Wynn Helms, M.A.

Buddy Chronicles

The Buddy Chronicles…

Chapter 1: Buddy Makes a Call

[Note to self: people lie when online dating] Having spent years participating in online dating she vacillates between being jaded and extremely jaded about the whole process.

For the moment, she is happy with the visual image of her potential online date. He has passed Level 1: he writes in complete sentences. Good. 

She’s tried some—hell, all the sites on and off over the years. For those like her who go to work then home then back to work, online dating is a reasonable option to meet men. Next was Level 2: an actual telephone conversation.

Quality of voice is extremely important in the process. It is arguably shallow but she wouldn’t date a man whose voice is higher or whose waistline is smaller than hers.  If the dating information shows a nice photo and coherent written profile, as a rule a Buddy has to be able to pass the voice test before qualifying for waistline analysis. He might make it to the Level 3, meeting in person, but only time and a successful telephone conversation would tell. 

By choice, all her potential online dates are called “Buddy”. It isn’t necessarily their given name but quite frankly she thought it easier than remembering the names of men who probably wouldn’t make it passed Level 2.

Feeling optimistic during Buddy’s first phone call, she chooses to suspend all shades of jaded-ness. It is a typical conversation at first. They do the usual how are you…how is your day going…I like your profile—small talk. He shares that his previous relationship lasted 3 years and that over the past 6 or so months he’s had several dates from this site. She tells him that she has not been that lucky. They proceed with good first-call banter that includes discussions of previous online dates. It tends to lighten the mood while keeping the conversation flowing. He mentions dating a woman who is 5’11” tall. 

“Is that a bad thing, she asks?” She is trying to be interested in this story whose protagonist is a far cry from her 5’1” form. Is he trying to tell her something? [Note to self: quit reading into his words. Too late.]

”No”, he says. “Although it is nice having someone that tall on my arm”.

Did she just get vertically slammed? It kind of felt like a sucker punch. Go easy, she cautions herself. “Jaded” is not a good look so early in the process. Steady now; it’s also too early to be insecure. Oh is it really? Who’s she kidding? “Insecurity” started before he called!

Fortunately, she is able to pull up her profile while they talked.

In reviewing her profile, she has inadvertently declared her height as 5’11”—not her true height of 5’1”!! One slip of her finger and she’s gone from small to vente. Holy Cappuccino! [Note to self: keep a copy of your current “self-summary” nearby when talking to a Buddy during initial conversation.]

“Funny that you told me about having dated a tall woman. It appears on my profile states my height is 5’11”. Actually I’m 5’1”! I am just noticing the error as we speak!” 

She waits for him to laugh at the innocent blunder.
She waits.

The wait is probably only 15 seconds but it seems she could make and drink a Starbucks vente coffee in less time.

“Hello?” she says. Geez; is she hideous for being short?

“I’m here.” She is not able to read his reaction. Perhaps this is a deal breaker. Is it possible to get dumped by someone she’s never met? It sure felt like it. Oh well; let the dumping begin…some things cannot be changed and screw him, by the way.

She gives it one more shot before signing off with a snappish “take care dude” farewell. “Is the height thing a deal breaker?”

“No”. 

There is a “but” coming—and she prepares for full on “jaded”.

“I think I understand your pause,” she said, feeling the jade fade because she is hoping she is right about his pause. “You had an image of what I look like and now you have to change your image of me. Is that about right?” She is hoping that’s about right. She doesn’t know Buddy but she likes most of what he had to say prior to the vente-lady story. However, she can’t help feeling that old and familiar stomach drop that accompanies being dumped. 

“Yes, that’s all it is,” he says. He says it dryly and she forces herself not to take it personally. She gets her strength back and inwardly affirms, “I’m 5’1” and fabulous—that’s MY deal breaker, Buddy!” Her mind drifts to creating bumper stickers that say as much.

Back to her immediate insecurities, she is glad there would be no foreseeable dump-age tonight. Yay.

The call is winding down as they both express their belief that too much telephone conversation before actually meeting is a waste of time. A time-limited coffee date in a public place would dispel many of the initial untruths and verify some of the stated truths. Hiding behind dialogue that someone else may have written and photos that are PhotoShopped and height differentials that could range from 5’1 to 5’11”—all these variables will be eliminated at the first meeting. 

Popping back into the “jade free” zone, she is curious. Will there be any “rhythmic energy” between us? If there is energy, is it solid enough to proceed to a real Buddy date? Does she start picking out wedding gowns now or this weekend? It would take an old-fashioned, dirt bucket, non-texting, face to face meeting to answer most of these questions.  

Yay…yikes.
 

Wynn Helms