I'm worn out. I'd exchanged a couple of entertaining emails with a fellow, Chad, on the free site. He sent me his phone number. I responded: you call me. He called. The phone conversation wasn't good or bad…I was distracted, getting ready to leave, or checking email…anything but focus on him. He told me how spontaneous he was and I swear that was the end.
I said, what about in the morning, what about Sunday morning? Chad said ok and I said I'd call him.
I then ran out the door to meet CK for dinner and swing dancing.
It was good to see CK. We hadn't sat down and talked for a while and I chewed her ear off. When I told her the story about David, she was stunned. I don't think I've ever seen CK so quiet for so long.
We made it to the dance around 9:30 and it was hoppin'. Earlier, CK had asked why I didn't ask guys to dance. I said, "I just don't."
"We have to work on that."
"It's just…I don't like to impose." CK shook her head.
I sincerely tried to ask guys to dance, but I was too shy. I managed it once, late in the evening, by walking up to a guy, tilting my head and holding out my hand. I didn't say anything. Neither did he. He took my hand and we danced. He was a good dancer too.
I ran into a blog friend, "Robert," there. That was odd. I was dancing with someone and I saw him out of the corner of my eye. When the song ended and I thanked my partner, I went over to Robert and said hi. Was he surprised to see me? I think so. He asked me to dance. I followed adequately, but he kept talking to me (good) and it threw me out of synch (bad). We just had the one dance, as is polite, and moved on to other partners.
I also saw Robert (one of my "worst dates in the world"). Usually I cringe just a little when I see Robert. (The blog friend and this guy have the same first name; it is not Robert.) I'm never sure what he'll say or do. I wouldn't be surprised if he sensed that I was feeling a little low. He said, "Jamy, you're looking dazzling tonight with your ruby necklace…." I was wearing my "sparkly necklace" --the stones are colored glass, but it's pretty.
"Yes, but you always look dazzling, even without the necklace."
I smiled. I thought, I'll take it, as long as he doesn't ask me to dance. He didn't. We chatted a couple of minutes longer and I felt a tad wistful. I remembered why I went out with him in the first place…he was sweet. Or, I liked the compliments. Being on the receiving end of someone's strong desire is hard to resist…even when you know the person is not for you. It was good to feel that from Robert and I regretted that he was impossible to date.
It left me in a better mood for the rest of the night. When CK and I left around midnight, I joked with her about it and I happily drove myself home.
On Sunday, I managed to get myself in a state with overbooking. Potentially, I had three plans. See the internet guy, Chad, in the AM, movies with C-money in the afternoon and dinner with Carrie (and her husband and kids) in the evening. I firmed things up with C-money. Then I called Carrie and she could tell I was overwhelmed. She suggested canceling our plans and, instead, doing something next week.
Then I called Chad. I told him I was good for the morning or after the movies. It was around 10:30am when I called. He said, "Well, I won't get out of the house for at least an hour and a half or two hours, so after the movies is better. Why don't you call me when you're done?"
"Um. Ok. Sure." Who takes two hours to get out of the house? And didn't we have vague plans? Weirdo.
Then I chatted with another guy, Chuck, online. Chuck is a potential date--we actually arranged a date way back in July and it didn't happen and we both dropped it. But I remembered what fun we'd had chatting originally, so I got back in touch with him. The two of us can talk forever and we did. We made a date for Friday. I'd give it about a 75% chance of happening. I'm on the fence regarding romantic potential with him, but he's a lot of fun to talk to and I'd like to be friends and let nature take its course. Or something.
I also I heard back from Garret, the guy from rowing. He hadn't received my Friday email until Sunday morning and suggested that we get together this week sometime after practice. I said fine.
I can't tell how I feel about any of these guys. I'm just worn out. I've been feeling this way for a while, that maybe I should just give up or radically change my expectations. It's one sad, short, doomed relationship after another. I don't seem to be learning my lesson, I seem to make the same (or new?) mistakes over and over and I don't get anywhere. It's the same pattern in rapid motion, not dragging out over months.
And yet, I'm lonely. I like to be alone…or I always have. But now I want some companionship. I want someone else in the house when I come home. Someone to wait for me…that seems to be the most impossible thing of all.
Work-friend Nancy said, "I know what your problem is. You haven't met your match."
I told her I had met my match--she guessed, incorrectly, who it was. I told her, "It was Tom, of course. My grad school boyfriend. He loved to tell me he could 'handle me.' In contrast to my other boyfriends. He used to say I was complicated and he was simple."
Nancy scoffed, "Simple? Right. I doubt anyone you felt that way about was simple."
"Exactly. He was plenty complicated, but he fancied himself to be a regular working class guy. It was part of his attraction. But we fought too much. And then he moved. Damn, it was all so long ago. But he might be the last guy who was up for it."
On Sunday, I met C-money for the movies (Snakes on a Plane!). We thoroughly enjoyed it and yakked it up through the whole picture. Afterwards, we met Katie for lunch. I hadn't seen either one of them in ages and it was good to spend time together.
When we got out of the movies, I knew I was supposed to call Chad. But I didn't want to. I didn't want to see him. C-money and I sat in a restaurant, waiting for Katie, and I tried to work up the nerve to call Chad. "I don't want to call him. But I can't just not call. That would be bad."
"Yeah, you should call."
"But I don't want to talk to him. Maybe I could send a text." Raised eyebrow from C-money. "I know, that's too evil."
"Just call him and say you can't go out tonight. The less explanation the better."
I cannot express how much it tickled me to receive dating advice from C-money, but he was right.
When Katie arrived, I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet. I stepped outside to make the call. It only took a few seconds because I got his voice mail. "Hi, it's Jamy. I'm sorry I can't go out tonight, but if you want to do it some other time, give me a call." I walked back inside and lifted one arm in triumph, "Voicemail! Perfect!" Are you shocked to hear that Chad never called back? No, me neither, but I am relieved.
What else…I got another email on the nameless site. The message was fine, the guy's pics were tiny and indecipherable. He ended the note with "I know it's rare for ladies to write back, but I can hope." Lord, this sack was even sadder than I. I wanted to hide my profile on the site, but I wanted to write back to him first. Finally, I mustered the energy to write. I didn't say much but I told him I was closing up shop and he could reach me on my regular email if he liked.
Last, remember the sailing guy, Frank? I have heard from him about sailing, but the timing has been bad. Last week, he sent me an invite to a party at his house. Before I got too carried away with delight, I noticed that over 500 people were invited to the party. 500 people? That's insane. But I love it. By the time I RSVP'd over 100 others had as well. I am very much looking forward to this party.
I reflected that I met the last couple of guys who I actually liked through activities. Dancing, kickball, frisbee and, potentially, rowing. Only softball has been a bust in terms of meeting people. For all the internet dating I've done, there's only been one boyfriend (Jake). Remember him? Yeah, I barely remember him either. He might be the most forgettable, least present, boyfriend I've ever had. And then David. The worst possible whatever he was I can imagine.
When I first met Frank, I pegged him as perfect fling material. That's all he seemed to be interested in and all I would be interested in with him (probably). But I dismissed it because it's not what I do. I'm not saying it's what I do now, but if I ever do decide to try another fling, I think I'll start it with someone I've met in real life first; that way he won't be coming in with all kinds of crazy preconceived notions about me and try and fail to convince himself that I actually am what he's looking for and then dump all over me when he realizes that he can't force himself to be attracted to me. Argh. Asshole.
Amanda said, "At least you learned something. You took a chance, that's good."
"Sure, but did I really need to learn this?"
"Well, no. No. What you learned was that it wasn't going to work out with him. You won't have any regrets about not finding out what would have happened. You tried and that's ok."
She's right. I would have wondered about David for a long time if I hadn't tried. I just wish it weren't so hard…I don't know why it was so disorienting. Maybe, because for once, I put myself out of my comfort zone. And THAT's what's bothering me. Not that this one guy didn't find me attractive. Whatever. This one asshole isn't the point. But learning how to learn from it is.
Grateful for: no regrets.
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