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Dating: When You Get What You Put Out

Nothing makes you believe in karma like playing the field…nothing.

My parents taught me the importance of being honest at a very young age. When I was three, I thought telling lies would make my nose grow like Pinocchio. By the time I turned six, I understood lying was bad and good girls should always tell the truth. In high school, I learned that I really shouldn’t lie because I wasn’t any good at it (reference junior prom dress shopping in 2001 when I told a friend she looked great in hot pink taffeta). Now, I understand that I shouldn’t tell lies because karma will always come back to get me (well, and good girls should always tell the truth, right Mom?) 

Does it sound like I’m speaking from experience? I am.

, I knew I’d have to play it smarter when it came to dating a dudes with PhDs. So, when another doctor on OkCupid.com "winked" at me, I lunged in the direction of becoming the future Mrs. Good Doctor.

Unfortunately, karma had a hand to play, stacking the cards against me once again.

It started the week before the date with the new doctor, when I scheduled a date with a Peruvian. I wasn’t very excited about it. First, he's 41. I’m 26. While I recognize myself as a mature young woman, I’m not looking for a babysitter and he was kind of fatherly when scheduling our date. Second, he insisted we go to the Olive Garden. My mother goes on dates to the Olive Garden. I didn’t understand meeting there when there are so many amazing Italian restaurants in New Haven. I was ready to grin and bear it though; share a night of never-ending breadsticks and then, part ways, probably to never talk again. But, life happened.

The day of our date, I got stuck at work until almost 6 p.m. I knew I was not in the right frame of mind to go out. Actually, all I wanted to do was wallow in the sentiment of being the only under-appreciated working adult in an entry-level position on the face of the planet. So, I sent him a message telling him that I was stuck at work and sorry I wouldn’t make it to our date.

Here’s where the bad karma comes in: not only did I lie about working too late to meet him (I could have made it to Olive Garden had I really put the effort into it), but he somehow didn’t get the message and ended up being stood up–something for which I felt genuinely bad.

I didn't feel bad for long, because the following Thursday, I had a date with The Good Doctor.  I was really looking forward to it–he was my age, charming, witty and Croatian. What’s that I hear? The sound of a fairytale fantasy knocking?

Thursday hit like a hurricane of paperwork and surprise meetings. My date was scheduled for 7 p.m. Luckily, at 4 p.m. he pushed it back to 7:30 p.m. I wasn’t going to get out of work on time. Thursday continued. At 6:45 p.m., I asked if we could move it back to 8 p.m.? I couldn’t believe I was still at work with no end in sight! I left work at 7:17 p.m.. I drove home to Branford, changed into a classy little black dress, threw on some make-up and rushed to find a parking spot in downtown New Haven (not an easy chore–especially on Thursday night).

The irony of me getting stuck late at work before a date about which I was truly excited did not escape me. The bad luck of not being able to find a parking spot also did not escape me. Same with running blindly past the restaurant at which we were meeting because I didn’t want to wear my glasses.

Finally, I met The Good Doctor at . I apologized profusely for being late. He didn’t seem impressed. Maybe tardiness is not to be tolerated in Slavic countries?

When we sat down to order wine at Barcelona, he got carded and didn’t have an ID. I told him no biggie; we could go someplace else. Unfortunately, he was ready to call it quits on the whole date. He felt like it was all ruined since both of us had been delayed and the waitress carded him! He said we should just quit. I insisted we find a new place and made a mental note to reassess his adaptability before getting serious with him. Any guy who dates me is going to need to be flexible and exceptionally patient. 

Still, I didn’t want the date to end on a bad note because he was adorable. He had long wavy dark hair and dark eyes and lots of scruff on his face. Every once in awhile I felt like I was out on a date with Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof and I’d giggle.

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like we had much in common.

I wanted to ask him if there were feminists in Croatia. I wanted to see if it was scandalous that my head wasn’t covered in a kerchief (still thinking Fiddler on the Roof…) I wanted to ask him why he wasn’t asking me any questions about me!

Conversation did not flow easily. I ran out of appropriate questions and the majority of my charm and wit must have been lost in translation.

I chalked it up to innate cultural barriers.

Driving home, knowing he’d never call me because he said he didn’t have a phone, I wasn’t the least bit surprised to hear Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love on the radio.

Oh, karma.

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