Tuesday, January 24, 2006

KISS, my arse!

During my twenties, I was a successful commercial photographer living in NYC. I was working with top of the line photographers as well as doing my own photo shoots for various international publications. Then, in 1997, a car hit me on 14th Street and Irving Place and my life was forever changed.

Since I had spent most of my years cultivating various talents and pursuing my artistic dreams, I gave little attention to my personal life. After I got back on my feet, I made a promise that I would try to live a more balanced life. I was thirty and trying to figure out how to throw myself into the dating game.

To pay the bills, I worked in computers for a while. While working in the Operations Department of a prestigious entertainment management company, I noticed that the other employees in my group spent most of their time conducting personal business on the computer. One person emailed his girlfriend all day, while another used the company computer to search for better employment. Then there was Roy. He was a pip. He spent most of his free time—which was most of the time—on a website called Edwina. This site was synonymous with Match.com, except it was for gay people.

Roy met a couple of nice people on Edwina, and kept prodding me to create an account and ‘search for love’ online. I didn’t like the idea at all; not only because I was taught to fear the unknown when I was a kid, but because I thought meeting someone online was rather artificial. It’s usually something unexplainable that attracts me to someone: maybe an interesting nose, beautiful hands, and a wonderful mind that I could sink my brain into. How could I possibly write a ‘personal ad’ and explain what I was looking for in a person when I didn’t even know what I was looking for myself?

One day, I threw caution to the wind and created an account. I don’t even remember what I wrote about myself. I probably mentioned the fact that I played guitar and that I love music, photography, reading, and writing. Within a day, I got a response. The woman’s name was Kate.

Kate said that she was in her late twenties. I must have mentioned my early childhood obsession with the rock group KISS, because the first email that I received from Kate outlined her obsession with KISS, too. She said, like me, that she had all of their albums when she was growing up. Unlike me, she was even a bonafide member of the KISS ARMY! I remember emailing her back and asking her who her favorite member of the band had been; mine was Ace. She wrote back that she liked ‘the guy who blew the fire and spit the blood.’ I thought it was endearing to have met someone who sounded really ‘with it’ and adorable, and who shared a common childhood passion.

We emailed each other for a couple of days, talking about what books we were currently reading, what movies we’d recently seen or would like to see, and what CD’s we’d most recently bought. I was in heaven—Kate loved everything that I loved! She was into everything that I was! She loved Frank Zappa, she said Albert Camus’s writing couldn’t be beat. Moreover, she was in the middle of reading The Brother’s Karamozov, just as I was!

She said she was ‘hip’. She explained that she had long brown, flowing hair. She said most people thought she looked like Veronica Hamel from Hill Street Blues fame. (I LOVED Veronica Hamel when I was a kid!)

Kate was perfect. There was just one more thing I had to find out: was she spiritual? I spent a lot of my time meditating and doing Tai’chi, not to mention that I played guitar at church on Sundays; I just wanted to know that this wouldn’t turn her off. “No!” she said, “I’m very spiritual!”

We decided to meet for a beer. I wanted to cut to the chase and ask her to meet me for dinner; however, Roy explained that it is better to go for drinks on a first date. That way, if you don’t ‘click’, you can excuse yourself after the first drink. Smart thinking on Roy’s part, but I had it in my mind that I would be calling a moving van after the first sip of beer!

I chose a bar in the East village for our rendezvous. At first glance, this bar looked like every other watering hole in the East Village, except it had an upstairs furnished with plush couches and chairs, and floor to ceiling windows. I went to the bar early and sat upstairs; gazing out the window to the sidewalk below, trying to guess which stranger was Kate.

Our date was to officially start at six o'clock. Six o'clock came and went. I walked downstairs whereupon I saw a stodgy woman in an army jacket sitting beneath the dartboard. She smiled at me as I walked by. I didn’t smile back. I was perturbed. I gave my empty glass to the bartender and walked towards the door. I turned around and looked back at the woman sitting beneath the dartboard. She smiled once more, and raised her glass. “Come here,” she said.

I put my hands in my pocket and walked over to her. She asked if I was Marcy. I nodded.

“I’m Kate. I’m sorry I was late.”

I pointed upstairs. “I was upstairs looking out the window. I guess I didn’t see you come in." I sat down at her table and stared at her for a while. There was no way she was in her late twenties. Her hair was long and brown, but it was also tangled and sprinkled with tons of gray. If this was her idea of ‘hip’, I would hate to see what her idea of out-of-date looked like. She ordered me another pint of Bass.

“So,” I said, trying to start some kind of conversation. “You’re Kate.”

“Yeah,” she mumbled as she scraped the beer label off the bottle.

“Have you ever been here before?” I asked, looking around the bar.

She looked up at me and then back at her bottle. “No. I’ve never been to the East Village.”

I knitted my eyebrows. “But, I thought you said that you loved the Ramones, and that you used to hang out down here back in the day?”

“No…I’ve never been down here before.” She looked at me and smiled. “You have beautiful eyes. They’re like ice blue, or something.”

“Thank you.” I looked at the stripes of gray in her hair. I didn’t have an aversion to gray hear, it's just that she didn't mention it while describing her long brown, flowing hair. She didn't fit her description at all.

“I don’t really look like Veronica Hamel, do I?” she inquired of me.

“Well,” I said, trying to let her down easy. “Not really, I suppose. So,” I said, as I crossed my legs and leaned in closer to her, “How did you get into KISS? My cousin gave me a double cassette of KISS ALIVE II when I was about 11 years old.”

She blushed and fidgeted her hands a bit more. “Well, I never really liked KISS. My brother was in the KISS ARMY, not me. He used to play his stereo really loud, so I always heard their music.”

“What? But…you said-

“I know, I said that I liked KISS because I knew that you liked them. I wanted to have something I common with you, you know, so you’d want to meet me.” She smiled. I looked down and noticed the antiquated peace sign she had sown onto the pocket of her olive green Army jacket.

I sat there in silence, cursing on line dating. I should have listened to reason and never created an account on Edwina, I thought to myself.

“So,” I let out a long sigh, “Was anything that you told me true? I mean, do you even like Albert Camus or Frank Zappa—“

“I like to read, and I like music. I am planning to read The Brother’s Karamozov soon. I just haven’t had the time. It’s a big book.” She took a swig of her beer.

It’s not like me to be judgmental, or cruel. However, I sat there judging the hell out of Kate and decided to be, what I would consider, cruel. I took another sip of beer, got up, said goodbye to the one who showed up late and littered my brain with lies, and walked out the door.

During the entire walk home, I kept thinking to myself--"KISS, my arse! It was all a bunch of lies. All of it!"

I contemplated my next move in the fierce domain of dating.


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©2006 Marcy_Peanut. All rights reserved.

21 Comments:

Blogger Gyrobo said...

Fear the unknown...

3:52 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Well...I always liked KISS...although not a member of the army....lol

6:36 PM  
Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

Marcy,

I like your style of narrative. It kept me interested and wanting to read the next paragraph until, damn, it was over!

It's nice to see that the online dating traps are the same whether you are gay or straight!

Can I add you to my links on my blog?

Peace.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are having an identity crisis!! Are you Marcy? Or some purple robot????

9:32 PM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

Mike:The weird thing is, I loved KISS as a kid, but that love affair ended before I was in high school. I have NO IDEA why Kate and I were so hung up on KISS. I should have taken that as a red flag!!

Well, anyway, this is just a first in the horrible dates gone from bad to worse essays that will appear on this blog.

On line dating is just scary. You never know what you're really going to get!!! Buyers BEWARE!!!


TRAPPEDINCOLORADO: Thank you. I'm glad that you enjoy my writing. I hope that you will take the time to read my previous posts!

Please DO add me to your link list! Thanks!

ANONYMOUS: That darn avatar keeps rearing her aqua head!! Thanks for the heads up!! ;)

10:16 PM  
Blogger sage said...

reminds me of a terrible movie I saw on Amtrak, coming back from New Orleans... The title was "Must Like Dogs" and the movie had some possibility, but it was so cheesy your cholesterol shot up watching it. The one "interesting" scene is when the girl goes to meet her "match" who turns out to be her father--they both had stetched the truth a bit--he was 70 and said something about being youthful and in his 50s.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Skye said...

What is it with people like that? Why do they set themselves up for failure? Because, really, that's the only place it can lead to.

Isn't faking your likes to impress someone left behind in high school? It's like joining the track team because the guy (or girl) you like is on it when you have no skills in that area, and all you wind up doing is making a fool of yourself.

3:06 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

That's horrible. You know what gave it away though? She said she was in the KISS Army and didn't know Gene Simmons' name. Even before I liked KISS, I knew all four of their names. Everyone knew their names in the late 70s.

Bah, what a bummer.

As for Camus, only read The Stranger which I really liked a lot. I thought he was easier to read than Sartre (sp?).

Oh, I would have felt the same way about online dating (if I were single, that is). I like to actually meet someone in person before judging if I were dating.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Miladysa said...

I loved the telling of this, I felt as though I was there!

7:06 AM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

SAGE: I saw the preview for that movie--seemed like it was destined for the dollar bin from the get-go. Isn't there actually an urban legend about a girl who was trying to meet someone online and met her dad in a hotel room as a first date (not knowing it was her dad that she'd been flirting with online, of course)??

SKY: Yes, you are correct. This type of behavior should have been thrown out of the brain by the end of high school, or maybe even kindergarten.

ZOMBIE SLAYER: You're right! Who would be a member of the KISS ARMY and not know the names of the band. Like you say, even my MOM knew their names and she couldn't stand them!

MILADYSA: Oh my gosh! What are you trying to say?? That was YOU??!!!
I must say, your looks have improved 100-fold since that day in the bar! ;)

8:02 AM  
Blogger uglygirl said...

i loved the way you wrote man! i always think, oh! its too long, but when i start reading i just cant stop. there is something bout the way you keep up the interest.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Gyrobo said...

The unknown is the only thing standing between you and your ultimate goal in life: starting a snack bar in the middle of the Sahara desert.

--==/ Oasis! Oasis! Oasis! \==--

8:58 AM  
Blogger Mr. Althouse said...

I enjoy you story telling, it's got enough detail to be able to feel the authenticity without going into useless dribble. It kept me reading.

I used a dating service once before the days of Internet dating. It was utter disaster. Good luck and have faith!

Mike

11:14 AM  
Blogger Angel! said...

... well, at least, you didn't end up meeting with a hairy 68 year old male who's on "America's Most Wanted" (or something as spooky as that)!

4:20 PM  
Blogger flatlander said...

That's a great story! I have never tried internet dating, myself, due to my great fear of...humans.

But someday I might try it out.

Can't wait to hear about your next adventure :)

5:27 PM  
Blogger marcy_peanut said...

UGLYGIRL: I am SO glad that my writing keeps your interest. That's terrific feedback. This blog is my memoirs, so the essays tend to be longer than most blog posts that I've seen. I'm glad you enjoy my writing!

GYROBO: I was actually thinking of openning a Starbucks on the moon.

MALTHOUSE: I'll never use the internet for dating again. Bad choice. At least for me.

I'm happy that you enjoy my writing and that it holds your interest. :) (I appreciate feedback, constructive criticism, too. Always be honest with me, I value your opinion [based on your own writing]).


FLATLANDER: That was such a sweet comment. I'm glad that you are looking forward to my next 'adventure'. Hhhmmmm...it will either have to do with a woman with big thumbs, or a woman who talked too much. Or, perhaps I'll tell another childhood story.
When my arm feels a little better I will type the story (they are rather long, so I need to be in tip-top shape to type them up!) :)
You're very special. Thanks for always brightening my day!! :)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Martijn said...

Hi,

Kiss has its fifth revival. I think it's because of the videoclip with Robby Williams. Why would he want to squeeze back into a leather wrestling costume and dance like a teenager for two manic hours when he left that world behind ten years ago?

Robbie has confirmed his position as Europe’s greatest pop star.

Greets,
Martijn Fransen

www.gossiptalks.blogspot.com

8:24 PM  
Blogger Grace said...

I've always been weary of internet dating as well. I refuse to take part in it. In fact, I met an amazing guy on the net about 6 years ago, we talked for a while, and even met up one time for about 15 minutes. Till this day, we talk on the net (and quite often), but I haven't let it go any further. He seems too good to be true, therefore he must be. I mean, he's gotta be hiding something!

9:54 PM  
Blogger Dubya said...

Very interestin' story. I always find myself thinkin' 'bout stuff after readin' yer blog--which, believe me, is pretty rare fer me otherwise. Anyway, it's true, meetin' people's hard. That's why I'm so happy ta have my Laura.

One thing that keeps stickin' in my mind, though, is this Kiss Army. Who are they, and would they be willin' ta go to Iraq?

2:11 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

DUBYA: Thanks for making me snort my coffee through my nose!!!!! LOL!

10:03 AM  
Blogger mizfit said...

sad! thats why in never try dating online. i like the old fashioned way of seeing what i'm getting and then knowing better.
online dating gives dreams, naah. fantasies for the price of a heartbreak.

1:49 AM  

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