Tag Archives: eharmony

The man with the $30,000 pencil: an analogy…

Yesterday, I found myself a familiar emotional spot as a direct result of dating. Let me explain…

…it starts with an exciting eHarmony match.

A few weeks ago, eHarmony matched me with a girl, who I’ll call “B.” B was really attractive, had a great profile and seemed to have a great deal of introspection. Fast forward to last Wednesday.

I was really excited about meeting B. I had even mentioned the date to a few friends, which is saying something. In any case, I went to the Starbucks where we were supposed to have our first date. It was supposed to be at 7PM. 7:05PM rolled around and I called her.

Me: “Hi B, Was our date at 7PM or 7:30PM?” (My diplomatic way to see where she was.)

B: “You didn’t get my text? I couldn’t make it tonight.”

She went to apologize and it turned out she had texted that she couldn’t make it to my cell phone. Except she had misdialed.

This was disappointing but I find it’s best to give someone the benefit of the doubt and my excitement was a little dampened but still strong.

We made plans to meet Sunday night. I was eager. Excited. Talked more to my friends.

Fast forward to Sunday @ 2PM. A text comes in on my cell phone. This time she had gotten the number right.

The text conversation (exactly as it happened)…

B: “Tim. Dont think I can make it tonight. Not quite ready 4 this. So sorry.”

I had a salad roll in my mouth when this came in. It took strong mouth muscles to keep this from falling to the ground.

Me: “You have to be kidding me. You have a lot of nerve. I’m disappointed but more than that this is just rude and especially after the other day, quite frankly inexcusable. Really disappointed. Do the next guy a favor and only start the process if you actually want to go on a date.”

B: “Didnt mean 4 that, honestly. Grandma just passed and it hit me very hard. thats why I was in Colorado.”

Me: “There are much better ways to handle these type of situations. Please close me out on eHarmony.”

And any way it went on for a little bit but, to say the least, it was disappointing. Which brings me to the main point of this blog post…

…the man with the $30,000 pencil.

My Dad used to tell this joke/parable about business. A man has a stand at a crowded outdoor market. A huge sign is unveiled in front of his table.

“Pencils. $30,000.”

A would be customer comes up to the pencil salesman and says, “Are you crazy? $30,000 for a pencil?”

The pencil salesman says, “Ah but if I just sell one.”

The point being…

I think that so much of my dating life and just dating life for single people is just like being a man with a $30,000 pencil. You hope to sell just one.

It’s a mad, crazy, foolish dream but on the off chance that you find someone wonderful, spectacular, amazing, inspiring and all that other good stuff, you put up with situations like I had with B.

In short, sometimes, it’s only crazy faith in something you have no rational basis to believe in that keeps you in the dating game.

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Disaster Date # 1: The anti-Semite alcoholic (Part II)…

(Part II of the anti-Semite alcoholic story started here)

She proceeds to describe both of her brothers-in-law. First…

Brother-In-Law #1

She started in, “My youngest sisters, she married an awful man. He’s really pushy. Really disrespectful.”

Then the first brick fell loose in the wall that was our date.

“He’s an arab.”

At this point, my oddness senses were ringing a little louder.

Really loud in fact. I mean, I guess you could describe someone as an arab but most normal people wouldn’t. It’s a very weird way to describe someone.

Then she came out with the doosie of the date. The thing that puts the “bam” in the date.

Brother-In-Law #2

“I really hate the other guy my sister married. He’s terrible. So pushy. So opinionated. And cheap. Really God damned cheap.”

I think you can see where this is going.

She rested her nearly finished vodka martini on the bar. Leaned in to make sure no one else could hear. She spoke in hushed tones.

“He’s a Jew.”

At this point, my oddness senses were screaming. The date was over. She may not have known it yet but it was over in my mind.

The she leaned back, took a final sip of her vodka martini and said inquisitely, “You’re not a Jew are you?”

“Um. No I’m not.”

She couldn’t leave it well enough alone. “I have nothing against Jews mind you. I mean I think they’re God’s chosen people.”

I just want to summarize and put on the table what issues she had revealed at this point:

  1. Problem with alcohol and/or discomfort with it.
  2. Dislike of arabs and a desire to label people based on their ethnicity.
  3. A love/hate relationships with Jews. She thinks they’re cheap and obnoxious but God chose them. If she really did feel they were God’s chosen people, one has to ask why she wasn’t a Jew. (Don’t think about it too long. It will hurt your head.)

One last gift of weirdness…

I really just wanted to be polite at this point and speed through the rest of the date as quickly as possible. I paid for drinks. We were about to head out for La Jolla Cove when she asked, “Do you feel comfortable with me driving?” (Again with the drinking.)

“Sure. You know if you’re ok to drive.”

She: “Oh yeah. I drive best when I’m drunk anyhow.”

My head almost exploded. WTF?

Me: “I’m driving.”

I made sure our jaunt to the cove lasted 10 minutes and I vowed to never see her again.

PS

This was in the days when I thought giving unasked for feedback was a good idea. It isn’t and I wouldn’t do it again. But foolishly I wrote her an email explaining how her constant tension over alcohol made me uncomfortable and also how her anti-semitism was very disturbing.

Her note back: “I’m sorry you misunderstood my comments on drinking and Jews. I think they’re God’s chosen people so I don’t bear them any ill-will.”

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Disaster Date # 1: The anti-Semite alcoholic (Part I)…

Ok. So in my experience, there are four distinct ways a date can go…

  1. Super, crazy awesome–a date like a Van Morrison song. You’re attracted to her on a deep, meaningful level. She’s attracted to you on that same level. The prospect of a second date keeps you up at night with excitement and the good kind of “nerves.”
  2. Respectable–this is a date where you’re not “coo coo for cocoa puffs” but it was nice. You both enjoyed yourself. Maybe there’s a really strong intellectual, emotional or physical connection and you’re down for a second date.
  3. Boring–one or more of the people on the date just aren’t feeling it. You’re both nice people but there’s no spark, physically or emotionally. This is the way most dates play out.
  4. Complete fucking disaster–so horrible, so scarring, so debauched that you really need to not go out on another date for week or two after. Really fucking terrible. Very few dates rise to this level but when they do, they’re great stories. I repeat GREAT STORIES.

Which brings me to my current tale…

…the anti-Semite alcoholic.

Rewind to four years ago. I was doing speed dating every. Speed dating is a decent idea on paper; in reality, it’s a bad idea. Ineffective. Poorly run.

What Is Speed Dating?

For those of you who haven’t tried speed dating or heard about what it entails. Here goes…

…there are x number of men and x number of women at each event. Ostensibly they are single. Every x minutes (usually 5), a buzzer is rung and men have to switch tables and sit next to a different woman. Within these 5 minutes, you’re supposed to make up your mind about whether you’d like to go out with this woman and she with you.

At the end of the night, you create a little tally of the folks you’d like to see again and submit it online or with the person running the event. With that explained, I’ll explain how I met the anti-Semite alcy I have built up so much.

“Hey, why not?”

A lot of very bad ideas have started with this premise and my encounter with Ms. Alcy was no different.

You see, I had met Ms. Alcy once before at another speed dating event. When I tallied my matches, I had decided not to mark her as a “yes, I want to see her again.” Nothing visibly wrong. I just didn’t feel a chemistry.

After seeing the list of women who matched me but that I hadn’t matched, I saw her name. She clearly felt more strongly than I did.

The next speed dating event…

I arrived at the next speed dating event and lo and behold, she was there. The conversation was pleasant and I said to myself, “Hey, why not?”

I marked her as a “yes” and she did as well. We went for a quick lunch on a weekday in Old Town. I have to say, honestly it was pleasant. Nothing odd. Nothing unusual. But pleasant. We made plans to grab dinner at TGI Friday’s and then hang out in La Jolla Cove. I was looking forward to it. She seemed to be as well. Little did I know that…

…the second date would turn in a titanic-style disaster movie.

In the week following our first date and before our second date, she had called me and said, “Hey can we skip dinner and just do drinks. It’s been a tight week financially.” A very reasonable request.

The night of the second date. We arrived at TGI Fridays. We sat at the bar. I ordered a non-alcoholic beer because well, I like non-alcoholic beers. And I didn’t really want to drink too much. The moment the words slipped my lips about my choice of beverage, she said, “Boy you’re going to hate me now.”

My head spun a bit and before I can ask for clarification, she ordered a vodka martini. I asked her for clarification but she demurred and didn’t really answer the question. At this point, my oddness sensors were buzzing on vibrate.

But the conversation went on. I noticed that there’s constant references to alcohol. And there seemed to be some tension about it. I made a mental note about it and went on with the date.

Then the topic of her two younger sisters came up. She clearly disapproved very strongly of their choice of mate. It was with these two revelations where the date went from…

…boring date to complete fucking disaster.

It’s a bad date when….

There are several ways to tell if a date is not going lead to a 2nd date.  If any of the following things are happening while you are on a date, get out of there – fast.  If, like me, all of the following things happen during just one date, learn from this and RUN, run like it’s Kansas during twister season!!

The initial meeting

He was running late but he called to tell me he was running late, so that evens out.  However within 10 minutes of meeting this man, he informed me that he lied about his age on his profile.  He is several years older than he stated online.

To this I simply ask “why?”  because I still would have met him if I had known his real age.  And he gives me a long answer about keeping the older ladies away.   I remind him that when one is dating ONLINE there is no obligation to meet anyone in person that you are not interested in – even if they are too old.

This is a minor red flag.  But if the actual age is still age-appropriate for you, it’s forgivable.  For me the actual age was fine, so I ordered a beer.

He “thinks” he’s funny!

The conversation is going ok, we laugh and then he asks, absurdly, about other men I have met on this site.  I feel like this is irrelevant.  Why would he want to hear about my other dates, unless he wants to bond over miserable dating experiences – and I don’t want to do that.  I’m here to learn more about him.  But he asked and then he asks if any other meetings had been “successful”.

Before I answer the question, I think to myself  “Obviously not too successful seeing as how I’m on a date with someone else right now”.  But I decide to go with the more absurd answer.  I said “Well, the last guy I met told me that I was hotter than my picture, so I consider it a success”.

To which he replies “Did you pet his dog?”  And I don’t immediately get the incredibly funny joke he is telling.  So he explains that blind people have dogs.

PARDON?!?!?!?!?! This man (if we can still call him that) has just basically called me ugly within 1 hour of meeting me.

My mouth hangs agape as he laughs and says he’s joking and tells me I’m adorable.  Based on the fact that I had a full, ice-cold beer I stayed to finish it.  Which brings me to…

The drinking

By the time I am ready to leave, I have had 2 beers.  He has had 2 top shelf vodka on the rocks and 2 beers.  He goes up to the bar to pay the tab (which is 80% his own alcohol) and when he comes back, he announces “Next time, drinks are on you”.

To which I laugh and say “Oh, really?”  And he says “Or dinner or something”.  So he has basically told me that if I were to see him again (he obviously hadn’t realized that ship had sailed) I was to be the one paying for his heavy drinking habit.  To which I think to myself  “Exhale buddy – that ain’t gonna happen”

So we leave the bar

We get up to leave and I think he still thinks he might see me again.  But that doesn’t compel to be a gentleman in any way.  Which is evidenced by him opening the door, walking through and letting it go – leaving me inside standing in front of a closed door.  Soooo Classy!

Then he offers to walk me to my car.  And I accept.  I was parked 3 blocks from the bar – which is pretty close in La Jolla.  After one block he complained about how far it was.  I graciously relieved him of his duty and told him I would be fine walking the rest of the way myself.  He kept walking with me.

At two blocks, he asked how much farther.  I, again, assured him I could make it back to my car just fine without him.  He kept walking with me.  When we finally did get to my car I stopped walking.   (Sidebar – my car was a 1993 Chevy S-10 pickup and it was 15 years old at the time – so it looked a little rough but it ran well so I was still driving it)

He saw my truck and promptly replied “This piece of shit is your car?”  If he hadn’t won me over by then, I was completely smitten by that gem of tenderness!

Follow up

I was 100% certain that I would never see this guy again.  But he wasn’t.  I got an email from him the following week asking me how I was and how my week was going.  I suspect he was fishing for me to offer to take him out and buy him drinks (like a sugar daddy with a new, hot, young mistress).   So, I responded by telling him my week was going great and asked how his was going?

Funny, I never got a response to that email.

It’s crazy how both people can eventually tell when it’s not working out.

What Was Chemistry.com Thinking? Part I…

Chemistry.com has a drug problem. Specifically crack. I swear that every so often the matches they hook me up with could only be the result of some massive crack addiction.

Of course, there are great matches every so often and decent matches most of the time, but sometimes I get matched with someone who very clearly is not a good fit.

An example…

To be featured on these type of posts, the author of the profile has to be so dramatically unclear, so wildly hard to follow that I just scratch my head. And when I start scratching my head, blog posts come to me.

The profile below has been untouched. It’s exactly as it was in the wild.

Witness the geniusness…

“ready to travel and have fun

I am looking to be dated at first. non of this “hanging out”. I like the traditional courting in the begining.

I look forwrad to meeting someone who is open minded and looking for adventure and fun in there life. Some one who can be a good partner and we compliment eachother nicely.”

A dissection…

To be fair, I don’t know this girl. She is probably a wonderful person who loves dogs and children and ice cream cakes. But…

…where does she tell me anything about herself?

This profile is so hard to follow, so generic and so full of misspellings that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the lack of proper capitalization. I realize that it’s popular to write in all lower case but that’s not what’s going on here.

This personal ad is the equivalent of

  • going into a really fancy steakhouse,
  • ordering their best filet and…
  • out comes a plastic tray (complete with plastic fork and knives) and one of this shitty Salsbury steaks you would eat while watching the A-Team as a kid.

In other words, no time and no effort was put into this description of self. If there was more than a few seconds’ thought given to it, I would be surprised.

Then there’s also the length of the personal ad. I’m sorry but I find it very hard to believe that 6 sentences could accurately describe anyone. People have much more going on than just 6 sentences.

But let’s go further…

“ready to travel and have fun”

Who among us is not ready to have fun? Is there anyone who would say proudly “I’m not ready to enjoy myself. I sit home at night, eating cucumber slices and crying to myself.”

And then we move to, “I am looking to be dated at first.”

As opposed to? Being admired from afar? Getting married after a date or two? Becoming a pickpocket in an Eastern European country? Buying fake mustaches from an unlicensed dealer?

Ostensibly the idea of going to a dating site is that you would like to go on a date. Radical. I know but still.

The final nugget is “I look forwrad to meeting someone who is open minded and looking for adventure and fun in there life. Some one who can be a good partner and we compliment eachother nicely.”

Let’s look past the mispelling or the odd combination or seperation of concepts. This is so non-specific. Again, not to belabor the point, but even humorless people would say they like fun. They might even be bold enough to say they like adventure.

And I think that about does it for this particular ad 😉