I am quite sure that many, if not all of you, have heard the expression “good on paper“. For those neophytes, it means that what is written appears to indicate that this person is a good catch for one reason or the other. You fill in the blanks.
After much back and forth, I zeroed in on a guy, who from all appearances plus what I read, was going to be more than good on paper. Now, I will admit to significant naïveté as i had no clue that so much that is written on these sites is about as real as unicorns. I was trying to tamp down my inner cynic and just go with the flow. (BTW, another expression that is completely odious.) Go with the flow. I want a hand count of everyone who legit goes with the flow. And, what the hell does go with the flow really mean? It probably has its origins from the same place that “don’t make waves” originates. Another water reference that infers be a doormat, but go with the flow. LOL!
Since this was my first date from online sites, I hedged my bets and figured why not pick the “best” of the crop for that oh so very important first on line date. If it was great then yay. If it was mediocre, still ok, as maybe it would improve. If it stunk, NEXT. I had several good candidates on-deck. OK, even I can make a baseball reference where appropriate.
This guy sounded fabulous. He was attractive, tall, OK I am shallow. I always feel like a big behema next to a guy my height or shorter. Yes, that is a word. It’s Yiddish and loosely translated means cow. You get my drift. Dammit, there’s another water reference. Geez, who knew so many common expressions have some connection to water?
Back to Mr. Good on Paper: we had tons of similar interests. He was a devoted Dad, or so he said, was financially secure, and lived in the city. By the way, my definition of “financially secure” is having a job; not living with mommy and having one’s own bank account. Anything beyond that is gravy. Sort of…
Sidebar: there is a jewish proverb: “he/she who marries for money pays for it.” Of course, the original proverb says he but i have changed it to fit my story and the 21st century. As far as I am concerned, if one gets involved with someone who “has money” with the expectation that your house is suddenly going to be filled with gold bars is laboring under a huge misconception. If he’s got it, it’s salted away to be left to kids etc., as well it should be. Also, on a more philosophical level, the cost of being with someone solely for money has never been the way I’ve been hardwired. The price was always more than I ever wanted to pay. But ladies, do what works, no judgement.
Back to Mr. Good on Paper. He was athletic; even had his own tennis court. OK, I do almost nothing but does that mean I should want someone who never moves??? And the thing that sealed the deal for me was a beach house in Westhampton. Even if he was not so great, I could make do with a beach house south of the highway in the Hamptons.
Dick and I made a date for the next Saturday to meet at his beach house and to go to dinner from there. Again, not knowing much, I did not realize that a first date on a Saturday night was really, really a MEGA BIG deal. Who made that stupid rule? No one knows; but apparently, one has to really impress to be asked out for aSaturday night. I drove to Dick’s house of course, getting stuck in horrendous traffic. He was observant (a religious reference) and hence did not answer his phone on Saturday until sundown. Even with the navigation system, I got lost and couldn’t reach him because HE DIDN’T ANSWER THE PHONE ON SATURDAY!! PERFECT.
Thankfully, I had brought beauty supplies in the car, as I was so nervous that I shvitzed through my fabulous dress and my nose was so shiny from sweat that if one aimed a high beam at it, I could have signaled planes into the airport. Not pretty and it hardly fit the impression I wanted to make.
Whatever. I was determined to arrive looking fresh and gorgeous. I had to put the AC on full blast to dry up the sweat. I had passed the “glow” stage a while back. I put on enough deodorant to deodorize an entire smelly football team, applied some fresh spackle to my face, and was ready for show time when I finally pulled up to his house.
It was one of those beachy upside down houses with all the living quarters on the first floor and the bedrooms downstairs, wrap around decks, and a gorgeous sunset. I was psyched to meet him and to sit drinking a glass of wine while enjoying the view. And conversation, wonderful conversation as this guy, on paper, was very smart and well read.
He was waiting for me at the door and yes, he looked like his profile; he really was tall. Again, not being Internet dating savvy, I could have been greeted by an 80 year old. Mr Good on Paper was not yet 50, a few years south of my real age.
His greeting to me was “cute, very cute“. Cute, what’s with the cute? I wanted stunning or gorgeous but I happily settled for cute. We went out on one of the many decks and had a glass of wine.
After awhile, I realized on my almost 2nd glass of wine that it would be highly inappropriate to get sloshed and to slur my words so I suggested that we should leave for dinner as I needed food.
He excused himself; dumb me thought he was confirming a reservation. Out he returns with some desiccated chicken cutlets, wrapped in crinkled-up aluminum foil, and asked if I would like one. OK, my mother did not raise a dummy. First date no way in hell was going to be this gagalicious offering. Now mind you, I wasn’t expecting a 4 star; but leftovers on a first date, HELLS TO THE NO!! Now, if we had been dating for awhile, a home cooked meal would have been more than fine. No princess here/lol.
Very diplomatically and oh so sweetly, I said that I would much prefer to go out for a casual dinner. Cue to HIM: casual connotes beachy, not crazy expensive. What i wanted to say is you cheap bastard, you’re feeding me NOW and in a restaurant!
What I did before I said anything I might later regret. I excused myself and went to the powder room. I sat there trying to figure out what in the hell to do. I couldn’t come up with anything viable so figured I’d wing it. What could possibly be wrong with that?
Out I sashayed into the kitchen to find Dick doing the full monty. YUP, NAKED!! Apparently, the menu consisted of gross chicken cutlets and him with a side order of me. No, my friends, I did not run out the door. I actually started laughing. We all know that the male ego can be a very fragile thing and he was deeply wounded as he thought that I was laughing about how he looked. DUH!! My laughter had nothing to do with how he looked as he actually looked damn good but who cared? My laughter was at the ridiculousness of the situation and also, it was a way to keep me from slapping him silly! Got to give him credit for his balls and I’m talking figuratively, not literally.
I told him, sorry he had the wrong girl and walked out and he followed me out the door still naked arguing with me about what a good time we were going to have. WAS HE KIDDING?? NO!!! Apparently, he also, did not seem to care that he was giving his neighbors quite the view.
One cannot make this stuff up. Moral of the story: beware of what appears to be “Good on Paper”. Also, some people are very aptly named. His name was Dick and he proved to be just that; “A DICK”!
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Ellen lives and works in NYC. Her blog Sixty And The City takes us on a poignant and funny ride of the dating scene after 60. Follow Sixty And The City on Instagram and stay tuned here on Kuel Life for more anecdotes. This blog has been reposted with permission from Sixty And The City.