Saturday, March 24, 2007

India calling

The Scorpio advises me that my "I'm giving up men" post could be read as judgmental, that I left lots of room to offend. Being a male who was magnanimously excepted by me from the uncouth lot I referred to giving up, according to him, was not reassuring because it was so uncomfortably ambiguous. (I hasten to add that he does not read my blog, but got the idea pretty quickly from a verbal summary.)


I hate when he does that.

And he's right. You have to know me. Anyone who has known me for over five minutes realizes that the idea of me giving up men is a bit like the idea of me giving up breathing or orange lipstick or red hair. Not that I can't carp and whine with the rest of my beleaguered gender, and not that I don't have genuine complaints - but then, so do most of the men I know.

The entry was a little clip of my life. I was amused at how quickly my oldest friend dispatched the idea with the lack of ceremony it deserved. I was amused at KD, sarcastically offering to keep the ying/yang balance straight. But lest I offended more than one male person...

Here is a little background for those of you who have not been following along: Meeting few (as in no) new men (who are age-appropriate and interesting/unattached) in my daily life, and being in the situation of adoring a man who is (as I've delicately put it in the past) "mostly unavailable," I took a shot at the Internet. And it shot right back.

Case in point: Let's call him Dr. G. He is a tall, very good-looking man, 39 years of age. He is of East Indian descent, born in Toronto, and lived for some time in San Diego. His profile is literate, witty and blunt. All the things that appeal to me. I send a wave. He sends one back. We begin to email enthusiastically back and forth. He does volunteer work in India. He's writing a book. I give him my phone number and he calls immediately.

We talk for an easy, lively hour and decide to meet for a drink the next day. He asks if I'll be home for a while because he needs to do something and wants to get back to me. Sure. No problem. At 10:00 o'clock, I email to let him know I'm going to bed and ask that he email or phone the next day to confirm a time and place. So far, so good.

By 3:00 p.m. the following day, he hasn't done either and so, in a fit of pique, I make a disastrous date with the man I end up calling "Fish Stick." This is where some of you came in, I believe. I'd run my profile on the Internet site for a short time and had already managed to figure out that the vast majority of men who were contacting me want to have sex before they knew my name or possibly without ever knowing my name. Even worse, a fair number of them were more interested in just having phone sex. But I've never been a person who's put off by reality, so I persist.

And it isn't that I got to be this age without figuring out that men are interested in sex. Hell, I'm as interested as they are, but I'm damned if the first warm body to arrive on the scene is going to be the one I have it with.

Is it generational? Am I the only person who likes to meet someone before beginning a sexual relationship? Am I the only person who's heard of HIV? And in truth, I was perplexed because the men I know, the ones I value, who are just as interested in sex as any other man, actually prefer to like a woman they're having sex with and even to have a vague notion as to who she is before indulging...

But I digress.

I take the date with Fish Stick Man because I'm at the fuck-you stage with Internet meeting. If you're dealing with a wolf pack, best to be a wolf. Didn't call on time? Next?

Moving ahead a few days, and one very weird but fairly funny (in retrospect) date later - Dr. G. calls back. We have another lively, interesting discussion. Suddenly I hear a sharp tone. The exact tone you hear when you accidentally hit a key on your phone while talking. "Is that your phone?" he asks.
"Nope." We continue for another minute or two. We've been commiserating over the crappy way people act on this Internet site. We're at the point in the conversation where I say, "I'm at the point where I've heard from so many idiots that I'm ready to give up sex entirely..."

And the sharp tone sounds again.
"Is that your phone?" he asks again.
"Just a minute.....Oh. It's India calling. I'll call you right back, okay?"

And that's the end of Dr. G. Leading me to the conclusion that, in terms of Internet dating, even the smart people are stupid. The most galling part, of course, was that everyone on the planet knows that a call waiting signal creates a second of silence, not a beep.

As it turns out, the galling part, like the bad date, turns out to be the best part of the whole Internet dating experience in the long run. I tell KD about the "call interrupt" and she can't stop laughing. Now, every other phone call we share, one of us will hit a button on the phone and announce that "India is calling" and the two of us nearly pee our pants laughing.

So, my friends...that was basically the origin of the "I'm giving up men" blog entry. Or at least part of it. I yanked the profile. But I burned for a while over the general lack of even common courtesy.'s to the men I care about...who are interesting, street-smart, slightly insane, honest, funny, educated and not - but all intelligent, all trying to live consciously...

To: the Scorpio, to Mark, Coyo, James C., Doc, Minor Diety and the gentlemen of my acquaintance from the blogsphere - I send you a curtsy. And apologies if they are in order.