I’ve continued to dabble in the online marketplace. You know, that place where attractive, scary, toothless. hairy, balding, supermodel, and average dudes all converge, strike a pose, and hope you’ll pick them.

My profile is honest: I say I “never” drink. I say I have kids. I say I am 5’10”. Those things will never change. Yet, I seem to attract 5’7″ men with a Bud in their hand.

I don’t think this meat market is the place for me.

A gentleman I met a couple of times called last night. He wants the uncomplicated friendship stuff because he’s not really ready to date. A series of health issues has taken him off the market for awhile. And, yes, I’ve been around long enough to know “not really ready to date” means “not interested in dating you.”

“Hey, not a problem,” I said. Truly, it wasn’t. I appreciated him speaking up and saying he wasn’t interested in dating. Really, I did.

“I still would love to hangout and watch a movie. Maybe order some pizza,” he said.

“That would be great. You know where to find me.”

I got Friend Zoned.

I just met another gentleman for coffee this morning. I cancelled the first time because I chickened out. He’s a little shorter than I normally consider datable. Taller than I am, but still not heel-wearing height. (God, 6’2″, remember? 6’2″ minimum.).

We’ve talked by phone, exchanged texts. We have a similar education background, similar interests in old movies and quality literature.

He was persistent. “Let me know when you’re available,” he said. “I’d really like to meet you.”

I finally agreed. What’s the harm? He’s a nice guy. I’ve learned from all those meetings-after-the-recovery-meetings  that conversation over coffee can be enjoyable. Easy stuff.

We set a time. We set a place.

I arrived early and ordered my tea while my heart rate started elevating, sweat puddles forming in my armpits.  Thank goodness for wool sweaters this time of year. I don’t know why I was so nervous.

He walked in: gray wool coat, great hair, nice eyes, gentle demeanor. Holy shit, he’s hot.

“Are you Online Guy?” (I used his real name.)

“Yeah, I am.”

Wow, he’s really attractive. I found myself drawn to his demeanor, the way he carried himself, the sound of his voice. You know how you meet someone and you just want to be around them? It was like that.

“Nice to meet you,” I said.  Shit, I sound like all those dorky first meetings I’ve heard in coffee shops. 

“You, too,” he said. “Hey, I hate to do this to you, but I’ve got a doctor’s appointment. I’ve had this sinus thing and they just called on my drive here and can get me in in 1/2 an hour. I didn’t want to cancel on you because I really did want to meet you. I wanted to see you. But, this appointment…”

“Hey, no problem. I’m meeting my kids in a little bit anyway.”

“Really, I wanted to meet you.  I’ll take you anywhere. We can meet here again. My treat. You name the place. Can we reschedule?”

“Absolutely. If you’re going to make it back over to your doctor, you probably should head out. Just let me know when you’re free and we’ll try again,” I said. Fuck! He saw me, figured I wasn’t his type and made a doctor excuse. I don’t want to play this game anymore. I don’t have the stamina to do this. 

“I will.”

He left. I continued to sip my tea and relax in one of my favorite places in all the world, hoping my face wasn’t glowing red and hoping no one around me was feeling sorry for the girl who got left at the coffee shop. Nothing to see here, people. I can handle this. See, got my tea, got my smart phone. I can handle it. 

Maybe Online Guy was telling the truth. Maybe he really did have an appointment. I mean, he did drive 1/2 an hour to meet me in nice clothes and will have to drive 1/2 an hour back to the doc — if that was a true story.  Otherwise, I just had the fastest date of my life. Less than 2 minutes. From a 20 year marriage to a 2 minute date — Wow! I’m getting much faster in my turn around time.

Ugh!

I don’t want to do this. I really don’t want to do this.