Are These The Reasons I'm Not Dating?
I have given up on dating, or perhaps dating has given up on me. Either way, I haven’t had a date in a while, and I’m fine with that (then why are you writing this, Al?). Good question. Something happened recently that left me wondering, is it me, or is it them? Of course, there are a couple of good reasons that it’s me. First off, I don’t care if I date. I have resigned myself to the fact that if I die alone (not totally alone; I do have family and friends), in an empty bed, I can live (die?) with that. Reason one: apathy. Also, dating is hard. It’s not ‘lugging wet bags of cement up to the roof of my house’ hard, but anyone who has ever been in my position knows what I mean. When I first separated (then divorced) my wife, I went on a lot of dates; almost every night. It was exhausting and expensive. Let me clarify one thing: going out on a lot of dates, and getting laid, are two totally different things (at least, in my case they were). When I say dates, these were Groundhog’s Day dates where I repeated the same lines every night. The only difference was the audience of one to whom I delivered those lines.
I can’t blame the audience for this. To them, I was their audience of one. A new face listening to the same old script. If you ever used a dating site, you know what I mean. Night after night, I said the same thing, and I heard the same thing. But, it was a necessary evil; you have to ask questions in order to get to know someone. However, there are just so many questions you can ask a stranger. It may not sound like it, but it is hard work, and I just don’t want to do that anymore. Reason two: Laziness. I’m lazy.
One thing I had in my favor on those dating sites was that before I actually spoke to a person, I could write to them. That’s where I felt I had a little advantage; I could always write well. I could get people to laugh online (before they had a chance to laugh in my face). But I came to find this could also be a determent. This first occurred very early on in my online dating experience.
During an ongoing email dialogue with a woman, while we handed out bits and pieces of our lives to each other, she mentioned that she was a Sagittarius. I innocently wrote back, “Oh, that’s too bad because I could never date anyone who is a Sagittarius because my ex-wife is a Sagittarius and I’m afraid it simply wouldn’t work out.”
I laughed, and hit send.
What I received in return was a scathing two-page email addressing that specific comment. Let me summarize those two pages for you. She said, “You’re an asshole”.
It was a joke. I have never been in a position to exclude any potential women from dating me. I was being sarcastic.
And that was the problem; sarcasm does not translate to the written page. Especially not with someone I had not officially met and who had no idea that I was not, in fact, an asshole (in my opinion, at least).
This was before the age of LOL. In fact, I don’t think LOL would have even helped. The wisdom of hindsight tells me it was a stupid thing to write to someone that didn’t know me. But I do know one thing that would have helped me with this awkward communication faux pas:
It has been said before, and I’ll say it again, but what the world really needs is a sarcastic font.
I vote for Comic Sans for no other reason that it has ‘comic’ right there in the name.
A few weeks ago I met a woman where I work. Not an employee, someone who had been in the building just for the day. We had a short conversation, and after we were done, I walked away and started a conversation with a friend of mine. In that conversation, I made a joke. Behind me, I could hear the woman I just met laugh. OK then. I turned back to her, and we had another conversation. In a short time after that, I went back to my desk. It was while at my desk that I debated about going back to give her my card for my website. She would be out of the building by three that afternoon. For two hours I debated whether or not to give her the card (yes, two hours to decide whether or not to hand someone a card). Finally, I went back, handed her the card, and mumbled something about ‘just thought if you want something to read’ (like suddenly there was a shortage of reading material on the internet).
A few days later I read an email she sent. It was funny and clever (I do like funny and clever). In a very short while we had a nice little back-and-forth going (think His Girl Friday but with emails). Then, just as we were making arrangements for a date, her emails stopped. A follow up email on my part went unanswered, so I let it drop. But not knowing why they stopped is what drove me insane. Did I say something stupid? Was it misconstrued? Perhaps it was another incident where a sarcastic font could have saved the day.
Who am I kidding, she just changed her mind. After all, my blog is named ‘Conflict and Scotch’ and not ‘Rainbows and Unicorns’. Who needs that drama? Smart woman.
Still makes me wonder why I don’t date. Is it my apathy, my laziness, or the want of a really good sarcastic font?
We may never know, but I will tell you this: The next time I meet a woman that shows even the slightest interest in me, I won’t give up. I will never say anything remotely sarcastic; I will be at her beck and call every moment of every day, and will change every single thing about myself to make sure I am the person that she wants me to be. I swear.
That is so Comic Sans.