I admit, I’ve had bad luck when it comes to dating. I’ve had a lot of dates in the last few years since I’ve been divorced, but no lasting relationships. Most days I’m good at adopting a fairly zen-like acceptance about the whole thing, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t want someone special in my life. I admit, I’m beginning to question all the “it’s just not your time” bull-hooey…even if experience has proven it to be true.
About a year and a half ago I started seeing someone long-distance. It came at a time when I needed it, and while I didn’t love the guy, I liked him well-enough and was open to the possibilities. Several months into it, however, I broke it off because we rarely saw each other and he couldn’t quite get his act together to plan a trip for us to spend some quality time together. I later found out he had been (and still was) married. An attorney would call this a “material omission of fact.” A psychologist might pinpoint this behavior as diagnostic code RBOIE – Rat Bastard Overinflated Ego. I called it pretty shitty luck on my part.
I was mad, yet after many yoga warrior poses and deep breathing, I chalked it up to “it’s just not my time” and thanked the Universe for the iPod he gave me as a gift and a story line for my next novel. My point in sharing this is to paint a picture of why I swore off men and dating – and jumped on the Jerry Springer “save the drama for your mama” bandwagon – for the next six months. Then, one day in late February, I jumped off again.
It happened when I signed up for a speed dating event (now rescheduled for June). In addition to listing information about the event, the web site also shared online profiles. Although I had no desire to set up a profile myself, I perused the offerings and spotted a man who I thought might be a good match. He was a “creative type” (a professional musician), intellectual (or at least deeper than Bra Guy), nice looking, divorced father, about ten years older than me (and presumably mature), etc. He had hid the code of his email address in his profile, so I contacted him. After a few exchanges, we agreed to meet in person.
We met at HardRock Cafe. He was certainly nice enough, but was a bit too much like the sullen musician type for my liking; the guy hardly smiled. Worse, he barely asked anything about me, and when he did, he would start to talk over me when I answered. In retrospect, it was a bad idea bringing a musician to HardRock because my date couldn’t stop glancing over at the music videos. I mean, can an ’80’s Poison video be that much better than being on a date with a woman who is at least PRETENDING to be interested in you, even if she doesn’t use as many hair products?
Don’t answer that.
Then, by some miracle, the Universe intervened.
“Look, the star is on fire!” a woman at the next table exclaimed. My date looked away from the Pat Benatar video he was pretending not to watch and we both turned in the woman’s direction. Sure enough, through the window we could see flames climbing up the point of the star on the fluorescent sign next door. My date perked up at this. Like one of the teenagers around us, he whipped out his cell phone, and looked at me, all excited. “Would you mind if I went outside to take a picture?” he asked.
I smiled at him. This was just what we both needed. “Sure, go ahead.”
I watched the rest of the video, and then surveyed the commotion and drama going on outside. I could see my date chatting with the young bartenders taking pictures with their cell phones and the firemen who had arrived. He was having the time of his life. Watching the burning star, I hoped – and wished – my time would come. Soon.