Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

November 2, 2011

Lighten Up

I get that love is fleeting. But can't it at least last longer than "The Daily Show?"

Upon the advice of friends and a few of my faithful readers, I waded into the world of free online dating -- OK Cupid. The first few days were refreshing in that at least a few men contacted me. Granted, they were with messages from shirtless creeps who felt compelled to say, "Hey sexy"-- and nothing else, but at least it was some acknowledgment of my existence.

The distasteful attention tapered a bit once the sleaze bags realized I wasn't interested, so I decided to do a little tinkering with my profile. Mostly I wanted to lighten it up. Sure, I'd love to find "the one," but right now I really would be happy with the right here, right now. Someone to flirt with, have a drink with, maybe smooch. Once I did the necessary tweaks--and changed my answer for "Want kids?" from "Yes" to "Not sure"--I got a few bites. But still, nothing firm.

Tonight I decided to do some browsing and found the closest thing to my dream guy in years. Tall, moderately nerdy, in constant pursuit of knowledge and discovery, funny bordering on dorky, etc. He even has red hair, something I kind of have a thing for (I blame Richie Cunningham).

Before I even realized it, I was sending him an email and he replied shortly thereafter. Within 10 minutes we had a date for drinks this Friday night. After another 5 minutes he responded to my very first email in total surprise. It seems we both thought we'd emailed each other "first" and the other person was just responding. In reality, we probably emailed each other at the exact same moment. He saw my initial email only after we'd made a date.

The kind of story to tell the grand kids one day right? I was so excited (a feeling I haven't experienced in relation to dating in more than four years) that I called my mom to tell her some good news for a change. Suddenly, Friday night was something to look forward to again.

I finally settled down to watch last night's Daily Show and, when I got bored with the Condoleeza Rice interview, I picked up my phone and saw a new message from my red-headed cutie. In an earlier email he mentioned he was leaving town on Saturday so a Friday night date would work. In passing, and mostly as a joke, I responded "I assume your trip is for vacation or work and you're not moving out of town?"

His answer was even worse than I jokingly predicted -- and apparently in his profile all along, something I clearly missed while eagerly reading his charming self-description. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and is here on business, just for the week.

It's my own fault. In my attempt to "lighten up" my profile, I pretty much say, "Hey, what's the harm in meeting for a drink and having some good conversation?" He took me up on that suggestion and seems sincere about it (and too dorky to be just looking to get laid while he's in town). Before Stephen Colbert could crack his first joke, my dating mojo was left in a burning heap.

But I think I'm still going to meet him for that drink. It's not like I have a lot of other offers from eligible local men. Any thoughts out there from the troops?


pollycharlie said...

I'd definitely go on this date personally.

I have a couple male friends starting their 4th decade in life, and both of them are "sort of" dating 25-year olds. I asked them: why? Do you think it's going somewhere. They both replied: no, but it's a lot more fun dating the 25-year olds because there's an air of ease where the 30-somethings are so... oh I don't know, abrupt and uptight.

In the back of my head I thought: well of course we are abrupt. All the eligible men are either taken or dating 25-year olds. I don't have time like you do to dick around with someone whom I have no future with.

However, there is some truth about the air of ease. In the first two months of my joining OKC I went on 13 first dates, 2 resulted in second dates, and 1 third date. I knew from the get go that none of these 13 men would be in my future. Was it a waste of my time you asked? No, it would only be a waste of my time if I had prioritize these dates over friendships or family or dates with actual potentials. But I didn't.

I believe sitting at home waiting for the right one does cultivate some sort of negative aura. Instead, I go on dates, try to get something out of them, practice dealing with disappointment, practice how to be vulnerable yet at the same time not get too hurt.

Practice makes perfection. It applies in dating, too. So just go out and have a drink with the cutie. Practice your seduction techniques, practice how to have fun while knowing that there is no future. Because before Mr. Right comes, this is what we will have to do to stay sane.

bella said...


You know why?

Because he lives in Wisconsin. And he ain't meeting anyone there either. So he may be willing to work for it. Especially if he's in his thirties.


You know why?

Because while it may not turn into anything, just the idea of "possibility" makes us feel alive and full of fresh air. And if nothing else, it's so worth it just for that.


(& then tell us about it)

Anonymous said...

Before I read this in the first comment, I was thinking, Practice! I often went on dates I doubted would get anywhere, just so I could have the date to look forward to, to get dressed for, and to think about. You need the practice (you = one, not you, DT). And maybe he's thinking of moving westward? You never know. Definitely go and have fun. I'm eager to hear about it. And remember, bad date = good copy.

xx Mimi

Anonymous said...

I agree...just GO. For all sorts of reasons: practice, a night out, potential good conversation, etc. Just GO and come back and tell us about it.