Freudian Slips: The Dating Game

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

November 15, 2004

The Dating Game

In 1998, there existed a portal in time that I could call myself an eligible bachelor. In the dating game, I found there to be too many games on too little quality dates. Dating with the stigma of a failed marriage seems to be a lousy perch in the pecking order. The more baggage you carry, the more often you get left behind at the airport of love. Nonetheless, I approached single life full throttle like a free enterprise system tipping in the balance.
I am an intense individual with a carefree demeanor. I'll admit that this is confusing for even myself to be around. I had an inkling that finding a soul mate would take time. I was right. Single life turned out to be either feast or famine for me. I remember going two weeks without a date and the drought prompted me to superstitiously change mouthwash brands. It worked. I soon pocketed phone numbers in supermarkets, met women at the gym, even got asked out on a blind date. I kept an open mind, a flexible schedule, and a full jug of Listerine. One time I overbooked and had eight different dates in seven days. Now that is a lot of germs! I needed to actually post a schedule of events on my refrigerator so I remembered who to pick up when for where. My florist and I came to know each other on a first name basis.
Tired of the casual date, I placed a personal ad in a newspaper searching for a soul mate. The anonymous advertisement connected callers to a voice mailbox system. It is sometimes humorous to look back on the deeds of our past. I can’t help re-printing my personal ad here. Let me serve public notice on how not to conduct your personal business.
If I remember correctly, I came up with placing this personal ad while taking a lavender scented bubble bath. I got to confess that some of my dumbest ideas were born with suds but it was the alcoholic variety. It should come as no surprise, I wrote my personal ad to the theme of the blockbuster movie Titanic, a heartwarming love story that ends in bone chilling death for just about everyone. What was I thinking? When I say this thing is corny, I mean ear, bushel, and farmer’s market corn by the truckload. It needs no laugh track.
WM, 5’9”, fit, non-custodial parent, arid XXX dry humor. Sports enthusiast. Favors quality time, cuddling, movies, dining, thunderstorms. Yearning for shapely, witty, female, 24-34 years young. One ticket left on this Titanic adventure…minus the drowning.
The two minute message I recorded on my outgoing mailbox delivers enough field corn to frighten crows in famine. I went way overboard, much like the crew and passengers of the doomed Titantic. The outgoing message went as followed:
Hi, my name is Joe; I’m a 36 year old, non-smoking, non-inhaling, non-infectious man. The last time I owned a mirror and a weight scale I registered 5’9” 200 pounds. I trashed both items. I’m college educated twice over although common sense and ambition can be freely substituted. I have a secure day job as well as my own side business, which I invest time into when I’m not actively dating. Since you saw my personal ad, you can imagine that my business is thriving.
I’m looking for a shapely, feisty, female 24-34 who doesn’t look or act her age. Brownie points awarded for high emotional intelligence. Divorcees welcomed to bring experience to the table.
I have an overdeveloped sense of humor, Arid XXX dry like the deodorant. If you have quick wit and are looking for a non-fattening Good Humor man, well do I have a scoop for you. Do not apply within, if you think a double entendre is a new menu item at Taco Bell. I do have carry on personal baggage. I’ve been separated for two years and am the non-custodial father of two mannerly daughters who I see often. Hoping there are legs out there fit enough to handle the kid hurdle. I’m not looking for a surrogate mom…just acceptance.
My hobbies include working out at the gym, playing golf, racquetball, table tennis, and watching most spectator sports too exhausting to participate in. I enjoy movies, dining out, watching thunderstorms, cuddling because I’m scared of thunderstorms, and writing non-fiction when I can’t concoct a fable. I am interested in bicycling although my training wheels need minor adjustment.
Favorite foods are anything that doesn’t move except road kill. Due to a voracious appetite, I’m no longer welcome at most buffets. My taste buds favor Chinese, Italian, and Mexican. I love Doritos although a relationship should be more than a proverbial bag of chips. You gotta have some salsa. One ticket left on this Titanic adventure…minus the drowning. If you think you are seaworthy, leave me an SOS message including your phone number and your life jacket size. I’ll return your call and that is no joke.
My objective was to scare away any woman who could not appreciate my good sense of humor. The only one running for the hills turned out to be me because this witty personal ad attracted every neurotic and chemically unbalanced woman in a fifty mile radius. Consider this my public apology to all who answered my personal ad. I listened to all of your recorded messages. After careful screening, I called some of you back. I even dated a couple of you before changing my phone number. Even FEMA would have declared my dates natural disasters. Today, I am offering closure on a few memorable contestants. Since I cannot control the dream sequencing of my nightmares, they appear in no particular order.
To Lilly: I may not have heeded your insatiable urge to obsessively sleep with every guy on the first date. Making me your second date of the day surely didn't improve your chances. I told you a breakfast date would be fine.
To Shamika: So what if your voodoo high priestess predicted you would meet a man of stature by the name of Joe. I remain only 5’10” and just because my name is Joe didn’t mean I would eventually marry you in a ring of lit candles at midnight.
To Maxine: They say three is company but just because we didn’t work out, why did you expect me to date your mother with whom you lived?
To Gabrielle: Any woman who is bigger than me and carries brass knuckles in her purse is too much woman for this man.
To Dee: I got to say your cartoon voice on the telephone intrigued me. I believed you when you claimed to be attracted to me because of my education. I heard you loud and clear when you complained about dating a lot of stupid guys. But when I drove my car to your house for our first date, turning onto Tweedle Street was a little too much concidence for me. I made a U-turn and never looked back. Tweedle Dee, you can call me Tweedle Dumb just like the others.

To Foxy Roxy: Asking me over for a homecooked meal appeared to be a fabulous idea but the snarl your golden-bronzed titan landscaper shot me as I approached the house should have clued me in. To make matters worse, it was minutes into our date before I learned your ex-husband was babysitting your child in the next room. I hate to eat and run but there are times the situation calls for indigestion and exodus.

To Bubbles: While I had a difficult time calling you Bubbles, it paled in comparison to you referring to yourself in the third person. By the way, you did not need to introduce me to all seven of your kids on the first date! You saw my lap could only balance three toddlers at a time. I never found my wallet and the brat with the sling shot shooting marbles needed a boarding school.
And finally to Suzie: I agreed to pay for dinner, not quality time afterwards.
The only genuine woman of fiber, substance, and equal who answered my personal ad happened to be my ex-girlfriend, whom I jilted and whose void led me to placing the ad in the first place. I don't know who was more surprised, her hearing my outgoing message on the dating service or me hearing her emotional incoming message. Some things you never find out in life but you can surely find your adam's apple during incredulous times like this. A telling story dates us all.



Blogger PaxRomano said...

I did the same thing back in 1995, 96. And I had my own version of Foxy Roxy and Honey et al (albeit with deeper voices and more body hair).

I even kept a check off list I made up of Pros and Cons when I listened to the voice mails in response to my ads.

Most frightening date was with this guy in Marlton New Jersey; upon entering his house he said, “I have a pet boa constrictor, do you like snakes?” – Needless to say the night ended very quickly.

Good times, yeah.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

Your story was priceless! Except the messages to and from the ex. That would have caused me a cardiac arrhythmia. Let me suggest that you use this material for your next book. The ladies of the Parker society enjoy reading about the amorous adventures of others.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Joe, thanks for the comment on my blog. I hope you get emailed when you have a comment, because I'd like you to know I visited. Anyway, your personal ad and phone message were priceless. I would have called you in about two seconds, but I'm a bigger girl, minus the brass knuckles of course. Oh well, sounds like you're happily hooked up now. Loved the story.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

It was really the brass knuckles that scared me away and I am sure she couldn't belly dance worth a lick!

8:42 AM  

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