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Friday, October 14, 2011

Metal head took on a whole new meaning....

Being single again and not having much of a life has really got me realizing that my life is only interesting when I’m dating. I know that it isn’t always “fun” but it’s always funny. Well, it’s not funny at the time but we all get a nice laugh about it after it happens to me (and not to you). So, I sat down and went into my dating files. I named off everyone I could possibly think of that even so much as counted as possibly a date and then I remembered I had yet to tell about my date with Metal Plate Mac.

I met Mac on a website which is commonly used as a way to “meet people” outside your normal social network, a dating site if you will. In my profession I didn’t meet very many available men and all my friends were lacking in single male friends so I decided to give the online deal a try. As everyone always says “You just never know.” I wouldn’t say that I was desperate, because that would just seem so horrible that I can’t justify the concept of it; however, I was pretty much going on any date that was offered up at the time just to get out of my house and have some sort of social life.

Mac was upfront about not having a car that was “working” at the time so meeting him was out of the question. I ended up driving to pick him up nearly two hours away (sigh yes I know, how dumb can one Single Girl be?).  He lived in the middle of nowhere at the end of a no way out street.  As I pulled into his driveway I kept thinking “Single Girl go home, just go home now” but my stubborn side refused to let that happen. I was just nervous, I reassured myself. But then he came walking out of his house…

Though his profile claimed he was 6’ 2” he barely stood 5’ 5” and his blonde hair was barely there and red. A small extremely white guy with what he would consider “swagger”. Very nice photo shop work he had done for his profile, I must say. The person I saw was definitely not the person coming to my car. When he jumped into my passenger seat I noticed a scar line that came down to his eyebrow and went all the way back behind his ear. He must have obviously noticed that I had noticed it and let out a “Yep, had brain surgery, got a metal plate in my head.” How do you rationally respond to that? Inside I screamed but let out,  “Oh….. I’m sorry to hear that.” 

As I drove back towards the highway he motioned me to turn a different direction, my first reaction was to argue with him because I was not going to end up lost in some strange place stuck with him as my guide. He said “I just gotta pick something up, yo.” I sighed this was going to be horrible. As it turns out we ended up at a gas station where his mom worked. He needed to barrow money so he could pay for our “date”. I didn’t know whether to be thankful he went out of his way to ask his mom so he could pay or feel horrible for him that he went out of his way to ask his mom for money so he could pay. I immediately offered to pay for my own food and he said “A girl like you shouldn’t have to buy anything.” I laughed awkwardly and headed down the highway.

We ended up a casual sit down restaurant where I ordered something extremely simple, I don’t like to over complicate my order because it’s usually wrong, I just made sure to express my concern for NO pickles on my plate. He made a huge order, for such a “fun size” man-ish person he was apparently ready to feed an army. Just as we finished ordering our food he got a message on his phone from a friend saying “Wat up boy?” he laughed and responded “Nah, kid, just Mackin on some ho”. One the conversation other than completely being retarded was also rude. I made a reference to his lack of “game” and “no hoe’s in sight” and slunk down in my booth seat checking my phone impatiently. I still had to make it through a meal with this person and drive him back home.

So our food comes, he has no manners. I don’t mean manners of “please” and “thank you” (though he lacked those as well) but he chewed with his mouth open, talked with his mouth full and was a complete embarrassment as his “slang” made no sense to me what so ever and he was just loud and overly obnoxious. He slurped his shrimp and noodle dinner down faster than I could finish half of my burger. Luckily for him he didn’t have to wait on me because he had another meal sitting there waiting for him. Where I had made sure to order my burger WITHOUT pickle, stressing that point, he had not. I will say someone eating pickles is definitely not a deal breaker but I knew them sloshing around in his wide open mouth as he tried to talk through the food would be unbearable.

For my own sanity, I excused myself hoping to avoid the pickle attack and walked towards the restroom. One of the waiters stopped me and said “First date” and I replied “And last” He laughed and said “We can all tell, he’s horrible get rid of him as soon as you can.” I was right he really was as obnoxious as I had thought it wasn’t me being picky, it was him! This was who he was and I didn’t like him! I went back to my seat after taking a minute to breathe and compose myself.

He hadn’t finished the burger sadly and he said “So ya got a problem wit pickles?” And I replied “Yes, I think they’re horrid. Completely disgusting the idea of them alone makes me ill.” He laughed and moved onto my side of the booth, it was then I noticed the pickle in his hand. He held it up. I leaned as far into the wall as I could go “Get it away from me, I’m warning you, this is not funny!” He kept getting closer and closer until he put the pickle on my arm and that was it, I snapped and I punched him in his face and kicked him off my booth seat.  Everyone around us fell silent. I got up and walked out. A few minutes later he walked out as well and still thought this was funny. He kept pressing the issue and I kept getting madder. The madder I got the more he laughed until finally I hit him again this time in his head, in his balding metal plate head. In doing so I apparently hurt his metal plate, which I found out still gave him issues with pain.

I drove him back out to nowhere, where I insisted he take my money for my meal, which he would not because he jumped out of my car and said “Girl I can’t wait to see yo ass again!” And he skipped off to his door like a child. Had the fact that I hit him twice in the last two hours meant nothing to him? Was it normal for him to be beaten on dates? Why would he think that our date went well?  I was confused and appalled that apparently there was big misunderstanding that our date would lead to a second one. I drove away back towards the highway for the two hour drive home in shock at how someone could be on such a completely different level and not realize how horrible this day had been. Within moments of getting on the highway he sent me a text...
 “Next time I’ll wear my helmet.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

Test drives are not just for cars...

I always suggest after breaking up with someone or being broken up with, that you go on a test drive date. This date must include someone you will not “fall” for.  It’s a person you take out simply because you need to get back into the swing of things. Back into the world of dating, a vicious and cruel world where you’re only chance of survival is to laugh at every bad experience and hopefully learn from it.

When you go car shopping you have a general idea of your dream car in mind. However you don’t just hop right into the car you want. You take test drives, sometimes even after finding the car you want. You have to compare what it is you’re going to spending your money and time on.

So my very first date YEARS ago, after being in a relationship, I decided to go on a test drive.  He was awkward and funny but definitely not the car of my dreams. I agreed to a simple date, dinner. That way just in case it was horrible I could bail afterwards.

So, I asked him if he would mind if I drove. He agreed that would be fine and I asked where we should meet? He said Walgreens was close to his house so we met there. I pulled up into the parking lot to see him awkwardly standing against a post in the parking lot, old white undershirt on, strawberry blonde shaggy hair and a pair of blue work pants possibly Dickies.  I pulled up next to where he was standing and motioned for him to get in my car. He jumped in, smelling of outside and sweat. I wondered why he hadn’t waited in his car, and he said “I’m glad you offered to drive, I would have hated to ask my mom to use her car again.”

Sign number one!

So we get to the place where we’re going to eat, we sit down already an awkward pause and terrible conversation. We order food and drinks, I quickly eat my food as to try and hurry this process called “dating” along and the check comes. This is when he mentioned to me he hasn’t worked for the last two years because he couldn’t find a job in his field. I ask politely what field, as I grab the check to pay for it myself and he says “Well that’s the problem I haven’t really decided yet!”

Sign number two!

We go back to my car and I’m thinking I can just take him back to Walgreens and be done with the night and he asked if we could run to the mall. At this point I was still nice, to people that I went on dates with. It’s not that I disliked him I just didn’t “like” him or ever really want to see him again. But I couldn’t bring myself to just blow him off. I drove towards the nearest mall and we walked around awkwardly, I kept my arms crossed and a nice distance between us to make sure that there could be no way any signs were misread that I wanted him to make any moves. This of course is assuming he had any. He stopped in the middle of the mall and said “Really I just need to find a restroom.” I nodded and walked along towards the nearest men’s restroom that I knew of. He went inside and twenty minutes later came out.

Sign number three!

I practically run through the mall and get back to my car and he hops in like a little kid a theme park and says “How about we go get some more drinks and sit and talk.” I paused. Seriously? After I had ran this awkward piece of the male gender around in my car  paid for our dinner and drinks he wants me to take him for more drinks that I will once again obviously have to pay for since he hasn’t decided what he wants to be when he grows up. I replied with a smile “Why so I can pay again?” and he laughed and said “See that’s what I like about you, you get it. You don’t care about those whole dating rules men are supposed to follow. Where I pay and you get to just sit there and look pretty.”

Sign number four!

I decline the invitation for more drinks and he asks his he could go back to my place, since he lived with his parents it would be hard to have “alone” time…

Sign number five!

Again I declined. Took him back to Walgreens and dropped him off by the same pole where I had found him. I watched him walking towards his parent’s house while I drove off thinking, “Well Rachael, you certainly can’t get any worse from there.”

I was both right and wrong. Though he didn’t do anything necessarily wrong or horrible I have learned to ask many questions before agreeing to the date. And though many of my dating experiences have been worse at least they were upgraded to having cars and jobs.  I don’t want to come off as a gold digger that’s not the case. Drive what you can afford and at least work. I don’t care if you work at McDonalds or bag groceries, just make an attempt.

Simple advice from the Single to the Single, when you’re broken hearted don’t go looking for what you “want” right away. Instead go looking for what you don’t want to make the transition from relationship to singlehood. No one wants to be the rebound and usually the rebound relationship doesn’t work out anyways, so go on a few test drives for comparison. It’s all about living, learning and experiencing. For better or worse, this is your life, at least get good stories out of it!

“Let’s be friends for a while until I see if I like you, then let’s be sweethearts for a while until I see if he is coming back for me”. The sentiments of a woman scorned but still waiting for their miracle of love to reappear, keep on waiting but be realistic.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A conversation is a dance, try and keep up!

The problem with maintaining a conversation with anyone is that it’s like dancing. If either of you are off beat it simply will not work. Obviously one person must lead the conversation but that doesn’t mean it should only be one sided. It’s give and take, back and forth and should be worth the time and effort.  It takes two to tango, no pun intended.

If one of you happen to be more clever and witty, and you’re forced to slow down, to allow the other one to keep up, you’re just dumbing yourself down. Aim higher!  Conversations should be stimulating and enjoyable, they should make you think, bring about questions and leave you feeling you’ve now discovered something new. However, if you can’t keep up in a conversation and people constantly have to explain it to you, then you need to read a little more often and spend less time watching Jersey Shore.

In general the conversations we have are the things we remember about one another. One conversation can change everything. Think about it like this, remember your first I love you, when you told someone secrets, shared exciting news, your last break up, the words last spoken to someone you’ve lost. All these things happen because of the conversations we have with one another. Good or bad they happen.

Why waste your time trying to make a conversation happen, trying to force something that should come so naturally. If you can’t hold a conversation with someone and each be on each other’s level then what’s the point? If you can’t outwit me and I don’t drown you with clever come backs then we’re just not fit for dancing. Our conversation patterns are all wrong.

Obviously conversations are more than just words. It’s the words that are said between the two people that matter. How you use your words to talk to the other person. Do you find yourself trying to think up something clever, pausing during the conversation waiting for something to hit you so you can feel smarter to this person? Do you find yourself using smaller words and explaining things like you would to a child? That’s too much pressure, why aren’t the words there? Why aren’t they just naturally flowing?

All people interact differently with one another. I do not talk to my staff the way I talk to my Mom. I do not talk to adults the way I talk to children. I do not talk to customers the way I talk to friends. But each conversation I’m having I make sure it is worthwhile.  I want people to walk away from my conversation with them and think… maybe about me, maybe about what I said, maybe just think in general. If I’m not leaving an impression behind when I meet you and have that first conversation then what’s going to bring you back? 

You can make a first impression to someone without speaking to them. However, you leave a lasting impression once you open your mouth and the words come out. So make sure those words are worth saying.

“Words are very valuable things.” King Azaz- The Phantom Tollbooth