I was sitting at my bff's house last night watching movies and expressing my dating woes. She's been married going 8 or 9 years and seems content to live vicariously through me. She calls me up every day so we can chat about kids, my job, her husband, and the lack of dating that seems to be my life. Last night as I was sitting on her couch, we were joined by a mutual friend. This woman has been single almost as long as I have. We are both jaded and are prepared to throw in the dating towel and just be content with a book and a slice of pie.
Or, in my case, Oreos.
"You just have to get out there and meet new people," my bff kept advising us. I am hesitant to take dating advice from anyone who has been in a relationship longer than a year. Why? Because the rules of engagement change so drastically, so quickly, that unless you have both feet in the arena, 'out there' can mean anywhere.
"Wes, you would probably find your dream guy at the bookstore. Or somewhere else. You just got to get out there."
Which brings up the whole point of this blog post. Where exactly is 'out there'? And how do I find it?
When I was single, in my early 20's, out there was the club. No question about it. The club was my home every Friday and Saturday night. I met the most interesting people there. Of course, to be fair, after a few shots of tequila, just about anyone is interesting. Still, when people referred to getting 'out there' to meet people, I knew what they meant. But, 10+ years and two children later, I have no interest in the club scene. I say leave that to the generation of 20-somethings coming up behind me. Let them tackle the testosterone field meat market that is now home to over priced drinks. Let the younger, less satiated, combat the numerous social diseases you can get from sitting on the public toilets. To me, you take your life into your own hands when you enter those places.
I'd rather stay home. At least I know my bathroom is clean.
"It takes time," she advised me. Our mutual friend agreed, but shared my impatience.
"You know, I think I'm just going to give up," our friend said as she folded her arms across her chest. "I'm giving up on online dating also. These guys read my profile and totally misrepresent themselves. First impressions mean so much, and they show up on a date looking like they are ready to go out into the woods."
I haven't done much online dating. As a matter of fact, I have been on precisely two dates that originated on the computer. On the first date, the guy showed up drunk and proceeded to try to unsnap my bra in front of my friends. I ended that night by threatening to throw him out of a moving vehicle. The second date just didn't lead anywhere. We decided to remain friends. There was no chemistry. No spark. Nada.
And, in all honesty, I don't really like online dating. When I do the exchange of the basic pre-dating information, I want to hear their voice. I want to look into their eyes. I want to see their body language as they describe the demise of their previous relationships. In my opinion, this is how you get to know someone. Nothing else can take the place of it.
But, what works against me is my dork. In the event that I do meet someone that holds my interest, I turn shy and start stuttering. I manage to make an ass of myself before I get the first two words out.
A guy that I have a nice size crush on returned a phone call of mine Friday. It was a legitimate call. I had recently gotten a tattoo and he was the one that performed the work. Good work too. So, he calls and his name shows up on caller i.d. Seeing his name on my phone caused me to get so nervous that I dropped it while I was driving down the road. Two dead squirrels and an injured possum later, I retrieved it from under my seat and proceeded to put forth my sexiest 'hello'.
"Yeah. I got a message from this number and I was returning it."
"You don't know who this is, do you?"
"No, I can't place the voice."
"This is Wes. You did work on me Wednesday?"
"Right! Hey love, how are you?" Unfortunately for me, his 'love' came across as 'Mitch'. I have no clue how.
"Did you just call me Mitch?"
"No! I would never call you bitch! I don't know you that well!! Not all us guys are assholes."
Dork. I became so flustered that I actually forgot my whole purpose in calling. I eventually found my ground, but not before making myself look like a total spastic.
So, what do I do? How do I find the elusive 'out there' and keep my cool when I speak to someone? How can other women make it look so effortless? I see these women, who manage to stay single less than a month, and think to myself: 'See, it's easy enough. She did it. And I bet she can answer the phone without taking out a whole squirrel population.'
Maybe I should revisit the whole online dating scene. At least that way, no animals will be harmed.