Mary Bogue

Mary Bogue is always wondering about how we walk through life, and sees it as a dance; sometimes we're wearing high heels and doing the tango backwards in a man's arms, other times we're line dancing in flats while picking up after kids, and when we're lucky, we're barefootin' it freestyle.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fish or Cut Bait Internet Date

Internet dating. There I said it. Tonight was the fish or cut bait date. The third one, you know, the one where you realize that even though this guy is genuine and sweet, that you can't get over the fact that while he's laying a kiss on you, your eyes are open and you're wondering why he still has colonial furniture and served you a glass of water in a throwaway plastic glass. Ah, but I've gotten ahead of myself.

Should I be a grateful date - ya know, grateful that out of all the fish in the city of Los Angeles, that this 48 year old guy found my profile to be engaging enough to overlook the fact that I'm 57 - just shy by days of 58...which is of course, just shy of frickin' 60? Or that the fact that I list myself as "Curvy" - a euphenism for far from a vomitting stick figure and far from a 'Hand over that chicken fried steak or you die," kind of woman. I'm somewhere in between - never threw up to make myself thinner and certainly never even thought of consuming the Elmer's glue of food, that nasty milk gravy that smothers those southern dishes.

The first date went well enough.He was cuter than his picture - which, right there says a lot - about crappy pictures that somehow men think define them so well. No, he spared me the picture of him posing with some monster fish that he caught, or standing next to the truck/motorcycle/sports car with folded arms over his chest. In fact, I had to squint to see the guy in the photo, and based on my comparison of him in size to the stairs in the background, I had every reason to believe he was every bit of 6'3" he claimed to be. A moot point I guess, since most of the guys who lie about their height are those under 5"8" who for the last 30 years have listed their height as that on numerous forms so much that they actually believe they are not 5'4" in lifts. Kind of like me and my weight on my drivers license, except I don't plan on actually dating anyone from the freakin' DMV.

To sum up the first date, he was cute and on time, his hands didn't sweat and his breath was fine. I looked great - proudly pouring my frame into a dress that made me look like a dessert of yum and a pair of leopard print shoes with pointed toes; shoes that once have made my imitation Italian waiter say to me, "If I was the man in your life I would start at your shoes and work my way up." He - my date, (I guess I should give him a name and yet protect him from being public flogged - or blogged) was well dressed for an undefined date - in other words, a Meet and Greet. Okay, he was clean and neat in his appearance, this man with a great smile who for the sake of this blog I'll call The Mormon Wrestler, TMW. Yeah, you read that right. At our age we all come to the table with a list of vast experiences, but even that combo threw me a new one. Anyways, I digress again. Without a game plan, I suggested we go to a local place for some Italian food. It's always nice to see if a guy can tell the difference between an axe and a salad fork, I'm just saying. And he passed the test. But there was still the tip test. And he kind of failed. Mmm. Not good. I threw in an extra five bucks. It's like this: We went to a place where I sing, and the dinner tab was picked up by management. Thus, the tip was the only thing to pay for two dinners and a couple glasses of red. And yet, he failed. But I'm not one to throw away a whole man so quickly. After singing "Fever" and a couple of other torch songs, we left and drove back to my place. And then he did the "Can I come in and pee?" move. Silently, you just say "Crap," and you let him in. Then he makes "the move for the kiss and tit-feel" if he can. I felt warmed but not hot, if you know what I mean. He asked when he could see me again.

Fast forward past cell phone calls to Date Two, where because I was down with a cold and home with a stack of screeners to vote on for the SAG Awards, he glommed on to the notion of joining me to watch "The Wrestler" with Mickey Rourke. Turns out that TMW (The Mormon Wrestler, remember? Oh, ex-Mormon) was a pro wrestler in earlier years. But instead of showing up with a little din-din or a bowl of chicken soup for me, he arrived empty handed. Is it just me, or do you hate that crap too? Come on, he was already getting a piece of my couch and a viewing with me of a movie yet to be released. I'm just saying. This left me to wonder if on the love/match web site when he mentioned he loved "hole in the wall restaurants," if what he really meant was, he loved cheap joints that required nothing of the consumer except that you turn your head to the dirty knife in the place setting. As credits rolled, he went in for the move - again with the kiss.

Now let me establish here, that I am a passionate woman. I love LOVE, the making of LOVE and the love of making LOVE. But when a guy goes in, like he's "going in," and there is no intimacy involved, I'm SO not there. Nonetheless, we kissed. I kissed back, trying to ascertain if there was a flicker of heat. Nope. Bummer. Was this a hopeless romance, romantic hopelessness, or would more time spent together engender some heat?

Two days later. Date Three. Oh God. I failed to tell you how I had struggled with the "Be the woman you love to be - seductive and strictly female in a dress with all the lacy underpinnings." But it should have been a clue when today I met him on the fly after doing some pre-Christmas return shopping. Better now than later I had told myself. I was comfortable in the black Misook slacks and white Caslon long sleeved tee underneath the jean jacket and the fuzzy leopard scarf around my neck. Oh, and the sensible shoes I hadn't worn in ages since I worked for Nordstrom and had to be on my feet all frickin' day long without a break except for a 30 minute lunch period where you just wanted to put your feet up and feel blood curse through your body once more.

This time I did the driving. I drove to Chino - about 35 minutes or so from my place. Not too bad. And still, TMW had no game plan though we knew we were going to get some dinner. No, he asked did I want to "hang out." Hang out? I'm 57 not 17. Hang out??? When pressed, he offered me a choice between Italian and Chinese and I acquiesced to his choice of Chinese. No sense giving you the name of the joint, but suffice it to say that the burned Pu Pu Platter was enough to turn me off. I smiled sweetly and said nothing, and smiled again as he told me that the Pu Pu Platter was No. 2 on the menu. In the back of my head I was seeing him as a pimply-faced 12 year old boy that would have wet himself on that one. Snapped back to reality, we made space on the table for the kungpao chicken and the orange beef. I don't want to exaggerate, but the kungpao tasted like what I imagined the bottom of my oven to taste like after pie drippings hit the bottom and stayed for a month. Blerk. Still, I said nothing. Give me a break, he was beaming. I took a bite of the brown glob referred to as the orange beef. Good God, worse than the other burnt crap. I had to ask, and I did so tactfully. Yet TMW assured me it was just as tasty as always.

Can you dump a guy because he has no taste buds? On one hand, think how easy it would be to cook for him! It wouldn't matter if you substituted whitefish for a fabric softener cloth. Nah. The governor phoned in a pardon. I pushed around the brown camouflage of stuff on the plate and listened intently to his stories of days gone by - men in tight underwear throwing grown men in masks and the equivalent of Speedos around a ring, body slamming each other. At least I would be safe when in his presence. Unless of course you meant safe from cliches. Those, were in abundance. Sure enough, when we got back to his place and I further exacerbated the situation by going in, he made "the move" to the couch and actually went for the lamp, claiming that the ball of light emanating was just too bright - blerk. The tasteless move was like a bit of charcoal repeating. Overdone. Maybe I was burned out. Yup. Still, he kissed, and lifting my hair, moved in for the neck, a move that would normally turn me into a creme brulee of womanhood. Nothing. Instead, my eyes were wide open and I was left in the brief darkness to make out the shadows of artificial yellow roses and his mother's throw pillows piled on chairs with no place left to sit. CLANG CLANG CLANG. Go to your corners. I had to admit out loud that intimacy was not to be our dessert and though our fortune cookies hinted otherwise, it was time to cut bait. The match was over.

I drove home, my sensible shoes pressing pedals to the floor and though he promised to call me, for the first time ever, I thought, "No, please, don't." It was simply part of God's great Catch and Release project and once again, I settled for the big down pillow, the couch and the Food channel. The leopard high heels sit perched in their box like bait waiting for a hook. Maybe tomorrow night will be their night.

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