Pushed into dating in my late 30s was no picnic. But I figured I had no other option if I wanted to have fun and meet new people. I met some nice guys, some who stayed friends. But there was one whose girlfriend called to find out who I was. Another self-diagnosed himself with ADD. Each had a story, but the one who really sticks out came from Wichita — as in Kansas.
What was I thinking? He probably lived next door to the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. It was hard to believe he could have any ties to New Jersey because he was born here and still had relatives here.
I met him for a drink one night at Houlihan’s. I pulled into the parking lot and he gave me a wave so I parked and got out of my car. He was driving a clunker that I wouldn’t allow my 16 year old who just got his license to be seen in. I knew this was going to get interesting.
I was not physically attracted to this guy at all, but I decided to demonize the Shallow Hal out of me and try and be open minded. It didn’t last long. We sat at the bar and had a drink. I usually let the guy do most of the talking so I can analyze and absorb everything. After all, I need something to talk about with my friends the next day.
Let’s call him Mike….actually that might have been his real name, but who can remember? Mike thought he was God’s gift to women. He talked about his job and how he was opening an office in Manhattan for his company. Before I knew it, he went into a tirade about women he’s been with, the abuse (not physical, just stupid) he put them through and how they all came back for more.
The highlight story of the night was that he invited a woman over and she just assumed she could spend the night. He waited for her to fall asleep and changed the clocks and set the alarm so she would think she was late for work. According to him, she came back for more. According to me, he belongs on a college campus with a bunch of freshmen. I have to wonder if he challenges these women to a game of Pong before getting down to business.
Why was he telling me these stories? I placed myself in his sick little mind (kind of like a profiler that places himself in the mind of a serial killer) and the only thing I could come up with was that he must have thought that I may have wanted him on a serious level. As I held back my vomit, he ended his story about this poor girl leaving his house, and I told him, “I could really care less if I heard from you again or not.” I wasn’t going to tell any stories, I told it like it was. He was a little shocked, but that’s okay, it was good for his ego.
As we left the bar, I turned on the Hudson County charm. I stopped to light a cigarette as he walked ahead of me and yelled, “Yo, wait up…I’m lighting a cigarette.” He started to babble about girls from Wichita versus Jersey girls and I had to remind him, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” As we got to my car, he complimented me on my car. Now, give me a break. I was driving a 2004 Chevy Malibu. It was cute, I liked it, but it wasn’t a Ferrari. I told him that it was the only car GMAC would give me because my horrible credit. This really turned him on. I might try that line on future dates.
Mike was all of a sudden very interested and asked me back to his hotel. I think I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. You can’t imagine the pleasure I had of saying no!
The entire date lasted about 47 minutes. I took the $47 and left.
Joyce Morin Schultz is an escaped mental patient disguised as a project associate at an accounting firm in New Jersey. She lives with her three sons in Ridgefield. At her request, we’ve excluded her e-mail address.
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