May 4, 2016

The Real Life 40-Year-Old Virgin

For the time being at least, I've decided to start blogging a little again and memorializing some of my better dating stories, especially the one-offs. This seemed like a good place to start!

In early 2016, I was dating again. The spurts were getting shorter and shorter, I was mostly living happily in my mid-30s, single-girl-bubble. Long, more rewarding days at work, followed by long gym workouts, hot showers, and home-cooked meals, with an hour of Hulu or Netflix before an hour in bed with Sleepytime tea and a good book on my Kindle. I was so happy in that bubble. Nothing could touch me and endorphins kept me on a solid high. I lost about 30 pounds over those several months, too. So God Only Knows why I eventually decided to try to stretch that bubble a little, and get back into online dating.

Tinder was still the big ticket, so back there I went. When setting my age limits for matching, I generally had a hard-stop at age 39. Meaning, I wasn’t interested in considering a man older than 39. I started to think about this a little. Sorta in the context of, I’m getting older, but they are all staying the same. I was a couple of months away from turning 37. I realized I needed to expand my horizons a bit.

And so I took a deep breath and moved my age settings up to 43.

The first of my 40-something potential suitors to lock in a date was exactly 40 years old. He also lived in the city, and we agreed to meet at Right Proper – a local brewpub – for weekday drinks after work. I arrived a little before him and luckily staked out two seats at the end of the bar, ordered a beer, and waited for him to arrive. He showed up in a full suit, and it quickly dawned on me that this was probably the only first date I’d actually been on with a man dressed in a suit. I made a mental note: movin’ on up, dating grown-ups now.

This man was a lobbyist, so the conversation was easy and fun; he’s no stranger to small talk. We were getting along splendidly, and, nearing the end of our first beers, he asked if I wanted to get another. I took this as a sign that he was interested, and as I was interested in continuing to chat with him, I agreed.

I do not recall exactly what we were talking about when the next notable thing happened. I wish I could give specifics about the conversation as an indicator to what he thought was the right time and context to slip his statement in, but to be honest, I’m fairly certain that I blacked out for a few seconds when he said what he said next.

“I’m a virgin.”

Now, I do not have a poker face. For example, I was an excellent student all my life, but my elementary school report cards all had one comment or criticism in common: “Tiffany rolls her eyes too much.” My emotions generally read across my face like the news ticker in Times Square, and I started at an early age. I have never learned to control this. It’s part of my charm right?

But I do know this about myself, and at times, I at least make the most effort I can to control my facial expressions. So when he said that to me, I was thinking a few things: “Stay calm, don’t react, don’t raise your eyebrows, DON’T SMIRK” and “Seriously, couldn’t he have told me this over text and let me react in the PRIVACY OF MY OWN HOME?” But mostly I was just waiting for the punch line, because certainly there was a punch line. Right?

“Steve Carell? That’s my life. I’m him.”

That was his punch line. He wasn’t joking, I guess.

I also do not recall what I said next to get the conversation moving past this. As I said, I blacked out. I mean, have any of you ever encountered a real, live, 40-year-old virgin in the wild? Do you even know how you would react? Fight or flight? You just can’t judge unless you’ve been in my shoes.

But continue on with the conversation we did. And again, I do not remember what was said, but at some point he further commented, “Well, if you like things that move slow, you’ll like me.”

<Ba-Dum Ching>

We agreed to call it a night after two drinks – I did the reach for my wallet and he shooed me away and paid. Then he asked if he could walk me to the Metro, after I had indicated that was how I would be heading home. When we got to the Metro, he simply said, “Well it was lovely meeting you! I will always remember you as my first Tinder date!”

And that, my friends, is how I was rejected by a 40-year-old virgin. Dating men in their 40s wasn’t looking so promising at this point.

To my phone's credit, when I texted my friends about this after, I had to teach it the word "virgin." Good phone.


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