Total Eclipse of the Heart

What is it about men who play guitar? Remember the scene in “Better Off Dead” when John Cusak’s friend tells him he ought to play his sax again? “Chicks dig it if you play an instrument. Look at Roy [the guy who stole his girlfriend] he plays the guitar!” It’s such a stereotype but it’s true. Musicians always get the girls. Hell, that’s usually the reason they start a band in the first place.

So I met this guy on Plenty of Fish and he had a ton of videos on You Tube of himself singing covers and playing acoustic guitar; just him and a video camera, shooting himself in various parts of his house. He had a cute video too with him walking in the woods that had obviously had a lot more work that went into it. Cool; I can dig it.

Again; he had a weird face. Something about him just looked off. Did I listen to my gut? Of course not and hence we have this wonderful/horrible story to tell. Well, experiences like this build character, right?

We had a few dates: coffee, dinner, me listening to him play while I sat in his room. You know, normal stuff. He came to a party I had and met my friends. They seemed to like him. We watch goofy videos on You Tube; I’ll never forget the one that made fun of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. It was dubbed with singing to the tune of the song but described what she was doing, “Now I’m running through an old house while the curtains blow in the wind”, or something like that. We were laughing so hard we nearly peed ourselves. And of course, we watched a few of his. Everyone was impressed.

The weird date happened though when he decided to take me on his favorite hike down on the Potomac near Route 29 in Arlington, close to his house. It was a nice day and we could see Georgetown from our side. We rambled over rocks and strolled on a dirt path. Birds were singing and butterflies fluttering. Was love in the air?

We got to a spot with a large rock that I couldn’t hop over without some difficulty. I put my hand out expecting his to take it and assist me. A gentleman would have done that.

Apparently, he is not a gentleman.

“What?” he asked me. Like he had no clue what I wanted.

“UM, can I have a HAND? [You moron]” I replied. His mother would be horrified as I’m sure she raised him better than that. I don’t think some men think about that. What would you do at this moment if she were watching? Not during sex of course, that would be gross and weird.

With great effort and obvious annoyance, he came and grabbed my hand.

We sat for a bit on the rocks and watched the river flow by. My anger subsided and my decision was finalized. Thanks but no thanks, you’re a loser. And you’re strange looking.

We walked back and he drove me back to his house where my car was. Did I want to come in? No thanks. I gotta get home and feed the cat or wash my hair, or wash my cat. Take your pick as they’re all untrue I just want to go home and never see you again.

That was the end of my infatuation with guitar players. If you read any of my other stories, you know I had issues with another who sang in bars. (See “Lounge Lizard”). I’ve learned my lesson. Never date a man who is full of himself about his guitar abilities unless he is a talented as Eddie Van Halen.

I never called him again. The funny thing is, he never called me again either. I guess he didn’t want to have to hold his hand out to help me. Maybe he was worried it might get damaged like a nail model who wears gloves? Remember on Seinfeld when George was dancing through Central Park with his gloves on? Somehow it’s always funnier when it’s in a sit com.

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Hop On the Bus Gus

When I began looking for a serious, long term relationship, I dreamt of the moment when I would hit it off instantly with the right person. The kind of person who would be able to finish my sentences, read my mind, spoil me and anticipate my every need. I guess I would call that the princess/prince charming syndrome we’ve been brainwashed with since we could listen to fairy tales.

That’s what happened with Gus. Right from the first email, he seemed to “get me”. Once we progressed to the phone, it went smoothly still. Hmmm, nice voice, funny, good listener….what’s the catch? I started to get excited. Could he be the next big love of my life?

We made plans to meet at a restaurant near my house and I arrived on time. I could see Gus through the window already seated at a table with a rose and a glass of wine. “Oh, how sweet,” I thought!

I entered and he stood up gentlemanly and pulled out my chair and offered me my flower. He looked like his picture only bigger; taller and wider and he had a sling on his arm. Turns out he had broken his arm not too long ago. Bummer.

And he couldn’t drive. (Here’s where the title fits in.) He had to take the bus to our date.

Hmmmm, am I being superficial of me to think less of him for using a local bus? Only very poor people in the suburbs take public transit to get around town (unless you’re a commuter than you see all types of people). Is he poor? Have no friends or family in the area?

While I pondered this ethical dilemma and thought badly of myself for pondering it, I ordered dinner. It was an Italian place and I typically don’t eat other people’s Italian food. It’s just too hard to live up to my Italian New Yorker family recipes and I’m always left hungry. The garlic bread was especially horrible.

So conversation and wine flowed but the rosy glow of my initial excitement faded until sitting across from me was a large, bald man with a broken arm. Dinner became one of those long, drawn-out dates you wish you had just gone for coffee and had a cat emergency at home which is really your roommate calling you back after you call her in the bathroom to say “HELP”!

I finally had to leave. I gave the guy a ride home because I felt bad for him, but not so bad that we went out again. I’m nice, not a martyr. I couldn’t help but sing Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” as I drove off. “Just hop on the bus, Gus. Don’t need to discuss much. Just drop off the key Lee and get yourself free.”

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Dont Stop Believin’

He was a singer and played guitar; the ultimate double whammy chick magnet. He was decent looking and personable. Where’s the church, right?

Not so fast. Like all the loser men I write about, I met him over the internet using a free dating site called Plenty of Fish. POF for short which could stand for plenty of…insert the f word of your choice. Let’s go with frauds this time.

Anyway, he lived in Annapolis and played the bar scene there and around the beltway. He mentioned a dive in Annapolis he was playing one Saturday after we’d chatted a bit and so I drug my roommate out to see him.

We walk in and it is dark, smoky and full of large, balding men drinking Budweiser’s and a man on acoustic guitar in the corner. The Journey song “Don’t Stop Believing’” comes to mind…a singer in a smoky room, the smell of wine and cheap perfume, for a smile they can share the night it goes on and on and on and on… But the man with the guitar in the corner is singing a decent Jimmy Buffet cover. I look over and through the haze; I can see it’s my guy. Great! We found him and he looks just like his picture.

I order a beer and sit at the bar. I get the playful idea I’ll slip him a note in his tip jar. Corny as it is I write: “Here’s a tip, give Lynn a call”, and walk over to the microphone. As smoothly as I can, I drop it in, make eye contact and walk back to my seat hoping he checks me out.

He takes 5 and comes and sits with us. He introduces himself to me and my roommie and we start chatting. Turns out he’s playing Ocean City the next weekend at a nice bar on the bay. I think, “I have been wanting to take a trip to the beach for awhile and here’s my chance”! He goes back on and we stay a little bit before waving goodbye.

During the next week we talk on the phone about it and he’s sort of non committal (RED FLAG number 1!!). I decide to go anyway because I really do like the beach. I call and text several times and he says where he’s at and to call when I get there.

I pull up and it seems a hell of a lot nicer than the last place he was at. Upscale but casual, right on the bay with the sun going down. I go through to the back patio, following the singing. Is it that same damn Jimmy Buffet song again?

I order a beer and grab a stool. He waves and continues singing. I request Brown Eyed Girl and he sings it for me. When he takes a break and sits down, he orders some dinner and we chat. He’s fairly quiet (RED FLAG number 2) and I am tired. The beer is making me fuzzy after a long, hot car ride. He goes back on and I walk around taking photos with my new camera. I’m happy.

So his set ended and I want to hang out, get some real dinner. He says he’s tired and wants to go back to his hotel and crash. He doesn’t invite me. Hmmmm. Odd. (RED FLAD NUMBER 3). I should have known better. As you know, three strikes and your out. 

I am now pissed. Literally and walk around Ocean City until my buzz wears off. Of course, I can’t drive home like that. While I fume, I take more pictures, have some dinner and contemplate my situation. Is he married? Have a kid back at the hotel? Already have plans with a prostitute? Why make plans with me…did I misunderstand, or his he just a jerk? That must be it and I go with the latter.

I give up trying to figure it out and resign myself that I will be arriving home well after 11 and start my journey. Three super sized Mountain Dews and a nap later, I pull into my driveway. That’s the last time I travel more than an hour to meet a guy unless he’s serious. And that requires a lot more than a visit to a dive to watch him play a Jimmy Buffet cover.

As always, I choose to view this story as a comedy rather than a tragedy. I hope you did too and learn from this chick’s mistake! Good luck ladies. And remember: always, always, always meet in a public place. Your Mom is right about this one.

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Conspiracy Theory

Mel Gibson played an attractive but completely off-his-rocker man who believed the government was out to get him. Today we call this a bipolar or schizophrenic episode. I think I met and had a date with the real life guy this character was based on. His name is Ron and he’s a bartender in Ocean City, MD.

I met Ron on the free dating site Plenty of Fish and I am now aware you get what you pay for. He had many photos of himself with long hair which I playfully told him to cut. He actually agreed, (men will do anything to get laid) and his hair dresser asked him out on a date. MEN WHO READ THIS COLUMN: please take note that unless you ride a Harley and are a war veteran, please keep your hair above your collar. Women don’t dig it and you won’t go on many dates.

I don’t know what possessed me to decide to drive the 2 hours to Ocean City except that I thought a day at the beach would be nice. And it was. I met him at his work, a cute bar in Delaware which backed up to a small canal. I enjoyed the view.

I really should have listened to my intuition when he told me he was living with his sister for the summer- what are we, in high school? Who has a summer job at the beach unless they’re in college? Which, I found out he never finished. I don’t like dating me with less education than me. In most cases it doesn’t work out.

I decided to bring my camping gear and stay at a state park on the beach so I didn’t have to drive home the same day disappointed. It’s good to plan ahead and to have been a Girl Scout. Fire building and tent pitching are skills every woman should have, along with knowing how to change a tire, check the oil and drive a stick shift. You just never know.

It was a beautiful day and the weather says no rain. Awesome! I set out on my journey with lots of tunes and a bit of traffic but all in all an easy trip. I get there at 4 PM as planned.

I’m a little sweaty from the drive but excited about my little mini-adventure. He comes over to the hostess stand-gee he looks taller and gruffer than I remember; like he’s smoked all his life and dug ditches for a living. Nothing wrong with manual labor but it does take it’s toll on the bod.

“Would you like to sit down?” he asks. He gestures to a table while he grabs a menu. Not “Hi, you must be Lynn. It’s nice to meet you”, but a generic greeting as if I were just a customer walking in off the street. This was red flag #2. Yikes. Emily Post needs to help you son.

I manage to get out “The bar-I came to see you. I’m Lynn, dumbass.” Well, not that but I thought it. His reply was “I know, that was me being charming.” Oh boy. I should have left then but a beer sounded so good right then.

I wait for him to get off in an hour and he disappears into the back for God know how long. 20 minutes? 30? It was hard to tell. So I went into the backyard and relaxed in a chair. He didn’t even come out to check on me. What a loser! 

So he’s hungry and wants to get some dinner. I’m like, what about here; it looks like a cute bar/restaurant? He says to follow him and we drive to-wait for it-Burger King. Yes, his idea of a good first date meal is cheap fast food. My mouth about fell open and collected a fly.

Three strikes and I’m out. I’m planning my escape and we start talking about his life a bit. We start with why he’s at the beach for the summer-can’t find work at home-that seems logical and normal. Then we discuss the negative side of fast food- so many calories and salt! And he doesn’t think anything of it.

And somehow we got on this convo about his being a felon. Yes, you heard me right- a convicted felon; another reason he can’t find work. Oh my God, please don’t let it be for rape or murder. I start to sweat. No, apparently he took a drug wrap for his roommate because, “That’s the kind of guy I am”.

What, stupid?

Alrighty then! Really going to leave now but it gets worse! But a better story now.  He starts talking about his uncle who invented an engine for a car that runs on water. But some other guy stole his idea and pattened it and now his uncle is suing him. Interesting. Aparantly he keeps it in a shed in his backyard and the FBI flies overhead daily to try and see what’s in the shed. Are you kidding me? Yes, the FBI. They don’t want this new invention to get out because the car companies would stop contributing to congress. Huh?????????????

At this point I say, f the rudeness of what I’m about to do and I stand up, extend my hand and say, “I’m leaving now.” He stares at me and doesn’t shake my hand. Loser! Oh, I said that already didn’t I? That’s OK, it’s worth repeating. Did he make all this up to get me to leave? Was it a joke?

My male friend Alex told me that guys will do something jerky rather that say, ‘Hey, this isn’t going to work out; have a nice life’. We girls tend to get emotional at that and you know men can’t deal with emotions.

I drive off quickly so he can’t follow me-he could be really psycho for all I know-and head for the park. I think to myself, perhaps I need to start using a paid internet dating service again; it might be worth it.

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Welcome to my Dating Disasters Diary blog!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the trials and tribulations of a woman looking for love on the internet. Internet dating has become so commonplace that we don’t really think about how this person you “chat” and email with is a complete stranger. Sure, we read his profile and think, ‘Wow, he sounds great!”, but he could be a total psycho for all we know. Embelishment on a resume certainly happens and profiles are no exception. We always try to put our flaws in the best light.

For example: “spunky” can mean “over emotional”, “fun-loving” can mean “irresponsible”, carpe diam can mean “I don’t think about the future, ever”, “laid back” can mean “Out of touch with my emotions”. You get the idea. You have a few in your profile, admit it.

After reading these stories, you may think I attract nothing but losers; but on the contrary, these stories represent the minority of guys out there on the dating sites. I have far more good stories than bad, but the bad ones are way funnier.

Enjoy and please leave comments or “likes” so I know someone is actually reading it?


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