I am master small talker, so I don't have a problem carrying a conversation or keeping it going, but every once and a while I do like to talk too and I couldn't get this guy to stop talking about himself the entire night. Perhaps he was lonely or nervous. Regardless, it was a little overwhelming the amount of information he was willing to divulge.
Let's first get to his nickname -- Mr. Urban Cowboy. Apparently he dresses up in 19th century cowboy garb and shoots replica western guns on a regular basis, this is a real sport. This seemed a bit strange to me, but according to him it's a popular activity in the Valley and around the world. I asked what he wore -- and he told me had closets full of cowboy costumes. (Yes he said closets, not one but many). I actually had to check myself at this point and make sure I didn't laugh, because he was quite serious. I'm sure this is a perfectly respectable hobby, but I was sitting across from a 45 year old man and all I could think about was that he dresses up like a cowboy. We talked in great length about Single Action Shooting Society. I went home and googled it and by golly, it does exist. I don't think I'll be dressing up like a cowgirl anytime soon, but it does look like quite the sport. Check it out - http://sassnet.com/.
From there the evening just got stranger -- I heard in great detail about the software he was developing for construction estimates (we even talked in detail about drop down menus), I learned that he and his mom worked together every day in the office (just the 2 of them no one else) and that he collected antique cars and books. He plans to build a barn to serve as his workshop, which sounded like a fine idea. But then he told me he needs the workshop because his guest rooms are overflowing with stuff (I'm guessing with car parts, books, cowboy costumes and guns, but I'm not really sure) and that he doesn't have any flooring in the entire house. The carpets were pulled out because of termites, and he needs to figure out what he wants to do, but first he wants to build the barn. It appears he's gone months without any flooring so what's a few more. None of these items by themselves would have seemed odd, but together it was a little much.
He told me had plans to write music lyrics because he has a friend starting a band (these are middle aged men living in different states trying to start a band). I asked if he had written music before and he said no, but that the words had come to him in the shower and that he had sung them to his friend over the phone. They were very apparently very good. He has a half written novel at home about vampires and aspires to write childrens books. I tried to steer the conversation towards general things - movies, books, his favorite TV shows, travel - but it didn't work. He doesn't have cable (which is a valid life choice), doesn't travel or go to movies or hike or camp or really do much of anything (other than SASS) because he doesn't have anyone to go with. He did make it clear he was open to doing all of these things, with the right person of course.
So needless to say I wasn't overly impressed by this cowboy. Then as he was paying the bill (which I offered to split) he asked if I wanted to do this again sometime. (Seriously?! While you're paying for dinner and sitting across from me, you ask me this question). I really was trying to wrap up the evening, it was obvious we had nothing in common and I was exhausted from being such an active listener (I had to keep asking questions). He asked about my plans on Wednesday and then Friday...thank goodness I really have plans (date with match #2 is on Friday). I suggested he call me, he walked me to my car and I thanked him and gave him a hug. (what's appropriate a hug or handshake here?)
I'm sure he's very nice, but we had nothing in common and the longer he talked the more eccentric he made himself sound. Too bad Chemistry.com doesn't give out "how to act on a first date" or "topics to avoid on a first date" instruction sheets. What I learned from my date with Mr. Urban Cowboy:
- There are some things that you should wait until the 2nd, 3rd or 10th date to share
- Conversation really works best when it's a two-way street
- Don't put your date on the spot and ask them out again while you're still on the first date
- When your date says what you do is not interesting and that he'd rather talk about your hike, it's not a good sign.