Wanda Update: We Escaped the Room but Not the Monsoon

I hate when I waste my best stuff on a dead end.

OK, to be fair, I had no idea it was (going to be) a dead end when I planned my second date with Wanda, nor did I think it was a dead end as it was all happening. This is my hindsight talking.

But Date 2 with Wanda started off swimmingly (sarcasm meter is beeping). The sitter was 10 minutes late, it was a 30-40 minute drive to begin with, then for some reason all the leisurely drivers were all on the road at the same time in my way cruising along at 65 in the FAST lane. Argh! Seriously??

Well, I got where we were meeting about 20 minutes later than planned, but still in plenty of time for our activity. Wanda was sitting on a bench, killing time on her phone. As I approached, I playfully said she looked like she was waiting for someone. She responded she was. So I asked if I could join her while she waited, and she said Yes. As I sat down next to her, I put my arm around her and kind of leaned in a bit (to gauge where she was at tonight). Nothing (1). She stood up and I followed her. I moved closer to see if a hug or anything was an option. Nope (2). So I asked if she was ready for this, she said Yes, so I extended my hand to hold hands as we walked. Again, Nothing (3).

We walked a few blocks to an old warehouse. A few times during the week, she had asked what we were doing, and I refused to tip my hand. I just told her where to meet me, and wanted to keep it a surprise. I booked us in one of the Breakout or Escape rooms, where you get locked in a room for an hour and have to solve the puzzles in order to find the code to get out. Neither one of us had done it before and it sounded really fun. It was also a diabolical plan to see how well we can work together, communicate, deal with a (moderately) stressful situation, and have fun at the same time. We were teamed up with a group of 6 other people who worked together.

It took us nearly the entire hour, but we managed to solve the riddles and get out before time expired. It was really fun.

While we were waiting to start, we had to sign waivers. While I was signing my waiver, the girl at the counter was asking Wanda if she’d ever done this before. She told her she hadn’t and that this was a surprise, etc. The girl behind the counter was gushing how cool and how sweet it all was. Then when Wanda went to the bathroom, the girl asked me a bunch more questions about our date night and thought it was cool. So when Wanda came back, she was gushing even more about our night. I don’t think I could’ve planned that better, even I would have paid the girl to say those things. It was definitely big bonus points in my favor (or at least should’ve been).

While we were waiting, and during other various points of the night, I tried getting close to her, even putting my arm around her in a half-hug at one point, but it all seemed to fail or not be reciprocated. (4-9) After we finished, I went to offer to hold her hand again as we walked to the restaurant. More Nothing (10). I didn’t say anything or act put-off by it. I just rolled with it.

The place at which we ate, was rather pricey, but we each ordered the chicken and quinoa and a glass of wine. We talked about all sorts or random things. So I tried to bring up some future events I had going on, like when my son was gone to gauge her interest of doing something then. Didn’t bite. (11) I noticed on her Facebook page that she had mentioned going to see something at the theater that I also wanted to see, so I brought that up. She’s going the weekend before me with her friends, and has her kids the weekend I have tickets. No “Oh, I wish I would’ve known, I would’ve loved to go with you.” or “maybe we’ll do something else while your son is gone.” Nothing. (12)

Then the monsoon hit. Ok it wasn’t a monsoon – we don’t live on the coast – but it sure looked, felt and sounded like one. Remember the whole “Duck” thing? And the radar looked ominous. THe hostess at the restaurant came around from table to table showing everyone – it looked BAD.

So, since Wanda had to drive and hour (plus) to get home, I suggested we should probably wrap things up early so she can get somewhere safe before it gets worse. She decided to stay in town with her friend (that I mentioned she routinely stays with) instead of going all the way home. In no way was I going to offer her coming to my place. That didn’t seem right.  So we called the night a little early – something I did not want to do, but felt it was the right thing. Also, as you can see, lots of warning signs were popping up, so it wasn’t like calling it early was going to kill any mood or chances.

Look, at the breakout room and as we were talking about other ideas I had had for the night, she was always making it work related. “Oh, we had talked about that at work, and I thought we should do that as a team exercise,” or “I really wanted to check that place out to see if we could hold an event there. How many people do you think it holds?” Stuff like that. Look, I don’t mind talking about work, but I want my date present there with me, in the moment. Not me planning her next work outings for her. It was like she was more focused on that than me. And then we were talking about the charity functions she has going on this weekend. Now this certain pair or group of guys always comes up in discussions about their plans. Going to baseball games, and one of the guys texting her “hey, what about me?” and stuff like that. Well, these same guys (I don’t know if they are friends, co-workers, married, single, nothing) came up in conversation last night. One of the guys set something up for them at the first charity event and said she “owed” him. So she was saying, “Fine, I’ll hold your drink for you when you go to the bathroom,” or “Fine, I’ll hold your hand if some girl tries to flirt with you.” SMH, WTF?? Why are you talking about holding some other guy’s hand when you won’t even hold mine? Got it, aye aye, message received, Captain! Moving on …

As we left I offered to get my car and pick her up at the door and drive her to her car. Like I said, it was a torrential downpour outside. She passed. She insisted on walking the block and a half to her car. So I walked her to her car. We got to her car and she put her stuff inside. She turned and gave me a very strong, lingering hug. I thought, “Ok, there was no first date kiss, so this is my last chance.” You never get the first kiss on date three, that’s like unheard of. But the moment the lingering hug lightened up, she spun and ducked in her car before I could even think about making a move. (what are we on, 13 now?) I mean I was intended to try at the beginning of the date, and now this. Stuck out.

She did the standard “I’ll let you know when I get there, and let me know when you get home,” thing. She texted me promptly when she got to her friend’s. She said she had a fun (complete with smiley face 🙂  ). I asked if she wanted to do it (go out) again, no response (14). And then I didn’t hear from her all night.

After contemplating where things are going with this, I finally texted her again this morning to say “good morning” and to see if she was home yet because I knew she had early appointments back home. She said she was back home, at work, and would call me later. I’m not sure I like the “tone” of that. Maybe she’s going to tell me she definitely wants to see me again and that she really is interested in me. But I’m not holding my breath for that. Remember, I’m trusting my gut again, and it isn’t telling me any good news right now.

Look, I like her, I really do. But together, there’s little chemistry. She’s not flirty (not even texting or on the phone), lord knows I’ve tried to pull it out of her. No takers. She’s not affectionate. I’ve tried that too. She’s also not very “talkative”. I don’t hear much from her. Especially compared to other girls who have been clearly interested in me. If she’s interested in me, she has a funny way of showing it.  But I’m guessing, and planning on, that she’s just not that into me. Which is totally fine. It’s not the end of the world.

It was a long distance long shot anyway. I gave it a shot. I’ll keep you updated. And as always, thanks for reading.

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Beatrice: Cute Southern drawl, but wasn’t what I ordered (Rewind)

Background: Beatrice was one of my first real communications on eHarmony. There had been Smiles (eHarmony’s version of the Wink) exchanged with other members and I had managed to make it through some levels of the 5-step gauntlet eHarmony uses before you get to actually emailing each other. But Beatrice was the first (I think) that managed to make it through the gauntlet and we actually started exchanging emails. From there we followed the script of exchanging numbers, texting and then started talking on the phone.

We found lots of things to talk about and the connection developing (via email, text and phone calls) was getting better with each passing day. And once we started talking on the phone, that’s all I wanted to do because she had the sexiest Southern drawl that I just ate up.

She was also absolutely adorable (from what I saw from her pictures). Cute as a button would have been a term I would’ve used. She had amazing blue eyes, full lips and the most gorgeous head of naturally curly bright blonde hair. She was a professional chef who worked from home quite a bit, which was interesting. We were always talking about food and cooking. Things were definitely looking up!

We tried for a few days to get together for a date before finally settling for an evening date on a night when I just got back into town from a work trip.

The Date: We decided to do the classic dinner and movie thing, except this time we were going to one of the theaters which serves food at the movies. Since she was coming from another town just to the South of me, and would pass right by my house on the way to the theater anyway, we decided she would just stop at my house and park her car and we would drive together. But on the way she texted me, with what seemed like an innocent enough message, but should have been something I really needed to take to heart. She texted me that she “felt bloated, and like a whale.”

That all became too clear when she showed up at my door. She was clearly at least, at LEAST, 25 pounds heavier than any of the pictures in her profile. Sorry, but that’s not bloated. “Bloated” does not affect your legs, face or arms. As I’ve stated before, one thing I really can’t stand is when people “lie” by posting inaccurate pictures of themselves on their profiles. After the date, I looked back at her profile and there was nothing to even remotely indicate she was heavy. Nothing! 

But, given how good our connection and conversations had been to this point, I was willing to overlook her size because she was still rather cute – but not what was I was expecting. I hadn’t totally shut down the date mentally yet. I was going to give it a chance.

On the way to the theater, and when we first arrived at the theater, the conversation was good and we were both laughing and having a good time. We even had a good chuckle when I pointed out to her that one picture she had posted on her profile showed a little bit of areola around her nipple. She didn’t believe me, so I had to show her. It was pretty funny. We got to the theater early enough that we decided to eat dinner out in the bar area outside the theaters. But that’s where things really turned south.

For some unknown reason, she kept giving our server a hard time. She would make rude comments if the server didn’t answer her questions as she was expecting, or if she thought she was taking too long, or for any number of reasons. I finally got to the point where I asked if she was OK and what that was all about. She tried to explain that she thought the service was bad, but there was nothing worth commenting on, as far as I was concerned. I thought everything was just fine.

That is what stuck under my skin for the rest of the night – how rude she was to people. She made a few other comments to other people that I thought were very unjustified, unnecessary and rude.

During the movie, we didn’t cuddle or hold hands or anything like I had originally hoped. And after the movie we had some basic conversation about the movie on the way back to my place. Once back to my place, we talked for a few minutes and even exchanged a goodnight kiss. The bittersweet part, was that the kiss was actually pretty good, but I was just too turned off at that point to let it be any sort of deciding factor as to whether I wanted to pursue anything with her.

Post date: We continued to talk for a few days after that, but I just couldn’t get the rudeness out of my head, on top of the fact that I was still a bit irked that she misled me about her photos. She knew she was doing it, otherwise why would she make the “bloated” comment right before I was to see her for the first time in person. So we never did get to a second date. But I learned a harsh reality about online dating – some people are dishonest on their profiles because they don’t think people might be interested in them otherwise. I can’t say whether or not I would’ve gone out with her if she would have posted honest pictures of herself, but being dishonest about it doesn’t make me the bad person because she was a little heavier than she let on.

In part because of this date, and a few others (including Daphne), I have come up with a little online dating theory; find the worst picture someone has posted on their profile, and that will most likely be the best representation of what they look like in person. I work with Photoshop every day at work, so I can tell when pictures are touched up, and I’ve seen a whole bunch of altered pictures on dating sites. It’s kind of disheartening.

Grade: C

Side bar: This was the only date I managed to get from eHarmony in the six months I was a paying member. I had maybe a handful of serious conversations, a couple dozen solid interactions. I am not counting every smile I received, only the ones that were reciprocated. So I wasn’t that impressed with it, especially considering the price versus Match, which is probably still my favorite and Chemistry.