Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Date Night Rewind: Connor the Condescending

Note: Names have been changed to protect the innocent and promote alliteration.

ASS Profile

Dating site: Match.com


Fake name: Connor

Age: 31

Job: Some sort of psychologist, works with kids. Has a PhD.

Appearance: Way tall. Like a full foot taller than me. Okay-looking, nothing special. Dark hair and very round-framed glasses.

Location: The city. I live in the suburbs. I am no city girl, though I am getting better at it.

Time: Late August

Connor's profile was nothing special, but from his pictures (most of which were far away... see I WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE) I wasn't repulsed, so I sent him a quick message. He responded flirtily, making a joke about my user name (still TheEditrix at the time). I returned with some questions about him, his job, etc. since I still knew so little about him. Rather than answering any of my questions, he said he would rather tell me in person and that we should talk on the phone.

I thought that was very abrupt, as I like to see if a guy and I at least have anything to say over email before moving to the real world. The person isn't really real until you hear his voice. (See The Importance of the Voice.) Despite thinking that was kind of weird, I gave him my number, and he called me the next day.

Like everything else about him so far, his voice was, well, mediocre. Deep enough, very deep actually, but there was a dull quality to it. He very much sounded his age, which, at 8 years older than me, wasn't a turn-on. He had a nice laugh, but he mumbled, and I had to ask him to repeat himself on more than one occasion. We had an okay conversation, but I found myself tuning out.

He proposed going out that weekend. Again, rather hasty. But I was so taken aback that I agreed. (Note: This is the part where my story starts sounding like a 20/20 special about young naive girls meeting older men on the internet and getting raped and killed. [Disclaimer: I did not, in fact, get raped or killed. I probably wouldn't be blogging about it if I did. But girls of the world who are reading this, don't do what I did. Might not have such a bland ending.])

We decided to meet for Thai downtown. He chose the place. We were going our kind of late on a Sunday, around 8 p.m., so I asked him to call the place to make sure it didn't close early. He said he would call me back if there was a problem. Having never had Thai food before, I went to the website and perused the menu. While I was on the site, I checked out the hours... and what do you know, it says the restaurant is closed on Sundays. I waited a minute or two, as he said he would call me. When I didn't hear from him, I started to worry, as I am apt to do. So, rather than risk the awkwardness of arriving at a restaurant to discover that it's closed, I called to tell him. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey Connor, sorry to call you again. I went to the restaurant's website, and it says they're closed on Sundays!
Connor: Well, I called, like I said I would. They're open til 10.
Me: [babbling confusedly] Oh! It said on the website they were closed. I guess the website isn't up to date. I was just worried when I saw the website, so I wanted to call you and make sure.
Connor: I said I would call. I called, and they were open, so I didn't call you back. Like we agreed on.
Me: ...
Connor: ...
Me: Oh, um, well it wasn't like I didn't believe you or anything, I just went to look at the menu and I happened to see the hours, and I was worried when I saw it said it was closed. Sorry. Didn't mean to second guess you.
Connor: Oh.

So we're off to a great start.

I get there mostly on time, find a ludicrously expensive parking lot right near the restaurant, and I see him standing in front of the restaurant. On his Blackberry, typing away. Fine.

Me: Hi Connor!
Connor: [not looking up from phone] Oh hey. [type type type type]
Me: ...
Connor: [finally looking up] You ready?

We go into the restaurant, and I tell the hostess there's two of us, and she starts to walk toward the table area, which has about 5 open tables, and that's just what I can see from a quick glance. Connor stops her, says, "We have a reservation for two under Connor." She gives him a slightly annoyed look, goes to the reservation book, scratches off his name, and leads us to the exact same section of open tables she was headed toward originally. Reminded me of a Futurama episode that goes like this:

The main character and her date enter a restaurant.
Restaurant owner: Table for two? Right this way, please.
Date: [pompously] We don't have a reservation, but as you can see, I'm the mayor's aide. Table for two, please!
Restaurant owner: ... Uh, okay then.

The dinner conversation doesn't fare much better. We're talking about my job as an editor, and he asks me, "Isn't there some sort of machine or software that can do that?" It's perfectly acceptable to summarize my career as "so easy, a computer could do it." I feel for the Geico cavemen.


After dinner (he paid, at least), he proposed going on a walk around the city. It was dark, and I wasn't really interested, but sometimes I don't know how to say no. So I said yes. Luckily for me, he wasn't a murderer or rapist, or at least chose not to act on those urges, and I made it home safe, having lost only a couple of hours of my life.

Image credits:
http://pvanhoof.be/
http://nikkigsblog.wordpress.com/
http://futurama.wikia.com/

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Importance of the Voice

The first phone call is a big thing for me. Before I tried online dating, I never realized how much a guy's voice mattered. I'm usually more of a visual person than an auditory person, but a guy's voice is a big factor in determining if I'm attracted to him or not. When you meet someone (you know, in the normal way), you meet the entire package... looks, mannerisms, behavior, voice are all bound into one identity. It's hard to separate components of someone's personality. The only time a voice is really noticeable by itself is if there is a huge discrepancy between looks and voice. Like if a big burly guy has a high, squeaky voice, or if a buxom blonde has a tinny, whining voice (a la The Man With Two Brains).

But when you meet someone online, you don't get the whole picture all at once. You get a picture, a few if you're lucky, and a few paragraphs about him, or at least how he has chosen to portray himself. It tells you some superficial information about him, maybe a little something deeper if he's a good writer (or if you're a good analyzer), but you won't get a real idea of who he is until the two of you speak. Of course, the first face-to-face meeting will tell you much more, but you will at least get a sense of his personality and larger identity.

There was one guy awhile back (one of my first online dating experiences) whose voice ruined it for me. He seemed really nice, and he was cute. We had great email conversations, and I was pretty excited to meet him.  The first phone call finally happened, and when I heard his voice, I almost sighed in disappointment. It just completely turned me off. Still, I gave it a shot and met him, but it was to no avail. My emotional disconnect with his voice was mirrored in my feelings about his personality, too. The voice just says so much about personality.