Dating In The City (with cats)

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my dating life. Primarily because I haven’t had one. If there’s one thing this city seems to have an over supply of, it’s single women looking for a companion – or just a date. Which is harder to get than one might imagine.

This is not meant to be a post of the state of female singletons in the city, so I’ll move on. And while this post doesn’t revolve around cats, my cats do play a minor role, so hang in there.

After a long absence from online dating I decided to give the free site OKCupid.com another go as several women I knew – or had heard about – had met their significant others on it. I dutifully updated my profile with new photos ranging the gamut from a formal professional shot, to the obligatory full body photo, and a playful one of me snuggling a rescue kitten (hinting at, but not overtly calling out the role cats play in my life, as this is an area that must to be introduced with care).

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 9.22.43 PM

A sampling of my online dating pics (from professional to cute?)

Several days passed before I finally received a message from a man who seemed to hold potential. I liked what he had written in his profile, he was in the right age range (not so young as to be looking for an encounter reminiscent of “The Graduate” and not old enough to be my Father), could spell, write in complete sentences, had more than one photo (we can all take ONE good photo), didn’t have a photo of himself taken in the bathroom with his shirt off (why do men think we want to see that?  particularly after the age of 20?).

He was a bit shorter than the men I usually go for, but given i’m only 5’4” I knew I couldn’t hold it against him, and a short person does not a bad mate make. (As an aside, it’s amazing how many men living in NYC are outdoorsy – an adjective that would never be applied to me. The number of photographs of men skiing, running, camping, waterskiing and taking part of other such activities is quite amazing given we live in a city where much of that is hard to come by. I often had to double check to ensure I wasn’t looking at profiles of men in Colorado or California).

online dating

What men seem to consider an obligatory online dating shot (source: hypeorlando.com)

If it’s one thing I have learned about online dating in my limited experience, it’s that you should not waste time going back and forth on email or spend too much time talking on the phone or texting before meeting in person. A man might have a lovely “voice” or great sense of humor on email, calls or texts, but you’ll never know if his profile is a true reflection of himself, or if he has a tick that drives you made, and how he treats the waitstaff until you meet him in person. Not to mention having the ability to apply the ultimate litmus test (in my book at least). Could I imagine kissing him? If the answer is a resolute no, than I must move on. Quickly.

So after a few text message exchanges we agreed to meet up for a drink. I’ll admit I was slightly annoyed as I suggested he pick a place but he wanted me to, and after I did, he began to question it.  Look buddy – either step up to the plate and take charge or just are to my suggestion. I let this go and tried to play “light and breezy” (a feat for me).

When I met him I was happy to see he actually looked like his photographs. He said the same about me. He looked a little like a younger Kevin Spacey. Not necessarily my type, but I could work with it. Turns out he was an ER doctor (no complaints there) and conversation was easy to come by. He was easy to talk to, there were no awkward silences. I made jokes and laughed at his. Things seemed to be going well. Will had made plans to meet friends for dinner (a classic move, an “escape hatch” should the meeting be a failure – which I fully understood), so we wrapped it up after an hour and said we’d meet again.

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After weeks of texting back and forth. It was nice to have a new male text buddy but seeing that a new texting friend wasn’t my end goal. I was eager to get the show on the road to see if there was any potential here. Now I should have pursued other dates to keep the pipeline full and not put my eggs in one basket, but there had been no other messages from men I found the least bit appealing.

Finally Will suggested I come over to his roof deck on a Sunday evening. We could hang out and he could play guitar. While I can’t say I was terribly excited at this prospect as a second date, I chalked it up to modern dating. A cheap date. No need to invest until he knew I was “worth” it. When I asked if there was anything I could bring (assuming he might have snacks or drinks), his response, “Not unless you want anything in particular” (read: there would be no rooftop spread).

I arrived at his building (in a very nice part of the Village – Greenwich Village and it wasn’t a rental I learned, thanks to StreetEasy.com) and we had a nice time swinging in his rooftop hammock, awaiting the sunset. I asked about his family, his job. He did not reciprocate. After a while we did exchange a rather innocent kiss, and he promptly begin scratching at his face and neck.

Will said,  “Do you have a cat?”

(gulp)

Me: “Um, yeh.” (omitting how many)

Will: “I’m deathly allergic to them.”

Me: Thinking to myself “He’s a doctor, I’m sure we’d find a solution through the miracle of science should it come to that.”

The topic was dropped and we continued with non-feline related chit-chat.

cat allergy

After a short while Will asked if I wanted to hear him play the guitar (a rhetorical question). He was surprisingly good, especially given he’d only recently begun teaching himself. I made some commentary about how impressed I was given the difficulty involved in all the modulations from Major to Minor key etc, given him the opportunity to enquire how I knew about such things (I’d played the violin for many years and all through college). But he didn’t pick up what I was putting down and proceeded to regale me with another piece.

I won’t lie. It was slightly awkward. Sitting there, an audience of one having to make sure I looked sufficiently engaged and fascinated enough even though I didn’t know the songs he was playing and he’d been better off not trying to sing, and sticking to instrumental.

For those of you who grew up in the age of land lines, it was reminiscent of having a High School crush put the phone down on his bed while subjecting you to hours of live performance he must have thought you’d find sexy or at least pleasurable as opposed to the prison it felt like.  There was no way to get his attention no matter how loudly you yelled into the phone. And you couldn’t hang up, because if memory serves, you couldn’t use the phone unless they hung up on their end as well.

But of course I'd love to hear another song. Do go on (help me!)

Oh no, I’m riveted, please go on.

After a few songs, Will said he was feeling rather tired and should probably get ready for bed. He not only told me with his words, but was doing a somewhat exaggerated yawn-stretch combination. Universal body language for “I’m sleepy.” It was 9pm and I’d only been there for a little over an hour. Never mind he wasn’t anywhere near my part of town. But it turns out he’d worked that day and ER doctor’s have very irregular schedules so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, we’d had a nice time. Even though he hadn’t asked me a single question about myself.

I told him I’d call an Uber from the lobby and bid him a good night. No sooner had I ordered an Uber and called my friend to tell her Will was allergic to cats, that the elevator doors opened and la voila! There appeared Will. His guitar strapped to his back.

My first thought was “I hope he didn’t hear me talking about the date and his cat allergy.” Which was almost instantaneously replaced with,“Where the hell is this lying piece of shit going?

Will looked surprised to see me. Turns out for someone who has an MD he wasn’t all that bright having taken an elevator just moments after me. I mean, at least give a girl ten minutes to clear the premises! I cut my conversation short, and all I could think to say to was, “You didn’t have to lie to me.”

I wonder how long before I get a cease and desist from Disney for using this image...

I wonder how long before I get a cease and desist from Disney for using this image…

There was a bit of mumbling and stammering and something about having gotten his second wind. And how a group of guitar players congregated in Washington Square Park on Sunday evenings. I didn’t say a single word as he followed me out of the apartment to my car. A fake half smile plastered to my face the entire time.  I wished him the best, climbed into the car and immediately called my friend back with the update, grateful I’d found the truth out sooner rather than later.

Upon retelling this tale to a younger co-worker the following day, I was surprised her response had nothing to do with his lying or lack of curiosity in me. But rather I’d dodged a bullet because who wanted to be with a a 40+ year old doctor who wanted to “slum it” in Washington Square Park on a Sunday night playing guitar with a bunch of randoms. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

Regardless of how you look at it we had no future given the most obvious problem. He was allergic to cats.

Next!

Grumpy Cat Allergic to Cats

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  • methodsman

    Will, you are an idiot.

    • I like how succinct you are with your comment! LOL!

  • Rena

    What a brilliant piece, Tamar! For your sake, I wish it were fiction. My daughter lives in San Francisco (good luck meeting men there), and she tells me similar stories about her attempts at dating. They have one eye on her and the other on the dating app on their phones, “just in case” something “better” pops up. Jerks. I’m sorry it was a bust. You deserve SO much better!

    • Thanks Rena! Me too! Yes, I can relate to that “something better might be out there” attitude from men! They are like kids in a candy shop!

      • Rena

        Yep! And he just passed up the highest-quality chocolates!

  • laurelei

    Let Will slum it- you are too beautiful and intelligent for a mook like that, LOL! Plus, didn’t he even see your pic of you with the kitten? Someone that “deathly allergic” really didn’t pay attention!

    • Awww thank you! Great point actually! About the profile pic!

  • pilch92 .

    You deserve to have a wonderful man, sadly, he is not the one. Maybe meeting someone through volunteer work with cats would be a better way.

    • Thank you! I just need to find volunteer work that isn’t all animal focused! ha!

  • The moment he said he was allergic to cats, my human would have excused herself and left, never to return. So she would have never even discovered the rest of it.

    • Guess I figure allergic can be dealt with – but a guy who doesn’t like cats is another story!

      • Lu Anne Herman

        i generally find that those who are allergic don’t like cats either. bullet definitely dodged!

  • AngieBailey

    Cat allergies are a no-go!
    I’ll share. <3

  • Tina Modugno

    I agree that you did dodge a bullet there Tamar! You’re better than I would have been though! I would have kindly excused myself as soon as the “allergic to cats” came out his mouth!

    • I think we’re taught to give TOO much of the benefit of the doubt as we get older! And try to give things too many chances as it’s easy to be labeled “picky”! Now if he had said he didn’t LIKE cats I’d been outta there asap!

  • jmuhj

    EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! would be my one-word description of that guy (and I use the word “guy” instead of a whole plethora of less savory terms that would apply more specifically). You know, Tamar, I’ve always felt that ‘no company is better than bad company’ and maybe looking at all the people out there who are miserable in their relationships — if that term even remotely applies to what they have — could be a wakeup call. Not necessary for every person to have another person hanging on their arm, yes?

    • LOL! brilliant response!

      • jmuhj

        Well, yeah, Tamar! ;(

  • Good riddance, Tamar. You deserve way better than Will!

  • Lu Anne Herman

    i think he WANTED you to catch him!! Easier that than being honest!! I have found that men hate confrontation and he probably would have “strung” you along!

  • Lu Anne Herman

    also, both of my nieces now in their 30s who are successful are having issues finding a nice, decent guy, too. and they are both in different parts of the country!

  • Petsho

    Allergic to cats? No way! It’s definitely so difficult dating in the city, especially when there’s so many people like that who seem great but really aren’t once you get to know them. My friend found a guy who takes in rescue cats and finds them homes. So jealous!

  • annameow

    OMC! This post made me LOL multiple times! The love of cats seems to be a great (or at least starting) indication of goodness. You are an incredible woman, Tamar…a super star in so many ways. You absolutely deserve like-wise!

  • Cat

    A classic douchebag. The fact that you have a cat in your photo and he asked if you have one shows that he either really isn’t that smart or wasn’t interested in knowing you and was more about getting laid. Kudos to you for getting out of there. No one should have to suffer through a mid-life crises guitar session.

  • dmricciardi

    Tamar, Will was definitely a waste of time. That said, I don’t even CONSIDER a person who claims to be allergic to cats — or doesn’t like them. I am older now, and must be VERY selective — my cats and son are #1 in my life, and if a guy cannot get that, then he doesn’t need me! My previous significant other (who I was with for 15 yrs) passed away from cancer about 3 yrs ago. I have truly not actively *looked* for a sinificant other since then — and I don’t really care one way or the other. Granted, I am still young enough (55) to have a great relationship, it’s gonna take a really special person to *outdo* my previous relationship. I am totally happy with my cats and son — and do not want something to ruin what I currently have — a best friend in my son and 12 wonderful 4-legged children (all adopted/rescued) who rely on *Mommy* for their well being. Life is VERY good for me now!! I hope things can work out for you as well. . . ♥♥♥

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