Wow, what a couple of days! Every time I log on, there’s a couple more messages in my inbox and my head gets just a little bit bigger. But the majority of them make me wonder what on earth they think we have in common – especially the ones coming from men in their late sixties, whose profiles always state I look and feel much younger. If I could write a personal message back, it would be something like: So do I, which puts me in my twenties, and that would be just icky.
Anyway, back to the first guy I responded to. I was out at a festival all day Saturday and didn’t get home until after midnight. I decided to have a quick peek before bed (it really is strangely addictive) and found a lovely email from him.
In a move that would have Kate pinning me down and repeatedly beating me around the head with a hardcover edition of The Rules, I responded immediately. I was just about to go to bed (after looking at a few more of the guys in my inbox so I could sleep smugly) when a little ping in my mailbox alerted me that First Guy had responded right away.
I’m going to call First Guy Albert, because that’s not his name.
So Albert and I did that flirty-email thing you do where you’re all lighthearted and witty and decided we’d meet for an afternoon coffee on Sunday. He left it up to me to choose, so I picked a nearby funky but very reasonably priced café, hoping it would make me seem cool and ‘in’ for knowing such a place.
Anyway, I feel like relating my whole weekend blow-by-blow for the sake of a cohesive chronology, but this blog is just about my dating adventures, so I’ll fast-forward to 3pm Sunday – the date.
As the café in question is practically at my front door, I arrived at 2:59 pm (don’t tell Kate) and found a seat in a cosy corner where I could see new arrivals. Albert arrived at about 3:02. I knew it was Albert because it was a little bald guy, about 2 inches shorter and a few years older than the boxes ticked on his profile. The nice smile I liked was not evident as he scanned the café… twice scanning right by me. So I decided to screw dignity and stood up and waved to him.
He noticed me and I waited for the lovely grin. I kept waiting as he came over to the table. I decided it would come after he ascertained I was the person he’d come to see.
“Patty?” he asked and I nodded eagerly.
“Oh,” he said and looked like he was going to bolt, but then – finally after scoping the location of all possible exits – sat down instead.
It was just like all my paranoid fantasies and nightmares. I tried to make conversation and he answered monosyllabically while his eyes darted around the buzzy little café. It was kind of clear he would have preferred to be anywhere but there. Or with anyone but me. I’d completely given up on seeing the smile I’d initially been attracted to. After a few awkward silences, I finally asked him outright:
“Do you want to go?”
“It’s just…” eyes darting all over the place, “I thought you’d be a bigger girl.”
What the F_ _ _? I didn’t say that, but I sure as hell thought it and it must have shown on my face. Albert was already standing up and ready to leave.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think this will work,” he said and he was out of the café. Our orders hadn’t even been taken yet. So of course the waitress picked that exact time to come up and brightly ask what I wanted. I’m enough of a regular there that I couldn’t just up and walk out, so I ordered a coffee. Which took another ten minutes to arrive. Ten minutes of blazing cheeks, half-hearted waves to those people I don’t really know but ‘know by sight’ and then about twenty seconds to drink it and bolt.
I ran (or jiggled if you’re going to be unkind) home and tried to figure out what the hell happened. I thought you’d be a bigger girl??? There’s no doubt that’s what he said.
Had I stumbled on a Tubby Lover or a Feeder or something on my very first date? And I wasn’t tubby enough? Well, that’s a first. I had absolutely no idea what to think about it. All I knew was I will not be suggesting any of my local haunts for first meets again.
I admit, it crossed my mind a hundred times over to give up the whole idea, but after a few hours I decided I could laugh about it. I never expected that one date would be all it took to find the love of my life. Chalk it up to experience.
So I decided to respond to a bunch of the messages in my inbox to say yes, I’m interested. And after Kate’s advice, this experience, and the ‘knowledge’ imparted by people on other forums that, yes, in online dating world ‘slightly overweight’ means mega-porky and ‘average’ means slightly-to-fairly-overweight, I’m seriously considering changing my body type to ‘average’. I don’t want to be dishonest, but it seems like if “everyone knows” these little truths of online dating, then I’m misrepresenting myself by being honest. Head spin. I’ll think about it later.
Thanks again to all who have chosen to comment and follow me. 🙂