Monday, September 14, 2009

Date...It's a 4-Letter Word




In order to do this up right, I think we must first take a journey back to the mid-80's when I was at my most popular self...

Yes, that is a Miami Vice cotton blazer and Hawaiian shirt, why do you ask?

Here are the me in grade 8 facts:
1) I began developing at the age of 10. I didn't stop developing until I had enough D's in my bra cup to hypothetically distribute them evenly among my mother and my two sisters in addition to keeping one all to myself.
2) I had braces.
3) I had glasses.
4) I had a rat tail1.
5) I played the violin.
6) I wrote really bad pre-emo poetry.
7) I had 4 friends...3 also had braces, glasses, and were in the orchestra, the other was gay.
8) I was painfully shy.
9) Oh yeah...and I was fat.

Fast forward to grade 9 and some things had changed.

But one thing never did change2...I was never popular or ever on the verge of popular. I was so nerdy, I didn't even register on the geek radar. OK, by the time I got to high school, I wasn't actually a nerd anymore3, instead I considered myself very cutting edge punk rock/alternative which, in hindsight, probably did not give me much more date cred than the rat tail. I digress.

Anyway, so all through high school when most people are dating, I wasn't. OK, I had 6 dates...
1) Date with nerdy musician I didn't like and who mortified me when he brought flowers to my house.
2) 2 dates with another nerdy boy from another high school I remember nothing about except his oily nose and glasses.
3) 3 disastrous dates with Brad...well...more like 2 1/2 dates and 1 disastrous date. The first 2 got crashed by friends and the 3rd? I really have to start letting him live down prom.

Yup. Picture of popularity.

My first boyfriend came after high school...a friend...and there were no dates. It went something like this...

Delivery pizza, Boone's Farm, sex and WHAM! relationship. All in one night.

That relationship lasted about 18 months.

6 months later, another relationship began with another friend...and there were no dates. It went something like this...

Delivery pizza, bourbon (hi mom) with green kool-aid chaser, sex and WHAM! relationship. All in one night.

That relationship lasted 7 years+.

6 months later, another relationship began with another friend4...and there were no dates. It went something like this...

Delivery pizza, vodka tonics, sex and WHAM! relationship. All in one night.

That relationship was also another 18-month whopper.

It was about then I took some time off. I got my proverbial shit together and then decided one night5 I wanted to online date. Someone. Anyone. If so many people are doing it, there must be something good about it...right? RIGHT?!


Oh the lure of online dating. Sitting at a computer6, reading profile after profile, cruising the pictures, exchanging winks and witty banter via e-mail all while enveloped in cotton granny panties, sweatpants, and terrycloth. Perfect! Except then there's the part where I actually have to put on my job interview suit and meet this shining example of manhood and convince him that no, yes, really I absolutely want this er...job.

I lasted 6 weeks. They were the longest weeks of my life. I went on 9 dates. 3 I made it to date #2 before calling it quits. The worst was the bus driver who spent the entire evening describing the various routes he drove each day. By the time I got to J*, I was just glad to meet someone "normal" and I hurriedly agreed after dates #1 and #2 to a relationship so I could legitimately just be done.

J* was a lovely man. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him. I especially appreciated that he did not require me to online date anymore and it was nice to have someone to play BINGO with (shutup) every Saturday night...for a few months. That is, of course, until the New Year's Eve in Santa Fe incident7.


That was uhm...hmmm...5 years ago. I did not get back online. I had a couple of short term relationships that did not involve any dating. Beyond that, I was on my own. And when I realized I'm pretty good at that, I decided I was really happy with that.

Because no really, the idea of getting back on the internet and starting that crazy hellishness all over again gives me cause to shudder. Especially when I have awesome cats, even awesomer friends, and lots of hobbies and interests.

I think dating is like...pantyhose. Women wear pantyhose to hide the "sins" of the lady...the varicose veins, the cellulite, the stretchmarks, the uneven skin tones, the leg hair. Pantyhose are a bitch to get on and they aren't much fun to sit around in either. But we wear them anyway because we think they make us appear much more "attractive" than how we really are. And that's what dating, especially online dating, is like. We create a winning resume from whatever we've got to work with and then we put our best job interview suit with pantyhose on (even though we prefer the granny panties and sweats), wear our most winning smiles, and sit at an uncomfortable table across from another winning smile and engage in even more pointless witty (or not so witty) banter without really getting to the truth underneath the pantyhose...until much much later if it even gets that far.

So I just say no to dating.

Except...well...I'm dating someone. And yes, I met him online but not like that. And I've not worn pantyhose for him once yet. We met on a social network site - originally blog buddies, and then e-mail penpals, and now dating. Yes, I put my best foot forward to some extent8, but there was never any pressure to be anything other than who I am. He knows I was a nerd, he knows I was/am shy, he knows I sometimes sing Madonna songs in my underwear, he knows I'm opinionated, occasionally bratty, and that I live in a basement9. That doesn't seem to matter.

Better yet, there's been no delivery pizza, no BINGO, no sex and WHAM! and no stories about what routes he drives.

He's interesting and interested and very smart. He's gainfully employed and has transportation besides his feet and/or a skateboard.

And I like him. I like dating him. Very much.

1: A rat early 80's phenomenon whereby a person would have short hair with the exception of one long tuft in the back, occasionally braided, never attractive.

2: Aside from the plastic costume jewelry.

3: I'm pretty sure.

4: Actually this one was a former high school crush that finally materialized.

5: There was wine involved. A lot of wine.

6: Drinking lots of wine.

7: I am not the kind of girl anyone should ever ever evereverever take to Applebee's really ever but especially not on New Year's Eve in Santa Fe.

8: Just like I am right now.

9: But not my mom's basement. know, a basement apartment.

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