During my last attempt at online dating, I had a match I recognized from Meetup. Though we have a group in common, I had never met him. Guy Pal knows him though and thought we should meet. The match agreed and then immediately blocked my profile. When the subject came up again between the two of them and he said he'd meet me, Guy Pal asked why he blocked me and was told Match didn't think we'd be a good fit. So I told Guy Pal I didn't want to meet him-that I didn't want to waste my time with someone whose actions indicated he wasn't interested when I could do something else with that time and potentially meet someone who did think I was awesome. I told Guy Pal that if I was meant to meet the match, I would eventually run into him at a Meetup event. What I didn't tell him was how much this had hurt. Guy Pal really didn't do a good job of selling him to me!
A week ago Friday, there was a comedy club event for our mutual group. I don't do much with this group-there are other groups I feel I am a better fit with-but I love stand up comedy, and I especially love it when the ticket is free. I was in a funk, so while I didn't really want to drive downtown, I didn't want to stay home either. So I decided to put myself on the waiting list and let fate decide my plans for the evening. When I logged in to the site, I saw that my match had added himself to the wait list about an hour before. "Great," I thought. "Now it is going to look like I only added myself because he did." So I waited a couple of hours before adding myself as well. Around 4:00, I got the e-mail that a spot had opened up and I was in.
When I arrived, the only other member of the group was also named Heather. We were soon joined by a gal I will call Jane. Others arrived and before long, the entire group was congregated in the bar area. The match was there. We have the same pictures for Ok Cupid and Meetup so it wasn't hard to recognize each other. I'd glance at him and catch him glancing at me, but neither of us made an attempt to speak to the other. I actually felt pretty awkward about the whole thing. Here I was standing about 15 feet from someone who had agreed to meet me and rejected me in the span of an hour. So I continued to chat with those around me. And then I heard Jane say we were making it easy because there were two Heathers and two oh, let's just call them Joe. She pointed out the other Heather and then me. So I shook his hand and told him it was nice to meet him. And then I chitchatted with the two of them for a few minutes about superficial nonsense like not being a morning person and single-handedly keeping Starbucks in business. He laughed a couple of times, but I found the whole encounter to be anti-climatic. I'm sure part of that was due to him having already rejected me but part of it was because as Guy Pal predicted, I really did not find him physically attractive.
After what I thought was a respectable amount of time of playing nicely, I pointed out Jane had mentioned there were two Joes and asked who the other one was. She pointed him out and I casually nodded and said "Oh, okay." It was nice to have a name to go with the face I'd been sneaking peeks at since he arrived. He's pretty dang cute! Original Joe drifted off to check his phone and I went back to the conversation I was not really a part of before deciding to be the bigger person and play nicely.
Before long, it was time to go into the theater. Our group was large enough that we had three tables. I was one of the first to enter the theater and after doing this twice, I have learned to sit on the side of the table facing the stage. On the other side, you turn your chair around and it's hard to hold on to your plate to finish your dinner when you are laughing hysterically. So I took a "smart" seat. Cute Joe ended up sitting next to me. (Yea!) We talked a bit before the show started and I thought he was pretty nice. And cute. After the show was over, he shook my hand and said it was nice to meet me. I found myself thinking he had "thick" hands. I said it was nice to meet him too, and then we turned to talk to other people.
Some of the group were going out afterward. We both had reasons we had to get up early on Saturday so we declined to go. As I was walking toward my car, he was talking to another guy from the group. He took a slight step forward and said again that is was nice to meet me and he'd see me at the next event. I smiled and said "absolutely" and went on my way. A good friend had surgery that morning and another friend had sent me a text during the show asking if I knew how it went, so I wanted to get to a spot where I could call her and let her know our friend was okay.
When I went to rate the event on Saturday, I saw that another gal had posted a greeting for him that it was nice to meet him and that he had returned the greeting. "Okay, whatever." I thought. What's meant to be will happen, I decided. I'd been thinking about e-mailing him a followup to something we'd been talking about but had decided against it. But then on Sunday, I changed my mind and decided to send him the link after all (ironically, it was on how to receive less email from Meetup and I was sending it to him via his Meetup profile). But before I could, a nasty storm blew through and when the power started to flicker, I decided to shut down the computer to protect it. And when the storm was over, the computer would not come back up. I decided to try it once more before I went to bed and this time, it decided to cooperate. So I sent a very simple message that it was nice to meet him, the link to the discussion on how to cut back on Meetup email and said I hoped to see him again at another event. He responded a couple of hours later that it was nice to meet me too, and that it looked like he'd be seeing me again at another event the following day (last Monday). It was pizza and a movie and we had our choice of three movies. He said which movie he was going to-the only one of the three he hadn't seen, which was also the only one I hadn't seen either. He said he was going to go a bit early to grab a bite to eat and gave me his phone number in case I wanted to meet him. He also posted the same thing to the event page, without the phone number. I responded I would meet him and gave him my number as well.
We ended up being the only two to meet for dinner and when I saw him, I found myself thinking once again he was really cute. I found conversation flowed easily. He has a sense of humor, likes dogs (has a couple) and did I mention he's not hard to look at? I was surprised when I looked down to see we were about to miss the start of the movie. But there was something about all this that put my Spidey sense on full alert. Nothing I can put my finger on but partway through dinner, one second everything was fine. And then, no. He didn't say or do anything I can recall but all of a sudden I just felt something was off. That I needed to not walk, but run. He was nice-he was respectful. It was dark when the movie ended and I was parked a couple of blocks away so he walked me to my car. He asked for a hug-he'd seen me hugging everyone else, but didn't just assume he could have one too and when he did hug me, it was just a half hug.
I saw him again on Wednesday for a night walk. We were the first two there and ended up parking next to each other. Again, my first thought upon seeing him was that he's really good looking. But my guard was up. We started the walk out talking to each other-again no problems with conversation. We stopped to listen to a group of drummers and my taking pictures resulted in us walking with other people once we got going again. That was fine-I have found that on these walks you end up walking with several people when all is said and done. After the walk, we walked back to our cars and he started his while we were chitchatting. And it died. So I waited with him for the tow truck driver. We sat in my car while we waited-it was cold and rainy. He asked first to make sure I was comfortable with that and I was fine with it. I didn't feel I was in any danger from him, so that's not it. We passed the time looking up various things on our phones which was a lot more fun than it sounds. When the tow truck driver arrived, I was surprised by how quickly he'd gotten there, although it was actually a little over a half hour. I was smiling when I left, but still there was that niggle.
When I checked my e-mail on Thursday morning, I had a nice message thanking me for waiting with him. I responded to it and got response a couple of hours later. We exchanged a couple of emails back and forth on Thursday and Friday. His last message contained a variation of a phrase I have only ever heard James use. At first I thought nothing of it. I spent 8 years hearing it, so it was normal. And then when I re-read the message, it dawned on me that was not normal. That was a "James thing." That was unsettling. Very unsettling-as in I want to grab him by the collar and ask him why, of all things, he chose that phrase. I responded to his message (did not say anything about that) prior to leaving work on Friday. And I have heard nothing more from him since then.
Logically, I know this shouldn't be a big deal. I am a big believer in Spidey sense. I hate not knowing what sets it off but I know if it does, I need to listen. And Spidey sense is definitely tripped. So I should be relieved. He and I RSVP'd for a couple of events that were posted earlier today so I know he's still alive. (Gee, paranoid much?) But I'm not relieved. I'm disappointed. I've checked my email about 15 times since I started this to see if I have a message from him (can we say "obsessive?"). I'm still bothered but there are some things I can't ignore. He moved here on my birthday. He's from James' hometown. He likes dogs. He has a great sense of humor. He seems to like the same type of events as I do since we keep signing up for the same things. He doesn't have baby mama drama. He does drive a crappy company car, but that's not really his fault. He's polite and respectful of boundaries. And he's the right body type of the man from my glimpse-the one I didn't get to see but rather sensed, other than his hands, which were thick. He was wearing baggy black pants the night we met, but not a light brown fishing vest jacket.
I should delete his number because I'm tempted to send him a text and ask if the car survived its "surgery." But I made the last move; the ball is in his court and it looks like that's where it is going to stay. Just once, I'd like for someone who turns my head to actually be interested, not just being nice. Or at least be nice long enough so I can figure out what tripped the Spidey sense. Just once, I want to be the one that gets to say "Um, thanks but no thanks." Actually, what I'd really like is to just meet Mystery Husband #2 already and be done with this crap. Because so far this trying to meet him thing is so not my idea of a good time.