When finally I clicked over to read the messages I found that I didn’t know the person. He’d plucked my name from the message boards of my favorite pervy dating site; ostensibly he wanted some information about an upcoming event our group was organizing. He asked question after question until he’d exhausted every possible permutation of How can I meet more ladies? “You seem like a pretty cool chick,” he then said. “We should get to know each other.”
In an inexplicable fit of anti-misanthropy I failed to terminate the conversation. “We’ll do something I’ve done with several other women,” he said, which must be the least appropriate statement ever made in such a situation. “We’ll play twenty questions so we can learn more about each other. It’ll be fun!” Having my brain extracted via my belly button sounded more enticing, but as I’ve been trying to be nicer lately I agreed to give it a shot.
Questions one through eleven established our relationship statues (divorced), number and types of children (varied), physical proximity (tolerable close) and employment (he worked for the city and accepted without further inquiry that I write). My lids were going droopy from all the fun.
“Have you ever been to jail?” was his twelfth question, and suddenly my sleepiness passed. “Why yes,” I answered coolly. “Yes I have been to jail.”
I waited just long enough for that to sink in before assuring him that I’d only visited the county jail on a scouting field trip when I was ten. I did, however, lob the question right back at him. “Yes,” he answered, “and it wasn’t for a field trip. But I’ll tell you that story some other time over a beer.”
Ah, I thought, my mother would be so proud.
Questions thirteen, fourteen and fifteen were of a sexual nature. He seemed stunned, stunned I tell you, that I’d indulged in group sex and that I wasn’t looking for another husband. Charming as his game was I knew that there would be no connection between us. I cast about for a suitable excuse to end the conversation. Phone call? Childish emergency? Sudden power outage?
Before I could make up my mind he provided the answer. “Question sixteen,” he wrote. “I’ve long had the rule that I’d never sleep with a woman who weighed more than me. So, are you under 168 pounds?”
Oh thank god, I thought, and quickly typed out an answer. “Oh sorry,” I told him, “I don’t meet your criteria! But best of luck to you in your search!” And I quickly closed the IM screen.
But he popped back up. “Wait!” he typed. “I might make an exception!”
“Oh I never make exceptions on this topic,” I told him. “I’ve long had the rule that I’d never sleep with people who only tolerate my appearance. It’s not worth it. I’ll only be with people who love me just the way I am.”
Disgusted, I logged off and went to bed. Next morning I found several offline messages from him referring to our unfinished game. Before I had a chance to delete them he messaged me again. “You left so fast last night!” he said. “Want to keep playing now?” I blocked him, only to find a message in my dating site in-box ten minutes later. “Ready for question seventeen?” it asked.
No, I thought. I won’t ever be ready for your question seventeen.