I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
Read more here.
When my therapist told me to date 100 men before getting serious with anyone, he didn’t set up very many parameters. He said to avoid losers, lost souls, and control freaks, and I was not supposed to recycle any old boyfriends. Beyond that, the rules of the endeavor were really up to me.
Early on, I had an Excel spreadsheet listing the names, heights, approximate weights, and the attributes I liked the most about each date. I had even gone so far as to examine some of the statistics and found that the mean height of my dates was approximately 6′-0″ tall, and sense of humor was the attribute that most often showed up in the men I liked.
No big surprise there.
After a while, however, all of the data entry started to feel too much like work and not enough like dating, and I stopped keeping my Excel spreadsheet. Sadly, that means there are now men who I don’t remember very well, even after writing about them.
So, then I received a text message from a man whose number had been stored in my phone. There was no name, just initials. What the hell was I thinking just putting initials in my phone? I was out running errands when I received the following text.
“Hey, how have you been? Hope all is well with you. What have you been up to?” he wrote.
I looked at the initials and had NO idea who it was.
“Hi! Not much. I’ve been pretty busy. How are you?”
He said he had been busy too. He’d flown to Palm Springs for the weekend to hang out with friends and to play golf. He said he wanted to continue the conversation we had started and was wondering if I would want to got out for a drink.
“Sure,” I said, without a clue of who I was agreeing to a date with. I had to think. Who had I met with these initials and what conversation? When?
There were three possibilities. First, I thought he was a guy on OkCupid with whom I had recently exchanged a few emails. He had never signed his emails with his first name, just his initials. The second person I thought he could be was one of the readers of my blog who had sent a few emails a while ago. We had never met, but maybe he was wanting to move the conversation from email to a date. Finally, I thought he could possibly be Man #21, Knight in Wrinkled Clothing. I had no idea why he would be texting me, but I knew that at one point I had stored his number in my phone as initials. The weird thing was; I thought I had erased his contact information, so to be quite honest, I didn’t have a clue who had just asked me out on a date.
But, it was a date, and I still needed 65 more dates, so I accepted hoping it wasn’t someone who I had already had a date with.
My Mystery Date asked where I would like to go, so I asked him where he would be coming from. Not only did I want to be considerate of how far he would have to drive, but I was hoping this would provide me with another clue as to who the hell this person was.
He would be coming from Magnolia.
Crap. The only date I’d had from Magnolia, that I could remember, was Man#29, The Kept Man, but the initials weren’t right for it to be him.
After thinking about where to go for a few minutes, I sent a text telling The Mystery Date that there was a place in Fremont called Hunger that I had seen had good reviews. Had he tried it? He had not, but he was open to trying something new. Plus, he said, if it sucked we could have one drink and go somewhere else.
I liked that answer. It was an easy-going answer, and it seemed like the Mystery Date on the other end of these texts didn’t take life too seriously. If something’s not working, don’t get bent out of shape. Just change it.
I continued with my errands, and, while I did, I tried to look up information on OkCupid and past emails to see if I could narrow down the identity of My Mystery Date. By searching OkCupid, I determined that the guy who had emailed me through OkCupid had different initials.
I checked off that possibility.
I looked through past emails, and I couldn’t find anything there to weed out the possibility that it was the reader of my blog.
I scrolled through the contacts in my phone to see if I had deleted The Knight in Wrinkled Clothing and I hadn’t, so that told me that it wasn’t him. It gave me the opportunity to delete him from my contacts, but it also meant that it had to be the reader of my blog…
…unless it wasn’t.
What if it was someone else? Had I met anyone else lately? I couldn’t remember.
Unfortunately, the emails from the reader of my blog were probably in a file on my computer, and the only way I could access them was if I could go home before my mystery date. It was already getting to be mid-afternoon, and it was starting to look like I would not be able to go home between running my errands and going on the date.
I was starting to feel a little anxious about not knowing who my date was, when I got a phone call.
It was a friend of mine. She was in town from L.A. for a few days, and wanted to see me. Could I see her today?
“Um, yeah,” I said, “what time?”
“How about 6 p.m.?”
“Sure. That works.”
Now, I know what you might be thinking. If I’m already stressed out and thinking that I won’t have time to go home before my date, why would I pile on another thing?
Well, first of all, my friends and family always come before anyone who is just a first date. Secondly, I hadn’t seen this friend in a REALLY long time, and I wanted to see her really bad. And, finally, considering that I didn’t even know who my date was…well, I don’t think I need to say any more.
I sent Mystery Date a text message.
“When is your curfew?” I asked.
“I’m a night owl. Why?”
“Can we meet later? Like 9 p.m.?”
“Sure. That will give me some time to finish up some work.”
Perfect. I also wanted to build in some time to go home to search my computer and see if Mystery Date’s initials matched the reader of my blog, so I asked if he would mind switching our meeting place from Hunger to The Ram at the University Village. The Ram isn’t nearly as interesting as I’m sure Hunger would have been, but I also happen to know that late night happy hour starts there at 10 p.m.. (I like to save a few bucks when I can.) Plus, I also knew I could swing by my house, throw something cute on, check my computer, and make it to The Ram fairly easily.
The Mystery Date was fine with both the change in time and location.
I went to visit with my friend, and while we were talking, I told her about my dilemma with The Mystery Date.
“Don’t you keep track of your men,” she asked.
“I used to, but it was too much work,” I said, ”Besides, I’m not trying to collect them and put radio collars on them. This is just catch and release.”
She laughed at my predicament and shook her head.
“You’re meeting in a public place, right?”
“Of course, I’m not stupid,” I said.
We visited some more and I tried to eek out every minute with her that I possibly could. I really wasn’t ready to leave, but since she has a baby, she goes to bed early, and I had a mystery date to get to.
As we said our goodbyes, she said, “have fun on your date,” with a slight chuckle. “You have to find a way to keep track of them.”
“I know. I thought writing about each one would do it, but apparently not,” I said.
I was already running late. I drove my trusty little Jetta as fast as I could to my house, up Stone Way, over to 50th, around the corner. You have to really watch that hill on 54th or you can go airborne.
I arrived at my house, and, of course, because I had been gone all day, Thor had to go outside. He was VERY excited to see me. I threw my purse down, opened my laptop to let it fire up while I took Thor out. I said, “outside?”
Thor raced to the door, skidding around the corner as he ran, sat for me to snap on his leash, and waited. I quickly took him outside. I’m sure he was expecting a walk, but I didn’t have time.
I raced back inside, put my laptop on my bed, and searched for the emails with the reader of my blog while I changed my clothes and freshened up my makeup.
It turned out the initials did not match!
I was about to walk into The Ram and look around for a man who I had a date with, and I didn’t have a clue who I was looking for.
What the fuck? How does that even work?
This, my friends, is what Karma looks like when she’s being a bitch.
What the hell was I going to do?
I was going to remain calm. That’s what I was going to do. I was going to put my big girl panties on, go to The Ram,…
…and hope to GOD that I would recognize my date,…
whoever the fuck he was.
To say that I was feeling slightly anxious at this point is an understatement, but I figured the worst thing that could happen would be that I would go in, take a seat at the bar if I didn’t see him right away, and hope he would find me. I just had to play it cool.
That was my plan anyway.
Somehow, I managed to arrive right at 9 p.m.. I parked the car and walked toward the restaurant still trying to calm my nerves.
I opened the door of the restaurant, and, as I did, I saw the back of a man I recognized talking with the hostess. At that moment, he turned, looked at me, and smiled, and said, “There she is.”
My anxiety instantly vanished, a huge smile took over my face, and I have never been so happy to see someone in my entire life.
Copyright 2011-12. My Dating Prescription blog. All Rights Reserved.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve recounted my dating adventures, but I haven’t written much about the hundreds of emails I have exchanged with men in order to set up these dates. It’s kind of ridiculous. I would have a panic attack if I actually started tracking the numbers on the emails and texts needed just to set up one date.
It’s like when you’re in sales. You need 200 prospects a week, 60 contacts, which might result in 10 appointments, and hopefully, if all goes well, 2 sales.
It’s fucking exhausting is what it is.
Then you get these guys who want to send a hundred one-sentence emails or texts, and it starts to feel less like dating and more like work.
Case in point:
Short, Italian Man (SIM) - a real Italian, from Italy, not one of those Jersey Italians who don’t even pronounce their Italian surnames with the correct Italian pronunciation. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Teresa Giudice.)
Tall, Buxom Woman (ME) - a Viking, blogger, and mom, short on time and patience and long on sarcasm and expletives.
SIM originally started sending me messages in April, but because I was mostly unavailable due to my MBA coursework, I put him off until after graduation. Then, with summer activities, work, and time that I wanted to spend with my kids, I put him off some more. I have to give him credit for perseverance.
A couple of months ago, he emailed me and asked me for my phone number so we could text. I sent him a message and said,
“I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. I don’t like giving my number out to men I haven’t met yet, and texting is the fastest way to piss me off.”
Yes, this is how straightforward I have become. Rather than let these men fuck it up on their own I like to give them a warning. I’m a busy woman, and I don’t have time to play with my phone all day long, and when men can spend all day texting, it makes me wonder if they have a job.
Fast forward to the other day and SIM asked me for my phone number again, so we could “flirt” through texting. This is apparently his idea of fun. I wasn’t too excited by this idea at all since the last Italian who flirted with me through texting made a surprise reference to his c&%k, but since SIM and I have finally scheduled our first date for Wednesday next week, I figured it was time to exchange phone numbers.
I like to get a guy’s phone number just ahead of a date in case one of us is running late or can’t find the other at our meeting place.
I felt the need to warn him a second time about my impatience with texting. I basically said I don’t like it so don’t abuse it.
Last night I received a text while I was meeting with my wine club (I mean book club.)
SIM: and this is my number. ciao
ME: Ok. Thanks. I didn’t see your text until really late last night. I didn’t think you would want me texting you at 11:30 p.m.
SIM: yep. it s you…sorry your number was not iny phone, and didn’t memorize it …
ME: That’s ok. My phone doesn’t know who you are yet either.
SIM: then i guess we are two strangers
ME: As far as our phones are concerned, yes.
SIM: is this Renee?
(WTF? Who the fuck did he think he was texting? Apparently, I am one of many…and so is he. He has no idea. Mwah ha ha. )
ME: As tempted as I am to fuck with you and say no…yes, this is Renee.
SIM: lol…(I hate when men use lol. Actually, I hate when anyone uses lol. What are you? Twelve?)
SIM: listen to you so innocent looking with hot legs and using the f word
(Oh god, just stab me in the eyeball with a sharp stick, please.)
ME: You just don’t know me yet.
SIM: sweet and naughty is a good mix (Insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here.)
ME: Does dropping an f-bomb make me naughty? I thought it just made me foul-mouthed.
SIM: you got a point …let me hope lol
(Ok dude, enough with the fucking smiley faces already.)
ME: You can hope, but you should never assume.
SIM: well assuming is ok when you hope to bw proven wrong
ME: So you’re hoping I’m not naughty?
SIM: no! i am hoping you are
ME: Then wouldn’t you hope to be proven right?
SIM: i can see you have been paying attention!
ME: I’m very detail-oriented and it’s hard to not pay attention when my phone keeps beeping at me.
SIM: i should stop …you specifically asked me not to flood your phone
ME: Yeah, I can understand the excitement, given that is has taken over four months for us to get to the first date but it would be a shame to mess it up now.
SIM: yep. ok, i will be mindful don’t worry. enjoy the weekend
ME: You too.
I’m supposed to meet him next Wednesday. Is it wrong of me to feel intellectually superior at this point? I’m a little worried that he was beating off while telling me he hopes I’m a naughty girl.