According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word continuum means “a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct”. I think I am at an end continuum.
I will preface my writing tonight with my true desire to not come across snarky, snobby, standoffish, self-centered, or any other backhanded adjective beginning with the word S. Nor do I want to come across as mean or even cruel. Those of you who know me even in the slightest are aware that I am not this person. But to the universe that knows me simply as Ms. Mo at My Words on a String, I fear my true self will not come across well here. So here goes.
Last night I went on what I will call the worst date of my life. This comes from the mouth of a woman who has been perpetually dating for the past three years to no avail. I have had a handful of second dates, and either I or the guy have left simply not interested. That does not mean that the guy was awful, or a freak, or even a flat- out asshole. It just means for whatever reason, there wasn’t the right je ne sais quoi. I’m not overly picky. I would say the number of dates I have had in the past three years is between 10-15, so definitely not over the top.
Some of the worst dates prior to last night:
- Being stuck with a $75 bar bill after my date just walked out.
- Introduced by my date to the local sex shop (I kid you not).
- Casually admitted his OCD and the litany of mood stabilizers he was on.
- Left me in the rain in a bad neighborhood, fending a taxi for myself.
And multiple dates that I had a great feeling about, and was rejected with a “Your a cool chick but not interested. C Ya”, “You’re not athletic enough”, and my personal favorite, “I need to choose between you and someone else, and I choose someone else”. So we’ve all been there. But one thing I have tried not to do is be mean. Perhaps even to a fault. We’ve all been here too, and this street goes both ways. An ending continuum.
Dating frustrates me to no avail, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, I won’t go down without a fight. I will continue to meet everyone I can to shrink the pool, so to speak. And this was the case with last night’s date, a guy I met online who bottom line, is a very nice guy. He’s extremely intelligent (he’s a doctor) and had pictures of him helping sick kids, you know. We decided to meet at a wine bar near my house. I waited outside and when I saw him, he was shorter than he said, which is typical for guys under 6′. But that’s fine. Randomly, a jazz band was playing in the bar, but he requested to go somewhere else because he was partially deaf. Even in the quiet bar down the block, he struggled to hear me. But I thoughtfully pressed on.
He hadn’t showered in at least a day or two, which I could smell, and he didn’t dress to impress. He mentioned that he had a cold, but he kept looking like he was falling asleep while talking to me. Maybe he had a lazy eye. I am really honestly unsure about this last point, but it’s just a truthful observation. We each ordered a beer and did the back and forth banter. There were many long pauses in the conversation, which instead of filling with nervous chatter (my usual routine), I allowed them to be simply present. Our conversation included what we do for fun (Me: ski, hike, cook, explore the city, read, go to concerts. Him: Volunteer for medical trips, do research, ride his bike to work), school, where we’re from, family, etc. I took my time with my beer, although this was tough. He struggled a few times to hear me, and he was very nice. He told me that I truly lived a full, fun life and he admired that.
I don’t know why cosmic gods thought the two of us would be a good match. I have watched women out on dates–mean women–who would have walked out within two minutes of such an encounter. I have heard the mean things such girls say to dates I would absolutely be happy to meet–nice guys somehow stuck with a bitch of a date who crushes men for breakfast. I would die if some girl witnessed me acting this way toward a date. I wasn’t condescending, I wasn’t rude. He was completely socially inept, and I kept thinking to myself what if he were my brother or my nephew or my son? I just couldn’t be rude.
Fortunately, I had an out–Sunday night and an early commute. I had my one beer, which he was very kind enough to pay for, and we said our goodbyes and parted ways. In situations like this, I am always kind. I always say thank you and that I hope he has success in online dating but I didn’t feel the connection I’m looking for. That’s not a lie. It’s a polite rejection. But is it any different than “You’re not athletic enough” or “I need to choose between you and someone else and I choose someone else”?
I told a white lie that I lived just one block down. It’s about a 10 minute walk, but he offered to drive me home. I didn’t want that. Plus, living in the city alone, that makes me super-uneasy. I called my best friend and told her it was horrible.
Not horrible because he was a freak or he was a jerk or he flirted with someone else. But because there is absolutely no way I would ever be interested in someone like him, and that is the brutal, God’s honest truth. He was good looking–that wasn’t the problem. He wasn’t fun. He didn’t know how to have fun. He asked me, “Do you follow the football?”. This weekend was heaven to me between college football and the NFL. Horrible because I have no idea how we could ever be a match. And why I would ever be remotely interesting to him? What on earth did he see in me?! Opposites might attract, but usually there are some common interests. And one commonality is no commonalities. Horrible because I wished myself anywhere but there, but I remained engaged and thoughtful. I believe in Karma, which is why I could not for the life of me, be rude to my date last night. He did nothing wrong. He initiated the conversation with me online, and good for him. He’s out there dating. And I chalk it up to one more experience.
I’m in an end continuum, a dating stalemate.
Ironically, I have been trying to capture End Continuum for nearly three months. I pass this sign every day on my way to work, and happened to really see it one day. I love it. I love the irony. Even more ironic? It’s in the worst neighborhood in San Francisco. I am terrified to stop longer than three seconds to try and snap the picture willy-nilly. But today I stopped. And did I certainly capture it.
I hope that the Karma dating gods see that I am a good person, and promptly bring me Mr. Good Guy. I don’t need anyone wealthy or overly good looking. But I need someone funny and family oriented, enjoys sports, loves the outdoors, and dreams big. I don’t want an end continuum.
A continuum is also a set of real numbers. Maybe it’s a sign that there are only a few more dates out there until I find Mr. Good Guy. In the mean time (and really, no pun intended), I will press on and be kind to all those guys I meet on dates. And hope they do the same for me.
Hole in My Head–The Dixie Chicks
Go Your Own Way–Fleetwood Mac
Rudie Can’t Fail–The Clash
Love and Happiness–Al Green
Lookin’ for a Feeling–Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson
I Don’t Care–Willie Nelson