I decided to "clean house" a little, one morning this week, by deleting like 10 guys' numbers out of my cell. Next I went through my cute, little car and removed and trashed probably 6 different map quest direction print-outs. There was something decidedly disconcerting about acknowledging that all of this purging symbolized failure and/or rejection, nearly across the board - in my online dating endeavors. Frances and I counted up all the different guys with whom I've been on dates so far, since scoring my very first online prize; a gorgeous, 23 year old, tall drink o' water, in early April. We did not, however, include my exclusively webcam/text/IM buddies in this tally - nope. For now, we were only interested in the real, live warm bodies. We came up with 25, but were certain that we had to be forgetting a few, no wait...26 - I just thought of another one. Now that's ridiculous. That's an average of over 3 dates (with different men, mind you) per month and some months all three dates were crammed into one weekend at a time. Also, take into consideration that half of my weekends are "out" each month, because I have my kids with me every other weekend. Amazingly, only a couple of these dates were good enough to warrant planning a sequel, and three dates with the same chap? Well, that is virtually unheard of! I view all of this as an undeniably dismal rate of failure. So what is the matter with me? Is the problem, in fact, with me? Am I too selective, or critical? Am I a profoundly bad judge of character? Should I ignore my gut and start responding to guys to whom I would normally pay zero attention? Or are all of us who resort to online dating to find our perfect match, just a bunch of mixed up deluded losers, destined to ricochet off of each other endlessly? Since I insist on subjecting myself to this mind-numbing monotony, I guess I better just suck it up and deal with the paltry pickings, huh? Do I even know what kind of guy I'm looking for? What superficial characteristics draw me to a guy, in the first place? K, well by now you should all be familiar with my two, hard-and-fast physical requirements (you know, the hands and nose business?) but outside of that, is he cool or rich or young, fun and light, or mature and responsible and professional? Is he a fellow starving artist or a hip musician? Maybe he is fit which would inspire me to get in better shape myself or possibly he has a few minor, physical flaws, which might make him more likely to overlook it if I gain a few pounds. Maybe I need an older guy who would treat me like his queen. (Although the younger dudes ARE irresistibly yummy! There is definitely something to be said for the potent cocktail of the age-specific sex drives ; ) I guess it's safe to say that I don't really know what kind of guy I'm looking for, but one thing I have established is a litmus test by which I determine if a man, preliminarily, makes the cut. You're probably not gonna get this at first, but my litmus test is Jimmy. I am resolute about ending up with a guy about whom Jimmy can give me no grief. I want him to not only be impressed by the man on my arm, I want him to be insanely jealous of him, as well. I could never date a guy, (and I do think about this when I'm initially sizin' one up) of whom I would be anything less than proud if we were ever spotted together by Jimmy. He is the only ex whose opinion matters to me and it's not because I trust his judgement implicitly or value his opinion, it's more that I want him to see me blissfully happy with a undeniably great catch and I want that to hurt, really badly.
In the process of meeting and quickly dismissing so many, many men though, I have made an unsettling discovery about myself...Ok, let's say that after giving some poor sap a try, I find that I am completely repelled by him, (which is generally the case) I still aim to walk away from the deal, knowing that I left an indelible mark, cast a bewitching spell, carved, "Isobel was here!" somewhere on his psyche despite the likelihood that he stormed off muttering something derogatory like what a fucking bitch I am because I barely gave him a chance. It's kinda sick, you know, for me to behave the way I do, as if these people are, well...disposable. It's like I say to myself, once I can tell we're heading into that uncomfortably mushy territory, "Ok, my work is done here!" And then I promptly bolt. The only explanation I have for it is that I must either be deeply insecure and need reinforcement from perfect strangers, like a shot in the arm of temporary assurance that I do in fact have merit, as an attractive, charming, desirable woman or perhaps I simply want to get even for feeling like I've been gypped or misled or duped by these phonies. I experience a rush from the ego boost that comes from having compliments dumped all over me and exasperation from fielding absurdly premature praise, all at once. Do you think these men, who desperately pelt me with glowing remarks, are just so relieved that I didn't show up 30 pounds heavier and 15 years older than my profile pic. suggested (as evidently, a huge percentage of women actually do) that they must frantically, urgently try to lasso me in cuz if nothing else, I'm a far cry better than the Big Bertha alternative? Anyway, their nauseating behavior is completely opposing to that which truly attracts me to a man. I long for a tough-ish guy who keeps his emotions in check, that's not to say that he is emotionless, like good, ole Jimmy, but a man who proves that he can hold back a little, exercise a touch of restraint. I want something of a challenge, I want to have to put forth some effort in order to to fully bag a guy, finally and forever. For some bizarre reason I am positively more interested in the ones whose affection is harder to obtain, i.e. Jimmy who refused to ever tell me that he loved me even though I professed my love for him with heartbreaking regularity. Frances is certain that this is the very reason that I suffered through my agonizingly painful stint with Jimmy for as long as I did, because I refused to give up until I was certain that I had gotten him on the hook, I'd made him fall completely in love with me. And I kind of believe her. I call this the "Danger Boy Syndrome" But it wasn't until I drained my own emotional well from repeated fruitless attempts, that I finally came to the ghastly conclusion that Jimmy simply must be...incapable of loving.
I kept a secret from you guys...I have been talking to a really attractive guy who was living out in Southern Ca. until about a month ago when he relocated to a city just 40 miles or so from my quaint, little town. This week we e-mailed each other and then talked on the phone and ultimately planned to get together on Halloween night...which we did. I kept it from you because I was trying, yet again, not to spoil it, I believed that this one had promise. I am so eating those words, right now. I mean don't get me wrong, I was stoked when he opened the door of his house and he was tall and appeared of a respectable weight. (It wasn't until later that I discovered that in place of muscle he had a gooey layer of blubber coating his entire body! He had absolutely NO muscle tone, NONE! When I casually went to pat him on the thigh, my hand alarmingly sunk into and stuck in a quicksand-like mass. All I could think as I pulled it out was, ewww...There was nothing firm there, at all, like not even a bone. I wondered how he managed to move about so effortlessly considering he appeared to be completely devoid of musculature and maybe even a skeleton, creepy.) Upon my arrival he greeted me with a friendly kiss and doled out bounteous compliments, saying that I was way more beautiful in person than I was on my profile, awwww...So see - things started out great! Well, mostly, I was definitely having trouble warming up to his effeminate voice, and it's not that I have a problem with effeminate voices in general, or effeminate men, for that matter, far from it! But I don't think it's out of bounds for me to want a masculine boyfriend...Anyway, no biggie, maybe I was just hearing him wrong...or something...He made me some yummy hors d'oeuvres, though I was a bit nervous about what kind of dragon breath I would have after eating salmon, capers and onions. But even this shouldn't matter, I figured, since he was eating all of the same stuff. We enjoyed a fire in the fireplace and hung out with his roommate and his roommate's mom, who was in town for the night. And after the two of them turned in, Simon, my date, decided to eat my face, like literally. I have never had a guy ram his tongue so far down my throat, before - it was absolutely GROTESQUE! And even after I attempted to school him on the art of moderate, closed mouth kisses, which I personally find so incredibly arousing, he couldn't manage to deviate away from his own revolting technique, of which incredulously, he derived an inordinate amount of self-satisfaction. I should tell you that I knew, as I was driving out to his house, that I would most likely be staying the night, even if it was on the couch or something (turns out he didn't have a couch, uh oh...) because I was sure that we would be drinking and I didn't even get to his place until about 8:30. But I was never worried about my personal safety because Simon's roommate and his roommate's mom were there, remember? I figured if he got out of hand I could just scream, or something. I worked hard to try and find the good in his method of kissing, but it was so invasive and over the top, that I simply could not. It was a shame too because we actually did have some good things in common and he had a really nice face..But I seriously lost my shit when he completely upset the apple cart by dropping the "L" word, like five times during the night, that's right...he stealthily snuck in a couple of "I love you's", usually as he was going in for one of his disturbing gullet washers.
Here's the trick to this kind of situation...I knew that I had to stay there, right? Because I was not about to risk getting yanked by the po-po for a DUI. But the art of maintaining peaceful relations on the home turf of a horn dog who won't stay the fuck out of your world is definitely tricky. You don't want to piss them off by constantly saying it so you have to just have to hope that they are respectful enough to honor the word, "NO!" This is a very delicate and slick form of negotiating, and one must create a convincing facade, one which keeps the perpetrator sufficiently at bay without pissing him off to the point that he angrily sends you packing, tipsy, in the middle of the night. I finally decided that turning in for the evening might be the best means by which to end the nightmare, you know, just another house guest hunkering down for the night...right? Unfortunately, it also occurred to me that he might view this as a green light to take his unwelcome advances to yet another level, good lord! My mouth and the surrounding areas were on fire from his stubbly face practically sanding the first cutaneous layer off of my face, I just HAD to change it up somehow, I had to at least try and put an end to that madness. I put on my jammies (full coverage and not the least bit sexy) and curled up with a magazine (hint, hint) in the only place I could find to hopefully sleep, not screw, just SLEEP...the outermost sliver of his bed. I was thinking that the pajamas might thwart his efforts, wearing them alone should have been a pretty good indicator that I was not interested in any funny business, but this S.O.B. was about the pushiest mother fucker, ever! I just kept repeating in my head, hoping to will it so, "Get your curly dick the fuck away from me!"
I managed to make it through the night fending off minor, yet regular infringements. I had to raise my voice slightly only a couple of times and he would "SSSSHHHSH!!!" me, not wanting me to wake his house mates, so I knew that he realized it would be nothing for me to get help if I really needed it. And honestly, I was never really worried about whether or not I could handle the physical end of it, you know - keeping his advances to a manageable level of tolerable, in order to keep the peace until I could get the hell out of there in the morning. Frankly, it was his casual use of the "L" bomb that freaked me out the most. I mean seriously...was this guy for real?