Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lesson learned

Okay, everyone was right. I should have tossed this guy after the second e-mail. I'll chalk this one up as practice.

The e-mail exchange to set up our meeting went roughly like this (with commentary inserted):

P: Meeting up for a drink sounds good. Maybe something cold given the heat wave we're in. Where exactly [in the area] do you think you'll be?

M: I need to visit my cousins in San and Gam
sometime Fri, Sat or Sun. I think you are right in
between. So whatever works best for you.

=> Hmmm, making me do the work huh? Well, he may not know the area well.

P: I was considering going to the mall, maybe we could meet around there.

M: My cousin lives on near the mall. Sat is fine, one issue is
I have someone coming to paint my apartment Sat at
10am and it will take a few hours. My guess is I can
be over that way around 2 or 3 at latest. Not certain
if this is to late.

One added benefit of CA working lifestyle. During
summer we get 1/2 days Fridays. I need to learn to

=> I didn't really want to be outside in the peak afternoon heat. He did mention Friday as an option.

P: If you prefer tonight, I could make that instead. My goal is to avoid the heat as much as possible this weekend. This is my laid back weekend. I'm trying to head home by 2pm. Maybe we could meet at the Whole Foods?

=> Making this too easy for him aren't I?

M: Tonight is fine and Whole Foods is not far from my
cousin, so works out good. Is 7:30/8 ok, hope not to
late. If good, shoot me back a mail.

=> Damn, didn't get to ask him for a better picture of himself. What if the picture he has posted doesn't look like him? What if that picture is old and he's gained twenty pounds and drools?

P: I'll probably aim for being there just after 7:30pm. There's a patio on the left side of the store.

Considering how hot it felt, I didn't try too hard with makeup or anything. I threw on a blue skirt and a purple, sleeveless top. I wanted to leave my hair down, but it was too hot, so I clipped it up into a short pony tail.

My stop at Target to buy toothpaste lasted less time than I expected. I parked at Whole Foods around 7:15pm. I decided to wander the (refrigerated) cheese section. The selection of gruyeres, goudas, emmis, cheddars, and stiltons looked scrumptious with their marbling, infused flavors, and unique colorings. I was especially mesmorized by the small jars of imported double cream tucked in the corner. (scone please) Maybe I'll have a cheese party so I have an excuse to sample some of these fine cheeses. Yum!

Just as I finished rounding the cheese display, I notice a guy with a very intent expression speed by me. The guy was nicely dressed, wearing a dark blue dress shirt and black slacks. As he steered himself back through the cheese and food displays, it was clear he was searching for something. I wondered if it was Midwest.

I checked my watch and saw it was only 7:25pm. If it was him, why did he look a little panicked? My e-mail had said I wouldn't be there until after 7:30pm.

I casually strolled through the rest of the store. Just as someone had noted the other day, the store patrons were mostly older or single people. Unlike the average grocery store, there were few small children in the store. Three baskets of organic strawberries for $9.99 - yikes. It's too expensive to feed a family relying primarily on Whole Foods.

When I did finally step outside, I spotted Midwest sitting at one of the patio tables. He, in fact, was the guy I saw careening through the aisles earlier. Upon closer look, he did look like his photo, minus the glasses. I would consider him attractive and fit. But somehow, I knew that his personality wasn't going to match the impression his online photo had suggested to me.

My first impression was that he seems rather hyper and may have a short attention span. As I feared, it was mostly about him, or so that's how it felt. I recall him asking about where my family lives and where I work. I think I asked a lot more probing questions like where he traveled while living in Europe, what he learned in cultural sensitivity training, and how he would describe the culture of his new workplace.

Maybe he didn't feel like he needed to ask me questions since I would provide some opinions and information on my own. It would have been interesting to just sit there nodding my head and seeing what he would do. I think he would have just said something else about himself and how he used to have a secretary to do things for him when he was in Europe.

An hour of chatting passed and he didn't even offer to buy me a drink. I finally had to say that I was feeling thirsty and he then agreed to head inside to get something claiming he had been meaning to ask me. At least he paid for my $2.50 iced tea. (Has this been worth a half of a tank of gas?)

Much of the conversation was about him discovering California living and culture. I honestly don't think he realized how much the conversation was about him. (Gosh, how often am I like this?) He's clearly spent much of his life focused on work. I didn't get the sense he was really interested in using much vacation for its intended purpose. Some he cashed out. When he had visited a place, it was usually tagged onto a business trip or to visit relatives. Midwest seems really disturbed by the laid back culture here. He doesn't understand how people come and go as they please at work. I think he expects people to work harder and longer like he had at his previous company. He needs time to adjust.

I can't really provide any other elements of the conversation that could convey my impressions. Words that perhaps come to mind are - nervous, fish-out-of-water, oblivious, one-dimensional, single-minded. It's really hard to say. I'm sure he's a smart and capable person, but I have no idea what makes this guy tick.

Around 9:30pm, he finally looked at his watch. I had been wanting to end the conversation for at least 20 minutes but could never find a good point in the conversation to make it happen.

Once we reached my car, he paused and thanked me for a pleasant evening. He reached out his arms and gave me a hug (which I didn't expect). He then thought through his words and said, "Well, we can meet up again the next time I'm in the area."

I politely said, "Yeah, sure, that sounds good. Good night."

I suppose that comment was a relief as I really wasn't looking forward to giving him another chance. Damn, he has my phone number.

His online profile seemed normal if short. I have no clue how to read these writings and discern which guys might actually be interesting enough to meet. Plus, I had my profile posted on one site for two weeks and received ONE e-mail. Screw this all... I'm now going to delete all of my online profiles, permanently. This just isn't working for me.


Meowkaat said...

I can practically guarantee you that he never even noticed the one-sidedness of the conversation. (This is a long-time curiosity of mine, studying the communication habits of homo sapiens.) Just like I can practically guarantee that you never act that way, in answer to your "how often do I" question. You're female, and in our culture, we are taught to be others-oriented and to ask questions, make people feel comfortable, etc. Men are taught to grab the spotlight and keep it, which is why they are all-about-me and they interrupt women frequently during conversation and never even notice. We, as women, immediately fall silent when someone interrupts us, to listen politely, unlike men. Seriously, take note, it'll piss you off. Most men will not only interrupt you, but if you continue to talk, they will talk right OVER THE TOP of you, oblivious to your words. It's amazing to me that our species has lasted as long as it has.

Clinton said...

Being a guy, i usually take the guy's side in matters of dating. but this Midwest fella... I always knew he'd turn out to be lame. I don't remember if I advised you to stop wasting time on him on a previous comment. Oh well, no big loss. Thinking you can only go up from here :p