Tuesday, July 24, 2007
It's always been my saying ... "NEXT" ... when an attempt at dating doesn't quite work out.
I was reading Pink's "Next" post, about her date with someone she met at Match.com. With a bit of hesitation, I decided to write an experience I had.
It was 1997. I was a new single mom. I bought a house, finished decorating the whole thing, bought a dog, Quinn, and my kids were doing fine. I decided it was about time I caught up with the real world and by a home computer.
I decided on a Gateway, for no particular reason, set it up and I was good to go. But go where? I had no idea what was "out there." I had heard about all the evils the web attracts. I started surfing around.
I had heard about "chat rooms" but again, had no idea what they were all about. I was with AOL at the time, (A Oh Hell) and decided to check out these chat rooms.
I started clicking into rooms, not knowing what to expect. I remember my first room, it left quite an impression on me. I signed in, started reading what was being said and thought, hey this isn't bad. Seems like nice people, nice conversations going on. Most of them said hello to me as soon as I got in. I said a few things and I was feeling comfortable enough to click over to a few profiles. It got even better, how lucky could I get? There were so many men in this room. Wait, they are all men. Then I noticed the room name was M4M, and ding, ding, ding ... the bell went off. OK, so I boot scooted out of there and paid more attention to room names.
I decided to get out of "romance" and settled into the "friends" category. I found a trivia room, much safer. I was in there, playing and winning this game. I stayed for an hour. Nothing bad happened, I thought why not go in again the next night. I began playing in that room for about a week and got to "know" a few names and started chatting with most of them.
I was talking to this guy Dave in IM's for the most part. Super nice man.
::: remember I am still so unaware here :::
I haven't shared this story with many, but here it is.
Dave and I talked for about a month in IM's and e-mails. He was divorced, lived in Chicago, weekend dad, had a good job, engineer of some sort. We began to talk on the phone. He had the sexiest telephone voice I had ever heard. (again duh me) We carried on for about another month, chatting on line, on the phone, and e-mails. I sent him a couple pictures of me he sent me a few of him. He was very handsome. I'd say 6'3"... dark brown hair, nice trimmed beard. He had good taste in clothes. One photo was with him sitting in his convertible sports car.
He wanted to fly me to Chicago to meet him. What do I look like? An idiot? (ahem) Noooo, I said he could come to Michigan to meet me. I sent him the name of a hotel in the area and we made a weekend plan. I picked the first weekend my kids would be with their dad. He was to fly in on Saturday morning and out Sunday evening. That would give us two whole days. I was thinking it wouldn't be enough time, I really wanted him to fly in Friday morning and I would take the day off work ... well jeepers ... I wanted as much time with him as I could get! He couldn't take Friday off, so I had to settle for the weekend.
Saturday morning, I heard a car door. I looked out ... an old rusty, powder blue, dodge van, about 15 years old sat there. Walking towards my door was a fat man, about 5'4", balding, really balding, with no beard and coke bottom bottle glasses. He had a dozen red roses in his hand. Whew, just a flower delivery man ... I got scared there for a minute. I went to the door, opened it up and the delivery man said "Nancy?" ... "yes" ... "I'm Dave". ::: my jaw hit floor:::
Ummm, OK, come on in. Then I said, right away, "You look nothing like your pictures". He fessed up they were old. I said "Did you think I wouldn't notice that 5'4" isn't even close to 6'3?" He reminded me that in the pictures I saw, he was sitting down. "And your hair?" "Well, it used to be fuller, at least I still have it."
I think he figured out real fast that I didn't sent fake pictures and that this was not going to be a Chuck Worley Love Connection. He said as long as he was here, lets just be buds and hang out for the weekend. I did enjoy our conversations, so I thought what the heck ... for about a second. Then I quickly remembered, the movie "The Titanic" was out and it was three hours and fifteen minutes long. Screw the fact it was a love story and that I had just seen it the weekend before. This would give me three hours to figure out how I was going to ditch this guy without him going postal and killing me.
When the movie was over, I drove us back to my house. When I pulled up in the driveway, I just told him point blank, this isn't going to happen, not even as buds. He was nice and understood and got in his rusty blue van and pulled away. The End! Never heard from him again.
Sure, in the past 10 years since, I have met a few others on line. Very cautiously, and with zero expectations. I suppose there are some happily ever after stories, but I have made more female friends online than male.
Maybe I should follow up this post with the guy I met for dinner once that "forgot to mention" he was paralyzed from his waist down and arrived at the restaurant in a wheelchair . Or the one that let it "slip his mind" to tell me he was married. Or the one that just wanted to be friends because he had a girlfriend, but could I pose for some S&M/Bondage pictures they wanted to take?
Getting picked up in a bar, the old fashioned way doesn't sound so bad.