“Look, the star is on fire!”

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.

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10 thoughts on ““Look, the star is on fire!”

  1. sarah says:

    Well, I don’t know what the magic formula is. You could try what I did. And ask out the hot garderner who works at your neighbor’s house (that is, if your neighbor has a hot gardener working for them). 🙂 It is sort of wild to ask a guy out.

    I have heard good things about eHarmony. There are enough people on that thing, i think, to make it worthwhile. I’m tempted to do it just because it’s pretty fun to meet new people. But, i’m not sure what my bf would think….

  2. S – nah, there is no magic formula. I know that. (“Damn you, Universe!”) Thanks for the hot gardener tip; I will have to keep an eye out. As for eHarmony, tried that one a while ago (be prepared for 45 minutes of personality profiling questions) and some others. I won’t rule out online dating at some point, but not right now. And, yes, um, you might not want to tell the hot gardener you’re scoping out those sites…you might not want to do it at all!

  3. It’s hard for me to give advice on this topic since I’ve been married for nearly 14 years! Hmm…a little bit of alone time sounds pretty good to me!

    However, I will say that my boss met her husband on E-Harmony, so I have proof that it does work.

    My SIL is kind of in the same boat as you. She’s been searching for years now–even trying the online dating thing, but no such luck for her. And I guess that I should quit telling her that “it’s just not your time,” huh?

    If it were me, I would try E-Harmony. It’s worth a try, right?

  4. curt says:

    I know that you and I have spoken on this subject many times. it’s a bitch, but keep putting yourself out there. that is crucial — if a relationship is something you want.

    you’re doing all of the right things and, as I have found out, sometimes these methods work.

    and, not all guys are like flaming star creative music guy. there are better fish in the talent pool. don’t cave, but don’t be too picky. I know that’s sometimes hard to define, but you know who is best for you. when it’s your time, you’ll know — n’all that crap.

    just remember — if you quit, the terrorists win. 😉

  5. Lulu and Curt, thanks for your thoughts. I don’t want anyone to think I’m wallowing in misery here; I honestly believe I have a full life as it is and I’m in a good place. But you are right – I won’t/can’t give up hope and I won’t give up trying new things. Dating, though, like anything takes time, energy and patience. I think all 3 of those things lag at times, and maybe I’m just not up to it right now. As for not all guys being like the Flaming Star (good name!) or Bra Guy, I know that…It’s just that it’s so much more fun to write about those guys than all you normal (well, relatively normal) ones! 🙂

  6. Wow – I feel like I’m entering the 21st (or late 20th) century. I’ve never responded to a blog before – and am ashamed to say I don’t quite understand how chat rooms work.

    What Up!!! Fellow Marco Island pal Laura forwarded me the address to your blog and I – as referenced in my name – am in awe. How in the world you find the time, energy, and creativity to create and update a website – write novels – excel full-time in corporate America – parent two kids – occassionally leave the house for other than mandatory activities – and keep an immaculate home (never seen it – but somehow I’m sure this is the case) – is beyond me. I think we must come from different species. (Hmmm… perhaps I should have some genetic testing – I might just descend from homo habilis – this could explain a lot.)
    I’m really missing all of my friends from my previous life (Go Blue) – however current fires (and inertia) keep me from doing much about it. I’d love to write more – however I have two girls in a bathtub waiting for my return. Although you may think there are some things missing in your life – it still inspires envy in me. Hope you find what is missing – and serve as our inspiration that we can have it all.

    I so need – but cannot afford ($ or time)- a girls weekend away. Funny how it can throw you back 20 years – and put you in an entirely different place/life.

    I’ll check back when I get a few moments.

  7. Carrie – So good to hear from you; thanks for coming by (and now I have an up-to-date email for you) and your sweet words. Don’t be too in awe; I’m still me with plenty of idiosyncrasies and Type A tendencies, which give me plenty to blog about. I feel like I’m kinda stumbling through life, but right now I’m mostly having a good time learning and finding new paths. I’ll write separately, but L. and I talked about a visit to your hometown so we girls can get together again. I hope maybe that would work.

  8. Oh to be blessed with a couple of Type A tendencies – I could really use an irrational drive pushing me to get things done. All I have is the inner voice questioning and castigating everything I do – followed by my attempt to drowned out this chorus with NPR/Forensic Files/sleep.

    Occassionally I try to overcome my inertia and start on something new. Today it is planting a vegetable garden. I’m going out to pull the weeds flourishing where my future crop will stand. I’m sure I’ll be abandoning the idea of how grown vegetables by noon – court TV always has an episode of Forensic Files scheduled.

  9. Hey, tell that inner critic to cut the crap and help you pull the weeds instead. You’re doing great! (I must admit it’s probably a good thing I don’t know when the forensic files are on…) I’ll look forward to some fresh tomatoes in July 😉

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