An Online Date Disaster: Dennis the Menace

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So, it’s seven or eight years ago and I am scouring the Internet dating profiles on MillionaireMatch . It’s really too bad that most single men don’t add a picture to their profile, as that is really the only Internet dating profiles I ever view. It’s scary being a woman and not knowing the face of someone you are interested in, especially since Internet dating takes such a leap of faith to begin with. So, I am looking at the photos,  giving the personals a cursory glance,  when a good one catches my eye. This particular guy lived in Louisiana, which is not far from Arkansas.

He was Italian, and you could tell with his dark, foreboding looks; he had the sexy  attitude to back it up. “Don’t ever read a book by it’s cover,” I always say, but I am the guiltiest person of all to do just that. Which is why receiving his lighthearted, cheerful email came as such a surprise. Dennis was nothing at all that I had presumed in reading his bio on the online personals. He was very upbeat and had a great way of ‘selling himself’ on the phone.

After a few weeks of exchanging emails and phone calls, we planned a trip to meet for our first date. He wanted to fly me up, but the flights were long and my layovers would zigzag me all over hell’s half acre, which I did not relish. The direct drive time was only 4 hours, so we decided I would drive to meet him. Love can make a person do strange things!  The drive was easy, as I arrived right on time. I will never forget the day I saw him walking up to greet me. He was much shorter than his pictures or personals profile had stated, but actually quite sexy in person,  which meant  no worries. I really didn’t care so much about the height issue.

His home was in total disarray—there were boxes everywhere and it appeared as if he had just moved in. As it turned out, he had a 14-year-old son he had neglected to tell me about having full custody of. And he had been living in the house for over five years, which gave ‘the love shack’ a whole new meaning.

“Where is your son, if you have him around the clock?” “Oh, he is staying at a friend’s house this weekend. They went fishing with his best friend’s dad and they aren’t even in town.”  Classic, I am thinking to myself. “Mr. Sexy” made his son leave because he wanted to have me all to himself. I found that idea very disloyal to his son and quite disconcerting regarding Dennis’ character. “Don’t be so damned judgmental,” I thought to myself.

So, being hot and tired from the drive, he offered to put in a DVD and watch a movie with me while he fixed dinner. PERFECT. The movie was turned up loud enough so that he could hear it from the kitchen and we both laughed in synchronicity during the funny parts. Dinner was marvelous—he cooked chicken breast with mushroom gravy with rice and asparagus (my favorite veggie) showing his skills in the kitchen. Overall, I would call our first date a success.

It’s always strange being in someone’s home you don’t know for the first time, so the date is kinda dicey until you figure out what the sleeping arrangements are on the first night. He, being the total gentleman, put my luggage in the master bedroom, while he made a makeshift bed on the couch in the living room for himself.  His son’s door stayed closed the entire weekend. The son’s absense was a darkened corner in my mind, which ultimately did stain our Internet date in a negative way. 

The next day we ran various errands and had a wonderful lunch date at a nearby Italian restaurant. Go figure. Other than the ‘missing son’, our new relationship was flowing very smoothly, which is why what happened next was so disconcerting. 

The sun was just beginning to fade, as twilight approached—my mom always called that time ‘magic hour’. It is the best time to be photographed as the lighting tends to soften the features and people take really flattering photos at that hour. He squeezed my hand in a romantic gesture. We had exchanged a kiss previous to then, but it was more like a ‘brother or sister’ kiss. You know the kind where you plant a kiss on someone’s cheek and lean over, patting them on the shoulder, like if your bodies touch you are going to hades? The first kiss was more like that. 

This kiss was not a brother or sister kiss. It was really nice. Well, let me back up. It was a sexy kiss at first. You know how someone is kissing you and you reach up and touch his or her face? Well, that was my first mistake. I reached up and brushed his forehead with the back of my hand and all of a sudden WHAM! His bangs flew back and came completely off his scalp! My gawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwd!!!!! I thought I had ‘scalped’ the poor guy, but for the life of me, I could not figure out how such a thing had happened.

Then, much to my amazement, he started patting his hair (bangs) down. It looked like he was stamping a fire out or a reseating a plod of grass that had become uprooted. My date honestly looked like he was slapping his forehead with both of his hands, like mentally deficit kids do when throwing a fit. If I had not been so shocked, the situation might have been laughable. The sheer look of shock on my face told him I had seen the entire episode, as unimaginable as it were. I looked away, pretending I had not seen anything, but I think he knew differently. 

So! I was off and running. For the remaining segment of our weekend date, I scoured his bathroom, looking for any clues that he had ‘glued’ that hair onto his scalp. I searched the kitchen pantry, his son’s room, under the bed, his closet: I looked everywhere. The only thing I found was some bottle that appeared to be hairspray but wasn’t. That had to be the telltale clue. I knew was I had seen, but it was so strange I didn’t even believe myself. I tried carrying on as if I had not seen it, but needless to say, it definitely killed the moment.

I guess, in looking back, how could you ever tell someone that you’ve just met  that your hair is not your own? It would be a difficult conversation to broach on a serious note–especially someone whom you met through the personals. I am not sure what a dude could say, but it shocked me into silence, that’s for sure. I just wish I had a clue that it was the case as I would never have even gone anywhere near the glued on toupee, or whatever it was. People actually pay to glue hair on their head? Unbelievable.

If you have any dating advice for these men, or have found yourself in a similar situation, please let me know. I think everyone would be interested in knowing how to delicatedly approach this topic without blowing someone’s cool, or flipping someone’s lid, to so speak. Nobody ever said being single and dating on the Internet would be easy, did they?

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