Sunday, July 19, 2015

Misadventures of a Middle-Aged MILF: The Sampling Error

On Tinder, I'm Betty. Don't ask.
Oh, the joys of online dating when you're a newly single 52 year old MILF. Match is riddled with serial messagers and dirty old men, Coffee Meets Bagel isn't serving up much of either, and Hinge is total crickets. So far, the only luck I've had has been with Tinder. But, after last night's date from hell, I've concluded that Tinder's like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get.

Since separating amicably from Spartacus a month ago, I've been enjoying an extremely active social life, meeting tons of interesting men and having a lot of fun. I'm trying to learn how to do conventional dating, which is something I've never tried in the past. Testing the waters of serial dating, so to speak. I'm a confident, intelligent, independent, sexy woman who doesn't take myself or anyone else too seriously and, perhaps most importantly, isn't looking for a relationship. NSA* all the way, baby. What's not to love about that, amirite?

Welp, it pains me to report that my little social experiment in dating, which had actually been progressing along quite swimmingly--with mad props to Tinder, Uber, and awesome intown Atlanta life--hit a major sampling error snag last night. I'm still trying to get my head around the sheer awfulness of it. Where to begin? 

It all started with a swipe. On Tinder, you review photo profiles, swiping left if you aren't interested and to the right if you are. Needless to say, I spend the vast majority of my time swiping left. What is it with guys my age? Even most of the ones in their early 40s look worn and haggard. Maybe I'm just too picky. I am, as you know, a freak of nature who can still pass for someone in her late 30s or early 40s *sigh* Believe me, it ain't easy being a hot middle-aged MILF, LOL. 

Anyhow, Richard aka Douchebag Dick or D2 for short was reasonably physically attractive with nice teeth and his tagline, "Relax...Nothing is under control," seemed kinda groovy. Based on our Tinder convo, we shared a few things in common, namely being self-professed free spirits. "I'm most interested to hear what people mean by free spirited," he'd declared in one of our message conversations. Seemed benign enough, so I agreed to meet him Friday night for dinner at a nice restaurant on Krog Street. Unbeknownst to me, that statement actually heralded the first of many red flags.

Ecce Homo (Behold the man), y'all!
After sweltering outside for 7 minutes in this godawful Atlanta mid-summer heat because my Uber driver needed to stop and pee before coming to pick me up, I sent D2 (name obscured by wiener sausage) a text message to let him know I was running late. For some reason, I only saw the text portion of his photo response which indicated he was already at the restaurant having fun. "Cool," I replied. Even if I had noticed the accompanying photo at that moment, it still wouldn't have made any sense until now.

He seemed surprised when the hostess showed us to our table. I guess he forgot that I'd made reservations and even emailed him a confirmation. Whatever. I've certainly had my share of blonde moments. Once we were seated, I must admit, the conversation flowed remarkably well. Both of us have adult kids, so we traded parenting misadventures and talked superficially about prior relationships, you know, the stuff you usually talk about when you're first getting to know someone. We placed our orders for food and wine, deciding to share a foie gras appetizer and The Luminary's signature seafood tower. So far, so good.

Things started getting weird when D2's response to my question regarding what he did for a living was, "I live a life of leisure."

"Oh?" I replied, "How'd you swing that?"

He then proceeded to fill me in on how he's been on "walkabout" for the past few years. Yup, you heard me right.  So, this sojourner on a globe-trotting mind-expanding voyage of self-discovery loves everyone and everything indiscriminately--especially women--because we are all connected and part of each other in some way, does a little business here and there, pops in and out of different cities, and laments the infrequency with which he encounters like-minded individuals. "I'm extremely comfortable with who I am as a human being," he concluded. It's worth noting that prior to this transformation during which he supposedly divested himself of all attachments to people and material possessions, yet still posts Instagram pics of expensive cars and bottles of booze, he described having been a successful wealthy conservative Fox news-watching suburban businessman. And, he's at a point in his life where he feels he's ready for a relationship.

Douchebag Dick aka D2
I began to get the distinct impression D2 was sizing me up to see how I fit. Like, as we were talking, he'd favorably approve of any like-minded responses I delivered as "beautiful, beautiful" while furtively radiating a condescending aura of intellectual superiority. At one point, he even inquired why I pretend to be so dumb. Wait, WHAT?? "Because I've read your blog and you're obviously highly intelligent." Me...dumb? For serious? Did he really just ask me that?

For realz, don't ask me how I managed to overlook that last comment. Like I said before, I really don't take my own opinions or anyone else's too seriously. Our conversation finally shifted to a discussion of what it means to be a free spirit with specific regard to how that influences one's major life decisions. For me, most of my major life decisions have been intuitive and spontaneous, based in action and doing what I wanted to do, not rumination and introspection. I mean, shit, if I'd put too much thought into becoming someone's mother or going to medical school, I'm pretty sure I would have talked myself out of those things.

I mentioned the fact that I was a good student in high school, and how I don't remember any teachers taking an active interest in mentoring me like they did the smart male students. Back in 1979, girls were still supposed to be nurses and secretaries. I wondered aloud how my life might have been different had I been encouraged to explore the same options as my male counterparts, adding that although I've done whatever I wanted to do in life as a woman, I've had to learn to fly under the radar to accomplish certain things.

What's so intimidating about my jugs?
This immediately prompted D2 to launch into a largely unintelligible diatribe about how "none of that mattered then and it doesn't matter now" because according to his supreme wisdom, I was mired down in the past and gender inequality is a social construct that only exists in our minds and since he doesn't practice it or believe in it, he is exempt from acknowledging that it's still a problem for certain other individuals. In other words, sexism, classism, and racism are all just figments of my imagination. That's right about when the psychobabble shitstorm hit.

"OK," I asked, amused. "So, here in Atlanta, GA, guess which one of us is gonna get arrested for walking around in public without her shirt on? How is that not sexism? It's just basic common sense that this is how our laws work."

He countered indignantly, "Oh, you're one of those," implying that I'm a bitter, angry woman who feels she's been wronged by white male-dominated society. Bitch please, gimme a fuckin' break!

Only someone with Play-doh for a brain would deny matters of common sense experience. Such as how, in the state of Georgia, it's against the law for women to bare their breasts in public, which is why I have to fly under the radar when I want to go outside without my top. Just because I disagree with that law and find it completely outrageous doesn't mean it's not real with real consequences. It's also a well-established fact that, for every dollar a man makes, women with the same level of education and experience still make about 76 cents doing the same type of work, a statistic that hasn't changed much in the past 20 or 30 years. But, yeah, this guy's gonna sit here and argue with me that the gender gap in equality simply doesn't exist!

Dumb li'l ol' me
This tit for tat exchange went on through coffee and dessert. I kept calling bullshit on his bullshit and didn't let him get away with his slew of ridiculous denials, all of which were clearly based in some sort of phony new age philosophy. In a nutshell, I rendered him incapable of mounting a compelling argument. Predictably frustrated at having been outwitted by a woman, disgruntled by his failure to impress me with his vastly superior intellect,  he leaned back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest, and proclaimed whilst shaking his head, "Wow, you're really uptight!" Then, he pulled himself back up to the table, leaned forward with his hands clasped, and asked me very seriously, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to be a tall white male in our society?" Oh no, he did-n't!

But wait, there's more. The pièce de résistance of this unbelievably terrible evening came when he finally revealed that he's an e.s.t devotee, and how he thought I'd really gain a lot of insight from such a program. I knew it!!! In case you're not familiar with e.s.t. (now known as Landmark Forum), it's a cult of narcissistic existentialism that employs brainwashing techniques to produce marvels of the universe who can't think for themselves like D2.

"Betty, you and I won't need to see each other again. I've learned so much about what I don't want in a relationship from you tonight."

Sorry loser, gtg, my carriage awaits!
Unbelievable. I reached into my purse for my debit card and phone, obviously ready to pay for my half of dinner and summon Uber and get the fuck outta there.

"Wait, Betty, let's move this over across the street to Krog Bar for a nightcap. I'll pay for dinner since I gave you a hard time."

Ha! "No thanks," I said, placing my Uber order. "I think we're done." Well, actually, I did allow him to pay for dinner since I'd endured his barrage of egotistical insults.

Thankfully, Uber was only a couple of minutes away. In what was to be the last awkward moment of this nightmare, D2 insisted unsuccessfully on driving me home. "Uh, no way." It seriously took him a minute to fully comprehend that he wasn't gonna get lucky with Betty, the dumb broad from Tinder, LOLZ.

Randall, my Uber driver, arrived just as we exited valet, whisking me away into the night like a knight in shining armor.  He listened enthusiastically as I recounted the various horrors of my evening, a dialogue which was punctuated generously with "WTF?!" and "You've gotta be kidding me!" Nope, you just can't make this shit up. It wasn't until the next morning that I noticed D2's photo text from the restaurant, featuring the female bartender posing in front of the drink she'd made him. Who the fuck sends their date a picture like that?! Anyhow, Randall earned 5 well-deserved stars that night. As for me, well, I earned perspective, a free dinner, and this awesome story.

*NSA: No Strings Attached
**name changed for creative license and to protect the guilty