The Perfect Analogy

Before my ex-husband and I had even gone to court to end things once and for all, I found out he had created a Match.com account. He didn’t exactly do much to cover his tracks — our bank accounts were still linked and I saw the charge for the membership fees plain as day. It didn’t upset me. We were a month or two from our court date, so the wheels were already in motion and there was nothing that would change my mind. But I thought it showed a real lack of class on his part not to even wait til he was actually single before looking for my replacement. When we split up, my first priority was my daughter, and helping her through the whole transition of our family breaking up. His first priority was finding someone new.

A month after our divorce, he met ‘Shirley’ online. Their first date consisted of dinner at Red Lobster and a visit to the Super 8 down the street. How do I know? The bank accounts had not yet been separated and I saw the charges. I shook my head but didn’t think much about it. After all, I was busy sowing my own oats. Their relationship quickly progressed to the point where she was introduced to my daughter and spending the night with him while my daughter was there. I was less than thrilled when I heard about that, since they had only been dating for a month or so at that point. I knew that if it had been the other way around, he would have had a fit if I had a guy spending the night with my daughter right across the hall.

Shirley was very much like my ex monster-in-law: controlling, bossy, overbearing, opinionated, and generally a pain in the ass. When I first met her she was nice, but it didn’t take long for her to start stepping on my toes. She had an opinion about everything, including how my daughter’s hair and clothes should look. Ironic, considering that her own hair and wardrobe looked borrowed from a frumpy middle-age mom from the 80s. I tried to be nice and get along for a while but she disrespected me one time too many and I finally told my ex-husband I didn’t want her around me anymore.

After they had been dating for several months, I admitted to Stacy that it surprised me a little that he found someone before I did. After all, being married to him had been like having a teenage son. I couldn’t imagine any woman getting excited about taking on that kind of guy. Yet there he was, in a seemingly happy relationship, while I was still dating and looking for Mr. Right. I’m not gonna lie — it stung a bit how quickly he was able to move on {not to mention how eager his family was to forget that I ever existed}. Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t regretting our split. On the contrary, I was happier than I had been in years. But it hurts to feel replacable. We had been together for nearly two decades. I needed time to get used to just being me without being part of ‘we.’

Anyway, when I told Stacy how I felt, that I had kind of assumed that I would meet someone and be in some kind of relationship before my ex, she said, “Think of it this way. You’re both looking for a new car. YOU are taking your time, researching online, test driving different cars, and figuring out exactly what you want. HE bought the first car he found for $100 on Craigslist.”

Well said. This is why I heart Stacy. She also said that even on my worst day, I’m cuter than Shirley. I’m not generally one to toot my own horn, but I have to agree with her on this one. It wouldn’t matter at all if she had a great personality but alas, she does not.

Yeah, it's catty, but I couldn't help myself.

Yeah, it’s catty, but I couldn’t help myself.

I no longer feel hurt about him moving on so quickly. He’s now married to Shirley, who is essentially a younger version of his mother. He has to sneak junk food and check with her before making plans to do anything, sometimes including spending time with his own daughter. She is absolutely in charge of that house. He has made comments to me, all but admitting that she is a bossy control freak, which tells me that perhaps he is second guessing his rush to find a new wife.

I might still be single, but at least I’m calling my own shots and answering to no one but myself. That feels pretty damn good.

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Why I Want to Smack That eHarmony Guy

Despite my early luck in catching the interest of a few guys, I quickly learned that it’s really not an easy thing to do. I work in an office with pretty meager pickings when it comes to guys. They are all a bit too old, or a bit too metrosexual, or a bit too married.

I decided to try online dating because I thought it might be a better way to go. According to the commercials, I could find someone perfect for me. I tried a couple of different free dating sites, and kept running into guys whose idea of getting to know me meant asking about my bra size. I also got messages from many guys who bore an uncanny resemblance to the Unabomber.

Hey ladies, I've got a cave and a case of C-4. Let's do this.

Hey ladies, I’ve got a cave and a case of C-4. Let’s do this.

I finally caved in and paid for a trial membership on eHarmony. I really didn’t like that site because a) you can’t browse. You have to just wait for them to send you matches; and b) the matches they were sending me looked nothing like the physical descriptions I had given as my preference in the very detailed questionnaire they brag about. Once again, I was being paired up with the Unabomber.

So I let that membership end, and I tried the mother of all dating sites — the mecca, if you will. The alpha and the omega… The one that promised to make me as happy {if not happier than} the couples on TV gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes and giving testimony to how they never would have met if not for {trumpet blast} Match.com. My brother met his girlfriend on Match. My ex met his new drill sergeant wife on Match. His little sister met her husband on Match. There had to be something there, right?

The very first guy who contacted me seemed promising… good job, lived fairly close by, nice looking… We chatted online briefly before exchanging numbers. This was exciting! This could be my guy! I could be that girl on the commercials! We started talking, and he asked what my interests were. I gave him my standard response: I like music {most types}, movies {pretty much anything except bloody and/or scary}, reading, going for walks by the lake, blah blah blah. Then I asked him what he liked. He said {and I quote}, “Well, I like those things too. I also like having my bootyhole licked.” Ummm… what? WHAT?? How does one go from musical preference to bootyhole?

He was quite put off when I responded negatively to that comment, saying I was wrong to judge people. Ok, bootyhole guy, you’re right. I shouldn’t have judged you based on your premature sharing of sexual tastes {ugh, pun definitely NOT intended}. But I’ll be honest. Although I do enjoy sex as much as the next person, I don’t want to discuss it in our very first conversation. And really, I don’t know that there’s ever a right time to bring up bootyholes.

I quickly gave up on my trial membership to Match after realizing that although this was a reputable {according to the lovely commercials} site which charged a monthly fee, the guys were mostly just like the ones on the free sites. There had to be someone good out there!

I also quickly learned, from the various sites to which I subscribed at one point or another, that when the questionnaire asks you to describe your physical appearance, apparently it’s ok to embellish. One guy described himself as ‘stocky’ but ended up looking like Fat Bastard. Several guys claimed to be 5’8, but were looking eye to eye with me when we met… and I’m 5’4. One guy left his height out altogether and ended up being nearly 7 feet tall. I felt like a toddler as we followed the hostess to our table at TGIFridays. No, excessive height isn’t a dealbreaker, but the fact that all he was able or willing to discuss was weather and sports kind of was.

There was one guy I started talking to who invited me to meet him for drinks… at a gay bar. When I asked why he chose that place, he said he went there all the time. He accused me of being prejudiced when I seemed a bit put off. I have no problem with people who happen to be gay. It doesn’t define them, anymore than being straight defines me. But if the guy I could potentially be dating is often frequenting a gay bar, I’m kinda thinking I really might not be his type.

I think one of my favorites was the single dad who wanted to bring his toddler son on our first date. He also had one of the oddest natural speaking voices I’ve ever heard. He was a black guy, and I kid you not, he sounded just like Flanders from The Simpsons. I kept expecting him to say, “What can I diddlee do ya for?”

I’ve since given up on online dating. I got tired of rewriting the same answers over and over for my profiles, and I was definitely tired of running into the same brand of perverts and players at every turn.

And so, smug eHarmony guy, you’ve lost your credibility with me. I gave you a shot and you blew it. You promised to study my likes and dislikes and find me Mr. Right. You ignored every hint I gave you on who my perfect guy would be. You blindly threw darts at a board and provided me with plenty of Mr. Wrongs. I think I can safely say that Prince Charming was not on your site — unless, of course, he was cleverly disguised as the Unabomber. Well played, eHarmony guy, well played.

Next up: The Boomerang