Field Notes. July 2012.
State #9 of 50.
July 11, 2012, 11 a.m: I receive an email response to my query for a date on Match.com under the pseudonym “adaywith.” It is from ZipperZ. It reads, “Hi. How r u today. I would like to meet u. Jack.”
“Jack’s” photograph of his face is obscured by the camera he ostensibly uses to take the photo of his face. He is a 48 year old, never-been-married, single caucasian male living in Shelton, Connecticut.
I respond in kind: “I am very well. Thank you. I would like to meet you, too. You sound like an interesting person.”
July 12, 2012, 12:20 p.m.: I receive a response from my response from ZipperZ. “I will be in CT tomorrow. If u have time, I can meet u. U can call me.” He leaves his phone number.
I choose to respond, once more, in kind: “Hello. I am free on Monday the 16th in the afternoon. Do you want to meet then? I can meet you in Greenwich. Here’s my phone number…”
I leave my google voice number and await his call, during which time, I read “Jack’s” profile.
“Jack,” like many, but not all, males on the internet dating site, is looking for love. He has never been married, but shows pictures of himself smiling with his niece as proof that he is nice guy, who harbors no hard feelings towards children. He is a self-actualized artist, making a living form his art, and he is looking for someone who has hobbies and interests.
July 13, 2012, 16:48 p.m.
I receive a phone call and subsequent message from “Jack.” He sounds ill-at-ease with cold calling a stranger and his voice is thin and stretched – an interesting contrast to the pictures he has posted of himself looking fit, strong, and manly.
“Hi. My name is Jack. I’m calling to see how you are doing. I would be great if we could meet Monday. I have to work in the morning for a few hours, but can meet in the afternoon. You know. Whatever you want. If you have time. Thanks. Bye.”
July 14, 2012, 12:10 p.m.
I call “Jack” back, strategically blocking my true phone number so that he will not attempt a reverse search on me and discover my true identity. He does not answer. However, he calls back within minutes of me leaving a phone message.
I briefly introduce myself. I tell him I live in Norwalk. I’m spending the weekend in New York City. It will be no problem for me to hop off the train and meet him in Greenwich at four p.m., Monday afternoon, since I will coming back form the city. It is a time that works for the both of us. I will call him from the train to let him know exactly what time I will arrive in Greenwich. I don’t think I’ll drive back to Norwalk on his motorcycle, but thank him for the offer. I look forward to meeting him on Monday.
July 16, 2012, 13:00 p.m.
I board the MetroNorth New Haven Line to Greenwich at 125th Street Station. Though tired, and weary on a stifling, hot, New York summer day, I have done my best to appear attractive, interested, and charming.
I dial “Jack’s” phone number, again, blocking my number. He picks up on the first ring.
“Hi. It’s Amy. I just wanted to let you know I will be in Greenwich around 3:40.”
“Oh. I didn’t’ hear from you, and I finished my job early, so I went home. I not going back out to Greenwich now…”
“I didn’t have a way to reach you. Your number comes up blocked on my phone.”
“Oh. I thought you had my phone number, since you called me twice.”
“Do you want to meet later?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Oh. Okay. I’ll call you.”
“You don’t have to.”
I hang up my phone, sit back, and ride the train to Greenwich.
Determined to find a date in Greenwich, I walk down Greenwich Avenue and notice a disproportionate number of gelato shops in comparison to open bars. Apparently, only alcoholics drink while it’s still light out in Greenwich. All others eat gelato.
I find an open restaurant and hope to meet a single Connecticut-based male of any age or persuasion to study. I slip quietly to the bar, order a martini, and wait.
Down a few seats is a mated couple with a female colleague. I listen to their conversation in order to asses their potential for information for this article.
The man tells his wife’s friend that, in order to improve her golf game, she must go to the gym ten, no, nine, no, at least seven times a month. He orders a tiramisu to share with his wife and her friend. When it comes, he asks the bartender to drizzle Frangelico over the top.
The bartender, though concerned that this might ruin the brandy-soaked dessert, complies.
On the street, couples walk and talk and spoon their gelato.
I wonder: how do they get their whites so white?
Three olives down. I am reticent to call this Connecticut date a failure. I have learned much about the single Connecticut male and return home to synthesize my experience into notes.
I receive a phone message from “Jack,” made shortly after our exchange on the Greenwich=bound train. He is deeply apologetic and explains that he thought he didn’t have my number, despite the fact that he had called me twice, and he is free on Wednesday evening to meet.
Conclusion: Connecticut is annoying.