Previously posted on Vox.
It was with great hesitancy that I walked down Sixth Avenue to meet up with Guy #2. I fought the feeling of sending an email to cancel, because that’s something the old Valerie would do. “What’s the harm?” I asked myself. My first blind date was with a man in love with his cat, but that didn’t mean that my second blind date would also be a failure. If nothing else, I’d have a beer, maybe a new friend, and surely a funny story to tell my friends about the oldest guy who contacted me on Match. Well, I would’ve had a story, if the guy had shown up. He stood me up. I swear.
Now, somebody explain this to me. Why did he contact me, go through the rigamarole, make plans to meet, and then not show? I, once again, as a traitor of my race, showed up on time. Truth be told I was early. Gasp. I scanned Markt, he wasn’t there. Markt wasn’t full: a couple of gay men, an old lady loudly sipping soup, and two girls going to a charity event and speaking very loudly about it.
Five minutes go by. Ten minutes. A guy in a striped shirt walks up to me. I thought, “Hey, he’s not bad. Not bad at all.”
“Hi, I’m Bill.”
The minute Bill opened his mouth, it was obvious that he was as fruity as my mother’s Christmas cake. Clearly, not my date. So of course in typical “this is my life,” gay Bill and I made a connection. He bought me a Duvel and I told him my whole Match.com drama. (Okay, there’s no drama, it’s only been a week, but still…). Bill voiced disbelief that my blind date didn’t even call the bar to say that he couldn’t make it. Bill, like me, agrees that the only excuse that can be accepted is that the meetup guy’s trapped under the tire of an M9 bus. If he contacts me, he better be missing a leg and his pinky finger too.
Bill was sweet as hell. Problem is: I’m not a gay man! (I feel I need I need to shout that to the universe). If I were a gay man, I’d still be in Chelsea with Bill, and the other gay men who gravitated toward us. If I were a gay man, right now I’d be having fun in a bathroom stall, maybe not; the point is, the night was unfulfilling. Actually, that’s not true; I had more fun tonight with Bill and my Duvel than I did yesterday with Catman and my runny eggs. I’ll soldier on.
Monday night (11:08p.m.)
Um, just a note (albeit an embarrassing one), I checked my Match mail to see if the oldest, hopefully amputated guy had left a note explaining why he had failed to show for our meetup. In my inbox was this message:
Looking forward to meeting you. I only know one or two bars in Union Square– but I see you know the area better than I do (at least in terms of bars :). I’m glad that you got to pick a place you like. See you Tuesday at 6:30p.m.
Tuesday?! I garnered sympathy, pats on the back, and even a free beer, because I had the wrong day. Unfreakinbelievable. Well, at least now I kow the story to run when I’d like a comped Belgian beer.
In the Bible, the number seven symbolizes perfection. Perfect, because I feel pretty biblical most days. I’ve been tested like Job, been wayward like the prodigal son, have lots of coats like Joseph, and died and was resurrected like Jesus (well, not exactly, but had a lot of fun one night, and was also under anesthesia three times).
As the forgotten daughter of Lamentations, it’s fitting to end my Match escapade seven days from the day I started with a big lament. I must deactivate my Match account pronto. Enough is enough. You might think that I have hardly given Match a fair chance, but I have. I have! Did you have to listen to a tedious conversation about cat pus? Did you take one hundred minutes to look “natural” on a date that lasted ninety minutes? Did you have to listen to a conversation about social imperialsim versus communism? And, did you have to listen to someone speak so fast that the speaker swallowed half his words while drinking chamomile tea? Yes friends, chamomile freaking tea. Who under ninety drinks chamomile tea in public?
On Tuesday at 6:30p.m., I met my date Talkalot Ted at the corner of 17th and 6th. I waited as Talkalot Ted chained his bicycle to a pole, then proceeded to wipe grease all over his cargo pants. He greeted me with, “Hi Sweetie, I’m unemployed,” hence his moniker. (Okay papi, did I even ask you to pay my rent? Why would you tell me you have no job in the first thirty seconds? And, why are you calling me Sweetie?).
It struck me that Talkalot Ted was closer to my father’s age than mine. He was damn near close to my grandfather’s age. I’ve never met my grandfathers, maybe he was one of my grandfathers? Talkalot Ted must’ve been in college when JFK was shot, (maybe even Lincoln?). Dude was old. The clues: the age spots all over his hands, the personal references to things that took place in WWI, his speeches that began with, “People your age.”
I saw his age on his profile, but I didn’t think he would look so ancient. I also think he lied and made himself forty years younger. Maybe, he just didn’t age well or maybe he’s a big, fat liar like Tom Arnold… “Did you eat that last slice of pound cake Tom?” “Um, no honey (big swallow), I didn’t.”
Early this afternoon, I told VP that I’d left a message on Talkalot Ted’s voicemail, and I was a bit worried because his voice was shaky. His message sounded like this, “H.i.i.i.i.i.i.i y..o.u.v.e reeeeeaaached Ted, leeeeeave a …” I wondered why his voicemail had suddenly cut off, but now I know his message is incomplete because he fell asleep before he could finish recording. Talkalot Ted, the poet/filmmaker/communist, who woke up fifteen minutes before our meetup, and loves black women because of all the years he lived in Kenya, was the straw that broke my Match.com back. I can’t do it anymore.
Our last words:
Talkalot Ted: How much do you weigh?
Me: Now, there’s a question. Somewhere in the hundreds.
Talkalot Ted: You should put the exact number and your height on your profile.
Talkalot Ted: You’d meet more men that way.
Me: Really now.
Talkalot Ted: Well, if you’re looking for a guy who’s into that sort of thing.
Me: What sort of thing?
(Talkalot Ted takes a printed copy of my profile photo out of his bookbag… yes, a ninety year old with a bookbag)
Talkalot Ted: Look at your thighs in this pic, they look big. They don’t look big in person.
Me: Yea, thanks Ted.
Wow. I’m done. These Matchers sure know how to charm a woman don’t they? My Match.com experience has been chamomile tea, “I’m unemployed,” cat’s sebaceous cysts, “you don’t have big thighs,” and “my cat’s my soulmate.” Friends, this is a community I’d pay $39 to flee from.