Man #64, Eh and Man #65, The Loaner

online dating profile photoAs I mentioned a while ago, my move out of Seattle to Redmond was not an easy one. It was made more difficult by that fact that as soon as I moved to the mighty, Microsoft suburb, my trusty Jetta decided to not be trusty. She broke down, and I sent her off to a discreet, little barn in Woodinville to be fixed for a third of the usual price by my car guy.

What the hell is a girl to do in the suburbs without a car?

You have no idea how shitty transit is in the Seattle metro area, especially on the Eastside, until you have to go without a car. AND, I live half a block from a bus stop. But guess what? All of the buses are on 30 minute schedules, so inevitably, you arrive at one bus stop just as the last bus has left and you have to wait around for the next bus to show up…30 minutes later! What should be a 30 minute commute to Seattle can take up to two hours. It’s a fucking nightmare.

But anyway…I could write a whole blog post on how messed up our transit system is, but I don’t write a transit blog. I write a dating blog, so let’s talk about some dating, shall we?

So there was a time when I first moved to Redmond where I was without my car, and it sucked. However, I still needed to get around, like to go on dates and stuff. Luckily, I lived with Elder Baud, and I was able to convince him to be my chauffeur.

Man #64, Eh

My date with Man #64 was weird. It was strange, because he was a man I communicated with off and on for a few months before we went out. We actually started communicating on OkCupid before I met Man #63, but because of my move and schedules and probably lack of motivation on my part, a date just didn’t happen until later. When we did finally meet, it was just kind of “eh.”

Let me explain.

I actually thought his online dating profile photos were quite nice. He had a great smile, was taller than me, which is unusual, and could put sentences together into paragraphs. (It’s amazing how low the bar has sunk as time goes on.) After sporadically emailing back and forth, he finally asked me out, and we decided to meet on a Saturday afternoon, at 2 p.m. for a late lunch.

Now, I live within walking distance of the restaurant, but it’s down a long hill with narrow sidewalks where my chances of getting hit by a suburban soccer mom, sucking on a Frappuccino, doing ten over the speed limit in an SUV are pretty great. I just wasn’t willing to risk my life for a date I had never met, so I asked Elder Baud if he would drive me to the restaurant which was only a mile away.

See, I’m adapting to suburban life already.

Elder Baud obliged, dropped me in front of the restaurant, and said if I needed a ride home to let him know. He would come get me if needed.

Man #64 looked nothing like his profile photos. If he hadn’t been the only black man in the bar, I wouldn’t have recognized him. We ordered food, chatted, but false advertising never sparks romance. It just doesn’t, so after a quick bite to eat, we parted never to see each other again. I arrived back at the house less than two hours later.

“Back so soon,” Elder Baud asked.

“Yeah,” I said, “It looks like I’ll be spending Saturday night at home.”

However, I really wanted to go out. I was feeling isolated and was itching to get out and go somewhere, anywhere.

So, I decided to test out Tinder. I’d had the app on my phone for a couple of months, and hadn’t spent much time looking at it. It’s supposed to be a hook-up app, and I’m not really into hook-ups, hence my hesitation.

I started swiping left and right, left, left, left, right, left, right, right, left. It’s very much like playing a video game. If you’re not familiar with Tinder, you basically look at a profile photo for about a second before deciding whether or not the person in said photo looks fuckable or not.

That is Tinder.

So I’m swiping and I get a match, and then I get another match. Then one of my matches sends me a message.

“Hey, how are you? Are you having any luck with this app?”

“Well, I don’t know. I just started using it,” I said.

“It’s new for me too. My insurance agent told me to get on here.”

I’m thinking maybe insurance agents should stick to insurance advice, but what do I know?

“Would you like to meet for a drink?”

“Sure. When,” I asked.

“How about 5 p.m.?”

“Sure.” Well, shit! That was easy.

We picked a place in the Redmond Town Center. I had just arrived home around 4 p.m., thinking I would be spending Saturday night home alone, and instead, I turned to Elder Baud who had been watching TV while I was swiping and asked, “Can you drop me off at another date?”

“What?”

“Yeah, I just found a date on Tinder. Can you drop me off at Redmond Town Center in about fifteen minutes?”

“Sure,” he said, laughing.

Man #65, The Loaner

“You know I’m starting to feel like your pimp,” Elder Baud said as he dropped me off at the restaurant for my second date in less than three hours.

“Well, don’t get your hopes up,” I said, “I’m not having sex with anyone, and even if I do, I’m not giving you any money.”

I got out of the car, thanked him, and told him I’d probably take an Uber home.

I arrived at the bar before Man #65, so I got seated and ordered a glass of wine. A few minutes later, a very short, little man showed up and greeted me. It scared the shit out of me. It was Man #65, and like Man #64, he looked absolutely NOTHING like his profile photo on Tinder. In his photo on Tinder he looked like a clean-cut businessman complete with khaki Dockers and light blue dress shirt. The man before me looked like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He had bleached blonde shoulder length hair and was dressed in a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes.

What the fuck?

You know? Sometimes—and I know men feel this sometimes too—I just want to lean across the table and ask, “why are you wasting my time?” I’m going to rant about posting current profile photos on an upcoming episode of Ask Wilma, but for now, just know that I was sitting there looking at Man #65 and wondering if this whole Tinder swiping thing had been a big, big mistake…like massive.

The surprising thing was that as we started talking, I actually liked the guy. He was a lot of fun, and he had a good reason for his hair looking like shit. He had been a clean-cut, responsible man his whole life, and, for right now, he just wanted to let loose and be happy.

Cheers to that!

We chatted through one glass of wine, and when our waitress came by to ask if we wanted another round, I said I was enjoying the conversation and would stay for another glass. It’s kind of funny how these things work out.

After we started our second round, I started telling Man #65 how I had just moved to Redmond from Seattle and how I wasn’t adapting very well. I told him about my car breaking down and how it was taking some time to fix.

“Well, I’m headed to Vegas for a week and you’re welcome to borrow one of my cars while I’m gone if you want,” he said.

I couldn’t believe my ears. “What?”

“I consider myself a good judge of character, and yeah, if you need a car for a week, I can loan you one.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, you can pick from a Porche 911 Carrera, a Mustang GT, or a Mercedes 380 SL. They’re just sitting there while I’m gone. You might as well drive one.”

“Ok,” I said. Let’s face it; some crazy shit has happened since I started writing this dating blog. I had my three day date in The Bahamas; my therapist told me to meet a Jewish doctor, and then an actual Jewish doctor emailed me from NYC and said he HAD to meet me; and now Spicoli wanted to loan me a classic car.

Sometimes this dating stuff doesn’t totally suck.

“So which car do you want?” He told me a little about each one.

“I’ll take the old lady car,” I said as I opted for the Mercedes.

“Ok, let’s go get her,” he said. Getting the Mercedes meant I had to get in his car and ride over to Seattle to get it. We walked to the parking lot and got into a brand new Honda Civic complete with new car smell. I guess the man liked his cars.

When we arrived at his house, he got his keys and didn’t waste any time getting me in the car and on my way. The car was a butter yellow 1985 Mercedes 380 SL hard top with only sixty-eight thousand miles on it. Super clean. Amazing.

Online dating profile photos

A classy lady needs a classic car.

As I drove back across the 520 Bridge, I felt awesome. I finally understood why guys get into classic cars. I started smiling. I couldn’t wait to see the look on Elder Baud’s face when I showed up with this car.

Back in Redmond, I carefully pulled into the driveway and went into the family room. Elder Baud was there watching television.

“Did you take an Uber,” he asked.

“No,” I said, “go look in the driveway.”

“What?”

“Just go look in the driveway.”

Elder Baud hoisted himself out of the chair and when out through the garage. I followed behind and saw him stop at the garage door as he saw the car.

“What the…,” he said turning toward me, “That’s a Mercedes.”

“Yup. I was telling my date about my car troubles, and he gave me a car to drive.”

“Yeah, but that’s a Mercedes.”

“He said he was a good judge of character,” I said, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

“But that’s a Mercedes.”

“Not just any Mercedes, that’s a 1985 380SL,” I said.

“What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything. I had a couple of glasses of wine with the guy, told him about my car, and came home with a Mercedes. It’s just my charismatic personality, I guess.”

Elder Baud just looked at me incredulous.

“My other choices were a Porsche or a Mustang.”

Elder Baud shook his head as the two of us stood facing the front of the car. “Something like this would never happen to me.”

“‘Cause you’re a dude,” I said.

We stood side-by-side in silence looking at the car for a moment. Then I looked over at Elder Baud. “He’s only 5’-5”,” I said, and I bent over at the waist and started laughing.

Elder Baud just stood there, looking down at me and in his deep voice said, “There’s always something, isn’t there?”

Lovesick Episode 4: Algorithms will help us find love

Many of us have come to rely on dating websites and apps to find romantic partners. But are these powerful tools ultimately more help or hindrance? Lovesick: The Web Series is produced by EK Productions (www.ehsanknopf.com) in association with dating bloggers Clarissa Silva (www.yourejustadumbass.com) and Wilma Stordahl (www.mydatingprescription.com). Be sure like EK Productions on Facebook so you can stay in the loop about the project!

This week’s episode was all about algorithms and online dating.

After the episode, as always, Clarissa, Essy, and I discussed how algorithms fit in one’s online dating strategy. Check out our post-episode discussion.

What do you readers think? Do you rely on algorithms to match you with potential partners? How much do you rely on the data or are your selections based more on looks or other factors? What offline strategies have you found useful for meeting potential partners?

Lovesick Episode 3: Love Is Blind

In Lovesick Episode 3: Love Is Blind, Ehsan Knopf explores the myth that love is blind. Is love really blind? What happens in today’s world of online dating when you have a trait over which you have no control? What if it’s an issue that nobody likes?

After the episode, Essy and I discussed the following points.

  • Is love really blind, especially in today’s age?
  • Have we become too picky, and why? Is the issue that we can’t identify needs over wants?
  • At what point do yo have to suspend judgment and calculation in the process of finding a partner? Can it run counter to actually falling in love?

These fifteen minute discussions go fast, and one point I wanted to tie in with the weight issue is that it’s better to be upfront with people, regardless of the issue, even cystic fibrosis. Years ago, a friend of mine started email communication with a man online. They were really hitting it off through email, but the man hid the fact that he was a quadriplegic until he couldn’t hide it any longer. If he had expressed it upfront, they might have remained friends, but my friend ended up feeling like he lied to her.

Counter to that, I have a relative who has had an artificial leg since she was nine years old, because she lost her leg to cancer as a child. She and her husband have been married for over 50 years. Does that mean love was blind in this case?

What are you thoughts? Watch the post-episode discussion, and please chime in. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

You can tell I’m getting more comfortable with Google Hangouts on Air. I’m starting to get more opinionated. :-) Enjoy!