I meant to write a *'horror' story in honor of valentines day but the week moved so quickly that before I knew it the day of love was long past. Well, it’s never too late to have something to say is it?
So, once upon a time I decided that things were going so good in my life that maybe it could even be improved were it that I had a boyfriend. Eh eh. Check me well signing up for multiple dating apps, trying to hedge my bets. They said Tinder was for hookups predominantly and I wasn’t really into that, and Bumble was the refined alternative, except that the women had to message first, which is all well and good except for the fact that you have to come up with something witty to say.. or so I was told by a friend I had at the time who claimed to be an expert on things of this nature.
Tinder turned out to be, as they say a hot mess. Yes there had to be mutual swiping right in order for a message to be sent, but since most of the time I did my swiping late at night just before I went to sleep, and when the dimness on my phone was turned down all the way, it happened that I swiped right on many men who were quite wrong when examined in the light of day.
Still, I thought perhaps there was someone ‘out there for me’. I should mention that at the time I was watching the Season of Downton Abbey when Lady Mary had numerous men courting her and there was excitement in the air, so I thought maybe I could do with some of the same in my own life.
After a couple days of sorting through a lot of rubbish finally I had a few promising leads. One dude was quite handsome, he looked like one of those old school movie stars. I didn't even know that I knew of old school movie stars like that but upon seeing his picture my first thought was 'Hmm.. Marlon Brando... not bad at all!'. And then I had to immediately google Marlon Brando to see exactly what it was I was telling myself. I was correct.
But I immediately was suspicious of him. In his profile he had a quote saying something about how a man should spoil his wife so much so that everyone is jealous of her. Why he had to take it so far? Bringing up husband and wife. I don't have time for that. But then I reasoned that perhaps he, knowing jolly well he was not looking for ANYTHING serious, and realizing that women in his age range probably might be, he would pull a fast one from the get go and make it seem as if that's where his mind was. So he presented himself as a handsome dude looking for a wife and ready to play the role of the devoted and loving husband. A voice told me, 'this man is the exact opposite of whatever he will claim to be. Had I listened to my intuition I would not have driven 35 minutes to meet him for ‘tea or coffee’ two weeks later on a Thursday afternoon.
Wet met at a Tea shoppe. A place I chose because it had good reviews on yelp and also had a classy vibe and I wanted him to know that I wasn't basic. He was three minutes late and showed up dressed as if he was a housewife on the way to or from pilates. Thick cotton/cashmere sweats and matching hooded sweatshirt unzipped to reveal a washed out but not stretched out grey cotton/linen tee. The type of clothes that are very clearly high quality and extremely expensive but also exceptionally casual to the point of bordering on home clothes.
Hmph. California livity....? I wondered this silently.
He was charming, handsome and very tall. He had what I believe people would refer to as a wicked smile and he smiled at me, almost knowingly, thought what it was he knew I couldn't tell you. He said he liked my hair. He looked me up and down and nodded in approval but not in a sleazy way. Noticing and receiving these cues I felt my confidence skyrocket. I did the Beyonce walk** up the stairs to our booth.
After we sat down and the conversation started I realized after he hyped me up he then started trying to pull of an air of interest mixed with slight indifference, I don't know how else to describe it but it is like when someone asks you a question then looks away before you finish telling them the answer. This wasn't my first rodeo though, so realizing where this was headed, I matched his level of aloofness. After all, these dates are always a competition to see who can care the least.
Nevertheless, he spoke at length about himself but much of it was of his glory days when, believe it or not he was an actor in Hollywood... and then suddenly and out of the blue he mentioned in the most casual tone, with a look of forced pain across his face, his wife who though suffering from an incurable illness, or perhaps because of her diagnosis, abducted their two children and fled across the pacific ocean to more verdant pastures.
'Oh...' I said, trying to act surprised.
To be continued…
*This isn't really a horror story, just a lamentation of the perils of dating in the new millennium.
**A confident and sultry strut that one does when one knows one is being watched. Move hips, or lower body if you don't have any hips, side to side while channeling your inner femininity.