I talked to my mother yesterday. Well, I ranted and she listened.
When are you going out on your blind date?
This week. He wanted to go out on Saturday, but I was on on-call.
(I volunteer in a hospital emergency department, and being “on-call” means I could be called in at any time during the night to work with the patient if I’m on the overnight shift. The other volunteers and I have a sixth-sense about when a call will come in. Make plans during an overnight shift, and you are bound to be summoned.)
She asked me some more questions about the fellow we’ll call “Taylor” (because I was set up by my tailor), and I finally ranted:
Mother. This is why I do not date. What am I supposed to talk about with him? Movies? TV? The fact that he’s from New Jersey and makes spreadsheets for a living? Do you know the last time I saw a movie? 1997. I have never seen an episode of a single current network television series, unless you count a few non-US series of the last five years. And I’m not even up to speed on those.
My voice was rising into that horrible, shrill I can only respond to questions with questions thing that I do – the way I used to speak to my ex-husband.
Well, what do you talk about with your friends?
Current events? Stuff going on in our lives? Music? Travel? My friends are extremely interesting people. This guy wants me to go to a restaurant that is like preppy hell, which he suggested only after he first wanted ME to plan the date. I’m trying to think of a Southern California analogue for this place but I can’t.
But these weren’t even real preps, I thought to myself, the poseur prep types who need to tell you about how preppy they are and have to point out that they’re not wearing socks with their loafers even though it’s January. This restaurant wants to be a hang-out like the Peach Pit, if Brenda and Brandon Walsh were named Parker and McKay, and the Peach Pit had been considerably smaller, darker and the whole series had taken place in the 06820.
You’re not that weird or different you know. Just let life happen. It sounds like you’re dismissing him before you’ve even met him.
In fact, I was. I was judging a book by its cover, but also by my limited interactions with this fellow. I’d spoken to him on the phone once; he hadn’t called when he said he was going to call. Being busy, I’d shot him a message on the day he said he call and I got a blow-off. Nearly a week later, late at night, I received a barrage of text messages telling me that he’d been sick and he still wanted to go out, did I have anything planned. Me. Did I plan anything?
This was, of course, after I’d received a message from Vindy, the tailor, (on the day Taylor finally texted) reminding me that I should go on this ill-fated blind date.
My mother, clearly exasperated with me, handed the phone back over to my father, who changed the subject to our iPads – a topic of which I never tire.
I think the take-aways are these:
1) I’m in my thirties and I spent the whole of my twenties in a marriage and a long-term relationship. Courting by text? Totally foreign to me. Unless we’re corresponding at the last minute, over vast time differences, or under unique circumstances, you can pick up a phone once in a while.
2) Also, I don’t really understand dating. I’ve been in relationships, consecutively, since 1996. When I last dated, use of the internet by the ordinary suburban consumer outside the walled garden of AOL was a relatively new concept. Apparently, I do not know (or care) how to use the internet to my romantic advantage.
3) I do miss having a companion. But I don’t miss having a companion enough to have to make small talk during my precious free time, or to let not having someone to walk the dog when I’m hung-over interfere with marathon training.
4) I do not want to see a movie. Ever. Though I might agree to watch a DVD if you ask nicely.
5) I am still obsessed with the idea of going on this blind date with someone with whom my insane tailor set me up. That’s the only reason I’d go out with someone who first blew me off, who then wanted me to plan everything, and then suggested the bloody effing Peach Pit for a date.
I may be a glutton for punishment for other reasons, but under any less bloggable circumstances, I wouldn’t be wasting a perfectly good evening on going out with someone, when I could be watching Downton Abbey on my iPad from the comfort of the treadmill.