One of the pictures I have in my profile on my online dating site was taken on Halloween. I’m wearing my witch’s costume, complete with a tall, glamorous, feather-trimmed witch’s hat. I’m all about the accessories, y’all. I thought the picture was a way to convey that I have a playful side – or a witchy side – either assumption would be correct.
Last month, I received a message from a nice looking guy with a friendly smile: “Love the McGonagall hat!” Ahhh – a fellow Harry Potter fan! Just in case you don’t know, studies have shown that people who like Harry Potter are less likely to be serial killers or assholes. Unless they are fans of He Who Must Not Be Named — then all bets are off. I may have totally made up that study, but I still stand by the results.
I didn’t respond right away – I had things to do and places to go – but when I got back from a road trip, I messaged him, congratulating him on his fine taste in millinery. He introduced himself, asked about my trip, and he responded like a normal human being when I asked about his holiday. He ended by saying, “I would really like to know you if you do not mind. I look forward to read from you and have a wonderful day.”
Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind: 1) Did he mean “know” in the biblical sense or did he just want to become better acquainted? 2) What was up with the slaughtering of the grammar?
I looked at his profile again and noticed that he liked the Yankees and also spoke French – could he be a native Frenchman? Do Frenchmen like the Yankees? I have to admit, I’m not really a baseball fan so I don’t know how that fan thing works. Perhaps baseball transcends borders – perhaps the great American pastime is the thing that will bring peace and harmony to various cultures of the world – especially if we include hotdogs and Cracker Jack.
I messaged the Frenchman again, asking if he was from New York since he was a Yankees fan. I also asked him about some of his interests and told him about some of mine. He responded that he liked to cook and take long drives to nowhere – and asked if we could move to texting.
Now, because I like my posts to educational as well as entertaining, let me pause here and give you an online dating tip. Set up a phone number through Google Voice. The beauty of Google Voice is that you can use your new number to call or text people (and they you) on your regular cell phone and you never have to give potential serial killers or assholes your real number. It’s not only free – it’s handy!
So, I cheerfully provided my Google Voice number to the Frenchman and within the hour, he sent a text: “Hello, pretty,” and asked me how I was doing. I explained that I was with my girlfriends, having a potluck and he inquired about the food. He then asked me to “tell me your beautiful name” and added, “I really want to know you if you do not mind.”
I may have pursed my lips a little, as we had already exchanged names on the dating site, where he had already expressed that he “would really like to know you if you do not mind.” I responded, “I wouldn’t have given you my number if I minded. Tell me more about yourself.”
“Can you please tell me what you like to know about me?”
I sighed – I really hate having to prompt or coach a man. Well – at least I could ask if he was actually a Frenchman, “Where were you born?”
“I am originally from Lyon, France.”
Score! I’ve never dated a Frenchman! I immediately began to envision him speaking to me in person, his accent titillating me as he offered to whisk me away to his homeland to visit his villa (because in this fantasy, he was rich). The conversation became easier after that – he volunteered what he did for a living and asked about my work. He told me he had been in the area for about two years and asked if I had grown up here. We discussed our kids, our height, our eye color, and he asked if I had ever traveled outside the country. Then…
“I feel very excited and happy knowing that there is someone that care for me and I care for too. I am tired of being alone and I want a long term relationship.”
“How can he know if I care for him or him for me?” I exclaimed to my friends, “I haven’t even met him!” They all chimed in to offer their opinions on the matter.
“That smacks of desperation!”
“Maybe he just “feels” a lot – he’s French, after all.”
“Slow your roll, sonny!”
“English isn’t his first language – maybe it’s a communication issue.”
I thoughtfully composed my response, “I understand that it’s hard to be alone. I think most people would like to be in a relationship. I haven’t dated a lot since splitting from my ex, so I don’t want to rush into a relationship, but if I met someone who I had thinks in common with and we liked each other, I’m open to a relationship sometime in the future.”
Respectful of his feelings, yet clearly drawing my boundaries – don’t you agree?
My phone chimed: “Will you give me that open chance?”
Oh, dear God – was I not clear? I typed, “I would be happy to meet you and get to know each other better.” Good – still friendly, but again letting him know I have to meet someone and get to know them before I’m ready for any sort of commitment. I waited for the next text, fully expecting him to propose a meeting.
And I waited, and waited, and waited. Just about the time I started to gather my things to head home, he responded, “Are you done texting?”
Wait – was it my turn? I thought it was his turn. Wasn’t he supposed to be asking me out about now? Perhaps he needed a bit of a prompt (have I mentioned I prefer a man of action?) “I’m heading home. What are you doing for the rest of the weekend?”
“Getting my laundry done, and you?”
“Nothing planned for tomorrow – maybe some gardening if it isn’t too hot.” OK, Frenchman – I don’t know how much wider I can open the door – I’ve got NOTHING planned for tomorrow – this would be the time to propose that we meet.
“Okay. Do you live alone?”
Why would you ask that? Why does it matter? Are you hoping I’ll invite you for a tête-à-tête at my place? Not gonna happen, Frenchy. “No, my two adult kids still live at home.”
The hour was late – and I was growing weary. “Well, goodnight. I hope to talk to you again and perhaps meet sometime.” What was this – my third or fourth attempt to let him know I was interested in a date?
The next morning the Frenchman sent me a “Good morning!” text. I responded in kind and he asked about my evening. I told him I slept well and was ready to start the day.
Nothing further. Was I supposed to continue the conversation? Have I mentioned I don’t like to prompt guys? I got dressed and went outside to work on the garden.
I didn’t hear from the Frenchman for the rest of the day, so when I got to work the next day, I figured I would touch base with him. “Hi, just a quick good morning before I start to work. Hope you had a nice weekend.”
“Yes. Good morning to you. Hope you have a wonderful day.”
I sent a smiley face emoji back.
He responded, “Kiss.”
Whaaaaa??? What did that even mean? Was it a French thing? I hear they invented kissing or something.
I responded, “It’s a bit too soon for that 🙂 – we haven’t even met each other yet.” For God’s sake, man – gather your courage and ask me out! I’m not going to do it for you. (PS, for the record, I have no problem with a woman asking a man out. If I already knew a guy in a social setting, it wouldn’t bother me at all to say something like, “Hey, you want to grab a drink with me?” However, if a guy I haven’t met doesn’t have the balls to ask me out the first time, it’s a deal breaker).
There was no response – had I offended him?
By the end of the day, I figured that perhaps I needed to clarify things with the Frenchman. Perhaps we were having a “lost in translation” moment. Perhaps, as we came from different cultures, we expected different things. I sent him a message on the dating site – letting him know that I was finding our texting a bit awkward and that I didn’t want any potential communication differences to become problematic. I asked if he had read my profile, because it gave a good outline of what I was looking for and what I was not looking for. I told him that, if he still was intrigued, I was happy to meet him so we could get to know each other – but that I didn’t want to waste his time or mine if he wasn’t interested in dating.
I have not heard from the Frenchman since. In fact, it appears he has deleted his profile on the dating site altogether.
I have a feeling he was a fan of He Who Must Not Be Named.