I logged onto Tumblr and realized I’d never unfollowed him when I saw a familiar scene.
About three years ago, I decided that maybe it was abnormal of me not to want be in a relationship. So I signed up for a 3-month trial of Chemistry.com. I expected nothing even remotely life-affirming to come of this, but I did not expect the face-slap of a revelation that I am a horrible, horrible human being. So thanks, Chemistry, for opening my eyes to the fact that I am human garbage, pure and simple.
Chemistry members are not allowed to search the site; there’s no need, since Chemistry does all the work for you and sends you perfect matches! What do I mean? Well, as proof, I offer you this hand-selected Jean match whose profile headline was “Cave Man Seeks Cave Woman.”
His profile picture is of a poorly lit, dumpy living room. There is no human being in the photo. However, a quick read of his profile lets me know that he is overweight, makes less than $25,000 annually and that this income is earned via disability; he is separated, with two children, and as an added bonus, they all live with his parents. In other words, he doesn’t even have his own CAVE! I pass on this fellow, but take them up on their next perfect match and go out with 100% Sicilian.
He’s 6’3” and uber-manly (which I find uber-pleasing), quick-witted, has a deep voice, confidence that borders on arrogance, and he has a shaved head and a strong nose! Hubba hubba! Sure, he has an 8-year-old daughter when I prefer my men childless, but I’m not going to hold that against him.
As I’m walking through the parking lot of the restaurant we agreed to meet at, 100% Sicilian pulls up next to me and jerks his head toward the passenger seat of his BMW convertible, saying, “Get in,” like Fonzie on Happy Days would do. Guess what, people, it’s animal lust at first sight!
100% Sicilian and I have INSANE chemistry -- the kind that must’ve been required eons ago in order to populate the planet as quickly as possible. By the time he pulls into a parking spot, we’ve kissed and it’s phenomenal. But we decide to go into the restaurant anyway.
100% Sicilian and I have the most instantaneous, explosive chemistry I’ve ever experienced. But somehow, despite this, the more he speaks, the more the unthinkable happens; a tiny little beacon in the center of my brain is flashing out the message: he’s gay he’s gay he’s he’s gay he’s GAY.
So I blurt out, “Are you gay?”
To which he very calmly responds, “I’ve never had a cock inside me or sucked another man’s cock.”
Hmm. I’m not sure if that’s a yes or a no. I mean, why the need to delineate things so specifically? But my hormones are going so crazy that I do no further investigation and choose to ignore the fact that he seems to have just tippy-toed around something.
Then he tells me why he no longer drinks. It’s because he was a really bad crackhead who hit rock bottom when he had beaten another man to the ground in a “drug deal gone wrong” fight in an alley near a dumpster. I mention the proximity of the dumpster because that’s where he grabbed a piece of rebar (you know, those rusty-looking, twisted steel poles used to reinforce concrete?) and was about to plunge it through the downed man’s chest like a javelin, when he heard a voice saying, “If I commit this murder, I’ll ruin my life.”
So, anyway, that’s why he no longer drinks. I find the story charming and laugh with glee because you almost never hear the word “javelin” used conversationally and besides, I really want to fuck him! Shut up, Brain! Stop trying to ruin things for me with your stupid red flags!
After dinner, our bodies decide to go to his house to make out for a while. But when we get there, my brain starts up again with its “something is off here” nonsense.
His place looks like a model home, a sample that no one lives in. It is beyond immaculate and there is not one item of decor that appears to have any personality to it whatsoever. If I were forced to guess who lived there based solely on the decor, I’d have to go with a shell-shocked, 64-year-old widow who was completely dead inside.
Also, once he’s within the comfort of his own four walls, the way 100% Sicilian carries himself changes completely. And it changes to gay. Plus, how else do you explain the floral-cushioned, glass and wrought iron dinette set and those 10+ terrariums that he said he made himself. The set of Designing Women wouldn’t even have that shit! But then we start making out on the couch and I forget about it again.
During the course of our ridiculously hot making out, I make an exciting discovery: 100% Sicilian has the biggest cock I’ve ever encountered! It seems bigger than a cat! I find a cock of this size fascinating, albeit impractical, so despite my concerns about his true sexual orientation, I know that I will be going on a second date with 100% Sicilian.
Or, will I? A few days later, in the course of setting it up with him via text, I inadvertently kick open a hornet’s nest.
More than a couple of friends have told me that I’m at fault here, so I guess I have to believe that I am, even if I’m incapable of actually feeling it. 100% Sicilian is begging me to come over “right now,” instead of that evening as planned. I can’t because I’m waiting to collect my dog at the groomer’s.
So, after about an hour of flirty, bantering, back-and-forth texting, he starts playing it kind of pouty about the delay and does a complete 180. He tells me, it’s OK, he doesn’t really need me to come over -- we can just forget it. I’m unsure if we’re still joking around or if he’s serious.
So, I texted him, “Do you take any meds for your bipolar disorder, or do you just let it fly free?” Boom! Hornet’s nest: kicked!
He is enraged and responds, “THAT is why texting banter is no good!” Unbelievably enough, I’m still not sure whether he’s serious or not, so I ask if he is, adding that I’m truly sorry if I really did offend him. I suggest he call me so we can end the texting confusion.
He responds, “No, thanks.”
I send him an effusive apology on Facebook, and he goes ballistic and defriends me AND blocks me on the dating site. So, to me, the moral of this story is: if you jokingly call someone “bipolar” and it turns out they are, they go fucking apeshit. To my friends, the moral of the story is, “Jean, how can you not know that that text was assholey?”
Hand-selected Chemistry Date #2 bubbles to the surface and here is where I need no one to tell me that I’m an asshole. Even I get it this time. Tubey (don’t worry, you’ll get it soon enough) owns a transportation company and I used to love listening to truckers talk on CB’s, so this should work, right? To my great joy, he wants to go to a nice wine bar near my house. Yay! I like guys who like to eat at good restaurants!
I arrive first and am seated at the end of a large, horseshoe-shaped bar. I spot Tubey when he enters, and as he comes around to my side of the bar, I notice he’s walking with what appears to be a fresh limp. My brain reads it as the kind of limp that seems as if it’s from a recent car accident and he’s still in some pain, as opposed to some long-time habitual limp because he has a clubfoot or something.
Anyway, he sits down, delicious wine and fancy artisanal meats are placed in front of us, and I forget all about his limp. It’s obvious that there’s no love connection going on, but it’s pleasant enough.
About 45 minutes in, Tubey wants to show me a photo of his daughter, so he reaches into his right front pants pocket to get his phone. As he does this, his shirt gets lifted up and -- shazam! -- that’s when I see it. He has a TUBE coming out of his lower abdomen! I am flummoxed by the tube! I can hardly comment on how cute his adopted, special needs daughter is; all I can think is, “What the fuck is that tube for??”
I take a deep breath and compose myself. Know what? Since I just learned that he recently converted to Catholicism (gulp), I feel quite confident that Tubey will come clean about his tube. I even think he may have put his phone in that pocket just to “accidentally” show me, so I wouldn’t be shocked at some inopportune point in the future. But no, the night goes on, and there is no tube talk whatsoever. As we get up to leave the restaurant, Tubey excuses himself to use the men’s room. And he’s gone a long, LONG time.
During this interval, raging wildfires spring up in a thousand different parts of my brain. I enter full-on George Costanza mode. What is he doing in there? Squeezing out a colostomy bag into the toilet because he doesn’t want the bag of shit he’s lugging around to be a problem if we make out? Do you even have to squeeze out colostomy bags? That seems gross and unsanitary. I don’t know how this works and I hope I never find out!
Jean, maybe it’s not even a colostomy! But what else would you have a tube down there for? Is he changing the tube? What the fuck is with the tube, Tubey??!
He finally emerges from the bathroom and walks me to my car. He asks if I would like to go out again. I say, “Yes, I’d love to!” You bet I’d love to Tubey, because I’m fascinated with your tube! How long will it take you to tell me about it? What is it for? I cannot wait to see YOU again, mister.
So the following week we go back to the same, nice wine bar, and at some point he mentions a friend whose wife is dying of cancer. Sweet! This is the perfect entree into the topic of medical issues, and you just handed it to me on a silver platter, Tubey.
I seize the opportunity to tell him that I’m a two-time cancer survivor and that I’m no stranger to the surgeon’s knife myself. Anything you’d like to add, Tubey? HMMM?
Tubey does add something, and I can barely contain my excitement when he says, “I have something sticking into my side.” Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes -- here it comes, here it comes. And then he proceeds to extract a large bundle of motherfuckin’ KEYS from his front pocket! Tubey, you have GOT to be kidding me!
It dawns on me that perhaps Tubey is toying with me. Was that really just a random comment made at that EXACT time? Could he be even more fucked up than I am and be playing his own cat-and-mouse game with me? Well, if so, how dare you embark on this dangerous game of brinkmanship with me, Tubey?! I can out-asshole you any day of the week. Don’t believe me? Ask 100% Sicilian!
And yet, I must thank Tubey for triggering the epiphany that brought a hasty close to my online dating experiment: when the only reason you agree to a second date with someone is that you want to hear the scoop on their tube, it’s time to get out of Dodge.
Chemistry.com, you can keep your cave-less cavemen. Because, thanks to you, I now know what constitutes a perfect Jean match: an asshole who is willing to waste the precious time of a colostomy-bag-toting single dad of a special needs daughter and then spend weeks feeling incredibly guilty about it. And you know what? I can find that special someone any time I want to, just by looking in the mirror. Account CLOSED.