Jun 22, 2011

Red Flags

Attempting to find love on an online dating service is like running full speed towards a tornado hoping that instead of throwing you a few hundered feet onto your head, it gently picks you up, spins you around a few times, and then drops you off at Disneyland with a 3 day park-hopper pass. You know it's a bad idea.... But the uber slim chance that you end up on your favorite ride seated next to some totally hot stranger is enough to make you wanna try. At leat it was for me. The only problem was even after I thought I'd avoided disaster and been dropped off at "Disneyland" I ended up broken down on Space Mountain with a mediocre "4 out of 1o" throwing up on me. I should've seen it coming!

Are you confused??? Allow me to clarify. Almost 2 years ago, after convincing myself that I'd "exhausted" all other options, I did the unthinkable and joined the world of online dating. To be honest with you I didn't know what to expect. I created a profile with 7 or 8 decent pictures and wrote a paragraph in the "About Me" section that included everything from my height and weight to my likes and dislikes. Much of it probably wasn't "essential" at all, but I figured the more I wrote about myself, the less likely I was to get a bunch of e-mails that said, "Hey you seem cool, tell me more about yourself." Although, don't get me wrong, I still ended up with plenty of those.

The first couple of days were a bit rough. I mostly browsed for single women between 21 and 28 that lived within 25 miles of my zip code. What I found was a bunch of verbally and visually deficient profiles that left me with more questions than answers. After further examining a few of their profiles I started to wonder if I was attempting to communicate with real girls, or some 45 year old perv with 9 fake profiles, living in his parent's basement. This should have been my first RED FLAG! I should've just cancelled my account after only a few days.

Needless to say though, I put forth a little effort and started exchanging e-mails with a few girls. 2 of them really stood out. The first was a 34 year old single mom, with 5 kids. Believe me when I tell you that SHE FOUND ME... NOT the other way around. We exchanged only three e-mails before she realized that my part-time salary and my love of the show C.O.P.S. wasn't exactly turning her on.

The second one that stood out was a 27 year old girl from Scottsdale. Our e-mail exchanges and online chats contained so many "haha's" and "lol's" its a miracle I waited so long to go on a date with her. However, I should've been more aware of the RED FLAGS! The first being the fact that she had only one picture on her profile. The second being the fact that her one lone picture was from only the neck up and looked as if it was taken 4 or 5 years previous. Despite the warning signs, I allowed her sense of humor to win me over. I eventually asked her for her number, and called her to set up a date.

Ladies and Gentleman... I've debated for quite some time about writing this story for 2 reasons. The first is I vowed that when I left her house that night I was going ot try my best to pretend like the previous 2 hours "never happened." The second is because it almost falls into the category of "you had to be there," but when has either of those ever stopped me from writing about something. So here you go...

I drove the 40 minutes or so to the North end of Scottsdale and arrived at a very nice looking home, in an equally nice looking neighborhood. I double checked the address, took a deep breath, and made my way towards the front door. I was really uncomfortable. I knew she was funny, but what did she look like? I didn't have much to go on. What was on the other side of that door??? Was it a super model, that was sand bagging her pictures in hopes of avoiding guys that only wanted her for her body??? Was it a slightly overweight softball player with an upper lip full of peach fuzz. You know the kind that doubles in luster when the sun hits it just right?! I mean seriously, who was going to answer the door. I'll tell you who... and just understand that I'm simply describing to you what I saw.

As the door opened I was greeted by a girl that stood about 5 foot 6 rocking a pair of cut-off sweat pants and an oversized T-shirt. You know, the kind you used to wear to bed as a kid? Ya, just like that. How much she weighed is not important, just know that if I was a quarterback, I'd feel safe with her playing left tackle. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just sayin...

This girl was also talking on the phone when she answered the door. Before I could say Hi, she beat me to the punch and said, "Hi Scott, just come on it, I'll only be a minute" and walked away leaving the front door open. I stepped inside, closed the door, and she disappeared into the kitchen. I followed slowly behind her, admiring the immaculate decor that graced the walls of her home. I made my way into the family room and copped a squat on the couch. I stared at my reflection in the TV for a solid 30 seconds before deciding I needed to "go to the bathroom." I stood up and did my best to whisper across the opening into the kitchen, "Pssst... where's your bathroom?" She getured down the hallway and said something like, "first door on your right."

I entered that bathroom stopping briefly along the way to take a peak into an open doorway. I placed both the toilet seat and the toilet cover in the down position, left my pants in the up position. and sat down on the toilet. After all, I wasn't in the bathroom to actually "use the bathrroom." I was in the bathroom so I could say out loud to myself, "What the crap are you doing here Scott??? Dude, you should just go home, delete her from your friends list, and pretend like tis never happened." As I sat on the toilet staring at myself in a rectangular mirror the hung awkwardly on the wall directly in fron of me, I carried on a conversation with my conscience...

"Give her a chance Scott, she might be really fun"
"Dude, she was wearing cut off sweat pants and a XX T-shirt!"
"Scott, you wear orange camo pants"
"Ya, but they ain't no cut-offs, and I don't compliment them with a sumo shirt!"
"Dude, she's really funny."
"Sense of humor is invalid when you can bench press me"

... and so on and so forth until I decided I would stick it out and see what happens. Before leaving the bathroom though I heard her say something to her mom on the phone like, "No, mom, I can take care of the house, I've been doing it for 6 months now, I'm fine!" I thought back to a few of the things she'd said in our chats. Things like, "I'm a steal Scott, I have my own house, my own car, and a great job!" It was looking more like she had Mommy and Daddy's house, Daddy's car, and who knows what she did for a living.

I made my way back into the family room and no sooner had she hung up the phone than she offered me a tour of the house. I'm not gonna lie, this house was BALLIN! It had all kinds of fancy decorations too. I was impressed. I was also scared as we walked into her room and I had the first of 2, "What the HELL?!" moments. I can't say it any other way. Now let's clear the air on the fact that maybe when I was 16 I would've gotten some sort of adolescent thrill out of seeing a girls bra thrown on the ground, but not at 26! And certainly not THIS girls bra. I quickly found an excuse to leave her room and began discussing dinner plans.

Seeing as how we were in Scottsdale, and she lived in a nice house, I pretty much knew I was about to get stuck with some huge restaurant tab. She suggested a few "higher-end" eateries... P.F. Changs, Ah-So, The Cheesecake Factory. I started getting nervous. Was this even worth it? I had another silent discussion with my conscience and this time my conscience lost. I told her that I was, "sorry, but I ate a late lunch at work and I'm not that hungry so I could go for something real simple." Much to my surprise she suggested In-and-Out burger. SCORE! I agreed before she had a chance to second guess herself. Then as we went to walk out the door she said, "Hey why don't I drive? I got a fast car!"

This should have been a red flag but instead I was intrigued. I agreed to let her drive and I took a seat in her bright blue Nissan 350. It was cozy inside... I was diggin it! Only 2 minutes later though I wasn't really "diggin it" anymore. She was blazing down Scottsdale Road doing 90 in a 50. This lead to the second, and final "what the hell" moment. After peaking at about 90, she finally let off the accelerator and said, "Ya, I better slow down, if I get one more ticket I get my license suspended." WHAAAAAAT???

Let me break down the rest of the night for you in 2 sentences. We ate at In-and-Out, went back to her place, I WATCHED her play X-Box (I was so uncomfortable I didn't even wanna play) and then I made up some excuse about having to get up early the next morning to go hunting. A few minutes later I walked out of her house, got in my truck, shook my head back and forth violently, started my truck, looked at myself in my rear view mirror, and said out loud, "Wow, I'm gonna pretend that never happened."

So the moral of this story... ALWAYS GET A FULL BODY SHOT before you get her phone number!

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