Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Lowlights from the Trenches of Bad Dates

Warning: I'm not always nice, and I'm in a mean mood.

Life as I know it has taken a serious turn into the unfriendly world of single motherhood, and family health issues.  I think it's time for frivolity and what better place to start than to share some of my bad dates.  These are all people I actually met in person on dates.  Not all of them will end up here because some bad dates belong to men with redeeming qualities.  Just not enough for subsequent outings with me. I can use the laugh. Laugh with me.

Mr. Smart, Active, and a bit too Creeptackular

The first date I had was a spontaneous event.  We chatted a bit here and there between his basketball games and we talked about his career which interested me enough to keep the conversation going. He was aware that Wednesday is my first kid free day and I was on my way to Ikea when he reached out for a date that night. I'm not a drinker, but I have no problem with a good meal.

We planned to meet at a bar and grill in Highland Park, between us. Unfortunately, I was having a stressful day that included forgetting to feed myself.  By 6 that evening, I was starving and weak, and while I planned on half a gluten free wrap at Togo's, I devoured the whole shebang, chips and drink in less time than it took to get there once I realized I needed food.  I was in the earlier stages of online dating, where texting 7 men at once was still fun, so arriving early because I'm punctual didn't matter.  I was sitting in my car and lost track of time.  I was almost 5 minutes late.

I walked around the front of the bar and stopped for a minute to flirt with the bouncer.  Old habits die hard.  I had him guess my age because that never fails and always delivers.  He guessed 8 years younger.  My date noticed what I was doing at the door while seated at a table in the back of the bar, and was jealous enough to mention it.

I noticed he had two glasses of water on the table with the gin and tonic he was nursing.  My first thought was I couldn't trust the drink because I didn't know what all was in it.  And I was still full. I sat with him and didn't put one thing in my mouth the whole time.  I was a really cheap date. We chatted and the conversation flowed easily enough.  In hindsight, his boozy goggles probably made it so he needed to focus on my face, but his staring into my eyes, when I was looking everywhere but at him kinda creeped me out.

By 9 I made a lame excuse to head home, and he offered to walk me to my car.  He had been creeping me out for the last hour and a half and I kinda thought I'd be safer walking on my own, but accepted his escort.  When we got to my car he leaned in for a goodnight kiss.  I flinched.  I flinched the second time too, but gave a chaste kiss because I was sure he'd make a third attempt.  He asked about a second date, and I said yes, but we both knew he wouldn't get one.  As I was leaving, my headlights flashed at a woman sitting in her car across from us, laughing hysterically at what she saw.  It is kinda funny.

Mr. Sounds Sexy But Shouldn't Be Talking

I should state here that I'm not a nice person.  This man had such a thick accent that I couldn't understand half of what he said, and maybe that's what he had going for him. I really loved our first date.  The second date showed me more of the anger he had boiling under the surface.  He sees too much of Europe's financial demise coloring our economy in ways that make him predict a financial future that he's trying to leave in his past. He had the sounds and moves of the Italian transplant he is, and just wow.  In a good way.  He's the only one that got a second and third date.  I happened to have his first and third date on the same day as first dates with two other men.  Yes, seeing two men on one day has happened.  I should feel shame about how easily I navigated that, but I don't.  He was a special snowflake, just not special enough for me to want exclusivity.  In the end, an evening with an Adele soundtrack seemed to break him and his sweet emotional side was too soft for me to look at without wanting to laugh at him.   I won't go so far as to call him a little bitch, but I would have in my 20's. I did mention that I'm not nice, right?

Mr. Amazing on Paper, but Hornball by Text

I was flattered at first.  This was a man that was willing to meet me on my lunch break in Burbank from where he was working in Northridge.  We talked about being single parents.  He has owned a few businesses, and we discussed his latest ventures.  He seemed like someone worthy of my time.  The goodbye kiss was great.  He wore my lipstick nicely and didn't mind walking to his car with it smeared all over his mouth.  I loved getting to work and realizing my lipstick was also all over my chin.  Every text after that was about how badly he wanted to screw me on every surface he could find. He justified being rapey because I enjoyed kissing him too much.  Is that a thing?  I'm a grown woman that isn't inexperienced, but he made  desire feel dirty. He was the first person I had to block.

Mr. Old Enough to be My Teenage Dad

I'm not a fan of online dating.  At all.  When I meet a person in person that is willing to take a chance to ask me out, I'm usually game.  I'm big on spontaneity.  He had all of this going for him, so I didn't ask the obvious question that answers itself online: Are you between 38 and 45?  I lean toward 42 as a maximum unless he's beautiful and built.  He was nervous and brave in spite of being afraid of my rejection and I said yes even though I really wasn't interested.

He has a favorite beach and suggested an 80 minute drive through traffic right after I got off of work. I suggested we cut that time in half with my escape hatch at Santa Monica.  He made a few wrong turns and admitted he was nervous although he claimed to know the area, and later admitted to talking about me with a friend.  We were supposed to meet for coffee.  I never once offered to name a puppy together.

I like to ask men what they love about their work.  If there's something they love, they might be in a better mood when I see them than if they hate everything about their job.  At the end of the day, he's not a happy man. He saw a man texting at a light and went on an angry rant, but I didn't point out that it's a bad habit of mine to check alerts when stopped at a light. He made a few different hateful observations that described me pretty closely. He didn't know me well enough to know this.

On our way, I got car sick.  I tend to get boat sick. I used to get sick on the school bus as a kid.  I get carsick on mountain roads and stick shift cars with new drivers.  I don't remember the last time I actually got car sick but it was on the way to Big Bear when my boys were little and I was still getting pregnant for other people.  Before he hit the 405 I wanted to puke.

We ended up playing mini golf which was a win once my stomach settled and he stopped hovering over me like a mom.  On the way back to my car, he chose the streets and prolonged the drive that originally made me sick. I got sick again and passed up on his dinner offer.  I got home and made myself a steak and potato dinner.  Someone should explain to him that it's not a good idea to bring up your ex on a first date, or your date's ex, repeatedly.

For the record: My ex was my soul mate.  He was the bouncer at the pool hall that was my second home.  He would flirt and joke about patting me down for weapons when I barely had room for myself in my mini dresses.  One day I was at the bar and asked the bartender for a Coke, and said he would pay for it.  He said it would cost my number.  A week later I was on a date with someone else and asked why he didn't call me.  We had our first date in April, married that September and lasted for nearly 15 years before he quit.  It's been 16 years since our first date, and we're still legally married.  You can't recreate what was had because it was a combustible flame that consumed us both then was snuffed out in a vacuum.  You can't compete with that.  You have to accept that it was special and it's over and I'm waiting for my life partner.  He set a bar that I've raised to my eye level and I'm especially picky about who I give my time to.  If I've granted you an audience, don't waste it on my past.

Mr. Entrepreneur

This past weekend was planned as a self care weekend.  I needed to take myself out because I know how to treat this lady.  I had a beautiful sunset at the beach followed by a delicious meal by myself.  It was a beautiful night.  I blogged about it.  Cotton Candy Skies Make it Better. The next evening I met a girlfriend at the Grove and we shared laughter over non alcoholic drinks and I had chicken in a white wine reduction with capers, lemon juice and brussels sprouts which gave me a hangover the next morning anyway.  I'm so not a lush. We even joked about having kiddie drinks. As I was leaving, I got a Bumble alert from an OC man that was 2 miles away for work.  I said I was heading home, but probably stopping for coffee first.  His reply was about coffee keeping me up and I mentioned it was also an excuse to meet him if he was game.  I was open to tea. We met at Starbucks, but he suggested tea at the Thai restaurant that was closing.  He said they'd sell tea, but clearly hadn't investigated in the time he was waiting for me at the Starbucks he suggested.  They weren't a tea bar, but I ordered a young coconut.  He watched me pay for mine, then ordered and paid for his.  I don't mind.  It's only $4.

It made me think about a date that bought me breakfast when I took him up on his offer after a couple of messages.  It was a last moment thing and I loved the spontaneity. He said something along the lines of taking the opportunity to prove you aren't a douche on the first date by paying.  This was a terrific date,  but we want different things.

Mr. Entrepreneur and I chatted and had a difference of opinions on many things other than finding each other attractive at first glance and at the end of it we parted ways without so much as a hug and I unmatched him before driving off.  I'm not against going Dutch.  I think the part that bothered me was the way it was done.  I had just had a meal with a girlfriend with separate checks and he made it feel so impersonal in comparison.I think it was about the way it felt like he had a constant sneer about everything I said and felt.  The bonus was driving past LA Ink on La Brea and finally seeing it.

FYI: If you are living someone else's dream, you are not actually an entrepreneur.  If you say you are an entrepreneur and you are an Uber driver, you are no longer stretching the truth, you are abusing language and I'm afraid for words everywhere.  Just no.

My membership on Matched will end in less than a month, and that's when my online dating adventure will end on all sites.  I only extended it the second month because of that really great breakfast date and his encouragement. I'd say it's been fun, but it's really just been an adventure.

Clover: Good for an ego boost.  I have 363 likes from men mainly in their 20's.  The oldest has been 4 years younger than me.  The young ones.

Bumble: Swiping madness can cure boredom.  They will put the pretty ones first. It's an eye candy explosion and I may or may not have had to wipe drool off my lips once or twice. The beautiful ones.

Match: A few good men, but not worth the fee.  I was often matched with people who haven't used the site in over 3 weeks, probably because that's when their membership ended and they couldn't email anyone anymore. The successful bunch that loves travel and has high expectations.

Twoo: The questions and badges were fun. Making me swipe right before I was able to see those that liked me for a free membership when I wasn't interested back made me lose interest.  I don't even want the Premium. Not a pretty bunch, but they were all really nice.

OK Cupid: By far my favorite.  I liked the questions. You answer. The other person answers. I cancelled a date based on how differently we saw the world. He had a tantrum. Messaging is free and you can see your 5 last visitors.  A free boost was in answering questions or updating your profile because you end up in an activity stream and I've often been messaged right after an edit.  You can't see your likes for free but if you've gotten an alert and check your last 5 right away, you can take an educated guess.  It's a mixed bag of candy that you have to carefully choose from.  Some bits are toffees, some are taffies.  If you are lucky you won't bite into a jawbreaker thinking it's a pillow mint.

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