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 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 deterrent. 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; 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, 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.
This post was originally published on HuffingtonPost.com and is republished with the author’s permission.
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