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Simply Solo Spotlight: Tale Of The Tattooed Grandma

November 23, 2010

Happy Tuesday! Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by Mark from Mark My Words. When he suggested that he write a guest post for Simply Solo, I couldn’t wait to read it. Mark’s a great writer, and the stories he tells cracks me up. I also love that his mom comments on his blog too! Hope you’ll enjoy this dating horror story as much as I did. This is one for the record books.  

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: simplysoloblog@gmail.com.

Tale Of The Tattooed Grandma

It’s been a real joy and pleasure reading Catherine’s blog. I discovered her when she was Freshly Pressed and have been hooked ever since. Even though I’m currently in a steady relationship, it’s fascinating to read about the dating scene, both through her eyes and those of the many people commenting, because I have been through it all myself – not too long ago. I married my high school sweetheart, and when our marriage went south in 2006, dating was a new concept to me. She had been my first and only, and when I suddenly found myself thrust into the dating world at the ripe old age of 37, I felt like a fish out of water. I’m not into the whole “bar scene,” and didn’t have any friends or coworkers attractive enough (or single enough) to date, so naturally I turned to the internet.

Back then, OK Cupid was all the rage. Well, all the rage for people who didn’t want to pay big bucks for a subscription to match.com or eHarmony. OK Cupid was free! So I wrote an online profile, and waited to see what would happen.

A woman named Jennifer happened. She read my profile, messaged me, and told me I was “cute.” Game on, baby.

It was obvious that the dating rules had changed a lot since the late 80s. Jennifer was very forward, for one thing. She boasted that she gave great head. I asked her how she could be sure, and she replied, “One guy went into a seizure when I finished. And he wasn’t even epileptic.”

Naturally, I was intrigued. So we arranged to meet up. Taking the advice of a friend, we decided to get together at a Starbucks in the mall on a rainy evening in November. This was a very big deal to me: my first date in 19 years. Right off the bat, however, I could tell that it wasn’t going to be as great as I’d hoped.

Starbucks cup, coffee

Photo courtesy of Piero Fissore

We’d agreed to meet at 7:00. The mall is just a few minutes from my townhouse, so I left at 6:40, giving myself some extra time. It was dark, and pouring rain, and I couldn’t wait to meet her. The minute I arrived, Jennifer texted me, letting me know she was stuck in traffic and running late, so could we make it 8:00 instead? Well, I was already there and didn’t want to go back home, so I wandered the mall for an hour. I felt hopelessly out of place. It was a Friday night, and packs of teenagers roamed through the place, making me feel old. Finally – mercifully – Jen texted me that she had arrived, so I made my way to Starbucks.

“So, have I aged much?” were the first words out of her mouth as she pulled up a chair beside me.

Holy freakin’ hell, yes! I wanted to reply, but I bit my tongue. She’d posted a picture online, but had warned me it was ten years old. In reality, it was probably more like twenty.  She had been fresh-faced and reasonably pretty then. Now? Her wrinkles resembled a roadmap. Destination? Old Town. I was learning – on the fly – the Rules of Dating in the 21st Century. Rule # 1: Make sure you have a current picture of your date.

cigarette, smoking

Photo courtesy of Raul Lieberwirth

She sat down, and I caught a whiff of her scent. Perfume? Nope – cigarettes. She reeked of smoke, a major turn-off. When I looked at her profile again later, under the Smokes? header, she had written N/A. Which, apparently, meant Nicotine Addict. Rule # 2: Learn all you can about your date’s personal habits beforehand. Even though my first instinct was to bolt for the nearest exit, Jen had just spent 90 minutes on the road, so I figured I owed her an hour of my time. Plus, she was paying for our drinks. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m all for women’s lib, so I didn’t put up too much of a fight.

Our initial topic of conversation? The fact that she had lost 300 pounds. Honestly, she looked like she had another 200 lbs. to go to reach her goal. Now, I have nothing against women with a little meat on their bones. I’m actually attracted to that. But when Jen mentioned that she’d contemplated buying an electric wheelchair to get around, I think I recoiled in horror.

Attempting to steer the conversation toward more comfortable territory, I asked her where she lived. I was expecting her reply to be either “an apartment” or “a house,” so when she said “with my parents,” I was aghast. Rule # 3: when dating somebody your age, make sure they live on their own, or at the very least, with a roommate. It’s not cool to be shacking up with your parents when you’re pushing 40.

She told me about her 21-year old son and her 14-year old daughter, all living together under one roof with her folks. To make matters worse, she dropped another bomb by informing me that she was a grandmother. She delivered this blow with what sounded like pride. I was in my 30s – I didn’t want to date a grandma! Before I could wrap things up, she had pulled up her pants to show me the sprawling dragon tattoo that covered most of her leg. Overcompensating much? By now, I’d had enough, so I walked my date – this chain-smoking, obese, wrinkles-under-her-eyes, tattoo-sporting, still-sponging-off-her-parents grandma to her car. Only, her car was nowhere to be found.

We scoured the parking lot for ten minutes, getting drenched, searching for her car that wasn’t there. “Oh, shit,” she kept saying. Oh, shit, I kept thinking. I envisioned a long night in the rain, police reports, waiting around for paperwork to be filled out, and then of course I’d be obligated to drive her home. To her parents’ house.

“Maybe you parked on the other side of Macy’s,” I prayed suggested helpfully.  Which, of course, is exactly what she had done. At long last we located her car. She unlocked the passenger door, which I took to be my cue to get in. Sigh. I did so, and she drove me to the other side of the mall, where I’d parked. I leaned over, gave her a quick hug, said “we should keep in touch,” and took off.

Ten minutes later, she was texting me.

Is it just me, or is a hug and “keep in touch” the kiss of death?

I’m a nice guy, so I responded politely that I’d enjoyed the conversation, but hadn’t felt a connection. And asked if she’d expected a kiss or something.

When a person says she doesn’t have to work the next day, Jen responded, it means she could have kept you up VERY LATE.

At that point, I nearly swerved off the wet road. The text was accompanied by a little smiley face with devil’s horns, making the implication clear. This self-professed “oral sex goddess” would have screwed my brains out that night had I given her the chance.

It took me a few minutes to decide whether the quick goodbye had been a good thing or not, but I decided that – promises of free sex aside – I had, indeed, made the right decision. She was as far from my “dream girl” as anybody could ever hope to get. I heard from her once more, right before Thanksgiving, and then never again. Soon after, I deleted my OK Cupid profile. Fortunately, better dates followed, and I even managed to fall in love again. But for a few days after, I was so soured on the prospect of dating that I actually contemplated joining a monastery, where I could practice my Gregorian chanting skills and bake fruitcakes in peace.

I still wonder if I could have gotten out of it sooner and skipped the whole oh-no-is-my-car-stolen? part. What strategies do you have for excusing yourself from a really bad date?


41 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 9:21 am

    Hahaha Her car was “stolen” so YOU could take her home for a seizure. Sooo funny!!

    • November 23, 2010 9:33 am

      I never considered the idea that the whole thing might have been a setup in the first place! Hmm…4 years later, and I’m still learning a thing or two about that night.

  2. November 23, 2010 9:30 am

    Mark – I love this post. This is probably one of the worst online dating stories I’ve ever heard! I really wish that there were a simple way to get out of a date. Like a 15-minute rule. After 15 minutes, if you aren’t feeling it, you just say your goodbyes. I wish it was an understood thing in our society. You know you have to wow the person in the first 15 minutes. It would make for less awkward conversations and certainly less moments by the car when you don’t even want to HUG the person, let alone KISS them!

    • November 23, 2010 9:35 am

      Thank you for the opportunity to guest post, Catherine! I agree with you – we need a quick and easy “out” just in case things go horribly wrong from the start. One in which there are no hard feelings on either side, it’s just an accepted rule. Dare to dream…

    • BSW permalink
      August 22, 2011 7:53 pm

      I’m making my way through your archives so sorry for the late response! Have you ever seen the show “How I met Your Mother?” In one episode, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris’ character–a major womanizer [cue the irony]) tries to institute a “Lemon Law” for first dates. If within the first 5 minutes you know there won’t be a second date, you invoke the “Lemon Law,” and, no questions asked, the date is over. Whenever I catch that rerun I think, THIS SHOULD BE REAL LIFE!!

      • August 25, 2011 2:22 pm

        Speaking for myself, I’d be in favor of that. Invoke the rule, no questions asked, and everybody is free to go on their merry little way without a second thought.

  3. November 23, 2010 9:38 am

    Oh wow. This is just… awful. Entertaining, but awful. I am so sorry you had to experience that kind of date! Haha. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never given thought to how I would excuse myself from a horrible date. Interesting question to ponder! If the guy was a reigning d-bag, I could see myself exchanging a few unpleasant words and walking out. If the guy was a sweet, but plain loser-ish type, I’d probably pretend to get a text from my roommate who lit the apartment on fire. If you knew my old roommate and I, it’s totally possible. Haha.

    • November 23, 2010 9:56 am

      LOL. I actually would have lit my townhouse on fire if I’d thought it would have helped…

  4. Ashley permalink
    November 23, 2010 9:51 am

    So awful but so entertaining! An electric wheelchair? Seriously?!?!

    This is also very helpful as I’ll be going on my first date in 7+ years later this week. Fortunately I’ve actually seen the guy in person so I know he’s attractive, but if his car suddenly goes “missing” or he shows me his tattoo I’ll know that’s my cue to bolt!

    • November 23, 2010 9:57 am

      You’ve seen him, Ashley. Which means you are WAY ahead of where I was. That’s called doing your homework! Good luck, hope you have a great date!

  5. esther permalink
    November 23, 2010 10:07 am

    hahahahahahaha!!! That was hilarious Mark. I could write a few horror stories myself.

    • November 23, 2010 12:59 pm

      You should, Esther. I’m all for reading horror stories! 🙂

  6. November 23, 2010 11:49 am

    Mark, this is great. It takes a LOT to make me cringe but this was cringe-worthy to the Max! Well done! I have some cringers myself. check them out!
    Darcy

    • November 23, 2010 1:01 pm

      Ooh…nice. Cringe-worthy always makes for good reading. I’ll check them out – thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. November 23, 2010 12:17 pm

    sweetheart, rule #1 should have been “Don’t go out with anyone who brags about their BJ prowess in their profile”

    • November 23, 2010 1:00 pm

      Really, Mandy? I had no idea! Where were you to warn me 4 years ago?? Heh. Seriously, though – why is that? Because you certainly seem to be right!

      • November 23, 2010 1:01 pm

        I’d say it’s because, if that’s what you choose to brag about, that’s probably ALL you have to brag about….

  8. November 23, 2010 12:50 pm

    Yeesh. This why I’d rather pay for sex… err, I mean, online dating and avoid the free stuff altogether…. 😉

  9. November 23, 2010 12:52 pm

    Hey! What the?!?

    Ummmm… Caaaaaatherinnnnnneeee, I think my comment got marked as spaaaaaaaam. 😦

    • November 23, 2010 1:03 pm

      Good point, Dennis. And certainly, the other things she chose to brag about – grandchildren, living with her parents, a dragon tattoo stretching from her ankle to her thigh – weren’t very appealing to me!

      • November 24, 2010 10:34 am

        Haha Dennis. I’m sorry that your comment got caught in spam. Perhaps it was your reference to paying for sex? LOL!!!

  10. 2 New Beginnings permalink
    November 23, 2010 1:14 pm

    Great writing Mark. But, the bad thing is I really found myself envisioning this nightmare in my head! I could see you two sitting there as your eyes were probably bulging out of your head in amazement! I kept thinking you were going to say she attacked you in the car or gave you a real surprise and she wasn’t a woman afterall or something. LOL! Seriously that had to be a nightmare. I think I would have just left from hello when you realized she lied about her age. So wrong!

    • November 23, 2010 1:20 pm

      Well, I don’t actually have any physical proof that she wasn’t a guy, come to think of it…

      {Shudder}. Thanks for making ME envision things I didn’t want to!

  11. Millie Turner (Mom) permalink
    November 23, 2010 4:57 pm

    Excellent Job Mark

  12. November 24, 2010 8:07 am

    You’re nicer than I am! I’d probably left before meeting her. I do don’t late. Especially an hour late!

    • November 24, 2010 3:35 pm

      I think at that point desperation took over any common sense I might have had!

  13. November 24, 2010 1:57 pm

    haha this actually made me giggle! im new to this whole blogging this and it was stressing me out trying to understand how to even begin! took a little break and came across this,a nd its definately restored my faith in blogging!! so tired of coming across generic blogs about gardening and blah blah blah. This was really entertaning and slightly cringy but none the less entertaining :p cheered me up! your really talented

    • November 30, 2010 10:10 pm

      I missed your comment last week – sorry about that! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I *hate* generic gardening blogs myself. (No offense to any generic gardeners out there).

  14. November 24, 2010 7:34 pm

    It sounds like you found yourself a dream woman. I tend to like direct ladies with tattoos and this woman would be right up my alley. That upset stomach you felt wasn’t disgust, it was true love.

    • November 25, 2010 3:01 am

      I’m sure she’s still out there somewhere…probably shacking up with her parents…go find her, Posky! She just might be your soulmate! 🙂

  15. November 26, 2010 12:41 pm

    So it seems we lived parallel lives: You entered the online dating world after divorcing your first and only, as did I. NOTHING prepared me for what was to follow, and it sounds the same for you!

    Did you ever see that Sex and the City episode with Charlotte’s horrible blind date? She had Carrie call her and casually say, “Something bad has happened.” To which Charlotte, alarmed, gasps aloud (in ear shot of her date), “Oh my God. Something bad has happened?!?!”

    I’ve been in a few circumstances where I coulda used a friend calling me with that line. Just sayin…

    Great guest post! 🙂

    • November 26, 2010 1:19 pm

      In that case, I may have to check out your blog. Misery loves company, right? LOL. No, I didn’t see that, but I wish I’d had a friend call halfway through to give me an “out” like that. Oh, the things we learn…

  16. Joy permalink
    November 26, 2010 2:13 pm

    LOL this is one of those times when you needed a friend to call with an emergency so you could have gone out with him for a beer and ended a really bad date!

  17. November 27, 2010 9:31 am

    Fantastic post! Horrifying story!

    Rule before all rules: Always have a friend call you 20 minutes into the date with an emergency. That’s your ticket out.

    If that’s too rude, spill coffee on yourself.

    • November 30, 2010 10:02 pm

      …and then sue Starbucks? Thanks, Larissa – you’re a lifesaver!

  18. November 27, 2010 8:15 pm

    Wow! And I thought I’d been on some bad dates! This is absolutely horrible and really uncomfortable. You were nicer to her than she probably deserved (what with the photo lie, the grandma thing, the living with her parents, etc.).

    Great post…and while I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, it did make a funny story.

    • November 30, 2010 10:03 pm

      Thank you for reading! Love your blog name, by the way – very clever!

Trackbacks

  1. Simply Solo Spotlight: A Nail in the Coffin « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey
  2. Simply Solo Spotlight: The Sky’s The Limit « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey

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