What does a convicted felon wear on a match.com date? This is exhausting, why do I put myself in these situations. At this point, I’d rather pour a glass of wine or the bottle and wear a bathrobe.
I don’t like what I am wearing, everything is black. Black pants, black shirt, black shoes…. Shezzzz. That looks too “gothic”, he might get a tainted impression, since I am a felon. Searching my closet again, I see a happy sweater, one with sequins and jewels on it…let’s try this. Are you kidding me, I look like a sparkler! Really, Holly? He’s going to think you’ve escaped from the psych ward. (I am sweating).
I’ve squeezed into a pair of black pants, and finally chose, a long sleeve black shirt with some happiness. It’s all about compromise. Holly, this date could change your life!
How much information do you share with someone you meet for the first time? Please don’t share stories about your divorce or how ghastly your marriage was and please don’t describe your ex as half brained, half-baked, deranged or demented.
Just another hint, when it comes to your kids; please don’t engage in a monologue in regards to how magnificent and superb they are. Certainly, I understand how you feel, your feeling of immense pleasure because of their achievements is heartwarming, however, I am not going to date them. (I’m not really sure I will date you either.)
People like to talk about themselves, and this is an opportunity to watch their body language, how they breath or snort, do they make eye contact or do they appear distracted or nervous. Do they talk too fast or too slow, can I understand what they are saying? Do we laugh at the same things?
At some point, my date will want to know more about me. Except, not always. I did meet a man and he never asked anything about me. I could write a book about him and he hasn’t the slightest idea as to who he had lunch with.
With much consideration, as to how much information I share with a Match date, I know I have the choice as to “when and if” I decide to tell a potential Match date about my prison experience aka, “deployment”. Surprisingly, for me (and hopefully for other ladies in my same shoes) every man I shared my story, was startled at first, but not over-concerned actually, they became strangely fascinated by it. (This is not an endorsement to go to prison) They too, would share stories about friends or family, or even situations in their professional life…they didn’t seem blind to the world.
However, most of my friends tell me not to share my “journey of Federal Prison” until I get to know the potential match. They believe, if the person gets to know me, they will be more receptive to my “deployment”. (wink wink). Obviously, my friends know me well, love me endlessly and expect any man would do the same. (okay, I exaggerated some, but this is my blog)
I am not the Match.com expert, (yuck) nor do I want to be. Most single people on Match are lonely and looking for a partner. Some are looking for a “perfect partner”, which sadly eliminates me. LOL
As I prepare myself for another “blind date”, I do so with confidence, a touch of anticipation, and a readiness to throw caution to the wind, and accept the outcome.
He sends me a text letting me know he waiting for me at the restaurant and is sitting at a corner table. Cool, he is punctual and polite. (so far, so good). I hope he looks like his picture, OMG, I can’t remember what he looks like! I quickly log on to match.com to refresh my memory. Oh, yeah I remember him now…. he’s okay looking, not sure he is my type, maybe he takes bad pictures, all selfies…? Doesn’t he have friends?…hmmm, well he did make me laugh out loud when we spoke on the phone and that’s important. (oh, please don’t let me suffer too long)
Stomach is tucked in, push up bra is in place, I step into the restaurant and peek around the corner and bam, that’s him. He looks like his picture, now what do I do? He stands up to greet me, we play cool awkward “handshake- hug”, then sit down and try not to let each other know we are looking at each other.
Subtleties are boring and safe; I don’t have time for that and prefer living life with a “filter free” attitude. After I asked him if he was checking me out, his face gradually turned a peculiar shade of purple red, I assumed I embarrassed him. (this was going to be easy entertainment for me!)
It was obvious he didn’t spend an adequate amount of time in his closet selecting his shirt or he didn’t own a mirror or iron. Can I look past this? Absolutely I can, but I will never forget it. I know, it’s only a shirt and it’s not that important, I’ll focus on his hair.
He might want to use sunscreen, (I know, I know). Yay, I am loving his smile! He has a warm smile and good teeth, all of them! His hair is definitely memorable, I can’t describe the color… blonde, sun bleached, red-yellow blonde???
Shockingly there was something about him that felt comfortable, a familiar feeling, it felt natural. The awkwardness vanished and soon we both felt at ease, joking and laughing as if we had known one another for many years. If you hadn’t known we were on a first date- Match.com date, you never would had guessed, …until I let the server know. (haha). I admit, he didn’t seem to appreciate that, because his face started doing that weird thing again, turning odd colors only reserved for white men. (I don’t know why black people were ever called “colored people”, when it’s the white people who change colors) Think about it!
The server suggested a few wine specials which were not salivating his taste buds. His privileged nose knew exactly what to order. Full bodied with big tannins. What did he have on his mind?
Then the dreaded question was asked. “Holly, tell me about yourself”. Ugh I knew this was my que, I made a decision to give him a snippet of my most recent experience, Alderson Federal Prison. It’s never pleasant for me, and I never say all the things I really want to say. What’s the point? Who would believe me anyway?
It has been my policy to be honest and candid as possible with potential matches. Certainly, I don’t want to get down the road and then say, “Oh, by the way, did I mention to you about the time I was in prison”? “Hello, are you still there”?
Let me describe the two different methods. One is the upfront or “straight shooter” and the other is the, “let them fall in love with me first” method.
“Straighter shooter” method is risky, they could easily fall off the bar stool, or go into shock. Personally, I am not attracted to clumsy men. That would be a deal breaker.
“Let them fall in love with me first” is also risky and holds a greater possibility of a broken heart, which could cause emotional instability for life. (check your healthcare provider for coverage benefits)
I like option #1 with an option to change the option at any time, and I hold the option to create an additional option if I deem necessary, all withstanding without penalty. (You have the option to continue reading).
“Okay, a little about me, …it’s probably not what you are expecting”. At this point he was either intrigued or bracing himself. (I couldn’t read his face this time, color was stable).
“Remember when I said I sold my house…. blah blah blah….well, it’s because, I spent some time in West Virginia…in a really big house, a federal prison house. “NO YOU DIDN’T” “YOU’RE SHI….. ME”? “Yes, I did”. (pause) “What do you want to know”?
Here come the questions, he’s bewildered and my internal organs have begun high speed jumping jacks. Breath Holly it will be okay, as I wait for his response and observe any changes in his behavior. (or skin color).
“Mr. Good choice in wine” was completely derailed, his mind couldn’t process this information and I sensed a change in his demeanor. I suspected his verdict would be announced.
As dinner began to come to an end, I felt as if I was witnessing a balloon slowly deflating. No longer did I feel an exhilaration or comfort. The Buddhists have a saying, “The mind can be like a tree full of monkeys” I watched a man turn into a tree!
The text message came the following day. It was well written, pleasant sounding words… uncensored, bold, beautiful, sexy, strong, courageous, wild lust for life…and more. Then… please don’t get mad at me…blah, blah, blah.
At first I was shocked, sad, discouraged and then “what an idiot”! Slowly (a few days later) I did understand, but it didn’t take the pain away. It’s my “life sentence” and I must live with it. I am hardly a danger to society, but I do know the word or classification “felon” just plain ‘ole sounds bad. I do not have the power to make the world think differently.
Mr. Perfect Match.com was afraid other people would judge him based on his association with me. I do understand.
If I met someone and they had come out of prison, I too would have felt the same. Today, is different for me, I know differently and have seen differently…for that I am grateful.
For the coinsurer’s of life, I would like to be described as a scarcity, uniquely crafted, inimitable, stocked with an abundance of flavors, sometimes a little fruity and nutty, but never without a surprise of spice! Even though we all have similar wants and needs, we want to be loved and to love. No matter your past story, or your future “to be told story” each of us comes with our own award winning descriptions, spanning a lifetime.
Every experience we encounter there will be a break in the clouds. Mr. Match.com and I had extrememly different past lives. He described himself as local and me as global. (I guess a global felon?)
I have learned to respect the inner compass of others, even when I don’t like it. We each have our own inner compass, and we must not let anyone try to change the direction our compass is pointing.
I’m still choosing the “straight shooter” method.