Friday, December 28, 2007

Caveat Emptor or Jdate: The Untold Story

Author's introduction: the names and some details are changed to protect the innocent. There is slight embellishment but other then that – this is the untold truth

Caveat Emptor or Jdate: The Untold Story

At the age of 46, i find myself in the dating game. Divorced over 10 years ago and now dumped after an 9 year relationship with a man i was certain i would grow old with, here i am. After a couple of months of mourning and boring my friends silly with ranting and raving over the unceremonious way i was dumped, i picked up the pieces and looked around. Ok, i work 10 hours a day in high tech, two teenage boys at home, what are my prospects for finding a new mate? Slim to none......... So what do single women do? The answer was Jdate. I lurked in the Jdate forum for a few weeks, perusing the sea of available wonderful men (at least according to their profiles) and finally gathered the courage (and swallowed the pill of humiliation) to sign up for a subscription. 99 Nis per month seemed a small enough fee for everlasting happiness, right? And i plunged in, anxious to meet my 'bashert' (yiddish word for destiny). I had been 'single' before – right after my divorce. And had met latest and last (the dumper) easily enough. And yes, through another dating site that is, as far as i have been able to ascertain, now defunct. How long had it taken? Hmmm.... maybe a month? So when i set out in the Jdate world, I was certain that I would be happy and whole within a few short weeks. Little did I know what would be waiting for me.......

I filled out my profile fastidiously. Didnt mince words. Told the truth about my age. My weight! Everything. Because if you read it on internet, it is Gospel, no? It has to be the truth because who would lie, right?

My first date was an international business man, living a villa in Ramat Hasharon, who had a vineyard in the north of Israel. Master's degree. 54 years old. The picture on Jdate showed a good looking man. He sounded serious and impressive. We spoke on the phone a couple of times and I was already picturing myself touring the vineyard with him in the north of Israel, picking off the sweet grapes, hand in hand. In reality, the vineyard was a basement filled with wine bottles from some venture which had literally fermented. 54 years old was actually 60 years old. And the man was unemployed. Oh yea – the villa in Ramat Hasharon? A rental. And a delapidated one at that, in the wrong area of town. When confronted with all these untruths, the man was astounded that i was angriest about the lie with regard to his age. "Everyone on Jdate shades the truth about their age!!" Yea right. Everyone but me. And so ended my first experiment.

My second date was with a man who had just come back from years of working in the States. Amir sounded sweet on the phone, excellent English, great sense of humor. Living in a nice apartment in Rishon. Working out of his home. He described himself as a bit stocky. Said he needed to lose about 20 lbs. I have always had a propensity toward men with pot bellies (yes I know it is a weird fetish) so I wasnt put off by the description. We spoke a few times on the phone and made plans to have coffee on Thursday evening in a small coffee house in my hometown of Raanana. I was looking forward to meeting Amir. I got to the coffeehouse exactly on time. I had been coached by my single friends to insist on a picture first but i pride myself on not being shallow and decide the hell with it. Amir sounded nice. How bad could it be? Well, add a 0 to the 20 lb overweight and you have it. Morbidly obese, belly hanging down to this thighs, walking slowly trying to move his weight along with sidewalk. I swallowed and put a nice smile on my face. Turns out that Amir lives with his mother because he is still trying to 'settle down' after living abroad for so long. Drives an old Subaru. And is looking for a job........ But at least he didnt lie about his age.

I started getting a bit more street smart now. And decided to correspond with the man first before actually speaking to him. I have always written easily. Been able to express myself well in writing. So i started looking for a man who would be willing to correspond a bit first. And found someone interesting. Zvika. Zvika was a bit older then i would have liked – 56. He actually lives in Raanana which is nice. Chairman of a group of companies. Sounded promising. By the way, with all the men who wrote to me on Jdate, very few of them were willing to email a bit first. They are usually interested in my phone number. Or shoving theirs down my throat. After my first two dates I was too wary so I decided to go my own way and if they were not interested in corresponding first, well, then that was their loss. And so I wrote back and forth with Zvika for a couple of weeks. His written english was quite good for an Israeli and it seemed that he had a healthy sense of humor. And as hard as i worked to surreptiously confirm what he had written in his profile, so far so good! Yesh! So we wrote and we wrote. And i was getting curiouser and curiouser. Why wasnt he asking me for my phone number? I bit the bullet and offered it to him. And he called that evening. The call was a bit awkward (I still have problems just cold calling a man – I mean, what do you say? After "Ma Nishma?" it goes downhill.....). We made it through that call and it was followed up by another call a couple days later. This one went a bit more easily. I was pleased. The guy sounded nice. We met in yet another coffeehouse in Raanana (I needed to change the date venues before I was too easily recognized by the waitresses as a serial dater). The date went well. I was cautiously optimistic. We wrote and spoke a few more times on the phone. Between Zvika's schedule and mine, it was hard to find time for another date. He was due to go abroad on a business trip that weekend. I was disappointed. I knew i wasnt his physical type (he preferred round women. Author's note here: where the hell was he before i lost 20 lbs a couple of years back??? i had heard rumors of men that preferred round women but never had the honor/privilege to actually meet one) but i felt that there was some kind of chemistry there. Zvika called on the saturday morning before he was due to fly later that night. Invited me over for coffee. Now understand that i dont drink coffee and i didnt actually believe he meant coffee. But eternal optimist that i am, i dressed for success and walked over to his home. My g-d – what a home! The guy is a zillionaire. He met me at the door with a big smile. And as he ushered me into the house, he enveloped me in his arms and gave me a kiss that i still feel to this day. One kiss, followed by another kiss. And then the third kiss sealed my fate. With a boyish grin (no mean feat for a 56 year old) he told me that he wanted to take me to bed and i found myself being led/dragged up the stairs. The only things that registered in my mind were 'where is the coffee' and 'is this really happening'. I caught a glance of the sign hanging over his bedroom door : Lover's Lane. And gulped. Oi vey. What have i done. What followed was a few hours of the best......... read that again – the BEST SEX i have ever had! And no phone call the next day. I cursed myself for having no morals (while secretly relishing and reliving that sex) and made a note : no going over their homes before the 4th date. Ok – NEXT!

Next was a good looking 52 year old high tech consultant. Sounded wonderful both on paper (well computer) and on the phone. Flag tho: divorced 1.5 years. And mentioned the ex-wife about a dozen times on the two phonecalls that we had. Uh oh. We met in yet another raanana coffeehouse (thank g-d there are so many coffeehouses in Raanana). The poor guy – I have always been outspoken and as soon as i saw him, i proclaimed "You are adorable!" Yea, well, i have never been one to be timid or shy. The date was a success by most people's standards. I mean, you dont hold it against him that in the middle of the date, he reached his hand into my mouth, grabbed on to my crooked lower teeth and exclaimed "Why didnt anyone think to give you a retainer at the age of 14??" That kind of set the tone for an extraordinary first date. I mean, you would have laughed, right? At one point during the date he asked me about the labels in my clothes. I kind of looked at him "huh?" turns out his is slightly OCD (for those not in the know, that is obsessive compulsive disorder, you know, those people who have eccentric habits that can sometimes be endearing?). Anyway, he insisted on reading the labels in all of my clothing. I was thankful that he took my word that my underwear was Victoria's Secret.

Anyway, you will be happy (and probably surprised) to learn that I havent given up. As Helen Hunt said to her movie mother in that unforgettable movie with Jack Nicholson (what is the name of that movie??) - why cant i have a normal boyfriend??? Yes, and hopefully i will have the answer to that question. One day soon.

You too can post your dating story on Dates Out Of Hell. Click here to find out how!


Anonymous said...

An amazing Jewish man told me just the other day, "that that doesn't kill you, can only make you stronger." I now know what he meant, and I am happy to report I am getting stronger each day. Your story is intertaining, and comes at just the right time. I thought I was the only sap that fell for those sweet talking men. He was my firt "real date", after 24 years of marriage and two years of online "practice dating". I fell and I fell hard. I actually believed his every word. He had driven 400 miles to go out with me, of course, he is crazy in love with me. Well, he proved me wrong and after my one night of heaven, no more on line or off communication. Your story, while I am sad for you, certainly makes me feel better. Good luck with all future endeavors.

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