The Camel Breaker

16 Dec
Camels

flickr image by Mobilus In Mobili

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’ll admit I had hoped for later – certainly not before the age of thirty-five. If, by some cruel twist of fate, I still happened to be single by then. However, there I found myself, a month or two ago, perched in front of my laptop, signing up for an online dating site.

I really didn’t think I’d give in that soon. I honestly thought I’d be able to hold out for at least a couple more years. Sure I’ve heard the ‘success’ stories bantered about by friends of friends, but I’ve never experienced trouble meeting men in ‘the real world’, so until recently hadn’t considered it as a viable option. I’d always viewed the online dating scene as a domain for ugly virgins, desperate men and over-fertile women looking for baby-inducing sperm injections. But, there I was, obsessing over every word and punctuation mark on my online dating profile.

Over the past couple of years I’ve met plenty of men and been on countless dates. However, I still find myself single. How is that possible? “Ah, she’s too picky,” I hear yourselves say. “Been left on the shelf too long.”

But surely if Shirley from accounts can get herself a man, there must be hope for me? Ok, so I’m not exactly a Jennifer Hawkins look-alike but I’d like to believe I’m not completely aesthetically unpleasing. Surely the answer to finding a decent guy isn’t to ridiculously lower my standards? Or spend an extra three hours a day on the treadmill?

If you’ve been reading my blog, you would have to agree that I’ve dabbled with my fair share of members belonging to the opposite gender. However, finding a man I can actually put up with for an extended period of time, or who is willing to stick around longer than a month or two, is another story.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the problem lies with the state I’m usually in when I meet available men – intoxicated.  And not just the ‘I’ve had one or two glasses of chardonnay’ intoxicated. We’re talking the ‘I’ve just consumed my own body weight in vodka’ intoxicated. Not only am I usually wearing a pair of goon googles, which readily transform less than mediocre-looking men into Adonis’, I also seem to conveniently overlook important character flaws. This has included, but is certainly not limited to, men with a severe lack of personality and, on occasion, little to no grasp of the English language.  

Take Paul for example. We met at an ungodly hour on a Sunday morning. By that stage of the evening/morning I was dancing solo, as my posse of fellow single friends had all found suitors to attach their faces to. As I swayed drunkenly to a song I would never listen to when sober, a fake and what I hoped was approachable half smile plastered to my face, I was secretly dying on the inside. ‘Go home, Dawn,’ I instructed myself. ‘Nothing good is going to happen at this hour. Hail a taxi and reward yourself with a massive bowl of carb-laden two minute noodles.’

Enter Paul.

He possessed lusciously dark hair, smooth latte-coloured skin and eyes the colour of malteasers. His body effortlessly melded into mine as we moved together in magical unison on the dancefloor. His lips caressed my own and we kissed and swayed to the beat of a cheesy eighties classic.

The night ended innocently enough – just before the sun rose. I planted myself in a cab alone, and tootled home contentedly.

A barrage of grammatically incorrect text messages ensued. And a week or two later I was driving over to his place for our first, and only, date.

Firstly, he insisted that I drive to his place in order to pick him up. This awoke mild alarm bells inside my cranium. It reminded me of being seventeen and having to chauffer around friends who hadn’t bothered to get their provisional drivers licences yet. However, at seventeen their lack of motivation to be behind a steering wheel wasn’t so bad. But in your mid twenties? Severely unsexy.

After I stopped the car briefly to allow him to jump inside, I quickly began thinking I may have been a little too hasty in agreeing to the date. He looked absolutely nothing like I remembered. What I recalled to be lusciously dark hair, was fashioned into a side-swept emo fringe that constantly skimmed his retinas. He looked to be about my height (five foot six), only he weighed about thirty kilograms. I’ll admit he had a cute face, though it looked like it belonged on a sixteen year old adolescent.

But hey, I’m not exactly model-esque, so I decided not to be shallow. Nobody’s hot when they’re 65 anyway. For me, it’s all about the personality.

However, it’s a shame he didn’t seem to possess one.

Paul was quiet – something I certainly wasn’t expecting. I’m not comfortable with quiet. It makes it strange and disconcerting when you don’t really know someone, yet you’re forced into sharing a confined space. In this instance, the two front seats of a Hyundai Getz.

It seemed it was up to me to grab the reigns of the conversation. I exhausted a range of shit-chat to which his responses were vague at best. I peppered him for information about Columbia, having remembered that to be his home country.

Apparently I’d been misinformed – he was actually Nepalese.

Paul from Nepal, apparently.

“Oh, I love Nepalese food!” I replied enthusiastically.

He shrugged, seemingly unimpressed by my cultured palate.

“So why do you call yourself Paul?” I asked.

I realise this may seem like an inane question to have asked, but he had added me as a friend on facebook a couple of days beforehand, and his real name was actually something foreign-sounding that started with a B. Certainly nothing as vanilla as ‘Paul’.

He shrugged once again. “Why do they call you Dawn?” he asked flippantly, sweeping hair out of his eyes with a practised manoeuvre. It was the most he had spoken since he’d hopped into the car ten minutes ago.

“Because it’s my name,” I replied disdainfully.

The remainder of the date didn’t get any better. When we arrived at the cinemas I was still sprouting rivers of dialogue, in the fading hope of masking the awkward silence.

Lining up at the box office, we made a decision on what movie to see. It was sold out. Taking charge, ‘Paul’ quickly chose another film – an action flick starring Sylvester Stallone.

However, when making his decision, it seemed ‘Paul’ had forgotten something – I own a vagina. Therefore I do NOT enjoy watching action flicks. Especially one’s starring Sylvester Stallone.

As we sat in the cinema waiting for the film to begin, the river of words that had previously been gushing from my mouth turned into a stream, followed by a trickle. Pretty soon I was all out of conversation starters. Sipping on my diet coke (that ‘Paul’ had chivalrously purchased) I began to feel a tinge of sadness. The date really hadn’t been worth washing my hair for, along with workshopping a number of dresses in order to assess which one made my stomach look the flattest.

As the movie began, ‘Paul’ executed a daring move. He shuffled closer towards me, his arm sliding from the shared armrest and dropping onto my seat like a slug, preparing to crawl onto my thigh.

In response, I crossed my legs away from him and inched as close as possible towards the other side of my seat, until the opposite armrest dug painfully into my hip.

About half way through the movie I began to yawn in a highly exaggerated fashion, my mouth opening wide like a cavern. This was all in the name of feigning tiredness once the movie had ended, meaning I’d be able to escape a painful post-film coffee.

Blessedly, after two or so hours of torture, the film credits began to roll. Practically springing from my seat I began to stride towards the exit.

Our oral debriefing of the movie was minimal. It was becoming increasingly apparent that ‘Paul’ not only lacked personality, but also possessed a minimal grasp of the English language. Which was a rather large problem, as English was our only possible source of communication.

As we piled into the car and the tyres all but screeched away from the curb (so desperate I was to drop him home and blissfully escape from his awkward company), he piped up.

“Where do you want to go now?” he asked, snaking a hand onto my shoulder and fiddling with a loose tress of my hair.

“Taking you home. Tired,” I replied, too lazy and despondent to bother speaking in full sentences.

“Why don’t we go to yours?” he asked, with a flirty wink.

“No,” I replied curtly. Oh, so now he bothered with conversation! Now that the time had come to attempt to gain access to my vagina.

Pulling up outside his residence I remembered my manners enough to force out, “Thanks for the movie, have a good night.”

Only, he didn’t budge. His skinny little arse stayed firmly planted in the passenger seat. “Why don’t you park the car for a while?” he asked suggestively.

“There’s nowhere to park around here,” I replied flippantly.

He ignored my comment. “Why don’t you park the car for a while?”

“There’s nowhere to park around here.”

“Why don’t you park the car for a while?”

This exchange continued long enough for me to want to punch him in the face. “Fine!” I conceded, driving off slowly. “There’s nowhere to park around her –“ A parking space on the car-lined street appeared out of nowhere.

Annoyed at the universe, annoyed at myself, but more importantly, annoyed at him, I inched my car into the space. As soon as the vehicle was stationary – he pounced. I was pressed unceremoniously against the cold glass of the window while my face was hungrily mauled with his wet mouth. An urgent hand fumbled with my breasts, managing to pop one out of the confines of a bra cup. His eager mouth found my nipple, practically devouring it.

Playing the innocent card, I pushed him away. Giggling, I squeaked out something pathetic like, “Sorry, I’m just not that kind of girl!”

Ha! But luckily he didn’t have any evidence to the contrary.

It took another twenty minutes or so to finally get him out of the car. I quickly locked the door behind him, glad to be free from his clammy embrace.

On the journey home I felt like crying. Were the ‘Pauls’ of the world really all that was left out there? Was this the calibre of single men populating Sydney? Did I need to ridiculously lower my standards if I didn’t want to die alone? Was this as good as it was going to get?

‘Paul’ was the last straw. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was well and truly sick of wasting precious nights on boring wankers I’d met whilst drunk, when I could be doing more important things like lolling on the lounge with a copy of New Weekly and feasting on musk sticks.

As I drove in silence, punctuated only by the beeps of one or two inelegantly crafted text messages from ‘Paul’, I decided there was really only one thing for me to do – I needed to start meeting men when sober. This was not going to be an easy feat when none of my friends seemed to know any single males. Well, none of heterosexual variety anyway.

There was really only one option left – online dating.

May God have mercy on my soul.

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8 Responses to “The Camel Breaker”

  1. Heather December 17, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Oh. My. God.

    Did you just…

    You just stole my brain.

    And my sentiments.

    And my feelings.

    And my experiences.

    Who are you?!

    That was amazing.

    Although, I can tell you that online dating is just about as much of a dead end as drunk dating. lol I’ve started thinking I can meet men at train stations and in the store. Crazy, isn’t it? lol

    • Dawn Dash December 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

      Ah yes, I’ve got plenty of online dating stories from the past few months to share with you! I don’t want to give too much away just yet… but let’s just say it’s been interesting!

  2. Jennifer December 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    The more emphasis you put on it, the harder it gets to find someone.

    I don’t know that that’s what you’re doing, it’s just the best advice I’ve ever been given.

    Good luck to you on your hunt! ;D

    • Dawn Dash December 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

      So very true! I agree with you one hundred percent. Desperation has very little sex appeal. I’m happy being single for now, but would also welcome the arrival of Prince Charming should he choose to present himself. I’ll keep you posted!

  3. Frank December 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Even though I am a guy, I do understand and feel what you are going through.

    Singlehood does has its own freedom and pros but there will be nights when you just feel empty and lonely inside even though you might have someone lying next to you in bed.

    Nothing wrong with the online dating sites though I would say the bad experiences are more than the good. Maybe sometimes, if it’s meant to be, it will be.

    • Dawn Dash December 19, 2010 at 1:30 am #

      I think I’m usually too drunk when I’ve got someone lying in bed beside me to feel anything much more than nauseous! 😉 As for the online dating – I’ll agree there has been more bad experiences than good. But I guess you’ve got to be in it to win it… Or something like that.

  4. newyorkcliche April 21, 2011 at 3:16 am #

    Agh! Awful date! I’m disgusted just reading that! I think we all relate- I’ve definitely been on dates with Pauls and they are arguably the worst. Fortunately mine never involved cars.
    It’s one very lovely thing about living in New York- no car issues. I’ve been on only 2 dates in my entire life that involved car transportation- hated it (they were meh dates). I would like the option to literally run away during a date, thank you. Especially to avoid a “really, I’d rather not!” kiss.

    • Dawn Dash April 22, 2011 at 12:00 am #

      The concept of the car date wouldn’t be so bad… if the disappointing date in question wasn’t in the car with you. Trust me, I was tempted to leave him behind in a cloud of tyre-smelling smoke!

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