Oh yeah. I went there. The same idiot friend, M, who set me up on the first blind date managed to talk me into the early days of online dating. (in retrospect, it looks like *I'm* the idiot since I keep letting myself be talked into these things) It actually started as a class project- we were learning computer skills (a class mandated by the school for the non-traditional students. Really useless as most of us were more savvy than our instructors as well as our fellow traditional students) and one of the projects was to join an online group that related to one of our interests. Since most of the wrestling chat rooms were (and probably still are) mostly filled with comments like "THE ROOOOOCK IS SOOOOOO HOTTTT!!!1!" and "UR A GAY TARD!", and most of the rooms I found for my other interests were mainly peopled with freaks trolling for sex (again, probably still are) I was not enjoying this project.
Then M found the Yahoo personals. Have just broken up with her on/off boyfriend again, she decided to post an ad. But she didn't want to do it alone, so she convinced me and 3 other girls in the class to do it to. It took about 4 responses to my ad for me to realize that this was NOT one of her better ideas. The vast majority of the people who responded (not just to me, but to all of us) were only looking for sex, and freaky deviant sex at that. If that's your thing, cool, but keep it to yourself. Don't bring it up before you've even met the person you're propostioning, and no, thank you, I don't want a candle stuck there. (that was one of the tamer offers I got)
In amongst the disgusting pervy replies, there were a few that had some potential. One, and I swear I cannot remember his name to save my life, sent me messages that were intelligently written and we actually had some common interests. He was also a student, although a little younger than me. He sent me a picture of himself, taken at an awkward angle, so it was mostly his face, but it wasn't a face that sent me screaming out of the computer lab. (I learned later though that this should have been my first warning flag) After several weeks of emailing, I finally agreed to meet him in real life. *cue ominous music*
Actually, it wasn't that bad. Except for the fact that we lived in different parts of the state. I live in Louisville. He was in a small town near Lexington, about 45-75 minutes away. He didn't want to come to meet me and insisted I come to him. (warning flag number 2, if you're keeping score) Stupidly, I agreed. I did, however, tell several friends WHO I was meeting, WHERE I was supposed to meet him, WHEN I should be home and that if I didn't call them within 24 hours of the date to report me missing and to call my mother.
So I drove to Lexington and found the restuarant with very little trouble. Bud (well, I have to call him SOMETHING) had chosen a Mexican chain called Don Pablo's for lunch. Hey, it was a step up from my usual fast food dates. (my talent for finding cheap jerks is legendary) It didn't occur to me then that it might not have been the best choice for a first date. Now, I hadn't been able to send Bud a picture of myself, but I did give him a fairly honest description of what I look like. (I still don't put many pictures of myself up online- mainly because of my Bell's Palsy now, but I've never liked having my picture taken. In case you've not met me and are wondering, picture the Rock in drag only flabby, not as pretty, and with a bigger chest. That's fairly close) He was waiting out front when I got there...only I thought maybe he'd brought his little brother and sent him out front to meet me.
Nope. It was Bud. He'd neglected to mention that he was a Hobbit. I don't mind dating guys shorter than me (up to a point), and I don't mind dating heavy guys because it's not like I'm skinny myself. But when you're only 5 ft tall and as big around as you are tall, a little honesty might be a good thing. Then again, in our shallow society, honesty probably got this poor guy rejected a lot. Who knows? "Wow," he said when I walked up and said hello. "You really ARE 6'2!" Um, yeah. Silly me, I actually was honest in my description. (I've since learned that a lot of people, especially those with an interest in sci-fi/fantasy, tend to describe themselves as they wish they were or ther way they imagine their RPG characters to look. Did I mention that I used to be somewhat naive?)
We went in and had lunch and managed to have a fairly lively, entertaining conversation once we both relaxed and he realized I wasn't going to look at him and run away. The problem was that we hadn't made any plans beyond lunch. I just didn't think about it, and he figured I'd blow him off when I saw him in person. There was a Barnes & Noble nearby, so after the third time our server walked my the table and glared at us, we decided to head over there and talk books.
Now, while I wasn't feeling the least bit romantically inclined toward him, I WAS enjoying the conversation, and I can talk books for days. He said he was going to stop by the restroom and he'd meet me at the store. I went to the bookstore and started browsing.
Still browsing, it occurs to me some time later that I haven't seen my "date" since I left the restaurant. I looked at my watch and realized I'd been there for 45 minutes. Well, I'll be dipped. Did *I* just get blown off? I had picked up a couple of books, so I decided to head to the register. I was almost there when I heard my name being called. Here came Bud, gasping for breath. "Sorry to take so long in the bathroom," he said. "Mexican food does that to me."
I could have gone the rest of my life without knowing that. I almost would have rather been blown off. We chatted a few more minutes, and I finally made my way back to Louisville.
Bud & I emailed a few more weeks, but he never wanted to make the drive to see me, and I wasn't interested enough to keep driving there to see him. The story more or less ends here...
My BFF Laura is a big fan of the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series. Joseph-Beth in Lexington, one of the few surviving indy bookstores in the area, was hosting a signing with Brandon Sanderson (the estate-approved author who finished the series after Jordan's death) and Jordan's widow. Laura was dying to go, so I agreed to go along for the ride even though I've never had an interest in the series. We had a great day- stopped at a couple of needlework stores, had a great Mexican lunch (I know, I know), and when we got to the bookstore, she waded into the crowd and I went and found a good chair to read & people watch.
Let's just say stereotypes exist for a reason. That night was proof that nearly every one about sci-fi/fantasy lovers was true. The handful of us who weren't there for the event spent our time fending off sundry geeks & nerds who didn't get the "GO AWAY" signals. My favorite was the guy with the wooden sword who posed in front of me. I looked at him, at the sword, rolled my eyes and shook my head NO. He shuffled off, to be swallowed by the crowd, and I went back to my book.
Then it happened...I heard a voice say, "Hey, don't I know you?" I looked up and there was Bud. OH NO. We exchanged hellos and he asked what my line number was for the signing. I'm not proud of what I did next, but in the interest of honesty, here it is: I told him I wasn't there for that myself, but with someone who was. (true) He craned his neck to look at my left hand. No ring, so he asked (in what I think was a hopeful tone) "Oh, are you here with a boyfriend?"
(I'm going to hell for this one) "Nope, here with my wife." The look on his face was priceless. "Yeah, she loves this series & got a good line number, so we should be out of here pretty soon." Just then, Laura texted me that she was through the line already and would meet me by the registers. I made my excuses to a stunned Bud and fled.
Laura just about died laughing when I told her what I'd done. I had to tell her right then- we'd decided to grab a snack in the cafe before we left and there was a chance he might come over to say hello. I would have told her anyway, just not while we were still there. At least she waited to call her husband and tell him about it until we were in the car and on our way home. I think he's STILL laughing.