Posts Tagged ‘dating’

Man cave

“So why aren’t you with someone by now?”

He shrugged.  “I don’t know.”   Her arched eyebrow provoked further explanation.  “Honestly, I really don’t know.”

“You don’t seem worried about it.  Do you care?”

He felt lucky to have her as a friend.  He had a penchant for gravitating to truth-tellers.  People who would say the truth, sometimes harshly but always with affection.   They hadn’t seen each other for a few months, and had chosen the cafeteria at his workplace to catch up.

“Sure I care.  I’d like to share my life with someone.”  Even as he said it, he wondered if it was true.

He had been separated from his wife for twelve years now, and divorced for seven, with only a handful of romances to show for it.   Nothing that stuck.

“Maybe I’m too comfortable” he offered.   She smiled and sat back, looking at him.

“You know, there are some women around here who’ve been talking about you, wondering what your story is.”

That was news.  He sat forward, brown eyes piercing hers.  “Yeah?  What are they saying?”

She grinned.  “Oh you know.  The usual.  Is he gay or something?’

He laughed.   “No worries there.  I’m not.  I checked.”

“You did?”  Her eyes sparkled, teasing.  “Now how would you check something like that?”

“How do you think?  I watch the flag to see which scenery makes it flap in the breeze.”

She laughed.  “Yeah okay.   I’ve got it.   A little too much information though.”

“You asked.”

“So what’s the problem then?”

He frowned.  “Who says there’s a problem?”

“No, no.  That’s not what I meant.  You know what I’m getting at.  Why aren’t you with someone?”

As usual, he was a little uncomfortable with this train of thought.  He couldn’t deny her though – which made it worse.   They’d been friends for years.  He thought about that.  He mostly had married friends – women who were unavailable.  He knew it was a source of comfort, safety.

“I really don’t know.  Every time I think about being with someone I look first for the potential pitfalls.   That turns me off right away.”

“You know you can’t ever expect the perfect mate, right?”

He nodded.  “Of course.  I know that here.”  He pointed to his head.  “There’s a slight problem getting this to pay attention though.”  He pointed to his chest.

“So what is it? ”  She persisted.

He scrambled, knowing that it was likely that the first thing that occurred to him would probably be correct.   “Fear” he blurted.

“Good” she said, ever the pragmatist.  “Now we’re getting somewhere.”

“What are you?  My counsellor or something?”  Despite the joking tone, he was serious.   Again, they both knew it.  It was one of the reasons their friendship worked.

“It matters to me.  I don’t know why.   Seems to me you’re a caring person – such a shame to see that potential get lost.”

“Yeah”  he agreed.  “But then, potential isn’t romance is it?”

“No….”  she began.   Then the silence drifted in, pulled up a chair, and sat there, content and peaceful.

“I guess…” he began.  “After years of nothing but shouting and miscommunication… I’m probably a little gun-shy.”

“A little?”

“Okay.  A lot.”   He looked up, thinking.  She waited.

“I’ve had so many years of being by myself.  I like my apartment, and my routine.   I like being selfish.  Staying out till all hours of the night if I want.   Going where I want without having to worry about anyone else.”

“Is that why you haven’t replaced your cat?” she wondered.

“Probably.   I like the freedom.”

“Not everyone is like your ex-wife you know.”   She had been privy to his history.  There wasn’t any need to re-hash any of it.

“I know, I know.”  He said.  “I guess I can’t help thinking that they’re all like her though.”

“You realize how crazy that is right?”

“I do.   Doesn’t change much of anything though.”

She shook her head.  “My God.  You’re damaged aren’t you?”

“I hope not.  If I accepted that diagnosis, doctor, it would suggest it couldn’t be fixed.”

She laughed.  “It wouldn’t suggest any such thing.   But you know – if you start there, maybe you can figure out how to shake things up.”

He smiled again.  “So what’s your prescription?”

There was no hesitation.  “Get out there.   Swim in strange and weird waters.”

“Oh it’s that easy is it?”

“It is.”

“And how would you know this?  You’ve been married for quite a few years now.”

“I just know.  Trust me.”

He did trust her.   But he couldn’t bring himself to trust that it was that easy.

Have to admit:  since moving in to the new place I find I’m falling more and more in heavy like with it.  Not yet willing to pilot the boat to the end of the Tunnel of “Love” just yet.  Give it time.

Oh there are a few little annoyances.  Like the fact that the laundry room has “hours of operation”.  In the Old Place, there was no time restriction.  In the New Place – well you have to check your watch, and schedule the time properly or you may not be able to grab your freshly dried tightey-whiteys at the end of the dryer cycle.  Which means any old early bird can get in there when it opens in the morning and abscond with them before you can rub the sleep out of your eyes.

Gauchie theft is a growing crime problem, you know.   There are just too many guys out there, in poverty, who’ve never had gauchies of their own.  They’ve looked at the Sears catalogue with longing for so many years, always turning to the men’s underwear section, dreaming of the day they can slip one of these bad boys onto their privates, and smile with contentment, knowing that their junk is finally contained.

But I digress.

Oh P.S.  I don’t use tightey-whiteys.  I’m strictly a boxers adherent.  The reason for the use of the other term:  artistic license.

Seems to me you can say almost anything, as long as you follow up with that all-encompassing justification.

“I think you and your family are descendants of feudal peasants who never washed, because it never occurred to them to do so.  They’ve passed their penchant for soap-avoidance onto their progeny so really it’s not your fault that you smell.  JUST KIDDING.  Artistic license.”

Maybe it wouldn’t work.  The only way to know for sure is to test it.  If you can say the above and then walk away afterward without having to wipe blood from your nose – YOU WIN.

Getting back on topic:  there is much to love about the New Place: I don’t just have air conditioning.  The place has “climate control” – which is about a ton better than air conditioning.  Air conditioning involves a machine that you have to spend hours trying to fit in an abnormal-sized window.  You have to measure it, grab some plywood or plexiglass, and then cut it so that it fits with the air conditioner.  Plus you have to find a way to anchor it in the window so that it doesn’t fall fifteen stories down right on top of that Nightmare Litigator who will sue your ass for everything you’ve got (providing that they live).

No, I have climate control, which means there is venting throughout the apartment.  We each have our own controls, too.  I have *never* enjoyed summer so much, ever.  With climate control, there is no worry about water leaking (in my last place, water leaked onto the floor when I wasn’t home, resulting in the tiles becoming engorged and lifting.  Had to get someone in to re-do the floors), and it pipes the air into all parts of the apartment.  So cool, in both senses of the word.

The water pressure is great too.   In the Old Place, that was a real issue, and was the cause of an unending barrage of swearing in the morning.  Not only did the water dribble out of the shower-head like an old man with a football-sized prostate, but the temperature fluctuated just a little bit too.  Back and forth, from frightened-testicles-hurry-up-and-scurry-back-up-into-your-body-cavity ice cold to immediately-peel-your-skin-off-down-to-the-bone red lava hot.  So a five-minute shower usually took about twenty minutes to a half hour.   I started out hating it, but ended up loathing it with a passion.

And washing dishes was a fall-on-your-face joke.   That tap too trickled like the cutest little babbling brook.   You could get suds only if, after letting the tap water fill the sink (generally about ten to fifteen minutes) and depositing about a half a cup of dish soap, you then swished it around violently with your hand.

Yes, it was definitely time for a change.   Now, I have to really watch how much dish soap I put in, because too much will cause a soap volcano in the sink.   And showers now take five minutes.  Awesome.

What really kind of made this place cool was something I hadn’t expected, in socially cold Toronto:  I have some pretty neat neighbours.

Most of them welcomed me when I moved in.  The general welcome was something like “good luck in your new place.”   I’ve never had that kind of greeting before.   Most of the residents in this building are Jewish, too.  Some are orthodox and many are not.   There’s are three elevators here, one of which is designated as the Sabbath elevator from Friday evening to Saturday evening.   For those who don’t know, the Sabbath elevator allows folk to ride without having to push any buttons.  It stops automatically at every floor.

This morning when I went down to do my laundry, a couple of older women – both Jewish – introduced themselves to me.  We got talking pleasantly about the building, and about life in general.  It was pretty cool, especially since this never happened at my other building.

“So did you just move in?”

“Yes, I did.  In the middle of June.”

“What apartment are you in?”

(I wondered at that question.  But I told her)

“Oh, it’s one of the one-bedrooms then.”

(Evidently they knew the building floor plans.  Interesting.)

“And so are you by yourself then?”

To be honest, I get the feeling the older women here are trying to size me up – since I seem to be getting the same questions.  Maybe I’m a possible candidate as a mate for their daughters.  I can imagine the conversation.

“He’s probably making good money, since he can afford to live here by himself.”

“So pleasant too.  And good-looking.  He might be a professional man.”

“You think so?   Maybe my Marly will catch his eye.”

“Oh you know – Marly catches everyone’s eye.”

“What are you saying?  Are you saying Marly gets around?”

“No, no dear.   I’m just saying she’s good-looking too.”

“Oh.  I’m sorry.  Didn’t mean to get all meshugah on you dear.”

“Ah!  Think nothing of it.   You know, she’s probably too good for him anyway.”

“You think so?”

“I do.  And besides, he’s probably Goy anyway.”

“That’s true.  I didn’t see a yarmulke.  Oy, I’m going to plotz before I find an eligible man for my Marly.”

I love this place.

After receiving a prompt in an email message today, I’ve elected to respond here in this blog. Please feel free to do the same.

In fact, I kind of insist on it.

Don’t make me whip out a can of thousand-yard googily stare on you.

So…what would you say to your 16-year old self?

Well, here are some things I’d say to myself at 16:

———————————-

“Son, that 28-year old married babe isn’t interested in your chaste Christian friendship. Turn the lights on, boy! She’s got something else in mind. (Maybe her feeding you Southern Comfort late at night while she giggled and laughed at your jokes while making coy suggestions should have been your first clue.)”

———————————-

“Dude – ride the bike, or walk and enjoy the scenery. You can’t do both. If you try, you’ll end up having an accident when you ogle that girl. Trust me, the embarrassment is worse than the pain.”

———————————-

“Um – look. I know your hormones are racing and you really want to have the babes pay attention to you, but I gotta tell you: checkered pants are not the way to go. You look like a fooking dork. Gnome sayin’?”

———————————-

“See a doctor about your inability to pay attention. This is treatable.”

———————————-

“That girl you saw at that Christian crusade? The one you complimented? You know the one I mean. You said her dress looked pretty. Yeah. That one. Lose her phone number.”

———————————-

“You’re right to be concerned about being an alcoholic, because your dad is. I can tell you that you’re not, though. Just be aware of your intake at all times and you’ll be fine. If you ever feel you need it – then stop.”

———————————-

“Look, I know it’s a chintzy job at a library and it doesn’t pay all that well. Still – pretend that 10% of your pay doesn’t exist. Put it in a saving’s account. Make a habit of it.”

———————————-

“There are all kinds of people who want you to think exactly the way they do. There’s peer pressure, and there’s dad pressure and there’s pulpit pressure. Don’t give into any of it. Think for yourself. Trust nothing they say until it can be tested so that you know it’s true for yourself.”

———————————-

“You know how you fart around every morning and end up leaving so late that you have to run to school? Well ….the late thing? Not good. The running thing? Awesome. Keep it up and make a habit of it.”

———————————-

“Remember when the math teacher was making corny jokes, so you folded up a paper airplane and you launched it at him such that it flew perfectly right at him and parted his hair? Remember how his face turned red and he laughed with the rest of the class? That was awesome. Do more stuff like that.”

———————————-

“Don’t be so quick on wanting to settle down with one girl. Date as many girls as you can – just so that you can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. You can’t know this until you’re out there.”

———————————-

“Also – make a promise to yourself that you won’t get married until you’re at least twenty-five, ok?”

———————————-

Finally – and this important son, so pay attention here – make sure you write down three things:

1) Microsoft 2) Apple 3) Google

Even though that last thing sounds ridiculous, it’s going to be important someday. Watch the news, and when their stock goes live, open up that piggy bank and spend like a drunken sailor – buy up as much of all three stocks as you can. Especially Apple, because at the beginning it’s going to be cheap. Very cheap. But by the time you get older, it’s going to get extremely expensive, and you’ll do well.

Trust me.

———————————-

YOUR TURN

Skin

Posted: March 18, 2010 in dating, Life
Tags: , , ,

The Beast had the blackest hair of anyone I ever knew.  And his skin was dark.   Mom was whiter than snow.  You can see how they were attracted to each other.

I kind of imagine him as a the evil fairy stepfather.  “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s got the most awesomest black hair, like EVER, man?”

Mirror:  “You used to reign o’er all the rest of course…..but your second-born child’s head will be blacker than yours…”

(Ok he was not my stepfather.  He was my father.)

(Artistic license)

Oh, and I was the first born.  The second-born (out of a total of six) was my sister.

We never gave any thought to our colouring – hair or skin – until later on in life, when the fact of our native heritage came up.  We are Mohawks.   Indians.  People of the First Nations.

We grew up, however, in a pure Caucasian society: school, Catholic Church, white picket fence neighbourhood.  We never suffered any of the stereotypical put-downs that other native kids put up with – the idea that all natives are drunks, for example, or that we give gifts only to take them back immediately (Indian-givers).    Mostly because the majority of the kids didn’t look native.  I sure as hell don’t (check my profile pic).  And my youngest sister has blonde hair and blue-green eyes.  So there you go.

Still, we are all true Mohawks, and we have our government-issued status cards as proof.   Some of that heritage has shown up in different ways.   One of my sisters makes dream-catchers, which she sells.  Another has delved deeply into Mohawk culture (as has a cousin of mine); she joined a Mohawk association and even attempted to learn the language.

I think it has shown up in my life with respect to The Wolf.  I don’t talk about it very much (and hardly ever in real life) yet some people have picked up on it.  If you were to come into my home, you’d see a number of wolf pictures on the walls and a wolf calendar in the kitchen.  I wrote a blog here, called “Wolf” which better explains it.

Skin colour generally hasn’t been very high on my radar when it comes to friends or dating.  Don’t know why, really – it’s not like I’m an advocate of political correctness or anything.  Teenage lust knows no barriers – or at least that’s my thinking.  I dated dark-skinned girls as well as light.  As long as we both agreed that I rocked, there wasn’t much more to consider.

A few years ago, when I was going full-steam as an actor (largely underpaid, if at all), I was part of a group of Canadian actors on a forum.   We met in person a few times a year for dinner and drinks.   At one such gathering, I found myself surrounded with gorgeous women, some of whom – to my *thank God* appreciation – were single.

One of them – a very short, dark-haired little Persian girl – noticed me, but evidently (she complained later) I didn’t notice her.   I explained that it wasn’t that I didn’t notice her – I did. It was that she was way too pretty, and probably out of my league.  So I saw her, and dismissed her.  Like that.

After dinner was done, and a bunch of us decided to go bar-hopping, she hung around and came with us.   Eventually we got to talking, and flirting.  Eventually there were just three of us: her, another woman (who I could tell wanted to pursue something with me) and me.   The dynamic was awkward.  I wanted to be with the cute little thing, and wasn’t attracted at all to the other girl (oh dear Lord – listen to this – two women interested in me, and I’m complaining that it’s awkward.  And that my uncle left me way too much money).

So there we were – all three of us – out on the dance floor, dancing together.    At one point, the other girl – let’s call her Blondie – left to get more drinks, while the cute little thing – let’s call her Cutie – and I continued to dance.   Our eyes caught, and she smiled.  I could feel myself smiling too, and we started to dance toward each other.   I couldn’t believe it, frankly.  When we were close enough, she reached up (waaaay up), placed her hands around my neck while I placed mine around her body and we pulled each other in close for the most passionate kiss I have ever had.   God it was hot.   We just stood there, giving each other the most x-rated kiss ever,  while the rest of the room danced around us.

We kept checking for Blondie, and when she got back to us, we broke away quickly.   Of course, now that we knew the score – Cutie and I – things got even more awkward.  I can’t recall how we managed to dissolve the triangle but we did.

As the two of us walked later on that night (well early morning actually) she said “I have never kissed a boy like that!”

I said ” same here.”

A while later, I added “I have never kissed a boy like that either.”

She laughed and punched me in the arm.

All that time – when we walked together, or made other people in the street or on the bus uncomfortable with our non-stop amorous and oh-so-public displays of affection, our skin colour was just never an issue.  It never came up.

Except once.    We were holding hands, and just sitting quietly together.  Both of us were looking at our joined hands – hers was so very dark, and mine was snow-white.   And we both laughed, right at the same time.

“Wow” she said.

“Yeah”.

We grinned at each other.

There really was nothing else to say.

German Girl

Posted: March 10, 2010 in dating, Life, romance
Tags: , ,

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a little awkward around girls. 

You’d think, when you have four sisters, a grandmother and a mother all living under the same roof as yourself, that you’d have an easier time with the opposite sex.  Wouldn’t you?  

The first girl who ever called me her boyfriend thought I was hot stuff.  I had no point of reference (I had four sisters, you see, all of whom felt the opposite of their older sibling), so didn’t really know what that meant.  It felt good, hearing her say it though.  The first time we were together, we had stayed late in the library after school.  I was fourteen and she was thirteen.

The librarian didn’t know we were there, so he shut off the lights and went out of the locked door, leaving us alone among the bookshelves.  I even remember the book we were looking at.  It had something to do with Hippocrates.  Neither of us was that interested in the book, even though we had decided to sit down on the floor with our backs to the wall and read it together.  It gave us an excuse to be close.  We were both aware we were doing something wrong, just by being in that place without adult supervision.  I suppose it added to our excitement.

We knew we liked each other but…..at that age, I have to tell you, we were pretty damned innocent about everything.

We walked home, holding hands, and we didn’t do anything else.  I mean, nothing else.  At all.

I wanted to go all the way home with her but she stopped and looked at me.

“I’m not allowed to have boyfriends until I’m at least sixteen” she said.

I frowned, and she smiled.  “But you can walk me this far, at least.”

“Ok” I said, pleased that she wanted me to do that.

“So, OK” she said.

“Ok.”  I looked down at my running shoes.  “See you later, I guess.”

“See you.”

The tension between us was electric.   Amazing, isn’t it, how so much can be said, even with few words.

The next day, I walked her part way home at lunch hour.  We stopped at the designated stopping area (as defined by her) and she looked at me in exasperation.  Then, to my shock, she stood on her toes and kissed me.

It was a completely chaste, closed-mouth kiss.  But man!  It was a *kiss*.

I was blown away for the rest of the day.  My emotional cheese slid completely off of my cracker.  And like *that* my worldview changed.  We became an item.

We found excuses to be with each other, whether at band practice, or at church.  Often we sat at the front of the church sanctuary, both of us at the piano.  We’d play some music, or I’d play and she would sing.  And then we would sit on the piano bench, me facing the piano and her facing the pews, and we would just kiss.  In church.  How God must have been horrified at this use of His Sanctuary.   Doesn’t matter that they continued to be chaste kisses – I’m certain He was scandalized.  To this day I don’t know why He didn’t just reach down and slap us both with a mild lightning bolt or two. 

I remember standing at my locker when she was in the classroom nearby, talking with her friends.

“So what is with him anyway?” someone asked her.  “On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate him?”

“Eleven”

One night, we were out walking in the rain, just after church.  We walked as close to each other as we could get, our arms wrapped around each other beneath her see-through umbrella with the yellow trim.  We got to the designated stopping area, and once again, we gave each other the longest chaste kiss there is on record.  (To be fair, we had seen open-mouthed kisses on TV but we didn’t know how it worked.  We tried it once, and we were both freaked out by it, and dissolved into laughter).   I remember her perfume – it had a lemony scent to it. 

Years later, when walking down the street, sometimes someone will go by, wearing that same scent, and it brings me right back to that night in the rain, kissing my first girlfriend.

I debated whether to write this or not and suddenly realized I had to write it.

You look at her, and you can plainly see that she adores you.  She isn’t needy, and you know she can stand on her own without you, but she’s chosen you, just the same.

Neither of you have done anything wrong.   It’s not like she’s a bad person, or that you are.  It’s just ….you can’t make it work.  You’ve both had a sense that might be the case, despite the fairy-tale beginning to your romance.   Certain logical inconsistencies were there, which you both chose to ignore.  The fact that you are planning to move away, for example.  You both knew this going into the romance, but you pretended that plan was over the horizon, unreachable, and out of sight.

What you can’t see, doesn’t exist.  Right?

Eventually, the winds of change came; those winds that you can’t see but still affect you just the same, and you both had to face up to it.  She was still in denial, I suppose.  She hoped, because she hadn’t met anyone in a long while who “got” her the way you do.   Frankly, you had hoped, too.  You can’t explain it, but for some reason you’re the one with the more realistic outlook.  No way is this going to work  And so you have to tell her.

It’s quite obvious that it was hard for her to hear, even as she nodded in logical agreement.

********

Yes, sometimes, that’s the way it happens.  You happen to be the desperately gentle fly swatter.

And sometimes, like today, you’re the fly.

********

The Girl and I are not an item.  We have different much different agendas.  Something I refused to acknowledge.   Go figure.  Hope springs eternal and all of that.

Fortunately, the romance was only in the beginning stages so there was no time for any roots to grow deep.   I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve never met anyone like her before.   She’s not a keeper though, and I’m moving on.

On a scale of one to ten, the suckage quotient, especially given the fact that I’ve been on the giving end of this kind of scenario before, is about a four.

Good thing it’s sunny out, and warm.  Time to go for a walk.

Cheers, kids!

Benefit of the Doubt

Posted: March 5, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , ,

You know something?  I have no idea where the phrase “benefit of the doubt” originated.  Yet, we all know what it means.

Being a laid back person often means others think that you’re casual about everything.  So they get a little surprised when they find out that you have no tolerance for anything other than the “benefit of the doubt” when they’re dealing with you.  

“Why did you let the door hit me in the face?”

I looked at my colleague. “Why do you assume I saw you following me?”

It’s like that.  I make a point of assuming the best of others.  Maybe this is clause #415 of the Golden Rule, section B.   Or maybe it’s just a good idea.   Everyone reading this blog has found themselves on the wrong end of the pooping elephant of misunderstanding, right?  You can think of times when you did something and a loved one or friend misinterpreted you, or assumed the worst.  (Tell me about it in your comments!)

Anyway – it sucks, doesn’t it?

Only makes sense not to make the same mistake with them, right?  Like, when that server at the restaurant forgets to bring you your drink not once, but three times.  Well, he or she’s just lazy and stupid right?   I grew up with that mindset.   Until, I had a bad day and people assumed I was stupid and lazy.   It’s not fair when it happens to me.

Maybe the server was up all night with a sick kid, and so was just unfocused.  Maybe he or she is a single parent, too.

It doesn’t make it any easier for you when you’re just trying to have a good night out and the server has forgotten you.  It happens.   It’s life.  You have options:  you can make a big deal about it and complain to the manager, or you can leave a penny tip, or you can assume the best of motives, leave your normal tip and carry on.   Really, when you think about it – how many people truly have nefarious evil motives?  

Well other than politicians and teenagers, I mean.  

And plumbers who insist on not tightening their belts enough to avoid the dreaded butt cleavage.  

And the upstairs neighbour who has his music turned up so loud you can’t get any sleep.  Doesn’t he *know* you need to get up at 5:00?   What?  You didn’t talk with him? Uh huh.

When I met a girl six years ago, I thought she was amazing.  Cute, tiny actually – maybe 5’0″ or so.  Like The Girl I’m with now, this one was Russian too.  (In fact, The Girl and I talked about her).    We went out for about six months, off and on.

There were a few things about her though that I found odd.

She never invited me up to her place.  Ever.

She often lapsed into a brooding silence when we were together.  I had no idea why.

She wanted to talk about me, but we hardly ever talked about her.

I assumed the best.  Maybe she had a horrible past and just didn’t want to think about it or talk about it.  I didn’t push.

One day though, we were at a restaurant, and I had enough.   There we sat, our meals done, and the bill paid.  She was brooding again.

I looked at her.  “What are you thinking about?”

She looked back at me, then down, saying nothing.

I decided to push.  “You look as if you are married with six kids or something.”   To this day, I have no idea where that thought came from.  It just popped out. 

She looked back at me in alarm.  Her face drained of all colour.

“I don’t have six kids…..” she began.  Then stopped.

It was too surreal.  I had assumed the best of this woman and she had dropped this bombshell.   In a split second, the trust that was her default when we started out was suddenly ripped to shreds.   She was married, and she hadn’t bothered to tell me.

I looked at my glass of water, thinking.   Then I stood up.

“Bye.”

————————

This changed nothing about me, though.  My positive presumptions remain the same with almost anyone I meet.  

Better to trust and be betrayed, I think,  than to assume the worst and be alone.

Date Night Anticipation

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Life
Tags: ,

As anyone who is single might attest – it sometimes sucks having to date.  Although you have to imagine it kind of depends upon what you’re after.   If you’re after just one night stands, then maybe it’s not so bad.

If you’re after The One though….that can get kind of tricky.  You meet someone and you hope things work out but more often than not:

- she’s suspicious of all men because of her past experiences; or

- she’s desperate and sees you immediately as The Answer To Her Dreams; or

- she wanted a handyman but you have no mad mechanic skills; or

- or she smokes and you don’t; or

- or

You know how it goes.  You just never know.  And sometimes the problem is you.  Maybe:

- you’ve had some bad experiences and are super-vigilant (read: paranoid) about the possibility you might be dating a crazy person; or

- you haven’t been with someone with so long you’re worried you might not know how everything works; or

- you haven’t read up on “The Rules” and this makes you wonder if you’re going to blow it (do I call her tomorrow?  Or the next day?  What?)

The thing that many of us are looking for is a vague thing.  Chemistry.  The “IT” factor.

I’ve been out in the dating world for about five years now.   The “IT” factor almost seemed mystical.  A construct of some teenager’s overactive imagination.  Wasn’t sure IT existed at all.

Then I saw her.  We saw each other.  I swear there was a slight background buzzing to the air.  There was enough of a question mark to make me wonder.  I mean, all we did was say “hello” to each other as we passed each other, each of us going a different direction.  People say “hi” to each other every day.  It doesn’t have to mean anything.  Sometimes they’re just being polite.  Maybe that buzzing sound was just my imagination.

Being so rusty and not wanting to appear foolish, it never occurred to me to, well, you know – stop and chat.  Besides, she was with some friends or family and were on their way somewhere.  It wasn’t like we were in a coffee shop.  (Believe me, being pole-struck and tongue-tied, I found all kinds of reasonable excuses not to move forward).

There’s a problem with meeting someone who affects you like that (and not chatting): you might not ever get the chance again.  It’s so important to act impulsively sometimes.  To take a chance.

So a year went by and I always wondered about her.

And then, one day I was rushing out somewhere, and was late, when I saw her again.  This time, she saw me first.  I saw her notice me, look down with a half smile, and then she looked up at me again and said “hi”.  I couldn’t believe it was her.  She was so pretty.  Way too pretty.  And I was running late.

“So how are you?”

“I’m fine.  You?”

“I’m fine too.  Good to see you!”

“You too”

“Well”, I knew I should say more.  Take it further.  “See you around!”

“See you”

We went our separate ways.

Ahhh!

It’s at this point you start to bargain with God.  “I promise – if You’ll let me see her again, I’ll try my hardest not to blow it.  ‘k, God?”

A month went by.  I kept hoping to see her but figured I had missed my chance, and that was that.

Then came last night.

I had been out to the drugstore to hunt down a birthday card.  Strange how utterly cheesy and stupid so many of those cards are.  You have to spend an hour searching through them, sometimes.   Often, like last night, you don’t find a single card, and so you leave the store in frustration.  I was frustrated.  So frustrated I forgot whatever else it was I had to buy.

It wasn’t until I arrived home (and had my boots and coat off) that I remembered that I needed salad for the next day.   I could have just left it until the morning but that would have made me late for work.  So I went through the winter wrapping routine and piled on my winter gear for another trek out to the grocery store.

Salad in hand, I made my way to the cashier.  There were three people in line ahead of me, and one person behind.

She walked by.

I have to admit: I stared.  It couldn’t be her.

Could it?

It was.  Definitely.  It was her.

I looked at the guy behind me.  I said “you go ahead buddy” and I went looking for her in the bakery section.

Finally I caught up to her.

“You’re from….”

“Yes, we ran into each other before”

“Well hi!”

“Hi!”

“I don’t think we introduced ourselves to each other before.  Did we?”

“No.  I’m…” and she told me her name.  I told her mine.  We shook hands.

I couldn’t think what to say next so I said the next thing that popped into my head.  Fortunately, it wasn’t stupid.

“Um, would you like to get together for a coffee sometime?”

I looked for microexpressions on her face.  “Or are you with someone?”

I mean, that had to be it, right?  No one as beautiful as her was alone.  She had to have had a mate.

“Sure.  I’d like that”

Well this was a surprise.  Shock really.  What do you say now?  Do you blurt out “Ok then.  Maybe we’ll do that someday”?

Fortunately the left side of my brain had some measure of control and realized how lame that idea was.

“Great.  How about tomorrow?”

She said “sure.  Tomorrow’s good.”

And then I remembered I had a doctor’s appointment after work.  Face palm time.

She saw this.  “Oh it’s ok.  Any time is good really.”

I looked at her.  I think I was smiling, but I’m not sure.  “How about late?”  I meant to say “later”, but it came out “late”

“How do you mean ‘late’?  Like, ‘late late’?”

I recovered.   “I mean, how about 8:00?  Maybe over there at Starbucks?”

“Ok 8:00 it is, then.  I’ll meet you at Starbucks”

“Great!  See you then!”

With that, we left each other.  A coffee date established, all was well, right?

Well, except for my pounding heart.

Chemistry.

And now….I’m up an hour before I need to be, writing this blog and anticipating the evening.  On the first date you just want it to go so well.  Especially when that “IT” factor is there.  Don’t want to ask too many questions.  Don’t want to find out you have nothing in common.  You can drive yourself a little crazy.

She’s so beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as me, come to think of it.