Dating Hell

Voice Card  -  Volume 11  -  Suzanne Card Number 14  -  Mon, Dec 4, 1989 4:28 PM

This is a response to Vol 10 John 24 ("A report from the front")...

My sympathies.

On my dating front, the research scientist I'd been seeing called me on Thanksgiving to let me know he didn't want to marry me.

"Well that's a relief," I said. "What brought this on?"

He said he'd been on a quest for a mate and I just didn't have the qualities he was looking for.

I'd never fantasized even once about marrying this person, but he had me fuming. "You don't know the first thing about me other than that I can talk a lot about nothing," I sputtered. "I can't recall your ever having asked me a question about myself. You don't even know where I'm from or how old I am or how many brothers and sisters I might have . . ."

He admitted he was a little weak in the question asking department, and paused, and then he said, "So... how many brothers and sisters do you have?"

For him, that was a pretty funny thing to say, so I laughed and things started to turn around until he asked me if maybe I'd be interested in going out with him again. I said sure, why not, and then he said actually he was going out with someone else right now but if that didn't work out I'd be next on his list.

What IS this guy's story? How ambivalent can a person be? I told him I really didn't think it would be necessary to keep my name on his list. In closing, he said he thought it would have been nice if I'd tried a little harder to enjoy bowling.

So . . . onward to more dating hell. I rate first dates in particular on a par with taking out the garbage, or maybe pawing through the garbage to find something I've thrown out by mistake. During the last (first) one I had (we met at a cafe), I got up at some point to order another cappuccino, and when I returned, the date was looking at some piece of paper that I'd seen him take out of his pocket. So I asked him what it was and he said it was a list of questions he could ask me if there were a lull in the conversation. "Can't we just talk?" I said. "Fine," he said, but he kept looking at the list until I asked him what the questions were.

Let me just say I think it's fine to carry around a list of questions with you like that as long as you don't actually show it to the person you're going to ask them to. Or maybe it could be fine showing it to the person if it contained some vaguely imaginative questions, but these were questions like where was I from, where had I gone to school (did he really want to know about all ten of them, I asked), where did I see my career path going (his guess was as good as mine, I said). Finally, I said I felt a little bit like I was on a job interview and I didn't really like job interviews, so could we just stop now. He just had a couple more questions left, he said.

I felt like I'd gotten what I'd asked for in the question asking category. But what about list making? Do I just attract list makers or is list making among men more common than I think?

I'd kind of like to give up on dating for a while, but I'm really afraid of getting out of dating practice. Maybe it's hard now, but this is probably the easiest it's ever going to be.