Friday, July 18, 2008

Some Women Give All Women a Bad Rep

This one just has to be put into posterity.

I’ve been trying some internet dating. So far it has resulted in one three month relationship that was nice, but had nothing at it’s core. Beyond that it’s been fun, but unsuccessful.
I had an excellent date with a delightful lady who agreed that we’d had an excellent time. Later she sent me an email telling me that she knew she’d be trying to change me and that she didn’t want that in her life. Okay. Fair enough. Not sure it’s a fully matured argument, but it’s not unreasonable.

There was the woman who found me later on Face book (who didn’t have my name to the best of my knowledge) and would NOT LEAVE ME ALONE.

There was the oddball who sent me a photo of her, her rifle and the deer she’d just killed with it. Props for bold presentation. Wrong audience, lady.

An awkward connection with an attractive friend of a friend who didn’t want to accept that I identified a deal-breaker in our first exchange. A nice seeming woman in all other respects, but she just didn’t understand that I would either have to constantly censor myself or she’d have to live in the shower of my contempt for something dear to her. Doesn’t sound like a good relationship to me, but some people apparently like abuse.

There have been a few totally pleasant meetings with women who seemed surprised when I made it clear at the end of the face to face that that would be all we’d be doing.

This story is about one of the latter-most situations. Two of them actually.

I don’t know when I first connected with Tracy (not her real name). A few weeks ago in any case. She had her defences up high, but I didn’t care. She was on an online dating service, she WAS looking for a connection. The messages progressed well. She was amusing and I amused her.

We decided that we should meet face to face, but we were collectively booked for the better part of a week. We set it all aside, agreeing that we’d reconnect after the upcoming weekend.

Then, one evening as I was on the site answering emails, or perusing photos I got an instant message from another user. I’ve only used the IM service on the site once before. It’s a lousy UI, and I’m not big on IM in the best of cases. I’ve never initiated an IM conversation, but I do accept them - ‘cause ya never know!

It was a decent conversation. But it was late. We agreed to message each other the next day and make plans. She ended up suggesting we get together at a place near both of us (she claimed to live on the Drive) that night after work. I had nothing up, so what the hell.

We met. It was a decent conversation. She was definitely interesting, but I knew very quickly that I wasn’t interested. The more I meet women, the more I think I don’t want to get together with another artist. I used to think it was just actors I was done with, but I suspect my moratorium may extend further. Jury is officially still out on that one - it’s not a simple equation.

As we wound up, she - let’s call her Carrie - gave me the somewhat ambiguous invitation “Want to come with me?” The answer was a polite ‘no thanks.’ She seemed surprised.

Allow me a moment to rant about women. How many times have we - guys - been given the message that ‘all I want is someone who is a good listener?’ “Innumerable times” is the answer. So the astute guys develop that habit. It gets practived to the point of instinct. But there is an issue that develops from that. Our ability to actually listen gets interpreted as interest above and beyond the moment. When all we are doing is being polite! I’m sure later I’ll discover that my ability to listen when I’m not interested has become a liability as women don’t know when I’m listening sincerely. Argh! Fuck!

So I’m thinking that the fact that I actually paid attention to her gave her the message that I was actually interested in her. That wasn’t the case. To be blunt - even a bit rude - if I was still on the longest dry-spell of my adult life I don’t know that I would have followed up on the vague invite. She may have just been saying “Hey I’m going to a ________. Want to come along?” Though that itself may have been a trial that eventually led to her bed. But not necessarily.

In any case, it’s moot. I wasn’t interested. She seemed a bit surprised. Perhaps even put out. (Oooh! Pun.) Maybe even…(and this is reading things in after the fact, and with more circumstantial information) …it seemed that I might be screwing up some wild plan.

So, that’s that. Farewell to Carrie. Pleasant enough, and I wouldn’t be adverse to running in her in the ‘hood and asking how her projects were going, but that was that.

I get through the weekend and it comes time to reconnect with Tracy and make plans. She chose Tuesday after work… which was a strange choice as neither of us, as it turned out, worked that day.

We met, had dinner. She was fun. Very lively and fun. I laughed a lot. Physically she was not really what I’d immediately think ‘holy shit, she’s hot’ about, but her genuinely winning personality could potentially tip the balance. There were some other factors which would prove an issue, but not insurmountable if things remained otherwise promising. No deal breakers.

After dinner we went for a walk. I don’t recall how we got onto it, but she started talking about her crazy roommate. This apparent nutbar who wouldn’t clean up after her dogs. Who would wake up at 7am and start hammering. HAMMERING!

I could totally relate. Those of you who know the epic of Erin living upstairs know the essence of my commiseration. I was totally on board with Tracy’s complaints. She told me how the roomie’d driven her so bananas that last week she snapped and had it out with her on Thursday afternoon. The roommate exhibited an utter dereliction of responsibility and capped it all off with this gem of a quote (which also recalled Erin for me) “you think I’m loud now, wait ‘til I bring a man home!”

Oh, the non-sequitur argument. Such a slam dunk of ‘WTF?’ stupidity. I was totally with Tracy in her frustration.

Then she dropped the bomb.

“She is on the site.” (Meaning the dating site.) “Her user name is ‘Hawk moon’ (not her real username).”

Carrie’s username had been “Hawk moon 71.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

“Oh, have you talked with her online?”

“That is really familiar. There’s a chance.”

“Her real name is ‘Carrie.’”

Holy shit.

I played dumb from there out.

Have you done the math? I’ll lay it out for you, just to be certain.

What are the chances that a Carrie going under the name Hawk moon 71 is NOT the same Carrie whose roommate identifies her as Hawk moon? That’s the easy part. Thursday morning, Carrie and tracy have an argument about noise that culminates in the gem “wait ‘til I bring a man home!”

Later that night, I - who am already having an online chat with Tracy - get IM’ed by Carrie/Hawk moon 71 who fast tracks her way into a date with me the next night where she seems to try to get me to go home to bed with her.

Granted there are a few assumptions being made in this equation (that Tracy is missing the ’71’ from her roommate’s username; and that Carrie who I met was in fact trying to get me to go to bed with her.) but it certainly appears as though I almost became a pawn in an apparently really ugly roommate battle. In fact, I’m almost certain of it. The real question is: did Carrie hack Tracy’s account - or other wise pick me out as her mark in said war - or was that really just a huge co-incidence?

There is really only one piece of evidence that contradicts any of this and it’s quite easy to reconcile. Carrie claimed to live near me on the Drive. Tracy lives over near Main. The Drive and Main are not far apart, but I don’t think someone who live on Main would claim they lived on The Drive… unless they were manufacturing a reality for some reason.

I could be manufacturing my own reality on this matter myself, but I think Occam’s Razor dictates that this was a close call of weirdness for me.

Assuming all of that, Carrie did achieve part of her plan. I’m not getting involved with Tracy any further - though exploring it just a little farther would be illuminating - when I otherwise would have.

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