When I turned 30, I decided I wanted to try to date – go out with different people to see if it was better than the old way of meeting people. I turned to online personals. That was back in the day when I was “looking.” Although I have met some truly special people online, this account is about the ones who were not my ideal match – for various reasons. I never saw them again because one time was enough for me to see it for what it was: a one shot deal.

Date 1: The Old Older Man

I’m not too discriminating as far as age, though I stay away from men much younger than me…for my own reasons. I met this older man named Fred* online. Fred seemed nice, but as we chatted online, I discovered he had very low self-esteem. He told me how he had dated different women and they put him down because of his age, his weight and every other damn thing. Not my type of man. I like men who are confident – even if they don’t feel that way 100% of the time. If he has flaws, he accepts them and knows that everyone has them. I’m accepting of many physical characteristics – after all, they are what makes one unique. I continued to interact with older guy.

After talking on the phone, Fred asked me out on a dinner date. He lived in the Bronx and I was in Westchester. I let him to pick me up where I lived because my intuition told me he was harmless. He arrived on time – in a brand new Lincoln LX. The car was fully loaded, luxury model, HOT. Fred… was…lukewarm. He was casually dressed, which wasn’t unappealing at all… but wore a long leather duster. Whut… you expecting to get in a gun fight out here? He thought he was hiding his belly. Ummm. Nope – just be you. He opened doors for me and was a true gentleman all evening but…he struck me as a sad, lonely person and that energy brought me down.

On the upside, he had decided we’d go to City Island. (YEAHHHH.) We made small talk on the way to the restaurant. He had smooth jazz on the radio. I was glad I wasn’t driving because it made me sleepy. Shoulda brought a mix tape with me… I know this thing bumps. It was late evening and the restaurant was fairly empty. I ordered a daiquiri and we waited for our meals. That’s when Fred began to talk, and talk, and TALK. I thought I was going to pass out. Lordhavemercy. Please stop talking.

I ordered another daiquiri and his monologue became, “blah-blah blah… blah blah blahba blah.” Muchhhh better. I half-listened politely, asked questions where appropriate and enjoyed my food – which was fabulous. He was eating slower (all that yapping) and I finished before him. I contemplated another drink but that would have been too much, so I started watching him as he talked. He never really looked at me, just proceeded to dramatically continue his life story. He also had some kind of… tick, maybe? Where every so often, his head would roll back and he’d close his eyes. It was bugging me out. I told him I was tired and ret ta go.

When we left the place, Fred decided to take the LONG way back. I was annoyed. I asked tersely, “Why are we all the way out here?” He said he liked to drive and thought I wouldn’t mind. Yeah, well, I DO Negro. I reiterated how tired I was and said I just wanted to go home. Eventually we made it back to White Plains. Hallelujah.

I didn’t wait for the car to stop. As he slowed near my house, I jumped out, tucked and rolled, popped to my feet unscathed, dusted off my pants, waved and yelled, “Thank you for everything, Fred! See you later!” He called again a few days later, whining when I said I couldn’t see him that day. Ew. I told him firmly, but nicely that I didn’t think we were a good match. One Shot Deal.

Date 2: Non-Driving, Non-Dancing, Nerd Man

I met another guy online, let’s call him Larry*, who said he worked in the recording industry. Oh now.. that’s exciting. He didn’t tell me he was some kind of clerk. Larry invited me to a comedy show outside of White Plains. Cool – I love comedy shows. I don’t remember where he lived, but he said he had two vehicles and he would drive. OK. He picked me up and we headed to the club. Larry was a polite guy, but not very talkative. The ride was fairly quiet. There was something on the radio, but the volume was too low to hear it. I don’t know why… you’re not saying anything and I’m not going to keep trying to start a conversation.

Larry’s speed never climbed over 40 mph on the interstate. Conditions were clear… and maybe he was just being cautious, but we were in a Ford Explorer and I KNEW that thing could go faster. It started to frustrate me. I don’t like putzing plus I ride with dudes who drive 140 mph – to the corner. He drove like one of those little old women who can barely see over the steering wheel. Hands in the 10-2 o’clock position. The speed limit was 65mph. Come ONNNN. You’re going to cause an accident by not keeping up with traffic! I was about to tell him to move out tha damn way so I could drive. I thought we’d NEVER get there.

Seven hours later, we got close to the comedy club – I knew where it was and watched as he made a wrong turn. I was reluctant to say anything because he said he knew where he was going. Okay player. Don’t be surprised when we end up in Virginia. I gently told him that he had made a wrong turn and he ignored me. He mumbled to himself, trying to figure out where he’d gone wrong.That’s when he started to drive in circles. We were all up in some residential area before he decided he should turn around. I shut up. If we miss the show, we miss the show.

By some miracle, we made it to the club. But only after he stopped and asked another MAN for directions. Ohhh ok. I see how you are. We had a decent table and the club was serving food and drinks. He didn’t tell me they’d be serving food, therefore, like any logical person who doesn’t like to starve, I ate before I left. He hadn’t eaten and actually got pissy that I had. I told him he should order something if he was hungry. Makes me no nevamind… besides you look like you done missed several meals. Put some meat on your bones, man.

As we waited for the show to begin, I could feel him looking at me. Judging by the goofy way he was looking at me, I figured he found me attractive. When I looked at him, all I saw was a chauvinistic, scrawny, non-driving nerd. Wasn’t feeling him AT all. The show featured some walk-ons, who I clapped heartily for. It takes a lot to get up and try to make people laugh. The scheduled comedians were all funny but by that time I’d had a drink or two. Once the show was over, there was an after party. He wanted to stay, so I said OK. They had a DJ and the music was cool. Ms. Jones – from the radio, was hosting – this was way before she blew up, made a daggone fool of herself and got banned from radio.

I love to dance and was moving a little. He started smiling at me and asked me to dance. It was the first somewhat decent moment of the evening. That is, until we hit the dance floor.

He scared the sh*t outta me. I am not kidding. It was worse than drunk white people – like the funky chicken gone horribly wrong. His movements were spastic/jerky and I just knew he was going to knock me out the way his arms were flailing around. You know what they say about men and dancing? How women equate dancing with sexual abilities? OH, HELL NO.

I’m no model but I do recall getting quite a few random looks from fellas – all of which he seemed to catch. I suspect that’s why he kept trying to get close to me… and I kept backing it up – and not in a good way. We started at the back of the club and I kept backing up until I was near the door. I wouldn’t disrespect the brotha by talking to someone else when I arrived with him. I didn’t even flirt with anyone, but it shonuff crossed my mind. Maybe I’ll run into someone I know to give me a ride home so I can ditch him. Feign illness and leave in an ambulance. I don’t know. Wiggle my nose and *poof* disappear.  I remember one guy dancing near us who looked over at his non-dancing ass, then at me and just smiled, I just shrugged, like, “Hey. What are you gonna do?” We left a short while later. He didn’t get lost. Thank God. And we didn’t talk on the way home. When we got to my house, I kind of grunted at him. And ran for the hills. PEACE.  I’m free, I’m free Good God Almighty! I’m FREE. One Shot Deal.

To their credit, there was nothing wrong with either of these men, they just weren’t my kinda guys. I’m thinking dates should be FUN – for everyone. One thing I did learn that’s true for me: it’s not what you do, it’s who you’re with. It doesn’t take much for me to be happy. I dated one guy and my perfect date with him: Hot wings and beer over basketball, shooting pool at hole-in-the-wall bars around town, playing Al Green on a jukebox and dancing on a 5′ x 5′ linoleum dance floor… we had a blast wherever we were.

You just have to take chances and see what you can see. The bad ones kinda make you rethink the whole dating game though… like the time this guy ate an entire appetizer (a large portion I chose – designed for 2+ people) while I used the ladies room. I was only gone a few minutes. Just greedy and wrong. I haven’t written about him yet.

* names changed in the interest of privacy