Pat, I’d Like to Solve the Puzzle

One Thursday night, I was completely emotionally wiped out. There was something that went down in my family and I spent that evening on the phone and in tears. I’m not going to go into detail; I feel like it’s not my story to tell. I had as much pep as a wrung-out washcloth.

I only log onto OKCupid two to three times a week now. I feel like being on it daily and even hourly is a little obsessive – gotta give it time to have new blood sign on, build a profile and answer some questions and then figure out with whom they have the most in common. Thursday I logged on and was privately messaged by a man who claimed to be in his mid-40s with a screen name that advertised that he hated relationship games. Charming, right? I mean, what a hook to get women to respond. Following is the conversation we had, word-for-word:

Him: Hello, how are you?

Me: Good thanks, how are you?

Him: Great, nice to meet you

Me: Nice to meet you too. How has your adventure on OKCupid been so far?

Him: Too many want hookups! Lots of games.

Me: Oh, yes. I get a lot of that on my end, believe me. That’s why I shortened my profile to a bullet list.

Him: It’s very frustrating.

Me: What are some of the volunteering projects you’ve gotten involved in?

Him: Make-a-Wish, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels. Love to make a difference

Me: Very good. I agree, volunteering is great. A former friend used to razz me for “working for free” – that really chapped my hide.

Him: Do you have the Voxer app? If not, it’s free and we can voice message

Me: No, that’s software I haven’t tried before. Uno momento.

Him: Can you try it? Should be in your app store

Me: I know, I just need to grab it.

Him: Cool. 🙂

Me: I just need a minute.

Me: What’s the deal with using this app as opposed to talking or texting? Is it because it doesn’t require you to give out your phone number?

Him: It’s a phone app, or at least, that’s how I use it.

Him: It’s just a way for us to start, build a connection.

Me: I think it’s kind of funny to download an app onto your phone so that it acts like a phone.

Him: I thought the same thing at first, but I like it.

Me: I’m signed on and am watching the tutorial now.

By this time, it was getting to be late – around 10:30 pm. I had already taken my evening medications, which always make me loopy. Also, as I stated before, I was emotionally drained. I wasn’t sure how this conversation would go because I was not my best self, that’s for sure. Incidentally, the first thing I saw when I loaded this app was a profile for my friend that died in July, and all I could think was that 1) I would have much rather chatted with him on this app, and 2) wherever he was, he was probably laughing at me.

It started out okay. This guy introduced himself, and then I recorded a little message back to him to say hello. But then it got weird quickly. He started reading questions.

To the best of my recollection (because I deleted the app and recordings off of my phone), the first question I received from him was him reading something like, “Tell me about where you volunteer, and speak a little bit about how you feel about it.” I kind of stumbled and stuttered through my answer – I was really tired. Then he came back with, “Okay, I want to go back to how the volunteering makes you feel. For instance, I like to see the people’s response on their faces, and it makes me feel really good when they tell me ‘thank you.’ Tell me more about how it makes you feel.”

I remember staring at my phone for a good two minutes.

When I responded, I said something to the effect that I volunteer because people need help, not because I am seeking thanks.

The next question he recited was regarding communication; he said that he valued honest communication and then gave a few examples (all read from a list. Puh-lease, I’m a theater major – I know when a script is being read!). I asked him why he was reading questions to me, and he said it was just a way for us to get to know each other. Then he asked me again what I expected with communication. I kind of stumbled and stuttered through a response saying that I valued clear communication too. Then he said, “Okay, we got the same on that.”

At that statement, I wondered if I had just been subjected to a Cosmopolitan quiz.

His last question (from my muddled recollection) had to do with whether I expected my spouse to wear a wedding ring, and would I wear one too? I told him I was allergic to metal and so could not wear a ring, but I said that tattooing an initial on my ring finger could be an option, just as my friends had done. His next recorded message back told me that that would be okay with him, and that he worked at Michael Kors and they could make a nice plastic watch for me that would look “real” so I could “still wear a nice piece of jewelry from my man to show I was taken.”

Say what?! When has any person looked at another person’s watch and said to themselves, “Oh, that was definitely a gift from his/her spouse, and that person is not available for dating”? And I’m nearly 1,000% certain that Michael Kors does not produce plastic watches to pass as “real.”

In my next recorded message back to him, I said, “I’ve never met anyone who works for Michael Kors. Which aspect of your job do you enjoy most?”

Nothing. Crickets. Apparently I was not allowed to ask questions that were a departure from the script. In fact, in four days I didn’t hear anything else from him, so I deleted the app and chalked it up to weirdness, until…

This afternoon, I got another message on OKCupid from the same man:

Him: Hello, how are you?

Me: Good, how are you?

Him: Great! Nice to meet you

Me: You said exactly the same thing the first time we met.

Him: I apologize! If a couple is married, is it acceptable or unacceptable to not wear their wedding rings? My co-worker is getting married and said she won’t wear a wedding ring, as it’s just a piece of jewelry and no meaning. (Oh, that’s right! That was how he posed the scenario to me on Thursday night.)

Me: You already read this question to me too. Why don’t you tell me about the paper you are writing?

Crickets again. If I were playing Wheel of Fortune, I would tell Pat Sajak I was ready to solve the puzzle. I imagine it would read, “HE’S REALLY INTO GAMES.”

giantPictureAbout the Author: Patient Worthy Contributor, Chelsea. Keep an eye out for posts from her as she navigates the gnarly dating world and Lyme disease with a sense of humor. Check out her blog, The Sick and The Dating.

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