Around once a year I have a momentary lapse in reason and sign up for JDate. Yes, that JDate: the dating site where bald men with hairy backs hunt for Jewish women who prefer manicures to manual labor. I know, I know (hangs head in shame).
Going into it, I decided to only reach out to boys in Philadelphia, DC and NYC. I included the other cities because, while the guys in Philly can be nice, I have found I don't really connect well with them. The term 'the shore' makes my gag reflex engage and I struggle to grasp a man's need to wear a pro-team's jersey to a bar. By the way, have you ever noticed that most of those men would have an asthma attack just running from the sofa to the fridge?
Anyway, while I have geographical limits in place, men from beyond the noted area have been reaching out. Specifically, there was a guy in Scottsdale. I cautiously shelved concerns because I liked his smile and, well, it seemed he liked me. Yes, my JDate standards are exactly that shallow.
"So do you read?" I asked when we finally spoke on the phone earlier this week, me in my car and him in his office.
"Of course I read," he said with a chuckle.
"Great! So what should I add to my summer reading list?"
He fell quiet, so quiet I thought the call had dropped. Then he started to talk. "I mean, like, I mostly read stuff on the internet."
"Oh, no worries," I said. In all seriousness, I wasn't trying to trip him up. It was a genuine attempt to find some good books to add to my list. Unfortunately, 'stuff on the internet' wasn't what I had in mind.
"Are you planning any trips?" he asked.
"Actually, I'm trying to sort out two weeks in Asia."
"Really?" he questioned in disbelief.
"Yup! China, Tibet and Nepal. How about you?"
"I'm probably going to Vegas next month with the guys. Isn't Vegas great?" His excitement was on par with my reaction to funnel cake or Prada shoes on sale.
"Um, I've never been to Vegas, the Olive Garden or on a cruise ship. If all goes well, this will be true until the day I die."
"No, you need to go to Vegas. You'd love it!"
"Anyway" I started, knowing travel was a dead end topic, "are you religious?"
It was a valid question; we had met via a Jewish dating site and I don't practice the religion. Well, I don't practice beyond saying 'oy' and every so often indulging in a toasted sesame bagel topped with lox, a shmear and Swiss. If this guy kept kosher or spent every Friday night and Saturday observing the sabbath, I wouldn't be interested. That lifestyle just isn't for me.
"No," he said without pause.
"Do you believe in god?" I asked.
"No, but I am very spiritual."
"That make no sense," I pointed out before he went off on some inane argument about how, if you meditate and do not believe in god, you are spiritual. At which point I realized that this guy owning two cats was the least of his problems.
"So when do you want to meet in Chicago?" he asked. "It would be such a great time!"
No, really, dude, are you not partaking in this conversation with me? Do you not see we have nothing in common? Not. A. Thing. I was sitting in my car, staring at a green light and wondered how to run away when I wasn't even near the guy. Luckily, before I had to respond, he said he needed to take another call.
At the end of the day, I can work with some conflicts. I was willing to ignore the fact that he had this weird breathing pattern that sounded like he was on a trach. And I'm guessing he'd be tolerant of the fact that when I sleep on my back, sometimes I snore. All successful relationships, romantic and otherwise, require compromise and acceptance. But I want to be with someone who enjoys exploring foreign cultures, finds pleasure in a beautifully crafted sentence, and would rather go to the real Paris than the make-believe one in Vegas.