The Dating Jitterbug: Lesson One

After a few days of silence from WG (Wine Guy), I took the lead last week and followed up on our previous agreement to meet for coffee.  I left him a message one morning, asking when he might be free, but didn’t get any response from him that day.  After telling myself not to over think the situation, I realized that it might be a good idea to try and date different guys so that my neuroses would spread out a little more evenly rather than concentrate its full power on one person.

But how to find more dates without going the online dating route?  I don’t exactly appeal to the masses.  How would I describe myself?  I’m like Tina Fey’s Asian cousin – not exactly Tina in all her brilliance, but it’s as if we share some of the same genes.  Mm, that made more sense in my head.  Anyways, I do wear smart glasses like she does, so it means I’m pretty much just like her.  How about this:  I’m an ice cream flavor that appeals to very specific, sometimes odd people.  A scoop of vanilla with basil and chicken liver, anyone?  Hello?  And as I’ve mentioned before, every few years a guy comes along and thinks that flavor combination is intriguing.  When that happens, it’s in my best interest to take a critical look at his tastebuds.

Recently, a friend tried to jog my memory about the time we took a screenwriting class together when I was 19 years old:  “Remember that older guy in the class who was interested in you?  You said he wanted to build a home under the ground and that he only had the best of intentions for you.  You didn’t want to go back to the class after that.  Remember?”  I thought it was a little cruel of her to try and make me remember such a horrifying moment in my past.  Luckily, my memory was gifted enough to have blocked the whole thing and now I can use it as part of my ice cream analogy.

While I was in deep contemplation over all of these issues, WG called me the following day and left a message telling me which days he was free.  I made my friend listen to it.  She said, “He sounds nervous.”  So I gave her his name and number just in case he went mental on me and decided that my liver would taste pretty good, too.

No one eats my liver and gets away with it.

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Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind

Four score and twenty years ago, I asked a guy out on a date.  Well, it was more like: “Next time you’re in L.A., give me a call if you want to hang out.”  I know.  Being proactively vague is a gift.  We ended up being together for 18 years.

Needless to say, I haven’t been on a date with someone new in quite a while.  When I became newly single, I had no interest in dating – it wouldn’t have been a good idea until I found my own footing again.  But I’m ready now and…rusty.  Extremely rusty.  It doesn’t help that I didn’t date that much before my last relationship.

Yesterday, I asked Wine Guy:  “Would you be interested in meeting for coffee sometime?”  Wow, I get more skilled as the decades fly by.  Wait.  Now that I think about it, it probably would have made more sense if I had asked him to meet up over a glass of wine.  Anyways, he said yes, we exchanged numbers and…now what?  I didn’t lock down a day and time.  Was I supposed to do that?  Why is this so awkward?  I feel like I just went on a job interview after being out of the workforce for twenty years.  Hi!  Please hire me!

Clearly, I will be muddling through this whole dating thing until I get the hang of it.  Or not.  In the meantime, I respectfully and cautiously join the rest of the muddlers out there.  Here’s to us.

 

Men: The Early Years

Dating.  Karaoke.

Those two words make me cringe.  They have come up recently in my life, and because I can only tackle one frightening thing at a time, I’ll choose the subject of dating.

The topic has been floating around a lot lately between friends and co-workers.  We ask each other:  “How much younger?  Older?  Short?  Tall?  Type?”

“Match.com?”  shudder.

“Speed dating?”  nothing but crickets.

I have to face the facts.  My dating life has been…less than stellar.  Not only the number of dates, but the dates and relationships themselves.  Let’s see, in the beginning of my career there was:

– My first boyfriend when I was 15 years old.  It was a short-lived romance that started with meeting cute at a local fair over sno-cones.  It began to fizzle because I couldn’t get used to the way he kept throwing his tongue inside my mouth.  Because of my inexperience, I thought, is this what kissing is?  But I lacked the confidence to shout, “If I wanted tongue, I would have ordered tongue!”  I think it was his technique.  Yes, I’m sure he was the problem.

– The tourist visiting his grandmother.  We met while I was driving with a friend in town and he was riding his bicycle.  It’s complicated.  He should have been my first kiss, because – well, never mind.  I don’t know you that well yet, so I won’t go into it.  Anyways, he soon had to return to one of those funny-sounding cities in Washington.  He never responded to the letter I sent him.  That was before email, texting, Facebook.  It was so much easier to ignore people back then.

– Another short-lived romance was with a soldier stationed at the local military base.  “An Officer and a Gentlewoman” you say?  Not quite.  I met him when I took some friends’ kids roller skating.  He had a side job being one of those roller referees?  Monitors?  God JonBonJovi, it all sounds so bizarre when I say it out loud.  Anyways, we didn’t talk much – there was no need.  However, I realized there was a problem when I was writing to him and I didn’t know how he spelled his name.  Oops.

Wow, it’s kind of embarrassing looking back at those “relationships”.  And it doesn’t end there.  I’ve had some blind dates and interest from guys that make me question my ability as a female.  That’s why, when a friend was talking about a recent singles gathering called “Lock and Key”, I had all sorts of haunting images fly at me, from 60 year-old men who lived with their twin brothers to no one approaching me at all.

At work, I had been talking to one of the custodians and I mentioned that only crazy guys were interested in me.  His response:  “How come?  You nice!  You no fat!”

Yes, indeed.  Me no fat…I nice!  How come?