At this point, I didn’t care if I’d be meeting him for the first time dressed in some matchy-matchy Lululemon get-up, with my hair in a ponytail and still sweating from my Redcord class. Oh, I’d be sure to look “effortlessly cute”, mind you, but I wasn’t gonna invest any real time and energy in trying to impress my “imaginary boyfriend” with a fab outfit and a cute hairdo. Nope, I planned on being just cute enough to make him curious. And more importantly, sick in the belly for messing up and missing out on this IndieGirl. 'Cause I’ll admit that, when he unexpectedly returned to my life with an e-mail apology and some Hendrix lyrics, I felt like I kinda had the upper hand in our so-called relationship. Yep, that one e-mail gave me the sweet taste of power and I went from an “evolved” IndieGirl to a straight up “tease.” All I cared about was that he wanted me! And more than that, I wanted him to think there was still a possibility of “us” in an LDR (long distance relationship). And then, when he least expected it, I’d hit him with the whammy: “I’m just not that into you.” But as Sunday approached I started questioning the intentions behind my simple yet calculated plan.
And no sooner than having an epiphany about my ego-driven weakness, I got another e-mail from my “imaginary boyfriend” to stroke it even further. Evidently waiting until Sunday for our first date seemed too long of a wait. And the 1.5hours I allotted between Redcord and his Bolt Bus departure seemed too short of a visit. So he asked if I could possibly squeeze him into my massage schedule on Saturday since he could “definitely use a good deep tissue massage.” Huh? Okay, I'll admit that his sudden resurgence of interest in me after a five month disappearing act was flattering. But my ego-driven mind games came to a sudden and screeching halt after realizing this dude was coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Perhaps obliging him in a date after his inexplicable absence skewed his judgement. Yes, I am a licensed massage therapist with my own private practice. But my idea of a first date after an OkCupid connection never included an instant introduction to his anatomy; clinical or not! So I cordially declined. Not just the massage, but our 1.5hour date at Bryant Park too. No amount of “potential” could fix his lack of common sense or character. And, in the grand scheme of things, that’s what really mattered to me.
Besides, I was distracted with other local possibilities. One such possibility started with an OkCupid e-mail from a dude claiming that, not only did he recognize me, but he'd seen me perform in an Off-Broadway show. In fact, he said he had video footage of me on his facebook page to prove it, which felt both intriguing and invasive. After all, if I admitted my identity, he had the power of Google on his side while I, on the other hand, was limited to his OkCupid identity. So not fair. From his profile I could see that he was a tall, intelligent, artist (of the Burning Man variety) with a proclivity toward the freaky (bonus). While he wasn't a bad looking dude, he wasn't exactly my type either. But since I was at the desperate point of making exceptions based on good grammar and spelling, I agreed to meet him for coffee after a few interesting e-mail exchanges. I realize that coffee is casual but he showed up 15min late on a bike wearing Birkenstocks and a helmet. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about comfortable shoes and safety but something about his "look" was a turn-off. Still not my type; not even in person. On to the next dilemma: I wasn't exactly sure how to greet him since we'd already established a friendly rapport but had never met face-to-face. A handshake felt too formal but a hug felt a little too personal, especially since I didn't feel remotely attracted to him. I avoided both and opted for tense awkwardness.
We went Dutch, placing separate orders and took seats at a communal table. Ugh, a communal table where our nervous, first-date conversation would be audible for eavesdroppers. Embarrassing! I quickly realized it didn't matter, though, since he pretty much dominated the conversation. Without even coming up for air, he went into what seemed like a rehearsed autobiography. It was an interesting autobiography, at least. And as he spoke I studied his face, body, body language and gestures to see if I could stir up even an ounce of attraction. Nothing. He finally stopped and said, "So, tell me a little about yourself." I was obviously unprepared. Note to self: script a self-indulgent monologue for future dates. So I spontaneously searched my brain for memories, key events and life-altering experiences and offered them up as a disjointed self-introduction; awkwardly spewing my life history in verbal bullet points. Of course I was careful to avoid major topics such as the details of my failed marriage and my subsequent four-year sexual drought. I hugged him goodbye because I figured it was the nice thing to do. Plus, I wanted to assess for any mere chance of chemistry that might possibly, hopefully surge through my veins and create a spark of romantic hope. Still nothing! Our story ultimately ended after our second date: a movie, to which he also arrived 15min late (pet peeve!). There, I was acutely aware of the fact that even in the air-conditioned darkness of the theater, I felt no urge to casually brush hands while reaching for popcorn. Nor did I feel any desire for him to do the whole yawn/wrap his arm around me thing. I just wasn't that into him. Bummer.
But even though there was no love connection I gave myself an "A" for effort because I had finally availed myself to possibility. I had even tried to look beyond the lack of physical attraction, thinking it might develop over time. But time didn't happen fast enough and, in the end, I realized that what I really wanted and what I really craved was both chemistry and character. I can't have one without the other. So, on to the next dude...