Now that I find myself single at the end of a seven-year relationship, I will have to perform that terrible ritual of singlehood at some point again: Dating.
Even in my earlier years, I was not overly fond of the dating ritual.
And since it is 2017, that means wading into the world of on-line dating sites. :O For a person who is a bit (!?) of a storyteller and a bit (?!) of a talker, my personality does not fit this format too well. My best relationships, be it professional, platonic, or romantic, came from the simple act of talking to people in an informal setting.
Online dating reminds me too much of the job interview process:
- I put my resume on a job site
- I apply for a job found at said site
- I get scheduled for an interview
- I dress appropriately.
- Pleasantries are exchanged in a conference room.
- I am asked questions and formulate the appropriate responses.
- I often ask questions in turn.
- I send a polite follow-up email about how I enjoyed our meeting
- A follow-up interview is hoped for and possibly scheduled
- The follow-up interview determines if I am a suitable candidate for that position.
Change the words “job” and “interview” to “date” and the phrases “conference room” to “drinking or eating establishment” and it is the same damn thing.
I don’t mind paying for the dates.
I do mind wasting the time of two people, however.
I could be (am? :D) a boring conversationalist (“OK, I get it, Paul, you spend a lot of time outdoors.”) or my potential date could misrepresent themselves (“Dog walking is indeed outdoors, but it is not what I meant by “Enjoys outdoor activities“. 
Time is a precious commodity. And not something most people wish to waste.
Having to spend a Friday, or worse – a Saturday night, where I am the catalyst for boring someone who’d would rather be elsewhere as well, is not the best use of both of our time banks.
I’d rather be camped at a trailhead in the middle of nowhere on Friday evening and then play on the weekend. Time better spent than weekend evening making pleasantries. 🙂
This attitude may also partially explain why I am single after a seven-year relationship, but that is another story. 😉
So, to save precious time, I often thought providing a bullet point of answers would save everyone their valuable time. I thought of a variation of this list in my early 30s. Now that I am in my early 40s, I am even more tempted to dust this list off.
I’ll grab two drinks. Let my date enjoy her beverage of choice as she peruses the list and then relax at the bar while I imbibe my drink of choice.
So here it is.
Some common answers to common interview, er dating, questions:
- I am from Rhode Island
- Coventry. The town is about thirty minutes south of Providence.
- I am the oldest of three brothers. I am also one of sixteen cousins on Mom’s side of the family. We all grew up within fifteen minutes of each other. We range in age from early twenties to early forties.
- I finished the Appalachian Trail in 1998 and needed a change. I knew Colorado had mountains. So here I am since 1999.
- I currently work in IT/software.
- I studied history initially but needed a job.
- I was “good” with computers and needed a job to pay the bills. In 1999, the dot com world was booming. If you could move a mouse, you could get a job.
- Somehow the jobs to pay for long hikes became a career.
- Besides the outdoors, reading and cooking are something I enjoy quite a bit. Out of the outdoors, I seemed to have developed an enjoyment and knack for photography as well.
- History, some SciFi, current events, travelogues. Robert Kaplan and Tony Horowitz are two one of my favorites as they combine history, traveling, politics, and other topics in a very engaging form.
- Oh, I guess Mediterranean based style cooking is my favorite due to my cultural upbringing.
- My favorite? Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen whenever I get a chance.
- Eclectic. Been listening to Emmylou Harris a lot again recently.
- Try to get out every weekend. Sometimes a day ski or a hike. But an overnight camping trip to a remote area is enjoyable. Backpacking is my favorite activity of course.
- Dark roast coffee. No cream. No sugar.
- No, I don’t exactly expect this list to accomplish anything. Want another drink? 🙂
Part of me is sorely tempted to say the hell with it and just give this list out even before we go on a date.
I’m only half-kidding.
 This incident actually happened to an acquaintance of mine!