Katrina is a 40-year-old chef and restaurant owner. She says, “I like ‘casual comfortable,’ more dresses-and-heels than pyjamas-and-slippers, but still comfy.” Katrina says she is “down-to-earth, with a self-deprecating sense of humour.” She says, “My interests are wine, wine and, of course, more wine. To be honest, with a restaurant, I have no time to do anything else. When I had a life, I remember spending time reading, walking, watching hours of TV and hanging out with my friends.” Katrina says, “I don’t really date anymore — I don’t meet anyone at work, and I know all of my friends’ friends, so I’m not going to date them — I know way too much about them to subject myself to that kind of trauma.” Still, Katrina says, “I’m looking for somebody to be the cheese to my cracker.”
I met Thomas online, which means that I met his mind before I met the rest of him. He seemed normal. Normal looks. Normal responses. Normal life. Normal. Over email, we talked about all sorts of things, especially books and politics. Being somewhat experienced with online dating, I was asking pointed and detailed questions that I could use to decide if I wanted to go to the next level of meeting him. Thomas proved to be low-key, with a good balance of intelligence and humour. He also didn’t share any obnoxious sexual suggestions like many men seem to delight in. Keep your dick pics to yourselves! We moved from emails to actual phone conversations. A few days later, we went to dinner for our first date. It was nice. We had a steady and non-forced conversation. I wasn’t exactly physically attracted to him, but I don’t always go by looks, or have a “type.”
As we left, I was thinking, handshake, hug or kiss on the cheek? Hug. “Definite hug,” was my conclusion. Nope. Instead I got a full-on kiss, with tongue. Ew. I was willing to overlook it and give Thomas a second chance. I gave him a pass for being excited, and because there are worse things than a bad kiss, and because we had spent so much time emailing and talking before the first date. I just thought another try was in order.
For the next date, I suggested we meet for lunch — I work most nights — and see how the day unfolded. I considered lunch a definite, and the rest of the day up for negotiation. We met on the street, and before finding a place to eat, wandered around a bookstore. I bought him a book, which he seemed to like. After that we went to a great Middle Eastern spot that I knew. He’d never had Middle Eastern food before so he asked me to order for him, which was cool. He seemed to really enjoy the food, and once again our conversation flowed naturally. We were talking, and I looked up, and he had a finger shoved up his nose. He was actively digging for gold. Thank goodness I had already finished eating by then. He was looking at me intently while he did it, and when he was done, he balled it up and flicked it away. I looked around to see if anyone else had witnessed what was happening. If I had been more courageous, I would’ve gotten up and stormed out of the restaurant immediately. As it was, I felt trapped in my seat because I was being a coward, and because the tables in the restaurant were so close together.
I didn’t want to make a scene or bring more attention to the situation. He followed that up by telling me that he couldn’t stop thinking about our kiss after our first date! He reached across the table and tried to take my hand, but that was a definite no.
Neither of us acted like anything was amiss, but I was in shock. He seemed to be oblivious. I toughed it out, and tried not to let him touch me, until after lunch. He wanted to spend more time together that day, but I was done. When we parted ways I kind of meekly waved as he walked away. After that, I did “the fade,” which is a nicer way of ghosting someone. I faded myself right out of his life until I stopped responding to him all together.
He wrote me a long email a few months later to tell me he wasn’t “mad” at me anymore. I hurt his feelings, apparently. After that, I really let him have it, and told him that he should try not embarrassing a woman in public by picking his nose and flinging the results into the air. There was no more online dating for me, after that.