On Thursday afternoon a few weeks ago, one of my newer friends texted me and told me he had someone for me to date. He described the potential suitor as tall, of the same faith as me, successful, and in my age bracket. Since the majority of my most recent conquests have been younger, if not a lot younger, that latter descriptive note definitely piqued my curiosity. I was kind of over the young guns who were single-never-married or divorced with no kids or divorced with super young kids. I was excited to meet someone who was in the same space of life that I was. He had two kids in college and a good relationship with his ex-wife, so what could be a deal breaker other than chemistry?
I’m always ready to meet someone new so I told my friend to share my contact information. The potential new guy and I connected. We seemed to know some people in common, including my high school boyfriend (we still talk) and my editor. I called the old boyfriend who assured me that my blind date was a nice guy, but he wasn’t sure he was my type. He described him as a “hand-shaker” who is best friends with everyone. He told me the reason for his divorce, which wasn’t alarming. I decided to take the plunge and made a plan to see the blind date on the following Saturday night.
Sporting a new hairdo which I hated, I felt passable-presentable-attractive. Attractive being the last adjective. Funny enough, I chose the same restaurant where I had previously dined with two other bad first dates. With the attitude of ‘third time is the charm,’ I looked forward to meeting my blind date. For the record, I fell for the love of my life aka my deceased husband, on a blind date. Somehow this always gave me the courage to walk through that door without knowing the person on the other side.
When I arrived, the bar was relatively empty. There was a group of twenty-somethings at one end, a couple at the other and a single male in the middle. I deduced that he was my date. Good looking and nicely dressed in jeans, classic cordovan dress shoes, a button down and a stunning, custom-made navy on navy plaid sport coat, I sized him up nicely. He had impeccable taste in clothes. His hair (which was a bonus that he had hair at our age) was trimmed in a boy-next-door cut. He wore wire-rimmed glasses. He was cute. I was content.
He started the conversation and never stopped…talking. I felt like my date was an old vinyl album stuck in that locked groove, playing the same track over and over again. Even worse, he was repeating the part of the song that I hate the most — where it gets so loud you want to cover your ears. This guy could talk and talk, and since I was stuck with his music for the evening, lifting the needle and adjusting the position was to no avail.
In addition to his verbal diarrhea, he was overbearing. He monopolized the conversation, insuring that every avenue lead back to his life. He would ask me a question and no sooner would I be two words into my response than he would take over; circling the conversation back to him. This was the pattern and not the exception.
He told me that he had his friends look me up on social media and forward him pictures. He liked what he saw, he explained, and goes after what he wants. He said that if he didn’t like the photos of me, he would have cancelled the date even after scheduling it. He told me which photos he thought were attractive. I was flattered, but felt like a piece of meat. I didn’t know what he looked before the date and I was happy with that, I was unhappy he had judged me by my cover, not caring about the story that was written inside the book that is my life.
I tried to carry on, not being one to cut a date short. I told him about my season tickets for the local sports teams and he countered with offering me better seats because of his connections. The gesture was kind, but the way he said it suggested that my seats were inferior and did not meet his standards.
We chatted about our kids. He offered to connect my college graduating daughter with some job contacts. The gesture was appreciated; I hoped it was sincere. We were not a match, but I did pass along the information to my daughter. A week after our date, I reached out to him to thank him for all that he had done for her. “So, are we getting together again?” He asked and I wondered if this is why he helped me in the first place. “Would you like to have dinner?” He persisted. I didn’t want to go out again with this man who was a broken record of “all about me.” I replied that I enjoyed meeting him and would be happy to pursue a friendship but I didn’t see us having a greater connection.
He was silent on the phone, and that was that. It was no wonder with all the people we had in common, no one had set us up prior. He wasn’t a bad guy. He was super nice, a perfect gentleman, smart and handsome. However, I had seen him before, heard him before, and I was tired of the same record over and over again. I felt defeated once again and sat wondering if anyone out there will ever make a new gold record that I can play from beginning to end for the rest of my life.