Too Freakin’ Funny

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.

I guess Spring is in the air because I’ve had six men ask me out in the past week. Two of them, I might actually go out with. Three of the others are maybes. The sixth man, well, I’ll get to that.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

The quality of men asking me out, in general, has gone up in the last year. Right after my divorce, there were plenty of vultures figuring I would be an easy lay, or as one man told a guy-friend of mine, he  preferred to date 40-year-old women who had been divorced less than  six  months because the sex was hot and he played on the women’s insecurities to get what- ever he wanted.

Sifting through that kind of dating pool can be a full- time job.  The riff-raff seems to be clearing out now, and I’m glad I’ve held to my standards because it meant I dated better quality guys even if I never showed my bedroom to a single one of them. Overall, they’re better educated, financially well-heeled, and can carry on a conversation more readily than men in my life a year ago, with a couple of notable  exceptions  from last year.

That said, these new men are still downright vanilla, even the cute one in his 30’s. Already, I have the sense that I will have to be careful of what I say and how much I reveal of myself or it’ll be too much for them. And I don’t like the idea that I might have to hide or tone down anything about myself to socialize a little. But I’m keeping an open mind in a minefield of conservatives.

An open heart? Not so sure on that one. One of the three maybes is definitely worth getting to know a little better, but he’s a maybe instead of a yes because of his job. Oh, it’s a snazzy job. Well into the six  figures. Very prestigious. Highly respected in the community. And he  really enjoys his work, which is almost always good. The problem is, he  works for a company that might have a conflict of interest with my current job position, and I’m in no mood to get my heart broken again because of  a job conflict where an organization’s rules dictate whether I can explore an intimate relationship or not. So I’ll stay shy of Mr. Maybe until I know I’m not going to be told I’m not allowed to date him. By then, it may or may not be too late. But if he’s meant to be in my life, he will be.

Then there’s the sixth guy. This is the part that’s so freakin’ funny. Here’s proof that cream’s not the only thing that rises to the top.

Last time he saw me was over a year ago. My hair was a  different  color  and  I  was  at  least  15  pounds  heavier  and dressed conservatively for work. This time, he didn’t recognize me.

That was strike one. Not that I’m so egotistical that I’d hold it  against a guy for not recognizing or remembering me, but for launching into the exact lines as a year ago during the first five minutes of conversation, particularly the ones on how much we have in common when he hasn’t asked anything about me. Talk about feeling caught in a time warp!

I never did go out with the guy last year, in spite of his very  aggressive pursuit. There was something about him that just didn’t feel  sincere but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Just intuition, I guess. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Then when he got to the point of stalking me, I refused to talk to him and had  nothing  else  to  do  with  him.  Which  is  why  I  was shocked that he struck up a conversation and asked me to dinner, all without recognizing me.

Which brings us to why he originally struck out with me: his previous history of exerting his Alpha maleness and trying to dominate 100% of the time.

But then along comes strikes two and three in quick succession.

He’s  very  charming  when  he  first  says  hello,  even though I’m looking at him like, why the hell are you talking to me? Then the next words out of his mouth: “I’m a very successful medical doctor.” Huh? Yes, I’m well aware of the stats that say doctor is the most popular term women run on dating web- sites and the implications of that, but I find it incredibly insulting to be lumped into the mix with gold-digging trollops.  He says it not because he’s so excited about his career or helping people  or  healing, but rather, to impress me. Most doctors I know refer to themselves as “physicians,” but this one puts it in simple terms that even I  can understand, and I am so not impressed.

I suppose my wide-eyed blank stare has him confused because the next thing he tells me is that he’s only 43, which is quite young to be so successful.

I’m finally able to speak. I remember that he was a con- tract doc an HMO—still is—even though he hints now at having  his  own  practice.  But  something  else  is  bothering  me. “You’re…43?” I ask. Had I heard him correctly?

He nods, smiles, doesn’t stop looking me in the eyes, not for a split second. “I know I look a little older than that, but being  a  successful  medical  doctor  is  a  big responsibility.”  He glances away and then back. “Yes, I’m only 43.”

Funny, a year ago, he was only 52, which matches his looks, his children’s ages, and his preference for 60’s music. But in a year, he’s dropped ten years. What amazing anti-aging miracles he’s been working on…a successful medical doctor, indeed! Maybe I should date him to find out how Dr. Ponce de Leon’s secret formula for eternal youth…. Nah. Not even if he dropped another ten years.

And that’s what’s so freakin’ funny. That he couldn’t open his mouth without lying to me. I didn’t know it a year ago, but my intuition screamed at me to “Run away!” Now I know why.

If someone is willing to lie so easily about so little, what about the big things?