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Thursday, October 22, 2009

You Are In For A Treat! Ah, Duck Boy. (Elle Taylor)

After years of friends and family suggesting that I try online dating, I finally relented. I decided to try eHarmony because I thought that it was a more "serious" online dating website. I'll admit I was drawn to the promised matching on 29 dimensions of compatibility. I figured I'd give it a try. What did I have to lose?!? Over an hour later, I had filled out the exhaustive personality profile questionnaire and was ready to rock and roll. I had tons of fun building out my profile, posting photos, and selecting my Must Have, Can't Stands. Let's get started! My first matches were average, at best. After a few days I came across a cute guy who was a little old for me (38 is the top of my age range) but seemed well-rounded and funny. We hit it off right away and pretty soon we were exchanging emails regularly. We decided to meet up at a sports bar to catch the Niner game and get to know each other over a couple of beers.

I was excited but a little nervous. Online dating can be awkward -- like blind dates, you just don't know what to expect.

Let's call him DB, as in, Duck Boy. DB and I met up at the sports bar only to find that it was jam packed. Everyone and their mother was out to watch the game! Major wrench in the gears. So there we were, standing outside the bar awkardly trying to come up with Plan B. I threw out the idea of an Irish pub a few streets over that most likely would be playing the game. He nodded, then said, "why don't we go to this little French Bistro instead?" I did my best to mask my confusion. The "French Bistro" he mentioned, is a high end restaurant, specializing in French wines. How did we go from beers at a sports bar while watching the game, to a high end French restaurant? Did I miss something? "Umm, sure that sounds good." And off we went.

We were the only two people in the restaurant besides the bartender and as I expected they didn't have TV's broadcasting the game. To add insult to injury, we both ordered beer on tap -- remind me again why we're here? We got to talking and right away I felt like I was being interviewed. He was peppering me with questions like: What is the best quality you have to offer in a relationship? If you could make one change today that would drastically improve your quality of life, what would it be? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you want kids?

Whoa.... he needed to slow it down. Significantly.

It wasn't a conversation that flowed naturally. It felt formal, serious, and too structured for my taste. After we finished our first beer, he asked if I was hungry. We agreed to share an appetizer and I excused myself to go to the ladies room while he perused the menu. Upon my return, he informed me that he took the liberty of ordering something for us. I was a little annoyed that he ordered something without asking what I liked, but figured that he probably ordered something benign. About 10 minutes later the bartender walks up to our table holding a wood cutting board. I immediately thought, mmmmm cheese, a natural assumption considering it's a wine bar/restaurant. (I love cheese) However, I thought it was a little weird because cheese and crackers don't typically pair well with beer. Little did I know! As the waiter approached our table he said, "Allow me to present, the duck board." Come again? Duck board? What if I was a vegetarian? What if I didn't like duck? I completely zoned out as the waiter described the 5 different kinds of duck arranged beautifully around the board.

What was a girl to do? I take pride in my openness to try new things so I decided to make the best of it.

I raised my glass and said "Well, here's to my first duck experience!" He looked at me as if I was from Mars and replied "You've never had duck? Oh it's fabulous, you're in for a treat." -- it was as if I had just told him that I've never had chicken. I said "No, I haven't, but there's a first time for everything." To be a good sport, I tried the duck meatloaf, sausage, and bacon. I decided against the pate and confit. To be fair, the duck meatloaf wasn't that bad but in general, duck is not something I ever plan on ordering for myself.

My head was spinning with questions. Why here? Why did he order a duck board? Was he trying to test me? Was he desperately trying to impress me by showing me that he was worldly and appreciated 'the finer things in life?' If so, it wasn't working. He was too intense for my taste and was definitely giving off the "I'm ready to settle down" vibe. I thanked him for the date and we parted ways. He said he'd love to do this again soon, I smiled and waved goodbye with no intention of getting together for Date #2.

Overall it was an ok date, despite the unexpected foray into the duck realm and pointed questions about the quality of my life or where I see myself in 10 years. 10 years? I don't even know where I might be next year! Stay tuned...

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