"I had a really great time tonight. Can we go out again in a couple days? Maybe go bowling?" Ryan asked hopeful. Inwardly I rolled my eyes. This guy has got to be kidding.
"I'll text you after I check my calendar."
Quickly I jumped out of the car to head inside. Yuck! This guy did not meet my expectations. His profile picture was a better looking version of him 10 years ago. He used to be into fitness and adventure and fun until he was injured in a car accident and uses a cane. I don't mind the cane, or the 'dad bod', but don't lie about it. He's overweight and complained about health issues the whole time. Literally, that's all we talked about. I know about all of his medications and how often they are taken.
I am not a nurse and I don't want to be a nurse. Nor do I want to take care of a man I'm dating. I called my friend, Gemma. I don't know why I let her talk me into this online dating bullshit. Seriously, what is this crap?
I realize that I've had two kids and put on some weight. I have never been a size 2 and I never will be. I am trying to get down to a size 10. At least three days a week I work out and I watch what I eat. I started at a size 24 and I'm down to a 14. I've worked really hard to get to this point physically. Scrambling for my phone, I see my best friend is calling.
"Hey lady, how was your date?" Gemma asked. I groaned.
"You owe me wine and I'm deleting my profile. I've had enough."
"Maybe if we just change some things on your profile?"
"Yeah no. Gemma, this is the sixth first date from this site. I'm over it. Maybe I'll try a different site in a few months."
"I just want you to be happy."
"I have my kids and great friends who buy me the good wine. So I'm good."
"Next bottle is on me."
"Thanks!" I said laughing. "So how was your night? You and Brad have fun roller skating?" Gemma and Brad have been dating for four months. I think he's one of the good guys. Gemma was in and out of a relationship for 3 years. The guy was a good person but the two of them brought out the worst in each other. She was newly divorced and he was unhappily married trying to get divorced. I was there a lot and saw first hand how they treated each other. In their last attempt, Gemma owned up to the mistakes she made in their relationship and how she sometimes didn't treat him the way she should. He apologized for his mistakes and things would be great for a while, until they weren't.
He'd get drunk and become an asshole to her. She would cry on my shoulder and after he sobered up she'd take him back. It took a long time for her to see that it wasn't going to work. After a few months she met Brad and she's so happy.
"We had so much fun! I'm going to be sore tomorrow. We skated for hours. He took me to Pizza Cottage for dinner."
"Awww that sounds so fun. Ryan took me Steak-N-Shake. He had coupons that were about to expire." I said rolling my eyes.
"Stop it! He did not."
"I can't make this shit up! The truth is so ridiculous."
"Maybe you should try Tinder?"
"That is completely based on looks and not personality. If I'm going to date someone I want to be able to have a decent conversation with him. Plus, personality can make a difference in their looks. If he's an asshole but hot as fuck it makes him ugly."
"Good point. Well maybe there's an app for smart single people?"
"Wow. That's where you're going with this? We can revisit this after wine."
"Oh I know! Booknerds.com!"
"That's not a dating site and I'm hanging up. I'll talk to you tomorrow."
"Fine. Love ya girl."
"Love you more." Really? Book nerds and smart people dating apps? Maybe I should spend more time at bookstores or libraries looking for guys? Oh man, I should just go to bed. Shouldn't dating be more fun than this? At this point I feel like I'm conducting interviews from the reject pile. The men either put old pictures on their profile from when they used to look good, or say they don't mind bigger girls until you show up for your date. The worst was the guy that asked me for money to pay for his cell phone bill. I work and pay my own bills, you can do the same. I think a break is a good idea for right now.
"Stop!! You have terrible taste in women. Seriously, how did you find your wife? The type of woman you set me up with are not my type. I am not going on another blind date!" Why is my brother so intent on getting me set up with someone? I never should have let him create a dating profile for me. I don't know what I was thinking. He's a married man and his wife is fantastic.
"Come on man! She's a country girl, look at her picture." He hands me his phone and I scroll through her profile.
"Why do you think she's a country girl? She's wearing designer jeans and lives in a condo downtown. Wearing cowboy boots does not make her a country girl. Her profile says that she loves city living. Too high maintenance." I hand his phone back to him. "You have to actually read the profile. Speaking of which, I want you to delete my dating profile. I'll meet someone when it's the right time. I just think I need to wait."
"Ok let's just change your profile. I think the right girl is out there for you. We can change your picture and change the parameters. It's been 6 years since your divorce and you've barely dated."
"Listen. I'm not opposed to dating but I also don't want to waste my time or anyone else's time." I sat down on the couch next to Grayson. "Let's just suspend the dating app for a while. Cool?" I held up my beer to toast. Grayson held up his and clinked his bottle with mine.
"Cool. But I'm still going to be browsing the customers for you."
"Whatever makes you happy. " I shook my head and leaned back in my seat and took a long drink. I didn't think dating was going to be so bad. I'm 45 and just a little gray in my beard. I own a repair shop with my brother. Yes, I have tattoos, no I haven't been in jail. I'm really a decent person. I respect women and prefer them to have some meat on them. I don't understand why this is so hard. Seriously. I really do want to find the right one and get married.
"Hey Ash. I've got a friend from work that I think you should meet." Ella popped her head in the living room. Her and Grayson met in college. The two of us graduated from Vanderbilt University and afterwards opened a shop there in Tennessee. Ella's parents died in a car accident and her siblings are here in Ohio. My ex wife is also still in Tennessee and honestly, I couldn't move away from her fast enough. Since me and Grayson graduated from High School here in Pataskala we decided to move here and reopen our shop. Everything has gone smoothly since we've been here.
"He's on a break." Grayson said, rolling his eyes. "Apparently I have bad taste in women." Ella stood akimbo and glared at me.
"How the fuck are still married. You are just bad at picking someone for me. I like Ella. You're an idiot." Grayson shrugged and took a drink from his beer.
"I'm just an honest dude."