Clunk, clunk, clunk I perambled through the hallways of Match.com, my heavy feet mostly unheard in the crowd. Two of those last four guys were selected almost solely on the basis of being widowers and two of them weren’t up to meeting me in person.
At least I was in the game, I could see the nookie at the end of the tunnel, and I was having a blast sharing the stories. It was a bit gratifying to see happily married friends excited as teenagers to hear about my adventures. Like me, some of them had been matched up for so long that they were titillated by the thought of online dating. Even as I was encouraged by these friends, gaining points among fellow little-kid parents, I couldn’t romanticize this set of dates, especially the ones that hadn’t happened. So I sought advice on the playground.
Bryan’s Mom and Dad told me how they’d both had unhappy first marriages, returned to the dating world, and then found each other. BD wrote up two lists: desirable qualities and dealbreakers. BM pointed out that she didn’t meet several of his “good” criteria and BD reminded her that the lists were only tools and you have to be sensible. (Excuse me? Would you repeat that last word?)
I started the list in my head:
(1) Must make me laugh.
(2) Must read real books, there will be a test.
(3) Must love women.
(4) Must enjoy sex, the “in person kind.”
A cute Jewish Ph.D. economist and I had some fun phone conversations. He sort of engineered that he’d join me and a girlfriend at a dance. As I found out, he was a tremendous avoider and this was one of those ways to not have to commit to asking for a date.
We met at a Cajun dance event in an open pavilion on a frigid night. There was no one else there under 60. When he showed up I found out that while his ad said he was 5’9” he was shorter than me (I’m 5’8”). That explained why the pants hung baggy in one of the pictures. He was very fit, with a runner’s physique. I felt like a draft horse standing next to him. We hugged ourselves in our coats and watched the oldsters lining up, hoping I suppose that something would happen somewhere.
I knew he was amusing, I could always pretend we were on the phone... We asked him about his two broken engagements. He didn't know what had gone wrong; perhaps he mentioned that women can be confusing. Somehow a pleasant convo led to this: Once a girlfriend asked him to “talk dirty.” He had never heard of it, but was game (and in the act) so he said, “I’m throwing dirt on you! Dirt, dirty! Now you’re getting muddy!” The woman said, “No, dummy! Say something really filthy to me! You’re supposed to curse! Come on!!!” So he said, “Cock! Cunt! Cock! Cunt!”
I raised my eyebrow, not sure if I should believe him. “You’re joking, right?”
“No. Those were the filthiest things I could think of.”
The eyebrow elevated a bit more and my hands went to my hips.
“I’d never heard of it. What, was I supposed to have done research already?”
Now my whole body was skeptical. One hip dropped to match the other eyebrow. “How long ago was this?”
The second eyebrow went way up. “I guess you’ve probably learned something since then?”
“Well… I don’t usually sleep with a woman until we’ve been dating for a while…”
My face fell. Okay, well, I think we’re about done here. But hey, it’s not like either of us had any other prospects in the room.
“I’m not sure that girlfriend really was good for me, anyway. I mean, she never noticed that I wanted to do it while watching sports.”
Oh no, I thought. Not the baseball scores thing. Early in my sex life a college boyfriend told me how he would recall vintage Yankee statistics to last longer. He was 21. I tested: “You mean you have a better, um, time if you’re partially distracted?”
“Yeah, but she never seemed to notice why I preferred sex in front of the TV, on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings.”
He was 45.
Ten p.m. on a Saturday, it was too late for another party and it didn't make sense to pay the cover at the excellent, popular, post-Gap-ad Swing dance party right next door. My girlfriend and I drove off in her Jeep, and I called out to him, “Hey, enjoy the game tomorrow!”
I went home and updated my list:
(5) Must have age-appropriate understanding of male sexual function.
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