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How often have you decided to give someone the benefit of the doubt, only to have that same decision backfire causing you to stick with your gut reaction from now on?
In my case, my desire to work on becoming a better person and looking at ways to try something new always seems to come back and bite me in the ass. It’s as if the cosmic energy of the world is telling me that I should know better. Maybe it was this optimistic foolishness that certain preferences could be set aside or perhaps this Facebook post someone shared that said “Old ways will not open new doors” that had me agreeing to a first-time meet up with a man I’m calling Arthur-Ritis who was in charge of shit and trash management, supplies reconciliation and hazardous waste specialist. These were his words and he chuckled while explaining what he did for a living and finally he just came out and said that he was a school custodian.
Don’t start shaking a finger chiming in about how horrible a person I am for judging someone based on what they do for a living, understand the issues that myself and plenty of other women have with a man who is in some type of low-skill, blue collar or other line of work that doesn’t exactly scream “I’m a go-getter!”. Something told me that he wasn’t exactly proud of what he did for a living when he shared this had been his line of work for over ten years and it was cool until something else that was better came along. I wondered if he meant that something else would just come knocking on his door and say “Hey, we’ve got something better that pays more money” as well. He said it, not me.
Here’s the deal -it isn’t the type of work, the fact that becoming educated beyond high school wasn’t his thing or any general musings about whether he can maintain the cost of living in California, but let’s face it – the educated attorney or accounting guru isn’t exactly going to be gushing to family and friends about the new interest who waitresses tables at Hooters or is waxing poles at the Spearmint Rhino. The bottom line for me that made me a little hesitant on continuing any further dialogue with Arthur-Ritis and meeting him was trying to figure out what types of qualities he had, his exposure to the types of things I’m interested in and the big one -intellectual compatibility.
The profile looked pretty decent, photos depicted someone who was easy on the eyes and that initial conversation went well, albeit there were a few things I heard that gave me a reason to pause but there weren’t any glaring red signals, none at all. This all sounds familiar right? It seemed like this guy would fit in just fine based on my new perspective in dating – the I-don’t- give- a- shit-about- a –relationship- I just- want- to- have- fun- idea. So when he says completely interested based on my photos and the class and confidence heard during our sole conversation, Arthur-Ritis says he wants to meet up on Sunday after he’s freshly shaved and dressed.
Before I continue let me just say that there are always pros and cons to having only one conversation before meeting someone; the good part is that there is a sense of urgency and eagerness to make sure that the person you meet isn’t the complete opposite of what their profile presented. The bad part is that you haven’t had enough time to listen and learn about them to determine if you even WANT to meet them in person or learn what their definition of “getting dressed” really means.
The Meet Up
I don’t know what it is about grown folks nowadays, but creativity seems to be lost in translation when it comes to meeting up with someone for the first time. Starbucks has likely seen significant boosts in profits since online dating became popular and I’ve noticed a lot of sites recommend coffee shops as one of the best places followed by the park, so that’s where Arthur-Ritis suggested that we meet. It’s an open place with lots of people around and most importantly (for the men), there’s no out of pocket expense incurred so if things end up being a bust – no harm, no foul.
Now I totally get the laid back setting but there’s still something called a first impression that can never, ever, ever, ever, ever be forgotten. My getting dressed consisted of a tank top, nice fitting jeans, a chic sweater, a pair of wedges with my hair pulled back in a neat ponytail. HIS idea of getting dressed was a bootleg Saints t-shirt (the kind you buy at a swap meet that looks like an iron-on patch), baggy jeans (with a one inch rolled cup that dragged on the ground), and a pair of old man open-toe slip on sandals that he dragged his feet in while walking.
Taking one look at this man I knew that this probably wouldn’t be a good fit for me because he obviously didn’t give two flying shits about what he looked like before leaving the house.He was nicely shaved with his bald head glistening and didn’t really look 47 years-old but did look a little different from his photos – when will men stop overstating their height?!! Aside from his bummed out clothing I noticed he was wearing a brace on his hand and asked what happened. He seemed a little caught off guard and replied “Oh – I didn’t tell you? I injured my hand at work lifting some equipment. I’ve been off work for a while now because of it. ”I replied back that he hadn’t mentioned anything and asked about diagnosis and how much longer he would be off work. For some reason, those seemed to be really difficult questions to answer because he hesitated and stared at his left hand mumbling “Uh, it’s uh ligation with a little bit of something torn and I think signs of arthuritis”. I think he meant torn ligaments and arthritis, but I could be wrong.
Remember what I said earlier about it not being a matter of the type of work but that intellectual compatibility and interests in common? It’s safe to say that his work experience closely matched his lifestyle and we were pretty far apart in compatibility, so initially he was immediately categorized as a decent person to know and chat with from time to time but that changed and quickly. I’m actually quite impressed at how I was able to sit on that part bench on such a beautiful day accepting the compliments that came my way, pretending to listen and actually care about anything else that flowed out of this man’s mouth.
As he became more comfortable and relaxed, Arthur-Ritis let a few more things about himself out such as his borderline drinking problem which was understated on his profile as social drinking to his smoking habit; I swear to you I’ve never heard of so many people having a need for medicinal marijuana in my life. He seemed to have this uncontrollable urge to grab on my thighs and squeeze them because they were so “thick and inviting”, coupled with his inability to use different words in the proper context.Once he shared that he had only purchased his first computer in the last 3 years and that online dating was his primary reason for doing so, it was reaffirmed that he was where he was in life for a reason. To each his own, but it just isn’t for me.
Finally, this meet-up was coming to a close when the tantalizing aromas of a family barbecue nearby became too much for him and after commenting how hungry he was for the fifth time and rubbing his belly for the third time, we agreed to call it a day. He walked me to my car and tried his best to sneak in a kiss after I gave him my best fake hug possible and he dragged his sloppy ass off into the sunset. In his mind – things went GREAT and while I shared this experience with my mother a few hours later, she said the same thing that I mentioned above, keep him around as a friend. We both agreed he wasn’t a terrible person and because there weren’t any desirable traits that would make him dateable, especially that “drinking most times because of stressful days” part.
Yet inevitably, some poorly thought out text message always seems to mess things up for a person and while my eyebrow did twist sideways when he sends a “I can’t stop thinking of you” less than an hour later, I let that slide.When he kept going with the texting is when I had to shut him down, so take note to how he soon realized the error of his ways:
He doesn’t stop and sends about three more messages before finally asking “Should I try calling you again or delete your number?”
Any guesses on how I replied?
For goodness sake, stop it with the stupidity. The lesson for men is no matter how you say it, asking a woman to come over after just meeting her is a lose-lose situation if she has even an iota of class AND sense.
The lesson for women is to consider dating someone who doesn’t have an admirable job in your eyes because it is possible that things can work out for the better but realize if your lifestyles are worlds apart, it may not work.
Until there’s a cure…