It’s Friday. How ’bout another post from the Awkward Dating Archives…
He was tall dark and very handsome. His name was Ken (and he looked like a Ken doll if a Ken doll had dark hair). He was a Private Investigator.
This is, no lie, the best looking guy I have ever gone out with.
So good looking, in fact, that I was incredibly surprised that he wanted to go out at all. This was the kind of guy you see in the ads for online dating. The kind that they send you when your subscription is about to expire so you renew for another three months. And he was probably the fourth(ish) guy I went out with when I started online dating.
We chatted over email and probably talked once on the phone before our first date. I was SO nervous. He was so perfect looking that he DEFINITELY must be the one. All my young life I had been praying fervently for a guy who was over six feet and looked like this. This MUST be who God had in mind for me! In fact, he was super clear that he was a new Christian and really wanted to get more involved in church. Swoon. (I know now that this is a line guys actually use to get chicks. No kidding.)
In addition to his aforementioned attributes, he loved to golf. I have never golfed. And as much as I have always wanted to be athletic, my hand eye coordination for things like hitting balls with skinny poles has always left something to be desired. So because he loved golf and I was open to just about anything, our first date was going to be at a driving range.
Any girl knows how romantic this is. Seriously. How many times in the movies or on television have we seen the golf date or the baseball date or the “some other activity where the seemingly awkward girl gets a sports lesson by the dude wrapping his arms around her to show her the correct stance and swing” date?
This was going to be epic.
Since the driving range was closer to his house than to mine, we determined that the best bet was for me to drive to his place and then we would go to the range together. I drove up on a relatively dark street and the buildings were recessed enough from the sidewalk that I couldn’t read any house numbers, so I parked in the general area and called to see what I should do. He told me that I should drive around back to the parking lot and park there.
I did. Nervously. The parking lot was an alley behind a building and this guy was a P.I. so in the minute it took me to drive around, I had determined that he was likely going to harm me and knew quite well how to hide the body so as not to get caught.
This didn’t happen.
I got out of my car and there he was in all his gorgeous glory. He was just as good looking in person, if not more so. And if you’ve read some of the other stories here, you know that this is not always the case.
So we took off for the driving range in his SUV, having a great conversation about what he did and how he wanted to go to church more. (Did I mention that guys use this as a strategy to pick up Christian women?) My major nervousness went away relatively quickly but I was still feeling awkward. Not knowing quite what to say or if I was cute enough in whatever outfit I had tried to put together for the evening. But I was on a new adventure with a new guy and I was about to learn how to properly hit a golf ball.
The problem was, I sucked at it.
Like really, hard core sucked. I probably hit the ground 80% of the time. I also am a perfectionist and get frustrated with myself when I can’t get something right on the first try. So, I sucked…and I was crabby about it. I tried my best to cover this but we all know how well that usually works.
I did, however, get the wrap around lesson to help with my grip. It’s as good as the movies make it out to be.
We stayed at the driving range for an hour or so, him with his perfect swing and me with my not so elegant one, and after that headed to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. Aside from my ineptitude at the driving range, I was shocked at how well it was going. He was really nice and conversation wasn’t difficult. I was having a really good time and he seemed to be as well.
After coffee, we drove back to his place. We stood in the parking lot and talked for a while and he gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that he was just going in for the real thing, but me = totally oblivious. He said, “We should do this again sometime.” And, “I’ll call you.”
I drove home feeling super giddy. A great date! He was going to call me! Oh, man, we were on our way!
I never heard from him again.
It seems that often the phrases “we should do this again sometime” and “I’ll call you” are just as often dating speak for “eh…I’m not that impressed…but I can’t tell you to your face right now” or “well, I’m dating other people and I like other people better.” I’ve used them too. It’s what we do in trying to protect others feelings.
However, I was new to dating at the time and did not know this yet. So I was confused and sad and wondered what was wrong with me.
And then…sometimes you get little gifts in this world and mine came in the form of a random reconnection with an old friend.
A couple of months after I had gone out with and been “horribly” rejected by this “perfect” Ken doll, I visited an old acting class that I hadn’t been to in some time. A girlfriend of mine who I hadn’t seen in over a year happened to be there working on a scene. At the end of the class, we decided to go grab a beer and chat about life. And chatting about life when two women are involved eventually circles around to the topic of men 99.9% of the time.
We each ordered a beer and sat in a fun little booth. It turns out that we were both online dating on the same site, though she had been on it a few months earlier than I. We started to compare notes and laughs about the profiles we had seen or the dates we had gone on. She had gone on dates with both the guy who had to pee and…drumroll…Ken the Private Investigator. Holy man.
They had gone on a first date and it had gone super well. They really seemed to click and conversation was easy (this seemed familiar). After the first date, they had been communicating, probably over text or something, and at some point she mentioned that she was up visiting a friend a couple hours north of Los Angeles. He said he’d come up on his bike (um, I forgot to mention that in addition to all of his other attributes, he is one of those daredevil motorcyclists who whip around the mountain roads at breakneck speeds and almost lay their bikes down on the road). As she relayed the story, she said she had told him that she was surprised he’d be willing to drive so far just to turn around and go home that evening. He laughed and said that he wouldn’t be going home if he came up.
She paused and asked where he would stay. “Uh, with you.”
The short version of the story is that she told him no. They had only been on one date so far and she was sleeping at a friend’s house and not about to invite an almost stranger to come for a sleepover.
We had a hearty laugh at his the size of his ego and expectations. As we were talking I pulled out my cell phone and realized that I still had his name in my contact list. Laughing, I said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we called him?”
She said yes, grabbed my phone and pushed send.
He, because this is my life, picked up.
“Hi, Ken. This is Felicia. Remember me? Match.com? Ohai? It’s so funny because I’m sitting here with someone else you went out with…”
And then she threw my phone at me.
“Um, hi,” I said…totally embarrassed. “This is Chris…the redhead you went out with a couple of weeks ago.” I didn’t have any expectation that he would remember me, but he did. He started to talk but the bar was so loud that I couldn’t hear him, so I excused myself and went outside.
Me: “Hi.” Nervous laughter.
Him: “Hi. …Are you drunk?”
Me: “What?! No. I’ve only had one sip of beer.”
Him: “You’re drunk.”
Me: “No. Seriously. But this is kind of funny, huh? Small world and all that.”
And we chit chatted for a while. Me outside on the sidewalk surrounded by a bunch of strangers; my friend safe inside probably laughing her ass off at what she had accomplished.
Him: “So, do you want to come over?”
Me: (laughing) “Yeah, right. You go to bed at 9:30, remember?”
It was after 10pm and he had told me on our first date that he usually turns in by 9 or 9:30.
Him: “But I’d be willing to stay up if you were serious.”
Me: …still laughing…”Serious about what?”
I was naïve.
Him: “Serious about coming over.”
Me: “Right now?”
Him: “Yeah. Right now. I just put my new cherry wood bedframe together today. Maybe you want to come test it out.”
Bam. My first booty call.
What do I say? What do I say? What do I say? was ringing in my brain. Out of my mouth came…
Me: “I thought you were trying to be a good Christian boy.”
Because he had used that line before.
Him: “Well, I don’t have to be that good.”
I’m sure there was an awkward end to the conversation before I ran back into the bar to both punch my friend in the arm and tell a story that began with…”You won’t believe what he just asked me.” I recall a dim awareness of the end of the phone call containing an “I’ll call you.”
I never heard from him again. I did, however, see his profile recently on another dating site and was curious how the cherry wood bed was working out for him.