SHIPWRECKED

How I “love” Internet dating. About as much as eating too much hot salsa sauce then trying to go to sleep.

Almost as bad as the date where the “Ship Mogul” turned out to be a retired shipyard worker.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, he not only turned out not to be a shipyard mogul (as advertised “I built ships and now own property all over Massachusetts and am gainfully retired”) but he was at least 78 years old going on 80. His profile said that he was 72. Hell, I would have swung for a good-looking 72-year-old mogul any day at this point in my dating career. He did agree to the restaurant of my choice. It was a test. Figuring if I was going to date an old codger who probably was lying about his age, he better well afford a nice meal. And I was not about to drive 25 miles each way to meet him at a dump. No sirree – not MOI.

I arrive, my date is not there. Planting myself at the cozy bar that I adore I order up a glass of vino. Red. My favorite. Waiting for my mogul to arrive. I chat it up with the bartender, a really nice lady who becomes my “lookout”. I can tell by the expression on her face that he has finally arrived, and the news is NOT pretty. Slugging down my wine I ask her to make sure it goes on the check for our table. Fuck him. 

To say that he looks nothing like his probably 25-year-old picture, is like comparing hurricane Sandy to a rain shower. This skinny, poorly dressed, mealy faced, grubby looking, ratty man approaches. OMG. Here? With all of these beautiful people? Can I die now? I told him it was “casual chic” – what planet is he from? Stupid question. Why me again? What evil plot does God have against me? Did I do something wrong in another life? Is this what the rest of dating eternity will hold for me?

He plops down next to me. Obviously ecstatic with his catch. He introduces himself. I hear nothing but a swell of dizzying  words passing around my head. I’m going to be ill. Get me through the evening. Make it short.

The nice bartender asks him if he would like a drink. I must intervene. Poison please? He orders a drink. A drink? Oh no … this evening calls for major drinking. Like a bottle of the finest wine this lying sack of old bones can buy. I suggest that we order up a bottle of wine since we will be having dinner and after all … there are only two glasses per bottle. He hesitates.

“OK” … he thinks. Looks at the wine list which is ALL Italian wine, and for the most part FINE wine. I can see his face screw up like his old balls probably look in the flesh, under is cheap, crinkled pants. Kill me. He’s freaking out. Is lost for words and probably calculating money.

“Ummmm … don’t know much about anything but California wine … ” he says, not at all embarrassed.

“But in your profile you claimed to love wine and that you traveled to vineyards around the world, I’m confused” I remark. “Let’s ask for help.” My blood pressure which is on the low side of normal is rising.

He has now asked for the food menu and is checking out the prices, I can tell. Thought he did that on-line. In fact I’m sure that he did. A guy like this had to.

“Well, since I’m not really that hungry, and I see a lot of things here that we can split, let’s go for it.” Now I really want to kill him instead of just myself.

He picks out the cheapest bottle of wine on the list. My ship building mogul. All mine.

We are seated at our table. Behind three two very large women who are much older than I. And loudly announce their age during their obnoxiously verbose and offensive conversation. Usually this place is quiet. Or much more refined.

My “date” starts in. 

“You see” he says to me as he ponders what we are going to SPLIT on the entrée menu, “this is why I want a NEW ship.”

“Excuse me?” I am not following his train of thought. Who is this man?

“Well, see those women behind me? They are OLD ships. Very OLD ships. And not in good shape. Like an OLD ship. I want a NEW ship. Like you. How much do you weight? Not much. I like that. You are the kind of ship that I want. I deserve a NEW ship. My ex-wife let herself go after 35 years. I gave her the beach house and now I want a NEW ship.”

I stared at him. WTF??? He was comparing me to a SHIP? This man needed help. Did he actually think that a 58-year-old woman would want his saggy, poorly dressed, probably empty bank account and shitty house, since obviously the out of shape woman who gave him his family got it all? Aside from being a liar and a total freak? And he was talking loud enough that the two women were now turning around. Kill him. Kill me.

So I decided to drop his own bomb on him.

“You mentioned in your profile that there were ADVANTAGES that an older man like yourself had to offer that a man my age did not. You want a NEW ship. I think that you should expand on what those advantages are. I mean you could get ill, drop dead, run out of MOJO, you are quite a bit older than you said you were. What is the advantage of someone like me docking with an OLD SHIP like you?”

That got him. He was still in the water. The engine had died. He thought for a second. I had got him. Lies and all. He wanted a dream, and his only bargaining chip was a fake profile, lies and a dinner he could not afford.

He answered. “Life experience.”

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