#49 Online Dating Or: Have You Ever Been Kidnapped In The Middle Of The Night?Posted: June 30, 2013
Here’s a final Eharmony story about that summer when I opened myself to “possibilities.” I had already experienced plenty of peculiar. My capacity for more was fading, but not done.
Another man from a western state seemed interested and interesting enough to correspond. He lived in a city I love. So we followed the same procedures already described in About Online Dating posted 6/12/13. By this time the rules were exhausting so we talked on our mobile phones. But the annoying delayed cell echo made it tough to have a conversation. When we switched to land lines, it turned out it wasn’t the cell towers delaying his voice. It was the way he talked. He was less interesting on the phone than in writing, but I wasn’t judging too much, yet.
He was raised in Pennsylvania and planned a trip back, with one stop in my city for dinner. He was staying at a downtown hotel so I made reservations at a downtown restaurant.
He had a rental car and could have met me there; instead I picked him up in front of his hotel. Sometimes there’s little difference between polite and in my case stupid. He got into my car carrying a golf umbrella. Was he expecting a monsoon or was it for self-defense? He asked if he looked like his picture. I said that he was recognizable. He admitted to shaving off a few years in his profile. Why you ask, would anyone do that? The man I had lived with for almost eight years told me when he was dating before he met me, he only admitted to three of his seven children!
I drove the few blocks to the restaurant, which was quiet that night. He was startled that the town had an Indian restaurant, much less a good one. Got it! Snob. Worse. He assumed that I was a snob.
Over dinner we volunteered information. I volunteered that I don’t like Sushi. He volunteered that he didn’t practice safe sex. Oh!
Right after that bulletin he went to the men’s room. Either he was deathly ill, went out a back door, or was on a very long phone call. I considered asking the waiter to check. I considered leaving. He returned saying something about trouble with his house sitter. I considered that that wasn’t the truth.
When I took him back to the hotel he asked me to drive him down a street where he used to visit relatives as a boy. But he didn’t recognize the house. By that time we were near my building, so the idiot inside me asked if he’d like to come up for a cup of tea.
We sat across from one another in my living room still awkwardly finding out if there was a shred of “possibilities” since he was leaving the next day. I took my shoes off which he assumed was more than, I like to take my shoes off. He came over to give me a foot rub, which turned into a kiss. (Far from the rules.) Fine. I drove him back to his hotel.
I was at lunch out in the country the next day with a friend when my cell phone rang. I left the table to take the call and it was the guy. I told him I’d call him after lunch. Later when we spoke he was miffed to have to wait for my call but was inviting me to the Four Seasons in Washington D.C. for a couple of days. I had never stayed at the Four Seasons and love Georgetown. Of course two more days with an awkward man might make him less awkward?
It was late but I threw a few things together and drove to D.C. He wanted to take me to his favorite restaurant. So by the time I got there he met me out front and navigated to, get this, a Sushi restaurant. He was both selfish and slightly deaf. The place was about to close and the AC was freezing. I shivered my way through a bite or two and couldn’t wait to get outside in the sweltering D.C. heat to avoid hypothermia.
When I got us back to Georgetown, he didn’t want to go to any jazz clubs. He disappeared that night and much of the next day supposedly for some investment deal. I walked around Georgetown all day. When we met up we scrambled to the Holocaust Museum but it was closing. He wanted to walk back so we stopped for a drink at the Willard where my feet got a rest. When we arrived at the hotel he disappeared.
We did have breakfast at the hotel in the morning. He read a paper and didn’t acknowledge my existence, except to help himself to my exquisitely peeled grapefruit sections, my one luxury. We were going to try the Holocaust museum again before we both left town. I went to the desk to ask them to have my car out when I returned and said that we were both checking out. They informed me that they knew I was, but he was not. Oh?
The hotel car took us to the museum where he wandered off on his own. When we returned to the hotel, my car was waiting. Relieved and confused I drove home.
On my way north he called to say he was on the road too but might just go back to the Four Seasons. Are you kidding me? He didn’t know that I knew he hadn’t left! As a friend of mine would say, “There’s two days I’ll never get back.”
A couple of days later he called and spoke as if we had had a lovely time. I told him he had completely ignored me and I saw no reason for any more contact.
He called back to say why he had been a jerk as if it was a temporary condition. I’ll try to write what he said word for word.
“Have you ever had men with guns pound on your door at 3 in the morning, break it off the hinges, blindfold you, drag you half naked to a car and take you out to the desert to kill you?” he said.
It was a question, so I said that I couldn’t say that I had.
He went on to say that it was his ex-girlfriend who hired people to have him kidnapped and killed. I could understand her impulse. He said that’s what made him behave so “insecure” with me.
I asked sincerely if he had tried therapy.
This was when I went to my computer and searched him. A little late you say? I found his name connected with a case in his city. A famous investment firm was sued because someone with his name essentially stole the life savings of an old woman. Might not be the same guy? It wasn’t a common name. It was the guy.
A year later I was surprised by another call from him. He had traveled to the west coast town where he knew I wanted to move, expecting to find me. I got off the phone.
Turns out, he thought I had money.
I cancelled my subscription and all it’s possibilities.