Lest you think that I spend all my time either working or trying to get my apartment together, do not despair. I try to leave a little time to have some fun. I am usually exhausted, but all work and no play makes Deby a dull girl.
Aside from dinners with friends and a movie here and there, I am still swiping away on Tinder. Every once in awhile a picture shows up that is interesting. You just never know. One day while swiping I came across a picture of a guy. Physically he was not my type, but I am trying to get over that. He had pictures of himself in various cities in the world. That shows he likes to travel. He was actually there. You would not believe how many guys Photoshop themselves into pictures of Paris, Spain, and Miami. Amazing, but true.
So I swiped "yes." He came up as someone who was actually interested in me. What a coincidence! In a few seconds he sent me a message saying hello, asking how I was. I waited. I don't know, maybe 10 minutes, maybe a half hour. I am learning. Don't respond right away. Wait.
I sent him a message. He told me that he is a pilot. Bad sign. You know those flyboys, a girl in every port. (Airport?) He made lots of jokes. He asked for my Whats App. (Of course. That's how it works here.) He called me, using Whats App.
I found him entertaining. He said he was a private pilot, not a commercial pilot. He wanted to know why I was living in Argentina. Simple answer;"Because I like it here." I never give the long answer until I physically meet someone. He went on to say that he needs an English teacher. It turned out, he and the father of a friend work together for the same company. Pilots have to be tested in English every so often.
I don't know what is worse; someone who only wants to use you for your body, or someone who wants to use you for your English. It sounds bizarre, yet, I cannot tell you how many times someone thinks they are going to get a built in English teacher.
The next time he calls it is raining. I am at home getting my lesson plans together. "Today," he tells me, "is a perfect day to have mate." I know where this is going. Mate is usually drunk at home or in a park. I made that mistake 16 years ago when someone wanted to invite me for mates and medialunas. I had no idea that when a guy invites you for mate and medialunas, it is to go to his apartment. He has a little more in mind than drinking mate. Empanadas are the same. You don't go to a restaurant to eat empanadas. Cultural things one must learn in a new country.
"Do you like mate?" he asks. Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse. Who is the cat? Who is the mouse? Meow. "Yes, I like mate." (pronounced like maa-tay,) "Great, we should have mate." I want to call him names, but I don't. "Mate," I tell him, "You drink at home or in a park. Since it is raining we cannot go to a park." He pretends not to get it. "Forget it. I am not going to your place and you are not coming here." Silence. Then a laugh. "I was just kidding." he says. Right. Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse. Who is the cat, who is the mouse?
In the end, he invites me to meet him for coffee. Anywhere I want. I name a place and we set a time. This should be interesting. You are probably wondering why I bother. Unfortunately, this kind of boorish game is part of the dating game here. I need a break from the horrors of my albaniles stirring cement on the floor and my lovable but sometimes challenging students.
I arrive at the meeting destination. I see him sitting in the back. More portly and with less hair than his pictures. Why do people do this? I amble over to the table. I greet him. He looks me up and down. "You look just like your pictures." he says. Imagine that. As nervy as I can be, I never seem to have the nerve to tell someone that they don't look like their pictures. It really is not necessary. They know. Or maybe they don't.
After all the little niceties are out of the way, he starts to pressure me about speaking English. I ask him, "What are you looking for? An English teacher or what?" (I figure better to be blunt.) He ignores my question and begins to talk about some relationship he had with a woman from Ecuador. Excuse me? What is it about people here they always want to talk about their exes? This is one thing I definitely cannot get used to. It isn't just the men, the women do it too.
I interrupt him. I tell him, "I don't really want to hear about your ex." He is shocked. He tells me he thinks it is important we know each other's history. "Dude," (actually Che) at this point it is more important to me if you like the movies or spicy food, than some girl in Ecuador." He asks, "Have you had any relationships here in Argentina?" "Do I look like a nun?" I ask him. He knows I have been here 14 years, what is he thinking...
Then he tries to tell me what he thinks I want to hear. I am obviously not the kind of woman who is going to melt because he tells me I am attractive, or I have beautiful eyes. That does not work on me. He is not a stupid guy, and he realizes this. He gets two brownie points. He starts telling me that he only likes intelligent women. Cat and mouse. Cat and mouse, who is the cat, who is the mouse?
Suddenly he asks me why I am living in Argentina. I give him the short story. Tango, life change, etc. "You came here for tango?" I guess I am supposed to be embarrassed. "Yes. I came for tango, I stayed because I like it here." "You came here?" he says. "I am trying to find a way to live there. I love the states." I shrug my shoulders. "Good luck." "You wouldn't want to move back?" he asks. "Nope. I like the US to see my friends and to go shopping. I love Argentina." "What about Connecticut?" I really hate these kind of boring conversations. This is when I truly miss American men. (Or at least the ones I know.) "I already lived in the best state, California, and I never do things twice."
Flyboy asks me again about English. "What about it?" He gives me this little smile. I double my fee and tell him how much I charge. I tell him if it is too much to get a group together and I will create seminar for them to pass their test. This shuts him up. Cat pounces on mouse.
He asks if I would like to have dinner. Not tonight. I know what that means too. Almost like being invited for mate. He insists we go out on Friday. OK, fine. Maybe. Vamos a ver.
Two days later he sends me a Whats App. He says hello. Tells me it is a good time for a nap. Well maybe for him. I am working. Then he sends me a photo. I am totally grossed out. It is of him naked from the waist up in bed. There is NOTHING sexy about a 50+ out of shape man who I just met sending me this photo. What the hell was he thinking? That is it. Cat dumps mouse.