It had been about a year since my husband left. I had not dated anyone at all yet, heck it was all I could do the first 6 months to keep myself from losing my mind. If it weren't for my kids, I don't know how I would've gotten by. By the end of that first year though, I thought maybe I could handle a date. My good friend told me she knew a guy who went to her church that was pretty nice and she'd been considering setting us up, but I thought something was holding her back. I kind of badgered her about it, because I think I needed the ego boost of a date after the wretched divorce.
Oh, did I mention that the guy had been her first love way back in high school?? Yeah. Anyway. So, she knew he used to be a great guy, etc, and figured we were a good match (we typically liked the same type of guys back in the day). I'm not sure if I should mention this now or later, but he had also been in a horrible car accident a few years before and had been in a coma with some MAJOR brain damage. Yeah. That part is important.
And here is where I have to lay it all out there. I have to have full disclosure, be completely honest.
I think I might be a little shallow. Not a lot, mind you. But I have a certain "type" of guy I'm attracted to. Or at least, there are some types I'm definitely NOT attracted to. I think we're all that way to a degree. Some things I just can't get past, although let me tell you I tried.
So. This guy, I'll call him Clay, calls me. We spend a lot of time on the phone on that first phone call; we seem to have some things in common, and he seems pretty funny. Funny is very important to me. Make me laugh and you've scored serious points. We end up talking on the phone every day for several days, and decide to go out on a date.
Our first date happens to fall on Valentine's weekend. We didn't plan it that way, it's just how the timing worked out. Ironically, V Day is the day I found out about my husband's affair. So I'm thinking this is a milestone day for sure!
By this point Clay and I were spending a lot of time on phone calls and instant messaging online. At some point he had asked me what "style" I was. Huh? Clarify, please. He asks me what style clothes I wear and what I liked. He then tells me he is a "J Crew kind of guy". Hmm, alright, I can deal with that look. Nice.
The big day rolls around. I had bought some great new jeans and a cute top. A few minutes before date time, he instant messages me and cracks a joke about how he's going to wear cowboy boots. At least I think he's joking. Let me tell you how I feel about cowboy boots. Cowboy boots are OK if you're John Wayne. Or if you are a rancher in Texas. Or if you're the Marlboro Man. A guy in the middle of Ohio who plays soccer for fun doesn't wear cowboy boots. Correction: shouldn't wear cowboy boots. I hate cowboy boots. It's one of those things that just isn't "me" or "my type". My "style". Some women love them, and hey, that's great, because the men who wear them need women who love them.
My friend lives one street over, so she runs to my house before date time to see how I look and to giggle and be excited and nervous with me. I tell her that Clay mentioned wearing cowboy boots. She freaked out, saying "he better NOT!". She then gets on my computer and actually asks him if he was - he says "Yeah, why?" Um. She tells him he better not and he signed off instant messenger. She hopes he was joking.
At this point, my friend seems to be acting a little nervous. She tells me "there's just this one tiny little thing about his looks you might not like". And she won't tell me what this "little thing" is. I want to shake it out of her! No, she says, just go into it with an open mind and see how it goes. Did I say that my friend is more shallow than I am? She is, and she owns it. So I keep that in mind. And I wait for him to arrive, hoping he isn't wearing cowboy boots and wondering what part of his looks I "might not like". I may be a little shallow, but I'm also really open-minded and it takes a lot to turn me off for the most part. I'll give anything a shot.
My friend left, and he showed up a few minutes later. Comes up to the door, and I look through the peephole. Are you kidding me? Not only is he wearing cowboy boots, but he's also wearing really tight Wrangler jeans pulled up to his armpits and a big leather belt... and a flannel shirt. SO not my type, and so NOT "J Crew". I answer the door anyway, and when he smiles, I see the "little thing" my friend was talking about. His teeth are a mess.
Now, should I have politely ended the date right there? Because there was ZERO attraction and anything I thought I might've liked about him up to this point was over. Call me shallow, call me a bitch, I don't care, but everyone knows there has to be some sort of physical attraction between two people or it just isn't ever going to happen. However, I soldier on. I'm not willing to let go that easy, I need this for me. Maybe I can get past all of these things, I think to myself.
So we head to dinner at a local place. The conversation was awful. He was what I can only kindly refer to as "stupid". He kept making goofy and offensive remarks, and he kept going on about how great he was and how I should be so glad and feel so lucky to be out with him. Seriously. I'm trying not to laugh now, just remembering it.
Things got worse when we arrived at the bowling alley. We get set up on a lane, and he is cracking the most dumb jokes ever. I could barely even force a smile, much less a laugh. So much for that great sense of humor! But the icing on the cake was when a family was bowling next to us, and he made a comment that made my jaw drop. The people bowling beside us happened to be a black family, nothing odd about that, I live in a pretty diverse town. They had a little girl and boy, I'd say they were around 4 and 6 or so. Clay walks over laughing and saying "Look at the little poop babies!". I seriously had NO clue what he was talking about. I looked at him like he had 2 heads. He kept saying it and giggling at himself. I finally told him I didn't get what he meant, and he said "those little black kids... you know - poop babies!". That was it, I was done. I got my shoes changed and told him it was time for him to take me home. He couldn't understand why I was so offended. He drove me home and had the gall to try and kiss me - uh, no you don't, buddy!
When I told my friend about the date, she was shocked. As more time passed and she was around him and his old friends and family more at church, she found out that ever since his car accident and brain injury, he was a completely different man/personality. She says it's like two totally different men! But this is who he is now, and I wanted nothing to do with him.
I did try, I really did. My poor friend felt bad, but I didn't want her to - no one can tell how two people will get along, especially when they don't even really know one of them anymore. LOL I at least got my feet wet on getting back out in the dating world, since it had been nearly 15 years since I'd dated. I figured it was good experience - sort of like a job interview where you didn't land the job.
That was my very first wade into the dating pool... which, by my age, is shallow and murky. But I wasn't giving up yet...