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April Fools #7: What’s-his-face

April 30, 2010

I have a terrible memory for faces. So awful that I’ve been on multiple dates with guys and still lacked the ability to pick them out of a crowd. This is part of why I always like to get somewhere early when I’m meeting a guy, because then the onus is on him to hunt me down. If it’s up to me, it could take hours.

One tidbit that I didn’t share about Thomas (the napster in my previous post) was that, on our first date, when we went to the bar to have drinks, I forgot what he looked like. Yes, really. Usually when I meet someone online I’ll study their pictures so I can be make extra-sure I know who I’m meeting, but because there hadn’t been any involved, I couldn’t prepare like that. And we’d been walking and talking and not face-to-face for the first half of our date, and it had been dark, so even though I had gotten a pretty good first look at him under a streetlight, I didn’t get a chance to memorize his face. So when he came back to our table with two pints of Guinness, I looked at him and said, “Oh my god, did I take your seat? I’m so sorry!”

Fortunately, he thought I was joking. Then I realized it was him and not a stranger and I was able to play it off somewhat successfully. But oh god, that could have been really, really embarrassing.

I still cringe about that.

Anyway, on to the last of the April Fools. I could go on for another month, but I’ll restrain myself, lest these guys recognize themselves, unionize, and take out some class-action libel lawsuit against me.

Will was the very first person I had met offline when I coughed up the money for a subscription on Match.com. His pictures made him look like David Bowie, not as he is now, but maybe from sometime in the 80s. As a kid I lusted after David Bowie in “Labyrinth”, so this kind of retro attraction was pretty cool. His profile said he was 36, and even though that was just slightly out of my desired age range at the time, I was OK with it because he seemed like a decent guy.

We made plans to have dinner at the Harvest Moon together, but shortly before I was to meet him there he called and asked if I could pick him up, because his car was having problems. I went to his house and noted the vintage VW van outside. Of course, it was his. I wondered if he was the original owner, because he definitely looked like he could have been of that vintage. His pictures might have been a little old, because he certainly didn’t look only 36. He had a nice, loftlike space with a few cats and a sound studio downstairs, and he gave me the grand tour. Then it was off to dinner, and it was relatively uneventful. I did note that Will had a tough time reading the menu because he was very clearly in denial about needing reading glasses. He held the menu out at a distance and squinted, struggling. He ordered the exact same thing I did and I wasn’t sure if this was because that was really what he wanted or if he couldn’t read the entree list.

Will talked about his ex-girlfriend at length, and I got the sense he wasn’t quite over her. He also talked about his alcoholic father. Little TMI for a first date, but for the most part he seemed nice.

I drove him back to his place after dinner and he invited me up for a glass of wine. It seemed like a casual and friendly invite, and it was. We chatted and I played with his three cats and he talked about his ex some more. I wasn’t sure of the timeline on all this, but it seemed like it was relatively fresh and I wondered if he was ready to date. It didn’t really matter that much, as there was no romantic attraction on my end.

It got a little late, so we said our goodbyes and I went home. The next day I poked around MySpace, doing a little background research on Will, and not too surprisingly, I found out that he listed his age there as 39. If I had been waffling at all about having date #2 with Will, that would have killed any notion of that happening. Lying about one’s age is absolutely unacceptable. I didn’t confront him with it, but when he called for another date later that week, I politely declined.

Fast forward to just over a year later. My derby team had organized a big all-day picnic in the park, along with some scrimmaging. It was a really fun day and a lot of people came out for it. As the sun started to set and we were cleaning up, I was chatting in a group with one of my teammates and some other people. My teammate introduced me to this guy, Will. His face didn’t even ring a bell with me. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I realized, “OMG that’s the Will I went on a date with last year!” If he’d recognized me at all, he gave zero indication.

I asked my teammate about Will a couple days later, curious how they knew each other. Turns out, SHE was the ex he’d been talking about our entire date. What’s more, it had been over between them for several years, AND when I mentioned that he’d lied about his age, she said that he was well into his forties, not just entering them (as his MySpace had indicated the year before).

Yeah, so…small world.

For the servicey portion of this post, please make note that in this day and age, it’s extremely easy to catch someone in a lie about basic information (such as their age). If you’re going to lie about your age on your online dating profile, don’t use the same email on that profile as you do on MySpace or Facebook, because it’s just far too easy for someone to plug your address into search and find out the truth. And then you look stupid and desperate. And someone might blog about you.

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