Lexi and Jerome

The following is the transcript of this episode.:

Jodi: Lexi, Welcome back to the podcast!

Lexi: Thank you, Jodi. I’m so glad you’re having me back for a double whammy.

Jodi: I am thrilled to be talking to you again. The previous story you shared about how you and Sam came to meet and what happened on that first date of yours was unlike any story I’ve heard before. It was such a wonderfully, memorable tale. And here you are, you’ve finally come back on the podcast to tell us about a date you went on with Jerome. Before we launch into that one though, there are likely some listeners who have not heard the Lexi and Sam episode yet. So they know nothing about you. They know nothing about your backstory. Let’s get them up to speed. Could you please share some details about yourself?

Lexi: Sure. So I live in a beautiful sunny area. I am 56 years old. I was single for a very long time before I met Sam. I’m in marketing and don’t have kids, have one furry friend and a happy life.

Jodi: Great! Okay, let’s get into the story of you and Jerome. How did the two of you cross paths?

Lexi: I was, like I’m sure many of your listeners, on Tinder. And this was a couple of years ago and I was swiping right, swiping left, and there he was, a very handsome gentleman.

Jodi: What was it about his photos that you responded to? Just how good looking he was or was there anything you got from the photos that said more to you about him?

Lexi: He was handsome and a little rugged, all of those things that I think a lot of women are looking for-the dark and handsome type. And of course, Tinder is not very deep as far as content goes, which was always frustrating to me because I love to write and I was always so limited in the number of characters I could have and I would always rewrite it and rewrite it. I had a lot of fun with it, and the limited words that he had, I liked what I read. He seemed like a nice, interesting, professional guy, and so I just swiped right.

Jodi: And what happened?

Lexi: We were a match.

Jodi: So you both swiped right. And who got in touch with who?

Lexi: Oh, he made the first move and said something a little more creative than like, “Yo, what’s up?” Which I think is pretty common like first point of entry on online dating now. He had read my profile, which is also good to know. He wasn’t just sending out feelers. I like that, and I responded and we started to do the texting back and forth.

Jodi: What were you thinking as you two were texting back and forth?

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Lexi: It was going well. So he said, “Hey, do you want to hop on a call?” And so I said, “Sure.” We exchanged numbers and jumped on the phone and it was great. We had a really good first conversation.

Jodi: And you just seemed to have a lot in common from that first time together?

Lexi: Well, I’ll tell you, I believe that any time that we meet somebody new and we’re excited about it, we will look for things to have in common. So I’m not sure how much I had in common with him. But I know that the “Oh, do you like movies?” “Oh, I like hiking, movies,” all those things that we tend generally to like – walks on the beach and candlelight dinner and all of those kind of generic things that we all like – yeah. So it seemed like we had something in common. I was in a creative profession. He was in a creative profession. There was that. We lived in the same general area, not really close, but geographically desirable, so definitely enough to want to know more.

Jodi: At this time in your life, what were you looking for?

Lexi: I wanted to meet someone. I never was just doing it for fun. I will say this. I think I was being quite lazy being on Tinder because there’s not a lot of depth there. It is looking at photos and we all know that a lot of times guys aren’t even reading the profiles. They’re just swiping right or left, not at all caring what the woman has written, where I would really read a profile, look all the photos, even go as far as trying to look them up on Google using my sleuthing techniques, my well-developed sleuthing techniques, to find out as much as I could about them.

Part of that was the curious nature of my personality, and another part was just safety. I wanted to make sure that I was safe and he wasn’t a scammer. So at that point in my life, I wanted to meet someone.

Jodi: You and Jerome got on the phone and you two had a nice banter and you learned about him. That was a first phone conversation. Where did things go after your first conversation?

Lexi: Well, we got on the phone and talked on the phone every single night for a good week. We met on a Monday and we got together on a Sunday day. By the time we got together, we had already talked six times.

I was writing stories on my mind – I think a lot of women do – about what this could be, and oh, he was the perfect guy! So yeah, I was so excited to meet him that by the time that many phone calls had rolled around. I didn’t want to just go for coffee, I decided that I wanted to spend the entire day with him.

Jodi: Backing it up a little bit, you said you talked to him for six nights in a row. Are you saying that you would pour yourself a glass of wine, sit on the couch, and call him up and have these conversations?

Lexi: I’m not a drinker. So no. I was just getting to know someone. I had not been in a relationship in a really long time and it was nice to have the attention of someone that was engaging and easy to talk to because I hadn’t been dating in a long time. He seemed like a fun guy. I wanted to go do something and it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Jodi: Whose idea was it to spend the whole day together? Yours or his?

Lexi: It was my idea. He was all over it. Yeah. We really liked each other by then. I think we both had really high hopes and it just seemed like we had already gotten past the basic first date questions. I threw out an idea of something we could do together, like a destination date, and he loved that idea. So that’s what we were going to do.

Jodi: Before you went out with him on this Sunday full date, how had you pictured him in your mind?

Lexi: Well, visually, just like he looked in his photos – kind of a cool hipster. I pictured him being kind of urban. I got an impression of him that maybe I was projecting what I wanted him to be.

Jodi: Sunday rolls around. You’ve talked six evenings in a row. You’re getting ready to go and meet him. You must have been really excited.

Lexi: Well, I was excited. But there was a hiccup. He was going to pick me up and we were going to drive down the coast and we were going to go to an amusement park and it was a really nice drive and we had it all planned out. It would be a fun day.

What happened was, there was a bridge between us and there was an accident on the bridge. It was a big deal, almost to the point where the bridge was closed. He wasn’t able to get over the bridge. It wasn’t like, “We’re going to take public transportation to go down the coast.” So we had to quickly come up with a Plan B.

And I said, “You know, why don’t I just come over there?” I couldn’t just hop in my car and drive across the bridge. So I decided that I would take public transportation there. It was not something I really enjoy doing or had done a lot. But I said, “Okay, I’ll do it and you can pick me up.” So that’s what I did. I got on the train and I went across the bay and then he came to pick me up at the station.

Jodi: Wow! Your plans went sideways, but you two worked through that part at least. So he picks you up at the station. What was the “hello” like?

Lexi: Well, first of all, I should tell you what our impromptu plan was. He said that he would take me to a really nice lunch, like a fancy lunch, and then we thought, “Well, we could go on a hike and maybe see a movie,” to just kind of fill up the day. Okay, Sunday Fun Day, right? You pick a number of fun things to do.

I’m waiting for him at the station and he pulls up in a Mercedes. I drive a Porsche. I’m not the first to say “I love a nice car,” but it was just the way he was so braggadocious about it, like, “Hey, baby, I’ve got a Mercedes.” But it wasn’t just the car and how he was, “Hey, this is my Mercedes.” It was that he didn’t look like his photos! He was much heavier than his photos. And I was like, “Whoa!”

Look, I know that there’s a lot of women who would have turned around and just been like, “Okay, yeah, no thank you or see you later.” But come on, I’m too polite for that. And I thought, “Look, it’s one day.” Things are running through my mind, but I’m like, “Give the guy a chance. We did get along really well on the phone. Yeah, he’s not exactly looking like his pictures, but don’t be so superficial, Lexi.”

And so I thought, “All right, just be okay with it. Get in the car.” And I did.

We’re driving and I thought, “Well, we’re going to go to a nice lunch” and I’m thinking we’re going to like some little trendy gourmet place. And I’m not a foodie at all. I’m happy eating it if it comes out of a vending machine, truly I am.

So we are driving and driving and driving and driving and driving and I’m like, “Oh my God! Where are we going?” And we’re on the freeway and we’re going past what I would consider to be some exits where you could find some cool trendy neighborhoods with some little eatery bistro type places. I have no idea where we’re going, but we are far. We’re in the suburbs.

Part of me is a little nervous because like, “Okay, I really don’t feel comfortable,” but we weren’t out in the middle of nowhere. We’re in an unincorporated town. There was no downtown or anything, and the next thing I know he pulls into a strip mall. He takes me into a pizza parlor! I’m like, “All right. Well, maybe Anthony Bourdain ate here.”

Jodi: My hunch is he didn’t.

Lexi: Yeah. You would be right, Jodi. There wasn’t even a little cute checkered table cloth or anything. It was just a pizza joint. And hey, I love pizza. I ate pizza last night. I mean, who doesn’t love pizza? But it wasn’t this fancy meal that I was expecting. And again, I’m not a snob. I was happy, like, “Hey, he’s taking me to lunch.” But it just said so much about him and what his idea of fancy was and just what I was talking about, we all read things into things.

His idea of a beautifully furnished apartment might be completely different than my idea of a beautifully furnished apartment, right? It’s all our own interpretation. So that was his idea of a fancy meal, and it was just uncomfortable. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t still have a conversation with him, but I definitely was feeling nothing romantic for him. In the back of my mind, I was like, “How am I going to get out of this?” I am in the middle of…when I say the middle of nowhere, I wasn’t in a field. But it’s not like I could an Uber back.

Jodi: Right.

Lexi: Because I had gotten to know him on the phone, I couldn’t just say, “Yeah, this isn’t working.” I just couldn’t. I was like, “All right. Let’s just go on a hike.” We had our meal and then there was a regional park nearby. Now he wasn’t really in great shape. So I didn’t want to take him on any hike that was too strenuous. So I picked kind of a flat trail that we could walk along.

The whole time we’re walking, he was kind of trying to hold my hand and I was like, “Oh God!” So I tried to walk in front of him so he couldn’t be besides me and hold my hand. It was so uncomfortable! I just kept trying to steer the conversation to business and anything just to get it to where it wasn’t about anything romantic or relationship-oriented.

Jodi: So you’re scooting ahead of him. You’re trying to move ahead of him. He’s trying to catch up with you. He’s trying to grab your hand and you’re trying to keep it to yourself.

Lexi: Yeah.

Jodi: He’s not picking up on this?

Lexi: Oh my God, no. No. He wasn’t getting it. So after the hike, I was like, “I just want to go.” But we were in a regional park, right? There was no public transportation or anything. He’s like, “Hey, do you want to see a movie?” And I’m like, “Okay, a movie is safe. I won’t have to talk to him.”

So I said, “Okay.” We looked at some movie times. There was time to kill. I said, “Well, why don’t we go get some coffee?” So we went down to get coffee and “Mr. Daddy Warbucks in his Mercedes” parks at a parking meter and he leans over and opens the glove compartment and pulls out a disabled placard!

Jodi: You’re kidding. (Laughter)

Lexi: Oh, yeah. He was real classy.

Jodi: I’m going to ask a question that I think I already know the answer to. Did he have a disability?

Lexi: Oh, he had a disability.

Jodi: At that moment?

Lexi: No. He had been in a motorcycle accident and had an issue and I later found out too that he was kind of a tall talker. He had been working for this coal company, but he really wasn’t working there anymore. So a lot of stuff didn’t add up. But yes. He had had a disability or he had been disabled, I should say. He was disabled and needed to have it at some point. But no, that was a long time ago.

But he had found a way to keep it and he was so proud that he was so clever. I was incredulous! But I bit my tongue because I thought, “Lexi, you are never going to see him ever again. So don’t even go there.” I couldn’t believe it. It said everything about him and dating is all about values, right? You want to share values with someone and nothing could say, “We don’t share the same values” more than that.

I had a long-term boyfriend who was in an accident and needed to get a disabled placard. He needed a wheelchair to get around. He injured his leg and had surgery and it was such a nightmare to get around, pushing him in a wheelchair. It’s unnerving to know that people were taking those parking spaces, the disabled parking spaces, illegally. So when we went in to get coffee, and at that point I just couldn’t wait to leave. I just knew I was never going to see him again.

I just had a quick coffee. I had nothing to talk to him about and that’s when I just said, “You know, I’m tired. I’m not feeling it, and I’m just going to go home from here,” and I took public transportation all the way back home. But man, you learn a lot about someone. How would I know talking to him on the phone about the disabled placard? How would I know that?

Jodi: So when you said to him that you were tired, this isn’t working and I’m going home, how did he respond?

Lexi: He was really disappointed and he was a little surprised. But I didn’t want to go into it. I didn’t feel that I owed him an explanation.

Jodi: Do you have any regrets not saying something to him to help him wake up to his approach?

Lexi: No, because in his world and in his mind, he was clever and he was smart for getting one and keeping it. He was clever, and he wore that thing like it was a girl with a Gucci handbag, like he was proud of that.

Jodi: He worked the system basically. That’s what he was proud about.

Lexi: Yeah, and you know when I was in his car, he could have put a couple of quarters in the meter, but no. He wanted to show that thing off like it was gold plated.

Jodi: Yeah. This is a guy who you spent a lot of time talking to. I’ve got to believe that you disclosed a good amount about yourself during those many conversations with him. So how are you feeling about the disconnect between the guy that you disclosed a lot to during your six conversations before you two met and the guy that you were out with who turned out to be so different in person?

Lexi: I didn’t feel like I gave away too much. I mean, I had a million good stories as you can tell. This is just one of many. A lot of our conversations were just a lot about what I do for a living, which is something I’m really proud of and love to do. And maybe we talked about past relationships, but it wasn’t anything where it felt like I bared my soul to him or I disclosed anything that was so private that I felt like, “I should never have said all of that.” I didn’t feel that at all.

Jodi: However, you gave him a lot of your time – those six evenings. You could have been doing something else, but you were spending your valuable time talking to him. How were you feeling about that on your way back home?

Lexi: Look, part of me felt like I wasted my time. But another part of me thought, “You know what? I felt really desired and appreciated and listened to.” And hey, there’s something to be said for that and that was really nice. Was he the person I thought he was? No. But were those conversations still fun and good? Yeah.

Jodi: He turned out to be so different than you had expected. What didn’t you get from the conversations with him or how was it that he turned to be that way when you really reflected back on your interactions with him?

Lexi: During our conversations I wasn’t asking important things, like about values. I now know how important that is. A value of mine is, “Do you vote?” I have never missed an election from the time I was 18, ever. And that’s really important to me and I now know that it is more important to talk about things that are a little deeper and not sort of anything private. That’s just something good to know.

Jodi: It’s a way to help filter. So afterwards you had this epiphany, that when you’re talking to people, guys, in advance of meeting them, that you need to do a little more disclosing about what’s important to you to see how they respond.

Lexi: Yeah. And Sam, for those of you who heard my story of meeting Sam, before I met him – I Google stalked him – I found out that he donated a kidney to a complete stranger. I mean that was everything I needed to know about his values.

Jodi: What else did you learn from this date?

Lexi: I definitely learned not to spend time on the phone. I think one phone call is okay. You want to do the voice test. That is important to me. I think some texting banter back and forth is okay. But it’s better to meet sooner rather than later.

I mean, right now in the age of social distancing, I don’t know how soon that can happen. But I definitely think it’s better to do that and meet in person and see not only, “Hey, does he whip out a handicap placard from his glove compartment?” But also, is the chemistry there?

We all know the, do they look like their photos? I mean that’s something that we’ve all experienced. But yeah, the chemistry, I was too reliant on the chemistry on the phone versus actually meeting in person.

Jodi: Thank you so much, Lexi, for coming back to the podcast to tell us about your day out and all that came before your day out with Jerome. It’s been really fun to chat with you again.

Lexi: You are so welcome, Jodi. Thanks for having me back.

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