I had been expecting a call from "R" for several weeks now, his benefactor had called me several times to tell me how we were "perfect" for each other. R called today, and when I said I had been waiting to hear from him, I heard panic in his voice, as he asked, "Oh, did you get married already?" I explained to him that I was in fact still single, but that he had simply called at a bad time - I don't speak on the cell phone when I drive - and requested that he call me back a few hours later. No word from him the rest of the day.
Part II: The Phone Call (Sunday night)
Right away I could tell that he had taken the Romper Room "How to Win Friends and Communicate Annoyingly" course, because he literally started every sentence by saying my name in a lilting voice ["Doc....PAUSE"], whereupon I was meant to respond with equal enthusiasm and drama ["Yes R...PAUSE"] and only then would he finish his sentence.
He wanted to have a first date over the phone, to ask me enough questions for him to determine whether it was worth his time to meet with me in person. I responded by saying that I don't do dating interviews, and that I can much more easily gage attraction and compatibility if we actually meet in person and share a conversation over a cup of coffee. At that point he asked the most appalling question of all, especially since we had not yet met and there is no relationship to speak of, he said: "Tell me how I must change so that you will like me. Anything that you want me to do or change about myself, I am willing to do."
While I am a firm believer in negotiation and compromise in a healthy relationship, this question indicated a spineless (excuse the Chiropractic pun) and desperate individual who does not know himself, or is at the very least seriously lacking self-confidence. (Not attractive, and surprising for a man who has been built up as a 49 year old successful Israeli Doctor-Lawyer.) I told him right away that on a first date he must bring HIMSELF, because I care much more about his personality and integrity and how we get along, how I feel when I am speaking to him when we are in the same space. He answered that apparently novel request by saying that he was giddy with excitement about our date because I sounded "easy", I seemed to have no expectations and he did not feel threatened. I do not know whether to take that as a compliment or as an insult, and my instinct tells me that this date will be a dog.
Part III: Another Phone Call (Monday)
R called tonight, to confirm our date on Wednesday night of this week. As he does not live in Jerusalem, he asked me to choose a restaurant or coffee house that was intimate and quiet, so he could "hold onto my every word, and not be distracted by anyone or anything." When I asked him how hungry he expected to be, he replied, "I don't need food, I only hunger to meet you." (Ack, not making this up!)
Part IV: The Date that Didn't Happen (Tuesday)
After much consideration, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to strangle him after spending a short amount of time with him on the phone, I could not pretend to be interested in him in person, just so as not to hurt his feelings. I have learned to respect my instinct, and my instinct - coupled with the hysterical laughter every time I thought of that "hunger" line - said that my time would be better spent elsewhere.
I called him up and told him that I would not be coming to our date this Wednesday, nor would I be finding the time to reschedule it to another time and day. I explained to him that after our various phone conversations, I did not feel that we "clicked." He seemed nonchalant, offering that should it become "relevant" for us to meet each other, I need only call him.
Part V: Moral of the Story
I don't want to remain that fabulous single woman with dating horror stories. Like the story of the man in Toronto who very suddenly, in the middle of a decent date, looked at his watch, jumped out of his chair as if his gluteus maximus were on fire, and said, "Oh god, I am missing the Simpsons." (Another true story.)
I plan on being that happily involved in a long-term relationship woman, who can laugh at my dating past, and who can appreciate and respect myself, for not having wasted the time on men who clearly were not appropriate.