My Match.com membership expires next month and I don’t plan to extend it. Quite frankly, I rarely have anyone reach out to me through Match – and I only occasionally visit the site anymore. It’s just not worth the money that could better be spent on new adventures – plus, I’m also on a free dating website that seems to be a lot more active. I wonder if it is because I joined it a full six months after I started with Match, so perhaps my profile is more upbeat, less serious, and maybe I come across as more approachable. I think my Match.com profile might be a bit dark and scary.
I’ve exchanged numerous messages with several guys through the free site – but so far, none have panned out into an actual date. First there was the Hulk and the Lawman – and neither of them made the cut for obvious reasons. Then there are those who are looking for a booty call – and others just aren’t my type – so I thank them for their interest and wish them luck in their search. However, there have been a few that I’ve been willing to meet – at least initially. Such was the case with the two Brads.
Brad #1 contacted me with a “Hello, beautiful!” – Obviously a man with a discerning eye. He looked a lot like Ron Pearlman in his Clay Morrow role – and you know how I loved me some Sons of Anarchy. Not that I loved Clay Morrow – because he was an evil asshole who often hurt or killed innocent people in his quest to keep his secrets and gain more power. Perhaps I should have taken that as a sign right away.
Brad #2 sent a message the very next day. He was a rather plain man, but certainly not hideous. What made me sit up and take notice is that he was intelligent and funny – two things that are on my “must have” list. As I replied to him, I laughed – I would need to be careful, very careful. Messaging two Brads at once had the potential of leading to an embarrassing mix-up if I couldn’t keep track of who was who.
Brad #1 immediately got down to business. He gave me his number and told me to text him. I gently replied that I didn’t give out my number to anyone until after we had met, assessed one another for crazy vibes, and then determined that we wanted to see each other again. He responded by giving me his full name, encouraging me to check him out on Facebook, where I would see that he “wasn’t a rapist or murderer.”
Meanwhile, Brad #2 continued to send pleasant and humorous messages – it was comfortable “talking” to him. He told me he would love to meet me, but he needed to take a business trip out of town. We would connect when he returned.
Brad #1 seemed perturbed that I didn’t immediately respond to his messages. I explained to him that I only visited the website once every couple of days – to which he responded, “Well, if you have a conversation going with someone, it’s only polite to check every few hours to see if there is a new message and respond right away.” Hmmmm…perhaps – if I had no life and was super obsessive about checking to see if any man had deigned to message me.
Brad #2 messaged that he was at the airport, delayed by mechanical issues on his way home. I responded that it was better to be delayed than to drop from the sky in a fiery ball of death. I was pleased when he responded that he tried to stay away from fiery balls of death when he could. He had a sense of humor!
Brad #1 finally seemed to accept the fact that he wasn’t going to be getting my phone number before we met. He messaged, “Fine – meet me at (Mexican restaurant I had never heard of) on Thursday at 7pm. That’s NEXT Thursday, not THIS Thursday.” I bristled. I like a man who takes charge – but not a man who is demanding and bossy, telling me what I will or will not do.
I discussed the situation with a coworker, reading her the messages and asking for her opinion. Did she also get the feeling this guy was an overbearing asshole — or was I being super sensitive? She told me that it just seemed that he wanted to move faster than I did and he was eager to meet me, but that he didn’t seem controlling to her. Now I was confused – was I being too sensitive? Was I erecting defensive walls when there was no need? I didn’t want to be that person – but I also didn’t want to associate with an asshole. Should I trust my gut? Or was my gut lying to me?
Brad #2 made it back to town – but now I was leaving to go to Baltimore for a blogging conference. He wished me a safe flight and warned me to stay away from flaming balls of death. It made me giggle.
I messaged Brad #1 back, telling him that I would be happy to meet him at the Mexican restaurant I had never heard of – but since it was 30 minutes from my house, and since I worked every weeknight, it would need to be on a weekend instead – and after I returned from Baltimore. He immediately responded, telling me that he sometimes worked as a bouncer at a club – so it depended on his schedule whether he would be free or not. Fair enough – I realize that other people work – I told him we’d touch base when I got back.
The trip to Baltimore was fabulous – the trip home…not so much. But at least I did not go down in a fiery ball of death. When I caught up on my sleep, I contacted both Brads, letting them know I was home and available to meet. When I visited the site again the next day, I saw messages from both:
Brad #1: I can’t meet this weekend. I’ve got to get dental implants. (I quickly checked his picture on his profile. It was inconclusive, as he had a closed mouth smile).
Brad #1: (two hours later) Are you there, woman? Or am I just wasting my time?
Brad #2: I’ve got a last minute work trip out of town – but weekend after next would work well for me!
I messaged Brad #1 and told him that, as I had mentioned to him before, I didn’t live on the dating website – but that I was there now. Just as I hit “send” he messaged again. Apparently he had seen I was online. “Look, I’m really a nice guy. This would be so much easier if you would just text me!”
He wore me down – really, I was tired of doing this runaround with him. I texted him, “OK, Brad. Here I am.” He responded immediately, “Well, hello there! Yay, you did it!!!!!!” (I’m not exaggerating on the number of exclamation marks). He told me he could meet me the next weekend (“Not THIS weekend, NEXT weekend!”), but said we would figure out the restaurant later. He then texted, “You can send a pic. Would like to see you.”
What? I had three pictures on my profile. He had one – if anyone needed to send anyone a picture, it would be him. Especially after that dental implant remark. I ignored the request.
That afternoon another text came through from Brad #1: “Send pic Jana.” Did he think I was catfishing him? I responded, “I hate selfies with a burning passion. I’ve got three pictures in my profile. All of them look just like me.” I then let him know I was going to dinner with friends and to have a good night. He responded, “U to.”
I never heard from Brad #1 again – and I’m not inclined to reach out to him. I’m going to trust my gut on that one.
Brad #2 contacted me when he got back into town, asking if I still wanted to meet and “let me know what time and where you are comfortable meeting and I will adjust to your availability.” Awwwww – he sounded so nice…and non-demanding. I suggested a place and time and he agreed. I was looking forward to our meeting.
Then, on Saturday night, Brad #2 send another message, letting me know that he needed to cancel the next day. Apparently, he scratched his left cornea and was “evaluated and diagnosed by an optometrist who took my call and personally opened his office to treat me.” He added that his eye was swollen and he felt it was better to rest it, but that he still wanted to reschedule later on that week. I told him I understood and told him to just let me know when he was feeling better.
I never heard from Brad #2 again. I guess I could reach out to him – but why? If he really wanted to meet me, he could have certainly let me know.
And, so ends the tale of two Brads – a rather ambiguous story, I’ll admit. Does Brad #1 ever get his new teeth? Has he found a girl willing to send him selfies? Is Brad #2 still alive – perhaps roaming the street with one eye and a patch, like a modern day pirate? Or has he actually gone down in a fiery ball of death on one of his many work related trips? Does the girl ever get a guy? Does she even want one? I guess that part of the story remains to be written.