I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve lacked a little inspiration when it’s come to my dates lately. What’s my excuse? Well, let’s see. I’m in the middle of packing up my household after ten years in the same place and downsizing now that the boys are living on their own. I’ll tell you more about that at another time. I’ve been working more and more on the development of MDP as a business, and that is taking priority over other activities. And, last but certainly not least, I’ve also finally gotten serious about my weight loss, and, unlike some previous false starts, I’ve actually lost 26 pounds so far. You can follow my progress on Twitter, where I am tweeting my weigh-in each morning. So, while I’ve been inspired to do other things, I haven’t carved out as much time for dating.
Just the dieting alone has made dating a bit of a challenge. Most guys want to meet for drinks. Besides coffee, it seems to be the number one go-to date idea, but I haven’t been drinking. I haven’t really wanted to spend much time in bars. Plus, there’s always the awkward conversation either before the date or right after it starts about the fact that I’m not drinking, why, and all the questions that follow.
As a result, a number of my recent dates have ended up at Green Lake, the site of previous first dates, and besides, why not combine dating with exercising whenever possible? I’ve gotten so comfortable with the Green Lake date, in fact, that I’m starting to think maybe I should just have the rest of my 40 dates there. That would get dull though, wouldn’t it?
Well, I’ve had at least three dates there in the past few weeks, and so, I present another dating montage in The Green Lake Trio.
Man #60, The Slacker
I met Man #60 on PlentyofFish. He seemed nice and smart throughout our email correspondence. He worked in aerospace, and although he lived all the way up in Everett, he was eager to meet me. He asked where I thought we should meet, and I told him Green Lake.
Admittedly, there are a couple of problems with a date at Green Lake. First, instead of dressing to impress or at least dressing moderately cute, if you think about it at all, you’ll wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing. Namely, work out gear. I don’t normally date in yoga pants, but I do when I’m walking around Green Lake. Apparently men love yoga pants, so…well…I guess things all work out.
The other problem with a date at Green Lake is that once you start the trip around the lake, you’re committed. You know you’ll be there for about an hour depending on how fast you walk.
It turns out Man #60 didn’t walk very fast. Less than a quarter of the way around the lake he started telling me how he went to work early each morning before other employees got there so he wouldn’t have to walk as far from the parking lot. By the time we were halfway around the lake, he was pitting out and had sweat visibly soaking through his t-shirt from under his man boobs. And, by the time we were three quarters of the way around the lake, I stopped talking. Through heavy breathing he rambled on about the walk, his work, and his apartment. By then I knew we didn’t have much in common. I politely added commentary where it seemed appropriate, but I was content to let him ramble.
After we completed our loop, I thanked him for the date and said goodbye. When he contacted me again for a second date, I simply told him I didn’t think we were a match. It wasn’t his weight that bothered me. Even with 26 pounds gone, my body mass index still categorizes me as obese. Who am I to judge? But his attitude towards life screamed, “I’ll do just enough to get by,” and I’m looking for a partner who pushes me to be my best self. Listening to The Slacker talk, I heard dead weight and sabotage in my future, and I needed to complete that loop as soon as possible.
Man #61, The Wannabe Booty Call
Man #61 was a hard one to read. I wasn’t sure if he was just unskilled when it came to asking a woman out or if he just wanted to get laid. Ok, that probably sounds confusing and the two possibilities don’t really seem to go together.
Let me explain.
Man #61 was sort of like Date of Last Resort Guy. Remember him? He was the guy who never asked me out. He just wanted me to always be available. Man #61 seemed similar. He would send me an email close to bedtime asking, “What are you doing tonight?”
Really? Fucking…really? I would send some nonchalant response letting him know that either I was busy, or I was about to go to bed…ALONE.
You may wonder why I even agreed to go on a date with this guy, and I’ll tell you. I thought I might actually want to sleep with him. He was handsome and kind of sexy, and although I knew I could never date a man with such poor social habits long-term, he might be ok for a quick roll in the hay.
Upon meeting The Wannabe Booty Call, however, the chemistry just wasn’t there. Yes, he looked nice, but his overall demeanor was a complete turn-off. We completed our loop around Green Lake and were on our separate ways without so much as a kiss. Sometimes the reality just doesn’t measure up to what’s been posted online.
Man #62, The Introverted Idealist
Remember what I said about comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing earlier? Well, Man #62 showed up at the lake dressed a little too formally, and this would define him in many ways, a little stiff, a little uncomfortable, a little too conservative.
We started our loop around the lake and discovered that conversation came easily. In my OkCupid profile I mention that I’m an INTJ personality type, and Man #62 quickly informed me that he was an INFP, The Idealist. He was, in fact, VERY focused on the Myers Briggs personality types, so much so that I started to feel as though he was assuming who I was through what he knew of the personality type and not by getting to know me through the conversation.
Based on the fact that we were both introverts, he seemed convinced we would make a perfect pairing. He talked about how his ex-wife couldn’t understand that there was nothing wrong with silence. This sparked a discussion on the needs of an introvert, how continuous conversation can exhaust us, how we can spend hours, even days, alone and not feel lonely, and how we need that alone time to recharge. I mentioned to him that I never think to invite people to my home. It slips my mind to do so. It’s my cocoon, and I seldom invite people in. I’ll gladly accept invitations from others, however, and stay until the end of a party, causing people to mistakenly take me for an extrovert. He commented that he was similar. Several moments throughout our conversation, in fact, we even walked along in silence, and it felt totally natural, not awkward or uncomfortable, just respectful of the other’s space to think and look inward for a moment.
Once we made the loop, we stopped at the Boathouse Theater and decided we’d like to continue the conversation. I suggested we go hang out nearby at The Stumbling Goat.
“Since parking is a challenge, would you mind if we take one car,” he said.
“No, that should be fine.” At this point in the date, I was feeling pretty comfortable with The Introverted Idealist. He was also a couple of inches shorter than me and probably 60 pounds lighter, but for some reason I felt the need to jokingly add. “Just don’t try anything creepy. I know tae kwon do.”
He laughed and said, “Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure you could kick my ass.” And I’m pretty sure he was right.
We walked to his car and he opened the passenger side door for me. The inside of his car was immaculate. This may sound like a trivial thing, but it’s something I notice. You have to eventually see a man’s house and his car. Years ago, I remember reading that you can judge how a person handles their finances by how they take care of their car, so it’s something I’ve observed over the years. It generally seems to hold. If a person takes care of their things and has a tidy space, they are generally good with money. If there’s clutter, fast food wrappers, and other garbage scattered throughout the car, their financial and personal matters are usually in shambles or at least out of their control. Luckily, most of us fall somewhere in the middle, but to summarize, I was happy to see that The Introverted Idealist was tidy. Dare I say, maybe even a little OCD.
Again at The Stumbling Goat, he steered the conversation toward flushing out assumptions around our personality types. This was now starting to get a little old, but I let him elaborate. He did what a lot of divorced men do on first or second dates. He started to ask interview-like questions that seemed to be based on finding a woman who was NOT like his ex-wife. It had started with finding out that I could handle silence without getting all freaked out by it. Now he wanted to know more. He wife was what he called a “conflict starter.” He had even looked the term up and found validation for his feelings, learning there were “high conflict personality” people, and he apparently had found one of them in his ex-wife. Hence, he wanted reassurance that I was not a conflict starter.
Now, it is my opinion that the more a person talks about how they hate drama, the more they draw it to them. Let’s face it; people with drama-free lives don’t even think to talk about it. Drama isn’t on their radar, and they are generally pretty quick to squash and flush out any drama that arises. The Introverted Idealist’s concentration on this issue of conflict started to feel like a red flag to me, but I entertained his questions just the same. He was doing a pretty good job of making himself sound like a sensitive, metrosexual kind of guy, but his questions felt a little uncomfortable, judgey, and meant to paint me into a little, narrowly-defined personality type box.
I was straight up with him. I said, “Look. There’s a good chance at some point I’ll hurt your feelings. I typically say what’s on my mind, and I don’t usually sugarcoat things. If you see opinions that differ from your own as conflict then I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe that makes me a conflict starter. I don’t know.”
No, no, he assured me. He was an open-minded guy and liked being able to have a open-ended, intelligent discussion. What he didn’t like was drama.
Well ok then.
Overall, the conversation wasn’t all bad, and he was the most promising man I’d met in a number of months. After a couple more hours spent at The Stumbling Goat, we left, but we decided we would go out again the following weekend. We didn’t kiss. Like I said, he seemed very formal and stiff, but he told me he would get in touch with me to coordinate our next date. He dropped me off at my car, and I was on my merry way.
And there you have it, my friends, The Green Lake Trio.