I met Mark a few weeks ago on-line. His profile had shown up in my ‘Daily Suggestions’ and I liked the look and sound of it. He was handsome – big smile, good hair, straight nose – and average height. He had been married before, but no kids, like me. He was Jewish, worked at a large CPA firm and sounded adequately intelligent. His romantic strategy was different. He described his on-line quest as one to “instantly feel a connection”. He urged women to “please only write me if you feel this way, and I promise to only write back if I have the same reaction to your profile. Maybe, just maybe, by taking this approach I will find my “special someone.” I am not jaded. I have simply come to the conclusion that this approach makes the most sense and saves the most time.” This was promising.
There was just one little red flag… His ‘Favorite Hot Spot’ – one really has the freedom to choose ANY place in the WORLD – was “the Hamptons”…. But, as is encouraged, one must give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Mark was born there and the region has special meaning to him… Surely there must be a valid reason for listing the showiest and potentially douchiest of all places. (This very red flag is about to become accountable for his meltdown… Wait for it…)
So I decided to write to him. (What follows is a verbatim transcript of our conversation.)
Natalie: Hi, I like the way you wrote your profile. I get very detailed in mine so take a look and see if you feel that “instant connection”! N
Within minutes I get a response.
Mark: yes except I am extremely good looking is that a problem for you?
Oh, so Mark is funny!! I like that. And he read my profile in detail; another good sign. (I mention somewhere that I am not looking for an Adonis.) So we can flirt a little I suppose?
Natalie: I just think that the universe might have a problem with two freakishly good looking people getting together. Or we can just tempt fate…
Natalie: I want to see your beauty in person. When r u free to meet for a drink?
Natalie: OK, If I’m not going East already on Wednesday, we have a date! Where r u taking me?
Mark: Anywhere is fine
Oh no… Where did funny Mark go? We’re down to bare-bones language now. But, once again, I must give the man the benefit of the doubt. He could be really busy, meeting clients or parents or driving. What I want to say is: I hope you are more charming in person, but instead I try:
Natalie: A man of few words….
I am right.
Wednesday comes around, and I don’t hear from Mark. But at the same time I realize that the ball was kind of in my court since I was the one who invited him. So on Thursday morning I write an apologetic message:
Natalie: Hey! I am soooo sorry about yesterday. Can we take a rain check please? Are you free Monday evening? Again, really sorry. I’m not the flaky type. Nat
Mark: Text me its easier (insert Mark’s cell number)
We are now Thursday, the 4th of July and I am about to drive to Montauk with my sister. We are invited to spend three days and nights at the Refinery 29 Beach House. It’s an all-expenses-paid trip with goody bags and familiar faces. We’re excited! And I have an proposition for Mark…
I switch to text him from my phone.
Natalie: Hey! It’s Natalie. Are you out East this weekend? I read that you love the Hamptons!
I’m thinking, if he loves the Hamptons, he must be going like the rest of New York. How fun would it be if I meet him for a drink or a swim, or a walk on the beach? It could be an unexpected, fun date!
Mark: I spent every summer weekend on an estate in Southampton like you only read about for about 4 straight summers. I haven’t been there in 2 years and I miss it like you can’t imagine. It’s my happy place. I know it better than I know my own neighborhood.
Mark: So I know what you were fishing for with the question, but, sadly I’m not that guy. Better luck.
I’m stunned and clueless.
Natalie: What am I fishing for???
Mark: Hoping that I had a Hamptons house and access there to
Mark: Sorry (and some emoticon I can’t decipher on my blackberry)
At once my heart starts to pound. What? Huh? Who? Why? I want to respond with all kinds of explanations about my trip and how I am old enough to pay my own way, and how I have not depended on anyone since I left my parents’ house at 22, and certainly would not ask a perfect stranger to crash at his house, but all I can say is
Mark: LOL stop like I don’t know how it is hahaha. I’ve been around the block sweetheart.
And then Mark goes on a rampage….
Mark: Everyone on-line is talking to 1000 others at once and that’s why you are all still single. Guys keep looking for someone a little hotter and girls keep saying the same, or maybe they can find someone who makes a little more money or who has a two-bedroom instead of a one-bedroom etc
Mark: And the best part is when u ask someone for plans and they say sure like a week from today cause they have a “friend’s birthday party” (really a date with another on-line guy), “a work thing” (really a date with another on-line guy), “family in from out of town” (really a date with another on-line guy) etc.
Mark: The entire thing is sickening.
Mark: Natalie good talking to ya.
Uhm….. What the….
Where is the Mark who wants to find his “special someone” on-line because it “makes the most sense”? All I asked was: Are you going out East? And I get this unhinged response? My defense mechanism is immediately set in motion and all kinds of profanities are welling up in my mouth. I am outraged and boiling. I don’t act on it though. Instead I let the dust settle for half an hour and send him this pity text – please read with a silky sweet voice:
Natalie: Dear Mark, I’m so sorry to hear you’re disappointed and that you’ve been used for your house. It’s not easy out there is it? Look on the bright side: it’s the 4th of July. Maybe celebrate your independence? Sad I won’t see you out East. I’ll be in my house in Montauk if you change your mind. Ciao! Nat
He did not like that.
Mark: You are a real misery. Do not write me ever again.
Mark: And I don’t believe you for one second FYI.
Now I’m a liar too? Again, I want to reciprocate by sending him proof – maybe a shot of my hands on the wheels? But I don’t. I let an hour go by and write:
Natalie: You know what’s a real misery?? This traffic!!! Good thing you’re not going! You would not like this.
Mark: I said no more contact (2nd request). Plus texting and driving is dangerous and unlawful and – oh yeah – you’re lying!
Mark: Now do not contact me again.
Natalie: Ur adorable.
Mark: I said no more contact!! (4th request)
I am tempted to respond that he’s “so much fun to talk to” and that “it’s been a real pleasure” but my sister stops me: “What if the guy finds you and kills you?” At this point, there is no more doubt and no more benefit. The man is deranged, bitter beyond repair, and has a huge chip on his shoulder. Best not ruffle any more of Mark’s messed up feathers.
I do want to send him off with a little reminder of what he’s missing and text him a picture two days later. It’s a nice little tableau of my girlfriends in bikinis by the pool holding up signs that spell: We Heart Mark. I’m upstairs waving from the master bedroom.
There really is no lesson to be learned from this story. Mark went off the rails based on false and unreasonable assumptions about my intentions. Maybe it was temporary insanity or maybe Mark needs to see a therapist. Either way, I recommend he goes back to his “happy place” in the Hamptons and find love there. Because Mark is not ready for this world, nor the on-line one for that matter.