I read this article just now that had me rolling laughing. I want to have a drink or lunch with the author just because I loved it so much and I totally don’t even know her. Ladies, it is something we can all appreciate if we are honest: dating hell.
Remember the good old days? When you wanted the dates to be debonair like Bogie above, only sometimes they were just…less so?
Here, read an excerpt:
Dating in Philly After 30: Ugh.
What’s it like to reenter the dating pool in your early 30s … after a divorce … when the last time you were single, Facebook was a print product? A tale of iguanas, E-A-G-L-E-S chants, and one really big glass of panic pinot grigio.
I was a little nervous. Maybe more than a little nervous. It had, after all, been a solid 10 years since I’d been on a first date, and if my memory served me correctly, I wasn’t all that good at them.
But I relaxed a little when he finally walked through the door of Johnny Brenda’s. Tall, well-dressed, seriously great smile — this was going to be just fine. We had met a few days before while waiting for our tables at brunch, and he was so charming that I agreed to follow-up drinks before remembering that I wasn’t ready to date…..“I’m so sorry I’m late. I was waiting on a friend,” he explained as he pulled out a chair and put his book on the table…..“His name is Jesus Christ.” It was then that I realized the book on the table was a Bible.
I hated dating. From the time I was a teenager, I was a lousy recreational dater. My mother whether she realized it or not piled on the dating pressure…always. And I was always infuriating my mother because if I was not dating someone I was particularly wild about, I came solo to date bearing occasions as decreed by her. I disliked blind dates and set ups. I just was never very good at it or the juggling of people aspect to it. And my mother would make these declarations of how I couldn’t go to such and such without an escort like it was Victorian England or some episode of something on Masterpiece Theater.
Every once in a while my mother would attempt a set up. It was always after tales of what a fabulous date she was back in the day and so on. One time early on in the set up of it all was The Philadelphia Charity Ball. 1981 to be precise — which was my cotillion year. I was not dating anyone in particular and settled on doing the cotillion dance part of it with a guy friend of mine. Lots of other girls and guys I knew were doing the exact same thing…and their parents were fine with it.
Well my mother was having none as in N-O-N-E of that. He wasn’t her choice. She set me up with an “appropriate” date from Wharton. Now she had not interfered quite so much since my sophomore year in high school when she decided I could not go to my sophomore prom with whom I wanted to go with.
I was mortified. 17 years old, a freshman in college and my mother chose an “appropriate” Charity Ball Date…her version. (Translation: Mommy’s taste was so 1950s.)
Yep, so I just decided to get through it. She could not foist this guy into the middle of the cotillion so Bobby Scott would still be announcing my name with the guy friend. So date shows up with flowers from Robertson’s (gorgeous). The date? Not so much. We had nothing as in zero in common and nothing to talk about and he was way shorter than I was. I am only 5′ 6″. It was painful…for both of us.
Like any infuriated at her mother teenage girl, I eventually ditched him at the Bellevue Strafford in Philadelphia. Mama San was furious. He showed up in the program book the following year photographed sitting on a bench all alone in the Bellevue somewhere reading a program book with some slightly sarcastic photo caption. Oh the drama in my house when THAT happened. It took my mother years to get over that.
That was not her only set up attempt during the course of my singlehood. Then there was the guy who was a son of a social friend of hers. The mothers connived because shock and horrors they had single adult children. The guy called a couple of times and he seemed nice. Good conversationalist so I thought ok one dinner wouldn’t be so bad.
He picked me up in a filthy dirty car with some smelly old duds in the back.
He took me to one of my favorite BYOBs at the time. Dinner was the best part of the date. My date spent the entire date talking about himself. Nothing about what did I like to do, so on and so forth. It was all the world according to…him. And I found out later he took me to an out of the way BYOB in case I was unattractive. (Nice. And amusing considering he is not what one would consider pretty or handsome…)
So date ended I said thanks politely and thought that was the end of it….nope…he called like the next day to critique the date and tell me why he wasn’t going to take me on a second date. I thought I was on candid camera or being punked or something. I actually had no witty retort since it was just so astoundingly rude. He married someone off a dating site a few years later I am told. God bless her.
My mother gave up on mommy pre-approved and contrived dates after that. (Thank goodness)
Other dates that are memorable in their horribleness was the portfolio manager type years ago from a rather important local investment concern. We met for coffee.
Again, seemed nice enough…until he decided to tell me his dating philosophy. He viewed these coffee dates as like….wait for it…tryouts. Yes, really.
So I am just sort of sitting there like a deer in headlights and he goes on to say after tryouts there will be “cuts”. At that point I found I could not sit still a moment longer and told him varsity football was so 1981 (when I graduated from high school). I was out of the door like a shot. “Coach” is probably somewhere still having try outs. That was the date where I learned no coffee dates.
I think bad dates whether you are male or female are a funny part of life. Kind of like the job interviews we have all gone on for jobs we don’t really want.
Monica Weymouth‘s piece tickled my funny bone. And my it made me realize how lucky I am NOT to be single. (And how lucky I am God did a lift-out a few years ago and landed me where I am supposed to be and with whom I am supposed to be with!)