Well, here goes, I am officially going to share my recollection of a very short date. Don’t judge me too harshly…
Once upon a time I had an internet dating profile on e-Harmony, and I hated it.
Why? Well, apart from that it takes about 3-4 hours to set up your profile, every time I tried to log on I had forgotten my password, so, it became a chore. Also, when you finally do log in it keeps telling you your profile is only 60% complete, and I’m adverse to giving my identity away for free, whilst paying for the privilege. By this stage I’ve lost my internet dating mojo anyway.
When I finally can gain access to my account, there were always about 300 ‘connections’ in my inbox, so much so that I never actually got the chance to search anyone, because I was so busy trying to clean that up, check if there was anyone nice, and let people down gently.
Now, please know, that the volume of recommendations and introductions wasn’t anything to do with me, they automatically generated for the most part – its just demographic data. However, the sheer volume of numbers meant that I had to develop a protocol for dealing with it.
Firstly I deleted anyone who didn’t share a photo. I had read an article about the number of profiles without a photo that were actually married men. And that’s not my thing. It might be perceived as mean, on my part, to dismiss this category of profile totally, but seriously, we all make decisions based on the aesthetic, and a photo adds more credibility to a profile. Plus, I put my photo up there, so fair is fair.
Secondly, I deleted anyone who’s written description was unreadable due to multiple spelling errors and poor basic grammar. No judgement. My choice.
Thirdly, I focussed my attention on people who had viewed my profile, and/or made a sent a message directly to me (adhering to the above protocols), and commenced chatting with them.
One such fellow harmony user, doggedly pursed me – all very flattering at the time – until I agreed to meet for a coffee.
Coffee was my default choice for first dates – hate it and its over with quickly. Love it and you can linger. I’m yet to experience the latter.
I let him choose the locale for the meeting, as I prefer a man to be a man, none of this leaving it all up to me, sure, ask my preferences, likes and dislikes, but please, make up your own mind. I’m not your mother.
Of course, if I’d chosen the venue, I would have done some checking, and it wouldn’t be in the process of being set up for a wedding when we arrived, and the staff, sensing my distress at his incompetence, offered to serve us a coffee (on the house) near the bar area. I guess they sensed it wasn’t going to last long too.
But, I’m jumping ahead. I have to share with you my first impression. Don’t forget, I’ve got the stats on this man, height, build, hair & eye colour, and I’ve seen a photo.
I find this man leaning on a low wall just outside the entrance to the restaurant. He smiles awkwardly as I approach. I’ve straighted my hair and spent an appropriate amount of time getting ready and selecting an outfit for an afternoon date. I feel ok about my appearance.
I smile in return.
As I draw equal with him and we greet each other, I realise that he wasn’t actually leaning. He is short, where his profile advises that he is taller than me.
He comes up to my ear WITH his Tom Cruise big boy shoes on. I’m average height.
I’m not being size-ist, everyone enhances their profile in some way. Like at the time I think I said exercised more often than I did. And that I worked less hours than I actually did. But COME ON – height? I’m going to notice.
Alright, I push past the lie and we head inside to the unexpected weddingness. I try not to let my face belie my flight proclivity, but suspect I’m not doing a very good job.
The staff do their best to make us comfortable, taking our coffee order and disappearing. Fleeing from the awkwardness.
We get seated, and I am NOT exaggerating when I say he has to have two goes to get up onto the barstool. No drama’s, I’m not short-bashing. I’m reliving my experience of the situation.
We sit facing each other across a big barrel table, and I run through some small talk (no pun intended) options that I workshopped in the car on the way over.
The (then) current political situation. The weather. Work? I’m starting to panic, the silence is going on too long.
I decide to ask him if he’s been here before.
At the same second I start to ask, he asks abruptly. ‘Do you rent or do you own?’
Ohhhh, it twigs, I recall. Financial Planner.
I panic and make a split second decision to let him out of this on his terms, and lie and tell him I rent. I can tell he is disappointed and goes on to talk about renovations and tradespeople. Which I am actually going through as well. I listen quietly.
But, I made my choice, and its not like I can go back and say ‘Oh, you mean my home, I thought you meant the tequila I drank last night? Ha ha….??’
I just knew straight away. Plus I was nervous. The venue was overwhelming, and before you castigate me my decision making, lets not forget, he lied first. On the internet. Who does that?
When I arrived home I opened my laptop and there he was, smiling out from his profile pick, I’d looked at it before I left so I’d be sure to recognise him. The photo was taken in a garden setting and looked professional. It must have been taken by Campbell Newman’s photographer, because it was shot from a low angle, up.
By the time my computer refreshed the page, he had blocked me.
Naturally, I was thrilled. 🙂