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Chasing The American Dream

June 20, 2007


It’s been about six weeks or so since my return from splendid isolation, and I have to say, not a whole lot has changed which has me thinking about running for cover once again. Remember now, I have what I would consider a simple goal. I’ve dismissed thoughts of finding “The One” and have boiled it down to simply meeting someone I would enjoy hanging out with to share a movie or a dinner or what have you. Easy, huh? Well, not so much. The same sorts of patterns that aggravated and frustrated me in the first place are still, unfortunately, living and breathing. And that’s even before I’ve met anyone. It’s even worse, afterward.

Trying to find a date online is sort of like trying to find a job online. When you job search, you send out resumes to the companies that grab your attention and interest hoping. You cater your resumes to the companies that seemingly fit your needs and vice versa. The response rate sucks, and it can leave you depressed. But on the other hand, companies can actually contact you first. Most of those contacts are junk, but on those rarest of occasions, there might actually be one or two of interest.

And so, with many thanks to JDate and MySpace, I did my search and sent out resume hellos to women I thought I would have a connection with and enjoy meeting. The results? Few and far between naturally, but five returned my emails and, not counting the over-50 crowd that contacted me numerous times, three women actually wrote to me first. So if you’re ready, let me introduce to you (in chronological order) the elite eight:

1 The Scammer
2 The Marathoner
3 The Russian
4 The Reporter
5 The Long Shot
6 The Familiar Face
7 The Rocker
8 The Long Islander

Having already suffered through the West African Virus, I’m pretty good at eliminating profiles that reek of fraud. Scammer was a MySpacer. She had two pix that seemed legit, and her profile had enough detail that didn’t look to intentionally conceal anything. She was cute, 34, a local, an artist, and had an overall nice outlook on life. She said she was half-Norwegian but grew up in Miami. We did the usual exchange of emails and IMs, but during those exchanges, I’d get conflicting information from her and knew I had a fraud on my hands. She said she’d never left the States and grew up in Miami but later conversations said she visited Norway and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. Thing with these stupid scammers is that they can’t remember what they told to who. That’s the beauty of email retention and text logs. It’s all there in black and white. So I waited for her to ask me for money. She told me about her dad’s big inheritance, yada yada yada. I got sick of the B.S. and just ignored her.

Marathoner was a JDater. She actually contacted me. Like I said a rarity especially when you consider she was attractive, a good age (38), a local, and a lawyer. Things moved pretty quickly from email to IM chat to phone call. I didn’t have an immediate connection with her per se, but I thought she was someone I could hang out with. I liked that she asked me to do stuff with her. Problem for me was that I was working nights and weekends and literally didn’t have a minute. I’m sure she got tired of asking and who could blame her?

I contacted The Russian via JDate. I know a few Russian words and phrases which helped me. She was very attractive, 39, a local, divorced with a son. Things moved along nicely up to the phone stage. I thought we had a decent conversation, and it seemed we agreed that we would like to meet each other. The next day, I got no IMs from her. Very unusual. And none the next day and just like that, I basically never heard from her again. Classic internet dating pattern. I guess our first phone conversation scared her off. Who knew? Then out of the blue, a couple of weeks later, I got an offline IM from her. All I saw of the message was something like, “sorry for my silence.” I got a pop up from Yahoo for an upgrade and when I clicked it, her message was gone and I couldn’t retrieve it. Yahoo couldn’t even help me. NEXT!

The Reporter IM’d me from JDate. Once again, I was shocked that she was not fat, ugly, and old. Attractive and 36. She was a local TV reporter for a local Spanish news station. We had some nice IMs and then all of a sudden, she stopped returning mine. Just like The Russian, she vanished forever. Interestingly, I did see her on TV so she WAS who she said she was.

Long Shot grabbed my attention with her music taste. I found her on MySpace. Her age wasn’t listed, mid-thirties I guessed. Divorced, 2 boys that lived with her, a local, RN-background. Her list of music virtually matched mine. Ooh, I was in trouble. And did I mention she was extremely attractive? Trouble with these attractive women, magnified on MySpace, is that they are berated with emails from guys who have nothing better to say than, “You’re hot!” So it’s extremely difficult for me to break through that barrier of trust and prove that I’m just a normal guy that has some wit and intelligence. Thankfully for me, Long Shot believed enough in me to write me back. I’ve since tried to share with her some cool music to which, I think, she has appreciated. To date, we’re still in email stage and honestly, that may be as far as it goes. It sure would be nice to share a cool concert with her, but like I said, that may never happen. But you know me; I’ll not give up easily.

F-Squared (Familiar Face) I recognized from JDate from a couple of years ago only I found her on MySpace. She’s cute, young-looking at 40, a local, well-educated, medical field. So I wrote her and she was nice enough to write back. Me being a writer, I like it when I can get to know women a bit through writing before working up to the phone call stage. But there are no rules out there on the net, and she told me she didn’t like emails and preferred talking. So I gave her my number and waited. Work was once again interfering with my schedule, but she did call me. Only our phone conversation sucked. It was forced; she was boring; I’m sure she thought I was boring. We didn’t seem to have chemistry. I’ve not heard from her since.

My JDate profile reads like this SWM post. And The Rocker totally fit that description on paper. She was cute, tasteful punk rock-look, and even had red hair. She was a JDater whom I contacted. You guys will yell at me cuz she’s young. 30. But she’s divorced and has a kid so I’d say a mature 30. High School teacher, great music taste, but she wasn’t a local. Damn. She lived about 3 ½ hours away. Our first chat was great, full of laughs, sarcasm, and a bit of light sexual innuendo. Each chat was fun. Even our first phone conversation went extremely well. Her personality matched what she had written about herself. A walking contradiction that, as I said, seemed just what I was looking for in a woman. I had a good feeling we might get to meet. Unfortunately, she was in a tough situation being a single mom with little or no help. She talked of moving to Seattle to be with her family. She hadn’t yet made up her mind, but it appeared she too would be a dead end. More on her in a bit.

It looked like for all the world, I’d run into a total dead end. Not totally surprising given my luck. I was seriously considering taking another dose of splendid isolation when literally out of the blue, someone contacted me. As you know, I’d been working late nights and weekends where the days lasted until 1:30 in the morning. I couldn’t just go to bed when I got home so I had to unwind, watch TV, scroll for profiles, whatever. It was around 4:15 in the morning when I got an IM on JDate. Once again, I expected short/fat/ugly/old, but Long Island was far, far from that. She was blonde, young-looking, and very attractive. Of course, I’d accept her IM. Her opening line to me was something like, “My seven-year-old just peed all over my bed. What’s your excuse for being up so late?” I laughed out loud. I told her so and that I hadn’t a good excuse except that sleep wasn’t one of my strong suits. And for the next hour, we a really great conversation. I learned that she was 36, divorced, a high school guidance counselor, ivy league-educated, and really funny. She had it together, lemme tell ya. But with my luck, she lived in, you guessed it, Long Island.

The good vibes continued for nine days. Now up until Long Island, I thought I’d been a really good boy. I hadn’t forward thought about anything or anyone. No thoughts of the future. But with Long Island, that was hard, if not impossible, to ignore. For one thing, she brought it up numerous times about her struggle to choose between allowing herself to take a huge risk with a long distance relationship (LDR) or to simply say goodbye and move on. She kept telling me I scared the shit out of her because our connection was strong yet she didn’t want to relocate or have a LDR. On day nine, she wrote me about it again. We even talked on the phone later that day about it. I could really sense during the call that it was really bothering her. I really felt she was gonna tell me goodbye. Maybe she had planned to but she got interrupted by her kids. She said she was gonna call me back. I never got the call. Instead was an email saying she got ahead of herself and couldn’t do the LDR thing. She apologized and just like that, she was gone. The email stunned me although I sensed it coming. Obviously, I would have preferred a phone call, but perhaps that would have been too hard. In any event, I had forgotten what rejection felt like. Like getting rejected for a job you really wanted, it sucks.

A day later, Rocker told me she was definitely moving. So at the end of the day, when you take 1 thru 8, I ended up with a bunch of failures once again. Unwanted and perhaps unneeded aggravation and frustration once again. Do I really need this? Rejection and disappointment lead me to late night running. It gives me a chance to clear my mind. As I started my run, I thought for sure I was going back to splendid isolation. I mean, who needs to go through all this crap for a lousy date? “That’s it; I quit,” I thought to myself. But before I completed the end of my run at mile two, I had a change of mind. I’m not a quitter, and I’m not going to give up. And so, ladies and gentlemen, the chase continues…



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