The Old Bait and Switch

     This is the 4th installment of Mis-Matched to Miss Matched. You always hear men complain about women who post old pictures of themselves on dating sites. Well, I’m here to tell you, men do it too.
     Although I usually go for the nerdy type, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give Bachelor #15, a professional athlete, a try. He sent me a poem about rose petals and the morning dew before we met. Not bad, but not great. I gave him kudos for the effort and agreed to meet him.
     His profile stated he was 48 years old and a non-smoker. The pictures might have been from when he was 48, but he ended up being 58. And he definitely smoked. Why smokers think they can hide their smoking from non-smokers, I will never know. We know. We always know.
     I asked why he lied about his age.
     “Would you have agreed to meet me if I said I was 58?”
     “Honestly, no.”
     “That’s why I lied.”
     “Well, unfortunately, that makes me wonder what else you’re lying about. You lied about smoking too.”
     “So, you have trust issues?”
     “Only with people who lie to me.”
     “Everybody lies.”
     “No, not everybody does.”
     “You’re kidding yourself. Everybody lies.”
     “I’m talking about important things. There’s a big difference between telling a friend her butt doesn’t look big in her new dress when you’re already at a cocktail party and lying about facts, like your age, if you smoke and if you’re really divorced.”
     “I am divorced.”
     “So, one out of three isn’t bad in your book?”
     He smirked.
     “What if I had done the same to you?”
     He appeared annoyed with my question.
     “Seriously. What if I showed up and was ten years older than I said I was?”
     He muttered, “I’d be pissed.”
     “There you go! So, you don’t like to be lied to either.”
     He tossed back the remainder of his drink. “I’m not getting laid tonight am I?”
     Shaking my head in disbelief, I respond, “Not unless you pick up someone on a corner on your way home.”
     On that note, he got up, threw some cash on the table to cover our drinks and left.
     Strike three. He’s out!

     The next contender was a salesman who advertised his age as 49. He turned out to be 54. The ironic thing was that he looked better in person. A lot better.
     “Why don’t you have a more current picture posted?”
     “I figure if someone likes me heavier and with gray hair, then they’ll like me thinner with darker hair.”
     “So it’s like a test?”
     “Yes.”
     “Interesting.”
     “Interesting good or interesting bad?”
     “The jury’s still out.”
     “You’re funny.”
     I wasn’t trying to be funny. I was trying to figure him out. So, I asked him to tell me about himself.
     Big mistake. He droned on and on about all of the “important people” he knew. He dropped so many names that I tripped over them. But he didn’t have any stories about doing anything with them. Boring with a capital “B.”
     My theory is that he hangs out at St. Elmo’s on big event nights and introduces himself to everyone who walks in the door. That would explain how he “knows” the rich and famous.
     When he wasn’t bragging about the people he knew, he pointed out his designer clothes and how he only wore the very best. He proceeded to rattle off all of his favorite designers and stores.
     Okay, I’ll admit that I watch Project Runway. I’m familiar with high-end designers and fashion. I’ve shopped in the boutiques and stores in New York City, and I own a few nice designer items. But I don’t talk about them, ad nauseam. Sheesh.
     Bachelor #16 never got around to asking me much of anything. So, that was the end of that. The jury’s verdict is in: Guilty of being a boastful, materialistic, narcissistic jerk.

     Bachelor #17 was a 46-year-old entrepreneur who owned multiple residences in several states. We had a great deal in common. At 99%, we were almost a perfect match according to Match.com’s algorithm. He was a thin, handsome man, with a full head of black wavy hair and a smile that could knock you over.
     No coffee or drinks for this guy. He went straight for dinner. A girl has to eat, so I agreed.
     As I entered the restaurant, I searched for the dashing man in the pictures. Imagine my surprise when instead, I was greeted by an 80-pound heavier Mr. Comb-Over. The smile was still there. Thank God for small favors.
     After chatting for a few minutes, he revealed that his pictures were from ten years ago. All I could think about was shaving his head. The comb-over look is wrong on any man. Period.
     Our date went well. He was easy to talk to, and we had no shortage of topics to discuss. At the end of the evening, he insisted on buying my books. So, I signed copies for him, and we agreed on a second date.
     The second date went just as nicely as the first. He gushed over my poetry book. He even started quoting some of my work. How refreshing that a man was taking a genuine interest in me.
     After that date, he started reciting other people’s poetry to me over the phone. Then the texts started. Lots of texts. Late at night. First, it was rambling poetry. Then, it morphed into sexting. Obsessive sexting. I told him to stop. He didn’t. His sexting became more graphic. It gave me the creeps. I told him I was done and not to contact me again.
     He was hurt and didn’t understand why.
     I did not want to upset this creepy, obsessive, stalker kind of guy. So I told him he reminded me of my ex-husband and left it at that.
     He bought my story, hook, line and sinker, and left me alone. Thank you, God!

     Bachelor #18 was a doctor. We were the same age. Match decided we were a 100% match. Imagine my mom’s reaction being something like, “Oh, a doctor! I hope this one works out.”
     The doctor and I chatted on the phone and agreed to meet for coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee, I ordered hot chocolate.
     He was shier than I had anticipated. And he wore a Panama Jack style hat that he never removed. A wee bit eccentric, perhaps. But I’m used to eccentric. The conversation went pretty well, but he had to leave after an hour. We agreed to meet again.
     The next time, it was for a drink. And again, only for exactly one hour. My instincts were telling me something was rotten in Denmark.
     And sure enough, I was right. After some relentless questioning, he admitted he wasn’t divorced. He was meeting with me when he should have been watching his son play soccer.
     Slime ball. “So, you’re a liar, a cheater and a lousy father? What a sad excuse of a man you are. You’re despicable.”
     “And I guess you’re little Miss Perfect?”
     “I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not perfect. But I don’t tolerate cheating, and I don’t date married men.”
     I wished that my glass had been full. I could have made a dramatic exit by throwing the contents in his face and storming out. Alas, there wasn’t a drop remaining. So, I just grabbed my purse and left.

     Bachelor #19’s profile indicated he lived in Indianapolis. We hit it off over the phone. He asked to meet somewhere around South Bend.
     “That’s almost three hours away. We can wait until you’re back in town to get together.”
     “Um. I live in Chicago.”
     “Your profile says you live in Indy.”
     “Yeah, I can’t find anyone nice in Chicago.”
     Really?? “Chicago is a huge city. And it has tons of suburbs. I think you need to try a little harder to find someone in your area.”
     “Nope. I’ve looked. There isn’t anybody.”
     Red flags are popping up everywhere. If this guy can’t find someone in all of Chicago and the surrounding areas, something is seriously wrong with him. “I’m sorry, but I don’t do long distance relationships.”
     “You could move up here. I’ve got a nice place. You could stay with me.”
     Riiiiight. Not on your life, buddy. I watch CSI and Criminal Minds. “I’m not going anywhere. Good luck to you.”

     A 28-year-old salesman was pitiful Bachelor #20. His profile stated he lived in Dayton, OH.
     “I’d like to meet you for coffee sometime.”
     “Sorry, I don’t do long distance relationships.”
     “I live in Castleton, IN.”
     “So, do you work in Dayton?”
     “I work in Indy.”
     “If you live in Castleton and work in Indy, why are you saying you live in Dayton?”
     “I don’t want my coworkers to see me on here.”
     “Why? If they’re on Match too, what’s the big deal?”
     “Idk. I’m embarrassed.” (Idk is “I don’t know” for you non-texting readers.)
     “That makes no sense. There’s no reason to be embarrassed. You need to update your city, or you are never going to find a match.”
     “I’m afraid they’ll make fun of me.”
     Wow, kid. You need to grow a set. “Forget about your coworkers. If they make fun of you, they’re not your friends. Change your city.”
     “I’ll think about it.”
     “You need to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. You need to do something to boost your self-confidence, or you’re going to get eaten alive out there. That pertains to your business and personal relationships. Whatever your story, you need to get your head on straight. It will make a world of difference.”
     “You seem nice and smart. Will you meet me?”
     “No. You’re too young anyway. Change your city, and hang out with positive people.”
     “Thx.”
     “You’re welcome. Best of luck.”

     The more dates and interactions I have, I realize that I should have gone into psychology. These guys need serious help.
     Here’s some free advice for everyone—be honest. It is the best policy.

     Oh well, back to site I go. Stay tuned for the next episode, “Doctors and Chemists and Cowboys, Oh My!”

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

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