During one of our lunches together, Schmoozer and I figured out the algorithm for online dating. Date #1 is always coffee/drinks at a coffee house/wine bar/dessert place. Notice how no meal is involved in case of early exit.
Date #2 is a light dinner out at a restaurant followed by an activity.
"But how much is the entree?" asked Schmoozer.
I thought back to my previous second-date experience. The Hungarian took me out to a nice Tex-Mex restaurant. Memphis and I checked out a gourmet pizza place. Valdostsa and I had Cuban.
"Mmm, $10 – 15 entrees," I said.
"Damn, I paid too much," said Swayze when we later announced our algorithm.
"Now Date #3, that's the money date," I told Schmoozer. "That's the date where the goal is for the guy to get the girl to his apartment." He raised his eyebrows, surprised that I was onto the game. "The ruse is usually one or two things: he'll offer to cook dinner, or he'll send an invite to watch a movie at his place."
He laughed. "We're that transparent?"
The cycle starts yet again. I met Date #12 at the same café that offers spiked coffees and desserts that I met The Hungarian and Date #4. I breeze in, relaxed.
Date #12 is 26 years old and a second-time college student. He went back to school when he figured out that he wanted to manage hotel restaurants, not just work in them.
He's bald. Shaved-head, shiny-skinned bald. It's out of necessity. He offsets the look with thick plastic-frame glasses. Think preppy Moby. What cinched it for me was his attire. There are two super-secret outfits that make me swoon and he wore the second one. I like to call it The McDreamy Look. A thin, dark sweater layered over an Oxford shirt with the collar and sleeves showing.
Due to the slow waitstaff, we hit every topic that could possibly be covered on a first date.
"Coke or Pepsi?" he asked.
"Are you kidding me? Coke."
"Sweet tea or unsweetened?"
He raised an eyebrow. "My parents were Yankees, so I grew up with unsweetened and it stuck," I explained.
He was nice, maybe a little too nice. He asked me at least three times to not play games with him and just be honest and shoot him an e-mail if I change my mind about dating him. The fact he repeated it several times smacks of insecurity.
I agreed to go out with him again, but I find myself battling with his full-time student status. He's a college student and because he's not working, he's college poor. College poor is below poverty-level poor. He told me he had to find a specific parking space at the café because his 20-year old truck no longer goes in reverse. I asked him if he was current on his bills and his answer was "This month." That kind of poor.
I remember college poor. It was awful. It was also almost 10 years ago. I'm not really looking to go back to that lifestyle. I also worked my way through college so I wouldn't be college poor. Moreover, I've also spent 3 of the last 4 years financially supporting other poor boyfriends and I'm not hip on going through that situation again either. I was hoping to date someone who could meet me where I am.
What would you do?