The Art of Letting Someone Down Easy

Post divorce followed by another long term relationship, now both in the proverbial bin.  I’d let the dust well and truly settle and was quite content to let matters of the heart be, but the powers of loving friends who spur you on to do stupid things got the better of me.

Armed with ignorance! I ventured into online dating.  Got off to an alarming start realizing there are some questionable characters out there, then a seemingly good start that sadly went nowhere fast followed by more, let’s call it astounding conversations that have left me shaking my head in dismay at this world of online dating.

One such exchange with a Doctor Mark. After reading back our conversation left me questioning the validity of his vocation among other things.  Call me crazy but I could have sworn being a doctor automatically puts an individual into a certain bracket of intelligence and leaves you expecting some form of maturity. But hey, I shouldn’t judge.

Our brief yet bizarre conversation went something like this:

Doctor: “nice to meet you. i am new here and saw your profile and really like it that is why i add you or are you angry with me?”

Already I’m unimpressed. The grammer to say the least is atrocious.  But I’m strangely intrigued as to the level of ridiculousness this grown man can reach.  Out of sheer morbid curiosity I allow the conversation to continue for a little while longer before I feel the need to say Thank you but no Thanks.

Me:  “Not angry in the least, blah blah blah”

Doctor: “i am dr Mark blah blah from such and such”

So I ask the obligatory questions, what medical field does he specialize in, what hospital he practises at?  Never has small talk felt so hard.

Doctor: “i have been here over five years and I am working for my retirement now so I can leave here.”

I feel like I’m playing a ping pong game and confusion sets in as I know he’s no where near retirement age.  Nonetheless I ask how much longer he plans to continue to work at that particular hospital?  He responds as such “know i will be here just this year i told you i am working for my retirement now”

This very curt response has raised some alarming red flags and speaks volumes.

Red flag No 1.  Lack of punctuation for one.  Seriously, doesn’t he know PC and Mac alike sure know how to autocorrect ‘i’ into ‘I’, yet he’s somehow failed to notice or care.

Red flag No 2. “know i will be here just this year”.  Grammer obviously a bust, spelling possibly a bust but at this point, who knows what he meant to articulate here.

Red flag No 3.  “i told you i am working for my retirement”

Grammer has certainly gone horribly amiss or autocorrect is indeed playing havoc and gone on a vacation.  Can’t say I enjoy being old off with an ‘i told you’.  Granted I doubt it was meant in that manner, but man oh man.  He’s a grown man.  Surely he can quickly recap his last sentence before hitting Send.  And how on earth am I supposed to surmise that he was only planning on working one additional year before retiring.

My morbid curiosity has now taken a sharp detour into annoyedville, but I’ll play along a little while longer while I’m also forming a polite response to relay along the lines of ‘Nice chatting to you but I feel we really have nothing in common’.

And so he continues with the onslaught of questions and I feel like I’m in a bad session of speed dating as opposed to a free flowing relaxed easy conversation.

Doctor: “What is your name”.

I tell him.

Doctor: “wow you have a lovely name”

I’m rolling my eyes.  There’s that start of the now familiar prelude to his responses with ‘wow’.

I thank him but politely explain that I’m no longer religious for personal reasons and hence have no particular like for my name. This does not deter him.  The questions keep coming.

So where are you from?  Where do you work? Again followed by ‘wow that is great’.

Doctor:  “so are you married with kids”

My turn to express Wow.  Seriously talk about a bull dozer of probing questions.  I effortlessly evade elaborating with a simple ‘no’ statement, which he seems not to notice as the next question seriously baffles me.

Doctor: “how are you doing today dear”

I can’t even begin to explain how being called ‘dear’ makes me cringe inside and in the middle of a conversation now asking me how I am?

But the questions just keep on coming.  What do you do in your spare time?  Are you working today. Duh, it’s the middle of the week granted, but late at night.  Do you seriously think I’m working for my ‘day paying job’ at this time of night.  And the next question is a winner ladies and gentleman.

Doctor: “so are you married with kids”

I answer again with minimal detail.

I’m not sure if he’s noticed that I haven’t asked one question about him and that I seem completely disinterested.  Do I care?  I think not. I’m now beginning to lose patience and start typing my fairly polite good bye when he responds back to my answers.

Doctor: “wow that is great.  but you know you can have a happy family again.  if you give out your time”

I tell him I have to go.

Doctor: “so can we still chat now or you are already living the house now”

Okay, I’ll look past that little typo of ‘living’. Clearly this time he did mean to write ‘leaving’.  But now he’s starting to irk me.

Doctor: “so what about your kids”

Me:  ‘Forgive me for sounding rude, but I’m wondering if you realize, that you’ve already asked me that question not too long ago, which has already been answered.”

Doctor: “yes I know but i ask you have you heard from them today”

Me:  “WTF!!!!”  This I of course voice silently to myself.

Me:  “That would be highly impossible given the fact that I don’t have any”

Doctor:  “oh  I am very sorry I am sleepy that is why I ask you this i am sorry  Are you angry with me because of my question”

Me:  “Not angry.  Just dumbfounded by the fact that we’re having this ridiculous conversation of you asking me the same thing over and over and I hate to point out the very obvious. that being, we’re not on the same page, have nothing in common and there’s a definite disjoint to this conversation.  Surely you can see that. Which is why it is going to end now”

Doctor:  “know dear don’t think that ok.  Just that because you don’t have my time that is why i am very sorry i don’t’ mean to make you the way”

I feel like I’m in some low budget film.

Doctor: “just that we need to give time to our self to know more about self ok.  you are God sent.  try and understand me just our time that is what I need”

I remind him again of the fact that I’m no longer religious.  And that I’d appreciate him not preaching to me about God.

Doctor: “oh my God.  please don’t have that mind.  because everything that happens to us God no why he allowed it.  so just need to forget about the pass”

I’m gritting my teeth as this is where I’ve lost all sense of decorum and proceed to advise him that I am terminating this conversation.  He’s failed to heed my request about religion blah blah blah.  And that is where I politely say Goodbye and about to shut down when I see further questions about giving yourself time to get to know someone, blah blah blah.

Seriously does this man not recognise a not-so-subtle hint.  And respectfully accept someone’s decision to cease communication.  What has the world come to.

And just as suddenly I hear Bonnie Tyler serenading ‘where have all the good men gone …’ I’m wondering this very same thing myself.

Which does make one wonder, you look at someone’s profile picture. They appear to be a fairly decent looking human being.  From the state of that grammar, I was expecting to see someone from a foreign country with English clearly not his first language, but not the case.  Just you average looking man.  So I’m left to wonder, how many men out there visually project who they clearly are and how can one be  sure that a profile of someone is indeed them.  After all, woman are stimulated by words, by narrative, by actions and yes, then by looks.   And all I can think about is how easy it is to be duped and I give out this piece of advice.  Take care when deciding to actually meet face to face.  Be smart.  You really just don’t know who you’re getting.

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