Some say I should have waited longer to sign up on the famous internet dating site. That I was still on the rebound. Not ready yet.
Hell with that, I thought. The last three years of my marriage had been a sexual desert. I didn’t just want a woman. I needed one.
Writing a profile was daunting, mostly because I didn’t want to lie, with words or pictures, but telling the truth is a lot wordier than a simple lie. I went through twenty drafts, then hit the “post” button.
The initial result seemed encouraging. A very cute blonde who was a VP at a bank.
At the time I didn’t call her “Girl 1,” nor did I mentally refer to her as “Bank Girl.” The nickname thing was something that came into play a dozen females later, as an attempt to make my Monday morning Girl Briefing with my guy pals – all married, all wishing like hell they were me and single – go faster. Were I to call the woman “Laura,” the guys would complain – there are a million Lauras, which one are you talking about? The one who works at the bank, I’d say. Bank Girl. Then the guys would nod and encourage me to continue, which is how this story started in the first place.
I met Bank Girl in New Brunswick at a microbrew pub. I saw her across the street, her tall, slender form topped off by a halo of yellow-blonde hair, which blew in the breeze. She wore fashionable sunglasses. She smiled when she saw me.
When I looked at her across the table, I could see subtle signs of age, but they were sexy. I liked it. I liked her. She was a vice president for a major bank, and had the big career with the big chair and the plate glass window. She smiled as we talked about life.
I made the mistake of being extremely gentlemanly to her. I played the wrong role: nice guy. Two hours into the date, I had no idea whether she liked me or not. She seemed drawn to me, hung on my words, but there was a thread of something dark. There was something she didn’t like about me.
My body at that point was too heavy. I’d gained twenty, maybe thirty, pounds of bad-marriage-trauma fat.
Is it my weight? I asked.
She nodded. “For God’s sake, go work out once in a while.”
I blinked at her for a moment.
It wasn’t enough that I had to suffer the last two years with a disapproving, bitchy, sexually shut-down wife, but now I had to put up with first dates who milked me for drinks and dinner and only then told me I was unsuitable? The fucking bitch, I thought.
But then, wasn’t it also just as much my fault? I’d written a profile with a set of pictures that obviously didn’t represent me. And I needed to get back in shape. But the more immediate issue was making my exit. This nonrevealing female would torture me for another three drinks over the next hour-and-a-half if I kept acting like a gentleman.
And then I discovered the real secret, one date too late: women don’t like nice guys. They prize bad boys. I thought that girls had gotten over that in their twenties, but as I would see over and over again, if a man is terse and stern with a woman, she warms to the treatment much faster than when he’s gentle and sweet and considerate.
So I tried my first practice run at doing what Tarzan of the Divorced Apes would do.
I put five twenties on the bar and walked out without saying another word to the woman, without even looking her direction.
As I walked to my truck, I realized that walking out on her in annoyance and disgust felt even better than a first kiss, or my memory of a first kiss.
Perhaps, for me, the revolution had begun.
It was time to start a search for Girl 2.