- The Archer
After the date that was Too Cute To Work I went home for summer vacation, miles away from any prospective matches. I decided the break might be good for me. After all, I had heard loads of stories about girls who had gone on a break and then suddenly a piano fell on their heads and they die-I mean-a man appears from behind the bushes looking for them and somehow isn't a rapist and is exactly their type. As bizarre and ridiculous as these stories seem I have heard so many times that as soon as I don't want to get married is when I will find someone. Which I guess is saying that no girl has ever wanted to get married and they've all been forced into reproduction in a Handmaid's-Tale-like myth we are promulgating.
But anyway, summer was break time for the Archer where on my happy go lucky break I would obviously meet my husband.
I kept the dating site I was using on but marked my status as out of town so that only really desperate people would find me. And somehow I got set up with a really desperate guy using this system.
I would like to take a moment to comment on the ages of the men I have dated so far. All of their stories are on this blog.
Harry Potter and the First Date-23
The Tell Tale Realization-30
Too Cute To Work-28
I will spoil my next few dating stories by revealing their ages to make a point: 26, 28.
At the time I surmised with a member of my family that perhaps because I was so mature and accomplished I was getting set up with all these guys who were 6-10 years older than me. Only my first date-Harry Potter- had been in my actual age category and even he was still 3.5 years my senior.
I know now I was wrong about this. I might have been mature for my age at the time on paper but anyone meeting me in real life knows my real quality is honesty and definitely not maturity. No, there were other reasons these guys were dating me:
-I was fresh meat that hadn't figured out how to eliminate guys who were serial daters and/or terrible people
-I was fresh meat in general which meant I was getting suggested to every guy on the planet younger than my father (who is 37 years my senior) and these were the ones who were biting
-These were nearly 30 year old men who needed a twenty year old girl because they hadn't figured out their lives yet and needed someone on that level
-Twenty year old women tend to be in the best shape of their lives. I lost that "survival on a desert island" look I was rocking in high school when I started college but hadn't gotten that "lol my metabolism died Baruch Dayan Emes" look I would gain at 23. These were men who thought that though they themselves were in their upper twenties or thirties, they should be dating me, a twenty year old idiot, because I was marginally prettier than I would be at 23 or G-D FORBID 26.
-Younger women are more easy to control and abuse. I don't want to assume any of these men were dominant control freak abuse monsters but also we cannot count that out.
-Society has told men that they can have any woman who is younger than they are as long as they are not freaked out by dating someone who is essentially in high school which none of them are. Women can have any man older than they are as long as they are not freaked out out by dating someone who could be their dad which many of us are. Except Patrick Dempsey. And Christopher Plummer. I loved Christopher Plummer until he died at 96.
So anyway, there I was, twenty years old, and on my break and in a deep belief system that I was getting these men because I was mature. I was set up with my next guy, a 26 year old engineer who doesn't exist on the internet.
No really. You know those people who are on no social, have no work bio, and haven't even made it into the mazel tov section of their shul newsletter? That was this guy.
(It drove me crazy for years after we dated because obviously I wanted to stalk him online but couldn't. Luckily we got to catch up at a recent singles event where I discovered that he is still single and has enough hair gel to feed the entire Uganda. But I'm getting ahead of myself)
I said yes to this guy because he appeared to have a job and the one picture of him was in a ski cap and almost everyone looks cute in a ski cap. Ski caps make people look like babies and babies come from ovaries and mine were awake. The shadchan arranged that this guy and I should speak on the phone for an hour as we were geographically quite far apart and I couldn't miss a day of my very important internship where I was getting the top score on trivia crack.
The plan was to speak on a Monday night. The call was set for 7. A gymnastic championship that featured the 8th-13th best all arounders in America and Canada's top team was that night at 8, but I had plenty of time to get to that all important competition.
Hobbies people-they stop you from going crazy.
I also had a deal going with my boss that month where he continued to employ me and pay me and I drove him to and from work and went shopping at my desk. That day my boss's boss came in from out of town and my boss had to stay late. Which meant I had to stay late. Which meant we left at 6 pm and I had a date at 7. Plenty of time to make it-especially without doing hair and makeup-but I was stressed out all the same.
I get the kind of stress where everything builds and builds until I just explode. I also put a ton of stress on my dates at that point. I was starting to wonder, the first three guys hadn't even been close to what I was looking for. What would happen to me if I had to date for years? Or if, Heaven Forbid, my sister found someone first?
I'll tell you what would happen: The pharmaceutical companies would become very, very, very, verrrrrrry wealthy.
The stress of running late mixed with my pre-date stress which had seriously escalated at the time led to an unpleasant combination where I began to hyperventilate. My boss took my keys and drove me in my car because he rightly noticed that I am a terrible driver in the best emotional conditions. He began to ask me about my dating experiences and said something along the lines of "I can't imagine a guy saying no to you, marrying you would be like winning the lottery."
I did the thing I always do when I am given a sincere compliment which is perfectly normal and doesn't mean I hate myself at all: I burst into body crushing sobs.
My boss missed the turn that led to our neighborhood because he was so flustered with me suddenly crying in the car. Of course this made me sob more, we were now going to be even later.
I made it home just in time for the date to begin. This had to be the one. The conditions leading up to the date were just so obviously a big red arrow in the sky telling me to marry this guy. The break, the making it just in time, the crazy crying. This was it.
I could barely stomach two words he said.
You know when someone is just so unbearably nerdy that it makes you uncomfortable? It's like looking directly at a severely disabled person, you don't know where to put your eyes. You've been taught to look away but also you want to show that you aren't avoiding anything. And meanwhile he is getting nerd grease all over you. The red arrow flickered out of the sky. And, like most nerds, he loved to talk so I missed 75% of the very important gymnastics competition featuring 6 gymnasts we basically never heard from again.
(This nerd is called a greasy nerd. It is separate from a cute nerd which is a hot guy who wears glasses and sweaters and isn't an asshole. Cute nerds are wonderful.)
Afterward I went to see the movie Minions with my giant Minion from Dave and Busters because I needed an emotional release. (RIGHT?) I enjoyed learning that minions reproduced through mitosis (cell splitting) rather than through meiosis (sexual reproduction) and therefore do not have genders though some of the minions like to wear wigs and have developed breasts and no one knows why. I admired the minions for this. My dating life was starting to take a real toll on me emotionally and the idea of cutting myself in half to make a new me sounded way easier than spending another two hours on the phone with a greasy nerd.
I also learned that phone dates are the best and worst. The worst because everyone in your life-even the people who love you and you trust more than anyone-will say "how can you possibly know he was greasy through the phone?
Oh trust me. When you know, you know.
The best because he doesn't have to know that the entire time you were gripping your giant minion (Bob) for dear life.