(Not Quite) Dating

This week’s addition of Cydney Tries To Find A Date includes two contestants; one is the most colossal bragger I have ever cyber-met, the other lacked the ability to ask any questions.

Let’s begin.

A while back I messaged a guy on a dating site. I’ll call him David to protect the shamelessly boastful. He told me he was leaving the next day to go volunteer in Puerto Rico and I was immediately intrigued (and at the end of this diatribe, it’s still really cool that he did that). He got in touch when he returned from his volunteering over Christmas, and while I don’t usually do this, I agreed to talk on the phone with him.

Why don’t you like talking on the phone with strangers before meeting them in person, Cyd? I don’t like it because I get distracted; by the dog, by the dishes that need to be done, by the fact that I’d rather be doing any number of things other than talking to a stranger ont he phone, etc. Mostly though, when it comes tot alking to someone from an online site, I simply feel more comfortable and more “myself” when meeitng in person.

So for the first time in years I agreed to talk to a stranger. We talked for about an hour and he bragged the entire time. I’ve actually never in my life heard his equal, except for a kid in high school who made shit up all the time. I asked a few questions but mostly, I left him in his own capable hands. At first I dismissed it as nervousness but as time went on it was clear that this was no case of nerves – this dude was just a master at grandstanding. Here are some things I learned about him

  • He has a SAG card, went to school in California, and does some voice over work from time to time.
  • He knows people at The Family Guy and once got a recipe from a chef , and in exchange, got the chef and his family into a reading of The Family Guy (“Cause I know the guys who do The Family Guy”).
  • He’s gone to a Christmas party at Sam Donaldson‘s house.
  • He had a blast making Magic Johnson laugh at a charity event when they were seated at the same table (he has a photo of the two of them together on his profile, and told me all about Magic Johnson’s businesses and how successful they were because he undertood the clientelle better than most)
  • He loves having brunch at the Breakers on Palm Beach (“did you know they have lobster claws at brunch instead of shrimp?!”)
  • One time someone claimed to know a little something about mortgage and Dave told them “No, you think you know something but I KNOW the guy who invented mortgages! I actually KNOW HIM!” I don’t know what that means or how I’m supposed ot be impressed. All I care about is that I pay my mortgage. Beyond that, I care not of mortgages and it’s “inventor”.
  • He started a company during college which provided rides to drunk college kids and sold it when he left school. That was pretty cool, assuming it actually happened.
  • He often meets people who randomly ask him to join the board of a company and before long, he works his way up to the position of CEO.
  • He also pontificated about politics, name-dropping like crazy, “I hate to admit it but I KNOW Anthony Scaramucci personally. I’m not proud of it but it’s true!”. He also mentioned that he didn’t really like Obama (he lost me then but I let him keep rambling for the entertainment.)
  • He’s owned multiple businesses and “done well for himself”
  • He currently owns an outdoor advertising company (benches and billboards). I was given details about his business which was pretty interesting. I’d share it with you but I don’t remember any of it and I’m pretty sure you have other things to do that read about that stuff.
  • He knows how to poach lobster and make corn souffle (now I really want corn souffle…just not enough to keep listening to him long-term). He then went on to tell me how he puts the lobster in the freezer before poaching them because it stuns them or something
  • His sister has had a hard time of things lately and so he bought a new fridge for her (which I thought was very nice), then he continued on for about five minutes listing all the ways he’d been helping her out, adding “I made $90,000 on a deal recently so I sent her $5,000”

His modesty was truly exceptional.

I wrapped the conversation up when he failed to stop listing all the altruistic things he’s done for his sister. I think it’s wonderful that he helps her, but kind of tacky to go on and on about it.

He asked me ONE question during this entire conversation and I don’t even remember what it was. Now, I’m painting him in a fairly tacky, velvet Elvis picture, so I will add that he was friendly, seemed nice enough, and when I did get a word in edgewise, he seemed interested in what I had to say.  But to be clear, I had to interrupt him to add my thoughts about something.

At the end of the conversation, he told me he’d really enjoyed talking at to me, and wondered if we could talk the next day as I drove to Vermont. Deep down I didn’t want to, but in the moment I found him sort of entertaining. But much like looking at a giant sculpture made of butter at the New York State Fair; it’s interesting at the moment, but long-term it doesn’t do much for you. I agreed to talk again, but in the morning I sent a careful text, letting him know that after reflecting on our conversation I didn’t think we were a match, “I’m sorry there isn’t a more graceful way to say it, but I just wanted to be honest with you, and not just disappear” He graciously thanked me for being honest and told me it was a refreshing change. We wished each other Happy New Year and I headed to Mom and Dad’s to drop Harlow off to stay with them for the New Year’s weekend.

It sucks that every time I send a guy a “no thank you” message, I brace myself for them to be mean in return. That hasn’t been my experience in a long while, fortunately.

Cut to yesterday when I contacted Mr. What’s A Question?  I looked at his profile and he seemed nice enough, so I started a discussion with some pleasantries and “How did you spend your NYE?” He answered elaborately and did not return the question. I also asked, mixed in with various observations and comments, the following

  • You put “good chef’s knife” on your list of things you can’t do without. Do you like to cook, or do you just like having sharp knives on hand?
  • What was your highlight of 2017?
  •  What kept you from feeling peaceful before? (this was in response to him telling me all about how his highlight was working on himself and improving his mindset)
  • (After learning he’s a chef) Where are you cheffing now?

In response to all these questions he shared a lot. I don’t mind this if the other person shows an inkling of interest in getting to know me too, but this didn’t seem to be the case here. Now, I know I should cut the guy some slack since this seems to be a common affliction among men; I ask a question to get a conversation started, and they answer. And that’s it. That’s all they do. Just answer the question. I usually just leave the “conversation” when that happens because I’m so tired of keeping that boring game going – like playing tennis against a wall. Whoo-hoo! So fun!

Now with this guy, I’ll call him Harry, it got to be amusing to me. A sort of test to see how long he would keep talking without actually talking with me. It’s not uncommon, I’ll mentione, for a conversation to flow easily without the use of questions, but this situation was somehow different. My absolute favorite part, which made me laugh out loud, was when I made a comment about how I am not very good at small talk and he responded “Don’t sell yourself short – that question about what was my highlight of 2017 was a great one!”

I know right? It’s A GREAT QUESTION TO ASK SOMEONE! (maybe you should try it?)

The one question he did ask was about my career, and once I answered he said, I kid you not,  “So now it would be your turn to ask me a question”

Yeah, no, I’ve asked enough. We’re done here.

These funny stories aside, I have had perfectly interesting conversations with men on these sites. They ask questions, there’s good banter. Maybe we have a date, maybe it fizzles out before that, but nice conversations do happen. I don’t want to seem like a find problems in every interaction I have.

It’s the ones who stand at the intersection of Boastful Lane and Ask Me About Me Street that are worth blogging about. I mean, how boring would this blog entry be if it was titled “I Had a Normal Interaction!”?

Very boring.

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