Sunday, October 3, 2021

As Deana Carter Would Say, "Did I Shave My Legs for This?"

Last weekend, I "matched" with a guy on Bumble who seemed nice enough. He was cute, although I had doubts about messaging him since at thirty-one, he was nine years younger than me. But on the other hand, I had already matched with four other guys, and I never got to meet any of them in person. They either did not respond to my messages, or they responded briefly once or twice and then disappeared. 

This guy actually seemed interested in getting to know me, and we talked online for more than an hour. I suggested that we meet the next day for coffee. He lived about an hour and a half away from College Town, so I offered to drive out there to meet him, and he agreed. 

On the day of our date, I woke up early and put on makeup, did my hair, and tried to find an outfit that didn't make me look like a nun or spinster librarian from the 1930s. Note to self: start buying clothes in colors OTHER than black, and stop buttoning your blouses all the way up to your neck. But on the other hand, I really am happiest in rooms filled with books, and I just want everyone to be quiet all the time, so maybe I really AM like a spinster librarian from the 1930s.

I drove out to his town, feeling nervous, scared, but excited too. This was to be my first date since the Model, and it felt like I was taking a positive step in moving on with my life. I used the GPS on my phone to direct me to the coffee shop where we agreed to meet. I state this to indicate that I periodically checked my phone as I was driving (though I was careful to keep an eye on the road and did not text and drive).

This is important to know because it wasn't until I literally pulled into the parking lot of the coffee shop, about twenty minutes before the date, when I received a message from that guy: "Something came up. I can't make it." That was it. No apology, no explanation.

I was listening to country music on my car radio at that moment, and I suddenly thought of that Deana Carter song, "Did I Shave My Legs for This?" I felt deflated, disappointed, and foolish. 

I wrote back, asking him what happened. No answer. I wrote that I wished he had told me he couldn't make it before I drove an hour and a half to meet him. Still no answer.

I kept thinking that maybe there was a rational explanation for why he couldn't be there. Maybe he had gotten sick. Maybe one of his relatives was in the hospital. Maybe he was married and his wife had found out he was messaging other women and subsequently threw his phone (and possibly him) out the window. 

When we were talking the day before, he asked me if I'd ever been catfished. I said that there were many men on Bumble who stole pictures from models' Instagram accounts or from online advertisements and stated that I thought it was pathetic that they did that. He said women had tried to catfish him too. But as I sat there in the parking lot, realizing that I'd just been stood up, I wondered if he had been a catfish. Maybe he wasn't who he said he was. Maybe he had used fake pictures too. Maybe he panicked and realized that he wouldn't be able to keep up the lies in person, and that's why he cancelled. Or maybe he never had any intention of meeting me in person, and he only made the date because it boosted his ego. 

I never found out the reason. I drove back to College Town, but I waited to see if he would message me with an apology or explanation. He didn't. Finally, several hours later, I blocked and unmatched him on Bumble, but not before messaging him to say that it wasn't okay for him to blow me off at the last minute and that he should have told me if he changed his mind or wasn't ready before I wasted a three-hour round trip and half a tank of gas. 

The whole situation made me feel sad, but also angry. It's one thing if there really was an emergency that prevented him from showing up, but the least he could have done was apologize and explain what happened. He didn't even do that and chose to ignore my messages instead. And it also bothered me that I wasted all that time getting ready and driving out there for nothing, especially since I had a lot of work to do that I could have finished instead. 

If he really was a catfish, then he really is pathetic. Sometimes, when I come across pictures in a dating profile that look like a professional photographer took them, I use Reverse Image Search to see if I can find those pictures elsewhere. Almost every single time, it shows that the pictures have been stolen from someone else. I don't understand why people catfish other people on dating sites. Maybe it's so they can get money or naked pictures from other people. Or maybe they're just selfish jerks who enjoy deceiving and manipulating everyone else.

It made me wonder if I should even bother trying to date anyone anymore. I'm in my forties and still trying to make a connection with someone, and even after seven online dating memberships and several other attempts to find my "match", I still ended up alone every time. 

Also, Bumble has not been sending me any good profiles lately. One guy wrote in his profile that "my personal hell is a conversation with a liberal". Also, for some reason, Bumble keeps sending me pictures of men dressed in full drag, complete with makeup, wigs, and dresses, who state in their profiles that they are straight men who like to dress as women and hope to find love on Bumble. If they want to dress up as women, that's their prerogative, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I don't think it's wrong for me to not want to date someone who looks better in makeup and a dress than I do. 

However, there is one silver lining in all of this. I had refrained from dating for a long time because I felt scared to put myself out there again. The fact that I drove all that way to meet this guy is proof that I really can do this. Unlike that loser, I do have the courage to date in person, and that's something. 

What about you? Have you ever been stood up? Did your date ever explain why?