Oh naïve little me. Prior to my marriage I was used to meeting men at work or school, being picked up at bars, meeting guys through friends; marrying said man met through friend. You know, the good ol’ days. After completing a decade stint of the monogamous relationship type between ex boyfriends and an ex husband I came to understand that in 2011 dating had changed. “What site are you on?,” I was asked by curious singles and even more interested married friends. Have you heard of EHarmony? Match? Farmers Only? OKCupid? HowAboutWe? Notice I did not mention Tinder, Happn, or Bumble….that swiping app shit polluted the dating waters a few years later. I digress. In 2011 I was just getting used to my engagement ring tan line fading let alone adjusting to the online dating world that emerged since the 6 years I was single. I began exploring. How would I select which online platform to vulnerably advertise myself upon? How do I capture myself in an exciting forgiving light after surviving a devastating divorce? More specifically how do I advertise foresaid amazingness in 300 characters or less? And most importantly does the Craigslist killer demographics overlap with dating online demographics? How do I decipher? My mother warned me about this.
I declared I was “ready” to date again (complete lie I convinced myself) and I received a lot of online dating input from my married friends; yes you read that right, the married ones. I was only the 2nd of 30 plus friends to divorce and being the overachiever I am the only other woman divorced remarried before the online boom hit so what the hell did any of us know? We were the blind leading the divorced. Based on my overly invested married mother friends’ opinions I selected dating memberships using the high-low strategy: EHarmony for the high quality ready for marriage types and the HowAboutWe profile for the “why the hell not” exploration varietal. As you read this blog please know I have gifted you with the 1st “Why the hell not” dating experience and you are welcome, it’s a doozy.
I received a message from an individual we will call Kubbi. Online things looked decent. Attractive man, in my age range (I was 32 at the time), lived 20 minutes from my place, had a job and enjoyed yoga. Yoga (along with my puppy and takeout Thai) was my saving grace during that initial year of dating post divorce so I felt a connection in interest instantly. Kubbi took me out for our first date to an understated Italian restaurant where we laughed, enjoyed conversation and shared some surprisingly great calamari. The end of night make-out was phenomenal and he asked me to his house where he would cook us dinner the following weekend. Now I know what you’re thinking: why would I go to a man’s house on a 2nd date? Because I had not been on a 1st date since 2004 and by date it was a set up with 10 of our friends. What did I know?
Saturday came around and I was excited. I wore what I thought to be a sexy but appropriate summer dress, punched in his address in my GPS and drove to his place. I knew the night was going to be off from the moment I pulled into his empty driveway. There was Kubbi barefoot strumming his acoustic guitar not an apron in sight. “Can you drive us to the food store? My car’s in the shop.” Now keep in mind I had just divorced a well-off professional man-child. One that did not cook for himself, help with the house or really take responsibility of any “adult-ing” beyond bringing home a hefty paycheck. I was the mom wife who did everything and vowed to never again be in such a dynamic. My barefoot carless unprepared date was not boding well already. Like the great PTA-mom date I was I drove Sir Kubbi to Whole Foods where he picked out steak and potatoes and I added in some dessert chocolate to the wine I already politely contributed. The cashier knew him and they seemed to have an odd flirty banter; her eyes speaking, “who is this new one?” This was not his first time at the Whole Foods date rodeo.
Back at the ranch Kubbi showed me to his place. For starters there was a life size hand carved wooden Native American in full headdress greeting me at the door. Read that again. LIFE SIZED WOODEN NATIVE AMERICAN AT HIS DOOR. Fine, I’m cool with that. I opened the door and parted the psychedelic beaded room divider into his apartment to gain clear vision of what resembled a senior college apartment. Basic kitchen “counter” (read 24 inches to chop), linoleum floor and cabinets that seemed to all slant to the right. I entered the kitchen and he promptly put on his Muppet-length chef hat and he transformed into the Swedish Chef, googly eyes and all, and began chopping away at the potatoes. Kubbi invited me to see the rest of his abode and I parted a second string of psychedelic beaded room dividers to welcome me into what he deemed “The Great Room.” Ok so maybe this had some kind of funky, historically preservation promise. Nope. Parting the plastic sea I was faced the “Great Room”: part living room, part dining room and part bedroom. AKA a living room with a futon and TV trays. I perched on the futon and thought to myself, “at least there will be steak.”
Dinner was served and I brought up yoga in hopes of returning to common ground. Kubbi went on to lecture me that while I “did” yoga he “was” yoga and even took on a Sanskrit name shedding his birth name. He continued to inform me in no particular obvious transition that Jazz started in Egypt in the Nile River. He walked across the room and there I spotted it: a 6 foot white board tattooed with flowcharts with words frantically written in a manner that can only be likened to “A Beautiful Mind.” My eyes glazed over as he droned on about the birth of Egyptian jazz in great detail. I began to wonder if House Hunters would be on when I went home.
After the disoriented lesson, Kubbi presented me with dessert, the chocolate bar I purchased at Whole Foods. He broke off a square, shoved it between my breasts and made a nose-dive for the dessert. Now remember the hot make-out from last weekend? This was not it. As he ate the chocolate I couldn’t help but wonder if he was ruining my Victoria Secret’s bra. He tried to kiss me with his chocolate smeared mouth and whispered in my ear, “Do you enjoy being choked?” Ironically as I almost choked on my steak I sprang to military posture and began to panic. He noted my reaction and responded, “We don’t have to do that but the next time you are putting makeup on at home give yourself a little choke and see if you like it.” No. No. No. No. This was the craigslist killer demographic overlap I was scared of; I saw the Venn Diagram clearly in my mind. Without ensuing in any sort of conversation to keep me in the un-great room longer I grabbed my purse made a dodge for the door high fiving the wooden Native American (who has clearly seen a lot of shit go down here) on the way out. I speed dialed my friend and told her my address as I drove home convinced I’d be on the news that night in a yogic pigeon pose strangled by his stupid chef hat and propped up by the merlot. I made it home and into my triple locked apartment in record time. I’m happy to report I’m alive and well and never saw Kubbi again. The next morning, disoriented by what can only be construed as a bad dream, I brewed my coffee in my safe cocoon apartment and blared Bob Dylan’s “The Times they are a Changing” knowing I was in for a wild ride.