Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Annals of Internet Dates

I noticed that my old roomate mentioned on her blog that she may regale us with tales of her internet dates. I may be happily married now, but I was once a lonely single girl living on the mean streets of Boston, a town that while really cool, isn't filled with friendly single men. It was tough to meet them, so I turned to the internet dating thing. Keep in mind that this was right after I graduated college... 1997. Internet dating was not as mainstream as it is today, so it was filled with other geeks like myself. But I figured - hey, I was out there. So perhaps there would be other relatively normal men looking for dates. Boy, was I mistaken.

My first few dates were with this guy who was a law student at BU. He was nice enough but totally had a drinking problem, earning him the title 'the Alcoholic Lawyer'. What really tipped me off was when he said (and I quote) "My last girlfriend said that I had a drinking problem. Sure I do. I've got two hands and only one mouth!"

I went on a date with a postdoc in like, geology or something at MIT. I was not really feeling in the mood so I dragged along my friend who then dragged along my future husband (whom she was secretly dating at the time!). I wasn't really into this guy, so she and I took off after dinner. Brian however stayed out with the guy until late, went to another bar and played pool or something. Hee. Brian had a better time with my date than I did.

One guy that lasted more than one date became affectionately known as 'Stonehenge Teeth', christened as such by Brian for his widely spaced chompers. On the (I think) third date (where he asked me and thus, I think, should offer to pay - especially as he had a real job and I made $20K/year living in downtown Boston) I didn't bring any cash with me, and when the check came I said something about paying him back if we stopped at the ATM on the way home. He said 'Sure, that sounds good'. And I, already having been pretty sure I didn't want to date him further, said "No. What you meant to say was: 'No, of course not. I asked you out and I'm happy to pay for your lunch.'" He was a little taken aback, but did pay for lunch. He explained this by saying that previous women he had dated had stopped seeing him at the moment that he paid for things on dates and so he was wary of doing so. Well, that was the last date we had, so I was no exception to the rule.

By the time I had dated enough of these guys I got a little less wary and a little more tired of trying to find the random stranger who I was going on a date with at whatever venue we had chosen. So one guy I just said could come to my apartment building and buzz me. I know, probably not the safest but, I figured he'd have to get past the locked front door to come in and kill me, and that was a chance I was willing to take. Also, we had the 'ghetto bar' to keep us safe - this bar that held the door closed by sticking in a slot in the floor and one in the door. I had even gotten lazy at checking the guys profiles out online before agreeing to meet them in person. When I did this, you filled out a profile that included a question about your body type. Your choices were like 'slim', 'athletic', 'average', 'slightly overweight', and 'overweight'. I had observed to someone when I was filling this out that even though I personally felt that I was slightly overweight, I certainly wasn't going to answer that, and I put 'average', which I really was. After all, who would admit that they were overweight in a setting where you're trying to get dates sight unseen? No one. And by extenstion, anyone who put 'slightly overweight' and was actually admitting to being at all overweight, was probably significantly MORE overweight than 'slightly'.

Anyhow, this guy, I noticed way too late, had indicated that he was 'slightly overweight'. And when I met him, I found that my theory was correct. I did go to dinner with him. I told him when he picked me up that I wasn't feeling great and that I would probably not be out long, just so I'd have an out. He was so very boring and talked about his high school marching band the entire night. I was in marching band (in college too - but I was on the colorguard, so give me a break), but come on!

The most exciting one that I can remember was a guy I talked to on the phone for several hours the night before our date. I thought that, if nothing else, I would have a new friend in Boston. At the date, he was wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I noticed a little bit of tattoo sticking out from under the sleeve and asked to see it. When he pushed up his sleeve, his ENTIRE shoulder was covered in them. A totally random assortment too, ranging from bloody daggers to cute cartoon cows. I was a little surprised and he told me he actually had THIRTY tattoos, only a small proportion of which I could actually see. I asked (not really sure if I wanted to know the answer) where the rest of them were and he said 'Oh you know. My back, my legs, my stomach... and I have one here...'

At this point he pulled down his lower lip and (and I'm totally not kidding here) on the inside of his lip was tattooed 'EVIL'.

Holy crap.

I didn't go out with him again.

I'm interested to hear whether any of you have had similar freakish experiences.


Heidi Ellis said...

Yea, I remember thinking you were CRAZY for going out with people on "the internets" way back in 1997. Sadly I have no internet dating story to share, but I do revel in yours. I had no idea!

turducken said...

Hee, when you said "former roommate," I thought at first you meant Amee.

I have no really crazy stories. A lot of them manage to weed themselves out in the pre-meet phase. There's is the guy who we christened "babies" because of his drunk voice mail telling about how his mom had harrangued him all weekend about his slowness in getting around to procreating. Also there are guys who don't know how to date. I figure, that is trainable if they're 20, but past 30, they should have some idea what norms are. Oh yes, also don't lie about your height. While I may not carry a ruler I can tell the difference between 5'8" and 5'4". And if during dinner you repeatedly wink at me and say, "So am I irresistable yet?", the answer is "no."

Special K said...

Um no, not so much. But "stonehenge teeth" oh yuck. Why didn't you leave!??!

ps, I LOVE me a man with a body full of tattoos!

I still think internet dating is sketchy.

Special K said...

oh, but I did once go out with this Sweedish Jewish guy who had a big thing about discussing circumsision over dinner.hot.