Does Sam have a brown back?

I can always count on my friend and former co-worker T.S. for a good political laugh, and on Monday he serendipitously wrote me at almost exactly the same time I was going to write him (to let him know about the blog). Inevitably all of our conversations end up back at dating, which I find wildly entertaining. T.S. would tell you straight-up that he’s terrible at reading people, but for whatever reason, he’s got my “match” nailed down.

Monday, 9:35 a.m.
To: Nelly
Subject: World Affairs Question of the Day
Does Sam really have a brown back?

Monday, 9:39 a.m.
To: T.S.
Subject: Re: World Affairs Question of the Day
Well, he definitely has a brown nose! I can’t stand him!
How the heck are ya?
I started a blog this weekend.

9:48 a.m.
To: Nelly
Subject: Okay, I don’t have to ask how the boys are.
Just read the blog.
Thanks for pointing out that 45 is too old. I appreciate that. Really. Really….

That afternoon I wrote to tell him about putting my profile on on Christmas night, and how it had once again led to a flurry of e-mails from apostles. (I even got an e-mail from a Jesus…now my collection is complete.) This overload to my e-mail box resulted in a few dates, all but one of whom were named Matt. I also explained to him that only one had survived past the first or second date. Which led him to ask…

2:51 p.m.
To: Nelly
Subject: A somewhat serious question…

…that’s absolutely none of my business:
I remember you once said “Of course, I expect a lot.”
Evidently that’s true. But what? What’s the cut that’s so strenuous, nobody’s making it?

Monday, 4:00 p.m.
To: Nelly
Subject: Re: A somewhat serious question…

Uh-oh. Too intrusive?

Tuesday, 9:52 AM
To: Nelly
Subject: Okay, I’ll take a shot at this myself.

I’m guessing you’d hold out for a fellow who’s…

Smart, confident, ambitious, confident and smart.
Ethical and a nice person.
Funny. Has to be funny. And he should be able to go out with you and have fun in group settings.
Into something and really knows it well — almost doesn’t matter what it is, but he has to be really passionate about it.

And secondarily:
Needn’t be rich, but he should have the ability/plan/motivation to eventually get to [a decent salary range].
Should be good dad material.
I suspect you don’t really demand model looks, though you’d probably reject someone who’s very obese or shorter than you (fortunately not that much of a hurdle, literally). I’ll guess that you’d actually like a little quirkiness, as long as it doesn’t involve excessive tattoos or multiple piercings. Someone you could bring home to Mother.

Should be in his 30s. Any younger and he’d be too immature for you; any older and he’d be too unenergetic and old-fashioned.

Yep, that would in fact be a lot. Close?

Tuesday, 4:45 p.m.
To: T.S. […and he replied point by point to my message as follows]

Damn, you’re good! Have you been squirming because I haven’t written back?
Yep. Didn’t want to cross that proverbial line. You know, the one you cross by stalking someone for six weeks and taking a series of furtive Polaroids.

(Sorry, got caught up in meetings all day yesterday and today.)
With the guys I’ve been out with lately, it’s not always that they’ve fallen for me and I’ve tossed them aside. They just haven’t been good fits—and they didn’t call me after the date either (thank god).
Obviously I’ve never done the whole online drill. Is that the usual protocol when you take a date through a dating service and you don’t want to pursue it further, or is that still considered a faux pas?

People can look so right on paper, and then you get in a room with them, and they either talk about themselves the whole time or just aren’t a good match for one reason or another. Or the timing is weird.

I think I will call M.F.

Now dammit, that’s going too far.

[M.F. is former covert love interest at former job, with whom T.S. is well-acquianted. T.S. is finding out the secret as he’s reading this…]


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