Monday, March 12, 2012

Conversations at Starbucks. Or, I remember why I don't do onlinedating anymore.

It's Monday morning, and I'm at Starbucks again. I've got some work to do, despite being off for the week, and I just can't get it done in my apartment. This atmosphere on a sunny Monday noontime is very different from the rainy, cold Saturday afternoon atmosphere.

On Saturday, I came in to edit some pictures, and sat at a table next to a young couple, as it was the only table available where I could work on my laptop. I could sense the awkwardness almost immediately as they were discussing the movie "Twilight" versus the book "Twilight". He tried to turn the conversation to his favorite book- The Hobbit. I got up to get my coffee and raspberry truffle cake pop (another reminder) so I missed a bit of the conversation. When I returned, it was time for her to go.

And it just got more awkward. It was time for her to go, which meant it was time for the "what do we do now? does he like me? do I like him? do I want to see him again? what do we do now?" departure. They both begin to take turns sharing their online dating stories. What should have been a five minutes or less "see ya later" took twenty minutes. I don't know what else was said- it was getting so bad I had to either put my earbuds in and escape to iTunes or leave altogether. And I had work to do.

Eventually they moved the conversation outside and I don't know whatever happened to them. And I really don't care. The whole interaction reminded me of why I hated the online dating, the few times I tried it. Aside from the guy that clearly had Asperger's, or the Mama's Boy who sent several red flags flying the minute he started telling me about how he was divorced and had his wedding band melted down into a right-hand ring because he'd always wanted one, I've met a few decent people through the online situation. It's just that none of them were for me.

The issue with online dating and that first initial coffee-shop meeting are that you have two people trying to tell the other person so many things about themselves in such a short period of time with the sole purpose of trying to impress another person. It's a recipe for self-involved disaster. And it's nothing like a real relationship. It's a real relationship on speed, with a touch of meth. 

There's no point to this, other than to remind myself of why I don't do the online dating scene any more. It doesn't always end up being real. If I ever do it again, because I don't rule anything out as I'm approaching Old Maid status, I will just remember this conversation and others before me, and suggest the potential suitor/husband/awkward blog post inspiration meet for something other than coffee. A service project. The dog park. A cooking class.

But not coffee.

** On a side note, I almost had to get up and punch the above-mentioned guy in the throat. He mentioned being a "nerd" (yeah, right tattooed motorcycle rider) and she asked if he watched the Big Bang Theory. He scoffed and said "no...those are just actors playing nerds and I am a real nerd." My issues are this: a) No, you're not a real nerd. You're a self-absorbed hipster trying to pretend you are a nerd. b) Nobody messes with The Boys. Nobody. (He probably would have tried to put Baby in a corner if given the opportunity. puh-lease).

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