No, no, no, no, pass, oh hell no, uhhhh, maybe no never mind, what was I thinking, no, no, no, I'm too tired right now, can I get back to you? no? ok, that's fine. no, no, no, no, and finally most definitely NO.
God, you're persistent. I haven't logged into that particular site in three weeks but you send me one message each week and I don't even open them. I don't look at you either because I'd have to go to the site to do that and I'm just not feeling it.
Last night I looked at you just to figure out who the hell keeps sending messages to an unresponsive woman. I didn't have a lot of bandwidth because I was trying to finish up the Shanara series but what the hell.
Third message: OK, maybe I should have started with a joke.
Second message: So what is it you said you did for a living? (I left that part out).
First message: I'd like to meet an introvert who likes public speaking and I'd like to learn to sit still but that's kind of hard with a six and nine year old.
Hard stop. He's one of those guys who had kids in his forties and I run like hell from that sort of thing. Or he's one of those guys who started multiple families and probably has grandchildren a little younger than his six year old.
I answered the question anyway with an explanation and an offer to read the joke as soon as yahoo mail told me I had mail. Then I closed the site, went back to the Shanara Debacle and forgot about him.
Really?! On a Saturday night? Haven't you got anything better to do? I didn't feel like opening the cover of the Mac because this is the state of ennui I was sitting in last night so I pulled it up on my phone which is difficult because the chat window tends to vanish while you're typing if you write more than six or seven words.
I'm going to have to go back and re-watch the last two Shanara episodes because the last thing I caught (spoiler alert) was what's her name telling that Shanara guy she had to become part of this giant tree.
When he was trying to work out timing, between here and there I happened to look up at the top of his profile where you can see user name and age and read the unthinkable.
Forty-four. Forty-four is unthinkable. Christ, they're barely housebroken at forty-four and most of them are looking for thirty-two to forty. Has he failed to look up at the ID banner on my profile for three straight weeks? I decide not to bring this up because I decide it's only relevant to me.
I open his profile all the way and realize that this particular site does not have a place to indicate what you're looking for specifically. You have to call it out in one of the summary sections if it really matters. I look at my profile to see if I've indicated anything at all. I haven't looked at this profile since the day I wrote it maybe two months ago. Sure enough, I do indicate preferences but only in terms of ways of being. Also there was something about not being interested in soul crushing gyms but very interested in being outside.
OK, fair enough. I don't indicate that I'd like someone in his fifties who has had his mid-life crisis and hopefully is well pass the post blow out bumps. I only indicate that he needs to be well past his last relationship. Everything needs to be cleaned up and tidy, suggesting he knows who he is and is comfortable with that.
I appreciate that we've chatted only about our jobs because they are similar and we like them for mostly the same reasons although I never get around to asking him if he likes it when his hair is on fire. I don't ask this because I know being an IT project manager requires being comfortable with your hair on fire. He doesn't code anymore and neither do I. I wonder if he is illiterate.
I agree to meet for a drink approximately halfway between here and there and then it hits me. This is another one of those long distance things. He's not nearly as far as the last one but still, it's a haul and halfway between is probably manageable. I'm not starting anything I can't finish.
But forty-four?! Seriously?
I recall that my mother has eight years on her husband and my father has seventeen on his wife but I am quite certain there were extenuating circumstances in both relationships which has made this alright for the last, uh, it's been thirty years in both cases and that's when I decide to stop worrying about it for the most part.
This morning I am clear this is a mistake. It is a mistake because I no longer trust men at all and this will be a waste of time, money, and gas. I realize I don't trust their words, many of their actions, but mostly I don't trust their motivation. I have stopped seeing them as unique human beings and started seeing only flawed and dangerous people who are at the root insecure and dishonest first with themselves and next with the world.
I am sitting back on my heels, speechless, astonished with myself, and realize I should be at least a little bit sad about this. I am aware that I canceled a lunch date with a friend from Greenfield because I didn't trust his motivation. I may have been right but I wasn't being fair.
I went online and started googling wine bars halfway between here and there. When I finally came up with something reasonable (halfway between here and there is a cultural wasteland populated with pizza, beer, and gas stations) I plugged in the name and address, suggested a time window, provided my phone number (God, I hate doing that, 75% of the time I end up having to block numbers), and pressed send.
Now I'm going to get on with my day, pay attention to my email but otherwise pretend I haven't done this thing. After all, it's only a drink. As my last husband used to say, 'what could possibly go wrong at what amounts to a meet and greet?'