Thinking about “getting back out there”?
If that doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of you, then you’re probably ready to jump off the dock and start swimming around in the dating pond again, and that’s awesome.
If you’re single and over 50, you’ve probably read about a gazillion articles or posts about dating.
These articles and posts have enticing titles … each promising to dispel the mystery of dating, after the age of 50 and beyond. Something like . . . .
- How to meet high-quality people…
- Mastering online dating…
- Where & how to meet the professional people…
- How to have the best first date EVER…
- Where to go to impress your date…
- How to “land” a second date and more…
There are hundreds – if not thousands – of dating articles, aimed directly at our age group.
Pretty much, they all say the exact same thing.
Here’s my two cents: Read. The. Dating. Articles.
(At least some of them.)
I’m guessing the last thing you want to read is another boring list – of the exact same information you’ve already read.
Instead, how about I tell you all about my EPIC dating failures, over the last couple of years?
If you don’t laugh, you’re dead inside.
This part of my life is 100% hilarious.
And maybe…just maybe…you’ll take away your own set of do’s and don’ts, from my botched dates.
Before I get started telling you about my humiliating dating history, let me just get one thing out of the way…
Make sure you’re ready to date.
This will be my only “preachy stuff” in this post. I promise.
If you’re hurt, bitter, scorned, pissed off, hate the gender you’re about to date, feel like you’ve been wronged or you’re not over your ex, then you shouldn’t be dating.
If you’re feeling anything but positive and all-around goodness about yourself and the fact that you want to meet someone else to laugh/share/experience things with, then it’s possible you’re dating for one of two reasons:
- To hurt someone else to make yourself feel better, a.k.a. PUNISH THEM ALL!
- To find a replacement – and FAST! – because you’re terrified of being alone.
Both reasons involve you hurting someone who is giving you an honest chance, and is, most likely, in a much healthier place than you are.
Don’t date if you can relate to Reason 1 or Reason 2.
May I suggest that you put yourself on a shelf for a while, until you have worked through your pain?
I did it.
I didn’t date for nearly two years, after my ex and I split up.
Get your emotional shit straight, prior to reintroducing yourself to the dating scene.
A teeny-tiny bit of background on me:
At the time of these dates (which span over the course of three years), I was working 10-14 hour days, six days a week. I went to work. I went home.
I wasn’t meeting anyone “date worthy” through work, so I felt that my only alternative to meeting men was to venture into the online dating world.
Online dating is a hallucinogenic fishbowl of crazy.
I know, I know…a lot of people have met online and lived happily ever after.
Obviously, I’m not one of those people.
However, I have met some wonderful men through online dating, and it didn’t work out with any of them for a variety of reasons, but they were great guys.
Obviously, none of those great guys are mentioned here, and I’ve changed the names/dates/places of the catastrophic dates that I do mention in this post – again, I’m not out to hurt or embarrass anyone.
Let the hilarity ensue!
Mr. I’m Not An Alcoholic:
We’ll call him Joe, as in Sloppy Joe.
After a couple of weeks of chatting online, Sloppy Joe picked me up at my house.
*** Online Dating Rule #1: NEVER have your online date pick you up at your home – ALWAYS meet your online date in a public setting. ***
(Obviously, I hadn’t learned this rule yet.)
Anyway . . .
We went to lunch at a nationwide wings chain.
We hadn’t even been ushered to a table, and Sloppy Joe is flagging a server, asking for a glass of Moscato wine.
A weird choice for a dude at a wings joint, but whatever.
We get a table. We order lunch.
Sloppy Joe orders glass number two and guzzles it as if he is dying of thirst.
Did I mention he picked me up in his work truck, because he was on his lunch break – from work?
Lunch hadn’t arrived yet, but Sloppy Joe’s third glass of wine had.
Down it went.
Lunch shows up, along with Sloppy Joe’s fourth glass of grapes, as I’m mentally calculating if I can survive the winter temperatures, if I have to hoof it back to my house.
Sloppy Joe comments on how small the wine glasses at the wing restaurant are. I cock my left eyebrow at him, but don’t say a word.
Small talk is microscopic…Sloppy Joe eyes are glassy.
I eat my wings, try to focus on the college games that are on TV and ignore the man-on-a-mission sitting across from me.
The fifth Moscato arrives, and I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer.
I can’t help wondering if I’m such a disappointment in person that this jackass has decided to just get snockered.
So I ask him, “Do you always drink this much with lunch?”
“Sure, why wouldn’t I?” says Sloppy Joe.
About a 100 reasons spring into my thoughts, but I just continue to study him from my side of the table, not saying a word.
“I’m under a lot of pressure at work right now. This has been a really bad week,” Sloppy Joe continues.
It’s a Saturday, and he’s working, so I decide to let it go.
Sloppy Joe orders up glass number six and shoots me a look, daring me to say something.
“Is it normal for you to drink this much on a first date?” I say, as I casually sip on my first Heineken.
Sloppy Joe finishes his sixth glass of wine and slurs, “I’ve already told you I’ve had a hard week. If you have a problem with that, I really don’t give a shit.”
As if on cue, a piercing whistle comes from the college football game that’s blasting from the TV, practically right above our table, “FLAG ON THE PLAY!”
HUGE. RED. FLAG.
It’s no longer any big mystery as to why Sloppy Joe is single.
He attempts to maneuver himself around in his high-top chair to flag down the waitress for another glass of Moscato, loses his balance, and falls out of his chair, landing upright in a standing position – as if he meant to do that.
“Ta-Da!!! I stuck the landing!”
His face lights up! He is so proud of himself for landing upright!
“Look, Mom! No hands!”
Our server has been ignoring us, but reluctantly comes back to the table, because Sloppy Joe is wildly flailing his arms above his head and shouting, “Hey, Sweetie! Come here!” across the restaurant.
Sloppy Joe orders another glass, and tells our server, “She thinks I’m drinking too much, but you know me. I’m just getting started,” as he points a finger across the table in my direction.
The waitress silently nods, but doesn’t say a word.
Oooooooh, he’s a regular here. Now, it starting to make sense.
Our server glances at me with apologetic eyes and leaves to retrieve glass number seven.
As his seventh glass is placed in front of him, Sloppy Joe loudly declares, “Look. I’m not an alcoholic or anything. I can handle it.”
At this point, I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. The plan is to Google the number of a local cab company and get the heck out of here. We’ve been in this wing joint for less than one hour.
I call the cab company from the ladies room and tell the female dispatcher about the drunken first date I’m on, and, when I tell her how he’s already fallen out of his chair once, she immediately bursts out laughing. They have a cab in the area, and she tells me it’ll be at the front door in three minutes or less.
She tells me to leave the ladies room and head straight for the front door. The cab is that close. This wasn’t the first call she’s received from a woman hiding in the ladies room, looking for an escape route.
As our table comes into view, I see that Sloppy Joe is now slumped over the table, both forearms stretched out flat in front of him, empty glass in one hand, drooling in his never-touched basket of French fries.
He’s still conscious, but barely. I’ve been gone from the table for maybe seven minutes, if that.
I swing wide, away from his line of sight, and walk along the bar area, making a beeline for the front door, and spot our server. “If he even realizes I’m gone, please, please, please tell him to never contact me again,” I beg her.
She gives me a half smile and says, “Don’t worry. I’ll tell him you left, and that you said to never call you again. You probably already know this, but you’re not the first woman he’s done this to. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
Smiling back at her, I said, “It was a good lesson for me to learn. This is for you. I’m sure he’s a lousy tipper when he’s this shitfaced,” and I handed her a $20.
As promised, the cab was parked and waiting at the front door, as I stepped outside.
Man-o-man, can I pick ’em, or CAN I PICK ‘EM?!?