Nutella and my three worst dates ever

13 Jul

On Facebook, a single friend commented about eating a half jar of Nutella and that it might be time to find a boyfriend.  My response involved a smart alec remark about “7 out of 10 single women prefer Nutella to boyfriends because it is always smooth, creamy, and sweet.”

It’s true…there are times when Nutella beats a boyfriend hands down.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a man hater, and Greg & I are still planning our wedding, so technically, I’m not single anymore.  After living together nearly three years, I don’t even “think single” anymore.  But the term “boy friend” indicates a person who is somewhat new and transient in your life, just like a car you are test driving.  It’s just those test drives…can be interesting.

Long long ago, in that other realm we call “single”, I used an online dating service.  Actually, I used three or four different ones over the course of time, but they are all pretty much the same, just some have more duds than others in a given period of time.  A lot of people think only “losers” use online dating services, but I would not say that is true.  A lot of people used them for the same reason I did–I wasn’t meeting new people through my job and didn’t want to hang out in bars.  (The two most common meeting places for singles.)  Usually, I met guys who were genuine, nice, and just not “Mr. Right For Me.”  Some of them became friends that I still talk to.  A few I dated for a while, but some…it was a single meet & greet date.  One week, however, stands out as the week of dating terror.

I was cautious, I’d heard the horror stories too…I didn’t want anything bad to happen, so the initial meet & greet date was always a case of meet me at this very public location.  A friend always knew where I was going and who I thought I was meeting too.  Just-in-case.  I also didn’t choose neighborhood cafes or bars as the meeting location–if it was bad, I didn’t want it in MY neighborhood.

So during the horror week, we started it off with a guy in his fifties, seemed nice enough after talking online and over the phone, and I agreed to meet him for dinner at a local restaurant a couple of miles from my home.  When he arrived, he looked fine.  Nothing totally weird about him, and we greet each other politely and sit down together.  We talked all through the meal.

I noticed that he seemed a bit…precise…about how he ate.  Rather obsessive about it, in fact.  I watched him and noticed he consistently stirred his soup three times counterclockwise before taking a bite.  I thought okay, that’s odd.  He remained as precise through the remainder of the meal, and then it was stirring his drink…continuously.

It was making me crazy.

So, I thought maybe its a nervous thing, and he doesn’t realize he’s doing it, so I jokingly asked him, “Do you count how many times you do that?”

He smiled and said yes, and the hair stood up on my neck.  I suddenly felt as though I was sitting at a table with a mass murderer.  He scared me, he was creepy, there was something WRONG with this guy.

When warning bells go off like that, you listen.  Or at least I do.  It was time to end this, and I did, fleeing to the pickup I drove at the time after a courteous good bye.  Three turns later, I notice that the van he was driving is behind me, and that went from creepy to downright terrifying.  There was NO WAY I was going home, so I drove to some friends’ house and spent hours hanging out there…without explaining why I showed up and wasn’t in my usual t-shirt and jeans.  I still watched when I drove home later, just in case.  I had no desire to lead any mass murderer to my home!

A few days later, I am meeting another guy for coffee in the evening.  He seemed nice, had a local job, didn’t seem to be any kind of  a potential mass murderer, etc.  Now when you are post-forty and dating, there is a certain amount of time you end up devoting to hearing about the ex’s.  It’s a given, and it’s only mildly relevant.  Guys who blame everything on her, call her a lot of names, etc. are tossing out warning flags.  Someday, more likely than not, you could potentially be the ex.  If he’s that bad about the last one, he’ll be that bad about you.

He went into the ex mode, and I tuned out.  He wasn’t tossing out warning flags, but he did toss out one of those radar phrases that bring you to immediate attention.

In his case, it was “I have a confession to make….”

Confessions are huge radar alerts.  They can be bad, everything from mass murdering to I-prefer-men.

“I have to confess that I have fornicated before.”

I sit there for a moment in silence, trying to decide what I should do.  My first thought was, “My God, you are over 40, I sure as heck HOPE so.”

Should I laugh, was this a joke?  Should I look concerned?  Was he serious?  I’d never heard anyone use that word but a Baptist preacher in a good hellfire & brimstone sermon.

He was serious.  It turned out he had been talking about his ex wife for 20 minutes and they’d only been married for 4 months about five years before.  He had some issues involving sex, religion, and women…and I’m not a therapist.

I needed an escape…fast.

Just then, my daughter, who was an adult who lived halfway across the continent, happened to call my cell phone.  I made excuses, answered the call, and instead of answering what she was saying…acted as though she had called to say she was sick at home and needed me to come home.

I apologized to him, and bailed fast, since I knew my daughter was going to stare at the phone and promptly call me back, wondering what was wrong with me.  (She did, and laughed as I told her what happened, after I’d gotten safely to the same old pickup truck and made my escape from the parking lot.)

I checked my rear view mirror to make sure no one was following me.  I made a few extra turns, just in case, too.

The third date…and final straw, was a Saturday lunch.  The perennial optimist, I was certain that the “third time was the charm.”  I’d never had two bad dates in a row before, and three was unthinkable.  This one too seemed wonderful, witty, smart, and charming.

I laughed through lunch, and truly enjoyed his company, and then…he threw out a radar catching phrase.

“You know, I see a therapist…”

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with therapy, but men who tell about it on the first date…may have issues.  He did.

It turned out he had a sexual addiction and didn’t care which gender either.  Too bad, because his company was great.  His issues were just beyond my reasonable behavior limits.  I spent the afternoon hanging out with a friend who wasn’t a potential boy friend.

I also gave up dating for a while, it was too stressful.  I didn’t know about Nutella then…and it’s probably a good thing.  That might have been a three jar week.

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