I’m writing this blog at the suggestion of some of the Butterscotch Martini Girls who said it was just too good not to see the light of day. I hope you all enjoy it as much as they did. Unfortunately, as usual, I am at the center of this snafu.
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you may already know that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to try out the internet dating thing. I hadn’t dated in many years…about 14 to be almost exact…and it’s been a ride. I’ve had some of the strangest things happen online…and here’s just a quick recap.
I’ve been contacted by men in foreign countries who look like they’d never get through customs. I’ve been contacted by married guys claiming to want a “pen pal”. I’ve been contacted by at least one married guy claiming his wife, who doesn’t like sex, told him to go get something “on the side”. I’ve been contacted by a guy claiming to have a wife on life support systems, who feels he needs to “move on” with his life. I’m telling you, just when I think I’ve seen ‘em all, up pops a new one. I’ve been contacted by men old enough to be my father…some in their eighties…and I’ve been contacted by young men (as young as 21 years old) who look like they would be stretching it to say they had to shave once a month. The latter are the scariest because I have to wonder what the hell a kid that age would want with an old broad like me…I don’t even want to think about that. In fact, one of them even looked like he might be sitting on a telephone book in order to see over the wheel of his car in his profile picture. Yikes! But rather than brood on it and freak myself out, I just send the notes and profiles on to my adult son (who is older than half of the applicants) and ask his opinion on how he’d like to have the latest as a step-father. Since some of his responses just aren’t printable (even here), let’s just suffice it to say he’s told me repeatedly to “keep on looking”. So I have. And if you thought looking for a man in real life is tough, finding a jewel on the internet is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack…a very, very large haystack.
Now, with all that said, I must admit that I’ve found a couple in that haystack that looked very promising. First, there was the guy who (be still my heart) claimed to treat a lady like a lady…he says he gives a lady his coat if she’s cold, holds doors for her, and walks on the traffic side. That one burrowed into my heart pretty quickly and we struck up a long-term internet relationship, but he lives in Oregon so we were limited to online chatting and e-mailing at first and then moving to talking on the phone. All indications were that this gentleman…we’ll call him Mr. Confused…might be willing to relocate and it appeared that this relationship may be going places, but then the calls and e-mails dropped off and I felt like I was the only one expending the energy to maintain the (long-distance) relationship. So I backed off and expected Mr. Confused had now become an ex-, since he was no longer calling.
While on hiatus from Mr. Confused, I was contacted by a gentleman who lives in my area…we’ll call him Mr. Romance. He had some baggage, but then so do I. So we e-mailed, chatted, and talked on the phone for a few weeks before deciding to meet. The bottom line on Mr. Romance is that he was nice, cute, fun, and I really thought this relationship might have potential. But when, by the third date, I hadn’t jumped at the chance to hop into bed with him, this one got hinky and pouted by standing me up for our 4th date. Definitely not the way to my heart!
Well, just about the time Mr. Romance was sent packing, Mr. Confused shows up again…with an apology for being neglectful and inconsiderate. Aww…what a sweetie! So I, being the epitome of a woman with a history of making bad choices, fell for the story hook line and sinker and the long-distance phone relationship is now back on. He calls fairly regularly for a few weeks and then I start finding myself carrying the relationship again. Hmmm…seems like Mr. Confused has a bit of a problem with attention span. Ok…that happens. I’ll deal. So the relationship moves on…and this is where it starts to go very, very strange.
Mr. Confused has been working on a major career change and is having some difficulty finding a job in his newly chosen career field, in spite of having just finished his Masters Degree. So any opportunity to actually meet must wait until he can resolve his state of employment (or unemployment, as the case may be). No problem. I’m not in a hurry. I can wait a few months. That’s right about March…or maybe April…or maybe May. Now, keep in mind that I’ve now been corresponding with Mr. Confused since the first week in January, so this isn’t a short-term thing. We’ve both got some significant time invested now and we seem to know each other pretty well.
Finally, the day comes when Mr. Confused comes up with a plan. He’s worked through some medical issues and now has a source of steady income that does not require him to hold a full-time job. So he sets in motion a plan to quit the short-term (interim) job he’s been working, give notice on his apartment, put everything he owns into storage, and go on a long road trip in his renovated travel trailer. And, as I had hoped, he indicated one of his first stops would be here in Phoenix – to finally meet me after almost six months of corresponding and dreaming…and who knows, maybe we’d hit it off and Phoenix would be where he stayed. Woo woo…I was excited. Now it’s June.
The plan (originally) was to be gone about the first of July. He would take his time coming down the west coast, from Portland to Phoenix, to see some places he’d never been before. But as he began planning, things started to shift a bit and he (loosely) planned to be here about mid-July instead of early July. Better…as I would be back from RWA Nationals by then. It sounded like everything could be falling into place and Mr Right (alias, Mr. Confused) might be on his way to me. Now it’s July.
Early July comes and he still hasn’t left Portland. So I ask…wassup with the trip? You given your notice yet? Answer: No, not yet. Explanation? Yeah, he had one…he still had some personal issues to work out before he could leave the area. Ok…I’ll buy that. So now the plan shifts and he’s leaving the end of July, gonna be here about mid-August. That’ll work. Now it’s August.
Did he leave the end of July? Is he flying down the highway toward me? Rushing to find the love of his life? Uh…no. He’s still in Portland. It seems some things have come up and it’s taking him longer than planned to get things put into storage. So it will now be closer to the end of August before he can leave. Okay…I’m patient and he seems to still have a plan…just missing some target dates, is all. Yah, right. Now it’s September.
Is Mr. Confused now on his way, tearing up the roads in his frantic desperation to reach his one true love? Uh…no. He’s still in Portland. But things are looking up. He’s given notice…er…no, he’s changed his mind on the notice…he’s requested a leave of absence from the interim job. Okay, the prudent thing to do…not a problem because he’s still coming. He’s given notice on his apartment and even has almost everything moved to storage. It becomes clear at this point that this trip is really going to happen. Within days, I should have Mr. Confused standing on my doorstep, ready to plant a big old smooch on me. I’m starting to get excited. The plan is to leave about the 4th or 5th of September and spend a few days on the coast working his way down to Phoenix, so chances are he’ll hit here maybe the weekend of the 8th or mid-week of the week following. It’s getting close. Now it’s September 5th.
Mr. Confused is now speeding like a bullet toward the target of his undying love, right? Uh…no, not yet. It seems he got a call for a job interview on the 10th and decided he should stick around long enough to go to the interview and then he’d just leave town right after the interview. Okay, I’m disappointed, but I buck up and I’m a trooper. At least, he’s still coming. And if he leaves on the 10th, he can surely be here by the following weekend, after spending a couple of days in a couple of the California State parks. Not a problem. Now it’s the evening of September 10th.
It’s D-Day…he’s on the road and mad to get here and meet the woman he’s been internet dating now for almost 9 months…the woman who could be the last true love of his life. Right? Well…sort of. He actually got a late start, missed his interview, and had to stop early for the night to do some work on the trailer. Okay, at least he’s out of Portland…that’s a start! Now it’s September 12th.
Is he here yet? Will he call from Las Vegas and say he can’t wait, “meet me in Vegas”? Uh…no. He’s still in Oregon. Moved to another campground, but still in Oregon. Okay, so he’s no Speedy Gonzales. The guy’s on his way…that’s better than a bird in the bush. Now it’s September 14th.
Here yet? Leaving California? Maybe he decided he couldn’t wait and drove straight through? Uh…no. He’s still in Oregon. More trouble with the trailer, had to lay over, missing me, but still not freaking here! Now it’s the 18th.
…8 days into the trip…and where is he? Not here…not next door…not around the corner…not even in the next freaking state! Where is he? Where else? Oregon!!!!! He’s been on the road 8 days and he’s still in Oregon. It is NOT that big a state…not like he’s crossing Texas. Ok, I’m a little slow, but I’m starting to catch on now. This is a guy who, when he travels, has to turn over every damn rock he sees. He’s gotta stop and touch stuff, smell stuff, taste stuff, and turn over more rocks. That’s gotta be it because I coulda walked out of the state of Oregon in the time it’s taking him to drive out. Is he stuck on a turnpike? No…just sight-seeing and repairing the trailer…all the way across Oregon. Now it’s the 20th…the 20th of September.
…10 days into the trip…now where is he? Glory be to God, he is out of the state of Oregon…out of Oregon, I say…out of Oregon. Finally!!! He’s now in Idaho. What? Idaho? Is there another Idaho? Idaho isn’t on the way to California. Okay, he wanted to see Idaho on the way. Not a problem. He’s just coming a different route. Maybe it’s shorter…maybe he’ll get here faster this way…maybe he can’t wait to actually (finally) meet me. I’m excited again. Now it’s the 22nd.
…12th day into his trip…and where in the world is Mr. Confused? Where else? Yellowstone Park. He hasn’t been there in a few years and what a shame it would be to be so close and not stop for a few days. Okay…maybe he isn’t all that excited to meet me. But he’s still coming…still the proverbial bird almost in hand…that’s got to count for something. Now it’s the 24th.
14 days on the road…2 weeks in a travel trailer…miles from home…and where is he? Leaving Yellowstone Park…finally…praise be to God, he’s finally on his way. So I ask what’s the next stop? He answers: Maybe the Sierra Nevadas, maybe the Dakotas. I hear: Sierra Nevadas. I ignore: Dakotas. Now it’s the 25th.
Another day on the road, another day closer to me. Wrong! Remember when I ignored the Dakotas…turns out, that was a bad choice. Turns out, he’s now in South Dakota and moving east. Now, keep in mind that all this time, I’m taking crap from my closest friends. There are jokes about me scaring him so bad, he’s driving around the block trying to work up the courage. There are jokes about a guy I’ve never known winging his way toward me with his house in tow. There are jokes about how I’d better like this guy because at the speed he moves, when he gets here, he’s not leaving. There are jokes about him pulling up next to the house, plugging in an extension cord, and stringing his clothesline between the travel trailer and my front fence. I mean…I am taking shit from these women. And now, he’s in freaking South Dakota!!!
I’m so confused and desperately trying to wrap my mind around the fact that he’s in South Dakota months after he’s supposed to have first arrived here that I can’t really hold a conversation with him. But he does manage to mention that he needs to be in Orlando, Florida, for some big scuba diving convention by the end of October. I ask what the dates are for this conference and he says it’s the last 2 weeks of October…I point out that that really means mid-October. Yeah, he agrees. So I hang up and I look at the calendar…and the map. He’s been two and a half weeks getting from Portland to South Dakota which, at that rate, puts him just about two and a half weeks from Phoenix. But he needs to be in Florida in three. He ain’t gonna make it. Now it’s today…the 26th.
He calls again and he’s still in South Dakota. He’s had some car troubles, but is back on the road now and heading out to see Mount Rushmore. He again mentions that he needs to be in Orlando by the 22nd. Okay, I’m slow…I’m damned slow at times, but I’m not completely stupid. He’s trying (not) to tell me that he no longer has time to come to Phoenix…he needs to head straight to Florida. So I suggest he do just that. Does he protest? Does he insist he can’t live another day without meeting me? Does he swear he’d never miss an opportunity to possibly meet the woman he’s been waiting for all these years? Uh…no. He agrees I’m right and that he needs to just get to Florida as quickly as he can and he can stop by my place on his way back from Orlando to Portland. I don’t think I’m going to live that long. The Voodoo woman in New Orleans said I’d only live to be 100 years old…alas, not enough time for Mr. Confused to find his way back to Phoenix from Orlando.
Well, that’s my tale…sad, but true. It’s my story, it’s the only one I’ve got…and I’m sticking to it. Hold on tight now, ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast. Oh, and if anyone out there has a lazy, unemployed, shiftless, broke, beer-bellied, mooch of a brother they’re trying to find a date for…give me a call. I’m looking and apparently, my dance card just opened up. But the good news is…my house is clean and there’s not going to be a clothesline strung to my front fence. My neighbors will be very happy to hear that.