So, about nine or ten months ago I started dating. I had just re-entered the dating world after a 14 1/2 year hiatus...called marriage...hehe. Anyway, you've heard me talk about the adventures of HatDude & me. How we "prospected" on-line, etc. Well, in the process of my online dating I established some rules. However, one time I broke one of my own rules, thus leading to the disaster-date with CamaroCreep. I made a slight mention of that date last summer, and a few of you have asked me about it since. I finally decided to blog about it. Yes, it's true, I'm ready to talk about it. The story unfolds...
First though, "The Rules". Here are the rules I set forth for myself with regards to dating.
1) Only "prospect" those who have the same/similar values as I have and want the person I end up with to have. (Otherwise, it's pointless, right?)
2) Never meet someone for a date until I have spoken to him on the phone... at least twice.
3) Never let a date pick me up (thus avoiding the need to give him my address).
4) Always meet my date in a neutral location.
5) Always tell someone where I will be and the protocol if/when I have not returned. (i.e., If you don't see my car back in my drive by midnight, please call my cell phone.)
6) Never let a date meet my children until I have dated him long enough to think it might go somewhere.
7) Always obtain his first AND last name, and HIS phone number before agreeing to meet.
Those are pretty much the rules, in no particular order. And so far, they have worked pretty well. The one and only time I didn't follow my own rules, led to this disastrous date and I have never strayed from the rules since. Here's what happened.
I don't remember his username, but this guy and I were chatting online. He tells me about his service in the church; we're the same religion. He tells me about the mission he served. He tells me about his current job - a counselor for troubled youth. All of that sounds great. Based on what he says, he passes rule #1.
We chat a few more times, and then one afternoon he tells me that he is finishing up with one counseling group around 4:30pm but has an evening group coming in around 6:30pm. He says if I have about an hour to spare, he'd like to meet. I tell him that I usually don't meet guys until I've at least had a few phone conversations with them. He gives me his cell phone number, but says he can't talk, because he's getting ready to walk into that session. STOP!
Right there. That is where I should have declined and said it would have to be another day. But, I mean after all he is a counselor of troubled youth. How heroic is that, right? So, I agree. I quickly go through the rest of the rules... We planned to meet at a park nearby his work. This park has a jogging trail and therefore is always busy. Rules 3 & 4...check.
I call DesperateHousewife and tell her where I will be. I also reveal that I have not spoken to this guy on the phone. I tell her that if anything goes amiss i will send her a text and she is to call me immediately with an excuse for me to get out of there. She asks what the text will say. I tell her it will be one character; whatever I happen to push. Basically, if it makes no sense, I'm in trouble. Rule #5...check.
My children are with their dad. Rule #6...check.
I text the guy and tell him I am on my way, but that I need his first AND last name. He texts it back. However by now, I have completely blocked it from memory or you'd better believe that I'd be spreading it out there ALL OVER THE PLACE! Anyway, Rule #7... check.
I get to the park and walk over to the bench by the duck pond; where we said we'd meet. A few minutes later, I see him approaching me. First of all...his picture was cuter. Hmmm, "glamour shots, perhaps?" Anyway, he sort of smiles and in a very Forest-Gump-like manner says, "you...must...be...emm-muh..."
Needless to say, I was shocked. Perhaps he had a stroke. Could it be he is slow...as in special needs? No...he's a counselor right? He must have had a stroke or something.
He extends his hand. I shake it. Just then it starts to rain. "Oh...No..." He starts. "It's...rain-ing... We...can...take...a...drive...a-round...the...park...so...we...don't...get...wet." I agree. I am sort of feeling bad for him. It seems each word is an effort to speak. At this point, I am still under the impression that he is harmless. (Stupid, I know.) But then I see the car. A Bright Red Camaro from like 1987. I don't know why, but for some reason I start to feel uneasy.
We get into the car, but he doesn't start the ignition! I am holding my purse in my left hand, on my left knee. My cell phone is in the grips of my right hand, on my right knee. He can't see it behind the purse. So, I send some sort of cryptic text to DesperateHousewife, because as I said, I started to get the creeps.
Just then he says, "These...seats...are...ver-y...comf'-table...like...a...twin...bed..." I was like WHAT? Is he crazy? I sort of look at him. And again, I am not so sure if he is for real, if he is special needs or is just weird or what.
I reply, "Uh-huh" while I am praying that DesperateHousewife gets the message.
Then he goes on to say, "The...seats...re-cline...all...the...way...back."
I reply, "Hmmm, that's nice." Just then, he starts to lean across me. I protest, pushing him back a little.
"What are you doing?" I demand.
"I'm...just...go-in'...to...help...you...re-lax," he explains.
"I'm fine," I stated. Just then my phone rings and it's DesperateHousewife.
I answer. She tells me to repeat everything she is saying.
Me: "Oh... I need to come and pick up my daughter because she is sick?"... "She's crying?"... "Ok. Tell her I will be right there."
I hang up, I turn to the guy and HE says... get this...
I retort, "I'm afraid I do. Besides, this whole thing is making me uncomfortable."
And with that, I open the door and run in the rain to my car and take off. Of course, I call DesperateHousewife on my way home to tell her I made it out alive and explain how weird he was, mimicking his accent or speech impediment or whatever. I can't picture this guy was really a counselor... She points out that perhaps he got jacked in the jaw too many times for putting similar moves on other women and that's why he talked the way he did.
At any rate...yuck! Oh - and the whole "date" lasted less than three minutes! Three minutes I'll never get back!
So, later that night, I am online. CamaroCreep sees that I am online and sends me the following instant message:
"What happened today? I thought we were gonna make-out."
I immediately click "BLOCK USER"...
Dude, 1987 called... they want their Camaro Back! Seriously, who drives a camaro anymore?
So, that's the story of CamaroCreep and the time I didn't follow my own rules. I have always followed it since, and if/when I'm ready to really get out there full-throttle and date...I'll be sure to follow them again.