Thursday, August 28, 2008


On July 18th, 2004, I turned 33 years old, and I wasn’t in a particularly good place in my life. Don’t get me wrong; things weren’t horrible or anything; I had a steady job, I was healthy, and I lived in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

But I was so fucking lonely.

It had been over a year since my last relationship had ended, so impulsively, I signed up on It wasn’t that expensive, and I figured if nothing else, I’d get out of the house once in a while, go out to dinner, collect a few snarky anecdotes. After posting an ad of my own, I answered a couple of others and shut down the computer.

The first date I had from Match was a child psychologist. I should have known it was going to be a bust when we set up a date at a local wine bar and his confirmation e-mail read, “I’ll see you there! We’re going to have a grape time. I’m coming straight from work, so please don’t wine if I’m a little late!”


Anyway, the guy was nice enough, despite his corny puns, but barely gave me a chance to get a word in edgewise. On the rare occasion he did let me speak about myself, his eyes kept drifting to the side, as if scanning the room for someone more interesting. At the end of the date, he paid the tab, we shook hands, and I stopped at Subway on the way home to pick up dinner. When I got home, K took one look at the bag in my hand and said, “That good, huh?”

The next response I got was from a guy who lived about 20 miles away, which was further than I would have liked, but certainly not a dealbreaker…especially considering that his e-mails were so goddamn funny. I knew better than to get my hopes up too high, since I’d had plenty of sparkling online repartee with guys who turned out to be about as exciting in real life as a bag of hair, but things seemed promising. I mean, the guy loved martial arts and Resident Evil, so if nothing else, I figured I might have a new friend.

Well, the day of our big date arrived, and I got dressed up and drove to a nearby mall. I’d already seen pictures of him, so I spotted him instantly. He was standing in front of the Cheesecake Factory, and as soon as he saw me coming towards him, he smiled and said, “And you must be [sairentohiru].”

I’m not kidding when I say that I have never in my life had such instant rapport with someone. Aside from pausing to chew our food, there was no lull in the conversation. It was like, if you’ll forgive the cliché, I'd known him my entire life.

After dinner, we saw Hero, starring Jet Li, and then he walked me back to my car. He told me that he was putting in lots of overtime at work, but that he’d like to see me again. Being the eternal Pollyanna that I am, I feared that the “overtime” bit was a kiss-off, but I tried to remain optimistic. I gave him a ride back to his car, which was parked on the other side of the mall. He got out of the car and thanked me for the ride, and I fastened my seatbelt and said, “Well, I’ll talk to you soon!”

“Drive safe!” he said, stepping away as I turned the ignition.

“You too, G,” I said.