Friday, December 26, 2008

IDA- or Internet Daters Anonymous

Sometimes life allows us to learn a lesson more than once. This would fall in the category of Internet Dating for me. With my divorce behind me, I decided to check out a popular dating website under the advisement of one of my ex-husbands. Now, that should have been my first clue, let alone I had no luck with it 3 years ago when I tried it. Anyhow, my curiosity was peaked to check out how my ex was selling himself on the site, but in order to do so I had to create my own profile. So, after doing so, I began to receive notices of interested men. Most over the age of 52, but some closer to my own.
One, in particular I decided to give a chance to, because he noticed and liked my profile before I posted my photo on it. So, we began to e-mail, and eventually talk on the phone. He seemed nice enough, and after several hours of phone conversation, he asked if he could take me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. I agreed, not sure how it would be, but a bit excited. I allowed him to come pick me up, for which my girlfriends cringed. I know this wasn't the brightest idea, but I tend to lose my personal wisdom when I get into these situations.
So, he came down last Saturday and picked me up around 2pm, and we headed out to Christmas shop for my kids and his nephews. After battling through long lines struggling to different stores to find the one item I needed, I succeeded at finishing shopping and we headed to my house to drop the items off before dinner. On the way through a nearby movie theater parking lot, this particular male thought it would be a great idea to take off across the ice in his little truck and do donuts. Now, I get car sick, and I haven't done donuts since high school. I grabbed the "Oh Crap" handles in the truck and though to myself, "What the $%#*?" He's spinning us around at top speed, hitting intermediate dry spots, and heading for posts. When he looks at me, I say nothing. He said, "Most people that terrifies." I said, "I have kids for that." So, we drove on home, me shaking my head in disbelief at what had just occurred on our first date.
So, we head to dinner, and he ordered a Jack and Coke to get started and I ordered tea. He ordered soup and I ordered salad and we split fried raviolis. I was sitting with my hands down in my lap between bites, straight up, and trying to be polite. He, on the other hand, had his elbows on the table and getting to the bottom of the soup, picked the bowl up to drink every last drop from it. He began to comment on how I was sitting there so proper. He also began talking about how he never thought he'd find someone online like me, and how, if I am who he thinks I am, we'd be a great fit. He babbled on about how he's enjoyed our phone conversations- which had been funny and enjoyable to me at times. I nodded and continued eating.
He ordered a second Jack and Coke and informed me not to worry and that he could still drive, as it doesn't affect him much. He also mentioned the lack of alcohol in my home, and how his looks like a bar when you walk in because he has such a variety on hand. I take a mental note of this, as alcohol and men in my life have never mixed well.
We had a conversation on ballroom dancing earlier in the day, for which he had taken a few lessons in the past, and wanted us to sign up to do this on a regular basis every Friday. This went along with his trying to give me a hands on lesson in waltzing that was awkward, at best. After he sought out our waitress and I ordered dessert, we finished up and headed to the movies. When we walked in the door of the movie theater, I noticed a friend I've known for a long time standing there. I say hello, almost relieved to see a friendly face. In the meantime, my date decided I need to be led off to our seats. After walking down the hall toward our designated theater, he grabs me by the hands and tries to make me practice waltzing again right in front of other movie-goers in the hallway. I stop him, giggle nervously, and walk in the direction of our movie. "You don't embarrass easily, do you?" he asked. I didn't comment.
Through out the evening I talked about my life, my kids, and my world. He listened and asked questions, followed by presumptuous comments about, "I would be a little nervous to watch them alone." "I wouldn't do that," I said back, although I know he didn't understand that he didn't have a chance of being left alone with my kids ever. We watched a movie that I picked upon his request that I pick one, and he commented on how he didn't like it at all and next time he got to pick the movie. I shook my head and shrugged.
After the movie, we headed to my home. He drove crazy the whole way, backing out uncontrollably of parking spots, and speeding down the road. When we got home, we went in to talk and watch "Shall We Dance," a distraction, I figured. While we were sitting there, he looked at my Christmas tree, for which I only had lights on due to my dogs, and commented on how it needed an angel. He went on to say how it could be "our" new tradition to have the angel on the top of the tree, and maybe my son could put it on this year. Then, he decided that he should be the one to put the angel on my tree to start a future with me. Now, inside, my mind was rolling on a hundred miles a minute at how this man was assuming he was going to be in my life permanently, and just the idea of him planning anything for me and for traditions for my family made me draw back and my heart race with fear.
He went on to say how he was going to build a house in two years, but that it would only be in his name, and the lady in his life would have her own finances and no part of the house. (This, too, sounding like a previous life experience with my first ex.) He went on to reveal how, though divorced, he has never lived with a woman ever. Apparently he got married to a 17-year old when he was 23, and he joined the military and was sent off to Germany before they even got to stay together. She divorced him while he was out of the country. The only other woman he had had in his life was a co-worker last year. He revealed his lack of a sex life, and went on to comment about maybe someday he would break his streak. Now, I don't like hurting people's feelings, so I just sat there without commenting, and feeling uncomfortable.
Before he went back to his home, he wanted to run by a store, so I went with him. He wanted to look for the angel, and even commented on how the ones he saw were not going to be it, as he didn't like them. I was dumbfounded that he was stating what kind of angel would be on MY tree. This was not going over well for me! As we pulled up in my driveway, he noticed my house, and was asking about things. I commented on repairs I needed to do, and he stated that he could do them for me with tools he had- another presumption that he was going to be around. I reluctantly pecked him and got out of the car to enter the safety of my home relieved.
My friend called to ask how it went, and I began to tell her some of the experiences of the date, for which she laughed. In the meantime, he texted me that he wanted to go out again sometime. I got online to check my e-mail, and apparently he was online spying on me, because he called to say that I was online right then checking out other guys according to the dating website we met on. The funny thing was, I wasn't, but the site registered my e-mail address to send a notification of when I was signed in to that particular browser, not just the website. I stated I wasn't and he began to argue with me that it said I was. This sent major red flags up for me.
My friend informed me that I needed an intervention for which I laughed and said we could start "IDA- Internet Dating Anonymous"- a 12 step program to getting over internet dating with safety rules to follow and an agreement that my girlfriend get to screen any profiles first, if I even decided to ever try it again! I still have about 3 men relentlessly trying to connect with me- the oldest being a 56-year-old local college professor. Oye Vay!!