One of the many “personalized” dating services I belong to recently introduced me to a man who owns a well-known luxury resort and spa in Northern California’s wine country. That sounded promising – until I actually spoke with him. He had an annoying, squeaky voice and was too busy laughing out loud at his endless lame jokes to listen to anything I had to say. Clearly, his self-aggrandizing monologue was far more important than anything I could contribute to the conversation. So, I sat back and listened to him brag about what great shape he was in and what a happy-go-lucky person he was. He kept saying he was a really confident guy, a sure sign of being the exact opposite. In Hamlet, Queen Gertrude says, “the lady doth protest too much,” which means overstating one’s attributes diminishes ones credibility. I wonder how confident he would be if someone told him he wasn’t laugh out loud funny.
Mr. Confidence invited me to spend a weekend at his resort. He would fly me up, arrange for my accommodations, and since he was out to impress me with all his trappings, throw a spa day into the mix. After receiving a few more boastful calls, I decided to reply by text to avoid talking to him. I was finding his über-positive, glass half full, I’m so funny personality irritating and was becoming less and less interested in meeting him. Then, I received this text:
It’s gonna b gr8. But any wkend is a gr8 wkend in wine country…ha ha! U'll want 2 stay as long as u can...LOL ;-)
It’s bad enough people use all sorts of not-so-short abbreviations when texting, like gr8 which only saves two letters and a millisecond of time, but isn’t it up to the recipient to decide whether or not a text is “laugh out loud” funny?
He continued: Do u ever call sum1… and talk on the phone, or do 1’s and 0’s do it 4 u? lol…
1’s and 0’s? As far as I know, I wasn’t using the binary numeral system; I was simply texting. Sure the binary system is used by all modern computers, a cell phone being a computer, but is that really laugh out loud funny? I’m sure as hell not ROTFLMAO. Rule #567 about texting: never author a joke and follow it with LOL. That is the equivalent of a sitcom writing indicating in parentheses (applause) or (laughter), and unless you are a sitcom writer, you shouldn’t be cueing your audience.
Don’t forget 2 bring ur bathing suit, he texted. I’m sure u don’t go anywhere w/o one. LOL
There it was again, the dreaded LOL (groan). It was October, and I wondered where I was expected to go swimming. Awesum hot tubs @ the resort, he continued, clearly wanting to get me as near to naked as possible on our first date weekend. It was about then that I decided to cancel our little rendezvous, blaming it on my hectic schedule when in fact, I just felt zero connection and knew meeting him would be a big waste of time. I could buy my own spa weekend, thank you very much! I desperately wanted to cancel by text to eschew confrontation – and the sound of his grating, arrogant voice – but being a stickler for proper etiquette, I called him. Thank God, I got his voicemail and was able to take the easy way out. Moments later, I received a barrage of nasty texts in full, unabbreviated sentences. Apparently, he could write a proper English sentence when provoked. His attack included reference to my age, my being single and my having an over-inflated self-image. I wonder if Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” was also playing on the stereo where he was at the time. I should introduce him to Skip; they’d make a great pair. Seems to be a theme that these ersatz confident men are threatened by confident women. Clearly, the confident man scenario was as thin as the veneers on his teeth. It’s a good thing I have a “personalized” dating service working for me. I’d be hard-pressed to find a winner like this guy on my own.