You guys. Do I have horror stories from online dating?
Do I ever.
I was perusing through match.com and eHarmony before internet dating was widespread. Before it was a socially acceptable way to meet someone. Back in the days when people tried to keep it hush-hush and make up pretend ways you met, if things actually worked out. Back before cute, successful singles were featured on commercials having cute and succesful dates.
I’ve been out with guys who looked nothing like their profile pictures (one I nicknamed “The Frankenstein Guy”). Guys who insisted I pay for the bill after a few beers (twice! He asked me out to dinner after the second time. I wrote back telling him I couldn’t afford it).
I’ve been stood up, left on a sidewalk on State Street in front of a bar by a blind date. He showed up 15 minutes late, walked by looking me up and down, and ducked into a doorway calling to cancel feigning an emergency. When I called him out on it, he said I was too tall. That same week I went out with a guy who, within ten minutes, told me he had Aspergers, that doctors wanted to medicate him for other various things, and that he would never succumb to mind altering drugs. You know. Since he didn’t want to change his personality and all. When I got up to use the restroom (read: figure out a polite way to get the hell out of there) he blurted out my frame was so not what he expected, being a marathoner and all.
You guys. That was a rough week.
There have been guys who have talked about nothing but ex-girlfriends. Guys who have gotten drunk off of two beers. Guys who bought me completely inappropriate gifts after only a few dates.
The memorable ones earn nicknames. For instance, “Fig Newton Guy” acquired his by telling a story about consuming too many Fig Newtons before running the Chicago Marathon. Which caused him to make a pit stop in a porta-pottie. Which he described in detail to me. Over dinner. At a Mexican restaurant.
(And I’ll bet he thinks I didn’t finish my meal because of some odd theory about girls not liking to eat in front of guys)
Despite the horror stories, I still think it’s a great outlet to meet people. At age 31 it’s not like I’m hitting up the bars on a weekly basis. And honestly, it cracks me up. Each date is either a great time, a snore-fest, or another adventure to live to tell about. So I approach it with a positive attitude. And why not? I may not be able to control the weirdos, but I can control my attitude.
That. And I can write a book about a girl who takes on the adventures of online dating.
So far, I have a title. I have an outline. I have characters, a plan, a plot, an ending. I’m 900 words in, with a goal of 65,000. All the makings for a work of fiction, based off of real-life experiences. My horror stories are now transformed from mentally exhausting situations into laughable writing material.
So here’s where you come in. If you or your friends have stories to share, I’d love to hear them. Sending them to me ensures I have full creative rights (read: if by some miracle I get published, I won’t be mailing out checks and I may change things around slightly to fit into the storyline). The idea is the main character experiences the same situations we’ve all suffered through and lived to laugh about. The book will be dedicated to each and every person willing to send me their tales. I’ve got some great feedback already (thanks Angie!) and welcome anything more that comes in.
If you’re game, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.