The Dating Game
The Dating Game was a popular television show that debuted on television on December 20th, 1965. I think we all know the premise of the show but for a friendly reminder it went a little something like this…
Three bachelors/bachelorettes are placed on one side of the partition while the contestant that is looking for love asks questions without knowing what they look like. In the end the contestant selects the bachelor/bachelorette solely based on how well they liked their responses to their questions. The couple goes on a date with the hopes of finding true love.
Here we are in present day and fifty-four years later, we are still playing the Dating Game. Which got me thinking…will we ever win at this game called “Dating”?
New Year. New Me. Sound familiar? Of course, it does, because we all have been given a clean slate with a new year to be filled with nothing but hope and promise. This is also when, in the dating community that those left single from the previous year vow to themselves: “This is the year that I’m going to find love!” We dust off our online dating profiles. We try a different exercise regime, change our hairstyles and try to fix what we think was wrong in the previous year.
As you can imagine, with everyone out their trying to update themselves, when you are ready to throw your dating line into the pool of singles; you’re bound to get some bites on your line. Which is exactly what happened to me last week. So, are you ready to play The Dating Game???
This gentleman and I began chatting online the first week of the new year. He presented himself as a very nice guy, which I found attractive. Given that everyone was fresh from coming back from the holidays, it was tough at first to find a time to meet but we settled on last Tuesday.
He suggested we meet in my area of Hell’s Kitchen, which I was fine with. He said his favorite bar was, Ninth Avenue Saloon. I’m a big fan of dive bars, so I agreed to meet him at 7:00.
This was going to be a first for me. I was going to be going out with someone that was much older than I am. This contestant is fifty-seven years old to my forty. I wasn’t sure that we’d have much in common, but he looked great for his age and who the hell am I to judge?
So, I arrive, and he is waiting for me all the way in the back of the bar. He stood up from his chair and gave me a hug. He offered to buy me a drink, but I thanked him and said I could get one myself. Was I physically attracted to him when I met him? No. But I certainly wanted to talk to him and get to know him before I dismiss him purely based on looks.
He had his Bud Light and I had my vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice. It was time for our date to begin. His opening remarks was that he loves coming to this particular bar but only during early in the week because during the weekends it gets too crowded for him and he can’t hear anyone. He went on to tell me that he can’t run much anymore due to both of his knees giving out and that he’s taken up swimming for that’s good for him now.
I asked him what he did for a living and he told me that he works at a private school part time but doesn’t like kids (huge strike for me) but most of his time these days is taking care of people’s cats. I guess you could say he’s a “cat-sitter”. He said he has about six different cats that he watches for people while they travel.
I wasn’t sure where to go with any of the information he was giving me. I found myself asking questions like, “Is there any particular cat you fancy more?” I was working overtime with this date and I asked him about his hobbies, and he said, “Well, I love to dress up like Dolly Parton.” He got out his phone and showed me all the various costumes he’s done over the years. I was impressed with his dedication and we talked about that for a bit.
My second and last drink was done and when he asked about getting dinner I declined. It would be cruel to lead him on but I did tell him was that I had a nice time getting to know him and if he ever wanted to grab a movie as a friend that I’d certainly be open to it and that is the truth.
We hugged goodbye. He went downtown to Chelsea to take care of one of his six cats that he takes care of, and I walked home.
Was the very next evening after contestant #1. We agreed to meet around six right after work since he lived downtown in the same area that I work in. I didn’t want to go all the way uptown only to turn around and come back. He said earlier that day that he would figure something out for us to do.
Around two o’clock that afternoon he sent me a screen shot of an invitation. I would be attending an “Meditation and wine tasting” event at the Ludlow House. I thought this was rather interesting first date. Meditation and wine…both things I enjoy but I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get to know someone this way. I agreed and the event was slated to start at six-thirty.
I met him in front of the Ludlow House and we went inside. I think he was trying to impress me because of it being an exclusive membership-only establishment. Little did he know that I had been there before, and I know someone that works there. However, he did ask me to this event and so I played along as he was showing me around the place.
We went inside this room where the event would be taking place and right off the bat, I see my friend. We hug and she tells me she is working another room but to say goodbye to her when I was leaving. My date said, “Oh, I didn’t think you’d know people here.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that comment, but I shrugged it off.
The set-up for the event was a bunch of picnic style tables, crystals placed on the tables along with candles and glasses of water. We sat with several people and therefore it was really hard to try and make conversation with him since we also needed to engage in the other people seated at our table.
However, I did learn that his job was a sommelier. I could tell that he wanted to explain to me what that was but I told him that I knew what his job was because I have several friends in the hospitality industry. I wasn’t sure if my date felt that I wasn’t cultured enough but when I told him that I have lived in the city for over twenty years, he understood that I have seen and done many things. These exclusive membership-only places never did impress me. What impresses me is manners and he was starting to not have them.
I did my best to focus on the reason I was there and that was to meditate, get to know this guy and have some wine. We meditated and then it was time for the wine tasting portion. In between the wines, we got to know each other a bit more. The only things we really had in common was that we both moved here from Seattle. Other than that, he kept trying to impress me with wines, with his travels and when I excused myself to go to the restroom, he tried to give me directions in such a pretentious tone that I just cut him off and said, “I’ve been here before, I’m all set.”
The event was over, and he wanted to stay longer even though all the patrons had left, and the staff was wanting us to leave. He kept talking to the staff and not me. He kept asking them if they had any openings to work there. It never occurred to me to ask him if he was working at a specific restaurant, so I asked him and he said he was, “currently looking for a home.” This was not only a first date but a networking thing for him. I told him I wanted to say goodbye to my friend really quick and when I came back he was given a free bottle of wine.
On our walk to the subway he asked me if I wanted to go back to his place, crack open the wine and make out. I declined and took the F train back home. I did thank him the next day for letting me attend the event with him but that is where I left it.
Contestant three was the following Thursday evening. However, this was a different type of date for I didn’t meet this guy from a dating app but this was a set-up from a good friend of mine.
My friend had done her research on the guy. She sold him to me as someone that is tall, likes to wear baseball caps and is employed. I bought what my friend was selling and I told her she can give him my number. We had begun texting during the holidays and last Thursday was finally when we were able to meet.
During out texting we discovered that we live only one block away from each other. Since this was more of a casual date and we had a mutual friend in common, I wanted to go as low key as possible. So, when he suggested we meet at Rise Bar for happy hour, I was relieved.
We got seats right at the bar and he was attractive, he did wear a baseball cap and I did learn that he is, in fact…employed. He drank much faster than me but still after about three drinks in, I wanted and needed to slow down. I didn’t want to get too drunk, but I also wanted to have my wits about me.
I wanted my wits with me because while I began drinking water and he went onto his fourth drink, I noticed a guy staring at us from across the bar. This guy wasn’t giving us a pleasant look at all. In fact, it was a look of hatred. My date didn’t notice at first but I finally said to him, “Do you know this guy that is staring at us drinking the Amstel?” All my date said was, “Oh shit. That’s my ex-boyfriend from a year ago. He still has feelings for me and he’s drunk. This could get ugly.” Great. I get the fact that we all have exes roaming the city but this guy had a look on his face that I was messing with his territory.
The ex began to walk toward us and I asked my date flat out if he still had feelings for his ex. He assured me that he didn’t but also said that his ex has a temper and had also just sent him a text asking for him to talk outside of the bar.
That was my cue. I don’t want any drama this year or any year for that matter. I told my date that it was nice to meet him but that I’d give them their space to talk and I left. I got a text later that evening from my date that said, “Thanks for meeting. Thanks for giving me the time to talk to my ex. Suffice to say, he stayed the night.”
Well, there you have it. I played the Dating Game and I didn’t select any of them. I wasn’t devastated by not connecting with any of them. The rest of the weekend was spent with my friends and I couldn’t have been happier with that outcome.
I will always play the Dating Game because I know that one day I will win. Just like all the other single people out there trying their best, playing the game and winning. Each time we play the game, that just brings us closer to the grand prize. Good luck contestants!
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