It’s one of those thing I struggle with every time. Getting the first date situation, well . . . situated.

You chat along with someone, maybe transition to phone (or not) and then (yay!) decide to meet.

And then comes the choices: when, where, what to wear, etc.

I’m an equal opportunity dater – and I also hope that I’m an equal opportunity date planner. When I ask someone on a date, I usually have an activity pre-planned (get your minds out of the gutter ). So for me, I might call up and say – “Hey, I’ve got 2 tickets to this show on Friday – would you like to go with me?” or “I was thinking of going to this festival on Friday – would you like to meet there for coffee?”

But a lot of times with online dating, this doesn’t always happen.

More often it will be something like [this is not an actual, word for word conversation]:

HE: I think you are cool enough to actually meet in person. What do you think?

Me: That sounds great.

HE: Okay, so umm, uh, we should do that.

Me: We should.

HE: So what do you want to do?

Me: I’m flexible, what did you have in mind?

HE: I don’t know – what do you think?

Now, I appreciate that dating is just as nerve-wracking for guys as girls. And even in our age of equal opportunity dating, whenever you are the one doing the asking, it’s a little scary. But I just wish that we didn’t always have to dance to this song.

Because now I have to do some mind-reading tricks, and I let my membership to the psychic network expire. If I pick a place close to me, am I being selfish? If I pick a place close to you, am I starting a pattern of making things too easy? If I pick a place out of your price range, will you think me a gold digger? If I pick a place with a dollar menu, will you always think of me as your cheap date option? If I take too much control of where we go and what we do, am I emasculating you? If I offer to pay, am I emasculating you? If I don’t offer to pay and you are forced to admit you can’t afford this place, am I emasculating you? If you let me pay, are we starting a sugar momma thing? Because I am sugar-free for being the dough-re-mi donator, my friend.

If I don’t pick a place and just say, “whatever you want” am I going to send you in the same swirl of internal monologue? Am I going to frustrate you by being indecisive?

When I’m actually with someone I know well, I’ll respond back to the “where do you want to eat?” question by asking for 2-3 options. This lets them pick places they like that are in their price range and travel distance (those ankle bracelets have radiuses, y’know). But when it’s a first date, this can feel like a psychological test.

For example: We could meet at Starbucks, Golden Corral, or Texas Roadhouse.

If I pick Starbucks, that will be the cheapest option if he’s paying. But it could also signal that I don’t want to have to commit to too much time.

If I pick Golden Corral, it’s a meal. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of mega-buffets because of my food allergies – when I try to explain that, it could make me sound like someone who is high-maintenance, potentially hypochondriac, and maybe snobby of Middle America’s ability to keep the spoon for the cornbread stuffing out of the mashed potatoes.

If I pick Texas Roadhouse, I would be very happy (love Texas Roadhouse) but then I might be at the top of his budget – because I’m a girl who likes a ribeye with mushrooms and onions and if I’m at a steakhouse, I want steak. Good steak. And I’m happy to pay for my own. But if I offer to pay, maybe I’m implying something, emasculating my date, or y’know, setting precedents. But I really like steak.

So, we do the dance, we hem and haw, and eventually we stumble to a solution that I hope passes the muster without providing a Rorshach.

Of course, I can make it work whatever happens. And reality is that this is really a first-world problem. But I have a date tonight and this is one of those things I think about as we plan the when, what, and the where.

I feel I would be remiss if I did not finish this story, even though it may cast a somewhat disparaging light on me.  I did not reply to Trotter’s last email, but within a day or so, I got another one.

“. . . I would still like to meet you for lunch one day, but I don’t want to pressure you.”

To which I replied:

Thanks.  I’m not sure that we would be a good fit – I think we have different mindsets on things.”

He thanked me for my time, complimented me again on my eyes, and went radio silent.  Five days later, I received the following email from him.

“Good morning. I hope U R doing well. Curiousity has gotten the best of me. I know U R not interested in me, but I have to ask. What did I say that made you think we have different mindsets? Was it my comment about not dating outside my own race? If so, I am not racist in any way. I have black friends and black co-workers whom I treat just as I do anyone else, with the respect they deserve.”

(Okay, content aside for a minute.  U R?  Seriously??  You are in your 40s – you can spell it out.)

At first I was just going to ignore his email.  A part of me just wanted to delete it and him from my memory.  But finally, I gave in to my more wicked side. 

I waited two days before answering back:

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.  Yes, the race comment was a big turn off.  I know you don’t view yourself as racist, and I get that.  But I am part black – and you obviously would have an issue with that.”

Here is where you may judge me, however harshly.  Can I prove that I have any black in my genetic makeup?  No. But I’m French and y’all know that we are lovers, not fighters.  If history has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that we French would lay down for anybody. My family tree is a rainbow of races and creeds. I know I’m multi-racial.  What races?  I don’t really know, nor should it matter.  And that’s my point.

Here’s what Trotter answered back:

“There is no need for you to apologize. I on the other hand, want to sincerely apologize to you if I offended you in any way by my comments. I definitely did not intend to do so. I am definitely not racist/prejudice in any way. Two of my nieces are bi-racial and I love those two girls just as much as I love every other relative I have, and I am proud to be their uncle. As I said before, my step-sister is divorced from my brother-in-law, who is a black man, but they are currently back together, though they are still divorced.

 I currently live with my step-sister, her ex-husband, and my two bi-racial nieces in [redacted]. I have never dated anyone outside my race, and I have chosen not to do so up to this point based solely on how some of our dumb ass family members view bi-racial marriages. I have witnessed my step-sister being treated differently by some of our family members due to her previous marriage and her two youngest children and it really angers and frustrates me. I hold NOTHING against you for being bi-racial. I base my opinion of you based solely on you, not your race, skin pigment, education, etc.

In my opinion you are a pretty, intelligent woman, whom I am still interested in, but I understand my comment turned you off and I REALLY hate that. I have no issue(s) with you being bi-racial, and that would not keep me in any way from wanting to meet you, learning more about you, or date you, but I understand if you choose to not talk to me again. Take care and again I am sorry.”

I appreciate that he apologized.  I appreciate that that he tried to make amends.  He’s still an idiot, but I appreciate what he tried to say.  And that he willingly admitted that he’s not man enough to face his family who may be more racist than he is.

The one statement that really stuck in my craw was this:

“. . . I base my opinion of you based solely on you, not your race, skin pigment, education, etc.. . “

I wanted to ask him why I was afforded such a privilege of stayed judgment, when the black woman who had contacted him originally was not given that same respect.  Since, y’know, he gives the same level of respect to every black person that he gives everyone else.   

I didn’t respond, and I won’t.   I could go on, but I won’t do that either.

Besides, I’ve found something much better.  But that’s another story.

Its Up Two U

I rewrote my dating profile this weekend after a male friend who was on the same site took a look at it for me. 

“You need to sell yourself more,”  he said. “You need to forget about being humble and just put out the best things about you and stick by them.”

It’s hard.  I was not raised to say, “HEY I’M AWESOME – YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DATE ME!” 

These profiles can make you feel like a used car salesman.  So for fun, I wrote up this profile and posted it on Facebook for my friends:

1970s model with a few miles, fairly dependable, good for local travel as well as long distance, fairly low maintenance, comfortable upholstery with no major structural damage. Known to turn a few heads, fairly roomy. Too valuable to sell just for parts.

It took the better part of a day to rewrite everything.  My male friend (and fellow online dater) said it was quite an improvement, and that made me glad.  I even added a special comment to the “You Should Contact Me If” section:

Please don’t message me if:

  • You think “how r u” is an acceptable form of communication
  • You think Hannibal Lecter was a cool role model
  • You haven’t taken a bath since last spring
  • You haven’t had a job in 6 years and need a sugar momma
  • Or you are looking for a green card sponsor

I still ended up with this email from someone:

“well hi i see u stop by would u love two chat i must say that u are a gd looking lady i like what i see so lets chat love its all up two u.”

I replied with:

Thanks for contacting me – but I don’t think we would be a good match.  I wish you much success in your search!

He responded:

Why say that love

To which I typed:

Did you read my profile at all? I just don’t think we are on the same communication level.  But I wish you happiness!

He countered intelligently with:

I am not from over over and nother country okay i am from the states okay

A part of me just wanted to reply with:

Who let you near a computer and told this was how you find women? Truly, you need to rely on buying someone lots and lots of liquor and go that route, my friend.  Or tell them that you are an illiterate deaf mute.  Cause that would totally work better for you than trying your typing skills to woo someone.

But I didn’t.  I just didn’t reply at all.

 

 

U R Sew Purtee

Is it just me? Does being hit on by someone who can’t type complete sentences appeal to anyone else?

I can understand if we were both 18 – but at my age, I expect my counterparts to think, and type, in mostly complete sentences.

Yes, yes I really do.

Read Deleted

When you send someone a message via an online dating website , you often have the option to go in to your sent messages and see if something has been read yet. 

Today, I saw the 2 harshest words I’d ever seen in the sent folder:  Read Deleted.

My brain went something like this:  Read deleted? I just sent you the message 2 hours ago. . . don’t you want to think about it for a minute – go back and read my profile and see if you might be interested? No?  You didn’t even view me!  You just read it and deleted it.  Why you filthy rotten . . .

In reality?  Whatever.  He could be seeing someone, he could have a rule about blondes, it could be one of a million things.  But just for one second . . . I felt a whole new level of rejection.

Moving on.