I say I don’t date, but I actually did go out on a date last weekend. And again, I know that writing about the specifics of dating is literally dating suicide, but please allow me to continue to serve as a horrible warning and not an example to the remaining few single people among you.
Since December, I have been avoiding a fellow from London who flew into New York for, among other reasons, a date with me. Since then, we’ve talked a few times here and there, but I have for the most part put him off.
Why, you ask?
Well, for one thing, I met him at an event at the office of my ex-husband’s law firm in London. For another thing, he’s an avid tennis player, and my first date with my ex-husband began over a game of tennis.
I wasn’t about to fall for that again!
And for a third thing, I didn’t know how to respond to his insistence that we play a game of tennis together, since I can no longer hold a tennis racquet.
While I was not unwilling to give this a try (see, e.g., the disaster that was The Blind Date Arranged By My Former Tailor – aka, I will try anything once or to get a bloggable anecdote), I was pretty closed off to the idea of the whole thing working out. Additionally, this fellow had a name that was identical to that of a snack food company, so the Women of Winesday and I began calling him Chip. “Chip” obviously wouldn’t translate into British English — he’d be Crisp — but in American, it was suitable.
(Only after the fact did I realise it was also sort of condescending and diminutive, since Chip typically means “Junior.” But that wasn’t my intention at all.)
Nonetheless, I went out on two dates with him in New York in December — partly because I liked the idea of someone flying into the City and seeing me. And he was great! He was tall, and smart, and successful, and kind. He was even left-handed! He was athletic, and…
…this was one of those instances where I really should’ve liked this guy, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with him, yet I was all smiles and nods and surreptitious watch-checks. And maybe it was because there was nothing wrong with him.
I avoided him into April, until I could avoid no more, and agreed to a Sunday date. It was only then that I discovered that he had a crazy thing for…
Like, for reals. American roommates; only dated Americans; etc. Whaaa?! Was that really A Thing? Were there men out there who went for that? That this thought had never occurred to me until last Sunday night despite me being fairly well-travelled — that was somewhat astonishing. One of my (non-American) guy friends kept switching the ringer on my phone to “American Woman,” and it had never resonated why that was all that funny until then.
The American Woman As Object aside, while this young man was and is lovely, I think he is looking for someone with whom to share a relationship of true firsts, not merely the first time we did that together. And I am not that woman.
So that happened. I left London, and resolved not to respond to any more of his messages.
A week later, and back in New York, Kat and her husband came today to pick up Roo to take him while I am in Hong Kong, and I recounted the story of the date.
So he’s vanilla pudding, Kat said decisively.
Yes! I said. She had nailed it. There was nothing wrong with this guy. He was everything a woman should want and have.
You’re just looking for someone a little more screwed up, she said. Kat pulled no punches.
I am looking for that, I think — someone who is gently used; pre-owned. I’m looking for someone who has been in the cooker for a while. Who may have been singed; charred; has perhaps even been burned to a crisp, and is ready to start over; take second chances.
And who is ambivalent about whether my passport is red, blue, or inbetween.