf but was married to a show room model ask me that. Did I mention he was wealthy?
Blink
Blink.

That sort of sums it up for referrals.

Then of course, one says, by way of true incredulity “And you have a dog besides!” as though that should be the crowning jewel for some guy. Never mind I’m in great shape, went to an Ivy League school, raised 2 great kids, have traveled around the world, am a philanthropist, know how to cook, like football and hate shopping, I mean, shit, on top of that I have a dog! First of all a PUPPY is a CHICK magnet. I have a 10 year old pound-hound. If that even worked with those logistics, as though having a dog is a magic key to some kingdom of people with dicks, let me explain here how it works in my world.

First, a word about my dog. My dog is a dogist. She hates dogs. If she were a person she would own a cat. Not all other dogs, just certain breeds. She hates labs, setters, retrievers, small dogs who yap first at her, big dogs, poodles – just the giant ones, go figure – jack russells and Chihuahuas. Frankly, I hate Chihuahuas too so if my dog goes out on her morning walk and eats your Chihuahua for breakfast, I’m just saying now, I didn’t see anything. When she first moved into New York with me and she was still learning how to be nice to half the dogs on the street. We passed a dog who barked at her and she had that dog’s ass in her mouth so fast it was almost impressive. Of course the owner didn’t think so, and while I was extracting Fifi’s rump from her jaw I found myself saying, “well she started it.” (It’s like when you hear yourself saying things to your children your mother used to say to you and you think, Really, did that just come out of my mouth?) This is the dog that is going to be attractive to someone? I have to stay away from other dog owners, cute, single or not. The only way another dog owner is going to fuck me is in court after my dog mauls or eats his dog. That’ll be $10,000 recompense for vets bills and another $25,000 for emotional distress. If I’m lucky. So natch on the dog reaping me any of that.

Of course if you’re not a dog owner you might think she’s cute or want to pet her and she has a very waggy tail so people think she’s just darling. Then they notice I’m carrying a little bag filled with dog poop and the whole sexy dog owner scenario goes right out the window. People don’t own dogs precisely because they don’t want to have to clean up after them. As a friend who walked my dog once said it’s about the odor and the texture of picking it up, and that pretty much sums it up for most petless people. Frankly I don’t mind that part of it. If there’s other garbage I pick that up too as if to challenge anyone with a look that say “look what a good citizen I am”. Not that anyone cares. I once read an article about a guy who poured water on his dog’s pee to wash the sidewalk and wanted adulation for that. Guess what, buddy, it’s never coming. And it never did. And neither is the smile from the guy going by in the jogging suit. If you neglect to clean up you’re going to be yelled at but if you do people sneer at how glad they are that they don’t have a dog. Another example of the unfairness of life.

As an aside, I feel like I’m also making headway in my never ending battle against flies. I ran a restaurant once and I had to take a sanitary course before being certified. The only thing that stuck with me was this: The instructor said, you know how people will freak out if they find a cockroach in their salad. Well, think on this: cockroaches live on garbage. They live on food and food scraps. You see them behind restaurants in containers or garbage. We scream and holler and want our money back if we find one in our food. Flies however, live on shit. Think of where you see them, on dog shit in the streets and if you lived in Manhattan in the 80s on people shit in the streets but that’s another story. Anyway, flies live on shit yet when they land on our food we brush them away. Do the math on the disgusting factor. Since that day I’ve been in battle with every fly I meet. Plus they’re annoying. So if I can deprive flies of a place to live and breed it’s worth my while to pick up after my dog. Take that. It’s my story and I’m sticking with it and I think it gives me some sort of moral high ground. The better to look down on all those couples from.

Suffice to say between a Chihuahua’s tail hanging from my dogs mouth or a NY Times blue bag filled with Alpo recomposting, the dog is not going to solve my love life problems.

And this is why I’m single. Any other questions?

Food for Thought

I was on a bus and passed a restaurant recently and thought, I had one of the worst dates of my life there. It’s a crime really when a city, big as New York, becomes a flash back point for men with halitosis, unwanted gropings, drooling and fights about human rights. Ok, I’m exaggerating about the drooling but it’s only a matter of time.

So this particular French bistro, was the site of a beginner’s mistake. I met a guy for dinner who I hadn’t spoken to on the phone. Classic dating 101 and this was recently so no excuse for the beginner’s blunder except to say that I was bored. That is the nexus for a lot of why I do what I know I shouldn’t do but that’s another problem.

So here’s why the phone call is important: just saves a lot of time. For both parties. First of all, for the shallow among us, (notice I didn’t say “you”) this is New York. There are accents from all over and I have a pretty good ear so I can usually understand the mumbling charcoal artist from Romania. It’s not about comprehension it’s about fingernails on the chalkboard. It’s about the guy who sounds like Fran Drescher. Or da gawd fadder. Or just can’t put a sentence together despite a very well written profile and a few comprehensible emails. I have nothing against Fran Drescher, in fact I had a very good friend who sounded exactly like her. She was funny and smart and cute but as nasal as the day is long. The days on Jupiter. But it was ok, I didn’t have to sleep with her.

Let’s face it, Long Island, Brooklyn, New York, they all have pretty strong accents. I’m sure if I lived in Arkansas there would be something there too….I can be a jerk in many states….but let’s just say sometimes extremes can be deal breakers. So a heads up on the phone is nice. If nothing else, you’re prepared that you’re not meeting someone who sounds like James Bond. The Sean Connery one. Rats, but ok, I’m prepared. When dating online being prepared for whom you’re going to meet is a big deal, and after a while online you take what you know and expound on it in your head so you are as prepared as possible.  When what you saw, spoke to, emailed with actually walks through the door the thrill can be akin to finding a good parking space. 

The other thing the phone does is sort of screen out the sad or angry guys. The guys who launch right into how much they hate their ex wives, or living in the city, or the president or their jobs. Case in point. I once spoke to a guy who launched right into his job was awful. They were all conspiring against him. The principal (he was a teacher) didn’t like him. His fellow teachers were trying to get him fired. And it had been the same at his last school. [Go figure]. He wasn’t sure he was going to have a job next week, the bastards. So me, miss diplomat (see post about asking a fat woman when she was due) I say, So, perhaps this isn’t a good weekend to meet up. No, he says, because he’s being evicted and he has to move out and he’s not sure when he is going to have time because he has to get to an AA meeting because he’s missed a few.

Seriously. I’m not making this up. This is his best foot forward to meeting someone you don’t know. It’s when you start to look around for the Candid Camera cameras because there’s really no other explanation.

Or the guy who worked for ABC, or CBS or NBC or something and went on for an hour, I timed it because……yes I was bored…..about how the news media was sitting on tons of conspiracy information, I forget about what, probably Obama because that was a tough summer for dating, but I put him on speaker and cleaned the bathroom until he ran out of steam. Or I ran out of Lysol, I forget which came first. Needless to say, we never met up because my phone melted from the spitfire coming out of it, or was it hell and brimstone? You get the idea.

Or there was the guy who said he would pay for 3 dinners but then he wanted you to sleep with him because after 3 dinners he had enough information about who you were and the next piece he wanted, no pun intended, was to know if you were a good screw. If you weren’t ok with that, he was ok with that too but dinners were on you after that because he had bought all the information he needed up to that point. That’s when you tap the phone and hold it upside down because you’re sure there’s a little elf inside just having a fun time with you.

Suffice to say, the phone call, really, it’s pretty important.

Mistake number 2 is never meet a guy for dinner. Now this isn’t usually a problem because most guys don’t want to meet for dinner. They have their share of dating nightmare stories and ponying up for dinner to meet a woman who says she is a 2 but meant 22 – oops typo – can be a financial drag over and over and over again, and I get that. Plus dinner, you are so stuck with. That’s a 2 way street. You have to endure a meal. And waiters, if you notice, never make eye contact. I’m pretty sure they learn that first thing in waitering school. Waiters 101 you think is handling plates but it’s really practicing 2 things. Never making eye contact and waiting until the client has a mouthful of food to ask, “Is everything ok?” How can they possibly say no? Yes you can nod and the conversation is done but no, you need to explain and with a mouthful of food, that’s not possible. So when you’re on a bad date and you need to catch the waiter’s eye to give him a look that screams, oh my god please speed up the service so I can get out of here (think of the look your dog gives you when she needs to go out) they are never looking back. You are el-stuck-o for dinner and because it’s evident you’re on a date, because a married couple wouldn’t be talking, they figure they will give you time. We all want more time. Just not right now.

So I go to this French bistro…..back to the story…..and this guy is sitting there. Aside from being clearly 10 years older than his photo, which I thought he was a little on the old side to begin with so you can imagine, he has papers spread out before him. I was right on the dot on time. I hate keeping people waiting it’s just rude. It says, my time is more valuable than your time so I was literally on the dot and that included taking a bus cross town besides. (If you’ve ever tried to time anything around a NYC bus you are standing and applauding right now.) So I said, oh I’m sorry was I late or are you just getting work done? He says “no, I got here a little early. I shouldn’t start off with this but I was just reading my mother’s will. She died a little while ago and I’m in court with my siblings over the estate.” And I’m thinking well, you WERE right about one thing. You SHOULDN’T have started off with that. But I’m thinking, well, I asked, he answered and he knows it’s not a brilliant topic so let’s move on.

Nope.

I got to hear the whole story, in spades, during the appetizers. During dinner. During coffee. When you’re making the “puppy really needs to go out and pee” eyes at the waiter do they really need to ask about dessert? Can’t they say, “would you like a coffee…..oh gee….no of course you don’t you’ll be up all night, I’ll just bring you the check.” No. That never happens. And your inner puppy just wet himself, you know?

Finally, by the grace of god, you get the check and head out. You realize the age difference doesn’t matter anymore because you’ve aged about 10 years half way through the chicken. He’s had a great time though and wants to know if you want to go a civil war reenacment with him next month. As you sprint for the bus you scream “I’ll have to check my calendar. There’s my bus….” (as if there’ll never be another crosstown bus before the end of the century and you have to get THIS one).

I don’t remember if the food was any good and I’ll never know because that place has become a kharmic black hole for me, marred forever.

Epilogue: he did email later asking again for another date and I very nicely said I’d had a grand time but I didn’t think we were match material. That god for Match.com for putting that as an excuse for not wanting to follow up. I have received it from guys and sent it out also and it’s just the nicest phrase possible for dumping someone. We’re not a match.

And from now on, it’s coffee or bust.