Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Synergy (kinda)

Shall I tell a rowing story or a dating story? Rowing story? Dating story?

Let's go with the dating story. A dating story for my dating blog? Crazy.

The truth is, the story is dull and would normally rate only the shortest possible telling: "met a nice guy for dinner, we didn't click, the end." If it weren't for one little thing....

The guy has a blog. A blog that I don't read regularly, don't link to, but which I have read in the past. And he doesn't know that I know (unless he is reading this now, in which case, my most sincere apologies).

I met the guy online, via the site-that-shall-remain-nameless (not the free site), on which I have a visible profile that I use passively. I only send out the occasional "wink" or respond to emails.

He emailed, I responded. We moved off the site. More short emails were exchanged. It took a couple of weeks to arrange something because we are both busy. I had no expectations.

When I first saw his profile, I suspected he was the writer of a blog that I had read. He is in an unusual profession, which he mentions in both the profile and the blog. I considered asking him, "do you have a blog?" but I decided against it. What if he didn't? Then I 'd leave myself open to blog-type questions and perhaps have to tell him about my own. I decided to wait.

When we were emailing, I learned his real name. We'd made plans to meet when I checked the suspect blog again—and found that his name was part of the URL (note: if you are trying to keep any kind of anonymity, don't use any part of your name in your URL). His blog, while not super revealing, is personal. It speaks in an elliptical fashion, typical of many male writers, of his feelings and frustrations. Though much of the information was indirect, it seemed like more than one ought to have upon first acquaintance. I had a dilemma.

How long do you wait to tell someone that you know about his "secret" blog?

I put myself in his position. How would I like it if my date knew about my blog and didn't tell me? I'd be pissed. Of course, with me, they might be less certain and want to wait to figure out if their guess was correct. Then, I thought, what if it's a one date wonder? If you would never see the person again, would you need to tell? I wasn't sure. I knew I would have to tell if it looked like there would be a second date. And that the telling would have to happen before or during the second date. I decided that if it seemed appropriate, I would say something. And, if I told him I knew about his blog, I would also tell him that I had a blog. I wasn't prepared to reveal the name/address of my blog, but, knowing me, I probably would have given it up if he pressed.

I also thought that if it were clear that it was a one-date wonder, I might not mention it at all.

I met him directly after rowing practice. A little foolish, but I'm traveling a lot over the next couple of weeks and I didn't want to infinitely delay our meeting. I changed my shirt and pants in the car (I have my friend's car; he is out of town) and drove to the appointed meeting place. I was a few minutes early and I hoped to run into the ladies room to splash my face with some cool water. However, my date was even earlier than I, and sitting at a table. We did that "is it you?" eye-contact thing, introduced ourselves and shook hands. I didn't sit down—I said, "I need to freshen up. I'll be right back." And continued to the ladies room. It's nice when they're early, except when it's a pain.

As I said, the date itself was neither exciting nor unpleasant. I chattered A LOT. Too much. It was all nervous talking, abetted by his long silences and disinclination to dip his toe into the conversational waters. I assume he was shy; he didn't seem supercilious or bored. He did talk a little and I managed to ask him a few questions. Sadly, all the questions he asked of me resulted in long, meandering stories, begging to be broken into, but left undisturbed by my conversational witness. Nice guy, mediocre rapport.

I recall when I first started doing the dating and blogging thing, I would find it almost irresistible to mention that I was writing. And when asked "what are you writing?" I'd fess up. Back then, I was dying to tell. I wanted to talk about my blog all the time to everyone I knew. These days, while there is nothing I love better than a big juicy blog convo with people in the knew, I don't feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. Thus, during my date, there wasn't one moment that I had to resist the urge to tell him about my blog. The urge was not there.

I was extra-nervous, though, thinking that, perhaps, he had secretly sussed out my blog and was comparing the in-person me with the blog-me. You know, like I was doing to him. Well, I wasn't really doing it to him because his blog doesn't have enough details for such a comparison. I did notice that he was a lot more chipper and upbeat in real life than on the blog. Few people are more morose in person than on their blogs. Except I think I'm rather more chipper on the blog than in real life (and morose in neither). (Peeps who know me, what say you?)

I actually re-told blog stories to my date, so if he had been a blog reader, he certainly would have figured it out. Does that mean I can never tell a story from the blog to someone I want to keep the blog a secret from? No, wait, I don't have that many readers. Nor is my memory up to such a task, so it's really a moot point.

In the end, I didn't tell him that I knew about his blog. We're not going on a second date, so what was the point? While he was likeable, there wasn't even a friendship vibe either. Some people might have been tickled at such a revelation, after the initial horror. Maybe he was one of them, but I wasn't prepared to find out.

Hope you enjoyed that dating story. It may be a long wait for the next one.

P.S. It was in no way a bad date. I've had much, much worse. It wasn't even boring. My date paid for my dinner, which was incredibly nice of him, since I idiotically left my wallet in the car. I think he would have paid anyway, but I forced his hand and he was gracious about it. Afterwards, he walked me to my car, even though I was parked across the street. He's a good guy, but probably not the guy for me.

Grateful for: nice guys.

Drop me a line.

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