A long time ago, I joined match.com. (It's how I met Mr. Misha) Some of my family, friends and coworkers were worried that I would get killed by a psycho or sold into slavery by a man I met on the Internet. My argument was always, "Yeah, because psychos and slave traders NEVER hang out in bars! ".
Match.com was a good place to meet men. I work in Labor and Delivery; I certainly wasn't going to meet any single, unattached men that I would date there. I worked in a bar during nursing school, not necessarily the best pool of men to choose from. My friends were not introducing me to anyone, so why not match.com? You could screen the guys...Pick their (reported) ht, wt, body type, hair style, eye color, salary range, religion, educational level, if they wanted kids..........and many other descriptors. You couldn't do that in a bar!
Dating while at times somewhat depressing had its benefits. It made me more fastidious in my personal care: I went to the gym, had regular appointments for hair cuts/colors, facials, manicures and bikini waxes. I wore something besides sweats and scrubs. I ate at some really good restaurants. I actually traveled outside of Napa. Heck, it got me out of the house and away from the TV. But the biggest benefit, aside from meeting my husband, was the hilarious stories it provided. After each date, I would get at least 5 phone calls from friends/coworkers who wanted to hear how the date went. I knew that they secretly were hoping it was a strange guy...they wanted to hear the funny story!
I went on a LOT of first dates. In fact, I can count on one hand how many guys I actually went on 2nd (or more) date with, one of which is now my husband. My match.com mentor had given me a set of rules to follow. I agreed to them, but added my own. I always had a chaperone, it was a covert chaperone, but I was never really alone. I never had a hard time finding someone to "go" on my date with me. The married/couple friends liked the date night. My single friends did it so I would reciprocate as their chaperone. Most of the time, my chaperones remained anonymous. Every once in a while, I would "fess up" and let my date know we were not alone. The guy was usually a good sport about it. They understood that a girl needed to be careful and were impressed that my friends were supportive of me.
The chaperone thing worked out well, most of the time...There was this one time where the funniest part of the story was not the date, but the chaperones.
I had started talking to this guy. He was nice, smart and in his emails and phone calls, absolutely hilarious. He looked nice in his picture, a little on the skinny side for my taste, but nice enough. After talking/ exchanging emails for a while, we arranged to meet. I picked one of my favorite places to eat, Bistro Don Giovanni. I had no problem finding a chaperone for the night. My friends, Deb and Brenda loved to eat there, so they eagerly volunteered.
Date night arrived; Deb and Brenda got to the bistro first and were seated in the main dining room. They had told the maître d' what was up, so they assumed that he would seat my date and I close, but not to close. Well, that didn't happen. I met the guy in front; we went inside and were seated in the patio area. I was not able to see Deb and Brenda, so I knew they would not be able to see me. I was a little worried that they were going to make a scene, a la Lucy and Ethel, in order to check on me.
Anyway, I sit down with this dude and we start to talk. It is then that I realize that he has gross teeth. Not just snaggle toothed, but funky colored too. I started to get a little nauseated. They dialogue in my head went as follows: " Crap, he is so funny! I was really digging him before I saw those teeth. How did I miss that in his pictures? There is no way I am going to be able to get past his Appalachia hillbilly teeth. Maybe, I could get him to get his teeth fixed. No, that won't work. A man won't get major dental work done for a girl unless she is screwing him. I cannot kiss a man with those teeth. I can't screw him without kissing him. No way to get him to fix his teeth, SHIT. Hey, he has a good job with benefits (He worked for the federal government)...why hasn't he fixed his teeth? Now I am a little pissed at him!"
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a teeth-ist. I understand that there are many factors why people may not have perfect teeth. Lack of health benefits, health problems, fear of dentists/pain, I personally am a complete weenie when it comes to the dentist and require anesthesia for anything other than a routine cleaning. I do not judge any other person by their teeth. The only reason this guy's teeth were under scrutiny is because I was on a date with him. I only am judgmental about the teeth in the mouth of someone I could potentially French kiss.
The date goes on...he is so funny and I am cracking up through the whole thing. We are sitting at the table and this man, probably in his 60's, keeps looking at me. I just ignore him, but it was a little creepy. Then all of a sudden, the man comes up to our table and yells "MISHA!” Everyone on the patio is starting at us and my date looks a little pale. The conversation was as follows:
Man: You were my daughter's nurse! You delivered my granddaughter!
Me: Oh, I did? (I have no memory of this family)
Man: You were the best nurse. You were great.
Me: How old is your granddaughter now?
(I am hoping to narrow down the 100+ babies I deliver a year)
Man: 9 months
Me: What did your daughter name her?
(Still trying to figure out who this family is.)
Man: Ashley. She is a beautiful baby. Is this your husband? (Pointing to my date)
Me: No, actually we are on a first date.
Man: (now looking at my date) She is a good woman, you would be lucky to get her. We love Misha. She is a very special woman!
Me: Well, it was great seeing you again. (I still have no idea who this man is) Tell you daughter I said hello and give Ashley a cuddle from me.
Man: Oh I will, Misha. It was great seeing you. Bye.
Now, I get recognized all the time. I can't go into Target without having someone yell my name and thrust a baby in my arms. I think that some of the Target employees think I am some kind of plus size stripper, because moms, dads and grandparents are often shouting, "I almost didn't recognize you with your clothes on!" My patients see me in the middle of the night, in scrubs, my hair in a ponytail or bun and no makeup. I look different outside of Labor and Delivery. My husband thinks it funny when it happens. If I am with my mom, she usually cries. I am used to it.
But this grandpa had made a bit of a scene. My date was a little shocked. I apologized and explained that this doesn't happen all the time, but it is not unusual. He seemed a little leery. The date ended. I knew we were not going to have a second one. I couldn't do it. I thanked him for dinner, he walked me to my car and that was it. I drove off to meet my chaperones at the designated "debriefing area", it just happened to be a local dive bar.
I sit down with Deb and Brenda and start to tell them about the date. I am going on and on about how heartbroken I am about his teeth. "He was so smart and funny, but there is no way I could kiss him.... blah, blah, blah.". They are not really paying attention. They both have these stupid grins on their faces. They wait for me to finish complaining and they say "Well, did anything else happen?". I tell them "No, he was a nice guy. Not weird at all." They keep pressing, "Are you sure nothing else happened?". I say "Oh yeah, I forgot. One of patient's Dad came up to me, a little drunk and loud and made a scene about me delivering his grand-baby." At this point, both of them start cracking up. They are turning red; tears are going down their cheeks...hysterical. When they settle down a bit, I ask them, "What is so funny?”
That is when Deb says to me, "That was my Spin Class Instructor! He is gay, doesn't have any kids and has never met you. We bought him a couple of lemon drops and got him to go check on you."
Sometimes, your friends are goofier than the date!