I was new in town so I joined an online dating site. I thought he was a cutie and "winked" at him because his profile said he was looking for someone like me. His reply: are you for real? Our third date was a weekend trip to New York City... complete with boho dinner party at the Hotel Chelsea for our friends. He opens doors ...and pulls out chairs ...perfect. "Trip" is my favorite man. Ever. He's so perfect (in such eccentric ways) for me that when I describe him to my friends, they ask when the wedding will be. We have not gotten that far yet. Baby steps. One of the steps: meet the parents.
We were invited to dinner. Wednesday night. No big thing, right? WRONG. His dad's house is out on an island. You can only get out to the island (by car) if you have business on the island and there's a gate house on the bridge. It's VERY exclusive. His dad lives in an Italianate palazzo on "East Egg" Island and I grew up in a crappy condo in "The Valley of Ashes". The initial panic passed. I should have known that "Trip" came from money like that because his name is a Firstname Middlename Lastname III but it never occurred to me that it might be Like This. After dinner we're sitting by a roaring fire (the fire place large enough to roast a pig) sipping lovely red wine discussing stuff. Dim light glints gold off of the Directoire and Empire furniture's overstuffed silks. Yeah, it was like that... I felt like I had invaded Masterpiece Theatre. It was lovely. Absolutely lovely.
"So, how did you meet?"
Oh, crap. The evening started to crash. I looked at "Trip". He looked at me. Deer-in-headlights-style. Do we tell the truth? We have not discussed this yet.
"You just met a few times around at bars or something?" Dad's a psychiatrist, good luck lying to him. He sensed something.
"We met through new social networking tools. Computer stuff, dad."
GOOD SAVE. Dad does not check his e-mail often. Knows nothing of Facebook or internet dating sites. Leave it to a son to know how to lie to his dad.
I just wish that we would have discussed what we're going to say when people ask how we met. It's horrible to have to say that you met on an internet dating site. Or at least I think it is. I'm meeting all of his friends this weekend. Vague answers about the intertubes won't fly with them. I think we're about to overplay the importance of our one common Facebook friend (he went to art school with someone I used to work with). We need to agree on a lie and then stick to it. Otherwise, there's going to be a few awkward silences this weekend.