My most recent encounter on Match.com is quickly becoming the stuff that urban legends are made of in my circle of friends, so please bear with me as I do not want to leave any exquisite detail out.
Three weeks ago or so, I started bantering with a nice guy on Match.com. He messaged me due the fact that he laughed at my headline, "Must Love Hall & Oates." Things progressed, we talked on the phone and I laughed. A lot. And the quickest way to get me to adore you is to make me laugh. FamilyMan (name given due to the fact that it's a Hall & Oates song that also fits this man's hopes for our Match meeting. Go ahead and file this one under "Obvious Foreshadowing for Disaster.")
Anyway, FamilyMan and I agree that we are going to get together that upcoming Friday night for a few drinks and do the whole standard meet and greet judgment of "Did she photoshop her pictures?" and "Does he look like someone who has killed prostitutes on the turnpike?" The night before our agreed meet-up, FamilyMan cancels because there is a snow storm coming, up to 16 inches he claimed. I checked the report, saw it was only 1-3 and immediately called bullshit on him. Well, it turns out FamilyMan was not wholly forthright in his profile in disclosing his location. It turns out his "City of Chicago" location was actually BFE, Indiana. FamilyMan came clean and I explained that I did not own a car and did not think it was feasible for me to see someone in Indiana. Thirty miles separation back in Ohio is nothing to blink at. Here in
Chicago, it qualifies as a long-distance relationship in my mind. Truthfully, I do not think I would even be able to date someone in Logan Square or Pilsen. If a bus transfer is going to be involved to see someone, it's doomed from the beginning. Anyway FamilyMan assured me that it is no problem for him to come into the city to see me and it would not be an issue.
Red Flag #1: What mentally healthy person would want to deal with the Skyway, Dan Ryan and Lake Shore just to see a broad? Let me tell you, a desperate one.
Long story short, we canceled our Friday plans due to the snow (that never showed up!) and agreed to reschedule for a later date. Throughout the week FamilyMan and I texted about mindless things such as our favorite H&O songs, David Bowie, and the merits of gin over vodka. He was not too clingy and did not seem anxious to meet me, so I dismissed my concerns on the fact that he would want to date someone 30 miles away.
I had the following Saturday evening off, a gift more precious than manna from heaven in my industry, so I made plans with FamilyMan over texting. That night after I got home from work, he called to chat me up. During the course of our conversation, I went from really excited about our date Saturday because he seemed like a nice guy to really excited about our date Saturday so I could tell all of my friends about how terrible it was. Some of the information that he shared was:
-He told his parents about me. Not in a, "Oh I am going out with a girl from match, here's her information in case I die" sort of way, but in a, "She's an amazing woman, so beautiful, so smart and witty" way. He also told all of his closest friends this information. And he told me that he shared it with them. While he was certainly accurate in describing me, the fact remains he has NEVER EVER MET ME YET! I could be covered in green scales, I could have terrible body odor or I could only eat my food like Randy from The Christmas Story (okay, that last one is not too far of a stretch, but you get my point.)
-He repeatedly told me how much potential he thought we had together. And then got annoyed when I did not agree. I told him that I am going into things with no expectations, am simply looking forward to meeting a new person and hopefully having a nice evening together. Red Flag #2.
-He said he wanted to get dinner at 6. I said, "Six o'clock?" and he replied with, "Well unless you want to go earlier." Earlier??? I was thinking 7:30 or 8, certainly not 6. My friends summed it up best with Max Maple's response of, "Where in the hell are you going? Bill Knapps?" and the Grappler's, "Are you 80 and grabbing an early bird special?" My thoughts exactly. However, I saw some merit in the 6 o'clock meeting as it meant a departure of 10 was perfectly reasonable, allowing me plenty of time to meet up with my friends and regal them with the recap.
-He dropped the bomb of, "I'm ready to settle down in my life." I asked him to explain what he meant by that and it was precisely what I feared, the "Have a wife and make some babies settle down." I immediately wanted to start dry heaving. I would rather a man tell me that he has genital herpes than say he is ready to settle down in life. I would also accept that he has a closer-than-appropriate relationship with his pet goat, does not believe in showering or voted for Bush in 2004 over ready to settle down. Scratch that last one, I would take someone who wants to settle down over a Bush supporter. Both induce dry heaves, but the Bush-supporter heaves produce actual vomit.
-He told me how his parents fell in love on their first date, married one month later and have been in wedded bliss for the past 38 years. As if the implied hopes and dreams of sharing this story were not strong enough, he later joked that perhaps we would fall in love on our date. And here comes the actual vomit...
I politely ended our conversation yet still agreed to go out on Saturday, and immediately regretted doing so, as it meant I lost the opportunity to see my 9-5er friends who I have a hard time coordinating my schedule with. Nonetheless, I tried to put my best attitude on and began psyching myself up for the date by telling anyone in earshot about the asinine date I was going to have. The night prior to the big date, I met up with The Grappler and our buddy Max Maple. I tell them that I have plans to fall in love the following night and the conversation quickly turns to the engagement ring I shall be finding in my dessert and the lotion that I will have to put into the basket. Prior to parting ways, the guys did make sure that I felt safe about meeting him and made me promise that I would have my phone and pepper spray available at all times. I assured them I would and we made plans to meet post date.
Saturday arrives and I am not overly excited about my date, but I am looking forward to eating some yummy tapas and hopefully getting some good fodder for the blog. Unfortunately for me, only one of those things came true for me. On my way to the restaurant, I was texting FamilyMan and he says he is almost there. I was also wise and shot a text off to Grappler, Max Maple and JP that read, "The man's name is FamilyMan, his # is 555-555-5555. I was last seen entering Cafe Iberico in a black & grey dress and snappy black boots. Should I go missing, give this info to the CPD and the tip to search residences that requested zoning to construct a well in their basement." Responses flew and references to baskets, lotions, and not hurting dogs abounded. I debated turning around and heading home to the hound.
But once I stepped onto Chicago Avenue on a Saturday evening, looking amazing and feeling jovial, I was actually excited about my adventure. The fact that I got a few "Nice boots!" hollered out to me did not hurt either. I walk into the restaurant at five after and look around for someone vaguely looking like FamilyMan. Not seeing him, I check in with the hostess and waited. Five more minutes go by and I text, "Are you already seated?" No response. Ten more minutes elapse and I text, "You standing me up?" No response. I shoot a flurry of messages off to JP saying I would wait for 10 more, can't believe I was stood up, etc. At 6:30 I step out of the restaurant and call. No response. I resign to the fact that I was, in fact, stood up and walked to the closest bar I could find, ordered a Guinness and regrouped. I was in shock. After all, he wanted to fall in love with me. He texted that he was almost there. My head was spinning with questions, so I set off to meet Grappler, Max Maple and his lady Sister Mary Margaret.
I get to their table and the first thing the Grappler says is, "Those are snappy boots!" I grab a seat and tell the server to bring me whatever stout or porter has the highest alcohol content. I down a few 9.2% stouts and, as I love to do, turn the conversation back to myself and how could I possibly be stood up. Max Maple states that the only logical conclusion was that he was killed in a fiery crash on the Dan Ryan and not that he saw me and bolted. Note: In addition to the snappy boots, there was a gratuitous amount of cleavage. I quickly agree with his conclusion and pull up the traffic report to see that there was, in fact, an accident on the Dan Ryan. Naturally the conversation turns to his funeral. We all agree that I need to show up playing the role of the grieving widow, as I was supposed to get engaged that night. The plan was for the four of us to go to his funeral, I give a moving eulogy on how he was willing to die for my love, I demand the $15 for my cab ride and Guinness from his parents, ask what his last name was so I can change it appropriately then be on our way. Note: I realize this sounds ridiculously callous, but you need to consider the fact that the company I keep voluntarily chooses to be around me. I am sure you can imagine the type of motley crew that is...
I depart ways with the crew and head down to meet another group of friends. These friends are paid to spend time with me but elect to spend their free time with me as well (No, not gigolos, rather coworkers.) En route to meet them, I receive a call from FamilyMan's mom telling me that he was jumped and mugged on his way to meet me. They stole his wallet and phone. And a knife was involved. Swallow that, and consider that I received a call from a blind date's Mother. Red Flag #3.
Out of respect for FamilyMan, I will not go into details of the incident. But rest assured that he is fine, so much so that he texted me on Sunday from a new phone to tell me what happened and to thank me for the colorful voicemails my friends left him.
Remember how I texted my friends with his name and number? Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but Earth has no fury like the friends of a scorned Cari Bear. After I took off, they left him a litany of voicemails ranging from Max Maple telling him he needs to see a doctor and get his head checked for standing me up while Sister Mary Margaret called him a hick from Indiana who she saw once on the Maury Show. Say what you want about me, but the company I keep? They are incredibly witty and fiercely loyal. Note: The Grappler did not recall making any calls, but his phone records indicated two voicemail-length calls. FamilyMan tells me that he wish they had the facts before leaving the messages, I point out that was not possible and he admitted that they were actually quite hilarious.
I tell FamilyMan that we need to meet soon or else I will lose interest. Yes, I realize that he had no control over getting mugged, but I am a woman in demand and cannot keep freeing up nights for an unknown. He says we will meet the following night for pancakes. Long story short, Monday evening he cancels and I end up out with the Badger and Frances, regaling them with the story of how I was supposed to fall in love on Saturday but ended up pitching carrots at my hound dog at 4 a.m. instead. We all concluded that it was best to let FamilyMan go to be with a woman who also wants to settle down and will not lead to assaults on the streets.
And to FamilyMan, we may have not fallen in love at dessert, I may have never met you and I don't even know your last name, but know that you gave me one of the most exciting weekends of my life without even meeting me.
It's nice when that happens without inappropriate charges appearing on my credit card on Monday morning.