The Director | Plank Stories

So, I met The Director (aka Joe) on Jdate. He emailed me and I was intrigued. He was very articulate and interesting in his first email…AND it was apparent that he had read my long profile…every word of it. But, he did not post a picture of himself. That’s red flag number one.

I wrote back to him anyway, because I always answered someone who obviously took the time to read my profile and respond in kind. First though, I asked him why he did not post a picture.

His response surprised me. He said he didn’t post a picture because he wanted someone to like him for who he was first, not just what he looked like. I responded that people are visual, and that he could see plenty of pictures of me on my profile, so it was only fair that I could see him. He demurred, again saying he’d rather have me get to know him by his words first. And, that in time, he’d send me a picture.

Ok, hmmm, what to do? I was enjoying his emails. I am the kind of person who connects first with someone for their mind, and his emails were so interesting and insightful that I indulged his lack of pictures…for a while.

We continued to email a few more times over the course of a few days. Finally, we decided to attempt a phone call (I say “attempt” because they don’t always go well.)

Me: Hi Joe. Glad we’re finally hearing each other’s voices.
Joe: Agreed.
Me: Ok, so now you know there is some level of interest on my part. Can you please email me a picture?
Joe: Fair enough. I’m sending one to you now.

Me thinking; Omg. This could be awkward. Here I am, talking to him and he’s sending the picture now, while we’re on the phone… Oy.

And, the picture arrives in my email. It’s of him, in a swimming pool, with a white baseball cap and sunglasses on and the water up to his very hairy (seriously) shoulders. I can barely see his face or anything else, except hair. I’m silent on the phone.

Joe: Did the picture come through?
Me: Yes.
Joe: So?
Me: Do you have any pictures without a hat and sunglasses, and perhaps, on dry land so I could see a full view?
Joe: No, not really.
Me: Well, I can’t see what you look like. I certainly wouldn’t be able to identify you if we decided to meet on a date.
Joe: You will. By the time we set up a date, you’ll be able to recognize me.
Me: I don’t like to email/talk on the phone too long before meeting. I find if you talk too much and develop a connection before the first date, there is just too much pressure on the date.
Joe: Well, I’m the opposite.
Me: How so?
Joe: I like to talk a lot, for at least two weeks, prior to a first date.
Me: That’s a long build-up for me. Why do you prefer doing it that way?
Joe: Because then, the first date is more like a third date…AND, THEN WE CAN HAVE SEX.
Me: Wait, WHAT? NOOOOO. No. A first date is always still a first date, and I wouldn’t have sex with you on it, regardless of what date you’d call it.
Joe: Yes you will.
Me: No, trust me, I won’t.
Joe: Oh but you will. And, you’ll want to because you know me and trust me.
Me: Ok. Joe. You’re wrong about me but I gotta go now.
Joe: Something I said??
Me: Uh, yes.

A few nights later, he starts messaging me on AOL. (I had given him my address prior to our phone call. My bad.)

Joe: Hi Cindy.

I’m sitting at my computer watching the message flash on the screen. Do I answer him? I decide to, hoping that he’ll say he was sorry about the first date sex thing.

Me: Hi.
Joe: Did I scare you off the other night?
Me: Pretty much. It’s just not who I am…I don’t sleep with someone on a first date…ever.
Joe: You really have a lot of rules.
Me: No I don’t. I just have a comfort level that has served me well over the years. I am not changing that now.
Joe: See, it is a rule.
Me: Whatever, ok (note to self, never try to argue with an attorney).
Joe: Oh, there’s something else I forgot to mention.
Me: What’s that?
Joe: Well, you live on the island and I’m in Westchester.
Me: So?
Joe: I need to have sex every day. So, when we do finally meet, I’ll videotape us having sex so I can watch it on the days we’re not together, and masturbate.
Me: Ummm, WTF??!! Listen Joe, this just got really bizarre. I have to go now. Good luck in your search.
Joe: Really? You’re kidding! That offended you?

And, with that, I close the chat screen.

I don’t hear from Joe again for a few days. He pops up again one night and writes a dissertation describing how he told some female friends about our conversation. He said that all his women friends thought the whole video-tapping thing was fine and that I was the problem.

I didn’t answer…and we never met.

Originally published at on July 9, 2017.