Tag Archives: lotr

International Men of Mystery

I went on two dates in one day.

Did I just type that?

Did it really happen?

Me, the girl on a <embarrassing number redacted> month dry-spell, went on two dates in one day. I almost can’t believe it. I’ve never been a serial dater. I’m no femme fatale.

Number one: We’ll call him “Uno” for a few reasons. First, he was … the first… date of the day. (One, Uno, First, first; sigh) Second, as I’ll explain, he’s first in my heart.

Number two: We’ll call him “Two” for the obvious reason, and a less obvious one; he’s a little shitty.

2

Uno has been on my radar for a while. I first met in him August, at a community event. I was introduced to him because his buddy was dating my buddy. They told me ahead of time, “he’s a little nerdy.” I said, “that’s just my type!” And when I saw him, I knew! From then on out, I dressed especially nice for events when I may run into him. I checked into him through mutual friends, and confessed my crush. I facebook stalked him. I turned into a middle-schooler. In November, I passed my phone number to him through the buddy, but the answer I got was he had someone he was interested in already. I was bummed. I had to face the humiliation of telling all the people I confessed to that I was passed over.

Nerd

Well, as we know, I joined match.com. Somehow it got back to Uno that I was out there dating! And Uno decided to do something about it! In the rush of a few days, me, Uno, buddy and buddy were all going to meet for a drink! Now it’s serious. Get-a-babysitter-shave-your-legs serious. Truth be told, I told my buddy that Uno was more of a “bikini wax” candidate rather than a “shave” candidate.

touch

I googled the place we were going, and it had its own parking lot. That posed a problem in itself. This is all trivial stuff, but exceedingly important to me, as I wanted to make the best impression I could. Parking lot meant I should get my car washed and try to make it appear that I don’t purposefully fill my back seat with McDonald’s bags. The parking lot added an additional problem… my driver’s side door is broken. I have to roll my window down and let myself out. So I needed to get there early, but just in case, I called my buddy to fill her in so she could come gallantly open my car door.

All that turned into a non-issue as I parked on the street, and was the first there. I felt at ease and was ready to make the best impression. He arrived and the date was wonderful.  He was charming, but didn’t brag. He was funny, but self-effacing. As we walked out together, he placed his hand on the small of my back, and my knees went weak. I floated away with heart-shaped eyeballs, and wanted to cancel the later date with Number Two. I was ready to start my pinterest board for the wedding with Uno, and to plan our ski vacation.

shag

I did go on the second date. I had to eat, after all. At first glance, Number Two would have done much better if he wasn’t following Uno. As time passed, though, more of what he said and more of his behavior became problematic.

Number Two is very well-read. He reads several hours a day, and is a published author and poet. He was able to go toe-to-toe with me on many of my favorites, and many movie quotes, but the first bad sign was that he “couldn’t make it through” LOTR or Harry Potter, but HAD read Twilight AND 50 Shades! Number Two is a loud-talker. I don’t normally have a problem with that, but we were in a quiet restaurant, and he proudly pronounced his 50 Shades reading.

zip

I asked him if his books were works of pure fiction, or were more biographical. I had, of course, googled his books, and knew their subject matter. They are about a man who falls in love with a woman while they are both confined in a mental institution. He said they were close to the truth. ok. He then went on and on about Hunter S. Thompson, and how ‘no-one’ does drug and alcohol abuse right like Hunter S. Thompson. ok.

dangerous

His stories, though, were interesting. He had hiked Nepal and was able to summit peaks on 2 continents in his adventures. He had been in real estate in NYC, lived in the Hamptons, and was able to make me laugh. I was enjoying myself and ordered dessert. That’s when it happened. He ate from my dessert, without invitation. And not just once with a clean spoon- he double dipped his dirty spoon in my bread pudding.

how about no

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was ready to go. I tried wrapping up the conversation. The restaurant was closing down. I brought that to his attention.  The valet brought his keys to him, as he was leaving for the night. I kept waiting and waiting for him to pay the check. All I could think of was Amy Webb getting stuck with the $1300 check on her date. It was going to be me! How much was his wine!? WHY did I order the duck?! I can’t afford this dinner!

million

I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally said, “I’m sorry. I must go.” He stood up and walked towards the door. This was the moment. The moment I was going to get stuck with the check. I stood at the table with the bill. I was pulling out my credit card.

The waitress, the dear, dear waitress stopped him at the door and asked him so politely, “Would you like me to run your card for you, sir?” She saved me. He stammered an excuse- he thought the folio was his napkin.

riiiight

Outside he asked for a hug and for a second date. Since I already knew I wasn’t going to go on another date with him, I submitted to the hug.

not a hugger

Follow up conversations were brief. He asked me to go see some Elvis impersonators, and I let him know I think we would better off as friends. He handled it well, so well that I haven’t heard from him, and that suits me fine.

talk

What hasn’t suited me fine is waiting on Uno. In the week after the date I waited by the phone for his call. And waited. And waited. I continued my facebook stalking research.

I didn’t hear from him.

I reached out to him, and apologized for my delay. I asked him for a second date. He kindly turned me down, and explained that he had someone else he was interested in.

honestly

Who is this woman, and what does she have that I don’t have? Machine gun jubblies? Was her name Allota Fagina? I felt a spark! We had a connection! I expanded my research and gathered the details on this fem-bot. Turns out she’s a tall, blonde, snow-skiing, ivy-league educated PhD. Well, then. If I’m going to be chosen over, at least it’s on those qualifications.

I wrote a kind response to Uno, and let him know it was all “fine.”

quotes

In the meantime, I’m still dating up a storm from match.com. Being desired elsewhere worked once, maybe it’ll work again!

yeah

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Of the Coming of Men into the West

In the Silmarillion, in chapter  17 , we learn more about how Elves first met Men. On a Sunday in January 2015, I first met a blind date from match.com for coffee. We shall call him Mountain Man.

drink

Mountain Man appeared to pass most of my MH/CS,  ( Must Haves and Can’t Stands  for those new to the blog) and was distinctly different than the rest of the emails I received in that he emailed me before I added a picture. I found this refreshing and I was interested in meeting a person of such character. We had common goals of reducing consumption, avoiding Wal-Mart, and saving the Earth. We each had one kid, and he prized a good mother as the most-admirable trait he was looking for.

Although I was 100% honest about each thing I said, I feel like I presented my “idealized self” on this date. I am going to do more research and thinking upon dating stages and when to break in real-world realness like baggage, potential deal-breakers and daily struggles.

Like the Ash Mountains bordering Mordor, there were peaks of problems in our conversation. He brought some realness to the conversation, and the date felt a bit like an interview. He still seems a bit bitter about the ex-wife. The Mount Doom of the conversation was that he was on a mission to find someone with whom he could retire to the mountains with, and live off the grid in a cabin. He was really interesting, and had wonderful stories to relate about camping under the stars 39 nights (not counting the ones in his backyard!) last year. I don’t camp. I don’t even glamp . I’m not opposed to trying it, it’s just that some physical issues I have prevent it from being really viable.

ash mountain

I knew fairly quickly that this was not going to be a love match, but was pleased when he asked me out again. I agreed. We decided that we would meet again a week away, another Sunday date. To be honest, I knew before even the first date that we would not be a love match, but I was eager to practice my dating skills, which had been gathering dust in my spinster closet.

I mean... check out my pick-up line!
I mean… check out my pick-up line!

We texted a bit during the week. He even asked me about a hypothetical weekend get-away. I felt he really liked me, so I was willing to roll with it.

Sunday came and went. No word from him.

stood up

11:45 pm Sunday night he text me, “I’m an ass.”

Yes, Yes you are.
Yes, Yes you are.

There was no way I was responding to him that late at night. I was awake, as I am a night owl, but dude barely knew me! And I shall not be thy booty call, Mountain Man. I responded to him the next day and let him know that I had no hard feelings about it, that I didn’t think I was the mountain trekker of his dreams, but I wished him luck in finding her. He didn’t really take that lying down…. Cue compliments.

listening

We chatted a bit over the next few days, and I thought he got the point. Until I got a friend request on facebook.

friend

I didn’t answer that. Bit weird. Then two days later I got a random, middle of the night text from him, “What is your Birth Date?”

date

On to the next. I can’t let the muggles get me down.

outta here

 

‘A darkness lies behind us,’ Bëor said; ‘and we have turned our backs upon it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought. Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.’- Chapter 17, The Silmarillion

Is this The Daily Phophet or The Quibbler?

quibdaily prophet

I enrolled one of my hiking buddies to help me take some staged pictures. Because it was 25 degrees (f) and, in my opinion, entirely too cold to hike, I dressed the part of a hiker and paired my smile with a red scarf.

scarf

We then dashed to my house and staged a Christmas photo.

yuleballs

I was really thrilled when 30 seconds or so after my photos were associated with my profile, I already had an email. Although I was prepared to follow Amy’s directions for 24-48 hour delay in email response, I couldn’t help but open the email to read it. Color me disappointed. All the email said was, “Want some meatloaf????”

theyarenotforeating

I was so disgusted. And it didn’t end there. In the past few days, I received emails from over 20 men, and less than 5 actually appeared to have read my profile and attempted to have a legitimate email conversation. The others fancied themselves as:

ladies

Even the five I received weren’t from men that fit my must-haves and cant-stands requirements. My wise friend Barb advised me to utilize a few of those unattractive candidates to practice my email banter. She was right! I started up, and glanced over the gentlemen’s profiles and tried to follow recommendations I’ve read online. I carefully complimented, referenced a mutual interest, responded upon what they wrote and asked a leading question.

I’m happy to say the correspondence has continued with these guys, and one asked me for a date! I’m not free for another week, so I have a long time to read about “How to Appear Like You Are Normal.” This could take a while.

reading

And So It Begins

I’ve done it. I’ve published my profile.

begins

I’ve had a ton of emails on my profile! Ok, maybe not a ton. 2. I’ve had 2 emails.

2 already

They both asked for a photo.

frodo selfie

I don’t consider myself a photogenic person. I do not frequently, if ever, post selfies online. I decided to do research on the most effective profile photos for online dating, and among the directions were:

1) Solo photos. No photos including friends, children or pets. Well, all my photos include those.

selfie

2) Wear red, and if possible, red lipstick. I don’t wear red much. I have one red sweater and one red scarf. Does a Gryffindor scarf count as red?

photo

3) Show teeth.

gollum teeth

4) Be outside, and if possible, reflect activity.

teeth

After all this, and after many selfies, I decided on this:

perfect

In all seriousness, I really want this to be a successful endeavor. I did try to take some selfies. I wasn’t happy with any of them. That lead to some self-reflection that perhaps confidence is a big issue for me with dating. Especially when I’m looking at some of the photos the gentlemen have chosen to post. Am I being too picky with my photo, or are they not being picky enough?

After taking some time to meditate on this, I fear that in my seriousness, I have made a mistake by not starting my profile with pictures. I have missed my first chance with many men. I want to remedy this by taking photos tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, but I am not going to post them until New Year’s Day.

I also hereby resolve to not be so serious. I have found the perfect profile photo.

smile

Forward? or Forward!

So Christmas happened, and I told my family I am going to online date. They are quite surprised. One of the questions that came up was, “How are YOU going to POSSIBLY find someone online?!”

what did you say

Even though the question seems a little insulting, it didn’t bother me because that’s exactly how I felt before I saw the Ted Talk with Amy Webb.

I was able to use her talks’ talking points to explain to my family that online dating is exactly what I need to find an unattached, 40-50 years old, liberal, Christian, non-hunting, Frodo-phile in the middle of the Deep South. When I told them that Amy had a theoretical pool of 35 possibly eligible men in Philadelphia, an area 3x larger than my metro area, they were able to do the math.

I realize I am starting to sound like an Amy Webb fangirl. It’s probably because I AM an Amy Webb fangirl. Unlike many “tips” and “tricks” I’ve seen advertised as online dating hacks, Amy advocates being your best self online, with no tomfoolery or ballyhoo. She isn’t suggesting makeup shading or seductive language to lure a fellow with sex. She suggests to simply present your best self, get objective feedback, and target your audience.

When I went on youtube to show my mother the original Ted Talk, a few television appearances popped up on the menu. Today I watched a small snippet of an episode of The View and an ABC interview Amy was giving for her book. Data, A Love Story: How I Cracked the Online Dating Code to Meet My Match

I took away a few more tips, and decided to watch a few more videos. And then, in the next video, Amy referenced Mary Poppins. Total fangirl moment. My inner 14 year old squee-d. I just told my mother over dinner that I was going to describe myself with these words: Practically Perfect in Every Way.

ruler

That is a cheeky joke, but I have been putting some thought into my profile. I really do want to be able to weed out people with whom I don’t think I will be compatible with long-term, but I am frightened that I may polarize potential dating material by advertising my very firm “must-haves” and “can’t-stands.” It is in these moments that I begin to feel hopeless again about the candidates for me in my geographic area.

Another question my parents had for me was when I was starting. I remember seeing commercials last year after the new year with sales. So, I’m thinking for money’s sake, that I will look for New Year’s sales or maybe a groupon deal.

Regardless of when I will “go live,” it’s another step forward today. Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste.

 

 

Mines of Moria

Can I afford to date? If I go through with match.com, how much might this cost me?

I’m a single mom. I’m not Scrooge McDuck.

money-bin

My head is thinking there’s not only the cost of match; there’s also the cost of “dating.” For any men readers not in the know, let me fill you in… dating is expensive for women. There’s clothing, hair, make-up, nails, waxing, in addition to the costs everyone faces, like the cost for the actual date and gasoline, and intangible costs like time away from friends and family, and additional worry.

Before you start with the “hair and make-up aren’t necessary” lines. Here is what I look like in the morning:

theoden1

Once a crew gets a hold of me like Cinna got ahold of Katniss, I start thinking:

noman

And as I walk out of the door for my date, I resemble:

eowyn2

Except I wear something a bit more conservative. Like a nun habit. More on that later. I am totally new to this, so in my feedback sessions with my friends, they tell me that some first-meet dates are just coffee dates. Some first meet dates (if either person travels or if a positive connection is made in chatting) are dinner dates.

If you can’t already tell, I over-think things. I will need to form some sort of hair calculation tool to weigh how much I like a gentleman versus hair expenses. A blow-out is $25 (plus tip). A full style is $55 (plus tip). Some girls are defined by their make-up, some by their personality; I am defined by my hair. Amy Webb made an algorithm to decide whether to meet someone- I’ll use one to decide whether to meet my dates with my best hairdo or not.

I can probably minimize my clothing costs by going back to a tool I used in high school, a notepad. I kept meticulous count of each item of clothing I wore. If I combine this, a hairdo algorithm and meet only truly viable men, using a paid dating site may be possible for this single mom!

At the Council of Elrond

At the Council of Elrond strangers from distant lands were called to gather to decide the fate of the one ring. I have similarly gathered with my single girlfriends over the past several weeks to tell them of my decision to date.

elrond

This was a shocking change to them indeed. Now, they weren’t as shocked as Boromir was to hear Isildur’s tale, but they were interested in the video that changed my mind. After watching Amy Webb, they understood a little bit more, and were excited to tell me their online dating stories.

I wrote down a lot of their feedback on the different dating sites. I also learned about the way paid sites work. It was a bit of a shocker that the 3/6/12 month contracts that had monthly fee were actually charged at once. That puts a different spin on the cost for me. As a single parent, I have a strict budget. I will need to figure out if I can afford to date!

numbers

The main paid sites under my consideration are Match.com, eharmony.com, and Christianmingle.com. I gave some serious consideration to eharmony. I have read the book Date or Soulmate by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, and have my “must-haves” and “can’t-stands” defined. The target market for eharmony and Christianmingle feels a bit more conservative than I am. And a bit more serious about dating only with the altar in mind. Because of that, and because of positive comments about the ease of use and large active user base, I decided on match.com.

How long will it take me to find an elven king that looks at me like Sam looks at Rosie?