Thursday, February 2, 2017

This Is Why I Am Single - There You Go- A Guest Column

Here're a few words, from Muh DAB, Glenn Gaylord...

A Die Alone With Me Dot Com Guest Blog
by Glenn Gaylord

I have a friend who uses a mental egg timer for coffee dates. After fifteen minutes, he figures he can know enough about someone to decide if he would like to see them again or not. Either way, he cuts things off and thinks things over. I don’t know if that’s called speed dating or if it’s dating on speed, but the older I get, and the more protective I am of my time, the concept intrigues me more and more. While I don’t think I want to adhere to the strict 15 minute rule, I definitely can get on board with not wanting to spend more time than necessary with someone who literally makes my skin crawl. Oh wait, did I just refer to my latest coffee date? Why, yes I did!

It all started innocently enough with a nice little “You Like Each Other” notification on OK, CUPID, aka FU CUPID. He looked handsome and from his description, he checked off all the right boxes and had a clear sense of humor. When I gave him my number, he actually called. Who does that? Our conversation flowed wonderfully and I actually looked forward to meeting in person. Could this be the unicorn I’ve been seeking? In a word, “NO”. In two words, “HE-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L NO!”

I started looking outside the LA area for dates, because, well, you know…LA = Narcissism and Sociopathy when it’s not offering up Flakes. Ok, perhaps that’s a bit harsh and unfair, but…no…fuck it…it’s pretty accurate. So this guy scored major points because he lived near Long Beach and was willing to travel up my way to hang out.

Then the date happened…and the score reset to zero almost immediately. Maybe he didn’t like me or didn’t find me attractive, which is totally fine. To each his own. But his first move was to sigh heavily as I joined him at his table. On the plus side, he looked just as good in person, but his deflating personality kept overpowering the stuff in the PRO column. I thought I would start out by continuing a conversation we had while on the phone. He had mentioned struggling with a job search, so I asked if there had been any new developments in looking for work since last October.

His response: “October? What gave you the idea it was October? I’ve been jobless a lot longer than that! Plus, I’m taking care of my sick mother, so maybe it’s for the best that I’m not working. I don’t know. But I do know I don’t want to talk about this anymore and if something doesn’t change soon, I’ll probably put a gun to my head.”

Apologetic, I said perhaps I had misheard him and didn’t mean to upset him. Trying to lighten the mood, I added that if he ends up getting a job or puts a gun to his head, at least we knew the situation would get resolved either way. I got a chuckle out of him. The only chuckle.

Moving on, I asked him what he liked to do in his spare time. “Spare time?”, he asked, “What spare time? I’m out of work and taking care of my mother. What spare time do you think I have?!!” Swallowing my pride and the sour taste of “Dead Date”, I continued to ask him questions in a futile attempt to reignite the spark that clearly existed on our phone call. I noticed, however, that he had no curiosity in me. If I asked him how many siblings he had, he would croak out a response but not ask me the same thing. Instead, I would just awkwardly interject my information, which would prompt from him the following retort: “Well, there you go!”

There you go? What does that even mean? It’s been a pet peeve of mine when someone I don’t know well says that to me. If a good friend uses it, the implication could mean they know you so well and what you said was another example of your uniqueness. But when a new person hurls it at you, it feels like they’re not listening, dismissing your statement, or just filling the dead air. He “There You Go’ed” me a few more times. Thus, on this particular date, I took it as my cue to literally GO.

Often, when ending a date gone south, I’ll typically make an “I” statement: “I’m not feeling a strong connection here” or “I don’t feel comfortable”. But, in this moment, I felt the weight of all my considerable baggage and thought I’d use a potentially confrontational “you” statement for a change. What the hell? New year, new methods! So I looked him in the eyes, the two that seemed to be rolling since minute one, and said, “You look bored”.

“No,” he responded, “I’m just tired from the drive.”

Tired from the drive? What does he use, a Flintstone car????!!!!

“Maybe we could go for a walk,” he offered.

This felt as good a place as any to bring down the hammer with a monologue: “We could go for a walk, but I honestly don’t think that’s a good idea. The moment this coffee date started, you’ve thrown a lot of negative energy my way and haven’t shown any interest in me whatsoever. When I would impart some information about myself, your only response would be, “Well, there you go.” It doesn’t feel good, so I’m going to pass on that walk and leave right now. Take care.”

Maybe, like my DAB Danny says, this is why I’m single. Perhaps I didn’t give him enough of a chance. Things could have turned around on that little stroll. He may have perked up and asked me about my upbringing. People have lousy days and surely a guy who takes care of an ailing parent can’t be that bad, right? All true, but at my age, self-preservation mode kicks in really fast. Tick tock. Tick tock.

I didn’t look back. There I go!

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