It was the year 2000.
I was single after being in an on-again/off-again 9 year relationship (I was a slow learner in my 20's) with a very unpleasant man named Steve.
I had not dated anyone for about a year.
I had just started a travel assignment at a county hospital.
Most of the PM shift nurses were married. One of the single ones was on match.com and she kept bugging me to join. I refused, thinking it was a great way to meet a serial killer or pervert....not my next boyfriend. She would not take no for an answer and using her own credit card, signed me up and set up my profile.
I was wary. She sat me down and gave me her rules for dating in the 21st century.
1) It is a numbers game. The more you date, the sooner you will find the one nice guy out of the bunch of players, dorks, perverts and assholes.
2) A girl has got to eat. Even if the date sucks, at least you got to eat a nice meal.
3) It takes 3 dates to rule a guy out. If he doesn't scare you, creep you out or make you barf on the first date.......you should have another one. If you are not into him by the 3rd date.....set him adrift.
I made my own 4th rule
4) Never go on a date alone. I would have one of my friends make reservations at the same place I was meeting the guy. They could watch from a distance and make sure I didn't get abducted or something. My married/coupled friends liked it. They got a date night out of it and they could check out who I was dating.
So, with these rules in mind......I set out into the dating world. I had my personal criteria in mind. I wanted someone tall, chubby, bald, goatee wearing, smart and funny.
So, I just hung out and waited for guys to contact me. Not the best decision. With my "covert chaperones" in tow, I proceeded to go out with a string of weird men. None were as weird as Paul, or as I like to call him, ESL Paul.
It started like this......
I get a message from this guy named Paul. It is obvious from his email that English is not his first language. I cannot tell where he is from from his profile. He writes in his "About Me" section, "I am not fat or bald. I want woman who know what she want". I am trying to keep an open mind, so I email him back. We exchange emails for about a week and I agree to talk on the phone with him. That is when I find out where he is from...............FRANCE. We talk and he seems nice. Smart, Funny.......okay, I set up a date. I get my friend Brenda and her boyfriend to be my chaperones. Her boyfriend is an ex-cop, so I am feeling pretty safe.
I am standing in front of the restaurant.......very nervous and I hear it.....My name in French. "Meeshell, is zat you?" I turn around..............this dude LIED in his profile! He is about 4 inches SHORTER than he said he was.......not a good first impression.
We get to our table and I notice his HUGE, BUSHY UNI-BROW. My inner voices starts, "For cripes sake, how many of these dates am I going to have to go through? The food better be good at this place!". I try to quickly recover. "This is not who I am, I don't want to write this guy off just because of external things........"
So I try to forget about his LIE about his height, his uni-brow and continue with the date. His accent is pretty thick. I can usually understand accents better than most, but I am used to Spanish and Chinese accents. French is less familiar, so I am really concentrating on what he is saying, so I can understand him.
Then I start to notice.... This guy is really smart. This guy is funny. This guy has a lot of money. This guy POLISHES his nails! Jesus! Why would a guy polish his nails? Then the wheels start turning.....if he polishes his nails, I could probably get him to wax his uni-brow. Yes, he is short.......but that means I will never have to wear high heels again!!! According to rule #3, I have no reason to not go on another date with him.
So dinner is over, I had a pretty good time. He walks me to my car.......my friends are already in their car doing surveillance on the "good-bye". I tell him I had a nice time, I tell him to give me a call. I give him a hug. I just can't shake someone's hand after a date. I figure a hug is good if I am considering a second date. If you stand there all awkward, they might try to kiss you or something. If you hug them......they can't kiss you. I am thinking it's all good. Then he looks at me and says: "What? No keess?" I think to myself "oh, he is French! They do that kiss on each cheek thing!" So I give him an "cheek kiss type thingy" on each side, thinking that is what he meant. I mean, I am trying not to look like a hick american chick. He then looks at me and he says " I want you to keess me with passs eon!" He then proceeds to grab the lapels of my coat and pull me so close to him that he practically smooshes my boobs under my armpits and up to my chin! It takes me a second or two to regain my composure but I regroup, look at him and say " I am not gonna light the fire, if I don't plan on cookin!" (not very cosmopolitan, but I could barely breathe with my boobs all smushed up, let alone think of something continental to say!) He still hasn't released me from his grip! Instead he says "What do you mean? I deed not say anysing about cooooking".
I wiggled out of his grip so quick! I jumped into my car, waved goodbye and took off. As I was driving off, my friend Brenda calls on my cell phone. She and her boyfriend are cracking up. They try and act concerned and ask if I am okay. I tell them I am and they reply "Dude, you looked just like that cat in the Pepe le Pew cartoons!"