Monday, November 8, 2010

The Still Ugly Duckling

Recently went on another Internet-begotten blind date, and must say I have never been on a date where it was so clear so quickly the woman didn't want to be there.

We met for a movie (first time I've tried a movie blind date. I'm sure there are warehouses of books advising against this), so we didn't have much time to feel each other out. Judging from her greeting, it wouldn't have helped if we'd had a lifetime.

Got off the train and strolled to the theater. The two of us arrived and recognized each other simultaneously. When she saw me, she didn't ask, "Are you Mike?" She asked, "Are you Mike?!"

This wasn't an inquiry. It was a confession of instant disgratification.

I don't know what she was expecting. As I've discussed before, my dating profile has an unimpeachably accurate photo, and fully discloses my unsightly stature. Who knows, maybe she was hoping I'd made a typo. What I'm saying here is my conscience is clean. This wasn't a bait and switch. I am not the Bernie Madoff of Internet dating.

Like I said, it was a movie date, so we had about ten minutes to chat before it started. Don't know about you, but I find it hard to get romantic traction going at a concession stand. It's a safe bet that the discussion of Twix vs. M&Ms has lead to no more than zero unplanned pregnancies.

The movie, a weighty number about preparing for premature death, also wound up being a poor choice. Never plan a date without doing plenty of research, gentlemen. Haste makes chaste.

After we'd hit the sidewalk and clumsily shared our thoughts on becoming maggot-chow, I said, "So, you want to grab a beer?"

Her response: "Welllllllll, oooo-kay."

Sure sounds like chemistry to me.

At that point I really should have intervened and said, "Look, it's okay if you go home. I won't cut myself."

But I didn't. My instinct is to always try and push through.

She lead us to an extremely happening bar. We ordered a round, and miraculously, started having a decent conversation. She had a wide range of interests and interesting things to say about them. The date seemed to be turning around. The Titanic was going to miss the icebergs after all.

The bartender queried about a second round:

Me: "Yes-"

Her: "NOOO, just this!"

Never have I seen a second beer so firmly rejected. If nothing else, she probably discovered she could launch a second career as an AA sponsor.

We left the bar and plodded to the nearby train station. We talked over each others' awkward goodbyes and insincere pledges to do it again sometime.

I remain confounded as to what this woman thought she was getting into. My dating profile contains no fine print, and she was old enough to know that frogs don't turn into princes. Maybe it's time I uploaded an audio file of me saying, "Ribbit, ribbit."

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