The phone rings and the name on the display is "Ethan." I can't quite believe it. I haven't talked to him since before Jake and I broke up. "Hi Jamy! This is Ethan--a blast from your past."
"I'll say." We laugh.
"So, how's it going? How is your guy…what was his name? Jake?"
"I'm fine, but we broke up. A long time ago."
"Really? That's too bad. I'd thought I'd call and find out you were getting married."
"I wish. But, no, that's not what happened." (Just as well, no?)
"I'm sorry to hear that. What did happen?" Ethan asks.
"He freaked out."
"I don't know. He said he needed to be alone. I asked if he were breaking up with me, but he just said he needed to be alone. But he meant he wanted to break up with me."
"And he didn't say why?"
"No, but you don't really need to give a reason. Anyway, it was a long time ago by now."
"You don't always have a reason. Sometimes it's just a feeling."
"I guess so." (As we're on the phone, I get an email from Jdate© (bastards) telling me I have seven unread messages in my inbox. Should I pay $35 to read seven messages? I don't think so.)
"So, are you still dating?"
"Sure, of course." (Do most people stop dating after breaking up after one-month long relationships?)
"I've had better luck with Match.com."
"I'm not doing that anymore. I'm meeting people the old-fashioned way."
"Are you aggressive? Most men don't like women who are too aggressive" (I have no idea what he's getting at.)
"No, I'm not that aggressive. Maybe I am. Just the normal amount." (No, I have no idea what 'the normal amount' of aggressive is.)
"Like, do you say hi to them?"
"Sure I say hi. But well, the last time I met guys--I was at a bar and they started talking to me." (And we all know how that ended. Not well.)
"Oh, you were at a bar. You were out."
"You have to be out somewhere you can meet people." (I guess not everyone reads the blog.)
"So you go out, to bars and socials, things like that."
"Not socials--not 'this is for single people things.' Those are awful. It doesn't work."
"Really? The people are just losers? No good?"
"No, they're just...too sad. Not really available."
"I see. Hey, can I call you back? I'm trying to sell my house and I need to take this call. I like talking to you. Do you mind if I call you back?"
"I like talking to you too. Do call back."
He called back about 20 minutes later. I waited to see if he would ask me out. After some mumbling about how he hates going to graduations but he has to go to his daughter's graduation, he says, "So, would you go get a drink with me sometime?"
"Sure, ok. Why not." (Oh yes, let the enthusiasm flow.)
"Really? You can say no."
"I know. I think you've heard me say no before."
"Maybe you're right. So I can buy you a drink. What about dinner, can I buy you dinner?"
"Sure, but nothing too fancy. Something low key." (The other two times we went out Ethan spent a lot of money on fancy restaurants. That just won't do this time. If there is a this time.)
"Where's the nearest McDonalds?" (I know he's trying to be funny, but I refuse to play along. I'm mean.)
"I don't eat at McDonalds." (But I do know this great falafel place in Adams Morgan.)
"Ok, no McDonalds. So, I'll call you in a couple of weeks and maybe we can go out."
"Ok. Sounds fine."
A couple of weeks? Way to pull the trigger, dude. Not that I was anything like encouraging. Sigh. Sometimes you have to wonder, what were they thinking? I liked Ethan fine, though I see no romantic potential there. He was nice to talk to. Maybe if he calls we will go out. Anything is possible.
Grateful for: possibilities.