Oh boy, I had no idea how right all those dating horror stories are. I mean, I knew they had to be right in essence, but to be so ever loving right? Damn.
Last year I dipped my toes in the dating kiddie pool, and it turned out to be the fucking deep end. Once I pulled myself out again, I wrapped up in a towel and sat in the sun for a while. It was warm and cozy, and only the diminishing shadow of my ex-husband threatened the light.
At some point I noticed everyone else was swimming, and I was just sitting there. I do like my solitude, but that water was tempting.
Baseball’s World Series was the perfect excuse to get out and see what the 30-something set had to offer. It’s not much different from what the 20-something set had to offer the last time I got sucked into this mess.
The games were good distractions, backgrounds, conversations, and good for my attention should there be no human to give it to. I should have kept watching. Chance connection number one got piss drunk once the game was over, and proceeded to shuffle his loafers right out the front door without paying his tab. Chance connection number two doled out his own shit when, after six hours of talking and chairs scooting ever closer together, the bar closed and I held my breath to know there would be an encore. Alas he doubted his finacée would appreciate it.
So the bar scene is out. I knew it would be, so I got it over with really. The World Series ended and that was the end of that. Some really boring dinners, a few of awkward afternoons, and a couple of fun nights later, I end up faced with an insult I had never even considered. (The great weekend and the insult aren’t related, just so we’re clear.)
So there I was, mingling through the evening party, casually avoiding anything that could even remotely be considered eye contact. I had felt his presence all night. I had worked to not acknowledge it. He wanted to catch my eye, and I knew it. I moved in circles separate from him, but we still landed in passing small talk conversations. Finally I stopped moving and leaned against the counter in the kitchen. I had noticed something all night and it was time to stand back and see it. The table in the kitchen was surrounded by couples. In the connected living room, couples. For the first time in over three years, I was acutely aware of being the only single woman in a crowd. I texted a friend: I’m tired of being single. Bring on the pain.
I caught his attention, and he joined me at the counter. We talked until we finished our drinks. He asked if I’d like to join him and some others for karaoke. Neither of us sang, but our voices filled the air none-the-less until there was no more music and no more crowd. We exchanged numbers. I texted him when I got home. There was no response, but I wouldn’t have known anyway because I went to sleep.
He responded the next morning. I saw his name pop up across the top of my phone and flicked my eyes away before the message flashed. I took a deep breath, and then I read it:
Who is this?
To the core! I have never been so insulted. Sure, the backpedaling stated almost immediately, and by the time I responded he was up to dinner and the theater. I should have held out for the Lexus. Not that it matters. Being the ever so kindhearted, when he asked me to call I told him when I’d be available, and then he didn’t answer the phone. He called back, but by then I was over it.
So the first three months of dating have had more of this
Dating sucks. This is nothing new. So, tell me, what’s the worst next day text that sent you screaming to your nearest bar?
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