“So, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I just don’t think this dating thing is going to work for me. So far, it’s been an absolute train wreck. Maybe my expectations are too high – you know, like honesty, integrity, and the ability to spell. I think I might pass out if somebody actually knew the difference between, ‘they’re, there and their’ and ‘to, too and two,’ but whatever. I swear I have been giving it my best shot.
I am now actually answering the messages instead of just reading, laughing and moving on, and trying my darndest to find things in common. I have become so good at it that my kids insist, absolutely insist, on seeing pictures of every man I have corresponded with. That was, until they picked up my phone one day and accidentally came across the picture of a 45-year-old bare chested, headless man, to which they all screamed. Before everybody has a heart attack, I do have a screen lock on my phone but apparently, my daughter looks enough like me to be able to open it. Thanks, Apple.
I also finally decided to actually take the dates, and I’m still wondering why. There was the guy who just wanted me to drive his truck, the guy who just wanted me to drive something else, the guy who didn’t want the straw in his drink but refused to take it out so it kept smacking him in the face, the therapist who I felt like I needed to give my insurance card to at the end of the date and the guy who was (er, is) super angry at his ex-wife. Of course there was that was that one guy, a dad of one of my daughter’s friends, who stood on his porch in his bathrobe with swollen eyes while I banged on the door looking for her after curfew, who exclaimed, ‘Wow, you’re just as pretty as she is.’ Yeah, ok, creeper. I almost needed to make another date with the therapist to get over that incident.
Anyway, did you know that nowadays with social media, people meet for a ‘pre-date date’? Like, what is that? Like tailgating? Pre-game? I googled it, and it’s like coffee, a walk in the park, something easy and cheap, I guess. I honestly didn’t know that was a thing until I met the therapist. He had a beer. I had a glass of wine. Needless to say, I was starving and emotional by the end of the night. I appreciate therapists and all they do, but I really wasn’t prepared to be psychoanalyzed on an empty stomach.
And then the guy with the truck? I am not kidding when I tell you how in love he was with it. If I remember correctly, it was this huge monstrosity with lots of lights down the side and all he wanted to do was prove to me how fast it would go. Um, ok. I believed him, but he insisted I drive the damn thing. Now, look, I am 5-feet-tall and the door to this monster was like 6 feet in the air. But, I’m a sport. I threw my long, blonde, perfectly curled hair into a ponytail, tossed my Dolce Gabbana purse onto the seat, steadied my stiletto on the step, grabbed ahold of the steering wheel and yanked myself in like I was getting on a horse. I turned the key, country music blared, and he clapped. Yep, CLAPPED from the passenger seat and yelled out a ‘yeehaw!’
As I put that puppy into gear, I prayed we were not about to reenact a scene from ‘Deliverance,’ and off we went. He told me which streets to drive on and while I look back now, it probably wasn’t the safest thing to do, but not only do my friends have my location on my phone, but he was harmless. Not like Ted Bundy harmless. Like Roscoe P. Coltrane harmless. We drove until we came to a street where I could really let loose, and while I am sure he was hoping I would break the sound barrier, I only got it up to 45 MPH, mostly because I couldn’t really see over the wheel and was having a hard time focusing over his hootin’ and hollerin’. He did, however, take me by where he was living. An RV park. I don’t mean like an actual place where people live in RV’s. I mean, like an RV park, where you camp. Apparently, it’s great though. His neighbor lady, Betty, makes him cookies and her husband cracks open the whiskey. He said he would share with me sometime. Yippee ki yay. Oh, and he wanted more kids. Yeah, no. This is the only baby I’m ever going to have again. The fake one in work training. But, thanks.
I made it back alive, which was the highlight of that date, and met somebody a few days later, this time for an actual dinner, which was actually pretty fantastic. The food, that is. I had no issue with this guy except the straw. He ordered his drink, I don’t remember what it was, but it had ice in it and a black straw. The problem is, he never used the straw. He wasn’t even really holding the straw back with his hand when he took a drink. No, it was more like he forgot the straw was there every time he knocked it back because every time he did, it hit him in the face. I almost wanted to yell, ‘surprise!’ every time it almost-poked-him-in-the-eye, but I didn’t want to ruin it for him. I figured it would end when the drink ran out, but no, he just kept swirling the ice like it was going to melt and create one more sip that he could throw down his throat, providing he didn’t choke on the straw as it went down.
The guy who was mad at his ex-wife? Yeah, I pretty much wanted to set him up with the therapist. I don’t know how many times I said, ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘wow, that sucks,’ or ‘I’m sure she didn’t mean it exactly that way.’ Mostly, all I could do was nod my head in agreement or furrow my brow to agree with his discontent. I can’t remember if he actually cried or if his voice just broke a hundred times, but I really felt for the guy. I just didn’t want to feel the guy after that mess.
And, my favorite of the all – the guy who just wanted sex, well, I kinda knew that going in and I made myself clear that it wasn’t going to happen, but I will give him an A for effort. What he lacks in a love life, he certainly makes up for it in tenacity. In fact, I guess it’s ok now to ask a girl for a pic right out of the shower. I’m gonna guess THIS wasn’t the one he was looking for, with a towel on my head, since I never heard from him again.
Oh, this dating in your 40s thing is ridiculous. But, every time I think about giving up, some new guy catches my eye with some suave pick up line like, ‘hey there.’ Obviously, it’s my own Jake Ryan voice in my head that I’m hearing, because so far, all I am getting are Anthony Michael Halls with a little Bo Duke thrown in. My prince is out there, right? RIGHT??! Somewhere? I guess while I am waiting for him to ride in on his white stallion, I will just keep kissing frogs. Well, I’m not actually kissing them, which might be part of my problem, but, you get the picture.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Diana Register of Meridian, Idaho. Her books “Grief Life” and “My Kid Is an Asshole, and So Is My Dog” are now available in print and kindle. You can pre-order her newest book here. You can follow her work on her author Facebook page, and Instagram.
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