For me the summer will officially be over next Monday when I go back for my week of teacher-training and preparation for the big start the following week. The new year will begin as the last year ended on the romance front, but at least in June there was the hope of a summer romance. Now there is the reality of no summer romance and a deepening understanding that I really might be headed to a Golden Girls scenario down the road.
Not only was the romance-less summer disappointing, the few dates or communications that I had have caused pain. Maybe I need to have thicker skin, but if I was going to have thicker skin, it would have developed by now—and it hasn’t, not by the slightest fraction of an inch. It really is you out there, alone, sitting at a computer or a table opposite someone who has his own agenda or expectations that you think should be benign—positive even—but they just don't always end up to be so.
Just this week a lovely widowed Frenchman who has been raising his son by himself who lives nearby, but is currently working in Nigeria building roads, toyed with me. Oh, it was fun. It turns out it’s easy to overcome your finely-tuned instincts when you are fawned over by a handsome man. But today, when I was told that he was upset, that something had happened, that he planned to commit suicide the antennae were up—but so was the seriously concerned heart beating far too fast. When the gunshot sound came through the computer I thought “Oh, no,” and ever so cautiously “What’s going on?” But it was all good in the end, because apparently all he needed was to send some money to his uncle who could then file the papers he needed to….SPAM.
Then there was the man who, apparently, on our one and only date was really filling out an internal questionnaire. Apparently I did not pass the test because I was not courteous enough to the waitress and, I guess, I didn’t cry out in the way of being saved at some revival that he is the man for me. I know that I failed the test because he contacted me about a second date and apparently I again failed the test because my response was a little harsh. What do these men think? They tell you that they have “too many issues” in their life to get involved and then a week later say, no, you know, I really do like you so let’s meet again. Men, know that even single women are people.
I almost forget to mention the older man who seriously looked older than elder. Not just that, our conversation really highlighted that he was of a totally different generation than me. Now I know what I must sound like to my students.
Too bad that I finally splurged on a three-month membership to JDate, because apparently I don’t turn the Jewish guys on either. Oy.
There was one very nice man with whom I had two dates. But the sparks didn’t fly. Too bad.
At this point I’m not so worried that some date will read what I have said about previous dates here because I’m expectationless.
I still don’t regret telling pseudo-man that I don’t want to get together with him now that he really is separated. Even though he is the only man who has sailed my ship, I have learned something, and that is that I really do need to worry about myself and not be here as a platform for a man’s ego.
Oh, and I’ve finally gotten started on my novel and it is going well. There’s a romance in it. And it’s lovely. I think I’ll focus on this fictional romance for a while. So far the gentleman is courteous, caring, compassionate and his kisses…well, you’ll have to read the book. Now that I have so much time to work on it, it shouldn’t take too long to finish writing (and enjoy imagining) it.
P.S. I had one more date set up for this afternoon, which I decided to go on. It was, truly, the cherry on top. The man had answered my ad, it turns out, because he likes to hear people's stories. It also turns out that he is married, not happy, and thinking that maybe sometime he will have an affair. This is the man who told me, shocker, that he is very conservative. After I gave my mini-lecture on being forthright and not lying to people, I got up and left. Leaving behind my frozen lemonade but not a shred of myself.