Friday, September 20, 2013

how i met your father (part 1)

I got this fabulous ring from C for my birthday (so what if I picked it out) commemorating the three important dates in our relationship thus far. For most married couples, those dates would be the date of their first date, the date of their engagement, and the date of their wedding. However, C and I are not your typical couple. And here, kids, is the story of how I met your father:

In the summer of 2009, I was still reeling from my breakup the year before. Oh sure, I had gotten to the point where I wasn't crying every day, but there was the whole missed wedding day to deal with and all of that. Blah. However, since January of that year I had been "practice dating" a good friend of mine. We had been friends for years and had both just gotten out of long-term relationships. I had swooned over this guy since we met. Seriously, it's embarrassing to think about. Anyway, when he suggested that we go on some "practice dates," I wasn't about to turn him down. So this went on for awhile. Again, it's embarrassing to think about how long he led me on. We did end up going on an "actual date" during the summer of 2009 at some point. Then he started dating some girl and our regular makeout sessions came to a halt.

Well, to show exactly how much I didn't (read: did) care that he was dating someone who wasn't me, I joined eHarmony. eHarmony had just really started to get television time the year before, and I remember being somewhat disappointed that I'd never get to try it out (since at the time I was planning on marrying someone). I was a little put off by the price tag, but figured I'd give it a shot. The first guy I started communicating with was named Chuck, and our email exchanges (through the eHarmony portal) made me think that this guy was everything I'd ever wanted in a man.

Since this was the first time I'd ever done the online dating thing, and I'd never known anyone who'd done online dating, I was super nervous to actually MEET any of these guys. So Chuck and I talked for awhile via eHarmony. He'd given me his actual email address, but I was too nervous to give him mine. I did, however, use his email address to do a nice google search. (Gotta love the firstnamelastname email addresses.) Much to my surprise, second or third on the list of results was a photobucket page with Chuck's eHarmony profile picture placed next to a grainy picture of a guy singing at a microphone who looked vaguely like Chuck. The caption for this was " Chuck [name omitted by me to protect the innocent] is not who you think he is. He's on eHarmony looking for women but his real name is Andy Fark and he's married!"

OK, so now I'm really freaked. This is exactly why online dating is bad, right?! I consult with my friends Jayne and Bennett and ask them what I should do. They suggest dropping this guy like a bad habit, and I agreed. I wanted to call this guy out on his crap first, though. I sent him a message that simply said "explain this." and included the link.

It took him a bit, but he finally got back to me. He insists that it's not him, that he's contacted photobucket to have it taken down, and if I meet him, he'll show me his driver's licence to prove who he is. Well now I'm thrown for a loop. Do I go out with this guy still? Believe him? Cut him loose? I thought about it a few days and decided to go on a date with him. After all, we did really seem to have a connection.

We met at a Starbucks (a terrific blind date meeting spot) and chatted for awhile. He explained the story behind the picture. Apparently he had been dating a girl who was a wee bit crazy, and he was just about to break up with her when she called him one night. Told him that she had seen him singing at The Melody Inn and knew about his double life. He has no idea what she's talking about, but brushes her off as he's about to break up with her anyway. Apparently after that conversation, she posted that picture online, and he never knew anything about it until I asked him about it. He did show me his driver's license to prove who he was, so I believed him. I also had googled Andy Fark, and other pictures of him really didn't look like this Chuck guy at all. Despite all that, we really didn't hit it off in person. A couple of days later, he suggested we go out again, but I declined. He was too old for me, I decided. Too together for my life that still felt really in shambles.

After that, though, I felt more confident in going out with these other guys that I had been matched with on eHarmony. Went on dates with a elementary school teacher named Brian (who I liked but didn't like me), a guy who worked at IMS named Brad (who was WAY too old for me), and a guy who worked at Traders Point Creamery named Craig (Craig took me to The Melting Pot on our first date. I liked Craig a lot.). I even went out on multiple dates with some of these guys, but I really wasn't as ready to get into a relationship as I thought I was. I gave up on the eHarmony thing for awhile and concentrated on law school. Men could wait.

... to be continued...

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