* Side note: in the year since, as I’ve had more…*ahem* interactions with bearded men, I’ve realized my beef is less with beards, and more with dishonesty. FWIW. (February ’17)
Do I talk about my amazing new beau, and his infuriating beard? Or my incredible, minute, tiny, dirty secret?
Dammit. The Jack & Honey wins. Romance it is.
The Bachelor a romantic comedy a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that I was watching two people kiss as though it were an alien act. This is not good, I thought to myself. Sure, I’ve been spending every weekend with Grandpa, but that doesn’t mean that my ovaries have to shrivel up and die.
A serious consequence of life in Beijing is the sense that if I look hard enough, I can find anything I want online and have it delivered to my door. If I wasn’t pursuing another degree online, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and struggling to catch up with a new job, I would totally mock myself more for this, but really. One person can only do so much.
If I could get liquor and food via the Internet, why not men? A couple weeks ago, I created an OKCupid profile.
I may have tried Tinder first, but after the cathartic swiping left and right united me with a very asinine man at approximately 2 AM who had the audacity to point out that it was, indeed, quite late, and that a man of a certain tenure who got on a certain app might not be insane for expecting a hookup … well, I was off that ride. And onto literally the first dating site I could think of.
Let me tell you. Evidently, a moderately attractive single woman without kids of a certain age is DA BOMB. At least, that’s how my 15 minutes of fame on OKC made me feel. I even got selected “Super Attractive” or something like that based on CLICKS alone! [Avoiding the obvious pun. Y’know, because “clicks” sounds like–okay, you get it.]
My whole system for picking among men was AWESOME. Essentially, my criteria boiled down to this: no beard. Has a job. Sense of humor extra points. And–the biggie–writes a whole sentence in his initial message to me.
This means I have some disturbingly paternal/sexist beliefs leftover about how relationships should start, but I was NOT wasting my time on a man who didn’t want me.
That last req. about a sentence really screened out the fellas, and I proceeded to narrow the rest down from that. Apart from one guy who got very angry at me and called me “You arrogant–[something I never saw ’cause I just deleted his message again],” men were actually polite. I even had a gracious talk with a portly fellow who asked why I was not into him after I used words instead of just deleting his conversation to tell him I was not interested (see, Asshole Man, I learned something!). When I told him that smoking and horror films are just not my thing, carefully avoiding the far more obvious fact that he was fat and selfies in a mirror are never my jam, he thanked me, said that he was trying to break the habit (of smoking, not obesity), and bowed out. Classy guy.
I narrowed a handful of guys down out of maybe 50 initial messages, shared the deets with my sister to avoid murder/rape situations, and met with a few.
The first one was all butterflies, anxiety and neuroticism based on his blue eyes alone. Then he showed up and was giggly and too small and totally normal, except that he was not my type and tends to travel with his mother. Next!
The second guy had the 20th century audacity to call me and have an actual conversation instead of text, which garnered him Classy Man Points before we even met. I hate talking on the phone, but something about the directness of it just made me a little wet. Anywho, he had the decency to let me know that he looked nothing like his pictures and had grown a beard since he posted them, which was totally fine with me, except OF COURSE IT WASN’T FINE WITH ME, DID YOU SEE MY LIST?!
And he did it in the most earnest way, by linking me to his Facebook profile, which gave me a real name and the knowledge that he actually did have a very cool job. Except for looking like the Unabomber, he was absolutely great.
No lies: almost didn’t go. I don’t do beards, especially not on brunettes who can really grow a forest. They’re gross and unhygienic and make men look either 20 years older than they really are; resemble the Duck Dynasty guys and sorry ladies, I just didn’t choose that life; or just flat out make them look ugly.
But. He sounded so nice! And I’m a people-pleaser, despite my inner sociopath! So I went. And dammit if it weren’t like a fucking movie, friends. I walked up. He stood up as I approached, because we were meeting for the first time. And we had that “Oh.”
You know it. Whether it’s your current hubbie, your first love or the guy who played the English teacher in Never Been Kissed and totally became the stuff of fantasy before he was the hottie on Alias, youknowwhatImean. God only hopes you actually have those feelings for your partner, because I can’t imagine being attached to someone without it–apart from my past three relationships. In fact, that’s why I keep breaking up with men, because they had that feeling for me, and I just dated them because I felt sorry about it and didn’t have the figurative balls to admit that it wasn’t there for me. I didn’t even have the guts to say that I’d really like a man who pays for dates, has a job and doesn’t live with his parents or imitate the band KISS every time he flirts with me.
With this guy? None of that. Apart from the VERY OBVIOUS PROBLEM OF THE BEARD, he was/is/has been perfect in every way. We proceeded to have a very nondescript dinner while ignoring The Spark until he suggested pool, which I absolutely despise and suck at, but played because it afforded a scandalous amount of double entendres. After a heavy helping of them, he kissed me by the pool table and I LIKED IT. Even with the stupid activity and my controlling nature and the way that I knew that the old men at the table next to us were glaring, it kind of rocked my world. I mean, later out by the car, this man gave me the greatest kiss of my LIFE.
I proceeded to keep him at arm’s length for the one whopping WEEK since our first date because a) I tend to marry men I actually like in less than a year, which is expensive, and b) because PEOPLE, you don’t MEET men you actually LIKE and RESPECT on OKCupid. You mock them! You make out! You get free food! You don’t find a partner!
At least, that’s what I told myself as I proceeded to flirt, text and meet a hot cop, a sexy Aussie and a man who literally ran a marathon and then met me for dinner for the first time on V-Day.
I am not making this shit up.
And I liked Beard Man better than all of them.
Just to make it really fun: I have offers to move forward in two different jobs abroad next year making thousands more than I do now; I have no desire for a relationship; I hate the local school board; and I don’t think I could ever have sex with a man with a beard. But I still like this one. So I’m fucked.
So much for fun times based on The Bachelor.
Ben would never put me through this shit.
ICYMI: http://variety.com/2016/tv/opinion/the-bachelor-recap-becca-emily-eliminated-final-four-1201706873/ (Ben eliminates a woman because she is so shallow that she makes his mother cry!)
WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!?!